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Ravenheart Music: Album Reviews


Please also visit our comprehensive reviews storage library at Ravenheart Music Archived Reviews.


(UNB Records) Reviewed 22nd April 2017

MEnTAL CIRCUS is a Belgian Gothic Metal band founded in 2012 by lead singer Sanne Marico. She was joined by Yorgo Tsiafakis (Guitar), Philip Weinhold (Drums), Nick Kucnerowicz (Bass guitar), Emily Vannes (Backing vocals) and Nelle Boogaerts (Cello). On this, their second record, there are thirteen tracks of catchy Gothic Metal with a subtle Electronica feel. Singer Sanne at times reminds me of Amy Lee (Evanescence). This is a good album with a tsunami of good tracks including 'Let Me Be Your God' (with beep!), the electronica driven 'Heaven', the ballad 'Someday', the catchy 'Eyes Of Evil' and the metallic sounding 'Heroin'. The band's Facebook is here - a good album... 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Scarlet Records) Reviewed 20th April 2017

Mastercastle is an Italian Heavy Metal band with traditional and neo-classical influences. Founded by guitarist Pier Gonella (Necrodeath/ex-Labyrinth) and vocalist Giorgia Gueglio, the line-up is completed by bassist Steve Vawamas and drummer Alessio Spallarossa (Sadist). After having released 5 albums and toured incessantly in support of them, Mastercastle are ready to come back with this, their new effort. Produced by Pier Gonella at MusicArt Studios, the band composed and recorded a bunch of songs directly in the studio with no pre-production, with the intention of keeping intact the spontaneity of the 9 chosen ones. They were able to come up with very innovative sounds by using low tuned instruments and progressive keyboards, as well as an intriguing lyrical concept centered around wine as our spirit and lifeblood. Strong riffs, virtuoso guitar solos and captivating female vocals are just some of the ingredients that make this album special, all well showcased within the nine melodic tracks on offer. The album also including cover versions of songs by Joe Hisaishi ('Laputa - Castle In The Sky' soundtrack) and Yngwie Malmsteen (Making Love). This is an album that is not to be missed and is well recommended when released 19th May... 9/10 (Dave)


(Inner Wound Recordings) Reviewed 11th April 2017

'Resolve' is MindMaze's third full-length and first-ever conceptual album. What we have is female-fronted metal with elements of power, progressive, traditional heavy metal, and melodic rock. This album from this band from the USA, over the span of 68 minutes offers music ripe with recurring themes, the band taking the listener on a whirlwind journey through the scope of human emotion, in hope they will be able to project their own experiences into these intensely personal lyrics inspired by an amalgam of real-life events. Some epic tracks here led by the powerful vocals of Sarah Teets and I am highly impressed with what I hear. Some bombastic numbers like second track 'Fight The Future' that comes in after a 4 minute plus opening instrumental. 'In This Void' is a brief piece before both the melodic sounding cuts 'Drown Me' and 'Sign Of Life' fire out of the speakers. Other great tracks include 'One More Moment', the catchy and pounding 'Twisted Dream', the awesome power ballad 'Release' and the closing epic 11 + minute belter of a tune 'The Path To Perseverence'. This very good album confirms that the band continues to forge their footprint as one of the most promising and unique female-fronted bands to come along in recent times - this record is due April 28th and is well recommended as a consequence... 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Progressive Vision Group) Reviewed 10th April 2017

Moaning Silence (Facebook is here) is an atmospheric metal band based in Athens, Greece in the vein of Anathema, Paradise Lost & My Dying Bride. With Christos Dounis on male Vocals & Guitars, Eleni Kapsimali on female vocals and Spyros Zorzos on Drums, this EP is the band's 2nd release, the first album 'A World Afraid Of Light' being a full length offering. We have six tracks of Doom/Gothic Metal…first track, ‘Entering The Great Night’ is an instrumental leading into ‘Before The Dawn’ which reminds me to a certain extent of early Theater of Tragedy. ‘Just Another Day’ (Catharsis version) was featured on the debut as a non Catharsis version, while the band does a cover of the Beatles ‘Yesterday’. The closing duo consisting of the pounding ‘Flaming Fall’ and the folky feel of ‘Summer Rain’ end this little beauty. Once again, the whole project was overseen by Bob Katsionis (Firewind/Outloud) while this is another recommendation… 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Napalm Records) Reviewed 9th April 2017

Life Of Agony emerged from the New York music scene in the early '90s with one of the most distinctive sounds in its genre. Best known for its 1993 metal/crossover debut ‘River Runs Red’, the band instantly built a die-hard, cult following. Fast forward to 2016, the band signed a deal with Napalm Records to record this, the group's 5th studio album, being produced by Matt Brown & Life Of Agony and mastered by Ted Jensen (Alice in Chains, Machine Head, Deftones). The highly emotional lyrics by singer Mina Caputo link all songs by the four-piece together, then and now: born as Keith Caputo, she had her Transgender coming out in 2011, changed her name, but kept her inimitable style of writing deeply from the heart. The drive and intensity of these ten pounding, blistering new tracks surpass all expectations that have built up in the past 12 years - there are plenty of gut wrenching rock melodies, raging guitar riffs, heartfelt lyrics and killer grooves that will keep you listening to the end. No ballads until the piano led and rather haunting heart felt final track 10, 'Little Spots Of You', basically just pure rock and metal. The famed River Runs Red line-up, featuring vocalist Mina Caputo, guitarist Joey Z, bassist Alan Robert, and drummer Sal Abruscato are excited to take the stage together once again this Spring. This album is a killer of a record and comes well recommended – due 28th April… 9/10 (Dave)


