Originally a side project of Ed Guy’s mastermind Tobias Sammet, Avantasia has grown to be a full-fledged act which features tons of guest appearances and very engaging and cinematic musical experiences. In the vein of artists like Ayreon and the Trans Siberian Orchestra, this band delivers some of the most lush and intricate releases filled with interesting topics and colorful characters. With “Moonglow”, the band unleashes on hell of a release with over 70 minutes of music.
The experience begins with the lush and dramatic “Ghosts in the Moon”, a track that nicely sets a very grandiose mood. Filled with catchy vocal melodies and superb instrumentation, this track leads way to a very lively and emotional rollercoaster ride. The second track quickly rolls down the red carpet with killer vocal contributions from Ronnie Atkins, Jørn Lande, Hansi Kürsch and Mille Petrozza, making it one the the most bombastic and engaging songs of the release.
As the first review of 2019, we are quite glad that it is Soilwork’s latest opus “Verkligheten”. Featuring a more melodic and catchy edge, this release continues the band’s musical progression into more engaging and innovative territories. Picking up where they left us with “The Ride Majestic”, the band delivers heaps of superbly catchy chorus sections, expertly crafted vocal melodies and lush instrumental arrangements that will have you hitting the repeat button more than a few hundred times on this release.
Immediately after setting the mood with the mysterious album title track, the band hits the gas with a furious combination of blistering drumming and a harsh vocals. This opener is definitely quite heavy and very fitting as the song transforms back and forth between harsh and brutal to more melodic thanks to Björn Strid soaring clean vocals. After catching the listener by surprise with the intensity of the previous song, the band keeps things hectic with the hard rocking riffing of “Bleeder Despoiler”. This track provides an interesting combination of some Heavy Metal-esque influences mixed together with the band’s brand of Melodic Extreme Metal they have refined over the years.
Recorded at the top of the band’s career (so far), this 25 year anniversary release gives us an insight into Amon Amarth and two of their most leveling performances to date. Having had the honor of being at these Summer Breeze shows, check out our live gallery here , we can certainly verify that they were as epic as they sound here. Live releases have been getting better and better in the last few years and this one takes the cake in terms of audio quality and how it transports the listener into the middle of the action.
Divided into two shows, Amon Amarth’s takeover of Summer Breeze started with a surprise show at the T-stage the day the festival kicked off. As the band rocked through some of their best material people started going nuts and there were a considerable amount of people crowd surfing, prompting for the stage security to come out in force to receive them safely. Featuring a set of older and songs that the band does not play very often live, their T-Stage show was truly a memorable one filled with pyro and the infamous viking ship making an appearance.
Riding one last time, Norway’s infamous hard rockers Chrome Division unleash their last opus “One Last Ride” this November. Featuring 12 superbly catchy tunes about boozing and women, this release is full of attitude and the band’s signature playful music. Catering for fans of The New Black, The Carburetors, and similar outfits, Shagrath and company have consistently delivered highly memorable music since their inception 15 years ago and with Eddie Guz back on vocals they decide to sign off into oblivion.
Straight out of a Robert Rodriguez movie, the epic opener “Return From The Wastelands” sets a very epic vibe for such an intoxicating release. Pummeling through “So Fragile”, we are quickly reminded of Eddie Guz signature vocals and while bittersweet that Shady Blue is not participating, Eddie’s vocals were made for this kind of music. The album’s first standout hit is the majestic “Walk Away in Shame”, with is playful chorus section and insanely funny lyrics.
There are only a handful of people in the Metal scene that rock as hard as Floor Jansen with her vocal talents and intense stage presence. In her new band, Northward, she unleashes 11 tracks that reflect this hard rocking attitude with tons of brilliant vocal arrangements and catchy guitar melodies. Moving away from the direction of ReVamp and Nightwish, this track delivers some straight up Rock tunes that showcase her versatility and energy, alongside guitarist Jørn Viggo Lofstad of Pagan’s Mind fame.
The album sets a very lively mood from the start with superbly catchy and filled with attitude tunes like “While Love Died” and “Get What You Give”. The soaring vocal melodies of “Storm in a Glass” make it one of the most engaging and dynamic songs in this release, while taking the listener on a musical journey. For those that like power ballads, “Paragon” and “Bridle Passion” give the listener a more raw and direct appreciation of Floor’s charismatic vocals.
