Please also visit our comprehensive reviews storage library at Ravenheart Music Archived Reviews.
(Hall of Sermon) Reviewed 25th November 2015
Lacrimosa is a Gothic duo led by German Tilo Wolff, the main composer, and Finnish lass Anne Nurmi. The band has of late developed their style more towards powerful metal, but Gothic elements still remain. Their current musical style mixes Gothic rock and heavy metal along with violin and more classical instruments, although their musical development throughout the years has also led to changes in instrumentation. Lacrimosa's lyrics are written almost exclusively in German, although since the 1995 album 'Inferno' every album has featured one or two songs in English, these generally written by Anne Nurmi. ‘Hoffnung’ is their 12th studio release and is yet another bloomin’ awesome album. The vocals are mainly courtesy Tilo Wolff, but Anne Nurmi does contribute, hence this album drops into the female fronted reviews pile. And it all kicks off with an epic 15 minute mainly but not entirely orchestral/instrumental masterpiece, which at times evens reminds me a little of Pink Floyd and is of film score proportions!! What an intro! And the record following that as a whole is rather good. Sung mainly in German with Tilo as the main vocalist I must admit to liking this, although I must say that I do not think the tracks quite hit the dizzy heights of that mindblowing15 minute opener ‘Mondfeuer’. ‘Kaliedoskop’ is a catchy upbeat number with Tilo singing German and alternating with Anne’s angelic vocals who is singing in English. Other highlights include the brooding ‘Die Unbekannte Farbe’ featuring Tilo on vox, the melodic and symphonic ‘Thunder and Lightning’ with Anne on vocals and another epic - the 9 minute plus closer ‘Aperion - Der Freie Fall Pt2’. This album is really a bombastic masterpiece and on Tilo’s own label as well. Worth checking out! 8.75/10 (Dave)
MADAME MAYHEM…’NOW YOU KNOW’
(BFD/Red) Reviewed 18th November 2015
Manhattan-born singer-songwriter, Madame Mayhem™, is a true rocker with an eclectic style in every aspect of life. With her ‘in your face’ attitude, Mayhem is definitely the right word to describe this extreme artist. She has just completed this new record, featuring a powerhouse team of rock talent including Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Winery Dogs), who produced and played on the album, Ray Luzier (KoRn, KXM), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses), Russ Parrish (“Satchel” from Steel Panther), and Corey Lowery (Saint Asonia, Stuck Mojo). With hard rock roots and melodies that show off her vocal range and talent, Madame Mayhem is excited to bring these new songs to the masses. As for the album itself, it is quite a melodic hard rock feast actually, and from those names mentioned above, what a team this fine Madame has behind her as well! And you get your monies worth with 14 monster tracks that kick off with the appropriately titled ‘Monster’, this sure wets your appetite as to what is to come on this record! A riff tastic gem of a tune that is followed by the equally as good and pounding ‘Perfect Nightmare’. The metallic ‘Something Better (Now You Know) is damn awesome, while other tracks that will send you into orgasmic fits of ecstasy include the power ballad ‘Left For Dead’ with its catchy chorus and angelic vocals (a sure fire radio hit!), the cool sounding ‘Nothing To Lose’ and the brooding acoustic based ‘Pain. And lets us make a mention of the closing number - a cover of the Cilla Black classic ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’. This album kicks ass and is well recommended - Madame Mayhem’s website is here
… 8.75/10 (Dave)
MELTED SPACE…’THE GREAT LIE’
(Sensory Records) Reviewed 29th October 2015
Melted Space is a project created in 2007 by French pianist and composer Pierre Le Pape (Wormfood, Embryonic Cells). Influenced by metal, movie soundtracks and electronic music, he tries to create compositions mixing those styles. Here are the roots of a strange “world”: Melted Space! A world that would be the last step of Dante’s journey, a world occupied by lost and forgotten souls which tell their adventures to travelers. Sunk into oblivion, this is their only way to perpetuate their memory. To give life to this epic saga, Pierre surrounds himself with 26 singers and musicians from bands such as Hacride, Destinity, The Old Dead Tree, Carnival in Coal, Kells, Phazm, Goro. Each member puts a lot of effort into their role, bringing depth and originality to the relevant character or instrumental part. Then let us not forget the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra that undertakes the symphonic work. Overall, this is an impressive album from a very talented guy who has put a lot of effort into this release. This has been filed under the female fronted reviews section, but there is a mix of male and female vocalists. Well recommended nonetheless to all the punters out there… 8.5/10 (The Nugget)
