AFM Records

  • Rhapsody of Fire - Challenge The Wind (2024)

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    Alex Staropoli and company are back with another fantastic release titled “Challenge the Wind”. The band’s signature high-octane Symphonic Power Metal continues to deliver epic songs as they unleash ten tracks and over 63 minutes of pure epic music. Rhapsody of Fire is a band in its own league and with this release they further consolidate their legacy as one of the best in the genre.

    Opening with the perky album title track, we instantly get dreamy keyboard melodies, engaging vocal arrangements and intense guitar leads. Pretty much all the previously mentioned elements are staples of the band’s sound and they continue to deliver epic and memorable songs like “Whispers of Doom”, “The Bloody Pariah” and the 16-minute epic “Vanquished By Shadows”. This last track is definitely one of our favorites from the band as it weaves back and forth between moody passages with soaring vocals and dramatic tempo changes.

  • Leaves’ Eyes - Myths Of Fate (2024)

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    After touring extensively on their “Last Viking”, 2020 release, Leaves’ Eyes marks their return with a new full length release titled “Myths of Fate”. With their well refined folky Symphonic Metal, the band delivers eleven tracks and nearly 50 minutes of superbly catchy and epic sounding music. This release is as epic and melodic as they come, thanks to the perfect balance between excellent songwriting skills, masterful musicianship, and lush vocal arrangements.

    Opening with “Forged by Fire”, the band sets a very regal epic atmosphere from the start. The band’s sound is as bombastic and dynamic as ever, with epic orchestrations, crafty heavy guitars and Elina Siirala’s soaring vocals. Alexander Krull and company have been at this for a while and tracks like “Realm of Dark Waves”, “Who Wants to Live Forever”, “Hammer Of The Gods” have that perfect balance while delivering tons of head banging passages.

  • Firewind - Stand United (2024)

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    From the mind of guitarist extraordinaire Gus G, today we have Firewind’s latest effort “Stand United”. Delivering ten tracks and over 43 minutes of superbly crafted music, this release is the perfect fix of Heavy/Power Metal for genre purists and those who enjoy some hard-hitting Metal tunes to grab some beers and party the night away.

    Opening with the blistering “Salvation Day”, we get a pretty good intro to the band’s high-octane sound, perfectly balancing soaring vocal melodies alongside guitar wizardry and extreme catchiness. One of the best features of this band is that while Gus G is an insane guitarist, the music is actually quite balanced and never abuses his skills, but they rather work excellently in unison with all other instruments, as tracks like “Stand United”, “Destiny is Calling”, and “The Power Lies Within” showcase.

  • Graveworm - Killing Innocence (2023)

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    The highly underrated Graveworm is finally back after eight years since their last release and with “Killing Innocence” they are making up for lost time. With a very unique mixture of Melodic Death/Black/Gothic Metal, this band has released some pretty epic albums over the years and they now unravel ten tracks and around 50 minutes of highly engaging music. Hailing from Italy, this band has a very unique sound and a knack for highly melodic songs, as this release is a testament to.

    Opening with “Escorting the Soul”, we get a sinister and engaging atmospheric introduction that slowly transforms into pummeling drumming and crafty riffing. Having a certain Hypocrisy-esque vibe from their “The Fourth Dimension” period, “We are the Resistance” is an excellent track with excellent guitars and tempo, creating a very mysterious and yet highly melodic piece. The band’s sound has a retro-sounding component to it, drawing older listeners like ourselves into their style.

  • Edenbridge - Shangri-La (2022)

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    If 2022 wasn’t already a great year in terms of Symphonic Metal releases, Edenbridge returns with another brilliant album titled “Shangri-La”. Featuring their signature high-octane and cinematic sound, Lanvall and company deliver nearly one hour of extremely well crafted immersive music. With each release being a journey on its own, this album perfectly blends Power Metal with lush symphonic arrangements, crafty story telling, and killer vocal arrangements.

    Leading with the explosive “At First Light”, the band sets in motion an elegant musical journey, while paying equal attention to both the Symphonic and Metal side of things. We have always been quite impressed with Lanvall’s engaging compositions, and how they are brought to life by band members: Sabine Edelsbacher on vocals, Dominik Sebastian on guitars, Johannes Jungreithmeier on drums, and Steven Hall. Songs are dynamic, explosive and quite engaging as we can hear from “The Call of Eden”, “Hall of Shame”, and the melodramatic “Savage Land”.

