Hailing from Sweden today we have Hyperion’s brilliant debut full-length release “Seraphical Euphony”. Feeling like it was trapped on a time capsule for over 10 years, this highly melodic and catchy release features a melodic Death/Black Metal sound from the 90’s. Perfectly packaged with all the technological advances of our current time, this album is one very unique sounding release in a sea of clones and bands trying too hard to sound ‘vintage’.
After the acoustic building up “Remnants of the Fallen”, “Novus Ordo Seclorum” is a brilliant guitar-led piece that instantly reminded us of Dissection and their legendary “Storm of the Light's Bane”. With a timeless guitar sound, tracks like “Flacellum Dei”, “Seraphical Euphony” and the dramatic “Moral Evasion” really hit that old-school spot, but at the same time combine more atmospheric elements of period bands like Dismal Euphony. We particularly enjoy how this last track evolves after an atmospheric opening and leads into balls to the wall headbanging passages.
As Delain continues their world domination with their relentless touring schedule, today we are lucky to have their latest EP titled “Lunar Prelude”. Providing some insights into the band’s future full-length release, this EP gives us two new tracks, one new version of an older song, four live takes and an orchestral piece. As bombastic as any of their previous releases, this album will captivate all fans and entertained until their next release.
Opening with the bombastic “Suckerpunch”, this is the quintessential Delain track with lush keyboards, brilliant solid arrangements and very catchy melodic sections. Charlotte’s vocals have come a long way since the band’s debut “Lucidity” and sound very firm and yet as sweet as ever. After such an explosive opener, “Turn the Lights Out” opens more in a mellow mood that is nicely elevated thanks to super catchy arrangements and strong guitar work. The band recently added Merel Bechtold into their ranks as second guitarist as well as new drummer Ruben Israël further strengthening their musical core.
Continuing ‘their’ experimental journey, one-man behemoth Spectral Lore returns with a hefty Middle Eastern inspired release titled “Gnosis”. Labeled as an EP, but clocking in at nearly 50 minutes, this release moves away from the extremely experimental nature of “Voyager” and moves into territories of bands like Melechesh, Myrath, and Orphaned Land.
Opening with the ravaging “Dualism”, we are instantly directed to a journey of guitar driven Melodic Black Metal with some very subtle hints of Middle Eastern inspired elements. The vocals are not traditionally delivered and only spawn some shrieks and whispers, adding extra mysticism to this release. As the album slowly progresses into the melodic brilliance of “Gnosis’ Journey Through the Ages”, we are greatly enjoying the ethereal atmospheric elements that further enhance the engaging riffing and intricate bass guitar line.
Always excited to receive promo materials from new and upcoming bands, today we find ourselves quite entertained with Forte Ruin’s self-titled EP. Mixing Melodic Death Metal elements with some Power Metal influences, this release sounds like Children of Bodom, Tracedawn and Shade Empire had a genetically engineered baby.
Opening with the lively Children of Bodom-esque “Alienated Humanity”, the band instantly makes an impression with well-crafted guitars and playful keyboards. The harsh vocals are very typical for the genre, but the clean vocals nicely catch the listener off-guard and have a certain Proggy vibe to them. After setting the bar high with the opener, the band continues with lush keyboards and excellent tight drumming in “45 Days”. Being quite catchy and melodic, this reminded us a bit more of Tracedawn and Kalmah, brilliantly smashed together.
After taking everybody by surprise with their excellent debut “Origin”, Enshine returns with a more mature and refined release titled “Singularity”. Comprised of only two members, Jari Lindholm and Sebastien Pierre, this international band manages to craft a very melodic and engaging release that clocks in at 53 minutes of music. If you are a fan of October Tide, Insomnium and Swallow the Sun, this is an album that you don’t want to miss.
The band opens with the Sci-Fi-ish “Dual Existence” as the barrage of melodic riffs is made present by Jari. The pace is quite mellow, but the harshness and brutality of the music is felt, particularly when Sebastien’s growls come into the picture. With majestically crafted songs like “Adrift” and “Resurgence”, the band sets a very melodic mood with subtle atmospheric keyboards. The band’s resemblance to Swallow the Sun in terms of pace and mood is uncanny, but they make the sound their own by adding more Melodic Death metal elements here and there.