LOLITA KOMPLEX…’THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH’
(Trisol/darkTunes) Reviewed 29th October 2015
Roll up, roll up! Come a little closer; don't be afraid! Witness this unique attraction for our times! Experience this unique freak show direct from LOLITA KOMPLEX's cabinet of curios! 'The Greatest Show on Earth' comprises 13 new works of art that the band present to us. As well as having a spoken intro by Nigel Barber (Mission: Impossible and James Bond), a number of other artists were invited to guest on the album, and so help create an unforgettable listening experience for the eager and willing public. These include Mike Kelly from cult band THE MISSION and Alexander Kaschte from SAMSAS TRAUM/WEENA MORLOCH. As you can imagine, this is a quirky release with fave tracks a plenty, including the melodic ‘The Awakening’ with its catchy chorus, the bouncy and awesomely titled ‘Rumplestielzchen’, the metallic and up tempo tracks ‘One In A Million’, ‘Masquerade’ and ‘Hide and Seek’ and the acoustic ‘Dance with Me’. To summarise, I was not sure what to expect with this release, but I have to say it is rather good with a great batch of catchy tunes, and is well recommended as a consequence! 9/10 (Dave)
MOANING SILENCE…’A WORLD AFRAID OF LIGHT’
(Self Release) Reviewed 13th October 2015
Moaning Silence was born many years ago, during a cold quiet night, in the dark alleys of the mind of their main composer and guitarist Christos Dounis, while he was studying the varieties of human nature. Emotions, thoughts, pictures, gave birth to lyrics and music notes, while the great poets and writers of our times, created a dreadful atmosphere in which music, dreams, feelings become one. In late 2014, Christos’ steps crossed with vocalist Aimilia Papatheochari and recordings took place under the supervision of producer Bob Katsionis (Firewind,Outloud), at Sound Symmetry Studio, Athens, Greece. One year later, the dream became reality and we have here ten songs about sorrow, love, darkness, memories and lost hope, which in turn are ready to fill the hollow wounds. The music is an atmospheric/doomy/gothy style, but with clean male vocals as opposed to the Beauty & The Beast style that this type of music is often associated with. To be honest, like the Galadriel album that has just been reviewed, this release is rather good and there is also an Anathema cover, the track ‘Parisienne Moonlight’. This is quite simply a lovely album, just listen to tracks like the 6 minute plus ‘The Last Days Of December’, the acoustic driven ‘Just Another Day’ and the metallic ‘An Elegy For The Creastfalle’ from an album full of gothic gems. The band’s Facebook can be found here
...awesome and well worth checking out…9.25/10 (The Nugget)
MOLLLUST…’IN DEEP WATERS’
(Self Release) Reviewed 6th October 2015
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)
MAGNA UMBRA...'SOMEONE AT YOUR DOOR'
(Self Released) Reviewed 4th September 2015
Magna Umbra come from Brazil and I know very little about them as the email that accompanied this link was in Portuguese. What I can say is that this is their debut release, featuring 10 tracks of Symphonic Power Metal with a progressive undercurrent. There is a lot happening here, but it may well be worth tracking down if you feel that this may float your boat or tickle your cockles. The riff-tastic 'I Am My Own God' sets the album off and is a thumping way to start the album, some powerful operatic vocals too, perhaps though just a little overpowering. 'About Stars' is a rather quaint number and is one of the slower ballady tracks on the album, while the following track 'Hark Manat' will blow your speakers :) 'Insane' powers along leaving Usain Bolt in its wake, with 'Force To Face' being a more melodic tune, some great guitar on this track, and this also ranks as one of my faves from the record. The pen-ultimate number 'Beyond Forever' is a powerful doomy track, while I personally feel that the album does seem to get better the more you listen to it. No doubt some will beg to differ, but for a taster, check here
.. 8/10 (The Nugget)
LAST RED RANSOM…’SNUBNOSE’
(Self Release) Reviewed 1st September 2015
