New gear day!

Audio-Technica ATM650 hypercardioid dynamic microphone to replace my Shure SM57. The ATM650 has a slightly more aggressive midrange and less high-end fizz than the SM57, whilst retaining all the best qualities such as a weighty low-end response, superior isolation and tough-as-nails workhorse build. I shall henceforth be using it to mic up my guitar cab for future riff videos, so prepare thy ears for some serious crunch!

Stellar album review from Metal Reese on Instagram!

What happens when you couple the progressive thrash stylings of ‘Justice-era Metallica with folk instrumentation and black-flavored atmosphere? You get Josh Dalviken’s #TheSwordThatSlaystheDarkness. __________ This one-man act specializes in taking the tight instrumentation and technical prowess of 80s thrash and running it through a folk metal filter. The results are much more righteous than you might think. _ After a brief, folky intro we’re introduced to the album’s first full length song, “Death to Degeneracy”. It’s a powerful thrash tune full of hooks, great riffs and technical intricacies. It’s a good indicator of what the rest of the album holds in store. _ One of the album’s greatest strengths is how well incorporated the folk elements are. On “White Dawn” gentle folk instrumentation gives way to blackened tremolo picking, and “Awaken the Dreamer” is essentially a medieval-style ballad gone metal. _ The album’s ultimate track is the eighteen minute closer, “A Shadow Left By Time”. An epic that stretches across various moods and tempos, it has no shortage of moving parts and feels much shorter than it truly is. _ That said, if I have one criticism for The Sword That Slays the Darkness, it’s that it’s too long. At a whopping 78 minutes, it’s a tough front-to-back listen, and I feel the album would benefit from being just a touch leaner. __________ Overall though, The Sword That Slays the Darkness is a very impressive, well-realized album. It’s almost hard to believe it’s all the work of one man. And if this high watermark is only his debut album, then it’s almost certain there are amazing things to come. _ Album info _ Release date: Jan 12th, 2018 Label: self-released Available: Bandcamp Social media: @joshdalviken

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Long overdue beauty shot of my trusted old companion.

My ESP Eclipse-I CTM in rare and magnificent Dark Purple Satin. My first “proper” guitar, that I’ve now owned for nearly ten years. It’s been somewhat neglected in recent times, mainly due to the fact that since discovering the glorious Lundgren Pickups, I can no longer stand the sound of the EMG 81. It also has scratchy pots due to years of use, abuse and sweat corrosion from playing live. I’m planning on giving it a new lease of life in the coming year with Lundgren Pickups, new pots and new hardware!