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(Self Release) Reviewed 1st April 2015
Embersland is a six piece Melodic Metal band from Barcelona with male (harsh and clean) and female vocals, and this the band's second album is yet another good recording to come the way of Ravenheart Music. The vocal duties are shared between May, Will and Xavi and this 9 track album offers up quite a variety for the listener to enjoy. I must say that I myself enjoyed this album, with the epic 9+ minute opener 'Sunrise (Part II) being one of my favourite numbers, 'Sunrise (Part I)' by the way being the closing track on their debut release 'Sunrise'. 'Second up 'Closer' is a powerful but punchy tune and sets the scene for what is to follow. The Symphonic 'WTF...Fuck Off' is not a disgruntled overpaid Chelsea soccer player (sorry Chelsea fans) talking to a referee, but is an interestingly titled track and a good one too, and being a tough N London girl, offers up solid proof that this band talk my language :) Other highlights are a plenty including the slower and rather more atmospheric 'Where Are You', the ballad 'Deadweight' and the wonderful 'Be There For Me'. It is my pleasure to review music this good - the band's website is here
....... 9/10 (The Nugget)
(Self Release) Reviewed 11th March 2015
EVYLTYDE is a female-fronted British metal band based in and around the London area, who bring the sound of traditional classic metal into the modern age, with a mix of killer riffs, searing power chords and melodic vocals!!! Established in August 2013 by Danny Merton (guitars) and Hannah Delany (vocals), after both were recruited for a project to reform a cult UK metal band from the 80s, the band throw at us on this release some classic metal with melody that will leave you screaming for more. Indeed, there are some classic cuts galore here from the opener 'Down Below', the riff tastic 'Kick You Down' and 'Chastity', the acoustic based 'Disappear' and the metallic 'Living To Die'. I have heard a lot about Evyltyde on the underground music scene here in this part of England (Essex), and listening to this release confirms all that I have heard. The band's website is here
- this is rather good me thinks, played with lots of venom!... 8.75/10 (The Nugget)
FATE PREVAILED...'BLUE SKIES BURN RED'
(Self Released) Reviewed 3rd December 2014
Fate Prevailed is a six-piece metal band from Ontario with a full and addictive sound. Combining melodic female vocals with heavy instrumentation and screaming vocals, the band appeals to a wide variety of listeners. The music is progressive, technical, and changes with every song. Although this album is being classed as an EP with only 5 tracks, it runs in at around 37 minutes, so could even be put into the full album category. Apart from the opener 'The Hunt Is On' that runs at just a little under five minutes, the remaining four numbers all run at over 6 minutes with the epic 'Merciless' well over 10 minutes. So one gets their monies worth here. Vocally, Ariane Ganga reminds me at times of Vicky Johnson from UK band WINTER IN EDEN. This album is tuneful and rather good, and despite the harsh vocals, they are not over the top, the clean female vocals working well with the mainly death male vox. Coming from different musical backgrounds each member of the band brings new life to the music as they come together. Dark lyrical themes, raging solos, and haunting melodies make Fate Prevailed a band one needs to hear. And to add, closer 'Surrounded' is a fave of mine - great keys/guitar interplay. The band's website is at www.fateprevailed.com
and to be honest, this release is well recommended... 8.75/10 (Dave)
FOREVER STILL...'SCARS' Single/EP
(Self Release) Reviewed 19th November 2014
Forever Still hail from Denmark and their rather good 'Breaking Free' EP was reviewed by us here in July 2013 (doesn't time fly?) Now it is time for a little three track goodie called 'Scars' from this very good young Danish band fronted by Maja Schønning. And you know what?, this band is knocking on the door of the premier league. If you like bands like Firefly, Paramore and Evanescence, then this should be right up your alleyway. The opener 'Scars' is by far the heaviest track here but is loaded with melody. 'Once Upon A Nightmare' follows and is a heavy melodic offering, the kinda song that would have Evanescence/Paramore fans in music heaven. Closer 'Miss Madness' is an awesome power ballad to end this awesome EP. The EP in-fact is the first of three digital EPs that will eventually end up as one physical full length album in the spring of 2015. It can be downloaded directly from the bands website: www.foreverstill.dk
, where the band let their fans pay what they want for it. Well worth it I think!... 9/10 (Dave)