(Crynos Records) Reviewed 6th April 2017

Luminatus is a Nerdy and fun Symphonic Metal Quintet from the deserts of Arizona. Classically trained vocals from Holly McGinty blend over a mixture of hard hitting and light moving music. This is a reasonably good album, although I feel that the pen-ultimate track which is a powerful orchestral instrumental could maybe have been left off the album, or perhaps used as the opening number. Anyway, the opening salvo of ‘Lust’ and ‘Black Butterfly’ are thundering melodic tunes and possibly two of the best tracks from the record. There are other decent tracks including the folky, progressive and quirky sounding ‘The Depths’, the rather cool ‘Chasing Rainbows’ with its awesome synth intro and the dance beat of ‘Halo Around My Heart’. Meanwhile, the upbeat and hideously catchy instrumental ‘Stagecoach’ could be an Irish Jig, while in summary this is not a bad effort. The band’s facebook page is here…it is nerdy, it is fun, it is a grower and it’ll scrape an 8/10 (Dave)


(NoiseArt Records) Reviewed 31st March 2017

LOST IN GREY was founded back in 2013 and is now ready to enter the spotlight. The Finnish sextet around front man Harri Koskela is inspired by Symphonic and Folk Metal, but also by film soundtracks and the beautiful nature in Northern Finland. This album consists of high-quality compositions that cannot be beaten in terms of dramaturgy. Therefore the story of 'THE GREY REALMS' is as important as the music itself. Divided into three chapters, not unlike the classical stage play, LOST IN GREY knit a complex story about Lillian, a woman trying to escape the cruelty in the world and getting to a paradise-like place, The Grey Realms. Telling the story within the 8 tracks on the cd, Harri Koskela (also keyboard), Emily Leone (also violin) and lyricist Anne Lill Rajala play the characters within the story and bring a very own touch to it through their diverse voice talents. Witness the unbelievable talent of each and every one band member in three acts, making this extraordinary debut album a diverse and at the same time unique experience. This is a very good album for all lovers of Symphonic/Theatrical Rock and Metal and is another one for the shopping list!... 8.5/10 (Hannah Cooper)


(Self Release) Reviewed 26th March 2017

With their musical passions fuelled by Symphonic Metal, Maureen (vocals) and Nicolas (Keyboards) (Ex- LunaTales) decide to create their own musical project. In a cold winter of 2011, Midnight Sorrow was conceived. In February 2014, this French band release their first EP 'At First' and then they prepare for their first full length album, and this is it! There are 13 tracks here of Symphonic Metal with occasional folk influences, these folk influences surface mainly on second track in, 'Between Sun and Moon', while the choral influenced ‘Waterfall’ is a fave track of mine from the album as is the mid-tempo ‘At First’ and the acoustic ‘Phaze’. The band offers lyrical singing, sharp riffs and soaring up tempo symphonics, weaving a musical universe combining melody and power. I did actually need a couple of listens to get into this album but for you female fronted fanatics, here is another one to stick on your ‘must buy’ list. Check out Midnight Sorrow’s facebook here… 8/10 (Dave)


(Secret Entertainment) Reviewed 10th March 2017

My Own Ghost released their debut in 2015, that album titled ‘Love Kills’. Now in the early part of 2017, the band are about to hurl at the unsuspecting listener this their 2nd recording. This Luxembourg based band sure know how to record a catchy song or two, or in-fact a whole albums worth. If you was to include their debut, that is two albums worth of awesome, melodic and catchy music to play loud and annoy the neighbours. ‘Life On Standby’ is an awesome cd, ten tracks of total awesomeness, mixing Rock with a little Pop. I thought their debut was good, this is even better, and indeed this is up there with the best of them. Every track a total winner and they should be played on radio stations across the world. Closer ‘Hope’ actually screams radio airplay. Secret Entertainment release the album on 7th April and it has been produced by none other than Hiili Hiilesmaa! You might have heard his work on albums from HIM, The 69 Eyes, Apocalyptica and Amorphis among others, and as a consequence this ups the ante in the must buy department!... 9.75/10 (Dave)


(Crimson Kingdom) Reviewed 14th February 2017

Here we have a dose of Post Grunge Metal from these rockers from the USA. And their singer Allie Abstract has a rather pleasant angelic voice, with the mainly mid to uptempo tracks sure containing their fair share of melodic sensibility. Indeed I found this album a pleasant listen from beginning to end with some hideously catchy tracks. Without going into detail, if you like some catchy inoffensive rock/metal, then check this lot out. The band's Facebook is here.. this is good! 8.5/10 (Dave)

MERCURY RAIN...'St Matthieu (Remastered & Reborn)'

(Bristol Archive Records) Reviewed 24th January 2017

Formed in 1994 by young veterans of the Bristol music scene, Mercury Rain started life unpromisingly as three guys who ‘just wanted to play metal’. Ex-Crisis bassist Jon Hoare and bandmate and drummer Andy Pester had hooked up with guitarist Dion Smith, but Mercury Rain lacked both a singer and a direction until Sonia Porzier gave them both. Responding to a ‘vocalist wanted’ advert she brought to the band both a fabulous voice and a copy of Nightwish’s second album ‘Oceanborn’. At this time the metal female voices genre was still pretty much in its infancy, but Jon in particular was immediately attracted to the scene. ‘St Matthieu – Remastered & Reborn’ showcases the band at its finest. The compilation features the album in its entirety, augmented by three cuts from ‘Dark Waters’ (‘The City Of Ys’, ‘Bride Of the Dark’ and ‘The Boat Of The Dead’) and ‘Incubus’ and ‘Amber Reflections’ from the band’s extremely rare ‘Where Angels Fear’ debut. With all tracks recently remastered, this album emphasises what an exciting and ground-breaking record this was for the UK metal female voices genre, being full of mid to up tempo classic cuts. This is certainly a release to grab hold of to familiarise yourself with the music of Mercury Rain if you are not already familiar. Well recommended with the expected release being April 7th… 9/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 5th Jan 2017

