Following the same path that Duncan Patterson forged for himself with his side-project Íon and their first release “Madre, Protégenos”, “Immaculada” brings to the listener a hefty dose of World/Ethnic music with Celtic and Folk elements that will transport the listener to an ethereal world were everything seems peaceful and serene. One can quickly understand why Patterson decided to pursue his own interests after leaving Nick Moss and Antimatter to create Íon.
Duncan Patterson in “Immacualda” once again presents us with a wide variety of musicians and singers coming together in creating a very cohesive release that delivers in every aspect and creates a very peaceful atmosphere for the duration of this album. Every instrument is clearly presented in a way that allows the listener to feel all the emotions behind them.
After breaking into the metal scene with a huge bang (and melody), thanks to their Viking Metal style back in 1996 with their majestic debut album “...En Their Medh Riki Fara...” Falkenbach has been constantly improving their sound until they seemed to disappear back in 2005 with “Heralding - The Fireblade”.
“Tiurida” marks their first release in 6 years and while it still has nice music, it also shows that (for us) Falkenbach is a one trick pony and can’t seem to diverge from their well defined, almost formulaic approach to the genre. We don’t argue with what the band has done in the past, but taking a 6 year break and then returning with the same old stuff makes them sound a bit dated, specially after all the better bands that started to get recognized in the genre after 2005.
Featuring a very diverse sound, Napalm Records brings us Artas second full-length release “Riotology”. In this release the band combines everything from Thrash, Death, Groove, and Melodic Modern Metal to create a very diverse sound that while at times it works wonderfully, other times it sounds too chaotic and disconnected.
Having a more concise sound than on their debut album “The Healing”, Artas sometimes seems to jump the gap between ‘real metal’ and Metalcore/core stuff. This will make some listeners fly away from the band, but we recommend you stick around since there are parts and songs good enough to be worth suffering through the ‘core’ stuff for a bit.
After the somewhat uninspired “Polaris”, Stratovarius delivers one of their best albums in their whole career. With “Elysium” the band takes their sound to a whole new level, combining traditional elements of their earlier sound with some progressive elements and some amazing vocal arrangements, making this album a great listening experience for fans of the bands and the genre.
Featuring an excellent production, “Elysium” brings back memories from the past releases of the band (“Infinite” and “Elements” mainly) with a very dynamic and modern sound thanks to the skills of ‘newer’ members Matias Kupiainen and Lauri Porra. We now have some great bass guitar lines provided by Porra, and shredding wizardry courtesy of Kupianien that will make you forget that Timo Tolkki is no longer in the band.
Like a fine wine, Battlelore has been graciously aging with time and with “Doombound” they achieve a very solid release and refinement of their signature Epic Metal sound. As one of the most awaited releases of 2011, “Doombound” has everything a fan of the genre needs: brilliant female and male vocals, epic melodies with elaborate arrangements, and powerful guitar riffing.
While not terribly revolutionary, Battlelore has been refining their style with every album they have produced and with “Doombound” they are close to achieving. As a concept album “Doombound” takes the listeners into a magical fantasy journey, something that the band has made part of their concept (and live show) since their conception and it’s one of their best traits.
Catchy old-school ‘horror’ Metal seems to be the game plan for Singapore’s Pyscho. In their full-length “Pain Addict Pigs”, the band showcases their old-school chops in crafting Death/Black/Thrash Metal tunes with the vibrant horror movies influences that made so many bands in the past iconic to the scene.
Featuring a very diverse combination of genres, Pyscho takes on a trip down on memory lane with their old-school approach to Death/Black/Thrash Metal, but using ‘newer’ movies for their lyrical content. For 9 tracks, the band does a great job crafting catchy and mosh-worthy songs that will get high replay value in your music playlist.
Featuring Wrath and the other session members of Dodsferd, today we have Nadiwrath and their debut full-length “Nihilistic Stench” release. In this release we are treated to some Punk infused Black Metal and judging from some of the song names, things are not taken completely seriously when it comes to the ideas behind the lyrics.
Before listening to the album we expected something along the lines of Dodsferd’s depressive Black Metal, but we got surprised by the crushing and straight forward approach that Nadiwrath takes. That being said, the band is very ‘vanilla’ in their musical approach and might only impress a few people that haven’t been listening to Black Metal for a long time.
As the first release we review of 2011 (for the USA), today we have a very special release: “The Murder of Jesus the Jew” by the ever surprising The Meads of Asphodel. Featuring their unique blend of Black Metal with countless other genres, the band manages to create their most impressive release to date.
Metatron and company return with their first full-length release since their epic “Damascus Steel” from 2005. “The Murder of Jesus the Jew” plays out in a very theatrical way, depicting in 12 songs the story of Yeshua. As you can expect the band uses their wide range of influences to craft a very unique sounding and appealing release that will blow your mind away (if you’ve never listened to the band).