(Free download - self release) Reviewed 27th October 2014
I may be the pretty innocent looking Essex girl, but when it comes to my music, the heavier the better. I picked up on Edenian via facebook and this EP is available via free download, the link is a little later in this review. This Melodic Death/Gothic Metal band is a beauty & the beast band from Ukraine and this is rather cool to my ears. I so wanted to review it, and when the gaffer Ravenheart Dave said go ahead, I was in heaven. There are five tracks here, three originals and two covers. Fans of bands like Draconian and the like will lap this monstrously heavy record up, but having said that, the angelic female vocals courtesy of Valerie Chudentsova add a little sanity to proceedings. Meanwhile Max "Eternal Tom" Molodtsov growls maintain the ample dosage of heaviness. The two covers are curious but very good...'Snow White' (Xandria) and 'Eternal' (Paradise Lost). For now the band consists of two main members, the aforementioned Max "Eternal Tom" Molodtsov & Valerie Chudentsova. They use hired musicians to perform live shows. Edenian say they play for passion - not for fashion! Good on them- link here
! recommended - 8.75/10 (Natalie Gold)
FLIGHT OF FIRE...'SHATTER THE SKY'
(Self Release) Reviewed 1st October 2014
Four rather vivacious and skilled women explore the combinations of upbeat hard rock, emotional folk rock, and complex symphonic rock that is Flight of Fire. With influences ranging from acts such as Led Zeppelin, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Rush, Dream Theater, Journey and Heart amongst many others, this is a rather good release. The vocals of Maverick are totally spellbinding, and this is showcased no better than on the powerhouse of a bluesy belter, the 6 minute 'Diary Of A Broken Heart'. The band can also go Progressive Metal with the number 'Illusion', while the atmospheric ballad 'Always' is rather good, Then we have the folky camp fire acoustic feel to 'I'm Lost Without You', again another rather cool vocal performance from Maverick on this track, who together with the rest of the band shines throughout, also adding that Tanya Dmuchowski is one damn good guitarist. The members of Flight of Fire feel passionate about influencing the music industry away from music that demeans women. They hope to follow in the footsteps of their idols – Joan Jett, Janis Joplin, Ann & Nancy Wilson and Stevie Nicks, and to make their own impact, inspiring girls not only to take up instruments and rock in a male-dominated field, but to live more emboldened, intrepid lives. And that is what Ravenheart Music is all about! Their website is here
- this release is rather pleasing to my ear, offering a nice mix of music from heavier tracks to rather more lighter moments ... 8.75/10 (Natalie Gold)
THE EDGE OF PARADISE...'IMMORTAL WALTZ'
(Self Release) Reviewed 30th September 2014
The Edge Of Paradise is a Hard Rock/Metal band from the USA, and this is their rather tasty latest release that will soon be appearing on the shelves of your local music store. Fronted by Margarita Monet this is a rather good and at times quirky 8 track release. Kicking off with the feisty and quirky 'It's My Show', this track showcases the awesome and at times rather flirtatious vocal style of Margarita. And the quirkyness continues with next number 'Immortal Waltz', a kinda fair ground feel to these opening numbers, so far and so good! The following numbers 'Rise For The Fallen' and 'In A Dream' are great melodic numbers and if you keep still during these tracks, then you must have a serious problem! The album continues in fine fettle with tracks like 'Ghost' that reminds me a little of Queen - a great chorus!, the catchy 'Break Away' with the storming powerhouse vocals of Margarita and closer 'Goodbye'. Produced by Michael Wagener (Van Halen, Megadeth, Metallica, Ozzy...), every track here is a good un and I personally like this record very much. The band's website is at www.edgeofparadiseband.com/
... 9/10 (Dave)
EYES OF VERONA...'EX-VOTO'
(Inspur Music) Reviewed 9th September 2014
EYES OF VERONA is a high energy alternative sounding rock band from France and I do like receiving music like this, as it makes a welcome change from the Gothic Symphonic stuff that often comes our way. Heavily influenced by both English and American contemporary rock scenes, the band draws its inspirations especially from their European roots. Fronted by a young lass called Sophie, I must say that this is another excellent album that we have received here at Ravenheart. The band initially released the EP 'Chapter 1: The Fight' and the remaining part of the trilogy is here with this album. The opener 'Chapter 2: Trust' is a brief instrumental before 'Restless Nights' explodes from your speakers, a melodic rocker with a progressive undercurrent. A rather good start and it continues with 'Our Little Friend', a catchy alternative sounding rocker with crossover potential if you want my honest opinion. There is some further good stuff here including tracks like the pounding 'Renovatio', the catchy 'Annie', the brief haunting 'Chapter 3: Glory', the hi tempo 'Free the Swan', the acoustic 'My Odyssey', the awesome 'The End Of Babel' and the powerful and atmospheric 'Hare and Hounds'. Overall a very good effort from this French band. Check them out at www.eyesofverona.com/
