Symphonic Metal

  • Black Messiah – The First War of the World (2009)

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    Black Messiah is one of those bands that is very hard to determine what kind of music they play. They combine Black Metal influences with Viking/Folk metal and they excel at it, creating a very nice blend of genres in a very diverse album. Every song offers different elements that will keep even the most A.D.D person paying attention all the way to the end.

  • Turisas - A Finnish Summer With Turisas (2008)

    This DVD does a great job capturing the intensity of this band while performing live. Taking songs from several different perfomances, this DVD will make you want to see this band live. The costumes and stage makeup is great and provides an authentic feeling to this bands music. Century Media also included english subtitles during the performances so we can understand what they are saying (this is one thing that is neglected in many live DVD's that I've seen over the years).

  • Nightwish – Made In Hong Kong (And In Various Other Places) (2009)

    The DVD part of this release, features a documentary about the band on the road during their tour for "Dark Passion Play" and it's a must have for die hard fans of the band since they show an 'inside' look at the band. The documentary features Tuomas point of view for 90% of the time, it would have been nice to have other band members talk more.

  • Adagio – Archangels In Black (2009)

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    After Adagaio’s great first two releases they have fallen into an identity crisis. They have been experimenting with several different styles of music, but failing to create decent release. “Archangels In Black” represent another attempt at creating different sounding release, but their repetitive heavy sounding guitars make this release another miss from this French band.

    Adagio’s original Progressive Power metal is still present in some songs, and there are many great moments in this album, but they are drowned by the repetitive heavy guitars, and some growls / harsh vocals here and there. The drumming style has changed a bit, but you can still hear the brilliant tempo changes and the intensity from before. There are also changes that accommodate the slower style of music, but in general they are still pretty good.

  • Hollenthon – Opus Magnum (2008)

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    The music of Hollenthon is what happens when you give a synthesizer to the demented Grandmaster Flesh (A.K.A Martin Schirenc) from Pungent Stench fame.  The band’s sound can be defined as an epic symphony of madness, the music I would probably hear in my head if I was confined to a mental institution. This release was in the making for 7 years, and it was well worth the wait.

  • Nightwish – Made In Hong Kong (2009)

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    This live CD showcases songs from “Dark Passion Play” performed in live. I was kind of disappointed that they did not include any older songs performed by Anette on this release. While this is not a problem if you have seen the band live, it would have been a nice thing for all the fans that haven’t been luck enough to see them live.

    The CD features seven live tracks and 3 previously available studio tracks. While I think this CD is a must for all Nightwish fans, especially because of the DVD. I don’t think that this adds anything new to casual listeners, since all the songs are previously available and you can see countless youtube videos of the band performing live during their previous tour.

  • Euphoreon – Before The Blackened Sky (2009)

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    Euphoreon hails from New Zealand and their demo “Before The Blacked Sky” took me by surprise. This one man band is clearly influenced by Wintersun, Ensiferum, etc. This demo is one of the best I heard this month, since it’s perfectly produced and the music is very fresh and enjoyable, too bad it only has 3 songs.

    The guitars, bass and vocals are performed by the sole member, while the drums and everything else is programmed. The guitar work is excellent and it’s clearly the style of music this band is shooting for (Epic Melodic Metal). There are plenty of nice guitar solos that complement the music.

  • Eternal Tears Of Sorrow – Tears Of Autumn Rain (2009)

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    This single from this band just adds to my anxiety of waiting for their new full length album. It features 2 tracks, one from the new album, and a remake of Vilda Mannu. This all-star band from Finland create a very interesting blend of music. While they maintain the aggressiveness of the older stuff, they add a more symphonic layer to their latest releases. And this is just great, the sound is very melodic and powerful.

    This single opens up with the title track and it blows you away. Featuring nice melodic keyboards complementing the guitar riffs, harsh vocals, precise drumming and a great chorus that will have everybody head banging, the only bad thing is that it’s only 4 minutes long!.

  • Tarja – Enough (2009)

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    While Tarja is no doubt one of the best singers in Metal, after her time with Nighwish was over, she should have retired or found a band to sing in. Her post-nightwish full length album “My Winter Storm” was pretty dispointing and dull. She had at hand composers and songwriters to aid her in the release, but these things did not help, and the album sucked.

    This single is not far from that release. The songs are pretty dull and while her voice sounds great as always, it does not fit the music at all. It seems like a karaoke attempt. Two songs are contained in this single and they are more than enough to make me stop listening to it, and dig up my old Nightwish cd’s to remember how her voice sounds with good music.

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