Symphonic Metal

  • Diabulus in Musica - Dirge for the Archons (2016)

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    As one of the most expected Symphonic/Gothic Metal releases of 2016, today we have Diabulus in Musica and their excellent fourth full-length release “Dirge for the Archons”. Slowly evolving into a beautiful butterfly, this Spanish band’s music has gotten more and more bombastic and explosive over time. Bringing comparisons with Epica, Xandria and After Forever, this release delivers over 60 minutes of captivating music that any fan of the genre will love.

    After the traditional warm-up intro, “Earthly Illusions” delivers waves of guitar riffs and orchestral arrangements that are perfectly offset by Zuberoa Aznárez’s signature firm but sweet vocals. As “Marble Embrace” and “Invisible” arrive, we can’t help but notice a very evident similarity to Epica’s music, more than before for the band. This isn’t necessarily bad as there are enough differences in the choir arrangements and song structures to keep them far from being a copycat. And while similar, Gorka and company manage to craft highly memorable songs.

  • Lost Opera – Hidden Sides (2016)

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    Hailing from Normandy, today we have newcomer Symphonic/Gothic Metal outfit Lost Opera and their sophomore release “Hidden Sides”. In a world filled with Female-led Symphonic Metal bands, it is quite surprising and even rare to hear a band rely mostly on male vocals in the genre. Delivering over 55 minutes of music, this release is quite engaging and fun, perfectly appealing to all fans of the genre that are looking for something a little different.

    After the traditional intro, the album blows wide open with the pummeling riffs of “Today I Cry”. This track starts off quite heavy and is perfectly contrasted by engaging keyboards and a mixture of growls and clean vocals. The band’s vocalist Loïc Conti, does a pretty solid job in mixing growls with clean vocals, allowing the songs to be diverse and engaging as we can hear on “Follow the Signs” and “Rage”.

  • Sirenia – Dim Days of Dolor (2016)

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    Taking the scene by surprise by changing lead singers, Sirenia manages to come out on top with the brilliant “Dim Days of Dolor”. Delivering over 55 minutes of signature Sirenia Symphonic/Gothic Metal, the band shows no signs of slowing down while unleashing their best release to date. If you are concerned on how Emmanuelle Zoldan fits with the band’s style, you are in for a treat as her vocals perfectly blend with the bombastic nature of the music.

    Opening with the explosive “Goddess of the Sea”, the band instantly shows that their sound is still as bombastic as ever and that Emmanuelle’s seductive vocals seamlessly integrate with it. One of the things we love more about Sirenia is the lush and vibrant choir arrangements and this track instantly satisfied our cravings. The catchiest song on this release, and probably the band’s history, comes under the album title and delivers a brilliant chorus section and very digestible and engaging riffs. Once you hear this track, you will not be able to get it out of your head.

  • Dark Sarah – The Puzzle (2016)

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    Hailing from Finland, today we have Heidi Parviainen’s Dark Sarah and their sophomore full-length release titled “The Puzzle”. Delivering ten bombastic songs of very dramatic and theatrical Symphonic/Gothic Metal, Heidi continues to come out the shadows of her ex band Amberian Dawn and establish her-self (and the new band) as one of the most dynamic and engaging bands in the genre. If you like bands like Nightwish, Epica, Cornoatus, etc. this is one release you don’t want to miss.

    After the opening intro, “Island in the Mist” opens up with heavy riffs and magical keyboards. With this approach the track feels quite engaging and very bombastic as Hedi’s vocals appear adding to the magic. With Erkka Korhonen (Northern Kings) and Sami Salonen handling the guitar duties, tracks like “Little Men” and “Ash Grove” are both heavy and playful, changing tempos perfectly and allowing the music to be as dynamic and explosive as possible.

  • Epica – The Holographic Principle (2016)

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    Just when you think that Epica cannot get any better, they drop another masterpiece like “The Holographic Principle”. More bombastic, more explosive and more dynamic, this release further cements the band’s legacy as one of the premiere female-fronted symphonic Metal bands in the world. Featuring over 72 minutes of music spread in twelve brilliant tracks, the band completely blows away any expectations the fans might have from them.

