Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Most "Blab" Worthy Album of My Reviews for Blabbermouth from the Prior Month

Bands that lose members after hitting their stride signals something amiss in camp.  However, Arch Enemy, which recently suffered two blows with the departure of key personnel, uses this opportunity to reignite themselves.  War Eternal has new blood and appropriately, a new kick.  A hell of a kick, at that.  Below is the intro and ending to my review for Blabbermouth:

The news of Angela Gossow stepping down as the front of ARCH ENEMY is still fresh as the band launches their latest album, “War Eternal.”  The new record features THE AGONIST’s Alissa White-Gluz on the mike and former ARSIS guitarist Nick Cordle, who gets his first album representation following the 2012 departure of Christopher Amott. 

Change often sucks, but hardly in this case.  The new blood in ARCH ENEMY has propagated a tremendous creative spark in Michael Amott.  Simply put, “War Eternal” is the best ARCH ENEMY album in years.  Though Angela Gossow held her post with honor, the songwriting under her tenure fell into a script that’s observed on occasion here, but stepped well beyond.


The band’s tireless performance on “War Eternal” is comparable to a veteran baseball team with a powerful batting lineup giving a new pitcher a seven run lead to break in with.  Blue-coiffed Alissa White-Gluz can rip esophagi with them best of them and she’s a natural fit for ARCH ENEMY.  She possesses excellent pentameter even in ralphing mode and she sounds like a demoniac on “As the Pages Burn.”  It doesn’t hurt to have her predecessor looming in the background as the band’s new manager.  Gossow must be feeling proud, if bittersweet that ARCH ENEMY hits a higher level of craft on “War Eternal” than they have in a long time.  There are transitional moments in a band, but this is a veritable catharsis. 
Be on the lookout for the full review soon at Blabbermouth!
                 Listenin' to:  Bad Brains - Into the Future

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