Loyal fans describe Lucid Fly's music as epic, dark, alternative progressive, heavy rock with strong and at the same time vulnerable vocals; some say their sound is like Evanescence meets A Perfect Circle. Lucid Fly founders Nikki Layne and Doug Mecca joined forces in Orlando, Florida in 2001. On the hunt for the perfect name, a friend stumbled over an old newspaper with a headline that read Lucid Flies Into The Record Book, featuring an article on astronaut Shannon Lucid, who had broken the record for the longest duration in space by an American, as well as by a female. From that headline, Lucid Fly was born. The band exploded onto the Orlando music scene and quickly gained a large and devoted following. 2005 saw the release of their debut EP, 'Adapting To Gravity'. I have now in my grubby paws this debut full length album, which to be perfectly frank is damn awesome. This is a solid release offering a high dosage of melodic progressive alternative rock tunes, with a subtle dark undercurrent, and with not a filler in sight. The band's facebook can be found here, this album is worth checking out...9/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 25th November 2016

Mistful come from Greece,is fronted by Eva Fourlanou, and is a band that plys their trade by way of Melodic Hard Rock. We have 9 tracks of rockers and occasional ballads on this release, being a rather good album. Although the record is consistent from beginning to end, it lacks that standout track that would make you go back and hit the repeat button. Nonetheless, a good listen for these coming winter nights. Their Facebook is here...8/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Release) Reviewed 14th November 2016

Combining rocking female vocals, grunts and heavy guitars with industrial and symphonic elements, Lost Devotion is ready to make its mark on the Female Fronted Metal universe. The band fronted by classically trained vocalist Judith, was originally founded in 2008 in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Over the years songs were written, practiced and played live on stages across the Netherlands. In 2013 all recordings for this, their first full-length album were completed at the Imagineering Suite studios in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. Unfortunately, due to a myriad of personal circumstances, the album was shelved. Until now! With tracks ranging from the aggressive 'Last Conversation' to the intimate acoustic ballad 'End of a Summers Day', the diverse musical background of the band members is reflected. As with most things musical that comes out of The Netherlands, and with fave tracks a plenty, this is a damn good album, being heavy, melodic and offering a bombastic dose of Rock and Metal music to please many a music fan. For more information, contact David at, but the album is available digitally (iTunes, Amazon and the like) and is well recommended…9/10 (Dave)


(Scarlet Records) Reviewed 12th November 2016

When I receive music, I sometimes do not quite know what to expect. This being one such album. Anyway, Light & Shade is a new, young supergroup whose members have already acquired extensive live and studio experience having being part or shared the stage with renowned acts such as Nightwish, Dream Theater, Amaranthe, Sonata Arctica, Rhapsody, Within Temptation, Arch Enemy, Slipknot, Fleshgod Apocalypse and many more. And they have received recognition and awards from the Lollapalooza Festival and the International Portuguese Music Awards among others for their expertise in rock/metal. Featuring vocalist Adrienne Cowan (USA/Seven Spires), guitarist Marco Pastorino (IT/Temperance, Secret Sphere), bassist Luca Negro (IT/Temperance) and guest drummer Alex Landenburg (DE/Luca Turilli's Rhapsody), this their debut full-length has been produced by Simone Mularoni (DGM) and is set for release on November 18th (USA) and November 25th (EU). And on this album we have the light (clean vocals) and the shade (harsher vocals), overall there being eleven tracks of Modern Metal with a Progressive and melodic twist. Highlights include the up tempo 'Spirit Of Anne', the catchy 'You Are', the rather cool and pounding ‘Broken Hearted’ with its catchy chorus, the awesome acoustic ballad ‘Lionhearted’ and the closing title track all help to make this a rather good album. This record is a little different combining heaviness with beauty, but all rather good, a real grower and well worth checking out when released!... 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Megalodon) Reviewed 6th November 2016

LIPSHOK is a female fronted original band playing gothic haunting and melodic commercial songs with a progressive edge. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, Scarlett, the lead vocalist/songwriter/keyboardist performs from the centre of the stage and leads the band with haunting melodic vocals and incredible songs with commercial hooks and mesmerizing compositions. And those commercial hooks and mesmerizing compositions are apparent on this, their 4th record I believe. The album diving deeper into the emotions and incredible song writing ability that this band is known for, being heavier and more dramatic with those melodic vocals from Scarlett. Fave cuts a plenty but try the opener ‘Bad Place’, the bouncy and guitar driven ‘Crawl Back Home’, the piano driven orchestrated ballad ‘Wanderer’, the commercial ‘More Of You’ and the haunting closer which so happens to be the title track and is a rather nice instrumental. Scarlett says she and the band is very proud of this CD and so they should be! The band’s facebook is here. Recommended… 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Red Vixen Records) Reviewed 1st November 2016