    After the traditional intro, the album kicks off in full gear with the dynamic “Edge of the Blade”, a track filled with powerful riffs and soaring vocal arrangements. The choir arrangements in this track instantly set the stage to the most bombastic Epica release ever, and tracks like “A Phantasmic Parade” and “Universal Death Squad” are a testament to that. The album’s instrumentation is top notch and perfectly delivers a unique aural experience.

  • Delain – Moonbathers (2016)

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    Returning with their fifth full-length release, today we have Delain and their impressive and bombastic Symphonic/Gothic Metal sound. With “Moonbathers”, the band takes things one step further delivering lush orchestrations, crushing guitar riffs, and mesmerizing vocal arrangements, allowing their sound to be as explosive and expansive as ever. If you are a fan of the band or the genre, this album has all the right ingredients to become a classic.

    Opening with the lively “Hands of Gold”, the band sets a very high bar with such a bombastic song which features a duet with Alissa White-Gluz. The superbly catchy “Suckerpunch” is a very solid third act in this increasingly more intense and bombastic release. Released earlier this year with the “Lunar Prelude”, this song showcases the band’s evolution into a more dynamic and explosive unit, which can be easily compared to bands like Nightwish and Epica.

  • Gone in April – Threads of Existence (2016)

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    Featuring a very diverse and international cast of characters, today we have Gone in April and their sophomore release “Threads of Existence”. Led by the beautiful vocals of Julie Belanger Roy, this band combines everything from Gothic to Death to Symphonic to Folk Metal, creating a very rich and unique listening experience for the 43 minutes of music crafted in this release.

    Opening with the theatrical intro “Dawn of Time”, it is not until “The Curtain will Rise” that the band showcases their rich sound. In this track we have some very catchy melodies paired perfectly with super tight drumming, courtesy of Yanic Bercier, and Haggard-esque male growls. Perfectly blending intensity with melody the band delivers superb tracks like the “Our Future Line”, which also showcase the Bass guitar wizardry of the highly experienced Steve DiGiorgio.

  • Visions of Atlantis – Old Routes – New Waters (2016)

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    Sometimes the best way to move forward is to hit the rest button, and this is exactly what Thomas Caser did with his band. Bringing back some of the band’s old members and a couple of new vocalists, Visions of Atlantis returns with a fresh lineup and a new lease on life. The EP “New Waters” features five classic songs from the band’s discography, re-recorded with the new members in order to test the waters.

    Opening with the amazing epic “Lovebearing Storm” from the band’s debut 2002 release “Eternal Endless Infinity”, we instantly get a glimpse of the killer chemistry between new vocalists Siegfried Samer and Clémentine Delauney. The song also sounds revitalized more dramatic keyboards and a clear mix.

  • Ravenia – Beyond the Walls of Death (2016)

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    Continuing their impressive run of Symphonic/Melodic Metal releases, today we have Inner Wound Recordings latest gem: Ravenia. Hailing from Finland, this nine-piece band delivers eight brilliant tracks of truly orchestral/symphonic Metal that will captivate listeners and surely appeal to any fan of the genre. While having tons of ‘traditional’ influences, this band manages to craft their own unique bombastic sound, making them quite a find.

    Opening with the very mellow and dramatic start of “For Those We Forsakened”, the band’s sound feels very organic and natural. With tons of computer software these days that can sound just like the real thing, we prefer Ravenia’s decision to sticking with featuring live string instruments like two violins, a viola, a cello, and a contrabass.  The extra band members allow songs like “Into Oblivion” and “We All Died for Honor” to sound very cinematic and fresh, and leaving the door open for actual live performances where all the instruments are done live.

  • Irradiance – Dissidence (2015)

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    Freshly arrived from France, today we have the lively Irradiance and their latest release “Dissidence”. Playing an interesting combination of Progressive/Symphonic Metal with some jazzy and Rock influences, this outfit delivers ten brilliant songs that will keep you at the edge of your seat. For fans of Epica, Stream of Passion, and similar outfits, this release is very bombastic and engaging.

    Opening with the lush “Children’s Game”, the band’s singer Audrey Dandeville, instantly comes center stage with her excellent operatic vocals. This opening song is quite catchy and structured in a way that grabs the attention of the listener. There are some unique elements that remind us of Diablo Swing Orchestra thrown into the mix that might catch some people off-guard, but we think they are super cool. Continuing strong, “The Soldier and the Child” allows Alexandra Vallet, the band’s violinist to change the course of an already excellent track.

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