After releasing a couple of lukewarm releases, Children of Bodom are back in fully force with the brilliant “I Worship Chaos”. The band mixes their early days intensity and naivety with their more modern elements to deliver a high-octane release that is full of memorable songs and brilliant musicianship.
Opening with the intense “I Hurt”, we get a killer pace set by blistering guitars and very hectic drumming. This track is both fun and precise, keeping the listener headbanging since the first minute. The festive mood continues with the pummeling “My Bodom”, a track that increases in tempo and creativity as it progresses, leading to some signature solo face-off sections near the end. Perfectly blending the band’s “Something Wild”-era antics with their cleaner and more direct recent sound, “Morrigan” is the first track in this release that gets stuff in your head. The melody is quite intoxicating and the atmosphere is just magical, a typical older CoB track but with an edge.
Hailing from France, today we have A.C.O.D and their Melodic-ish Death Metal release “II The Maelstrom”. Delivering thirteen tracks of a very health mix of traditional Death Metal with some more modern and Melodic elements, this band sounds like a bastard child of Grave and Kalmah. We are constantly amazed at the quality of bands that are coming out of France, and this is another one of the good ones.
The band opens with the groovy “Another Path” before settling for a more Thrash-infused Death Metal sound in “Way of Death”, and then jumping into Melo-Death land with “Abuse Me”. This is the narrative in this release as the band slowly weaves back and forth from Melodic, to Thrashy, to old-school Death Metal, actually pulling it off gracefully and very cohesively.
Hailing from Switzerland, today we have a very unique Melodic Modern Metal band named Promethee. Mixing some of the good elements of modern Deathcore with the agility and precision of old-school Melodic Death Metal, “Unrest” delivers twelve solid tracks filled with moshing and headbanging moments. Recommended for fans of Hacride, Dagoba, Hatesphere and such, we are sure that anybody with a knack for melody and pounding riffs will find this appealing.
Opening with the punishing riffs of “Our Common Fall”, the band quickly establishes the rich and devastating sound with very well crafted guitars and tight drums. The vocals are on the raspy side, reminding us of Hacride but the music makes us thing more of Whitechapel or TBDM. What makes Promethee unique is that they can instantly switch from pummeling riffs to blistering fast passages of Melodic brilliance as they constantly deliver on “Unspoken” and “Dark Souls”.
Finally, the Finish Metal music legends Amorphis return with yet another stellar release. Marking their 12th studio album, “Under the Red Cloud” delivers nearly 50 minutes of majestic Melodic Metal music in their unique style. Filled with soaring vocals and killer melodic passages, this is hands down the best release of 2015.
Opening with the lush “Under the Red Cloud”, the band sets a very melodic and folky mood, similar to a mixture of their “Elegy” days with their “Eclipse” era. Tommi Joutsen’s vocals are as amazing as ever and with even more growling sections in this release, this album reaches a whole new level of vocal aggression. This is perfectly contrasted by Santeri Kallio’s lush keyboards. Tracks like “The Four Wise Ones” and “Bad Blood” instantly showcase this heaviness with some crushing moments filled with powerful riffs and excellent percussions.
As one of the most anticipated releases of 2015, today we have Stratovarius and their latest opus “Eternal”. Filled with over 54 minutes of music separated in ten tracks, this release nicely continues the band’s reinvention to a fresher and even more dynamic outfit since their “Polaris” release back in 2009. Featuring tons of epic tracks and led by the vocals of Timo Kotipelto, this a typical Stratovarius release that you do not want to miss.
The band delivers the first punch with the amazing opener “May Eternal Dream”. In this very dynamic song, the band sets a very upbeat tempo and establishes a very fluid relationship between the epic guitar and keyboard solos, warning the listener they are in for a treat in this release. Timo Kotipelto vocals constantly deliver the level of performance that is expected from such a legendary singer, and on tracks like “Shine in the Dark”, “Man in the Mirror” and the ballad “Fire in Your Eyes” they gave us goose bumps since they are terrific and very well crafted into the music.