Last Red Ransom was formed in the late 2000’s. Their debut album, 'Sleep Well Sweet Vanity' that featured an intoxicating array of styles and emotions, was well received and gained a following in their hometown of Atlanta and the surrounding region. Classed by their PR people as "Glitchrock, Rock, Electronic, Metal, Industrial, Soundtrack", the new album sees the band delving deeper into their Electronic and Industrial tool bag. And to be honest the music on 'Snubnose' like their debut, is all rather good. Featuring CK Woods on female vox, keys & guitar, Andrew St Woods on male vox, guitar and keys, Lance Adair on drums and Zakk Morrow on Bass, there are 10 tracks on this release that is due sometime in September. This is great record featuring tracks that take the listener through a field of haunting industrial soundscapes, encompassing melodic and harmonious traits. The music here remains in the laid back to mid tempo category but it is bloomin' awesome in the process, with tracks like ‘The House’ hitting the spot with me!. The band's website can be found here
... this is music that is well worth checking out! ...8.5/10 (Dave)
LEAVES' EYES…’KING OF KINGS’
(AFM Records) Reviewed 12th August 2015
For more than a decade now, LEAVES’ EYES have been setting world history to music and undeniably, by doing so, have raced to the top of the very much alive Symphonic Metal tree. With this their new monumental epic , the band now further justifies their leading position as a compass in the genre and re-awakes the thousand-year legend of Norway’s first king, ‘Harald Fairhair’, in the process. Once again, this band prove their amazing talent of capturing sagas and legends of the past and truly making them come alive in the here and now. Welcome to the Vikings! Onto the music, and with an almost cinematic intensity, LEAVES’ EYES with Liv Kristine’s unique voice at the helm, lead us back in time to when Harald I was uniting Norway as one kingdom. The epic title track with its huge choirs (brought to you by the “London Voices” ensemble, who have famously worked on movie productions such as “Star Wars”, “Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter” amongst many) gives a perfect start to the saga. It’s a perfect match to the band’s ambitions and to the vision of producer Alexander Krull, who sonically lifts “King of Kings” to the level of these blockbuster productions. And under the guidance of ex - Rage guitarist Victor Smolski, the powerful White Russian Symphony Orchestra adds even more feel. And we have barely got going with the album then offering musical variety galore throughout, and songs that just scream “HIT” such as ‘The Walking Eye’, while the awesome and bouncy ‘Edge Of Steel’ also features none other than Simone Simons (Epica), this song leading us into the battlefields of Harald I himself! This classic of an album offers stylistic diversity everywhere you look: -from folk rock and gentle tunes to Symphonic, catchy, epic and heavy hymns. It’s an overly impressive display of musical pictures which the band brings alive. Now having caught my breath and caught your attention, this record comes well and truly recommended to all and sundry when released in September!...9.75/10 (Dave)
LILJANA…’GOODBYE TO MYSELF’ EP
(Self Release) Reviewed 7th August 2015
Liljana from Leipzig is: Lily (vocals), Frank Oberländer (guitars), Ralph Leistner (guitars), Johannes Hank (bass guitars) and Nathanael Erler (drums). And this is their debut EP. The album was actually released last year but this copy has just dropped into the Towers. There are six tracks of prime time Melodic Metal that is well worth checking out to fans of this style of music. Tracks like the opener ‘Crystalline’, ‘One Delusion’ and the atmospheric and rather lovely 6 minute plus tune ‘Chains’, confirm as to why I myself got into this style of music in the first place – melodic, not overly heavy and kinda radio friendly. This EP is rather cool and well recommended if you have not already got it, website here
…8.5/10 (The Nugget)
LUNDEN REIGN…’AMERICAN STRANGER’
(Cleopatra Records) Reviewed 31st July 2015
NIKKI LUNDEN (Lead Singer, Guitar, Composer) & LORA G ESPINOZA-LUNDEN (Composer, Guitarist, Keyboards) came together to form LA Based Lunden Reign in mid 2013. And as a result of that meeting, they proudly offer the listener their debut album. So do you want some pounding Melodic Rock to awaken your senses and realise what good music is all about? This it has to be said is a rather massive dose of Melodic Alternative Rock that has been dragged into the 21st Century by the short and curlies. As the album and its wonders unfurls, it becomes blatantly obvious how good Nikki, her band and this album are. The record was recorded at Capitol Records, Hollywood, CA, Abbey Road Studios, London, UK and Stagg Street Studios, LA - mastered by Grammy winning Evren Goknar at Capitol Records, Hollywood. One reviewer after having seen the band’s London show described them as the new sound of LA, how right is that? Impressive stuff and certainly well worth dipping into your hard earned cash for, so pop to Amazon and get a copy!... 9/10 (The Nugget).
