Of the Wand and the Moon…When Love Ends

Photo Captured by: Marquis Xavier

I have once again been on a bit of hiatus with my blog and I am sorry for being so behind on things. It has been a really stressful couple months with both my personal life and stuff happening within my family. The one constant that has eaten up my emotional and mental energy was a two year long distance relationship that came to an end in the most awful of ways. I started thinking more about my past relationships and how often I end up choosing the wrong people or the timing is just not right. Love is one of those emotions that has so many roads and meandering paths that lead to good as well as bad outcomes. It has led to me thinking deeply about the concept and how as of now I have yet to find a relationship that is good and stays that way (even when difficulties arise).

Nightime Nightrhymes (1999)

The more I think about this the more I have come to the conclusion that there is one musical project that has always been there for me to help me understand and navigate the painful aspects of relationships ending as well as the experiences dealing with unrequited love. That project is Of the Wand and the Moon which was conceived by Kim Larsen out of Denmark. I first heard about Of the Wand and the Moon (:OTWATM:) from Don Anderson of Agalloch fame. I remember to this day emailing him and asking for suggestions about neofolk projects that helped influence Agalloch’s music (especially from The Mantle), and he recommended :OTWATM:. So I started scouring the internet to learn more about this project and found the album “Nighttime Nightrhymes” that came out back in 1999. When I received the CD in the mail I put it into my stereo and was immediately blown away about how beautiful, dark, and painful the music was. There was a stripped down, and vulnerable aspect to the album that was mostly acoustic guitar and whispered lamentations. It immediately hit me in such a way that when I even hear “Nighttime Nightrhymes” to this day I am still awestruck at how much it hits home. The is one specific song on the album that I listen to all the time (probably in thousands over the years) called “I Crave For You” the lyrics are as follows:

“I crave for you
And the incense of night
To bathe
In the flame of your light
Cold pale in sorrow
In the tears that followed
The years that swallowed
The innocence of my love
I crave for you…”

I think this song above all other Of the Wand and the Moon songs stands out as the most on point song that has summarized my relationship history over the years. I was always put into really difficult situations and was tricked by what I thought love was. In the end I was always put through a veritable buzzsaw and came out scarred and bloody every single time and it took me years and years to recover and be myself again. But the thing is this has happened over, over, and over again. I have yet to be in a loving relationship that helped me heal my scars and stem my blood loss. I have become so disillusioned and jaded to the point that I didn’t even think of dating for almost 5 years. And now the cycle of pain has started anew, and now Of the Wand and the Moon is consistently in rotation to remind me that Kim Larsen has been through his own relationship hellscapes and the emotions that come from navigating those hellscapes. What I can say about sad and dark music is that it has always helped me move towards healing because it reminds me that I am not as alone as I think I am.

Bridges Burned and Hands of Time (2019)

I think another aspect of :OTWATM:’s music is how much it reflects the dreams I have had over the years and the feelings and emotions that come with them. Whenever a relationship ends in the most awful and traumatic ways in my life there are always recurring places or situations I am put into within my subconscious. There is another song from Of the Wand and the Moon, “I Called Your Name” that reflects what sometimes happens in my dreams:

A fire lost at the cost of love
my stare bares witness to the demons I fought
the things we won’t do for love

And I called your name in vain – in vain
loves my bane and time marches on

Four years till this day in this slow decay
a prayer for an end and you’re far away
you’re far away…”

Typically I see myself in a wood that has multiple rooted paths, or I see myself in a giant house that has stairways that lead nowhere or somewhere. One time I would take a path or a stairway and end up being in a downtown part of a city that I am familiar with, and I see through the sea of people my ex walking around or with someone else and I always yell at the top of my lungs their name and they don’t listen. It is like I am surrounded by soundproof glass or in a different parallel world that only allows me to see over interacting with them.

Emptiness: Emptiness: Emptiness: (2001)

My mind is such a vast and sometimes scary place to navigate because when I love someone so deeply I am devoted and loyal and true to them to a fault and it often takes me a long time (years even) to get over someone I have fallen so deeply in love with. I sense their energy, scent, and see them everywhere in my peripheral vision. I don’t know why I get haunted by my past loves but in some weird way it helps me find closure (it just takes longer). All these thoughts and feelings always fall back to the songs Kim Larsen has written. His lyrics are so on point and the emotions and feelings he invokes in his music exactly reflects every single one of my experiences of losing love and the pain that follows with it. A song that really kind of hits all the points in my experiences, healing and recovery is “Can I Erase the Demon?”:

“I see it’s growing darker
And darker still
I see my heart growing darker

And darker still
I felt your heart growing darker
And darker still
I see this life growing darker
And darker still

Can I erase the demon?
Can I ever fill the hole?
Will I see the stars
And start anew?”