On November 25th, Lilith and the Knight will release this, their ferocious 4 track debut EP. The CD is brimming with crisp riffs, taut songwriting and killer choruses. Fronted by the striking vocals of Lilith, this EP is an awesome slab of Hard Rock/Metal with a retro vibe. Well worth checking out... 8/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Release) Reviewed 21st October 2016

Lureaway fronted by Jevgenija Korkina come from Latvia, and clear strong soprano vocals fused with symphonic metal is a characteristic feature of this EP. There are four tracks and although it has all been done before, I am not complaining. If you like your metal symphonic with awesome soprano vocals, this is worth checking out. Take a listen here, then support independent artists and make a purchase... 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Sand Hill Records) Reviewed 17th October 2016

Think of Evanescence combined with Halestorm and you have Letters From The Fire. Fronted by Alexa Kabazie, the album from this San Francisco group of musicians offers up 13 new songs that in turn offer a beguiling mix of melody and heaviness. A consistent release, all rather good and well worth the spend if you ask me, so why not check out their facebook that can be found here. Only a brief review but worth an 8.5/10 (Hannah Cooper).

LILYGUN...'INSIDE' (single)

(A Line Records) Reviewed 15th October 2016

Lilygun is fronted by Anna-Christina and on October 8th they released a single called 'Inside'. This was the last song singer Anna-Chistina wrote before suffering from a Subarachnoid Brain Haemorrhage. I have always liked Anna-Christina and Lilygun, their self titled album that I reviewed in 2012 is a good un. The song in question is a great number with crossover appeal and a great chorus. The track is from the forthcoming album 'Strength and Grace'. On the strength of this one track, if the album is this good, it will be well worth checking out!! The single is obtainable from the usual digital outlets. (Dave)


(Self Released) Reviewed 13th October 2016

Mercy Isle was formed by Kassandra Novell in November 2014. Founding members were Kassandra (vocals), Chad Novell (bass/vocals), Joop de Rooij (keys), Cory Scheider (guitar), and Adam Maltby (drums). The band released their debut single 'I'm Gonna Make It' on 18 March 2015. Shortly after the single release, the band launched a successful Indiegogo campaign to fund their debut 4-song EP 'Storm', and a small tour in the US taking the band from Michigan to Florida. In 2016, members Cory and Adam resigned to pursue other opportunities. The band welcomed drummer Ywe Van Der Pol and guest guitarist Sebas Honing. In August 2016, guitarists Freek Gielen and Eelco Slont joined the band. Mercy Isle will release this, their first long player at Metal Female Voices Fest in Belgium, and to our ears, this long player is very good indeed. I am always able to tell from the first 2 or 3 tracks how good a record will be, and as with this one, I knew this was going to be damn good. There are 10 tracks of kool Melodic Metal mixing in a little Pop-Metal and Symphonic Metal together with the odd awesome ballad, and I am a sucker for a good lighter waving ballad. Just listen to the lovely ‘If I Could’ and the wonderful but sad ‘Saying Goodbye’ (something I can relate too) – great vocal performances too from Kassandra. This album is a goodie from start to finish and with every cut a standout, I am sure this band will go down a storm at the MFVF! Their facebook is here… well recommended… 9/10 (Dave)


(AFM Records) Reviewed 6th September 2016

LEAVES' EYES is one of my fave bands and soon they will be releasing this five track EP. The title track is a brand new song, featured in both a regular and an acoustic version. In addition, the EP includes three songs from the band's latest album 'King Of Kings' in new versions (feat. their new vocalist Elina on vocals). If the title track, the catchy and very addictive 'Fires In The North' is anything to go by, new material from this band is going to be awesome. The EP due 7th Oct in Europe and rest of the world,and 4th Nov in USA/Canada. It is diffcult to score the music basically on the strength of one new track, but all I would say is get this when available and to add, Elina has molded in very well! (Dave)


(Self Released) Reviewed 3rd September 2016

Formed in 1998, MALICE IN WONDERLAND is a German band musically attributable to Symphonic Metal, with the powerful and varied voice of the singer Argentina Schumacher at the helm. This album offers up to the unsuspecting music fan 13 tracks of Symphonic Melodic Metal, that will strongly appeal to fans into this style of music. We like our music melodic and catchy here within the towers, and this album does not disappoint, although there is a little complexity thrown into the mix. The topping on the cake however, has to be the 11 minute epic 'Leviathan', that in itself is almost like a mini album within an album. This review in itself is only a brief one, but I would certainly say that this record is well worth looking into. The band's website is here, but you may need google translate. And I will just add that this band as far as I know is nothing to do with the Norwegian band of the same name that now no longer exists... 8.75/10 (Hannah Cooper)


(Massacre Records) Reviewed 31st August 2016

After a long journey, Swiss rockers MIRACLE FLAIR has finally reached a point, where their hard work will pay off. 'Angels Cast Shadows', the band’s second album is a piece of art, which showcases the band's passion and attention to detail. It's an international affair, and the album's been refined by the production skills of the living legend Tommy Vetterli (Coroner). Miracle Flair centres around the two creative forces Nicole Hartmann and Daniel Maurizi, who produce beautiful melodies entangled with crisp guitar riffs. This long player is peppered throughout with Melodic/ Epic/ Symphonic metal that will sure please fans of the genre, and there are some corking tracks here as well. All I can say is check this record out when it is released 21st October - recommended… 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Psychophonic Records via Shellshock Distribution) Reviewed 18th August 2016