(Self Release) Reviewed 31st July 2015
Although fairly new kids on the block, the Mexican band MELPHOMENE has within its ranks, musicians with extensive experience in this art. The band itself is a Symphonic Metal band founded in 2013 by Mario Del Rio and Esthíbaliz, guitarist and vocalist, respectively, and both composers, were shortly joined by Omar Silva on bass and Ignacio Fontan on drums. This is their debut EP/CD comprising of seven tracks of the aforementioned style of music. Although I was a little wary before listening to this album for some reason, I did actually find the listening experience a rather good one. The tracks are bombastic and melodic, with the vocals of Esthíbaliz switching between a rock and operatic vocal style. This album is actually worth checking out, so check the band out here
.... 8.5/10 (Dave)
LIVING SHIELDS…’DELIRIUM’ EP
(Self Release) Reviewed 15th July 2015
Living Shields are Brazilian and I must state that there is some very good music coming out of South America at present. This EP presents us with five tracks of extremely good Sympho/Gothic Metal from a very good bunch of musicians. ‘Painful Fate’ is a grand way to start this 5 track EP to get you in the mood, which is then followed by the catchy and bouncy ‘Beyond The Cry’. This is all rather good! ‘Beneath’ is a slow to mid tempo number, it has a folky feel to it with a little flamenco guitar thrown into the mix, while the awesome ‘Empty Search’ is a grand Symphonic number (Epica/Within Temptation – eat your hearts out!). Closing track, the ballad ‘Candle Light‘ ends what is a very good release from this Brazilian band. I whole heartedly recommend this EP, it can be purchased from CDBaby
for only US$4, less than one US Dollar a track, so what are you waiting for. This is rather nice… 8.75/10 (Dave)
MUTE TALE...'THE GORDION KNOT'
(Metal Breed Records USA) Reviewed 26th June 2015
Where the "fairy tale" comes of age and epically courts metal, we find Mute Tale, a band from Athens, the creation of soprano Annou, composer and lyricist of the band. This is Symphonic Metal straight out of the top drawer from this band. Not knowing anything about Mute Tale, I placed the cd on the player a little hesitantly for some reason, although I do not quite know why I was hesitant. But I am glad I did as there is some awesome stuff here to enjoy. After a short intro, things kick into gear with the catchy track 'Realm Of Serenity', after which things quieten down just a little with the rather quirky 'The Dale'. 'Ravensky' ramps it up a bit, and is another great track, and we are only 4 tracks in! 'Sunken Hope' is an instrumental and has a Folky feel about it while 'Chain Of Fear' is another bouncy quirky number that I do rather like! With just four numbers to go, all this is flying by too quickly, and that is a surefire way to know that the album is good. The remaining numbers do not let the listener down with the catchy 'Good Intentions' and the metallic and melodic 'The Curse Of Time (Eclipsis)' being two of my faves from the album. Pen ultimate track 'Scar' is a lovely folky style ballad, while the Symphonic 'Mute Tales' closes this awesome album. The band's facebook page is here
... 9/10 (Dave)
MY OWN GHOST...'LOVE KILLS'
(Self Release) Reviewed 22nd June 2015
My Own Ghost is a rock band from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg founded in 2013. The music relies on the warm and powerful vocals Julie Rodesch and her fellow band members differing backgrounds, ranging from pop to metal. And if you take into account the aforementioned pop and metal and add some electronic tweaks, that sums up the music of this very good band in a nutshell. One helluva record here, offering 13 tracks of some of the best mid to up tempo melodic pop/metal you will hear in the 21st century. Everything here hits the very good category, but I do particularly currently like the tracks 'Crystal Ball', the awesome 'Beautiful Mistake', the second single, the breathtaking 'Silence', the rather good 'Pathways' and the penultimate track 'Mute'. In February of this year, the band released their first official music video for their second single 'Silence' (video here
), and in March they signed a deal with the German booking agency Red Lion Music. In July 2015, My Own Ghost will perform as support for Delain and they will also support the Japanese Heavy Metal pioneers Loudness on 4 dates on their European Tour - this cd is well and truly recommended I must say - website is here
MOSES BANDWIDTH...'EMPTINESS, LONELINESS, SADNESS'
(PIXEL Merch & Records) Reviewed 10th June 2015
A metal band from Indonesia? that is correct! And it seems they have been going for a wee while too. I must admit that although I am doing this review, I am not totally sure who the singer is! It may be someone called Mel Rose, but the jury is out on that one. But it does not really matter who the singer is, this album is rather good. Some rather good catchy metal on this album, with the track, the bouncy 'Just We Do' I am sure I have heard somewhere before. One gripe - the production shall we say could be a little better, with the singer's voice to my ears being drowned out a little in the mix. They can also do their version of 'Chopin Nocturne#21' rather well - the Chopin Nocturnes constitute 21 short pieces for solo piano written by Frédéric Chopin between 1827 and 1846. Anyway, after that short history lesson, if you are a Female fronted anorak and are able to get a hold of this album (I got it!), it could well be worth it. The band's Facebook is here
.. 8.25/10 (Dave)
(Self Released) Reviewed 10th June 2015
Mantus is a project by Martin Schindler founded on or about 1997, which kinda unfortunately disbanded in 2005, but was reunited in 2008. However, the then female vocalist Tina Schindler has now departed, with Chiara Amberia now taking on lead female vox duties. There are 12 tracks here of Dark Gothic Rock/Metal sung in the band's own language (German). The alternating female/male-singing is one incisive aspect of the musical appearance of the band while overall, the style of the music ranges from Gothic and Doom-Metal even sharing flirtatious moments with pop. The lyrics contain themes about love, hate, death, perpetuity or immortality, but also touching on global problems such as racism, xenophobia and rape. There are 12 rather good tracks here and to be honest it ain't 'arf bad, with favourite tracks including the tuneful and poppy 'Zu Sonne', the atmospheric and haunting 'Kopie', the up tempo title track and the metallic sounding 'In Der Gegenwelt'. And I would like to add that the tempo of the music does seem to increase during the second half of the record. The band's website is here
, although it is in German - a recommended album... 8.5/10 (The Nugget).