FROM LIGHT ROSE THE ANGELS...'FROM LIGHT ROSE THE ANGELS' EP
(Self Release) Reviewed 8th September 2014
This band fronted by VK Lynne immediately grabbed my attention. This lass is well established within the scene, and when a band lists their 'genre' as Electro-Symphonic Pop Rock, then I become very interested. We have 7 tracks running in at just around the 30 minute mark. This may not seem a lot, but I must say that this is an all killer no filler record, and is continually being played here at the Towers. VK has an awesome powerful voice and this is well showcased here, just listen to opener 'The Grey Returns' as an example. The final track by the way being an acoustic version of this number. And I must say that the sound of FLRTA is very European indeed, and you will not hear any complaints about that here. 'Selfish' is an awesome pounding rocker, while 'BloodRoses' is rather cool melodic power ballad. Overall, this release is damn good and I find little to fault, so check out their website here: www.fromlightrosetheangels.com/
- totally awesome! 10/10 (Dave)
(Self Released) Reviewed 19th August 2014
I know I have said this before and I will say it again. Every now and again a band comes along that totally blows my mind. This time it is 4th Circle from France. Fronted by the angelic and sexy (if I may say so) vocals of front lady Audrey Adornato, this band means business. Released in 2013 I believe, 'Lifetimes' is an awesome blast of Symphonic Metal that has taken the wind right out of my sails. Opener, the appropriately titled 'Opening', is a track of pure unadulterated cinematic proportions, what a start. This then leads us into the second track 'Past Isn't Everything' which with its progressive undercurrent is totally bombastic and rather catchy to boot. Leaving me breathless, we come to track number three, 'The Beginning' being a Power Ballad to beat all Power Ballads - a total blast. 'Neverending Madness' is a Symphonic Metaller's wet dream, with the first four numbers from this album offering 20 + minutes of pure heaven for the female fronted music fan, and it does not let up there. The album continues in a similar vein and I find very little to fault within the ten jewels that make up this recording. Just listen to the piano led ballad 'Eternal Stream', the melodic thumper, 'Wild As I am' with it's subtle background growls, the Symphonic sounding tracks 'Path To Eternity' and the grandiose 'One Blink', closing with the duo, the operatic bouncer 'Stopping The Time' and the rather good 'Breathing Again'. Having said all that, everything on here is damn awesome, this band is dynamite and I urge everybody to check them out at their website: www.4th-circle.com/home
... 9.75/10 (Dave)
The FALL OF EVE...'CALLS FROM THE HORIZON' EP
(Self Release) Reviewed 8th August 2014
Here we have a corking 7 track EP from Scottish Band The Fall Of Eve. This is rather good Melodic/catchy Symphonic Metal with the emphasis on the Symphonic and the vocals of Laura Tracey go down rather well me thinks too. The vocal style not of the Operatic variety, mainly a Pop/Rock style. Yes, I admit I do rather like this record and the tracks 'Original Sin' and 'Shields Of Faith', are two such tracks that lovers of this style of music I am sure will rather like. Indeed, this whole little effort is epic, bombastic and extremely good, and the band on this showing will surely soon get the call. Great stuff and well recommended from the Ravenheart team. Their Facebook is here
and the album can be purchased from iTunes, Amazon UK etc.. 8.75/10 (Dave)
FRIGHT NIGHT...'LIFE ETERNAL'
(Self Release) Reviewed 6th August 2014
The standard of music that comes our way continues to keep us here at Ravenheart Towers happy but busy. The only issue we have is poor old beleaguered Ravenheart Dave trying to keep up with it all, hence myself popping into HQ and doing this review myself. Anyway, the latest addition to the reviews rosta here is Frightnight from Moscow. Having already released the rather good 'The Play Of Pain', they now have entered the fray again with this little 9 track epic called 'Life Eternal'. This is Gothic by the true sense of the words, featuring dual male/female vocals - Gothy, dark but clean male vox are delivered by Alexey Ovsiyenko and female vocals by Marianna Lukyanova, just as they did on 'The Play Of Pain'. These two interacted really well then, and the good interplay work continues here. Some great tracks on this recording including the opener 'Cherry Blossom', the mid paced pounding 'Infernity', the brooding 'Fatality' and the impressive near 7 minute 'Galatea'. Do yourselves a favour and check the band out at their Facebook here
