Delivering a killer female-fronted Symphonic Metal opus, today we have Germany’s Beyond the Black and their third full-length release “Heart of the Hurricane”. Led by the talented and also quite beautiful Jennifer Haben, this band has a great sound that while part of a crowded genre, it easily stands out from the rest. Perfectly designed for those fans of bands like Nightwish, Tarja, Epica, and even the likes of Doro, this release will keep you quite entertained for over 60 minutes.
Things get heated quite quickly with the hard rocking catchiness of “Hysteria”, a very direct and engaging opener that shifts things into 5th gear from the start. The album title song delivers very crafty tempo changes and dramatic riffs that are very well rounded up by the emotional sultry female vocals. This song feels like a unique mixture of the dynamism of Delain and the bombastic nature of Nightwish put together. We love how the band can switch the mood of the release from one song to the next, as it happens one “Million Lightyears” opens with male clean vocals and slowly transitions in a hyper catchy chorus section.
Unleashing one of the most epic releases of 2018, today we have Germany’s Powerwolf and their killer release “The Sacrament of Sin”. While widely known in Europe, and not so very much in the USA, this outfit delivers epic Power Metal in the vein of Sabaton but with themes around werewolves, dark myths and religion with a humorous twist. For the non-converted, this release features the band’s quintessential energy and vibe that will rock your core and make you an instant fan.
Opening with “Fire & Forgive”, the band sets an epic mood thanks to their magical choir arrangements and killer guitar work. Not wasting any time, the band’s vocalist Attila Dorn leads this outfit with very dynamic vocal melodies and a high-octane vibe, as we can hear in the catchy “Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend” and “Killers with the Cross”.
Unleashing one of the most ravaging Thrash Metal releases of the last few years, today we have Brazilian Nervosa and their third full-length release “Downfall of Mankind”. With extremely punishing brutality, the band unleashes over 45 minutes of demoralizing music. Rapidly climbing the ranks of the genre, this trio is poised to make a run to the top with the extreme quality and intensity behind this release. If you are a Thrash Metal fan, this is definitely one of the most brutal releases of 2018 that you don’t want to miss.
Opening with “Horrordome”, right after an intro, the band goes for the yugular with intense riffs, bestial drumming and crushing vocal onslaughts by Fernanda Lira and Prika Amaral. As far as violent and intense opening tracks, it can’t get any better than this one. Settling into their crushing intensity and ravaging musicianship, we are treated to demoralizing tracks like “Never Forget, Never Repeat” and “Enslave”. There is a magical clarity into the album’s crystal clear production, which allows you to enjoy every single detail, from the complex drum patterns to the ripping guitar leads from tracks like “Bleeding”, “Vultures” and the chunky “Kill the Silence”.
As one of the most expected releases of 2018, today we have Kamelot and their latest epic release “The Shadow Theory”. Filled with the traditional Kamelot sound and a few surprises, this release unleashes over 50 minutes of bombastic music that should please all the fans of the band and gain them several more. Sadly, with this album the band sends of Casey Grillo on a high note (with the band), and welcomes new drummer Johan Nunez.
The release starts with the bombastic lushness of “Power Divine (Shadow Empire)” with the first duet between Lauren Hart (Once Human) and Tommy Karevik. This track embodies the Kamelot style to perfection, but delivering killer melodies, tight drumming and very well crafted vocal arrangements. As the band goes through “RavenLight” and the industrial-ish “Amnesiac”, we notice some very interesting new elements thrown into the mix, making the band’s sound more dynamic and engaging for listeners.
With a completely revamped line-up since their last full-length release, today we have Austria’s Visions of Atlantis and their signature high-octane Melodic/Symphonic Power Metal. Unleashing “The Deep & the Dark”, the band’s first full-length release since 2013, fans of band will be completely blow away by the power and intensity behind the ten songs presented in this release.
Fronted by the highly talented Clémentine Delauney, the band sets sails in this very exciting journey with the energetic album titled track. The atmosphere is very well set with the symphonic elements as the musical playfulness kicks in full gear with incisive guitars and superbly catchy female vocals. The male Power Metal vocals are handled perfectly by Siegfried Samer, as he provides an excellent balance in his leads and duets with Clémentine, as we can quickly hear in the magical “Return to Lemuria”. This last track has a certain Sonata Arctica-esque magic that is driven initially by the Chris Kamper’s keyboards.