The Lone Descent (2011)

It is always such a dark and melancholic moment dealing with the aftermath of a long, hard, and loving (?) relationship especially with what I am currently navigating these past couple weeks. I thought I would not feel all the anguish, loss, and shock of losing someone I love but it happened again and I hope it is the last time I am going through these trials and tribulations in regards to relationships. I definitely feel like I have paid my dues tenfold with the most immense heartache that came with it. I am ready to press forward and find someone who loves me for me and will be there with me through the good and the bad. I am forever grateful to have stumbled upon Of the Wand and the Moon. The music has been my constant companion and reminded me that the feelings and emotions I have dealt with are normal and not too uncommon either. Misery, anger, sadness, wistfulness, nostalgia and memory are always going to be commonalities in regards to love and relationships. If I can think of one last song that helps me move forward would be “Watch the Skyline Catch Fire”:

“Words ring hollow
Clouds draw in
Spring rides on
Embrace the solitude
The fruit of life
Sorrow deep
Watch the skyline catch fire
Strangers come and go
There’s death on your lips
I never knew
Our tears are water
Under the bridge
A distant memory
Before I go to sleep
Watch the skyline catch fire
Swallows come and go
I was never really here
But these streets know my name

All lyrics by Kim Larsen

Bandcamp: https://tescogermany.bandcamp.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wandmoon

Awakening From Space Hibernation


Last time I updated my blog was back in December of 2018, it has been a bit of a crazy 2019 for me both personally and work-related so I apologize for not updating as regularly as I hoped to be. I have since settled my affairs and ready to get back into the blogging metal realm. If I could give one phrase to describe the metal releases of 2019 so far it has been insanely consistent! This year is one of those years where I just kept buying new releases over and over again. So many big bands have come out of the shadows with new stuff and the bulk of it has been excellent. 


This also has been the year of me diving down the rabbit hole of vinyl collecting. I found a pretty awesome record store in the new city I am living in and bought a really nice player. Since then I have had many introspective evenings having a beer and listening to records. I think I will find a way to give an update of the latest record I bought at the top of the blog. Currently being shipped to me is Wolcensmen’s new album “Fire in the White Stone”, and Toby Driver’s solo outputs “Madonnawhore” and “They Are the Shield”. And many future albums on preorder, with, of course new reviews to follow when those albums get released. 

Like last time when I gave an update and reasoning for my hiatus I gave my own personal metal highlights for the year. Once again I will give you my take on some of the highlights of metal in the year 2019:


The first album that came out this year that I really loved is Heilung’s album “Futha” all of a sudden there has been this resurgence of primitive, dark, and beautiful folk music first spearheaded by Wardruna. Heilung released their new album and it follows the same vein as Wardurna but it is so unique in its own way. The atmosphere, instrumentation, and vocals on “Futha” are spellbinding. If you are itching for more ancient Scandinavian folk music give Heilung’s album “Futha” a listen.


The next album that really stood out strong to me is Cult of Luna’s album “A Dawn to Fear” to me Cult of Luna’s is one of those bands who always blow it out of the water for each subsequent release. The first thing that came to mind when I dived into “A Dawn to Fear” is how pulverizing Cult of Luna hits the senses right out the gate. The album would not let up its aggression, beauty, and incredible wall of sound. There was never much of a moment to breathe or relax while getting through the songs of “A Dawn to Fear” a highly recommended listen!


A third album that really hit all the right notes for me was Borknagar’s new output “True North” this was the first album that did not have Vintersorg on vocals. All vocals were done by one of the most underrated vocalists in the metal world, I.C.S. Vortex. I have always been drawn to his style and how epic he can be in songs he has sung in. To once again hear him do the bulk of the vocal duties for Borknagar is really cool to hear and he has really tried some new styles to make the songs each unique in their own way. Once again Borknagar has crafted a behemoth of an album that goes into so many interesting directions.

Finally another major highlight for me in 2019 was finally seeing Bell Witch and Neurosis live for the first time ever. They played at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, MA. They put on a hell of a show that was so memorable to me. To hear some of Neurosis’s classic songs in a live setting was chilling, and beautiful beyond words. As for Bell Witch there has been multiple opportunities for me to see them live and I never was able to, now that I was able to see them live I can see why they still stand out as one of my favorite bands. There are murmurings of them working on a collaborative album with Erik Moggridge from Aerial Ruin and I am beyond excited about what the future holds for Bell Witch as well as this new project.

As for what the future will hold for the Dreaming Metal Muse blog there are new irons in the fire being developed and I look forward to giving you a new year of quality content. I hope to actually stay much more up to date and consistent with the blog. As always, thank you for the support I appreciate each and every one of you out there in the world. Stay metal and stay true!

Hail Type O Negative!


After another long hiatus I have come back to write more about my favorite genre, metal. I figured I would start with a thought piece on one of my all time favorite bands Type O Negative. If you have not heard of them before you will learn a lot in this article. If you are as big a fan as I am then I hope you can relate to my thoughts about this once in a generation band.

