Hailing from France, today we have the sophomore release of Gothic Metal outfit: Ommatidia. In “Let’s Face it!”, the band delivers ten songs of well-crafted Gothic Metal/Rock that moves away from their band’s more atmospheric and Doomier debut release back in 2011. Crafting a sound similar to bands like To/Die/For, HIM, and The Man Eating Tree, this band will satisfy your male-vocals Gothic Metal cravings.
The album opens with the catchy “Immaculate” and its soaring vocals, courtesy of Guillaume Richard. This track gives us a certain The Man Eating Tree vibe, making it quite engaging and a very solid opener. As tracks like “Sunspot”, “Dark Swelling” and “Soiled” settle the listener into the band’s style; we nicely enjoy Ommatidia’s traditional emotional Gothic sound. With very organic songs like “Sleeping Black”, the band has the luxury of experimenting with additional elements to keep things heavier.
After blowing us away with their music in 2011, Austria’s Illuminata returns with yet another Gothic/Symphonic Metal masterpiece with their third full-length album “Where Stories Unfold”. Using a 60-piece orchestra and two different choirs, the band bets big on their music and delivers around 60 minutes of brilliant music that will impress any fan of the genre.
Crafting a very dramatic opening with “A Story Unfolds”, the lush orchestrations and very cinematic music instantly catches our attention. With the real opener, “Eternity of Today” the band shows that their core sound has greatly evolved and delivers a magical Gothic Metal track filled with astonishing arrangements and the hypnotic vocals of Katarzyna Nieniewska.
Hailing from Paris, France, today we have Industrial/Gothic Metal outfit Elyose and their sophomore release titled “Ipso Facto”. Featuring a very bombastic and crafty sound, this outfit delivers over 47 minutes of super catchy music. Led by the charismatic Justine Daaé, this is not just another clone band, as they nicely carve their own style and create very engaging music.
The album makes a quick impact with the super catchy electronic elements of “Femme De Verre” which perfectly blend with the strong vocal leads. The same high energy continues with the lush “De Guerre Lasse” and its solid guitar riffs paired with cool electronic effects. The band at this stage reminds of a mixture of Theater of Tragedy in the “Musique” days with the more modern style of Nemesea.
Arriving all the way from Uruguay, today we have Fixion’s latest release “Paraíso”. Filled with over 44 minutes of catchy and melancholic Gothic Metal that spans influences from the early times of Gothic Rock to more recent Gothic Metal trends, this is one of those near perfect releases that are quite enjoyable. Combining a traditional somber Gothic atmosphere with catchy melodies makes and lush vocal arrangements, this release will appeal all fans of the genre.
As the album opens with the playful “Paraíso”, the band leads with strong vocal arrangements and a very primal and catchy atmosphere. The band instantly reminded us of Anabantha another female-led Gothic Metal/Rock outfit that also sings mostly in Spanish. Greatly exploiting Tina Souto female vocal talents and perfectly combining them with a back-to-the-basics musical structure, tracks like “Hasta Amanecer” and “El Impulso” immerse the listener into Fixion’s musical work.
Arriving from Italy, today we have newcomers The Hillinoise and their superbly enjoyable EP “My Sleeping Butterfly”. Fusing elements from bands like The Gathering, The 3rd and the Mortal, early Xandria and even some Slowdive influences, the band delivers three excellent tracks filled with melancholy.
The release starts with the mellow “Lighter”, a very melancholic piece that has some touches of early The Gathering meets Sylvaine. The vocals of Dana Stefanelli are quite innocent sounding, giving the music that certain sense of bleakness that we greatly appreciate. However, it is the pulsating bass guitar line that shines though out the release, in particular “Nymphetamine”.
Arriving from France this week we have Evolvent and their sophomore release “Whatever Happens”. Catering to fans of Visions of Atlantis, Trail of Tears and Voices of Destiny, this band delivers ten excellent tracks that are quite enjoyable thanks to their commanding female vocals and creative song structures.
Immediately after the intro we have the superbly catchy “Win or Die”, a song that showcases Emma Elvaston’s talents and the band’s knack for atmospheric compositions. As things progress to catchier and craftier songs like “Hurricane” and “Love Doesn’t Love Me”, the band shows their versatility with solid riffs and very precise drumming, with some growls thrown into the mix.
From the creative mind of Heidi Parviainen (ex-Amberian Dawn), today we have a very diverse and refreshing Symphonic/Gothic Metal album titled “Behind the Black Veil”. With more of a cinematic/theatrical approach than your traditional Symphonic/Gothic Metal band, Dark Sarah delivers a very engaging release filled with guest appearances and expertly crafted melodies.
Telling the story of Sarah, this release sets the backdrop of the story with the opening tracks “Save Me”, “Poison Aple” and “Hide and Seek”, all of which feature a more passive and theater-like approach to them. The music is quite well crafted and Heidi’s vocals instantly charm the listener into continuing their journeys. Things move into more familiar territories with “Memories Fall”, a song that features a guest appearance from Manuela Kraller. While more of your typical song for the genre, it nicely keeps the album and story progression going with a more bombastic and explosive piece.
Featuring all the right ingredients to make a great Symphonic Metal band, today we have Enemy of Reality and their bombastic debut release “Rejected Gods”. Filled with catchy vocal melodies and excellent atmospheric passages, these newcomers from Greece deliver the WOW factor with 45 minutes of brilliant music.
After the typical warm-up intro, the band starts things with the super catchy “My Own Master”, a track that features Mike LePond handling the bass guitar duties. In this song we are gladly impressed by the very mellow and yet powerful vocal performances, allowing Iliana Tsakiraki to instantly standout. The band’s music is much like your Serenity / Sirenia type of Symphonic Metal with Gothic elements, and they greatly interate their guest vocals into the band’s unique groove as we can hear in “Needle Bites” which incidentally features Ailyn from Sirenia.
Being huge fans of Death/Doom/Gothic Metal release, we instantly jumped on Rain Without End Records release “So Many Years of Longing”. This one-man outfit hails from Italy and it delivers some pretty solid barebones music that while it gets a bit repetitive and tiring, has some glimmers of hope.
Building up into “Coldness Gods” via the intro “So Many Years”, all the elements of releases in this genre are pretty well executed, such as the strong riffs, highly atmospheric passages and hearty grunts. Things remind us a bit of Forest of Shadows and Rapture for the most part, with sprinkles of Draconian and such when the female vocals appear on songs like “It Devours my Faith”.
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.