Dave Starr and London Wilde (and the other dude) return with another excellent hard-rocking release that will be quite hard to equal by all the newbie bands trying to play straight up Melodic Metal these days. In “A Tale Tell Heart”, the band delivers a ten song dosage of excellent Metal anthems that greatly showcase London’s gifted singing talents and Dave’s master abilities to craft engaging melodies filled with epic melodic moments.
Since the opener “Immortal”, we are let into the band’s world of traditional Metal with epic vocal lines, killer guitar work, and superb drumming. Led by epic riffs, tracks like “Transformis Ligea”, “A Perfect Storm”, and “Valkyrie Cry” blow past the listener pounding on your speakers like the good old Metal albums from back in the day. Even epic ballads like “Last Holy King” deliver that much needed infusion of true heartfelt metal that bands are missing these days.
Arriving today from Pitch Black Records we have Access Denied and their weird mixture of Gothic Rock with some Heavy Metal elements. Hailing from Poland, the band deliver nine tracks that the more we listen to them, the more we can’t really get into them. With a very linear and predictable style, this band’s release sounds very hollow and quite dull since the first few songs.
Opening with a quite deceitful intro track that leads you to believe you are in for a treat of epic proportions, the band really brings the standard way down with the childish “Messenger of Death”. In this song we get some insipid guitars alongside some of the flattest female vocals we have heard in quite a while. They do have a few interesting changes, but they might be accidental since the ideas of the song seem all over the place.
Hailing from the Czech Republic, today we have Minority Sound and their very catchy brand of Industrial Metal with some Electronic and Groovy modern elements. Catering to fans of bands like Silent Descent, Sybreed, etc, Minority Sound delivers eight solid tracks of heavy riffs colliding with super effective electronic beats creating ‘rave party’ Metal music.
Opening with razor sharp riffs on tracks like “Hostile In Your Skull” and “Load of Destruction”, the band really delivers when it comes to catchy electronic elements paired with groovy riffs. The mixture of growls and clean vocals is pretty solid and allows the songs to quickly shift from heavy and aggressive to ethereal and catchy. Emphasizing on atmospheric elements, “The Explorer” and “Zealots” showcase the band’s ability to make engaging songs that are different from each other.
Bouncing back from losing their signature vocalist Roy Khan, today we have Kamelot and their tenth full-length release “Silverthorn”. In this album, the band shakes off the loss with twelve epic tracks of very Symphonic Progressive Power Metal fronted by their new vocalist Tommy Karevik and a wide varied of guest vocalists (female) as well as some killer choir arrangements. The band’s sound seems bit more dark and gothic in this release, but the change of vocalist has really been minimized by Karevik’s excellent singing abilities and the band’s music writing skills.
With keyboards and orchestrations in charge of Oliver Palotai, the band opens with a the very symphonic “Manus Dei”. In this intro track, the band indeed sounds more like Epica or Therion than Kamelot. Thomas Youngblood’s riffing is finally felt on the opening of “Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)”, a track that actually sounds a bit like Within Temptation in their “Mother Earth” era. This changes once Karevik’s vocals come into play, but interestingly enough the band goes into some choir sections very quick, leaving his vocal appearances in this track to be less than the choir parts.
Celebrating their 25th year anniversary, today we have Therion and their latest opus “Les Fleurs du Mal”. In this very unique release, we have Therion doing what Atrocity did with their “Werk 80” release, but with French songs from the 60’s and 70’s, going for an even more retro approach. In the last release we thought that Therion was winding down since the album was “more of the same” and not much to write home about, but they have managed to revive themselves with this very interesting and engaging track that will have you falling in love with the band once again.
Cranking out fifteen tracks in 45 minutes, the band delivers quite a different spectrum when it comes to styles used in the covers of songs. Songs like the opener “Poupée de cire, poupée de son” have the signature Therion sound, but other like “Une fleur dans le cœur” show a completely different side of the band. We are most impressed with how Christofer Johnsson and company managed to transform these original French songs a bit into the Therion sound, and some of them even have a certain Victorian flair to them (like “Soer Angelique”). This makes this release quite a delight to discover how each of the songs presented in this release (if you know them from before) will sound with the sonic overhaul.