(Self Released) Reviewed 29th May 2015
During the summer of 1998, and by the hand of three friends, Portuguese band MONS LVNÆ came to existence. From the three founder members (Cuca, Luis Tito and Hugo Gomes) only the guitar player Hugo Gomes still remains in the current line-up of the band. The name MONS LVNÆ (Latin for Mount of the Moon) was suggested a year and a half later by the bass player Rodrigo Machado, who discovered the name in a book that concerned Portuguese castles and History of Portugal. Anyway, in 2015 MONS LVNÆ 's first full length album is here. Fronted by the formidable voice of Célia Ramos, who takes care of Lead & Back Vocals, this is a very good 11 track effort. An instrumental 'The Growing Leaf' leads us into the thundering track 'Venus In Decay', which kicks things off in bombastic fashion and next up 'The Constant Of Change', maintains the awesome up tempo momentum, and it is rather good. And the catchy and thumping 'Forsaken Angel leaves you no time to catch your breath, a great track and some rather cool guitar from Hugo. 'The rather interestingly titled 'The Nameless Headstone' shows no let up, and so far this record can best be described as rather awesome! Great up tempo Melodic Gothic Metal! And there are further awe-inspiring tracks including 'Don't Cry My Name' and closing with two six minute plus epics, 'Fall From Eden, Lotus Arises' and 'Voyage'. To put in a nutshell, this album is a very good and melodic mainly high tempo recording, I will say no more, Facebook is here
... 9.5/10 (The Nugget)
MY BLACK LIGHT...'A NEW CHANCE'
(Massacre Records/Pirames) Reviewed 28th May 2015
MY BLACK LIGHT from Italy was born in 2008 from Rudy's and Monica's common passion for metal, especially gothic metal. Indeed they have been playing this kind of music for years in different cover bands. In November 2010 they released their debut album 'HUMAN MAZE' digitally distributed by PIRAMES INTERNATIOLI and physically by MASSACRE RECORDS later in 2011. Now in 2015 we have 'A New Chance' that was released end of April. There are 12 tracks of awesome Gothic Metal with Monica's clean vocals combining with the occasional harsher male vox from Rudy. Some great music here including the pounding 'The Joke', the melodic 'Making My Way' (great intro!) with its subtle electro influences, the catchy and balladic 'Dream Away', the pulsating 'Midnight Train' and the power ballad sounding 'Leave Me With A Smile'. There are some interesting titles too including the electro infused title 'Fuck You Fate' and 'Drugs' with it's bluesy interlude mid way, both rather good!. The band's website is here
. Overall, this is a good release and worth getting your grubby paws on.. 8.5/10 (The Nugget)
LADY FUEL...'MEAN GENIE'
(LGSR Sphere France) Reviewed 14th May 2015
LADY FUEL is a French rock band formed in Clermont Ferrand in 2010. The group’s musical style primarily consists of a generous helping of organic rock, with shades of other styles such as progressive rock, funk and heavy metal, all coupled with an occasional sense of humour. The essence of the band lies in the strong, powerful and unique voice of their front lady Steph Tinayre, ably supported by a band that produces furious as well as melodic guitars with tribal drums and groovy bass lines. And this is well showcased within the thirteen tracks that are offered to the listener on this, their new album. Some rather good tracks here as well, such as the pounding metallic opening title cut, accompanied by Steph's quirky vocals that I myself just love! And there is plenty more to enjoy such as the awesome 'Deform', together with some rather interestingly titled tracks too, such as the bluesy, rocky and occasionally progressive 8 minute plus 'Plumber's Smile' and the wacky 'Jeffrey And I'. And that's not all, the interestingly titled track 'Perfect Screw', has a rather cool retro feel about it! The band's Facebook site is at www.facebook.com/ladyfuel.music
- this album is good, it is different and a little eccentric, but I just love it! 8.5/10 (Dave)
SHAYNE LEIGHTON...'INVINCIBLE' EP
(Spectra Music) Reviewed 27th April 2015
Shayne Leighton is a new rock artist signed with the Spectra Music Group, and she has kindly sent to me the tracks that form her new EP. As well as being a musician, Shayne is an accomplished actress and a bestselling author, and I must go on record to say that this EP is rather good. She has also "re booted" the Pat Benetar song 'Invincible' that is track three here. The EP kicks off with the mid paced catchy rock orientated tune 'This Time' and the wow factor is already peaking into the "high" category. The awesome start continues with next up, the AOR sound of 'Dream Of You' with its catchy chorus, before the aforementioned 'Invincible' joins the fray. So far so good! 'Midnight Man' is a slower number showcasing Shayne's awesome and powerful vocals. The closing and impressive duo of 'Foolin' and 'Wolf At My Door' end what is a rather good album. I am rather impressed with what I hear, this is catchy, melodic and deserves mainstream attention. Shayne's website is at www.shayneleighton.com/
MY WOODEN PILLOW…’UNCOMFORTABLE’ EP
(Self Release) Reviewed 3rd March 2015