When you hear of the band Type O Negative so many things come to mind, some of them being nostalgia, Halloween, sex, black humor and Peter Steele. I have been listening to this band for a couple years now, but knew nothing about them before stumbling across “October Rust” years back. When I heard this album the catchiness, darkness and brilliant lyrics really sucked me in. I still feel to this day that Peter Steele is one of the best vocalist I have heard in the heavy music medium. The different ranges and registers he sings in is so versatile and really give each Type O Negative album it’s own unique personality.


The more I delved into the Type O Negative rabbit hole the more I was impressed with how diverse and epic their songs are. They have some crushing numbers that echo doom, goth, death and even some industrial metal. Then they have sounds that are almost darkly pop in nature with some punk sprinkled in for good measure. This vast, and various painters pallet of music Type O Negative created has heavily influenced so many bands over the years. Any metalhead you talk to has some respect or admiration for Peter Steele and company. One of the things that stands out most to me is how honest/relatable Steele’s lyrics are. I think we have all had moments in life when the crisp air and bonfires of Fall remind us of a Type O Negative song. The gothic subculture was also given an identity when Type O Negative hit the radio waves. To me I always felt the gothic culture thrived even back during the days of Sisters of Mercy and The Cure. But somehow Type O Negative gave the goth culture a whole new, and darkly romantic bent to society. When I talk to metal fans regularly all I hear is how awesome and relevant Type O Negative is even now. To leave such a legacy to newer generations is something to be excited about for the future of goth music/metal.


Some of my favorite albums by Type O Negative was “October Rust”, and “World Coming Down”. Both these albums got a ton of listens over the years. I think “Word Coming Down” is one of those albums that really hits home in a wide variety of ways. This album really reflected the internal torment and misery Peter Steele was going through. I also think a lot of doom metal acts were heavily influenced by this album for both its immense darkness/oppression and vulnerability. While “World Coming Down” was the bleaker darker aspect of Type O Negative “October Rust” was the album that showed great humor, a sense of fun and gothic-tinged romance. When I hear this album I always listen to it around Autumn time it is just so relevant to that time of year in New Hampshire. When I see Halloween decorations, pumpkins, fallen leaves, feeling the crisp air and smells of bonfires/chimney smoke “October Rust” ends up being my living soundtrack. I think most metal fans have “October Rust” in their playlists when Fall arrives. When an album that has that much renown and replayability shows once again how Peter Steele and his bandmates have played a supremely important part to the heavy music timeline.

If you have stumbled upon this article and this is your first time ever hearing about Type O Negative I highly suggest you take the time as well as your hard earned dollars to pick up some of their albums. The music is excellent, the themes are memorable and the images that come to mind when you hear them will be immediate and even relatable in a way. Hail Type O Negative!


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/typeonegative

Twitter: https://twitter.com/typeonegative

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/typeonegative

My Journey with Anathema


“How did I get here? I don’t belong here…”

I have recently been listening to Anathema’s new track “Springfield” off their upcoming album “The Optimist”. When I was hearing the new song it once again reminded me of how important and relevant Anathema has been to me and my personal life. Every one of their songs found some way to affect me emotionally. The honesty and relatability found in their lyrics and music helped me through many difficult moments in my life. Anathema are one of those bands that just gets the human condition and the trials and tribulations we all go through emotionally, physically and spiritually. I can guarantee if you have no notion of Anathema that when you hear one of their songs it will immediately make you feel like they understand you. If you have ever dealt with family deaths, nasty divorces, broken relationships, spiritual conflicts and personal moments of redemption/catharsis that Anathema probably touched upon it in their extensive discography.

Anathema band photo

L-R: John Douglas (drums), Daniel Cardoso (keyboards), Lee Douglas (vocals), Vincent Cavanagh (vocals, and guitar), Jamie Cavanagh (bass), and Danny Cavanagh (lead guitar)

This band has been in my life since I was 18 years old the first album I ever bought from them is called “Judgment” when I first heard this incredibly personal album that I honestly felt that whatever feelings and thoughts I had difficulty conveying Anathema were able to make me better understand these feelings. The sincerity, sadness and honesty in this album was nothing I ever heard before. For the better part of three years “Judgment” was the soundtrack to my life at that time. I was dealing with countless bouts of despondency and had a hard time trying to understand love and relationships because I was always failing in this regard. I was confused and angry at people who didn’t get me and I was sad that my friends were in relationships and I was still left out in the cold. It was a difficult time and I couldn’t find my identity. After countless spins of “Judgment” I started getting a better understanding of these feelings and how to cope with them. Then I went further back in Anathema’s catalog and bought “Alternative 4” there was more anger and disillusionment in this album and endless questions of “why me” in my head and then as I listened I better understood why. This album fits so many moments of guilt and trying to cope with it. When things go wrong, there is always a scapegoat or someone to blame for everything. “Alternative 4” was a difficult album to get through because it helped me better understand that it was me to blame as well with my own faults and failings. I know I am not perfect and I know I have screwed things up “Alternative 4” makes you understand that regret helps you grow and that with those failings you try to become something better.