. Rather good throughout me thinks! 8.5/10 (Rachel Louise Smith)
ENEMY OF REALITY...'REJECTED GODS'
(FYB Records) Reviewed 31st July 2014
And yet another awesome cd steamrollers its way into Ravenheart Towers. Enemy of Reality come from Greece, another nation emerging onto the scene - 'REJECTED GODS' being the band's debut album and it features 10 mind-blowing bombastic tracks of Symphonic Metal, with a few Progressive influences thrown into the mix. I keep hearing that the Symphonic Metal scene is becoming over crowded with bands, but to be honest, when it is this good, I don't give a damn. The record consists of powerful modern riffs and melodic progressive solos that raise the listener’s interest without becoming too boring. The chorus parts are quite intense and the operatic vocals are powerful and emotional at the same time. And with guest performances from the likes of Ailyn Giménez (Sirenia), Mike LePond (Symphony X), Androniki Skoula (Chaostar) and Maxi Nil (Jaded Star, ex-Visions of Atlantis), you know this is going to be something a little special. The album includes a 4-track sequence, based on the Greek myth of Orpheus & Eurydice. However, in this version the story is narrated by one of the Maenads (female followers of Dionysus) who tells a story of love and tragedy, while at the end of the myth it turns out that she was among the women that killed Orpheus, as they ripped him apart with their own hands. In more detail, sixth track in, ‘Her Descending Ghost’ begins the story with the tragic death of Eurydice by snakebite, shortly after her wedding. ’The Bargaining’ is about the descent of Orpheus to the Underworld, where he faces Hades in an attempt to claim back his wife’s soul. On ‘Grief Divine’ Orpheus starts ascending back to Earth with Eurydice quietly following him, while in a moment of mistrust and agony he ignores the only warning of Hades that was not to look back at her before they have both reached the surface. Finally, on ‘Torn Apart’ Orpheus returns to Earth alone, where he mourns the loss of his wife for a second time. At that time, he gets surrounded by the Maenads who, out of jealousy and anger, tear him apart limb from limb and throw his head and lyre in the river Evros. Nothing here to fault, with highlights galore, although I do particularly like the catchy and commercial sounding 'Lifeless Eyes'. Their Facebook is here
, this record is damn good and another awesome addition to the music fan's cd collection... 8.75/10 (Dave)
ENK ELINATION...'TEARS OF LUST'
(Self Release) Reviewed 7th July 2014
Enk Elination (enkeli - meaning Angel in Finnish) is a British band fronted by a Finnish lass Elina Siirala, who is herself a former opera singer. She moved to London in 2008 and fell in love with the power and performance of rock and metal. In 2012 she started working with a guitar player Shadow Venger, who’s previous band Empyreal Destroyer was voted as the best unsigned band of 2007. Having myself been familiar with Enk Elination for a while now, all I will say is they are damn good, this cd is well worth the money and I am even reviewing this while taking some time out from Ravenheart and relaxing. The music is I suppose you would call a toned down Symphonic Metal style, with the angelic and perfect vocals of Elina nailing it to a tee. I could hear this girl on the West End stage. To be honest, all the tracks here are above par, not a duff one to be found. I cannot really fault this release, so check out their Facebook here
and go make what will be a worthy purchase... 9/10 (Dave)
EPICA...'THE QUANTUM ENIGMA'
(Nuclear Blast) Reviewed 14th May 2014
Epica are back with a bang and have upped the ante yet again with this their latest release!! And Epica as always are totally Symphonic, Heavy, Melodic and Bombastic, mixing their signature heavy riffing to good effect. This album has literally blown my mind apart and is totally amazing, period!! And the choir basically offers up a complete backing vocal package. I am not even sure where to start here - leading lady Simone is on top form, we have the occasional growls from guitarist Mark Jansen and drummer Arien van Weesenbeek, and as for the choral arrangements, I have no words to explain the awesomeness of the choir. Just listen to songs like 'The Essence Of Silence', the pulsating 'Sense Without Sanity-The Impervious Code', the amazing 'Reverence-Living In The Heart' and the catchy 'Omen-The Ghoulish Malady', these being just four massive songs from an album chock full of awesomeness. This is not a huge review for such a huge record, it does not have to be - this is simply Epica's career best, enough said - simply astounding and breathtaking.. 10/10 (Dave)
