Arriving from Portugal, today we have Hourswill and their debut full-length release “Inevitable”. Playing Progressive Metal, this band has good command of the genre but they are still missing a signature sound that makes them stand out from the rest. If you like bands like Symphony X and Leprous, Hourswill will be to your liking.
After an initial intro track, the band fully comes to life with the catchy “Vows of Submission”, a very proficient track filled with solid guitars and soaring vocals. As “Inevitable Collapse” and “Dead End Memory” roll by, the band combines some growls into their music to make it more diverse, but they ultimately fall second place to the Progressive vibe of the music. There are also some riffs that are more along the lines of Modern Metal outfits, but they also feel a bit out of place.
Hailing from Spain, today we have Embersland and their very catchy and well-crafted Symphonic/Gothic Metal with some Power Metal elements thrown into the mix. Featuring nine tracks and around 48 minutes of music, this release is an emotional rollercoaster filled with powerful guitars, tight drumming, and masterfully led by the vocals of Will, May and Xavi. Appealing to a wide spectrum of listeners, “Dark Ages” is one memorable release.
Opening with the 9 minute playful piece “Sunrise (Part II)”, the band instantly showcases their evolution since their 2013 release. With more focused songwriting and more mature skills, this track features majestic vocal melodies and emotional keyboards. The band nicely keeps up the initial track’s momentum with solid songs like “Closer”, “Hope”, and the superbly catchy “WTF…Fuck Off!”, which has a killer chorus section. It is quite evident that the band is nicely maturing as their sound is very cohesive with all their elements coming together quite nicely.
As one of the most anticipated releases of 2015, today we have Stratovarius and their latest opus “Eternal”. Filled with over 54 minutes of music separated in ten tracks, this release nicely continues the band’s reinvention to a fresher and even more dynamic outfit since their “Polaris” release back in 2009. Featuring tons of epic tracks and led by the vocals of Timo Kotipelto, this a typical Stratovarius release that you do not want to miss.
The band delivers the first punch with the amazing opener “May Eternal Dream”. In this very dynamic song, the band sets a very upbeat tempo and establishes a very fluid relationship between the epic guitar and keyboard solos, warning the listener they are in for a treat in this release. Timo Kotipelto vocals constantly deliver the level of performance that is expected from such a legendary singer, and on tracks like “Shine in the Dark”, “Man in the Mirror” and the ballad “Fire in Your Eyes” they gave us goose bumps since they are terrific and very well crafted into the music.
The legendary Symphony X has returned with the band’s ninth full-length release titled “Underworld”. Perfectly mixing elements from the band’s extensive musical trajectory, this album further refines their musical pedigree and delivers 63 minutes of catchy and engaging music. Always being crowd pleasers, the fans will certainly not be disappointed by the continuity and level of quality the band’s music presents.
After the traditional warm-up intro/overture, the band gets down to business with the killer “Nevermore”. Featuring a wide variety of exciting guitar leads and an extra catchy chorus section, this song is the prefect mood setting piece for such a diverse and entertaining release. The first truly epic song in this release is the dramatic “Without You”, led by Russell Allen’s charismatic vocals; this is a very memorable epic-feeling track.
All the way from Germany, today we have Powerwolf and their sixth full-length release “Blessed & Possessed”. As one of the catchiest Power Metal bands in the world, the wolves return with another epic album filled with bombastic elements and their signature over-the-top antics. Only improving on their legacy, the band continues their musical onslaught with 11 brilliant tracks.
Setting the stage for a truly epic musical experience, “Blessed & Possessed” opens this release with crushing vocal arrangements and powerful guitar riffs. The band’s clean cut and well defined Power Metal foundations allows them to fully engage the listeners with epic songs. Attila Dorn’s vocal talents are only comparable to Joakim Brodén, meaning they are extremely amazing and very well exploited on tracks like “Dead Until Dark”. With such a charismatic presence and powerful range, tracks like “Army of the Night” are truly an amazing experience.