LESBIAN BED DEATH, the UK female fronted HARD ROCK/GOTHIC PUNK band is back with this their fifth studio album. This is also the first album to feature new singer SIENNA VENOM and new lead guitarist VIK VOODOO, who originally played on LBD's first album, 'I Use My Powers For Evil'. Founder member, MR PEACH, retains his status on rhythm guitar, and the band will be joined by AARON SAMEDI on drums and ROY SWAMPI on bass for live shows. Overall, this is a good album from a band that to my ears has consistently delivered the goods in the past, and it seems with this album too. We have 11 tracks showing the band's huge love of 80s hard rock tainted with moody gothic tinges, all delivered with a fresh contemporary twist and heaps of melody. A dark sense of humour runs throughout the album too, which lends itself well to the lyrics about sour relationships and Horror movies. Sienna’s vocals are melodic and crisply delivered and overall, this is another winner from this UK band. This record was recorded at the acclaimed Chairworks Studio in Leeds (Skindred/Marmozets/Kaiser Chiefs), with mixing and mastering completed at Lower Lane Studios in Stoke-on-Trent… The album is released 23rd September, well recommended… 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 28th July 2016

Mortsure is a Symphonic Metal band from Bolivia fronted by Delphine Pelaez. I was rather curious about this release, because as far as I am aware, there are not many Symphonic Metal bands from Bolivia. Musically it is okay, with most of the tracks sung in the band's native tongue I believe. However, the album does seem to lack the power and ooommpphh of many of their counterparts from Europe, and I feel more needs to be done if the band want to propel themselves forward. However, Mortsure obviously does not have the financial clout of some of the bigger acts, and this comes across within the final sound quality of the album. There are 11 cuts here nonetheless, none of the tracks really stand out and hit you, but there is some good use of strings and orchestration on some numbers inc the 9+ minute epic 'Distancia/Cercania' - I like the haunting guitar solo on this track too. Let's not be too critical, the band's facebook is here.. 6.5/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 15th July 2016

Murmur Tooth fronted by Leah Hinton was born in New Zealand and England and are now based in Berlin. They blend grunge and pop into a grimy and beautiful din. Sometimes dark, sometimes light, the three piece combine a driving rhythm section with dirty guitars and soaring female vocal harmonies. The harmonies are apparent from the off in opening cut 'Knees Are Clean', while second track 'Bumps' has a kinda retro feel to it and has elements of the aforementioned grunge. The female harmonies return on third number ‘And I Wait’, a catchy and rather accessible tune that is one of my faves from the EP, while closer ‘Waste Away’ is a 6+ minute haunting dark doom/grunge laden tune, that will leave you wanting to hit the repeat button on the player and listen to the EP all over again. Murmur Tooth’s bandcamp is here. And I just wish to add that front lass Leah recorded and mixed the EP herself, as an extension of her creative song writing process. Good on her! 8/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 24th June 2016

Leecher from Hungary is a Female Fronted Metal band with cellos! The band was formed in 2008, and has been playing ever since. A notable point of their career was being the support act for Epica in Spring 2011 in Bratislava and Budapest. Leecher’s music would best be called Symphonic Metal, with a twist – instead of a classic guitar-oriented line-up the base of the music is played by the cellos, capable of heavy shredding as well as soft melodies. And overall, the album is good – 13 tracks of pounding Symphonic Metal featuring those aforementioned cellos and the cool vocals of Anett, who by and large is also the band’s lyricist. There is an interesting spoken intro (prologue) of film score proportions featuring the cello, that then takes the listener straight into the first number proper ‘Damnation’, an absolute melodic belter of a Symphonic Metal number with its catchy chorus. The awesome start to the album more or less sets the scene for what is to come, with further pounding tracks like ‘Eclipse’, reminding me of Nightwish, the up tempo and catchy ‘Encore’ and the closing melodic symphonic tune ‘All The Stars’. Leecher can also slow it down a touch with numbers like the awesome power ballad ‘Fading’, a fave of mine from this record. I do rather like this album, a well put together piece of work from this Hungarian band, certainly an album for fans of female fronted Symphonic Metal and as a consequence, should be placed on your shopping lists. Their website is here… 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 16th June 2016

MeNZiA invites you to enjoy the circus that we live in that is called "life". You are invited to enjoy boldness, irony and lust in the most sincere and healthiest way you can imagine, in the company of strong guitar riffs, dark sweet keyboards topped with an unpredictable, lovely and sexy voice, all wrapped up in a powerful show of musical prowess! And so... without any more delays the show must go on! And it does, Menzia being a Melodic Metal band from Spain, the Iberian Peninsula seemingly becoming the hotbed of Rock & Metal at present. Fronted by a young lady named Gat, this is a band that sure has caught my attention with their catchy style of bombastic Melodic Metal, this being well showcased in the opening salvo of 'Not Like You' and 'My Worst Nightmare'. And it continues with tracks like 'Anemophobia', the ultra catchy ‘Wrong Way’, the kool ‘Storm’ and one of my faves from the album, the bouncy 'Escaping The Cage'. And let us not forget the obligatory power ballad ‘Card Castle’, great stuff! This from beginning to end is a dynamic and at times quirky offering from this Spanish band, choc full of melodic choruses and damn cool hooks. My advice? Check out the band’s website here and then get this 12 track album!! This is uplifting for those dull Summer days we tend to have here in the UK, especially just recently, and if you keep still while listening to this album, with the utmost respect, you need to seek medical help!!!.... 9/10 (Dave)