My Wooden Pillow fronted by the awesome sounding growls/clean vocals of Michelle (with a little help in the backing vox dept of guitarist Hassan and bassist Patrick) hail from Manchester here in the UK. They are a 4 piece Metal/Hardcore/Rock band and on this EP, they deliver four kick ass tracks of no nonsense Metal music. From the blistering opener ‘The Line’, through the high paced but melodic sounding ‘Call For War’, the Hardcore of third track in ‘Decapitalist’ and closing number ‘MWP’, there is something here for any half decent metal fan to feast their ears upon. The band’s Facebook is here
. Lay down on your Wooden Pillow with a beer or six, get uncomfortable, give this band a listen and annoy the neighbours, seems a plan!... 7.75/10 (The Nugget)
MY INNER BURNING…’DEAD AND GONE’
(Self Release) Reviewed 3rd March 2015
Some albums have recently escaped the Ravenheart radar, this not helped by Dave’s recent health issues. However, this album by German band My Inner Burning was released over a year ago, and for some reason did not penetrate (such a manly word) the confines of Ravenheart Music. I have now been given the duty of putting this right :) So here we go. Fronted by new and rather good vocalist Cecile Beelmann who has taken over from previous front lady Becky Gaber, this record is a female fronted music lover’s delight. Thirteen in yer face tracks of pure unadulterated Gothic Metal. This is intense stuff and rather melodic too for those that like their music to be very tuneful. And the band can belt out the ballads too, listen to the awesome ‘The One’ as just one example – totally awesome vocals! I like this album very much, great vocals and great musicianship. Their Facebook page is in German so how about checking out their YouTube channel instead that can be found here
.. 9.25/10 (The Nugget)
LAPIS LAZULI...'THE DOWNFALL OF HUMANITY'
(Self Release) Reviewed 27th February 2015
Hailing from Sweden, Lapis Lazuli is a female-fronted metal band with a unique and eclectic approach; falling somewhere in between the attitude of Visions of Atlantis and the appeal of Nightwish. Although the band has changed lead vocalist several times throughout their career, they do have a new singer and front woman - Cecilia Kamf takes on the job with charisma and passion, and this is confirmed while listening to this, their latest release. Furthermore, Cecilia is also the main lyricist together with keys man Timo. Some one has recently said to me that this type of music sounds all the same. I beg to differ and even if it did, when it is this good, I do not basically care! This is essentially great stuff from this Swedish band and the crystal clear vocals of Cecilia are totally out of this world. There are nine tracks here of emotionally charged music, great lyrics, great instrumentation. Nothing much to fault with this release and certainly a must buy for fans of the above mentioned bands, and anybody that loves this style of music, period. There are some beauties here, including opener 'Prelude To Destruction' and the Progressive tinged 'Perilous Sleep'. Looking at some of the song titles, and speaking to Timo about the album, I asked him if there was any concept to the album. He tells me that he wouldn't really say that there is any concept or story. But the songs do have a kind of an dystopian touch to them, even though many of them have deeper meanings when you are scratching on the surface. The band's Facebook can be found here
and what I like about this album is it is not overly bombastic, it is very listenable and enjoyable, and worthy of an 8.75/10 (The Nugget & Dave)
MORLAS MEMORIA...'FOLLOW THE WIND'
(Self Release) Reviewed 25th February 2015
The nicely monikered Morlas Memoria hail from Dresden in Germany and they were established in the Spring of 2011. This album was released in May 2014 and the lavishly packaged cd has just winged its way to me here in the UK. Featuring the lovely soprano vocals of Leandre Johne, this band is going places with it's brand of Symphonic Metal, together with a delicate mix of folk thrown into the pot for good measure. 'The Mirror' is the opening track from this 10 track offering and immediately showcases the music that the band has to offer the listener. Great vocals, great musicianship and even Leandre showing her expertise on the flute, a thundering opener! Next up, the mid tempo 'Sphinx' is another Symphonic Metal masterpiece, while the bouncy 'Incorrigible' with its heavy guitar riffs is sung in German together with some subtle harsh male vox for good measure. So far this cd is rather good! So what about the remaining seven tracks? A silly question really as they do not disappoint - 'Silence' is a rather nice instrumental followed by the early Nightwish sounding and bombastic 'Medusa's Tale'. The second half of the album is equally as good with further stand out cuts including 'Circle of Greed' together with it's flute refrain, the laid back and acoustic 'Ohne Probe' (sung in German) and the awesome 'Impetus' (sung in Italian). There to be honest is very little if anything to fault with this record, and with lyrics by Leandre and guitarist Eric Neufeld and with the music written by Leandre's Brother and guitarist Theo, this is an awesome Symphonic Metal release, using real orchestrations as opposed to samples. The band's Facebook is here
