Blog Archives

Roundtable Review: Within Temptation – Hydra


downloadLabel:  Nuclear Blast Entertainment

Release Date:  4 Feb 2014

Songs:   18 (bonus version)

Length:  1 Hr, 27 Min (comes with additional video)

Genre:  Symphonic Metal

Studio Albums:  6

Location:  The Netherlands Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable Review: Tears of Martyr – Tales


Tears of Martyr CoverLabel: Massacre Records

Release Date: 26 April 2013

Songs: 10

Length: 42 minutes

Genre: Gothic/symphonic metal

Studio Albums: Entrance (2009)

Location: Madrid, Spain 

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Rainover – Transcending the Blue and Drifting into Rebirth


Rainover CoverGenre: Gothic metal.
Release date: Digital, December 2013; CD, due February 2014.
Label: Wormholedeath/Aural Music.
Recommended to: Fans of Lacrimas Profundere, Tristania, After Forever, Effervescence.

Fill your mug, glass or tankard, set yourself down, and get set to listen from the opening bar to the closing note of this album without wanting it to stop. It’s one of those class acts where there are no really best songs because they’re all so good.

I’m one of about one percent of the population (or so I’ve read) who has synesthesia – I see the color of music. The best colors are reds and oranges. Rainover’s music is the glow of a comforting winter fire or the light refracted through a glass of cabernet sauvignon. Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Suncrown – You Are Not Alone


1389351206_Aol05NQFirst, I am going to try not to use the word “epic” to describe the myriad of sounds emanating from Suncrown’s latest album, You Are Not Alone.  There is a lot going on here that the eight-piece band brings to the table beyond symphonic melodies, folk infusions, and power metal elements like that of German pioneers Helloween.  Let’s not forget dual male/female vocals suggestive of another popular Dutch band that has the word “epic” in their title.  But, I am trying not to use that word…epic.  All of these elements combined could easily be described as epic, but for the sake of not using epic let’s try using “larger-than-life” as a more fitting description.

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Album Reviews: Circsena – Circsena EP and In Silentio Noctis – Disenchant The Hypocrites


a2301518597_10Circsena – Circsena EP

Here’s something for fans of dark, melodic metal with folk music influences. Circsena is a two man band from Germany and this is their first EP, self-titled and self-released. The first thing I notice is the unusual male singing voice, it’s a kind of black metal-hissing and I can imagine that the listener will either love it or hate it.  I think it sounds good together with their blackened sound and catchy, melancholy melodies. Circsena creates memorable music that is easy to listen to and like, and even though it’s not the most complex of styles, it’s actually quite captivating. The songs are all mid-tempo with plenty of variation, addictive guitars and great flow. The nature-themed lyrics fits the music very well and the addition of a female guest vocalist on the third track really brings the song to life. This is only the first taste of what’s to come; there is a plan to release three albums that will all be a part of an epic fantasy story called “The Dryad Saga”.

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Trocaria – Broken EP


a0773624723_2Trocaria is a female-fronted dark metal band out of North Carolina.  They were featured here once before when they released their EP The Dark Nears which you can check out here.  Now, Joan Palmer is the sole proprietor of Trocaria and has released her second EP, Broken, which contains five songs including a Bathory cover of The Lake.  A band that goes against the grain of American popularity, Trocaria continues to lace together dark melodies and combines them with brutal elements of both haunting and guttural vocals all sung by Palmer.  She’s been busy.

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Album Review: Whyzdom – Blind?


Just when you think the Dutch have mastered Symphonic metal, the French band Whyzdom is crashing on the scene with their orchestral arrangements and heavy melodies.  After having gone through temporary vocalists to fill a void, they finally secured the services of Elvyne Lorient for full-time duty.  Her soothing and enchanting vocal style softens the crushing riffs and provides an equal balance between the heavy and the not-so-heavy melodies.  The new album Blind? has 11 songs and packs over an hour of Symphonic metal that should appeal greatly to fans of the metal subgenre.

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Album Review: Grand Alchemist – Disgusting Hedonism


OK, hands up. If a Norwegian band labels themselves as “symphonic black metal”, what’s obviously going to be the first port of call as influence? If you said Emperor’s In The Nightside Eclipse, award yourself two points. Now promptly throw that out of the window when I present you with Grand Alchemist and their sophomore album after 10 years. The title, Disgusting Hedonism, gives fair warning of the content; packed with symphonic extravagance on top of a solid metallic base, the quintet lead a merry dance through 45 minutes of lunacy from start to finish.

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Album Review: Shadows Over Lothadruin by Wind Rose


The debut album, Shadows Over Lothadruin, by the Italian Symphonic Power Metal band Wind Rose is an interesting listen.  On one hand I found myself quite captivated by the rich melodies, huge symphonies and orchestrations, and huge guitars and vocals.  On the other I kept slipping into the ‘been there, done that’ state of mind.  Now, I don’t think having your musical influences shine on a record is necessarily a bad thing and it has led to many great albums.  But, when I’m listening to a record and find myself constantly going, ‘oh, that sounds just like Symphony X, Dream Theater, Blind Guardian,  etc.’ it pulls me out of the experience some when it happens enough times.  But I really like those bands, so what’s the problem?  You see how the angel and devil are pulling on both sides here.  But all in all, when I reached the end of Shadows Over Lothadruin, I found myself satisfied with the release.

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Album Review: Delain – We Are The Others


What started out as a side project or a collaboration venture has blossomed into something with a truly solid foundation. We Are The Others is Delain’s 3rd studio album and epitomizes what the Dutch band is all about.  Their previous efforts featured numerous guest musicians and vocalists, but We Are The Others demonstrates that Delain has solidified themselves a comparable Symphonic metal band without assistance; guest appearances on We Are The Others is limited to one song.   After several lineup changes over the years, the only remaining member since the band’s inception is founder Martijn Westerholt formerly a member of another Dutch Symphonic metal band Within Temptation.  Vocalist Charlotte Wessels has been with Delain since 2005 and continues to flourish as one of metal’s leading ladies.

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