(Century Media) Reviewed 26th May 2016

Delirium is the eighth studio album by Italian Gothic Metal band Lacuna Coil who are in their 23rd year so I believe. This is the first album to not feature long time drummer Cristiano "Criz" Mozzati and guitarists Cristiano "Pizza", who retired from the band on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2014, and Marco "Maus" Biazzi, who left the band just before recording sessions, making it the first album since their debut to feature other band members, and the first one completely recorded and mixed in Italy. Featuring stalwarts Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro on female and male vocals, this album kicks ass, and the opening track ‘The House Of Shame’ made me wonder whether Lacuna Coil had gone all Death Metal, as Andrea’s vocals came steamrollering out of the headphones like a Japanese bullet train. Some absolute belters here, with the aforementioned opener possibly one of the heaviest tracks on the cd. The title track is rather catchy, with the vocals of Andrea not so fierce, and indeed, everything here from start to finish is hideously catchy and addictive, but heavy and metallic to boot. Cristina’s vocals add the ’poppy touch’ to proceedings while Andrea and the band adds the metal. There are slower numbers too like ‘Downfall’, a massive anthemic number, a great crowd pleasing track I would imagine coupled with awesome guitar solo! Then there is ‘Take Me Home’ with its quirky chorus. This is a massive album from one of my fave bands, and is rest assured well and truly recommended - a surefire winner that is released 27th May… 9.5/10 (Dave)


(Trisol/Soulfood) Reviewed 16th May 2016

Mantus is a band from Cologne, Germany and was formed in 1997 by Martin Schindler. The band's name derives from the eponymous god of the underworld of the Etruscans. The band was disbanded in 2005 but reunited in 2008. Current members are Martin Schindler (music, lyrics, vocals 1997–present) and Chiara Amberia (vocals since 2012). I am really beginning to like some of the bands and music coming out of Germany whether sung in English or German, and Mantus is one such band that defines the Gothic Rock/Metal genre rather well and indeed is a fave band of mine. With Martin and Chiara sharing vocal duties there is some really catchy stuff on this release, the lyrics in German but who cares, the band do come from Germany! A tsunami of highlights here including the bouncy ‘Niemals genung’, the atmospheric ‘Das Wunder des Lebens’, the metallic/symphonic 'Süßes Gift', the power ballad 'Gefangener' and one of my faves, 'Welt in Flammen'. I am unsure as to whether to file this under female or male fronted reviews, but due to the presence of Chiara’s whose vocals appear on some of the tracks, I will class this band as ‘female fronted’ for the purpose of this review. Recommended… 8.5/10 (Dave)


(MJM Music PL) Reviewed 14th May 2016

Milczenie Owiec fronted by Ola Wysocka come from Poland, and this release sung in their native tongue offers up 12 tracks of rather cool, accessible and tuneful rock music. Check out tracks like 'Przyjda Tu' and 'Bunt' as just two examples from a cocktail of goodies. I am reviewing this album during the Eurovision Song Contest that is on TV at the moment, and this album beats anything from Eurovision hands down. This is a brief review, I have no idea what the band is singing about, but who cares, what I hear is good! Their Facebook is here... 8.75/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Release) Reviewed 13th May 2016

Metalwings is a Bulgarian Symphonic/Gothic metal band with a Celtic influence, formed by the vocalist and viola player Stela Atanasova in 2010. The band offers a unqiue combination of powerful guitars, magical Irish flutes, damn fine angelic vocals and the gentle sound of the viola. The EP has five tracks of fine music that generally defines rather nicely the Symphonic/Gothic Metal music sound. I myself was already familiar with the band's music by way of the final track on this EP, 'Crying of the Sun', which I discovered on YouTube a while back. The opening track is the title track and is an awesome way to kick off this EP, while next up, the Nightwish influenced 'Slaves of the Night' is another fine offering - lovely vocals. This EP is right up my alleyway with the bouncy ‘Ship Of Shadows’ and ‘Immortal Metal Wings’ maintaining the momentum of the previous tracks. The aforementioned catchy closer ‘Crying Of The Sun’ ends what is a very fine EP. With the band’s website here, this release is certainly one for fans of Symphonic Melodic Metal, bouncy, tuneful, great vocals and overall great musicianship, certainly one to look out for – it is available from today, I myself like this, well recommended… 9/10 (Dave)


(Epictural/Seasons of Mist) Reviewed 12th May 2016

Symphonic Black Metal would not normally be classed as my cuppa tea, but I decided to try my hand (or in this case my ears) at giving this new effort from French band Malevolentia a try. Indeed Black Metal is one of those genres where many bands fail, but a few do succeed and Malevolentia it seems do fall into the latter category. Republique is the band's first release in over five years and it certainly does what it says on the press release - it is Symphonic with great instrumentation and occasional choral backdrops, it is Metal and it sure is Black :) With the young lass Spleen taking the mic stand, she lets rip like a good un, her vocal delivery bull dozing you against the wall, but I bet in real life she is rather sweet :) The album is sung in the band’s native tongue, the vocals despite their ferocity show emotion, the album is heavily orchestrated and to be honest would make a great movie soundtrack. The CD is sometimes violent, sometimes melodic and with Malevolentia’s popularity with the French speaking world, will do very well like its predecessor ‘Ex Oblivion’ I am sure. I am surprised by the quality on this album as I have never really seen myself getting into this style of music. I cannot say I am quite there yet, but this awesome effort deserves an 8/10 (Dave).