EDENFALL...'UNDER SULTRY MOON AND VELVET SKIES'
(Ravenheart Music) Reviewed 23rd April 2014
Edenfall come from just down the road in Gloucestershire and the band is fronted by the angelic voice of Clare Webster. And I think it is fully appropriate to review an English Band who hail from the heart of England on St Georges Day, rather good me thinks. With influences listed that include such bands as Lacuna Coil, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Draconian and Moonspell, that may give the listener a brief idea as to what path this band is treading. We have here 10 tracks and over an hour of rather good Melodic Gothic Doom Metal featuring the occasional growls of of Clare's partner in crime Rob George. Opener and intro 'The Rhinemaiden's Song' leads us into the heavy 'Thistle's Cairn' that is a massive song featuring both the vocals of Clare and Rob, kinda imagine if you will Draconian in full flow. 'Obsidian' is a radio friendly upbeat track with some great guitar from Rob. The Doom influences return with the track 'Dark Wings, Dark Words' and I can certainly hear Draconian or Moonspell influences here, amongst others - a simple piano melody driving this song along too. 'Wolves' is another great atmospheric Gothic song with great use of keys giving the number a near Symphonic feel. The second half of the record continues the great work with further stunning tracks to sink your teeth into, including the likes of the absolute 13 + minute epics 'Made of Mist' and 'She Brings The Winter', what corkers. Then we have the semi upbeat 'The Wyvern Child' and a mention should be made regards the rather nice track 'Escaping', that takes the acoustic route, although it does build up into a nice crescendo towards the end. I know this is a Ravenheart release, but this is a massive record. The band's Facebook is here
- whether you are a fan of Gothic Doom Metal or or not, this rest assured comes well recommended to all fans of female fronted Rock & Metal music. A gem!!! 9/10 (Rachel)
(Scarlet Records) Reviewed 15th April 2014
Following the success of their debut ‘Vitriol’, Symphonic metallers Evenoire has announced the release of their sophomore album ‘Herons’. The band combines Gothic and Symphonic Metal with a very distinctive Medieval/Folk approach, with a special mention to extraordinary lead vocalist Lisy Stefanoni, whose ethereal and powerful voice and evocative flute add an extra dimension to the melodies, and make her one of the most promising female singers around. And if ‘Vitriol’ was centered on “water” themes, this new album focuses on “fire” and all those mythological creatures that represent it. The music is heavier than ever within the 11 tracks on this cd, although the lyrical side of the band is still very prominent, keeping themselves well and truly on the Gothic, Symphonic Metal path - as I have said before, "if it ain't broken, why fix it". To be perfectly honest, 'Herons' is simply stunning and if you thought their debut 'Vitriol' was good, well this release is even better! Not a filler to be found here with the track 'Tears Of Medusa' featuring a duet with Linnéa Vikström from THERION. We must fully recommend this album to all and sundry, it has just been released so dig into your wallets yet again for another awesome album.. 9.75/10 (Dave)
ELEANORE & THE LOST...'THE GIFT (PART I)
(Self Release) Reviewed 10th April 2014
In 2009, Eleanore & The Lost released 'Parlour Game'. A rather good album which in-fact only came my way last year from this Guildford based band. The music of the band being compared to the likes of Jeff Buckley, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Bjork, Kate Bush and Evanescence. I now have the pleasure of reviewing The Gift (Part I) which will in-fact be released in three parts, with part II scheduled for later this year. Clocking in at around 11-12 mins and featuring just four tracks, this litte gem is rather good, vocally reminding me of Kate Bush amongst others. We have the rather nice 'My True Nature', the mid tempo 'Leap Of Faith', the beautiful 'Sorry, Child' and the closer which is a cover of the Gershwin classic 'Summertime Blues'. This recording I must say I rather like, okay, it is fairly laid back stuff, but rather divine nonetheless. Will be interested to hear Part II as and when - check out the website here
.... 8/10 (Dave)
EVERLASTING DAWN...'SEDUCTION - PASSION - DEATH'
(Self Released) Reviewed 6th February 2014