“An answer won’t come from me
Confront your own worst enemy
What does your mirror see
Is it time to face up to me?”

Anathema also touches upon the difficulties of death and the grief that follows. This could be the death of a long relationship with your lover or the death of someone dear to your life like a parent, sibling or close friend. I personally dealt with the death of my Dad, I was 21 when it happened. It was one of the hardest times in my life and made me reevaluate everything there is to evaluate about mortality. Every album of Anathema’s has songs about this incredibly sad and transformative part of life. The parallels were uncanny with my family and the Cavanagh family. Anathema is made up of 3 brothers who all lost their mother right around the same age as me and my two younger brothers. Then later on in life they lost their father, to understand these circumstances Anathema’s music has become an extension of my heart and soul. Their music has now become a super important catalyst to how I still deal with life now and the grief that comes with it when sad things happen. It goes back to the point of how relatable and honest Anathema is both lyrically and musically. And how without them I do not think I would be alive today, they made me understand that I am not alone that it will get better in time. If I was lost in my head with no outlet to vent or to have catharsis I would not get out of my head, I would just fall deeper, and deeper until there is nothing left to love in the world. Anathema’s music gave me hope, and brought light back from the dark.


“Cos no matter what I say
No matter what I do
I cant change what happened
No matter what I say
No matter what I do
I cant change what happened
No no I can’t change”

Love and the destruction of it is the final element of Anathema’s music that many can relate to. All their albums touch upon the anger, depression and frustration that occurs when a once loving relationship fails. The album that really touches upon this aspect is “A Natural Disaster” which is once again an album that eerily parallels with my own personal experience in relationships. While the album covers Danny Cavanagh’s divorce, it still is an album of the reflection, and disappointment I found in my own relationships. The lies, madness, pain and abuse I went through over the years stuck with me like a demon latching onto a helpless host. At one point I didn’t know how to break this cycle. I always felt cursed in regards to love and relationships. I gave up and still have given up today. One thing I did know is that I could rely on the music of Anathema to help me gain clarity and closure in these past hurts. After hours of driving both in the night and in the day listening to “A Natural Disaster” I better understood why relationships are good and bad, and why the pain in the bad is really bad. And why once again I wasn’t alone in these feelings. Knowing this allowed me to find peace in myself as well as well as closure. I no longer was haunted by these demons and ghosts of the past, I was able to build upon the past and look at life in a hopeful way.

Some of these moments in my life were remedied by the brilliance of Anathema’s music (and plenty of other music as well). I needed to know I wasn’t alone in these thoughts and feelings. I finally understood more about myself as well as my wants and needs. I have looked at people who touched my life in the past profoundly and found ways to keep those memories in tact because it was important to my personal growth as well as perception of the world. My life was a tired and exhausting journey and I continued to keep my headphones on and keep the volume up to help me find some semblance of salvation. I know I will go through bouts of anger, sadness and loneliness but these are all parts of what makes us human and in the end if we can keep our bearings righted that life will hopefully get easier as it goes on. Let Anathema take you on this journey as well…


“It makes me wanna cry, caught you as I floated by.
It makes me wanna cry, just another distant satellite…”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anathemamusic

Official Page: http://www.anathema.ws/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anathemamusic

Four Female-Fronted Bands You Need to Hear


I can honestly say that I am not a fan of the mainstream music scene, it is full of garbage and talent-less hacks. It is a shame more people listen to the radio then really trying to go out and hear new music that they may be unfamiliar with. When you have horrible musicians such as Katy Perry and Carrie Underwood ruling the airwaves with brain numbing lyrics and simple and inefficient musicianship you really worry for the future of humanity. I have grown up around incredibly strong and respected women in my life and the sea of fake, soulless, Hollywood plastic female musicians that are out there is just a serious insult to what true music is. Acts like this push me away from the mainstream because it makes me sick to my stomach, the further I can avoid this horrible form of music the better off I will be.

