It’s been five years since the last release from this Germany band and they are back with a vengeance. Since their last album “Serpent's Embrace” released in 2004, the band lost four members. “Phoenix” marks the return of Agathodaimon like a phoenix from the ashes indeed.
This album in my opinion is Agathodaimon’s best release. The band returns to their more simple symphonic black metal roots. While they are not as ‘symphonic’ as the likes of Dimmu Borgir and other bands in the genre, they hold their own with a quality release like this.
Necronoclast is a one man band from Scotland that mixes black metal with some doom influences. While I can see why people compare this band to Xasthur, and maybe older Katatonia, I don’t find any evident Opeth influences in their music. “Haven” features almost 50 minutes of slow and ‘different’ black metal. The problem is that this album gets dull after the first 10 minutes.
When I popped this album I was surprised since it took me back in time. This band’s sound reminded me of old Kreator (without the annoying vocals), and some hints of the old bay area trash metal bands. This album features 40 some minutes of intense old school metal that will keep older metal heads at peace.
The band sound is not unique, but it nicely blends influences of many bands, and they can easily be noticed during the duration of this album. The guitar riffs are very intense and go along the furious drumming perfectly. The vocals are also very good and not annoying like in some trash metal bands these days.
I’ve been waiting for 3 years for a new release from Delain, and this single came before the full album of the same title. The single features two versions of the April Rain song, one for radio and the full album version. The radio version is shorter and sounds a bit different than the album version.
While “April Rain” is a very gothic rock oriented song, I think it’s designed to break Dealain into a more mainstream market. While the song is not bad, I was expecting more from Delain.
This single from this band just adds to my anxiety of waiting for their new full length album. It features 2 tracks, one from the new album, and a remake of Vilda Mannu. This all-star band from Finland create a very interesting blend of music. While they maintain the aggressiveness of the older stuff, they add a more symphonic layer to their latest releases. And this is just great, the sound is very melodic and powerful.
This single opens up with the title track and it blows you away. Featuring nice melodic keyboards complementing the guitar riffs, harsh vocals, precise drumming and a great chorus that will have everybody head banging, the only bad thing is that it’s only 4 minutes long!.
While Tarja is no doubt one of the best singers in Metal, after her time with Nighwish was over, she should have retired or found a band to sing in. Her post-nightwish full length album “My Winter Storm” was pretty dispointing and dull. She had at hand composers and songwriters to aid her in the release, but these things did not help, and the album sucked.
This single is not far from that release. The songs are pretty dull and while her voice sounds great as always, it does not fit the music at all. It seems like a karaoke attempt. Two songs are contained in this single and they are more than enough to make me stop listening to it, and dig up my old Nightwish cd’s to remember how her voice sounds with good music.
This single was released as a digital download from iTunes, and after their previously disappointing, but highly successful (commercially) “Karmacode” album, I was hesitant about giving this a spin. I was very supprised to listen that this song is better than anything on “Karmacode” by far.
The music has the unique sound that Lacuna Coil achieves with help of Cristina’s vocals, and while it sounds more gothic rock oriented, it’s pretty good. The chorus is very catchy and the drumming in excellent, the guitars are a bit dull (compared to stuff from “In a Reverie” or even “Comalies”).
Every once in a while I stumble upon a great album from an unsigned band, and this month’s surprise album was “Metaphortime” by Thee Orakle from Portugal. I’m always amazed that bands of this quality are not signed while other bands that suck are. Anyways, this band formed in 2004 and after one demo and one EP they released this album. If you did not know this, you would have never imagined it.
“Metaphortime” showcases a band that is very good at playing a style that has been loosing popularity over the last few years (Death /Doom Gothic metal) because most of the band playing this style sounded all similar. But Thee Orakle manages to keep it fresh and while they are not the most original band, they are pretty good at what they play. And in my opinion that’s what quality a band should do.
While I’ve never been a big fan of this band, I have to admit the legendary status they achieved by influencing many doom metal bands. “Death Magic Doom” is clearly one of their finest releases, musically speaking. One big improvement over the past albums, and the reason I did not liked their music was their old vocalists, Messiah Marcolin, was just annoying. And Robert Lowe has better versatility and his vocals go better with the music. Since they kicked out Messiah from the band in 2006, I’ve started liking their releases.
This album features the typical Epic Doom metal style that the band excels at, but at some points it even sounds like ‘slow’ heavy metal!!, and Robert Lowe’s vocal range is perfect for this. The production of the album is stellar since you can listen to the album several times and still discover new things within the music.
Three years after releasing their acclaimed debut album “Lucidity”, Delain returns stronger than ever with a very solid album. “Lucidity” featured many guest appearances, while this was great for the album it did not allowed us to determine Delain’s own musical style. “April Rain” allow us to listen to what Delain can create with the minimal use of “outside help”.