Delivering one of the most bombastic and ridiculously epic releases of 2015, today we have Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody with “Prometheus”. Vastly improving over their 2012 “Ascending to Infinity” the band elevates its game to reach new heights in terms of lush cinematic experiences. If you could imagine Therion paired with Blind Guardian and old Stratovarius, that is exactly what this album sounds like.
Building a very dramatic opening with “Il Cigno Nero”, the band’s signature intense tempo and theatrical vibe is felt instantly through Alessandro Conti’s vocals and Luca Turilli’s talented musical composition skills. The extreme usage of orchestrations and choir arrangements greatly pays off on tracks like “Anahata”, the dramatic “One Ring to Rule them All”, and the majestic “Prometheus”. The basic Power Metal core aspect of the band’s sound is kept very tidy through Alex Landenburg’s drumming and Patrice Guers’s bass guitar lines.
Hailing from France today we have an excellent Power Metal band called Waverly Lies North, and their debut full-length release “A Soul in the Void”. Being in the intersection between bands like old Stratovarius and Rhapsody of Fire, this French outfit delivers nearly 50 minutes of explosive music that will have you cheering and psyched up from start to end.
Opening with the epicness of “The Curse”, this release is off to a great start with lush orchestrations, solid guitar leads, and excellent vocals (courtesy of Eric Pariche). With a very well defined Power Metal foundation, tracks like “A Soul in the Void”, “Labyrinth” and “Chimaera” have a very epic mood that is greatly enhanced by excellent atmospheric elements, dramatic guitar leads, and very well rounded vocal performances that elevate the music.
Nearly five years since the band’s last effort “At the Edge of Time”, Germany’s Blind Guardian return with another epic release with “Beyond the Red Mirror”. Featuring their signature soaring Power Metal filled with musical virtuosity and engaging chorus sections, this album delivers 64 minutes of warm hearted music that will bring back all the memories of the band’s highly praised discography.
Opening the release with great style, “The Ninth Wave” starts with album with 9 minutes of epic arrangements and soaring vocals. As the opener bleeds into “Twilights of The Gods”, the first mega-epic masterpiece of this release is revealed with an uber catchy chorus section. With “Prophecies” the band keeps a similar level of amazingness with Hansi Kürsch’s signature vocals and the excellent guitar work of André Olbrich and Marcus Siepen. The band’s sound is expertly crafted and perfectly balanced to deliver truly memorable songs.
Out of the hundreds of releases we receive at Infernal Masquerade every month, it is always refreshing to find some extremely well produced self-released albums that sound better than some more popular and well-established bands. Luckily for us, Derdian’s 5th full-length release is one of them with their well-refined Power Metal that reminds us of bands like Rhapsody of Fire, Blind Guardian, Stratovarius, etc.
After the typical atmospheric opener, “Human Reset” kicks off with the album title track delivering excellent vocal melodies and a very healthy pace. The band’s sound is clearly very well refined and everything sounds just right, making the songs flow like water. As the album keeps providing us with gems like “In Everything” and the melancholic “Mafia”, we are greatly impressed with the perfect union of crafty drumming, playful keyboards and soaring vocals.
Arriving with one of the most expected releases of 2014, today we have Dragonforce and their epic “Maximum Overload”. Featuring nearly 50 minutes of signature Dragonforce Power Metal, this release further develops their sound and delivers a wide variety of tracks that appeal to fans of the band as well as genre enthusiasts. With Marc Hudson fully incorporated to the band’s style and tempo, this is one the best releases of their career.
Opening with the tour-de-force epic “The Game”, the band deliver their signature vocal melodies alongside the ridiculous guitar skills of Herman Li and Sam Totman. This opening track features some intense growls, making the band sound a bit like Mercenary in their good days, but the band’s traditional playfulness is always present. With epic chorus sections like on “Tomorrow’s Kings” and “No More”, the band will not disappoint any of their legions of fans.