Symphonic Metal

  • Serenity – Death & Legacy (2011)


    In the band’s most ambitious release to date, Serenity sets out to create a release around historical figures such as Christopher Columbus, Giacom Casanova, Sir Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth I, in a very electrifying and symphonic fashion. “Death & Legacy” is hands down the band’s best release and it’s also one of the most dynamic and rich sounding albums we have received this 2011.

    The overall Symphonic feeling of “Death & Legacy” is one of the main ingredients to set this release apart from your average album. However, the ingredient that really sets them apart from the rest is the amazing duets with Charlotte Wessels (Delain), Ailyn (Sirenia), and Amanda Sommerville.

  • Visions of Atlantis – Delta (2011)


    As one of our most anticipated releases from Napalm Records in 2011, today we have Visions of Atlantis with their fourth full-length album “Delta”. As an habitual reader of Infernal Masquerade, you should know that we have a weak spot for Symphonic/Gothic Metal releases and “Delta” is hands-down the most impressive one we have listened in the last few months.

    After a few line-up changes drummer Thomas Caser brought back Werner Fiedler on guitars and added Mario Lochert (Emergency Gate) on bass guitar and on vocals we have the sweet voice of Maxi Nil (ex-Elysium) from Greece. This vocalist change is probably what makes this release be even better than their previous ones since her voice contrasts amazingly with Mario Plank’s clean vocals.

  • Instanzia – Ghosts (2010)


    Also from Metalodic records, today we have Instanzia and their highly impressive debut album “Ghosts”. The band crafts their sound with very solid guitar riffing, majestic orchestrations and superb vocal arrangements that make most bands debut albums pale in comparison to “Ghosts”. However, a small warning comes with such an ambitious production: will the band be able to ever play it live with the same quality?

    Since the very enthusiastic intro “Omen”, the band quickly builds up momentum in the same vein as Edguy, Avantasia, Pagan’s Mind, etc. With “Ghosts of the Past”, the band will immediately grab your attention with their fast-paced riffing, tight drumming and very impressive vocal arrangements. The band used three different singers to create a very powerful choir that greatly improves the band’s chorus sections giving them a very massive and majestic sound, but makes us weary on how this band will sound in reality when they don’t have all this studio magic behind them.

  • Katra – Out of the Ashes (2010)


    The lovely Katra is finally back with a 100% new release (the last album “Beast Within” was mostly songs from her debut album but translated from Finish to English). Katra is now also a full-fledged band not only a female solo artist with hired ‘monkeys’ to play the rest of the instruments like on her last album. With this ‘permanent’ band, Katra’s sound is more Metal and even more cohesive than before, making “Out of the Ashes” and excellent release that will surely be in our top 10 Symphonic/Gothic Metal albums of 2010.

    Featuring ex-members of Nocturn, October Falls, and many other Finish bands, Katra’s new band is actually very proficient musically and greatly incorporates Metal elements with more straightforward Rock elements. This will surely make “Out of the Ashes” accessible to both Metal and non-Metal fans alike, since it’s smooth and flows very nicely, never being too aggressive or weak.

  • Therion – Sitra Ahra (2010)


    The legendary Therion is back with yet another very solid release that will please all fans of Symphonic Metal. As you can expect, Christofer Johnsson  does a great job in creating very epic songs that feature amazing choir sections, brilliant vocal solos, and the overall Therion sound. The only downside of this album is that you get more of the same and nothing else, so if you are a huge fan of the band this will surely please you to no end.

    Featuring 11 tracks, “Sitra Ahra” takes you into a very majestic journey into the bands unique world. You will get that the riffing and guitar solos is very simple to what we are used to get from Therion since the “Vovin” album. Keeping things simple and catchy, songs like “Kings of Edom” will greatly made you remember the “Vovin” era of the band. The choir sections of this song are great, and fit the overall pace of the song.

  • ReVamp – ReVamp (2010)


    Floor is back!!, and she is back with a vengeance. Two years have passed since After Forever went caput, and ever since the announcement of ReVamp was made, people were expecting nothing less than a great release from Floor. ReVamp’s self-title debut is nothing short of what ever people expected from this all-star project.

    With Floor on the driver seat she recruited guitar wizard Waldemar Sorychta and keyboard maestro Joost van den Broek. Composing the 14 songs presented on this album with these two musicians (and Koen Herfst on drums), she has gone back to the times when WE used to like After Forever. With a more Gothic Metal oriented sound and not focusing on her experimentation with a more ‘Heavy Metal’ style of singing she used in the last few AF albums.

  • Violet Sun – Loneliness in Supremacy (2010)


    Featuring a very bombastic (and futuristic) sound, today we have Violet Sun, an unsigned band from Italy. The band does a very good job in creating Symphonic Power Metal songs that are as good as any other signed band that plays similar music. But Violet Sun adds a wide variety of different elements to the mix, creating a very peculiar sound of their own.

    Our first comparison that comes to mind is with Edenbrigde. Both bands rely on a Symphonic Power Metal foundation accompanied by Female vocals. However, Edenbrigde relies more on ‘massive’ arrangements and some guitar virtuosity all courtesy of Lanvall. Violet Sun has more Progressive Metal elements in their sound, as well as clean Male vocals that sometimes hit the spot, but in other occasions sound a bit off.

  • Edenbridge – Solitaire (2010)


    Out of the very impressive roster of bands over at Napalm Records, Edenbridge has always been one of the most consistent bands they have. Over the years they have released very solid albums, that feature well crafted songs and a very characteristic sound given by Sabine Edelsbacher the bands vocalist, and Lanvall’s music composition skills.

    The band’s bombastic sound is present in every single one of their releases and “Solitaire” is not an exception. The band’s Symphonic Power Metal sound is very well crafted around Sabine’s vocals, and the use of catchy melodies, as opposed to using overly complicated structures in their songs.

  • Rhapsody of Fire – The Frozen Tears of Angels (2010)


    Four years have passed since the band’s last release “Triumph or Agony”, and now they are band with a vengeance. “The Frozen Tears of Angels” is one of the band’s best albums in their whole trajectory. With the same line-up since 2002, Rhapsody of Fire has recorded what is set to be the Power Metal album of 2010. Move over Avantasia, Rhapsody is back to take the 2010 title of best Power Metal album.

    Featuring their extremely symphonic sound, the band takes us inside their fantasy world with over 50 minutes of impressive musical compositions. The band’s sound is more bombastic than ever, and with their impressive array of vocal arrangements, brilliant keyboard sections, and guitar acrobatics, the band will surely please all of their fans and followers of the genre.

  • The Breathing Process – Odyssey: (Un)Dead (2010)


    Out of all the bands we have reviewed recently, The Breathing Process is by far the one that combines to most influences of different genres in their music. With a very impressive (but sometimes terrible) mixture of Black/Death/Gothic Metal with some Melodeath and even Metalcore-ish influences we get “Odyssey: (Un)Dead”.

    After their very impressive debut album “In Waking: Divinity”, we could not expect anything less from this young American band, but we also got a bit disappointed at some points during this album. The band fails to mix their elements together and ends up sounding extremely chaotic and redundant in some places.


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