What I am hopeful for is the massive amount of amazing, classy and just extremely talented female-fronted bands that are out there in the metal and dark rock world. There are countless bands who run thousands of circles around these mainstream acts with sheer beauty and skill with strong lyrics, and songwriting abilities. There are four bands/acts I would like to share with you that epitomize respect and integrity to the art form of musical expression. I would go out of your comfort zone and please give some of these musicians a chance and listen carefully and with an open-mind. You may surprise yourself and then begin to think differently about underground acts that may have “scared” you because it was different then what you are used to on your utterly stupid top 40 radio stations…

The Gathering


The Gathering are a diverse, progressive and just amazing band out of the Netherlands with consistently strong and confident female vocals. They cover every genre of music seemingly from death metal, trip hop, ambient to just plain rock. Every album is different and each one puts you into a different musical journey upon hearing. When I have heard The Gathering over the years I always found something new to experience in their music. They have gone through multiple female vocalists over the years, but the one who stand out above all others is Anneke van Giersbergen. She was the heart and soul of The Gathering for many years and has gone on to do amazing solo work as well as guest vocal work for some pretty well known musicians like Devin Townsend and Jamie Cavanaugh of Anathema. After Anneke The Gathering found another amazing vocalist Silje Wergeland who has an airier almost bluesier vocal style that still effectively melds with The Gathering’s ever-changing style.

Most Accessible Album: “How to Measure a Planet?”


Bandcamp: https://thegathering.bandcamp.com/music

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegatheringofficial

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGatheringband


Emma Ruth Rundle

Emma Ruth Rundle from Marriages at Arctangent festival. 21-22 August 2015.

Captured by: Adam Gasson

Emma Ruth Rundle of Los Angeles, California is the next generation of female singer/songwriters, her music is utterly captivating as well as heart breaking. There is such honesty and integrity in her vocals as well as guitar skills. There are moments of utter desolation with some of her songs when she incorporates post rock/shoe gazing elements to her electric guitar tones. The songs she writes that has this aspect tend to be some of the most moving music to be heard in a long while. The one thing you will notice about her voice is how natural and real it sounds. You feel like you are there with her going through her personal trials and tribulations. Her lyrics are amazingly relatable and you cannot help but feel the pain and hope she is trying to convey. If you ever been through a rocky relationship or dealt with some painful family issues give her music a listen and you immediately will feel like you aren’t alone in your personal journey.

Most Accessible Album: “Some Heavy Ocean”


Bandcamp: https://emmaruthrundle.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emmaruthrundle/

Homepage: http://emmaruthrundle.com/home


Worm Ouroboros


Hailing from Oakland, California Worm Ouroboros are an incredibly unique and stunning band that evokes imagery of nature and man’s relationship to it emotionally and philosophically. Fronted by two female vocalists Lorraine Rath (guitar), Jessica Way (bass) and former Agalloch drummer Aesop Dekker; they evoke stunning imagery of barren winter wastelands with white lights adorning the skeletal birches, oaks and aspen. The dichotomy between cold/warmth, light/dark, and optimism/pessimism are common threads throughout their meandering soundscapes of subdued guitar, warm bass lines and calm drum fills. Worm Ouroboros is one of those great bands to listen to in the comfort of your home with candles lit and a glass of wine or fine scotch on a cold winter night. The music envelops and then throws you into a realm of twilight and perpetual snowfall.

Most Accessible Album: “What Graceless Dawn”


Bandcamp: https://wormouroboros.bandcamp.com/music

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WormOuroboros/

Label: https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com/album/worm-ouroboros




SubRosa come from Salt Lake City, Utah a city you would not expect to have such a wonderful metal scene with some amazing bands. Their music is best described as sludge/stoner metal with quiet ambient moments sprinkled throughout their songs. They incorporate exceptional female vocals with screaming male vocals and powerful, loud and immersive instrumentation (guitar, violin, cello, bass, drums, and keyboards). The music has peaks, valleys and even lakes in-between. The songs are consistently different the only constant is an incredible heaviness to the sound. There is a sense of power, anger and triumph in SubRosa’s music and it sticks with you long after you hear it. The albums I have heard from them are all incredibly different but amazing. I would say they are one of the lesser accessible bands to dive into if you are not at all familiar with the underground metal scene. If you are open to taking a sonic adventure that you will never forget give SubRosa a try.

Most Accessible Album: “More Constant than the Gods”


Bandcamp: https://subrosausa.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SubrosaSLC

Homepage: https://subrosa.cc/

Do you recommend any other strong female-fronted bands you would like to share? Please comment below!

The Dreaming Metal Muse Returns


It has been months since I was able to update the blog, work has been incredibly busy and left little time for me to talk about metal and reach out to my contacts. Now with the New Year coming around it is time to update my blog in earnest. I apologize to my readers who missed out on my thoughts and ramblings. 2017 is going to be an awesome year for metal, while 2016 was good and bad at the same time. There are a lot of wonderful things happening in 2017 with bands such as Khorada and Pillorian coming through the pipeline, I am looking forward to seeing where the metal world will go in 2017.

As for 2016 it has been a hell of a year with a lot of terrible things that have happened in the world as well the entertainment industry. There is no need to touch upon these things, there were some great highlights that happened in the world of underground music. Some as noted below:


Alcest new album “Kodama” came out and it was a wonderful album that did have some weak points in it. The one thing that was great about this album is Neige going back to his black metal roots. It was great to hear his screams again. But the album didn’t wow me nearly as much as his other outputs.


