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ORDER OF CHAOS…’APOCALYPSE MOON’
(Killer Metal Records) Reviewed 27th November 2015
THE ORDER OF CHAOS hail from Canada and are fronted by Amanda Kiernan- so at least all of you out there loving anything with female vocals in Metal, should check this Canadian Metal machine out! And what a Metal machine it is, more like a power hammer that will hammer your senses as you scream for more :) The five piece band has its roots deep in Metal, but suddenly the band occasionally erupts into a storm of Thrash while Amanda weeps, screeches, croaks and growls...inhuman sounds coming from her powerful lungs! 12 tracks of humungous pounding Metal on this record, that in turn will send shivers running down your spine. This is true Heavy Metal in the tradition that all Metal fans know and is well worth checking out for fans of the genre, oh and not a ballad in sight although the closer ‘The Devil That You Know’ is one of the more commercial numbers from the album ! Fave tracks a plenty however, but I like ‘Sexwitch’ cos I am one :) … 8.25/10 (The Nugget)
NIKKI PUPPET…’DISCO INFERNO’
(7hard) Reviewed 24th November 2015
Nikki Puppet come from Hannover, and the band is fronted by the distinctive vocals of a young lass named Nicky Gronewold. They have been going since 2003 so well established kids on the block. This I believe is their 5th album, which gives 14 tracks of alternative pop/rock with leanings more towards the rock, but with pop sensibilities. I must admit to not hearing any of their earlier stuff, so I am unable to compare this album with any of their previous material. But some feedback being given to me by some of our European counterparts, suggests that this is an okay release, but simply just that! I suppose from my individual point of view, it is catchy foot tapping music, it is inoffensive and enjoyable. If you want an album for party time, throwing into the melting pot, melodic rock, AOR coupled with 80s/90s rock on one side, but then are there also danceable beats connecting with the more poppier side, this could be the one that will get people up and jumping around! Try it, you may like it!… 8/10 (The Nugget)
(darkTunes Music Group) Reviewed 21st November 2015
In an icy cold Russian winter, it becomes scorching hot when Maria Mar and Yaroslav enter the scene and all gazes turn towards them. The Moscow duo OMNIMAR are confident and style conscious, and their music melts male and female hearts alike. Like simply no other, Maria Mar knows how to use her lovely voice, which she presents in three languages, to convey an atmosphere that is simply unique, and which is embedded in synth pop of the very highest quality, and which leaves you begging for more. And synth pop of the highest quality this is. The album’s 11 tracks invite you to a journey for all the senses; a journey that seems to begin in the ruins of a difficult childhood, and which then moves through an entire life; past broken self-protection mechanisms, emotional breakdowns and loves found and lost. There are catchy melodies with electrifying rhythms, so much so that your legs almost begin moving by themselves, while your entire body gently rocks backwards and forwards to the gentle sounds, just as if you were in a cradle. And that is what propels this album into the top division of this genre of music. Okay people reading this that are into Hard Rock and Metal may have stopped reading this review by now, but if you are still with me, do check this album out. It is massive, it is catchy and it is so damn cool, and Omnimar so deserve the accolade of n"Newcomer of the month" and to be on the front cover of the world wide biggest Gothic Music Magazine "ORKUS". As for the cd, buy! 9/10 (Dave)
NETHERFELL…’BETWEEN EAST AND WEST’
(Noizegate Records) Reviewed 14th November 2015
Netherfell is a Folk Metal band from Cracow, Poland, which was conceived in 2008. They use elements of old-time and ethnic music (Slavonic, Celtic, German and so on) and traditional instruments such as bagpipes, gusle, tin whistle and balalaika. They blend these folk elements with melodic death metal and symphonic music. The band members are: Piotr Martuś - guitars, vocals, balalaika; Wit Rzepecki – bagpipes, tin–whistle, traditional vocals; Adrianna Zborowska – violin, vocals, recorder; Jakub Kondzielnik – drums; Łukasz Ścieranka - bass; Tomasz Indyka – vocals; Michalina Malisz (session musician) – hurdy gurdy, flute, tin-whistle. This immediately gives the listener an idea as to what instruments are used, and you know what? This album is rather good! The male vocals are generally of the death metal variety, but the use of traditional instruments makes the musical listening experience all rather interesting. The tracks here are consistently good without having a number that actually stands out and grabs ya! The band has played many concerts, supporting popular folk metal bands such as Arkona, Alestorm, Dalriada and many others, so they know their biz. So light up the camp fire, invite your mates, have some jolly good fun and give this catchy album a listen, you never know, you may like it, we do!.. 8/10 (Dave)
NEW YEARS DAY…’MALEVOLENCE’
(Another Century Records) Reviewed 19th October 2015