Making its way from Russia, today we have Lost in Alaska and their head-smashing Deathcore sound. Delivering a three-song EP, this band has a sound similar to The Black Dahlia Murder, Oceano, etc., so you know it is pretty intense and well-crafted. For all fans of endless moshing to Core music, this is one release you don’t want to miss.
Opening with commanding guitar work, “The Inevitable Changes”, immediately shows the band’s heavy sound. As the sound warms up, the drumming is pretty solid and the vocal layering is quite crushing, allowing them to sound very brutal. The tempo changes are well-placed and help the song not sound extremely repetitive.
With a crushing and think as fuck sound, today we have one-man army Mandibula and the CD release of their 2010 demo “Sacrificial Metal of Death”. The band plays homage to the greats of the 80’s namely Celtic Frost, Venom, Bathory, etc. with a very retro and dirty sound that will wake the dead from their graves. Featuring nine eardrum crushing tracks, this release is as raw as you can get while still being able to distinguish everything that is going on.
Opening with an intro similar to Mortician releases, the band sets a very dark and disturbing mood since the get go. Once the riffing comes through, you can hear that this is not your typical ‘pretty Metal’ release since everything is very raw and a bit garbled up, thanks to some cheap (or intentionally cheap) production. The raw vocals remind us of Hellhammer at times, and ultimately add a great deal of authenticity to the bands killer old-school music.
For fans of commercial alternative rock with some grunge influences, today we have Dream Circus and their debut full-length “Land of Make Believe”. Not being our main cup of tea, this release delivers 10 tracks of catchy music that we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s playing on the radio when we go to a supermarket or something like that. This Portuguese band does a solid job in creating effective guitar-driven tracks, but ultimately fails to grab our attention due to its very traditional nature.
Rocking hard since the opener “Make Believe”, the band nicely sets a very enjoyable mood with soaring vocals and well-crafted guitars. Not challenging themselves too much, the band goes through tracks like “So Long”, “Crown”, “Going Down”, and “Poison” with a rather simple, but effective, musical structure. James Powell’s vocals are probably the best thing worth noticing since they are very good and similar to what mainstream bands sound like.
Arriving all the way from Portugal in a very cool glossy packaging box, today we have Via Sacara’s “The Road”. In this release the band delivers ten tracks of excellently crafted Progressive Rock/Metal with very epic keyboards and anthemic tracks. Since the opening track of the release, the band does a very solid job in crafting catchy Rock melodies that at some points have a slight Heavy Metal vibe.
With epic chorus lines, songs like “Lost World” have a very powerful sound and nicely bring together all the elements we love about Rock and Metal. The band also has a nice commercial edge to them making their songs very accessible and enjoyable, while still maintaining some heaviness in their sound. One of our favorite track is the constantly changing “Souls of Fire”, in particular the last few minutes when after some epic vocals the music gets a bit Post-Rockish, totally brilliant in our book.
“Holy Shit” are the first words that come to mind after listening to the latest essay in Black Metal brutality from Norway’s Ragnarok. Under the name of “Malediction”, this band unleashes their latest savage release that will blow you away since the opening riffs. Featuring ten tracks of relentless Black Metal, this is by far one of the most brutal releases we have ever heard. With the addition of Bolverk on Guitars, the band is as brutal as it has ever been in this release.
Opening with the piercing “Blood of Saints”, the band unleashes their riffage attack very early in the album and never lets go. With crystal clear BM riffs and blazing drums they attack the listener in every single waking moment of this release. HansFyrste again does a great job handling the vocal duties and you will be hearing his demonic screams in your nightmares for days to come. Using very traditional BM structures on tracks like “Demon in My View”, the band takes advantage of their polished musical skills and excellent production to bring their destructive sound to life.