(WormholeDeath) Reviewed 10th May 2016

Lightless Moor with founder member Ilaria Falchi at the helm is a band I have been familiar with for some while, indeed since the release of their debut EP 'Renewal' in 2006. The band has developed since that time to become a force within the Gothic Metal community, this being their second full length effort, their previous album, 'The Poem - Crying My Grief to a Feeble Dawn' released in 2013 on WormholeDeath. This current album I believe shows a major progression since Lightless Moor's past effort, showing more maturity, and I think has the capability to reach out to a larger audience, being I believe to be a little more accessible musically than its predecessor. Okay, the growls are still there, but the poppy vocal style of Ilaria is being allowed to take more of a prominent vocal role on this album. Some corking numbers here that will grab you by the short and curlies (or whatever), and surely this is a record that has driven the band into the premier league of Gothic Metal. Fave tracks a plenty but I do rather like the single release, 'The Unlocked Door To The Other World', with subtle elements of electronica as one track from an album packed full of goodies including the bouncy 'The Rain That Clears My Sins Away', the rather nice 'When My Mind Sleeps', 'Kings Of The Sulphur Crown', that I am sure will be a live fave and the superb 'A Dream Written In The Sand'. Recorded, mixed and produced by Carlo Bellotti and Wahoomi Corvi at RealSound Studios (Parma) and mastered by Tony Lindgren at Fascination Street Studios (Sweden), this 12 track epic is scheduled for 9th June through all major digital retailers. I would wholly recommend this to all and sundry, and if you are reading this, then that includes you!!... 9/10 (Dave)


(Maple Metal) Reviewed 29th April 2016

Misteyes started in 2012 with a five-member line-up, with which, the year after, they released their first single 'Brains In A Vat', which was characterized by a melodic death/black sound. In 2014 the band's sound started having a profound evolution, which in turn involved a female vocalist and a keyboard player in the project. With this new seven-member line-up, they released a demo 'Lady Loneliness', giving a first glimpse of their new path, being characterized by duality and contrast. In 2015 Misteyes' musical evolution came to a fundamental point and they decided to record a full-length album. And that has come to fruition with this record 'Creeping Time'. Fronted by Edoardo "Irmin" Iacono (Growl and Scream Vocals) and Denise "Ainwen" Manzi (Clean and Opera Vocals), the band throw at the listener a tsunami of intense Gothic/Symphonic Metal with a progressive undercurrent. Indeed,music to annoy the neighbours, but certainly not music to play to your Granny LOL. But despite the heaviness of the album, it is melodic and at times rather catchy, 'Inside The Golden Cage' as one example, while 'Lady Loneliness' is one of the lighter tracks, and beautiful it is too as the vocals of Denise shine. There are guest appearances on this record, the track 'Decapitated Rose' features a special guest appearance by Björn "Speed" Strid from SOILWORK contributing additional clean and scream vocals. Other special guests appearing on the album include Nicole Ansperger (ex-Eluveitie), violin on the track 'Winter's Judgment', and Roberto Pasolini (singer of Embryo) backing vocals on the blistering song 'The Demon Of Fear'. When this Beauty & the Beast music is done well it goes down very well with me, this being one such album. For more info on Misteyes, visit their Facebook page:… 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Aural Music) Reviewed 24th April 2016

Messa from Italy play obscure and evoking doom with deliciously haunting female vocals, influenced by Pentagram, Bellwitch, Windhand, Jex Thoth, Sabbath Assembly, Bathory and the like. This their debut album mixes dark ambient drones with vintage heavy occult doom and mesmerizing female vocals from a young lady called Sara. Ten tracks of deliciously intense music that wraps itself up into a triptastic little package bringing the vintage 70s doom back into your living room. The opener ‘Alba’ is an instrumental that in itself should send you on a mind bending trip of a lifetime, while the other numbers exhibit similar traits. Sara sure can belt those vocals out, ably backed up by a competent band of musicians. In summary, the band delivers a heavy sound, occult-reminding, very experimental, also with ambient episodes, that will drive you through a scarlet velvet trip across the whole of the record. If you feel a little adventurous and fancy a mind bending musical trip, this trip of course being a legal one, then get this album when released May 6th. But if you are inclined, the listen may be even a little more enjoyable with something perhaps not so legal, but I am not here to encourage that kinda thing :) Messa’s Facebook is here.. 7.5/10 (Dave)


(RepoRecords) Reviewed April 22nd 2016

On Friday 29.04.2016 the re-release of the self-titled debut-album 'Me The Tiger' will be available as CD and digital release in all the relevant music stores. Gabriella Åström (Vocals & Synth), Tobias Andersson (Synth & Guitar) and Jonas Martinsson (Drums) formed the Swedish electro-pop band back in 2012. And on this re-release, there are nine tracks of wickedly catchy tunes, the band giving the listener an album full of energy and melancholy electronica with a focus on strong and catchy choruses - an extravaganza in-fact of club hits. ME THE TIGER is the next generation of electronic music, the vitriolic wind of change in the deadlocked electronic music scene. This cd is a damn cool dose of Electro Pop to greet those lighter evenings as Summer beckons, so get a few drinks in, get those dancing shoes on and enjoy. The band’s facebook is here… 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Inner Wound Recordings) Reviewed 4th March 2016