I was able to attend Enslaved’s 25th Anniversary show in NYC. It was an amazing show and they played for an incredible 3 hours touching on every album of their discography. There is also a new documentary coming out about Enslaved and this will be something I am eager to watch as well as review. Also Einar Selvik was in attendance and contributed to some songs with them.


Wardruna’s new album “Runaljod – Ragnarok” came out and it was incredible bookend to their trilogy about the Runes. There are a ton of songs to like in this album and it really gives a feeling of both ending as well as beginning. I look forward to anything Einar Selvik puts out because I know it will be a wonderful listening experience.


I came across a band called Imperium Dekadenz out of Germany and they have an absolutely stellar discography and I plan on reviewing the albums I currently have by them. It is some great music that reminds me of a mashup of Drudkh, Agalloch and Rotting Christ. I feel this is a band that will get more listeners as time goes on.


One final highlight (and there is a lot of them) is SubRosa’s new album “For This We Fought the Battle of Ages” it is an amazing album that just sticks with you after you listen to it. I intend to write a review of this album as well because it just really hit all the right emotional notes for me when I listened to it.

I am looking forward to presenting you new reviews, interviews and thoughts about the metal world. I hope to branch out to some other avenues with this blog where underground music is still the focal point in a different way. I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year. Stay metal and stay true!

Why I Love Power Metal…And you Should Too


The battle cry of the dwarves in the bowels of the under mountain, the cry of the griffin on clouds on high, and the uneasy chill of the evil lich in the shadows. These are all images that are conveyed within the realm of power metal. This genre of music has been around forever and has always been one of my guilty pleasures. When I am feeling down or just want to feel happy and alive I listen to power metal. I rather be listening to this genre compared to horribly happy pop music without any creativity or effort put into the music. Power metal is one of those forces of nature in the metal world that pretty much anyone can enjoy even if they are not really into metal. The soaring vocals, the catchy choruses and the wondrous riffs, solos and keyboard flourishes are what make power metal so addicting.

The other element of power metal that makes it awesome is the thematic elements found in the lyrics and even music. With homages to Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, Dragonlance and a slew of other fantasy genres there is always something for a listener to enjoy and even learn from. I have found so many obscure fantasy novels and such after listening to power metal and reading interviews with musicians in this genre. There is just a love and appreciation all around for fantasy, horror and science fiction that it feels like I am among my peers when I am immersed in the likes of Blind Guardian or Iced Earth.


Another thing that you should experience is seeing these power metal bands live. The energy of the stage and the audience is just an incredible experience to embrace. I have seen Blind Guardian multiple times and every time I see them I am just wowed about how good they really are. I consider them to be my all time favorite band in this genre. Every album they have done has something to love and appreciate, and they are one of the most consistent bands I know and I am always excited to hear what they come up with when they write new material.

The future of power metal is also something to be excited about there are some new, younger acts creating amazing stuff. The list consists of Gloryhammer, Twilight Force, Dragonland, and Pathfinder to name a few. These bands are developing fresh ideas but still keep to the roots of the likes of Blind Guardian, Rhapsody of Fire, Kamelot etc. Like the other genres of metal out there, there are bands who are remaining innovative and fresh but keeping to what makes that style of metal so good to begin with. I suggest you take the chance to really listen to power metal, and embrace the cheesiness of it, let the music make you feel happy and alive. You do not necessarily have to be all about your black, death and doom metal. Sometimes diverging from your normal bubble can lead to some wonderful growth as a metal fan. Be the dungeon master of your story take the forest trail less traveled and be blown away by the majestic beauty to be found at the end of road.


“On wings and winds we ride
Towards a land so green
Take me across the horizons
To the forest of destiny
When we reach that place
So far beyond the sun
Where hopes and dreams come true
In the forest of destiny”

~Twilight Force~

6/17/2016 Aerial Ruin, Nathanael Larochette and Apibus Live Review

Show Flyer 2016

On June 17. 2016 I had the pleasure to put on a show with some incredible acts (Dwell in Moonblood participated as fans): Aerial Ruin, Nathanael Larochette, and Apibus. It was a beautiful summer night with the temps in the 70s. The sky was as blue as can be and the forest glowed green under the sun’s rays. The music was fitting for this day and it had become a new memory in my life that I hold dear. There was something special about that night of music and revelry. It was one of those moments where art and life go hand-in-hand. The music I heard put me into a state of mind that was filled with nostalgia, hope and love. I got to meet some incredibly talented and humble people who I can call my friends. Their music drives them day in and day out. The music helps them cope with the trials and tribulations of life. In turn they helped me cope with these trials I experience all throughout my life. Everything was laid bare and my emotions grew and grew. It was one of those moments I didn’t want to end. But alas the dream had to end, and the images remained.

