Album Reviews

  • Hammerfall - No Sacrifice, No Victory (2009)

    While everybody that knows me or my writing, you can clearly see that I’m no fan of power metal. I don’t have anything against it musically however I hate the vocals style in most of the bands.

    This new release of these Swedes starts with a bang with the song “Any Means Necessary” is a traditional power metal anthem, the blazing guitar solos, the (annoying) singing and choirs and the typical head banging melodic part. I have no complaints about this song the choir part even reminded me of Haggard at some point.

  • Diathra - My Endless Sorrow (2009)

    My Endless Sorrow is the second album from this band from Belarus, and in my opinion is a very strong second release. This band is clearly influenced by earlier work from Theatre Of Tragedy and Tristania among others.

    Diathra’s musical style is by no means original but it’s executed perfectly. While there are some “Beauty and the Beast” type of vocals in a few songs, the rest of the album mainly features the talents of Shiyka Dmitriy, their female vocalists.

  • Gothmog - A Step In The Dark (2008)

    A Step In The Dark is one of those albums you find yourself liking even tough they are not very original. Gothmog is clearly heavily influenced by Emperor, Cradle Of Flith, and many other black metal bands, and you can hear this in their songs

    This album is a very solid first release of this band, with some great guitar solos here and there, majestic keyboards like it’s to be expected from any good symphonic black metal band. The vocals are not annoying and are a perfect fit for this album.

  • Silentium - Amortean (2009)

    Silentium has been one of my favorite bands since they released their Infinita Plango Vulnera album, but I did not like Seducia at all. So I was a bit skeptical about this release, I think consistency is one thing that this band has lacked through out their carrer, since they release a very good album, and they follow it by a mediocre one.

    Well let me tell you Amortean, is probably their best album up to date. While they have moved far from their gothic/doom metal sound from their earlier releases, this album feels in the same style than Sufferion.

  • My Dying Bride - The Lies I Sire (2009)

    I have to say that this is one of the albums I have been waiting to hear in 2009. And while their 2006 album A Line Of Deathless Kings was not one of my favorites it still was a pretty solid release, but left me a bit disappointed, not as bad as 34.788% complete, but still not their best.

    Anyways going back to 2009, this release has been hyped by the press and their interviews as a mixture of their earlier sound with their newer sound, plus with the return of violin as well.  I have to admit that this statement is 100% accurate, while it’s not like their early 90’s music, it does mix the best aspects of all the releases that MDB has put out.

  • Luna Obscura - Feltia (2008)

    I have been looking for a great gothic/doom release for the whole year of 2008 and I was never able to find one. Just a few weeks ago I discovered Luna Obscura, and since the album was released in 2008 I have to say that I did found the release I was looking for during that year.

    After finding bands like this I have to wonder if the world is ever going to run out of bands that play this <insert-any-genre> at it’s best, and my answer has always been: NO, I keep finding bands that blow me away.

  • Fen - The Malediction Fields (2009)

    When this album starts, I started saying to my self” “here comes another shitty atmospheric black metal band”, like I often find telling my self and being completely right. Well for Fen I ate my own words, while their style is indeed atmospheric black/dark metal they have carefully crafted elements of folk and post-rock, to create a great unique sound.

    I would say they kind of resemble Alcest or even Agalloch at some points, but they have their own original ideas and sound embedded in their music.

    This album also evokes some memories of Ulver’s opus: Bergtatt. While at some points the music is very harsh, it’s perfectly balanced by great acoustic interludes changing the pace entirely of the songs.

  • Dol Theeta - The Universe Expands (2008)

    I have to say that this album is something very interesting, at first I thought I had the wrong band and I was reviewing some weird DJ shit, but nope, this Greek band plays some type of weird progressive / electro music with metal influences so I would just put it in on the category that everything weird goes into: Avant-garde Metal.

    Let me tell you the production of this album is amazing since you can hear every single detail in the music with perfect clarity. They do tend to emphasize the synthesizers too much, but this is the main core of the bands sound.

  • Inferi - The End of an Era (2009)

    While Nashville, Tennesee is not usually know for its metal bands Inferi calls this city home. This bands release is very good if you don’t consider two things: 1) Very bad recording/mixing and 2) Terrible vocals (or it might be the recording).

    Inferi plays melodic death metal, and they do so with a lot of energy and brilliant precision since most of their songs are very fast in nature and therefore their guitar work is amazing, I cant say much for the bass guitar since you can’t hear it. But the drumming is very good (it would be better if the recording was not this bad).

  • Trollfest - Villanden (2009)

    Trollfest hails from Norway and they try to bring their Troll inspired folk metal to the masses. While the bands concept and website is quite funny, and the language of their lyrics is unique (since they mix several languages in them), the whole thing gets kind of old after the 3rd song.

    While the music is not bad, it’s just annoying after a while. They try to sound like Fintroll but this sensation clearly fades off after a while.

    I can see people enjoying this music when you are very drunk in the woods somewhere, since some of their songs have a great ‘folk drinking song’ atmosphere.

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