Posted by Irmelinis
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”.
Trocaria 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.
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.
Posted by Mark/Angel
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.
Posted by atleastimhousebroken
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.
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.
Epica blessed symphonic metal fans with a new album, Requiem for the Indifferent. This is their fifth studio album which follows up 2009’s Design Your Universe. The Dutch 6-piece returns with more of Mark Jansen’s grunts and screams accompanied by the beautiful vocal stylings of Simone Simons. If you are largely unaware of Epica, but a fan of Kamelot, you have seen Simone Simons. She is a guest on many of their songs, videos, and even tours with the band. Simone is a highly talented vocalist who carries the weight of vocal duties in Epica. For that reason alone, Requiem for the Indifferent is worth your time and money.
Looks like Pantera lovers like Vulgar Display of Power equally. There was a four-way tie between A New Level, Fucking Hostile, This Love, and Regular People (Conceit).
I apologize for my delay this week for the Monday poll. I had to make the transition from old laptop to new laptop with little notice. It’s such a pain in the butt moving files…well, you know the drill! It’s time consuming, but I am about 90% back to where my life was before my 5-year old laptop decided to stop working. Five laptop years must be like 96 in human years.
This week I am looking at Dutch (Netherlands) symphonic metal bands. There are two that I know of who happen to be quite similar. I am talking about Within Temptation and Delain. The founding member of Delain used to be in Within Temptation, so that might have something to do with their similarities. It’s up to you to decide which one you like the most. If you want to vote for which one has a better looking vocalist, that is completely up to you. It’s still a tough vote no matter how you look at it. Good luck!
Imaginaerum is the sophomore effort for (not so) new singer Anette Olzon. This is important for her to finally prove herself to the die-hard (Tarja) Nightwish fans that she can hold her own. I think Anette proved that already with Dark Passion Play for the most part, but some people need more convincing. I am not sure they are going to get that this time around simply because of the style of the new album. Imaginaerum is more like a soundtrack or a Broadway musical than it is your standard symphonic metal album. Having said that there is supposed to be an associated fantasy-adventure movie coming out sometime in 2012. That obviously explains the Broadway musical feel to the album.
As I mentioned before, death metal (for me) is best injected in small doses. I first heard Dimmu when I saw a video for the song “The Serpentine Offering” off the album In Sorte Diaboli. If was pretty powerful stuff and enjoyed the rest of the album…in small doses. Before I purchased Abrahadabra, I read some reviews on iTunes where it was blasted…for the most part. Dimmu added some symphony to this album and if you ask me, Black Metal lends itself to symphonic melodies. I can’t explain it, but it just works. Black Metal and symphonies go together like pepperoni and pizza. Cradle of Filth did it and it worked. So I am not opposed to this particular album. I like the symphony part with this kind of music. As for the music, it actually isn’t bad. This is a solid effort and worth the purchase. Here are the good points.
Its 59 minutes so you get headbang for your buck
Endings and Continuations
If you want to sample Abrahadabra, you might like these songs.
There are also a couple of symphonic mixes. Also a nice feature of iTunes on occasion is the inclusion of a music video. In this case it is for the song Gateways. That’s always a nice addition to an album purchase.
Overall I give Abrahadabra 3 of 5 Devil Horns.