Symphonic Metal

  • 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.

  • Battlelore - The Last Alliance (2008)

    The Last Alliance is Battlelore’s latest addition to their impressive musical catalog. This Finish band has been improving and refining their music since they where conceived almost achieving perfection in this last release.

    This album contains 11 carefully crafted battle hymns that will surely please any Battlelore fan. The album opens up with Third Immortal, an instant Battlelore classic of the caliber of House of Heroes, and it keeps this level all the way through the album.

  • Crimfall - As the Path Unfolds (2009)

    After their self released Burning Winds demo, I was anxiously expecting their full length album. This band formed in 2007, and they got a deal right after their previously mentioned demo and there is big reason why, their music is a perfectly constructed blend of symphonic, viking, folk and progressive metal.

    The band members come from different bands in the musical scene and have an ample background in making music over the years. No wonder Napalm Records snatched them so quickly and gave them a recording contract.

  • Northern Kings - Reborn (2008)

    The second album from this all-star Finnish band brings us 12 more cover songs from a very “unique” group of songs. The band’s adaptation of the songs is very nice in most cases, but some of them do not have a good sound. However, all instruments blend well together and are very well combined (if you ignore the fact that the songs are covers). The combination of 4 different vocalists make them have a very dynamic arsenal of vocal styles and quality, the 2 most notable voices are Marco Hielata and Tony Kako’s since their style sets them apart from the other 2 singers (Jarkko Ahola and Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto).

    While this album is a good metal cover’s album, it takes a while to adapt to, and sometimes you even need to go and see what song they are actually covering since you can’t distinguish them easily.

     

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