Midnight Eternal is a Symphonic Metal band based out of New York City/NJ. The band was formed in March 2014 when two members of Operatika (Richard Fischer and Boris Zaks) invited Daniel Prestup (Rivera Bomma, Spider Rockets) and Mike LePond (Symphony X) to join them in recording a two-song demo. During the recording, the band acquired the talents of vocalist Raine Hilai based on her previous work in theater and her solo endeavour. The planned demo quickly evolved into the formation of a full-time band when it became apparent the group had something special on their hands. Shortly thereafter, Greg Manning (Spider Rockets, Zamora) joined the band as permanent member taking over bass duties. What characterizes the sound of Midnight Eternal is the sense of melody and power coupled with the beautiful multi-layered vocals, all this being showcased within the 12 rather catchy and pounding tracks on this recording, closing with the epic 8 minute plus number ‘First Time Thrill‘. With the album being mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen [Helloween, Pretty Maids, Jorn], Midnight Eternal with their strong European influenced sound coupled with the angelic and rather unique poppy vocals of Raine Hilai, will I am sure appeal to fans of Delain and Nightwish among others. Well worth checking out when released April 29th…8.5/10 (Dave)


(Stargate Music) Reviewed 26th February 2016

Luminize are based in The Hague in Holland and are four energetic women making music with a purpose and a passion! These four ladies were actually born in Croatia, and always persisted in developing their talents into the skilled musicians they are today. When their music teacher started an all-boy band, it inspired the girls to start their own all-girl group, and I myself am frikin glad they did! And their passion was to provide an albums worth of totally addictive Pop/Rock songs, and that is exactly what they have done. Fronted by Marcela, this album is totally awesome. The opening salvo of ‘Done With You’ and ‘Get It Back’ kicks things off in sensational fashion, the latter a totally bombastic and melodic rock song. And it doesn’t stop there as further cuts come blasting their way out of the speakers. Tracks like the bouncy ‘All or Nothing’ with its catchy chorus, the anthemic power ballads ‘Love Takes No Prisoners’ and ‘Damn It’, the addictive ‘Fuck You’ and the oh so bouncy closing track ‘The Other Side’ – what a chorus! Powerful women such as P!nk, Gwen Stefani, Kelly Clarkson and Hayley Williams provide them with inspiration while they write all their own songs. In summary, this record is indeed a powerful statement of intent from four young women who want to share their music and energy with the world – literally going for ‘All Or Nothing’. And the world should look up and take notice! Every track here screams radio airplay with more hooks than a well equipped Japanese whaling fleet. Their website is at This is a must buy for anyone into this style of music - well recommended!!... 9.25/10 (Dave)


(Self Released) Reviewed 25th February 2016

Morning Dew is a German Hard Rock band fronted by Lisa Katharina Merschroth, and from what I can gather have been around for a while in one form or another since at least 1989.This is a five track EP of 70s style Hard Rock Music and boy, this is good. A particular reference must be made to the final track 'Whiskey Lee', a number that will have you getting out your air guitars and dancing around your living rooms. Whiskey Lee was actually a drummer with the band who obviously enjoyed the rock n roll lifestyle, until his sudden passing in 1997 - "gone but not forgotten". Without going into too much detail, all five tracks rock and is a worthy purchase. The band's Facebook is here... 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 24th February 2016 (Review re-issued)

Molllust hail from Leipzig and the music here would be best described as Opera Metal, and that is confirmed by the band via their Facebook page. Featuring the vocals of leading lady Janika Groß and the male vocals of Frank Schumacher, this is different and damn cool. The band also has within its ranks a violinist, cellist and a double bassist, all this together with a strong choral back drop. Consequently there is a strong classical influence here, so do not expect shredding guitar solos folks or a thumping rhythm section, but do expect some awesome, inspiring and at times rather cultural music! You get your monies worth too, with the record carrying 15 tracks. Okay, this will not grab you immediately, but repeated listens will reveal new layers of musical delights that peel away in an awesome aural experience. This will possibly not appeal to the total metal heads out there, but so what! Anybody who is open minded towards their music should enjoy this. As previously mentioned, this has been described as Opera Metal, and yes the Metal is there but so is a strong operatic or classical influence within the numbers. Well worth checking out or downloading - their Facebook is here - an interesting and slightly different release.. 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Another Century Records) Reviewed 22nd February 2016

It all seems rather quiet on the EVANESCENCE front, although Amy Lee is assuring everyone that Evanescence is still in existence. But to keep her fans happy, this is an EP she has recorded of covers. Cover albums can be a strange kettle of fish, but firstly, these songs are not ones that you would normally hear covered, and secondly, Amy has put her own stamp on the songs, almost making the tunes on this EP her own. The songs here are laidback, so do not expect an aural assault of Evanescence proportions, these are tracks to enjoy with a bottle of wine or two. 'It's A Fire' (Portishead) opens proceedings, followed by Amy's interpretation of U2's 'With or Without You'. 'Going To California'is her version of the Led Zep song, while electro infused Chris Isaacs's 'Baby Did A Bad Thing' closes the album. This ain't bad, just four tracks but worth a listen... 8/10 (Dave)


(FOLLOWSPOT Records) Reviewed 14th February 2016

Lacey Nicole Sturm is an American singer-songwriter from Arlington, Texas. She is co-founder and former lead vocalist of the hard rock band Christian Rock/Metal band Flyleaf, a band she left in 2012. Once an out and out atheist, things then changed and she is now involved quite actively within the Christian scene within the USA. 'Life Screams' is her debut solo offering detailing her life experiences that have been artfully crafted and included throughout the entire LIFE SCREAMS album. The album kicks off with the track 'Impossible' that is also the lead single from the album, a cool anthemic rocker with a nice catchy chorus. And what follows offers up plenty of classic melodic cuts with memorable hooks and catchy choruses, the title track being one of my fave tracks. There is also a monster cover of 'Roxanne' (The Police) and this is as good as the original I hasten to add. A handy addition to anyone's cd collection, this record is worth checking out, and will most certainly please fans of her former band. Released 12th Feb... 8.75/10 (Dave)

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