Hailing from Greece, today we have an excellent Symphonic Metal newcomer with Mystfall and their debut release “Celestial Vision”. Featuring over 40 minutes of high-octane music, this release has all the staples of the genre to please even the most demanding fans. If you are a fan of Epica, Visions of Atlantis, etc., you will certainly love this release.
Opening with a dramatic orchestrated intro, the band really shines as it transitions to “Celestial Vision”. Showcasing polish and excellent instrumentation, alongside the talented vocals of Marialena Trikoglou, this outfit unleashes dramatic arrangements and tons of catchiness as they pummel through songs like “Centuries”, “Endless”, and “Silence”.
Hailing from Sweden, today we have a Symphonic Metal band that has been gradually taking the scene by storm: Eleine. With a very powerful and engaging sound, it is quite hard to stand out in this very crowded genre, but this band has managed to do so by creating highly enjoyable songs. With “We Shall Remain”, the band’s fourth full-length release on the heels of their most recent North American tour with Moonspell and Oceans of Slumber, the band is set to reach a whole new level of acclaim.
Opening with the powerful “Never Forget”, the pounding distorted guitars mean business as the band sets a very high-octane mood filled with catchiness. Led by the charismatic and talented Madeleine "Eleine" Liljestam, the band’s music perfectly fits her vocals, creating very powerful and diverse melodies that are sometimes flanked by harsh growls to amplify that duality of heaviness and melody. Tracks like “Stand by the Flame”, “We Are Legion”, and “Promise of Apocalypse” are perfect examples of that.
As one of the most fun and over the top Symphonic Power Metal, Gloryhammer is finally back with the highly entertaining and equally solid release “Return to The Kingdom of Fife”. This release has plenty of lol’s alongside very well crafted and executed songs that will appeal to fans of bands like Sabaton and Powerwolf, but with a less serious and more playful edge.
Setting a regal mood with the album intro, the listener is quickly treated to the playfulness of the keyboards of “Holy Flaming Hammer of Unholy Cosmic Frost”. The only newcomer in the band is Sozos Michael is a very talented vocalist, as we can hear in songs like the epic “Imperium Dundaxia” or the playful “Wasteland Warrior Hoots Patrol”.
Constantly delivering lush and bombastic releases, Morten Veland and Sirenia return once more with “1977”. In this album, the band further evolves by incorporating synthwave and even 80’s rock sounds to their already crafty and engaging music. For over 49 minutes, the band serenades the listener with a rollercoaster ride of emotions and tempos, creating for a very diverse and explosive release, filled with surprises for new and old fans alike.
Opening with the bombastic “Deadlight”, Sirenia kicks things off with one of their signature epically catchy tracks filled with engaging arrangements and the Gothic Metal darkness that we all love from them. Over the last seven years, Emmanuelle Zoldan vocals have been perfectly fitting the band’s explosive and yet introspective style, delivering soaring chorus sections and heartfelt ballads, as we can hear in “Wintry Heart”, “Nomadic”, to “Oceans Away”.
Making a comeback after six years and a completely new line-up, today we have Marco Heubaum and Xandria with “The Wonders Still Awaiting”. Featuring 74 minutes of intense and bombastic music, the band is ready to continue their story and unleash upon fans of the genre lush orchestrations and dramatic arrangements.
Opening with the explosive “Two Worlds”, we are instantly reminded of the band’s knack for dramatic vocal arrangements alongside heavy distorted guitars and growls thrown into the mix. While the band’s style remains at its core the same, there is a certain freshness that new vocalist Ambre Vourvahis brings into the mix. Tracks like “Reborn”, “You Will Never Be Our God”, and “Ghosts” are perfect examples of their dynamic songwriting and perfectly managed tempo changes.
A lot has happened since the band’s 2020 banger “Apocalypse & Chill”. The band’s signature vocalist Charlotte Wessels and pretty much all other members at the time left as Martijn Westerholt decided to press reset on this band. With tons of expectations being generated of who would be the new vocalist of the band, Diana Leah was unveiled late 2022 alongside a few returning ex-Delainers. All those issues aside, “Dark Waters” showcases a triumphant new phase in the band’s story with lush and bombastic music.
