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

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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


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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.


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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

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Album Review: Ascendia – The Lion and the Jester

AscendiaTheLionAndTheJesterLocation: Toronto, Canada

Genre: Progressive symphonic power metal

Release date: 21 December 2014

Label: Independent

Previous releases: This is their debut album

Tracks: 12

Length: 58 minutes

Recommended to: Fans of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Kamelot, Circus Maximus, Arena, Uriah Heep, Whitesnake and other quality, melodious metal and rock.

Mammal’s rating: 4 out of 5

I invented the genre label in the album info at the top of this post. I had to. Ascendia doesn’t slot into any single category. That is intentional by the band. They’ve been building their own, unique combination of styles and influences. In their case you might say, “One band fits all.” In my opinion they’d do damn well at any rock festival, prog festival or metal fest. Their appeal should span across a wide range of tastes.

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Album Review: Coal Chamber – Rivals

585_CoalChamberAlbum:  Rivals

Release Date:  19 May 2015

Label:  Napalm

Songs:  13

Length:  42 Minutes

Genre:  Nu Metal

Previous Studio Albums:  Coal Chamber (1997); Chamber Music (1999); Dark Days (2002)

Location:  California, U.S.

I never thought I would see another reboot of Coal Chamber in any way, shape, or form especially after the way things fell apart over a decade ago.  But, as quickly as Dez’s DevilDriver crumbled and went on hiatus, Coal Chamber resurfaced, got most of the original (or long-time) band members together, and have a new album out now.  Dez surely didn’t waste much time.  Those Coal Chamber reunion shows in Australia obviously sparked something.  Anyway, Rivals is Coal Chamber’s 4th studio album and surprisingly picks things up where they left off.  I say surprisingly because this album sounds like Coal Chamber never broke up at all.  Read the rest of this entry