Everlasting Dawn is a Metal Band from Graz, Austria and was founded by Dave Slut in 2010. Everlasting Dawn combines components of Symphonic Metal with charming female vocals from Lisa, elaborated orchestration with brutal guitars, complex drumming and harsh growls compliments of Dave Slut. This is their forthcoming second album and basically is another very good effort from the band to follow on from 'Of Frozen Hearts And Bloody Whores' that was reviewed by us here at Ravenheart in November 2012. 'Seduction - Passion - Death' is another 13 track feast of Melodic Symphonic Death Metal to sink your teeth into, and I must say like their previous recording, there is a strong emphasis on melody on this record. Some great corking tunes including 'Slave', the very catchy 'Seductive Death', the uptempo 'Faint', the Symphonic 'Final Words', the rather good 'Suicidal Fantasies' and the closing ballad complete with choir and operatic vocals from Lisa, the appropriately monikered 'Epitaph'. This album is very good and well recommended. Their Facebook is here
FRUIT n BEEF...'INTO THE LIGHT' EP
(Self Released) Reviewed 17th January 2014
The interestingly monikered Fruit n Beef fronted by Henrieta Stepanovsky hail from Santa Barbara CA. They are a four piece rock band in which the "fruit" represents the juicy, soulful, rockin' female vocals and the "beef" part, the heavy riffs and sound of guitars and blood pumping drums. After 5 years of performing and recording in their home country Slovakia, they hungered for a better life and relocated to the United Kingdom and two years later to the state of Texas, where they re-established the band and started to work on new music. 4 Years later, the band moves to California and continues to play LIVE and evolves into what`s now known as "Fruit n Beef". There is some hard rockin' stuff on this 4 track EP taking on influences from the 70s to the current day, and we even get a little reggae in the opening number 'In My Head'. Henrieta's at times raw vocals are totally awesome and she sure does have a set of pipes that suit this rocking style really well, these vocals shining throughout. Some good music here fusing Retro Metal with Classic Metal and dragging it by the short and curlies into the 21st Century. Check the band out here
END OF THE DREAM...EP
(Self Released) Reviewed 14th January 2014
Here we have an interesting band from Holland fronted by Micky Huiijsmans called End Of The Dream. And to be quite frank, although this has been all done before, this is right up my alleyway and I am enjoying the tracks here on this EP. Although the EP actually has four tracks, I have the honour to be listening to five numbers that Pieter, their Belgian drummer has sent me, the additional song being a new one called 'All I am'. The EP itself however kicks off with 'Colder', that has Evanescence influences that shine through the sheen that this number offers, a great way to kick of the record. And it continues with 'Follow The Angels' that maintains the momentum and adds into the mix symphonic elements. 'Through The Dark' lowers the tempo slightly, while closer 'Shadow's Embrace' is a 7+ minute bombastic symphonic progressive epic with great vocals and melodies - awesome stuff! The aforementioned additional track 'All I Am' just confirms the class this band is showing. What we have here is top drawer melodies wrapped in a casing of Symphonic Metallic bliss. Check them out at www.endofthedreammusic.com/
and support top class independent music...9/10 (Dave)
(Massacre Records) Reviewed 3rd January 2014
I reviewed the debut Elysion full length album back in November 2009 (doesn't time fly?) and to be honest, it was right up my alleyway..catchy inoffensive Melodic Gothic Metal of the highest calibre, full of radio friendly songs. Now at the start of 2014, I am reviewing their latest opus, and this strictly speaking carries on where their previous effort left off. A further assault of hideously catchy songs that will leave you screaming for more when the album finishes. - Produced by Mark Adrian at ARTemis Studios in Athens, Greece with the mix by Dan Certa (We Are The Fallen, Ben Moody, Kelly Clarkson, Seether), this is simply a massive release. I will not even bother to name individual tracks in detail, but if songs like 'Fairytale' and 'What Lies Beneath' don't send you into raptures, then boy, you have a problem! Let us also not forget 'The Promise', a total belter of a power ballad and the string led acoustic feel of 'Transparent'! Christianna's Pop/Rock vocal style I hasten to add is perfect for this style of music, ably backed up by an awesome band of musicians too. This is one helluva release to kick off 2014, and it will hit the shelves 24th January. A very early contender for my top five of 2014 - has to be! 9.75/10 (Dave)