... well and truly recommended... 9.75/10 (Dave)
LEAH...'KINGS & QUEENS'
(Inner Wound Recordings) Reviewed 10th Feb 2015
LEAH may well have released one of the albums of the year with this, her latest release. Featuring input from musicians such as Timo Somers and Sander Zoer of DELAIN, and Barend Courbois of Blind Guardian and Vengeance, this 14-track 78 minute epic emerges as the heaviest of all her releases. Dabbling in worldly Celtic, middle eastern, and New-Age flavors, while lyrically laced with epic imagery of dystopias, fallen empires, spiritual warfare, love and destiny, this album proves to be a very promising record, and is expected to be received by fans and critics as one of the top Symphonic Metal albums of the year. And to prove that what is said above is not total bullshit, just listen to opener 'Arcadia' to confirm what we are on about. 'Save The World' is equally as compelling and two tracks in, this is awesome - kinda cross Blackmore's Night and Enya with Leaves' Eyes, Within Temptation and Delain, got me drift? 'Angel Fell' is damn awesome while 'Enter The Highlands' which I believe is the album's first single borders Power Metal/Progressive territory, with varying changes in tempo.The sheer awesomeness continues with tracks like the enchanting and mythical 'In The Palm Of Your Hands', the number'Alpha et Omega' that sounds like a heavy sounding Enya as does the catchy 'Heart Of Poison', all near damn perfect! 'Hourglass' and the Delain sounding 7+ minute 'Palace Of Dreams' with its catchy chorus are faves as is about everything else on this cd. Great musicianship coupled with memorable melodies, plenty of variety together with LEAH's magical and addictive vocals make this album her best to date. All we can say is, if you have not already done so, this is a must buy, so buy it as it is highly recommended by us here!! 9.75/10 (Dave & The Nugget)
LUCID FLY...'STASIS' EP
(Self Released) Reviewed 9th December 2014
I am reviewing this EP from the depths of Dorset with patchy internet and mobile phone connection. Welcome to the 21st century :) Lucid Fly founders Nikki Layne and Doug Mecca joined forces in Florida back in 2001 and they have been known to me for some while now, having a couple of cds in the can. This little release is their latest offering and offers up three tracks of some rather damn good Alternative Rock/Metal. The tracks had previously been released as three singles during the course of 2014, but the band are now putting them out as this little collection titled 'Stasis', with limited edition merchandise and signed physical copies. The numbers in question are 'Waiting', 'What Winter Was Like' and 'In This Ocean'. All good rockin' stuff - some say the band sound like a cross between Evanescence and A Perfect Circle and some indeed may be right. The music is heavy, cool and melodic, the melodies are indeed unique and Nikki's cool vocals nail it big time! Check the band out at www.lucidfly.com/
.. 8.75/10 (Dave)
(Self Release) Reviewed 3rd November 2014
Progressive, hard rock/metal vocalist Militia Vox has just released this cover EP BAIT. This album is also the tempting lead-in to the upcoming original release 'THE VILLAINESS', due out in 2015. Influenced by the darkness of Type O Negative, Tool and Nine Inch Nails, this multi-talented solo artist has been a classically trained pianist since the age of 7 and a central figure in bands including Judas Priestess (the world’s only all-girl tribute to the metal gods, Judas Priest), Swear On Your Life, and Disciples of Astaroth. Kicking off with the TOOL song '46&2' this I must say is rather good. Next up is the NINE INCH NAILS number 'Reptile' which is then followed by Militia Vox's rather good rendition of TINA TURNER'S 'We Don't Need Another Hero'. The haunting atmospheric 'Waiting For The Night' is a DEPECHE MODE song and Militia totally nails the 7 minute + 'No More Tears', this being an awesome cover of a song from the icon known as OZZY OSBOURNE, and done true to the original. Closing with 'Rid Of Me' (P J Harvey) and running in at around 35 minutes, this little platter is rather good if I may say so. Well worth checking out actually - website is here
where you can also hear the track 'Rid Of Me'... 8.75/10 (Rachel Louise Smith)
MEDEN AGAN...'LACRIMA DEI'
(No Regrets Records) Reviewed 20th October 2014
Meden Agan is a rather good Metal band. They are based in Greece but in fact they was formed back in November 2005 in Paris, France by guitarist Diman Koutsogiannopoulos. They recorded their debut full-length album entitled 'Illusions' which was released in November 2007. It contained epic/progressive metal songs with male vocals. During that period, the band shared the stage with bands like Pain Salvation, Skyclad, Within Temptation, After All, Bloodtales, ETHS, and The Old Dead Tree. Then after the release of 'Illusions' and amongst other personnel changes, female vocalist Iliana Tsakiraki joined the band, but in February 2013, the band parted ways with their female vocalist due to musical differences. After 5 months of auditions, soprano Maya Kampaki joined this illustrious band, and in late 2013 they entered the studios to record this, their third full length. And the band has delivered one almighty release, 10 tracks of epic Symphonic Metal. There are some robust tunes here including the opener 'Divine Wrath', the Epica sounding and rather bombastic 'Portal of Fear', the catchy 'Everlasting Pain' and the closing number 'Commemorate The Fallen'. Everything here is good, the musicianship and vocals are from the top drawer and is deserving of your hard earned cash. Mastering was done at the famous Finnvox studios, Finland by the well known Mika Jussila (Nightwish, Children of Bodom, Stratovarius). Well recommended... 9.5/10 (Aimee)
