Category Archives: Album Reviews

Our unbiased and comprehensive album reviews. We focus more on talking about an album for what it is. We highlight the good points, note the bad, and let you decide for yourself. However, if you really want to see our score look to our “quick hits” list on the right side of our main page and hover your icon over the album’s thumbnail. There, you will see our score based on 1-5. The higher, the better.

Album Review: Transport Aerian – Darkblue

DarkblueLocation: Leuven, Belgium

Genre: RIO/Avant Progressive Rock

Release date: 1 May 2015

Label: Melodic Revolution Records

Previous releases: Blessed (2009), Charcoal (2010), Bleeding (2014), Live.Blood.Live (2014)

Tracks: 8

Length: 41 minutes

Recommended to: Fans of Riverside, Lunatic Soul, Storm Corrosion, Porcupine Tree, The 3rd And The Mortal

Mammal’s rating: 4.2 out of 5

The Transport Aerian project have done it again with an album of fascinating and engrossing music that sounds unlike anything recorded by anyone else. Once more the project have thrown away the artificial constraints that bind music to a particular genre or style.

Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Max Pie – Odd Memories

maxpie-oddmemories-cover2015Album:  Odd Memories

Label:  Mausoleum

Songs:  10

Length:  62 Minutes

Genre:  Progressive Power Metal

Previous Albums:  Initial Process (2011); Eight Pieces, One World (2013)

Location:  Belgium

For those that live for the robust compositions of progressive metal, Max Pie should spark some interest.  Their new album, Odd Memories, is about to hit store shelves and digital libraries. It leans a bit to the power metal side of the spectrum.  So, it is progressive metal that makes you feel good when you are done hearing it.  The good thing though, is that the album is a bit more diverse than just odd time signatures and power metal, sing along choruses.  Promised Land is a great example of a song that makes you want to sing with the band, and sing it in the shower at the top of your lungs, but Cyber Junkie has a lot more chunk and heavy metal riffing.  Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable Review: Sleep at the Edge of the Earth by Wilderun

a1806077540_10Label: Self-released

Release Date: 7 April 2015

Songs: 9

Length: 54 minutes

Genre: Progressive Folk Metal

Studio Albums: Olden Tales & Deathly Trails (2012)

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Helloween – My God-Given Right

Helloween_My-God-Given-Right-300x300Album:  My God-Given Right

Label:  Nuclear Blast

Release Date:  2 Jun 15

Songs:  16

Length: 73 Minutes

Previous Albums:  Walls of Jericho (1985); Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I (1987); Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II (1988); Pink Bubbles Go Ape (1991); Chameleon (1993); Master of the Rings (1994); The Time of the Oath (1996); Better Than Raw (1998); The Dark Ride (2000); Rabbit Don’t Come Easy (2003); Keeper of the Seven Keys:  The Legacy (2005); Gambling With The Devil (2007); 7 Sinners (2010); Straight out of Hell (2013)

Genre:  Power Metal

Location:  Germany  Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable Album Review: The Oath – Consequences

The_Oath_ConsequencesLabel: Sliptrick records

Release Date: 20 April 2015

Songs: 10

Length: 48 minutes

Genre: Blackened experimental death metal

Studio Albums: The End of Times (2006), 4 (2008), Self-Destructed (2010)

Location: Lyon, France


Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Paradise Lost – The Plague Within

downloadAlbum: The Plague Within

Label: Century Media

Release Date: 2 Jun 15

Songs: 10

Length: 51 Minutes

Genre: Doom/Goth

Previous Albums: This is their 14th album. See article for the rest of the albums.

Location: England

There are very few bands out there that you can say started out one way, evolved into something completely different, and then came back to their roots. At least not the way England’s Paradise Lost has done it. They have come damn near full circle with their latest release, The Plague Within, which we’ll talk more as I build up to it. In the late 90s, they formed Paradise Lost…what is now considered one of the pioneers of gothic metal. Their first four albums, Lost Paradise (1990), Gothic (1991), Shades of God (1992), and Icon (1993), were heavily gothic/doom albums – not the kind of songs you would have heard on the radio…at least not in America. Most of Nick Holmes’ vocals were gritty and growling and the music was dark and brooding. Icon started the slow and eventual evolution that Paradise Lost embodied for nearly two decades. Here is a clip from their debut album, Lost Paradise.

Read the rest of this entry

Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for May: Part 2

SC logoYesterday’s digest of FF album reviews published by Sonic Cathedral featured six of the 11 albums Sonic Cathedral reviewed during June. Here are the other five. I hasten to add that our digest doesn’t present those albums in any order of preference. We’re listing them in their chronological sequence of publication on SC.

Thanks again for sharing your reviews with us, you fine folks at SC. To everyone who promotes, plays for or sings in a band with female vocals, Sonic Cathedral is a place you must visit.


Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: The Grand Astoria – The Mighty Few

LBE-TGALocation: St. Petersburg, Russia

Genre: Jazz-infused progressive psychedelic stoner rock

Release date: 18 May 2015

Label: Independent

Previous full-length releases: “The Grand Astoria” aka “I” (2009); “II” (2010); “Omnipresence” (2011); “Punkadelia Supreme” (2013); “Who’s in Charge?” (2014); “The Process of Weeding Out” (2014); “La Belle Epoque” (2014)

Tracks: 2

Length: 50 minutes

Recommended to: Everyone who enjoys stoner or sludge metal, psychedelic rock, experimental progressive rock and/or avant-garde jazz

Mammal’s rating: 5 out of 5

Damn! Here’s another album to which I can award only 5 out of 5. Expect to see “The Mighty Few” elbowing other magnificent albums vigorously for my top ranking of 2015. At just 7 euros on Bandcamp, this masterpiece is an absolute steal. Get it now if you want to give your brain a dozen types of eargasms.

Read the rest of this entry

Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for May: Part 1

SC logoOur buddies at Sonic Cathedral reviewed 11 albums last month. As always, the albums span a range of genres. What they all have in common is that the bands have female vocalists.

Since Sonic Cathedral selects the best of the best for review, the albums on the list for May range from pretty damn good to most excellent. We’ll do our digest of six of the SC reviews today, and the other five tomorrow.


Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable Review: The Sun Explodes – The Calm, The Storm EP

TCTS ArtworkLabel:  Self-released

Release Date:  May 18th 2015

Songs:  5

Length: 23 minutes

Genre:  Creative progressive rock

Studio Albums: Emergence 2012, We Build Mountains 2013

Location:  Carlisle, UK

For fans of: Circa Survive, Children of Nova, Dream Theater, Tesseract

Read the rest of this entry