FATAL CLICHE..S/T EP
(Self Release) Reviewed 3rd January 2014
Fatal Clichè is a Metal band from Italy. Fronted by Hellenoir Dearbone, the band present to us here a seven track EP of rather good Symphonic Metal, with vocals that veer from a Rock Vocal style to an occasional Operatic style. The opener, simply titled 'Fatal Clichè' is a catchy number that offers up a folky vibe with some awesome operatic vocals from Hellenoir. Second number in, 'Dark Way' is a Melodic Pulsating number, while third track 'Flashblack' is a fave of mine, another catchy number with Rock/Operatic style vocals - awesome! 'Lost Lands' is the customary Power Ballad and damn good it is too. 'Flaming Heart' has a rather cool piano intro before it kicks into gear while 'Illusion' is a grand blast of Symphonic Metal. Closer 'Alegria' (being listed as a bonus track) is a thumping Folk/Metal number sung presumably in the band's native tongue, and is fast becoming another fave of mine from this EP. The band's FaceBook is here
- okay, what you hear on this EP is not original and has been done before, but that does not mean this is not good, because it is....8.25/10 (Dave)
(Noisehead Records) Reviewed 5th December 2013
Fallen Arise fronted by a young lass known as Spyla, is a Symphonic Melodic Metal Band from Greece, and when I say Symphonic Melodic Metal, this is most certainly just that. Kicking off with the awesome Nightwish inspired 'Burned Ivy', the band set the bench mark, an absolute belter of a tune, with all the ingredients to make this band a force within the genre. The following double whammy of 'Eternity' together with the title track are Melodic Symphonic thumpers, the latter featuring the clean and rather nice vocals of guest musician Jon Soti, together with those of Spyla - great stuff! The magic continues featuring at times both vocalists, with tracks such as 'Under The Bliss Of The Sun', the catchy but bombastic power metal influenced 'My Fall', the magical piano led power ballad 'Never Forget Me' and the 7 minute + album closer 'Fly To Horizon'. This is a very good effort from the band, and this is yet another album I find myself whole heartedly recommending ...9/10 (Dave)
(Self Release) Reviewed 28th November 2013
OOOhhhh!! I rather like this. Elyria founded in 2012 hail from Germany and play a style of Melodic Prog Metal with slight parallels to Nightwish, Within Temptation and even Stream of Passion. The project was originally an experiment by Oliver Weislogel (Stormwitch, Dorian Opera) and vocalist/song writer Patricia Cooney, the final result now producing an EP of five catchy but progressive songs to capture the listener's attention. 'Salome' gets proceedings underway, a heavy melodic pounding number with a progressive undercurrent, and showcasing the rather nice vocal style of Patricia that compliments the music very well. I would think this song would go down a treat live! Second up 'The Vigil' takes on a rather more progressive stance while the heavy and awesome 'Faceless' is the longest track on the Ep at a little over six minutes. The progressive and complex 'Colours Of Silence' and 'Only Words' close the EP - the latter starting with an awesome haunting choral support and ends what is a rather stellar effort from the band. Check out their website: http://www.elyria.eu/
- recommended.. 8.5/10 (Dave)
ERAIN...'OCEAN's BREATH' 4 track EP
(Self Release) Reviewed 5th November 2013
Erain hail from Sweden and feature none other than Jessica Lehto (Factory of Dreams, Beto Vazquez Infinity, Once There Was) on Vocals, lyrics and various musical arrangements. Her partner in crime on this awesome and rather tasty music project is Johan Holmström (ex-My last escape) and this EP offers up four tracks of up tempo Symphonic, Gothic Metal. 'From Far Away' gets this little platter going, with second up, the epic sounding and pounding 'Perdition' moving the whole shebang into top gear - rather good if I may say so! 'Oceanbreath' is a slower ballad of such beauty while closer 'Hurt' is a great Symphonic Metal number. Jessica's vocals suit this style of music very well indeed and I can well recommend this little EP. Erain's Facebook is here
- for fans of Leaves' Eyes, Xandria and Nightwish!..8.75/10 (Dave)
(Self Released) Reviewed 30th October 2013