The show happened in a small venue in Peterborough, NH (my hometown). The lights were aglow in washes of red, and blue. The musicians with instruments in hand performed in front of a small crowd, but a crowd that appreciated every note and lyric. There was a haze of peace and introspection within the venue. People had their eyes closed as the music flowed through them.



Photo by: Erik Moggridge

Hailing from the concrete jungles of Brooklyn Apibus started the show with a delightful duet between Renee Heitman and Albo Sudekum. They sang about a folktale in old Norwegian, their voices were incredibly ethereal but full of passion. The notes rose and fell like an ocean wave. After the duet ended Apibus played a bombastic, catchy and stunning set. The vocals of Stuart Sudekum were raw and real, he uttered longing for the times and legends of old, and played with a natural energy that kept the crowd engaged. There were many different songs filled with the notes of flute, violin, bass E-Bow and voice. It was as natural and real as can be and they will only get better and better as they learn more and more. This is one band to be on the lookout for in the future, they are a fresh and new element to the growing neo-folk scene in the United States.

Website: https://apibus.bandcamp.com/releases

Aerial Ruin


Photo by: Mike Smith

With red lights washing the stage Erik Moggridge of Aerial Ruin began to play a set that was absolutely wonderful. Erik is really able to give off a stage presence that is entirely humble without a lick of pomposity and overblown ego. He masterfully engaged the crowd with his despondently beautiful crooning and hopelessly deep guitaring. There was complete sense of uncomfortable comfort in the venue when he played. Aerial Ruin’s music took you to a world of night and phantasms, a place between the living and dead. The music was so visual that all you could picture in your head were these images being evoked in the music. It was a journey into the farthest reaches of the subconscious a complete transparency between the soul and the human shell. Aerial Ruin closed his set with an acapella of his vocals through a looper all I can say is this effect sent chills up and down my back and made the hairs on my arms stand on end. That wonderfully beautiful voice of his grew and grew until there was no escape. At the end of his set the crowd was stunned in silence.

Website: https://aerialruin.bandcamp.com

Nathanael Larochette


Photo by: Erik Moggridge

Nathanael Larochette of Musk Ox fame headlined the show, and he played his entire acoustic album of his new release “Earth and Sky”. He also treated the fans to two of his brilliant acoustic passages in Agalloch’s album “The Serpent and the Sphere”. He opened with “(serpens caput)” and closed with “Core Serpentis (the sphere)”. As for the set itself he immediately drew in the crowd with utterly spellbinding classical guitar. He showed eternal focus and didn’t miss a beat in the music. The crowd was incredibly engaged in every note, finger pluck and strum. The room was filled with a quiet comfort as he played his set in a wash of sky blue lights. Every stress or negative emotion one was having in the crowd disappeared in a halo of wonderfully comforting guitar-work. The room felt healed and whole when the music played on. Nathanael’s set put myself into a journey of self-reflection and clarity. I saw images good and bad from my life and saw them dissipate into the ether. I felt a catharsis I haven’t felt in a long time when he played. As the final notes completed the crowd clapped long and loud and then the show ended with a sense of quiet peace.

Website: https://nathanaellarochette.bandcamp.com/


This show was something I needed. New friendships developed, the love for my family grew and grew. And I felt a chapter in my life ended after this show. There were feelings that resurfaced and thoughts rethought and it was a day in my life I wish I could experience again and again. I will always remember the jokes, the drinks and the natural landscape that surrounded us as the night waned and morning returned anew. Until next year!


Photo by: Nathanael Larochette

Five Reasons Why Big Metal Bands Should Tour New Hampshire


New Hampshire is one of those states that is typically looked over for bigger heavy metal acts. The last time any major band played live in New Hampshire was many moons ago in Bedford, NH where Enslaved, Immortal and Rotting Christ actually played live. There are many local metal shows to be found but what about the big acts? Why do they not include New Hampshire as a destination for planning tours? I argue that New Hampshire would be a great spot to stop in if you are in a death, black, doom, or any other kind of underground metal band. Here are my top five reasons why bigger metal bands should consider New Hampshire over Massachusetts (typical destination spot).

The population is growing…

New Hampshire used to be small New England state, many years ago not many people moved here. The typical population at the time were families and older people. As of late there is a younger population congregating towards the Granite State. There are many colleges/universities to be found throughout the state and as of late the population seems to be getting younger. Manchester, New Hampshire is now considered one of the fastest growing cities in New England. I think if more metal bands knew this the more apt they would be to tour here.