Unleashing one hell of a catchy and organic Folk Metal release, today we have legendary Korpiklanni delivering “Kulkija”. As their longest release to date, over 70 minutes of music, this release feels more intimate while having the band’s signature playful and engaging songs. This album instantly moves into the top Folk Metal releases of 2018, so be sure to not miss out.
Slowly building up momentum with “Neito”, the band wastes no time to unleash their characteristic lush sound with rich traditional instrumentation and heavy guitars to build a very catchy contrast. Tuomas Rounakari’s violin and Sami Perttula’s accordion brilliantly give the music that subtle playfulness that we love from the band while delivering dramatic and catchy songs like “Korpikuusen kyynel” and “Allon alla”. The band’s sound in this release feels a bit more barebones and manages to deliver more emotions and craft darker songs like “Harmaja” and one of our favorites: “Korikonnut”.
Finally returning after all the legal battles with Abbath over the band's name and legacy, today we have Immortal and their latest frosty release "Northern Chaos Gods". Unleashing eight tracks and 42 minutes of traditional Immortal-style Black Metal, Demonaz and company keep the flame alive with superbly catchy tracks filled with an unstoppable barrage of riffs.
Starting strong with a powerful album title track, Immortal sets sails on their melodic icy journey with the brilliant "Gates To Blashyrkh" track, which immediately brings back memories from their "Battles of the North" era. The album's production is top notch, with songs like "Grim and Dark", sounding like a million bucks, everything down to the smallest detail makes the band's music have their timeless sound and with a modern edge to it. Handling all guitar duties, Demonaz unleashes a wide array of killer riffs on songs like "Called to Ice" and the exhilarating "Where Mountains Rise". By also handling the vocals, Demonaz shows he is the main engine and heart and soul behind Immortal.
Unleashing the most impressive release (so far) of 2018, today we have the legendary Amorphis and their latest full-length album “Queen of Time”. Featuring the quintessential Amorphis energy and creativity, the band takes things even one step further with more grandiose arrangements and catchier melodies. Nearly clocking in at one hour, the band defies age and continues to release high quality and high replay value releases.
Opening with the first single, “The Bee”, the music instantly features the band’s signature style with over the top arrangements and the impressive growls of Tomi Joutsen. Setting a very lively mood on the opening song, allows for a swift transition into the upbeat and engaging “Message in the Amber”. Featuring Jørgen Munkeby on sax and dramatic choir arrangements in “Daughter of Hate”, this track shifts the mood into more somber and yet dynamic territories, making it one of our favorite songs from the band.
Creating a very unique and engaging musical experience, today we have newcomers Follow the Cipher and their self-titled debut release. Thanks to their impressive and enveloping sound, the band kicks off their career in the spotlight signed to Nuclear Blast records and with incredible charisma and skill. If you are looking for a cinematic musical experience that blends elements from bands like Kamelot, Sabaton and Amaranthe, this is definitely a band you want to check out.
Opening with the intense “Enter the Cipher”, we are treated to a Nightwish-esque pace filled with catchy riffs and over the top keyboards. The atmosphere is quite well crafted and led by the beautiful Linda Toni Grahn, the band makes a quick first impression filled with catchy music and lush vocal leads (both male and female). Using some electronic elements in their music, the band crafts superbly engaging track like “Valkyria” a song that ups the ante and keeps things intense as “My Soldier” and “Winterfall” roll in.
Eight years have passed since Dimmu Borgir’s last release and tons of speculation an expectations have been building up to the unleashing of “Eonian”. Without wasting any more time, this release is truly outstanding as it builds on the band’s legacy of uncompromising creativity and musical exploration. In “Eonian” the band features a very raw and evil Black Metal core, reminiscent of the band’s older releases with retaining the grandiose orchestral and symphonic edge the band has been maturing since “Enthrone Darkness Triumphant”.
The band makes a bold opening statement with the lush “The Unveiling”, a song filled with incisive Black Metal riffs and dramatic choir arrangements. This song brings us back to where “Abrahadabra” left off, bringing back the lush and complex sound that made that release amazing. The album’s first single “Interdimensional Summit”, unleashes unparalleled catchiness in its chorus section, while delivering killer drum patterns and playful tempo changes. As “ÆTheric” and “Council of Wolves and Snakes” roll by, we are totally intoxicated by the band’s powerful atmosphere and brilliant execution. The creepy wolves sound paired with the throat singing of this later track make up for one hellish experience.