Elessar come from Argentina and recently in my snail mail box dropped their very recent cd 'Dark Desires'. And you know what?, this is damn good. I am not sure whether it is just me, but all the music that is coming my way of late is just so good. Elessar is fronted by the awesome soprano vocals of Alejandra Barro, and I suppose the first point of reference to their music would be Tarja era Nightwish, although having said that, the music is most certainly Elessar, they are no clones by any means. The music has a progressive undercurrent running through it at times, this comes to the fore on thumping tracks like the Power Metalish 'The Lonely Warrior'. 'Heroes Born Dead' is another track that flirts with Power Metal territory and is a highly melodic number too. 'Puppet Girl' is a bouncy song also featuring the clean vocals of guitarist Howen Rava and this record is turning out to be a very good effort. Then there is the Power Ballad 'My Soul My Life' - massive! The title track hammers along rather nicely as does the following number 'Your Own Being'. The album closes with an acoustic bonus track 'Para ver el Sol', sung in the band's native toungue. I want to say that all round, this album is a very good band effort, with every member giving it their all. Their FaceBook page can be found here
... well recommended for fans of Progressive Power Metal and Symphonic Metal - 9/10 (Dave)
EVE'S FALL...'FROM HERE ON'
(Self Released) Reviewed 14th October 2013
Eve’s Fall from The Netherlands fronted by the lovely Liesbeth Cordia, present here a catchy and accessible mix of hard modern metal with strong pop influences on this their debut offering. Indeed, when Liesbeth told me via FaceBook that she was sending me a copy of this album, to be honest, I couldn't wait. There is a fresh and varied sound on the record and I like what I hear very much. The cd gets off to a thundering start with the thumping 'Her Absence' which takes us into one of my album faves 'No Compassion'. A great way to start things off with Liesbeth's vocals reminding me to an extent of Sharon Den Adel, but there again, as we all know, they are both from Holland :) The impressive start to the album continues with the up tempo and very catchy 'Insignificant', the bouncy 'Flawless' and the spirited 'A Change For The Better'. And the second half of the album continues in an uptempo mood with 'Enough' before things slow down with the piano led ballad 'A Touch Of Fate', a great song with great vocals. That is followed by another great rockin' track that has got into my faves list, the melodic metallic belter 'Long Forgotten', while one has very little time to gather their breath before 'In Denial' comes hurtling out of the speakers. The awesome duo of 'Reflection' and 'The Spiral' ends what to me is a very good album from a very good band of musicians. In summary, the fresh and varied sound is for the majority owed to the different musical backgrounds of the members, but if you take a mix of Evanescence, Within Temptation, Anneke Van Giersbergen and Autumn, then that will give you an idea as to what this awesome band sound like. This is rather good and I must say is well worth checking out (Band's FaceBook here
) for all your lovers of Female Fronted Rock & Metal out there.... 9/10 (Dave)
ELEGY OF MADNESS...'BRAVE DREAMS'
(WormholeDeath) Reviewed 11th October 2013
Following on from 2009's 'The Bridge Of Sighs', and what we have here from Elegy Of Madness is yet another awesome offering from their label WormholeDeath, who are fast becoming the next Napalm Records. Fronted by the Soprano vocals of Anja Irullo, this album like the recent album from LEVANIA typifies the Melodic Gothic Metal genre rather nicely. The opening duo of 'Suad' and 'Sinner' kick things off, up tempo Gothic Metal with a subtle Progressive undercurrent. And then when the band do slow it down a touch with third track 'For You', well what can I say?, this number in itself is massive and bombastic with superb orchestration! 'Run Away' is a Melodic thumper and I am really beginning to like this album, and indeed there is no let up with the title track - a lighter waving awe inspiring mind blowing ballad. 'Red Dust' is another pounding Gothic Metal song, and I must say that the remainder of the record does not slow down. 'Into The Tale' is a brief instrumental of filmscore proportions followed up by the massively sounding ' The Sacred Willow', reminding me a little of Tarja era Nightwish! I am slowly becoming lost for words regards what I am listening too here and the band prove that not only can they rock, they can really pull out the stops with regards the slower ballady tracks - 'Holding Your Hand' is one such number of film score proportions yet again, and the vocals of Anja showing such powerful emotion. The closing duo of '21st March' and 'Uomo' are just so good - enough said! In summary, this is a massively sounding, bombastic, well produced and beautifully crafted Gothic Symphonic Metal album from Elegy Of Madness and to be perfectly frank, this could be on my best of the year list come year end... just love it and if I do, I know there are a lot of others out there that will as well. The record is due soon!.. 9.5/10 (Dave)
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