There are staunch metalheads who live here…

From the local shows I have been to in New Hampshire there is always a fervent fan base that appreciates heavy metal in all ways, shapes and forms. There are many well regarded local acts who live in and around New Hampshire two of the bigger names is Malacath and Cold Northern Vengeance. These acts have incredible talent and have a real good grasp of the black metal genre. When I am driving far away to go to shows the bulk of the people who I run into or drive down with are from New Hampshire. The unfortunate thing is metalheads in New Hampshire don’t really go out much (I don’t see a lot of shirts), but when the good metal shows happen they come out in droves.

There are a lot of great venues to experience shows at…

New Hampshire is filled with great music venues but the issue is these venues typically play incredibly horrible music that you would more likely find in a Hot Topic store.There is so much untapped potential that true metal bands could find a home in New Hampshire. Though there are a few venues that appreciate metal and of those is The Wreck Room in Peterborough, NH.The owner of this venue has a great sense of good music and is a breath of fresh air to the other venues that are filled with bad jam bands, and emo music. Also there are some venues up north in the White Mountains as well as by the Seacoast that would give some great natural imagery to live bands who want to play in those locales.

The history of New Hampshire is old and haunting…

New Hampshire is one of the original 13 colonies and by and large it has an incredible haunted history to be experienced and even written about. There are scores of old, Victorian homes built in the 1700s and there are many old and worn graveyards with some of the most ancient of stones to be looked at. There are numerous back, dirt roads that lead to thick and dark woods where ghosts would live. The spirit of Halloween is very much alive in New Hampshire and the numerous cobblestone walkways throughout the old towns harken back to a time of old. The history alone could draw any metal band to New Hampshire it just has that type of effect..

The Nature alone is a draw…

New Hampshire is one of those states with amazing natural beauty all around. There are hundreds of mountains, hills, forests, lakes through the entirety of the state. The Autumns are astoundingly beautiful, the Winters are long but have a haunting, introspective feeling, Spring and Summer are filled with colors and are incredibly green and verdant. The one thing about New Hampshire that makes me not want to leave is that the Nature surrounds me all the time, and I can find a way to escape the craziness of life to find peace in myself again. With the stunning natural beauty all around I am surprised that metal bands haven’t thought about New Hampshire as a stop to play a show on tour. To me the nature here is like its own entity and it breathes, grows and sings all the time.


I think I was able to argue that New Hampshire should be a destination spot for big metal bands, I know the state would enjoy it and I know the bands would love their stay in return. As you booking agents plan your band’s tours, consider New Hampshire as a place to visit. I know they would have a warm welcome and there is no sales tax to worry about. Live Free or Die!

Agalloch and Identity, 1995-2016


“Since that day a thousand veiled birds have taken flight

And the melancholy rain still pours forever on.”

Agalloch, “The Melancholy Spirit”


It was a hot, humid summer day at my house in 2002. I was playing basketball listening to “The Mantle” while shooting hoops. There was a moment on that day, when I heard something in the album that moved me and forever changed my outlook on life. Since that moment of sudden illumination the band Agalloch have been parallel to my life and the trials and tribulations I experienced throughout the years. There was something honest, and true about their music that not only made them one of the best bands ever but also moved thousands if not millions of people across the world who were dealing with their own personal struggles. Agalloch let me know I wasn’t alone in regards to the sometimes painful moments and memories I experienced. Then I heard on Friday, May 13th 2016 that Agalloch decided to call it quits I was stunned but knew that sometimes good things have to come to an end. Now after mulling over what had happened I feel incredibly melancholic about the loss of one of the greats in the metal world. It is going to be surreal not hearing another Agalloch album or seeing them live again, they are irreplaceable.

Over the years I had a chance to talk with Don, Jason, Aesop and John numerous times. They are some of the most stand up guys I know who just live and breathe their art. I would never have been hooked into the neo-folk scene without the amazing recommendations from them. I would have not been introduced to the post rock genre without first learning from them which bands to check out. All the music that I consistently play on my long commutes, Agalloch had an influence in. When I finally graduated college I reached out to Don to learn more about working in a college-setting and years later I now work in higher education. I even decided to move on a whim to Portland, OR because their music evoked such beautiful imagery of their home state. I wanted to see what it was all about and got to experience it for over a year and I still go back when I can. In essence Agalloch have been there for me since that hot, summer day of 2002.

Now as sad as I am about not having Agalloch in the world, I am optimistic about what the future will hold with the members. They are four musicians who are incredibly talented and I am eager to see what they will come up with for future projects. Sometimes when things die it makes room for growth and renewal. What follows are new perspectives and life experiences. I am hopeful that we will hear many more amazing albums to experience as the years go by from Don Anderson, Jason Walton, Aesop Dekker and John Haughm. There is no way I can see them just disappearing from the metal world and this gives me something to be excited about for the future.

Thank you Agalloch for being there for me. For over 14 years you helped me through some of the darkest moments in my life, I am forever in your debt…

“Fall away from me to that citadel at the end of time
Where death sleeps and dreams of your buried pain
There has never been a silence like this before
There will never be an ode like this again”