  • Evergrey - Escape of the Phoenix (2021)

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    Originally not big fans of the band, with their last few releases they have converted us thanks to their engaging Power/Progressive Metal with somber undertones and the fantastic voice of Tom Englund. In “Escape of the Phoenix”, the band builds up on the success of their previous album and delivers nearly one full hour of high-octane music with tons of mood changes and soaring vocal melodies.

    The release opens strongly with the heavy guitars of “Forever Outsider”, a track that nicely sets a very dynamic mood thanks to the funky keyboards. One of the first heavy hitters is the very melodic and catchy “Where August Mourn” and its dreamy atmospherics paired with Tom’s emotive vocals. This track has some nice Dark Tranquillity vibes to it as well. After the power ballad “Stories”, the album’s best song “Dandelion Cipher” delivers waves of soaring vocal arrangements, heartfelt lyrics and very explosive instrumentation, making it an instant epic.

  • Iron Savior - Skycrest (2020)

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    Making this craptastic 2020 a little more lively, today we have Iron Savior and their superbly epic release “Skycrest”. Featuring nearly an hour of music, this release will excite all Power Metal fans thanks to its epic vocal arrangements and crafty instrumentation. Led by Piet Sielck, this band continues to get better and more refined with time, and this album showcases their best skills.

    After the grandiose opening, the album title track sets a very exciting mood with excellent guitar work and very dramatic vocal arrangements. The epicness of the band’s sound is quickly established as tracks like “Our Time Has Come”, “Hellbreaker”, and “Souleater” perfectly balance catchiness, technical proficiency (crazy guitar solos), and a very ‘Heavy Metal’ attitude around a timeless old-school sound with no gimmicks and just power.

  • Leaves’ Eyes - The Last Viking (2020)

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    As one of the most senior bands in the scene, Leaves’ Eyes has marked the path for countless others. With “The Last Viking”, the band delivers their signature bombastic music with a few additional surprises and great intensity. Featuring over 60 minutes of lush songs, this release showcases the band having fun while staying true to their lyrical and musical foundations.

    Leading with the cinematic opener, “Death of a King”, the band continues with the folkier and Turisas-esque “Chain of the Golden Horn”. This very lively track unleashes masterful choir arrangements and Elina Siirala’s enchanting lead vocals. With a folkier and very dynamic guitars/drums approach, this and other tracks like “War of Kings” have a very epic and powerful sound. Our personal favorite is the dramatic “Black Butterfly” with its lush instrumentation and superbly catchy duet between Elina and Visions of Atlantis Clémentine Delauney.

  • Mors Principium Est - Seven (2020)

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    Lucky number “Seven” is the latest release by Finnish Melodic Death Metal outfit Mors Principium Est. Delivering their signature catchy, crafty, and blistering melodic music, the ‘band’ unleashes over 48 minutes of intense headbanging music. For the fans of Kalmah, Omnium Gatherum, and Finnish Melo DM in general, this release will keep you entertained and fully engaged.

    Shifting from a band to a duo since a few years back, Mors Principium Est fully maintains their high-octane approach to the genre, while embedding subtle atmospheric synths and crafty technical details. The opener, “A Day For Redemption”, is a clear example of the band’s perfect balance of aggression, melody, and guitar acrobatics. Permanent guitarist, Andy Gillion, is one of the best in the biz and delivers some killer guitar leads on tracks like “Lost in a Starless Aeon”, which create a very melancholic vibe in this excellent song.

  • Theatre of Tragedy - Remixed (2019)

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    It has been nearly ten years since Theatre of Tragedy ceased to exist, but they still find themselves in our regular playlist. During their career, the band changed styles multiple times and released seven full-length releases that for the most part were pretty good. In “Remixed” we get a nice selection of the band’s hits, remixed by artists like Das Ich and VNV Nation. While this definitely will not be the cup of tea of fans of the earlier style of the band, it should appeal to fans of their Industrial/Electronic phase.

    The album kicks off with a weird remix of “And When He Falleth” by Das Ich. The tempo is oddly shifted and sounds a bit odd, something that fans of this great song will definitely not like. Das Ich does a bit of a better job in adding some spunk to “Black As The Devil Painteth”, making it somewhat enjoyable. We find Icon Of Coil’s remix of “Lorelei” quite catchy and enjoyable, so we decided to keep listening to the full album.

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