Making it our review stack, today we have Russia’s Fright Night and their sophomore release “Life Eternal”. Featuring a keyboard-driven Gothic Rock/Metal style, the band nicely blends elements of other groups like Lacrimosa, Lacrimas Profundere, and End of Green, but keeps their sound timeless with a high atmospheric emphasis. Clocking in at 45 minute, this release consists of nine tracks that will surely please any fan of the genre.
Opening with lush atmospheric elements and prominent keyboards, “Cherry Blossom” is one of those bleak sounding tracks that is both catchy and dark. The usage of three different vocal styles is quiet solid, and the main female/male singers do a great job in fusing their vocals in several brilliant dual sections. The album mood is quite melancholic and tracks like “Gerda” and “Numb” bring us back to some of the early days of Gothic Metal from bands like Edge of Sanity.
Instantly a top contender for the catchiest and most engaging release of 2015, today we have Finland’s The Grammers and their release “Journey”. Delivering 11 tracks of vibrant Hard Rock, this band has a very playful and engaging sound that instantly grabs your attention.
Expertly selected to kick off this release, “Journey” has a superbly engaging chorus section that will stick in your head for days. The track is quite moody and very well crafted, similar to the approach that Crimson Tears used to take in their music. As the band pummels through the catchy “Brother” and the superbly executed “Hey Mama”, we instantly notice the band’s very positive energy and great deal of fun they seem to have when delivering such lively songs.
Extreme catchiness arrives today under the name of Witches of Doom and their debut release “Obey”. Expertly mixing Doom/Sludge elements with Gothic Rock and infusing them with an extra dosage of grooviness, this Italian band delivers nine superb tracks that are extremely melodic and totally awesome.
The album opens with the Southern/Twangy “The Betrayal”, a song that instantly showcases the band’s talented singer Fed Venditti. With a very deep alternative rock/gothic vocals, this is the signature element that bands need these days to stand out from the pack. As the band goes through tracks like “Witches of Doom”, “Needless Needle” and “To The Bone”, we notice influences of bands like H.I.M, Lacrimas Profundere, and other Gothic Metal/Rock bands, but with a slight Sludgy twist.
The charismatic Liv Kristine is having a very hectic 2014 with the release of her latest album “Vervain” and her touring/recording duties with her female super group The Sirens. In this installment of her solo career, she delivers ten very catchy and engaging tracks that will surely satisfy her legions of fans and nicely continue her well defined musical trajectory.
Opening with the catchy “My Wilderness”, we have a nice combination of her beautiful vocals and strong guitar work to deliver a heavy-but-catchy track. As one of the best tracks in this release, “Love Decay” channels H.I.M and Theater of Tragedy in a very effective song featuring Michelle Darkness of End of Green. The chorus section in this track is truly memorable, and the sparse keyboards reminded us of Theater of Tragedy in their “Aegis” era.
Arriving on Eisenwald Tonschmiede, today we have Australian duo Autumn’s Dawn and their debut full-length release “Gone”. Being no strangers to the scene, Sorrow and Anguish are musicians that play in at least 4 bands each, the most famous of them being Tim Yartas of Germ and Austere fame. Anyways, the band presents nine melancholic tracks of pure brilliance that eerily remind us a whole lot of Tim’s previous band Grey Waters.
Opening this release we have the very emotive “The Ashes of a Life”, a track that has a very Rock-ish structure and melancholic clean vocals from Tim Yartas. The very ethereal atmosphere is always present and it is allowed to shine (even more) in some instrumental passages. Don’t you think this release only features clean vocals, we get a treat of Tim’s harsh singing through this release, starting with the epic “Until My Heart Corrodes with Rust”.
Featuring Carmen Elise Espenæs (Midnattsol) and the ex-The Sins of Thy Beloved duo Stig Johansen and Anders Thue, Savn is a new comer band to the Gothic Metal/Rock scene that delivers a very imposing debut self-titled released. With a sound based on ‘older’ Gothic Metal/Rock from the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the band has a very familiar vibe to Theatre of Tragedy, Tristania, and The Sins of Thy Beloved. Packed with guest appearances, this is one release you don’t want to miss in 2014.
The album instantly opens with a stunner: “Musical Silence”. In this song we have a very upbeat vibe with a certain Folkish atmosphere to it that quickly changes as the very prominent keyboards make their way. This is the first impression one gets of Savn, and it is a majestic one, reminding us of TSOTB and Theatre of Tragedy in their Liv Kristine days. The music is quite upbeat but with a certain melancholic edge, something that retains the darkness of TSOTB but with a certainly different context, like we can see on “Hang On”.
Enigmatic Finish Dark Rockers Mystons return this 2014 with another onslaught of catchy tunes in their latest release “Black Matter”. Featuring ten tracks of their unique mixture of Gothic/Stoner Rock with Sludge elements, we have been praising this band since the beginning and we continue to do so, thanks to their excellent evolution. If you like a new twist on the overplayed Gothic Rock genre, you will love Mystons.
The band’s catchiness and heaviness is immediately felt with their opener “Coal Soul Woman”. As the main staple sound of the band, M Myston’s vocals are deep and engaging, the kind of vocals that get a hold of you and never let go. The Doomy and Sludgy riffing on songs like “People of the Dark” and “Let the Darkness Rest in Peace” is perfectly balanced with the bands craving for catchy vocal melodies and the overall melancholic vibe of the music.
Bordering on the limits of what we review here at Infernal Masquerade, today we have Alternative/Prog Rock outfit Reacta from Mexico. In their 2014 release “Refraction”, the band delivers 10 dreamy tracks of expertly crafted music that will grab the attention from fans of 30 Seconds to Mars all the way to God Speed Your Black Emperor.
Hailing from the city of Aguascalientes, Reacta kicks off the release with the perky “Lost”, a very mainstream track that has a super catchy vibe. This track instantly brings memories of bands likes Kings of Leon and similar outfits that have charismatic lead vocals and an eye for detailed guitar melodies. The Post-Rock/Atmospheric “Back Home” is another catchy piece with lush guitars and memorable vocals that sometimes have a certain ring to heavy weights U2.
With Psychedelic/Retro/Progressive Rock popping out of every corner, The Vintage Caravan comes to shine with their electrifying release “Voyage”. Riding on the success of acts like Kadavar, Graveyard, Witchcraft, The Blues Pills, Nuclear Blast unleashes upon the world another release filled with fuzzy retro amps and trippy melodic passages. Hailing from Iceland, this young band has a certain edge that propels to the spotlight and you will surely get intoxicated by it.
The band catchy mixture of Progressive and Psychedelic Rock is immediately felt on the opener “Craving”. The signature vocals of Óskar Logi Ágústsson have that certain Axl Rose (in his good times) ring to them and fit the music quite perfectly. Showcasing different abilities in the crafty songs, we have magical shredding on “Let Me Be”, mellow vocal melodies on “Do You Remember”, as well as intricate bass guitar lines on “Expand Your Mind”.
After a very promising and fresh sounding EP titled “Paradise (What About Us?)”, Within Temptation finally unleashes their latest full-length “Hydra”. In this release the band continues their push for mainstream recognition and glory with some extremely unexpected collaborations and a handful of songs that still remind us of the older roots of the band’s beginnings.
The album opens with the final version of “Let Us Burn”, a track that is still as good and efficient as on their previous EP but with nice finishing touches. The band manages to sound like their old self with heavy guitars and lush orchestrations. The first guest appearance is marked by the vocals of Howard Jones on “Dangerous”. This track is quite heavy and enjoyable since both vocalists do a great job and the music is quite well developed.