Opening with the lush “Hideaway Paradise”, Delain is back in full force with soaring vocal melodies alongside crafty symphonic arrangements and a good dose of distorted guitars. The band’s style feels refreshed and focused on their strengths, with Martijn Westerholt leading with dramatic orchestral arrangements, as we can quickly hear in pieces like “The Quest and the Curse”, “Beneath”, and “Mirror of Night”. Diana Leah’s vocals are superb and perfectly bring to life the cinematic nature of the music.
There are just some days when you just want to hear an album filled with over-the-top technical wizardry, lush vocal arrangements, and an overall superbly up-beat vibe. Luckily for us, Twilight Force delivers just that, and plenty more, with the epic “At The Hearth of Wintervale”. We have a soft spot for extremely bombastic Symphonic Power Metal, and this album unleashes over 64 minutes of magical music in this regard.
Opening with the lush “Twilight Force” track, we instantly get rewarded with blistering guitar solos, crafty tempo changes, and very dramatic vocal arrangements. Vocalist Allyon, aka Alessandro Conti, shines through this release, but in particular in epic songs like “At the Heart of Wintervale”, filled with soaring vocal passages. We particularly love that epic vibe that bands like Stratovarius, Rhapsody, and similar outfits craft, but with Twilight Force, this effort is poured into every single track, particularly heavy hitters like “Dragonborn”, and the cinematic 10-minute epic “Highlands of the Elder Dragon”.
Hailing from Russia, today we have Atmospheric Death/Doom outfit Mare Infinitum with an engaging release titled “Cryosleep”. Showing further evolution in the band’s sound, this album adds some bombastic Symphonic Metal elements to the band’s powerful Doom core. Evoking thoughts from Therion to Epica to Funeral and Swallow the Sun. For over 46 minutes the band dazzles listeners with a high octane release.
The release starts with the highly theatrical and Therion-esque piece “Your Final Bow”, a song with very dramatic choir arrangements and excellent clean male vocals. This track sets a very imposing and lush backdrop, which serves quite well for the traditional deep growls and weeping Doomy guitars the band lays down. With an even more dramatic edge, “The Flight Of No Return” is a fragile piece that nicely shakes things up with crafty tempo changes and excellent guitar leads.
Therion is one of those bands that is always consistently good and when they set on producing a trilogy of releases that consolidated the style of their most popular songs, they were not messing around. With “Leviathan II” the listener gets treated to over 53 minutes and 13 tracks of superbly catchy Symphonic/Operatic Metal they basically invented and have been refining over the years. As a quintessential release for any of the band’s fans, this release should be in your collection.
Kicking off the release we have the lively “Aeon of Maat”, a song with a very crafty tempo and the band’s signature dueling Heavy Metal and operatic vocals courtesy of Thomas Vikström and Lori Lewis. This formula gets nicely complemented by lush choir arrangements and dramatic use of classical instrumental elements, as we can hear in “Litany of the Fallen”, “Alchemy of the Soul” and one of our personal favorites “Lunar Coloured Fields”.
It is hard to innovate in Metal these days, however, there are always bands like Abyssic that take known formulas and greatly improve on them with their highly eerie Symphonic Doom/Death Metal. With “Brought Forth in Iniquity”, the band’s sophomore release, Memnoch and company craft over 50 minutes of highly atmospheric and very crushing music that greatly improves over their first release.
Opening with the decadence of “Cold as Winter Storm”, we are introduced to a perfectly balanced old-school Funeral-ish Death/Doom Metal with a huge atmospheric component. This atmosphere is quite cinematic and it feels like a black and white horror movie, making songs like “Mirror of Sorrow” and “Djevelens Lys” deliver a truly immersive and imposing experience. The band features members like Memnoch (ex-Susperia) and Tjodalv (ex-Dimmu Borgir) and they bring their years of songwriting experience together in a very cohesive and engaging way.