MASTERCASTLE...'ENFER [DE LA BIBLIOTHEQUE NATIONALE]'
(Scarlet Records) Reviewed 26th September 2014
Founded in 2008 by guitarist Pier Gonella (Necrodeath) and vocalist Giorgia Gueglio, Mastercastle soon became one of the leading forces in the European Power/Neoclassical Metal scene, thanks to an addictive mix of strong riffs, virtuoso guitar solos and very captivating female vocals, developed through each of their four, critically acclaimed albums. After having signed a new deal with Scarlet Records, Mastercastle now present us with their new album 'Enfer [De La Bibliothèque Nationale]' - translates to 'HELL [NATIONAL LIBRARY]. This new work, inspired by the different meanings and aspects of "censorship", has been described by the band as their heaviest effort to date, while still maintaining their trademark sound and with a special mention for the strongest production the band has ever benefited from. There are 10 tracks here all running in at under 5 minutes with 5 tracks under 4 mins. 'The Castle' is the opener and a fine one it is too, that is followed by the melodic sounding 'Let Me Out', a great vocal performance from Giorgia as well on this track as with all the others. The great music continues to roll out of the speakers with tracks like the heavy and pounding 'Naked', the very catchy 'Enfer', the power of 'Throne Of Time' and the great 'Behind The Veil' with it's top class guitar solo. Closing with 'Coming Bach' which is a powerhouse of an instrumental, this is a fine release from a band that gets better with age - some top class nuggets here with a release date set for the 13th October... 9/10 (Natalie Gold)
MAY THE SILENCE FAIL...'OF HOPE AND ASPIRATION'
(Supreme Chaos Records) Reviewed 12th September 2014
This is my debut as a reviewer for Dave and his beloved Ravenheart Music, Dave being a guy I truly admire. Anyway, Melodic Death Metal band May The Silence Fail from southern Germany, is a young, ambitious band founded in early 2007. The current line-up has been creating, living and breathing music since 2008. The rare constellation - featuring two front women (Janina Kutschewski and Sarina Wijasuriya) took the chance to create its own monster and will be releasing it onto the modern metal world with a bang: a mean bastard that strips flesh from the bones! Inspired by bands like Heaven Shall Burn, Unearth and In Flames, the precise, tough-as-nails drumming, vibrant bass riffs, sharp concise twin guitars with clean vocals and deep growls, merge into a highly explosive mix of music. Thumping screachingly heavy tracks like 'Return To Mind', the melodic but still heavy 'If it Wasn't For You', the explosive 'Come Alive', the fierce 'Without Knowing' and the rather good melodic digipak bonus closer - the mid paced thumper 'When Time Is Asleep', complete with cool guitar solo, will leave you gasping "more baby more". The band through this release want to express their passion for music. The experience, adventure, emotion and idea of every single member express themselves through lyrics and melodies. Staying true to the motto: “We live our music - our music lives through us...” Recorded at Audiospezialist Studio with Martin Schmidt (Primal Fear, Sinner, Leaves Eyes, Atrocity amongst others) this very mean 11 track Motherfucker is well worth checking out and buying when it gets released 10th October - Melodic this is, Death Metal it sure is - this amazing young band's Facebook is here
, release 10th October so get it!..8.75/10 (Natalie Gold)
(Self Release) Reviewed 3rd September 2014
Lyria is a Brazilian Symphonic Alternative Metal band. It was idealized and founded by the singer and songwriter Aline Happ in 2012. The name Lyria was inspired by the Greek Mythology and the lyre that was an important musical instrument for the Greeks. It is also related to the flower lily and to the word lyrics. And regards the music itself, this is another bombastic piece of Symphonic Metal to sink your teeth into - awesome! Fronted by the aforementioned Aline, this debut record from the band offers up 10 massively sounding tracks that will blow your mind! Aline's voice is angelically perfect and I like this album very much. Standout tracks a plenty including the pounding and bouncy 'Jester' the melodic 'Reflection', the metallic 'Light and Darkness' and the catchy 'What Do You Want From Me'. In-fact, I like everything about this album and it comes highly recommended from the Ravenheart crew. Check out the band's Facebook here
... 9.5/10 (Dave)
REMEMBER to visit our comprehensive reviews storage library at Ravenheart Music Archived Reviews.