M.I.GOD. – Crossing The Threshold

Carl Begai

German bashers M.I.GOD. have been kicking around for close to 20 years, releasing albums as time and resources allow, earning themselves a small but respectable following along the way. The international market was never the focus so there was never a serious push in that direction, but after the release of the Floor 29 album in 2012 things went quiet, messing up any forward momentum they may have had. This year the band returned with Specters On Parade, an album unlike anything in the M.I.GOD. catalogue. Meant as a concept record, reviews have been all over the map, with one reviewer going so far as to simply call the album “shit.” The band good-naturedly shared said small-minded review via social media, knowing full well that no matter how poorly some people react to Specters On Parade, it is most certainly not the slab of crap they would have you believe.

In actual fact, Specters On Parade is the best album M.I.GOD. has released to date and it’s worthy of international attention.

Vocalist / founder Max Chemnitz discussed the new prog-metal monster a few days after a harrowing live experience – “all kinds of technical problems, I couldn’t hear anything” – that turned out far better than anticipated, with the crowd chanting “M.I.GOD.” at the end of the band’s set.

“Some of the reviews for Specters On Parade, you can tell that the people are just listening to the music because they are curious about what we’re doing, and after that first listen they wrote the review,” says Chemnitz. “There are some journalists that say the album is good, the parts are well played and all that, but they didn’t get the concept, they didn’t get what we intended to do.”

Continue reading M.I.GOD. – Crossing The Threshold

BW&BK Interview: REDEMPTION – Stronger Than Death

By Carl Begai

Redemption’s latest album, This Mortal Coil, can be considered business-as-usual in that it continues the band’s cycle of cranking out new music every two years. And while that may sound like a warning bell heralding a lack of inspiration on the band’s part, this is in fact a very good thing given that guitarist founder Nick van Dyk wrote the album while courting a death sentence. It was as ominous as it sounds; diagnosed with cancer, van Dyk was told in no uncertain terms that his years were numbered. Rather than accept his fate he sought out treatment, simultaneously composing music that paid homage to and built on Redemption’s brand of no-nonsense aggressive prog metal. This Mortal Coil was the end result, loaded with more riffs per square inch compared to Redemption’s previous records and bleeding melody by the bucket. Even when you’re only three songs in, there’s no doubt that van Dyk’s ultimate test pushed his inspiration to new heights.

“Absolutely,” van Dyk admits. “Not sonically so much as lyrically. Not to make the whole interview about this, but I was diagnosed with blood cancer three years ago and told that I had three to five years to live. I was fortunate that I was diagnosed by accident and had the opportunity to research the one guy in the world who thinks he can cure it. I went through a pretty intense therapy for it, but as of now the odds are very much in my favour that I’m cured. I’m on some pretty horrible medicine for the next 18 months or so, but it’s all manageable.” Continue reading BW&BK Interview: REDEMPTION – Stronger Than Death