Only getter better and better with time, today we have the legendary Moonspell and their latest musical opus “1755”. Featuring over 50 minutes of highly emotional and intense music, the band continues to refine their sound while unleashing some epic songs with their signature style. If you have followed the band over the years, the constant quality of their releases is unrivaled, this is yet another excellent album that will stand the test of time.
Opening with the reinterpretation of “Em Nombre do Medo” from the Alpha Noir album, the band sets a very dark and sinister mood with the enhanced classical/choral arrangements added to this already intense song. The Middle-Eastern elements of the album title track make it quite engaging a unique, creating a very mysterious atmosphere that is perfectly complemented by Fernando Ribeiro’s signature vocals.
As one of the most anticipated releases of 2017, today we have legendary Satyricon and their latest opus “Deep Calleth Upon Deep”. Featuring eight tracks and over 43 minutes of music, this release showcases Satyr’s and Frost superbly evil and sinister sound while incorporating a few new tricks to their repertoire. Continuing the exploration of the limits of Black Metal, the band provides their next evolutionary step with another unique and engaging release.
Opening with the piercing riffing of “Midnight Serpent”, the band kicks off a very melodic and yet aggressive release. There is just something merciless about the band’s riffing that oozes evil and darkness. Once warmed up, the band mixes subtle aggression with playful rhythms and intricate songwriting as we hear in “Blood Crack Open the Ground” and the hypnotic “To Your Brethren in the Dark”.
Superbly bizarre Austrian outfit Russkaja is back with yet another totally deranged release with “Kosmopoliturbo”. Adding a few more influences to their already funky Ska-ish sound, the band delivers ten songs that will either make you avoid them like the plague, or find you bizarrely interest in listening to them for extended periods of time. Filled with lush musical arrangements and very catchy songs, this release is one of those love it or hate it kind of albums, so be sure to approach it with an open mind.
Opening with the extra catchy “Hey Road”, the band instantly showcases the Polka/Ska influences with this very palatable song that reminds us of a mixture of Angizia and the Devil Swing Orchestra. Things get a bit crazier with the throbbing bass guitar line of “Alive” as this track descends into total madness before its completion. Learning new tricks, the band delivers the reggaetón-inspired “Still in Love”, with auto-tune and everything, this track is truly odd and very mainstream sounding, but you can still get the signature Russkaja weirdness in it.
As one of the most unique ‘super groups’ to hit the scene, today we have Exit Eden and their debut release “Rhapsodies in Black”. Featuring famed and established Metal vocalists Amanda Somerville, Clémentine Delauney, and up and coming talent Marina La Torraca and Anna Brunner, this outfit is definitely not lacking in vocal talent. This release delivers over 11 tracks with are all cover songs from artists ranging from Depeche Mode to Rihanna. While this might sound a bit odd, this release definitely will appear to fans of Gothic/Symphonic Metal as it has some killer musical arrangements on top of lush vocal harmonies.
Opening with “Question of Time”, the band sets a very lively mood while covering Depeche Mode’s hit. While some of the covers are more interesting than others, tracks like “Impossible” and “Frozen” truly showcase the band’s unique vocal talents while perfectly balancing the unique signing styles of the band’s members. Other songs like their cover of Brian Adams “Heaven”, rely on individual vocal talents and very well-crafted arrangements that totally re-interpret a very well-known song into heavier territories.
Only a few bands manage to write a follow-up to a legendary album and succeed at it. Today we have Vintersorg blowing people away with their follow-up of the seminal “Till fjälls”. In this double release, the band unleashes over 75 minutes of classic Vintersorg music that will never leave your record player for the remainder of the year (possibly a few years). Going back to the basics, this is one release you can’t miss.
The album sets the tone with the intense opener “Jökelväktaren”, filled with soaring vocal arrangements and uber catchy guitar work, this perfectly sets the mood for what is to come. For any fan of Vintersorg, the brilliant combination of epic clean vocals and harsh vocals is one of the best features of their releases, particularly in epic tracks like “En väldig isvidds karga dräkt” and the crushing “Fjällets mäktiga mur”.