Album Reviews

  • Nachtgeschrei - Am Rande der Wel (2009)

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    Nachtgeschrei hails from germany and they play Folk rock/metal. This band has some clear similarities with In Extremo, but they manage to have a sound of their own. This release features a more rock oriented music, than their previous album “Hoffnungsschimmer” and while this is not necessarily bad the band might loose some followers over this.

    “Am Rande der Wel” features song very catchy songs and nice mixture of metal/rock guitars with bagpipes and very distinctive vocals. The album kicks of with two great songs (after the intro): “Musipili” and “Herz aus Stein”. The rest of the songs do sound very similar, but if the music is good (like in this case), then this is not a problem. There are many parts that are perfect for sing-along moments during live performances.

  • Nightwish – Made In Hong Kong (2009)

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    This live CD showcases songs from “Dark Passion Play” performed in live. I was kind of disappointed that they did not include any older songs performed by Anette on this release. While this is not a problem if you have seen the band live, it would have been a nice thing for all the fans that haven’t been luck enough to see them live.

    The CD features seven live tracks and 3 previously available studio tracks. While I think this CD is a must for all Nightwish fans, especially because of the DVD. I don’t think that this adds anything new to casual listeners, since all the songs are previously available and you can see countless youtube videos of the band performing live during their previous tour.

  • Wolves In The Throne Room – Black Cascade (2009)

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    After their great EP: “Malevolent Grain”, I was expecting this album to continue where the band left off in that release. And they sure did, and raise the bar to a different level. “Black Cascade” features some greatly emotional Black metal that plenty of bands wish they can achieve.

    This release takes you into a dark journey mixed with aggressiveness and emotions. The sound quality is not the best out there but it clearly adds to the music and it’s probably intended this way. The four songs clock around 50 minutes, and while some of them can get to be a bit repetitive at some parts, the band makes it up by constantly changing the pace. There are no female vocals or clean vocals in this release, only harsh black metal vocals that sound excellent with the songs.

  • Avsky – Malignant (2008)

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    Avsky hails from Sweden and they attack us with their latest album “Malignant”. This album is considerably better than their previous release “Mass Destruction”. This band plays some raw and brutal old school black metal that will have every fan of the genera banging their heads.

    This two man band makes a chilling impression since their first song and never let go. Each song is defined by raw sounding distorted guitars and some bone chilling vocals that would have every listener having nightmares for a few weeks.

  • Brown Jenkins – Angel Eyes (2008)

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    Brown Jenkins was a Texan one man band. I say was because it ‘split-up’ late 2008, probably because of creative differences with the voices in his head. I must say that I don’t get this type of bands that play the same (or very similar) guitar riffs for one full album. While I’m always open to hear different types/genres of music, there are some releases that I either don’t get or just plain suck.

  • Agathodaimon - Phoenix (2009)

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    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 – Haven (2008)

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    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.

  • Nocturnal Fear – Code Of Violence (2008)

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    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.

  • Delain – April Rain (Single) (2009)

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    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.

  • Eternal Tears Of Sorrow – Tears Of Autumn Rain (2009)

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    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!.

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