New Year's Day is an American rock band formed in 2005 in Anaheim, California. After building a reputation through promotion on the social networking website MySpace, the band released their debut EP in 2006. Their debut album My Dear followed in 2007. The band's second full length effort, ‘Victim to Villain’ came out nearly six years after their debut. And now in 2015, we have their newie, Malevolence’. This album has the potential to be absolutely huge and the band has the image to boot, as well. The tracks on this record offer the listener a huge dose of hard rock, with elements of electronica coupled with stax of melody - right up my alleyway in-fact. Massive choruses galore with stand out cuts a plenty, with the vocals of Ashley Costello reminding me some what of Maria Brink (In This Moment). This is rather good stuff and is a record well worth checking out further - kinda imagine In This Moment crossed with The Birthday Massacre!… 8.75/10 (Dave)
OPEN ACCESS…’OVER A MOUNTAIN PEAK’
(Self Release) Reviewed 12th August 2015
Open Access fronted by Marta Muszynka was formed in 2013. They are a six piece Polish Folk/Metal band and this is a four track EP that they have graciously sent us. They seem to be rather big in their homeland and in the near future, will be supporting the Russian band GRAI, who are well known to us here at Ravenheart Music. 'Into The Storm' kicks things off and offers a stormy start to the album, a mid paced heavy number in-fact with a catchy chorus, and the violin being a noticeable musical feature of this opening number, as it is throughout. I do like the way the violin is now used quite commonly in this style of music. Next up ‘Kozak’ is sung presumably in the band’s native tongue, a galloping Folk/Metal number as is ‘Over A Mountain Peak’ (the title track). Closing track ‘Vengeance’ ends this mini epic. I like this style of music, I do love the violin, long may it continue. The band’s Facebook is at www.facebook.com/openaccessband
, and although I did enjoy this EP, I feel that the production could be a little better. But let it be said, we do not all have a Bon Jovi production budget so a good effort nonetheless... 8/10 (Dave)
(Pavement Ent) Reviewed 11th August 2015
Oblivious Signal fronted by Cristina T. Feliciano has become one of Florida’s hottest Rock bands. This their 2nd full length album following their debut 'Into The Night' is an awesome dose of Alternative Rock/Metal to get you in the mood to rock. Not a filler to be found on the eleven tracks on this album, and there is of course the single 'Crash'. This track will be felt like a stab in the heart by those who have lost anyone to drunken driving. This number being as obvious as it is too common (unfortunately). The band's website is here
, this is a consistent release and recommended...8.5/10 (The Nugget)
(City of Lights Records/Simply Boundless Records) Reviewed 30th July 2015
Swedish band Osukaru is the baby of its founder, guitarist and songwriter Oz Osukaru. The intention being to create an AOR/Melodic Rock band. 'Transition' is their third album and boy, this is good, just like taking a trip back in time to the 80s. After having done a little research, the first half of the album are new recordings and the second half accompanied by a DJ intro, are re workings of tracks from their previous albums. I must admit to never having heard anything from this band before (new or old), but if you just love catchy 80s sounding melodic rock featuring male (Fredrik Werner) and female vocals (Cecilia Camuii), and there is just one album of this style of music you listen too this year, then just check this one out, including the awesome track ‘Tell Me You’ll Stay’ fronted by Fredrik – Jon Bon Jovi will cry himself to sleep not having written this one. The band's Facebook is here
, and this is well recommended...9/10 (Dave)
(Self Released) Reviewed 8th June 2015
Naos from France was formed in 2006 and is fronted by the dolcet tones of MARION GIBELLO. Although the band released an EP in 2009, this album is the band's first full length release. 'Life' gives the listener 9 tracks of some rather decent mid paced melodic Metal, this well showcased in the opening track proper, the mid paced 'No Bounderies', this track following a rather cool title track - a choral intro that sets the scene rather nicely for what is to follow. Other highlights on this rather good album include the Middle Eastern tinged 'Shameless Desire', the ballad 'Goodbye', the bouncy 'Liberation', and the synth charged 'Origin'. The album has a lot of potential thanks to its fine production & composition and fine musicianship, therefore as a consequence, is well worth checking out. The band's website is here
.. 8.75/10 (Dave)
OBERON...'ALL THERE IS' EP
(Self Released) Reviewed 26th May 2015
Oberon is a Symphonic Metal band from Australia and this is their debut EP, that the band has so kindly sent me. Fronted by Lisbeth Rowe, there are four tracks here of prime time Symphonic Metal, offering an explosive journey about loss, redemption and the struggle for meaning in a fallen world. Certainly another band from 'down under' that is well worth checking out, and I am sure would do well within Europe with their style of Female fronted metal. The EP can be streamed here
so take a listen, it is a consistent release and you will not be disappointed... 8.25/10 (Dave)
ONYRIA...'BREAK THE SILENCE'
(Self Released) Reviewed 15th May 2015
Onyria formed in 2012 is a modern Symphonic Rock/Metal band based in Italy. With a young lass who goes by the name of Helena taking on vocal duties, this album is proving to my ears to be rather good. Helena's partner in crime within this project is guitarist Simon J. Gillman, who also provides guest vocals on certain tracks. I must say this is very catchy up beat stuff with the track 'Revenge' (that was released as a single) proving my point!. There are slower mid tempo numbers like 'Prisoner Of Mind', emotional ballads like 'Save Me From The End' and the closing tune 'Don't Forget Me', while they can also up the ante with tracks like 'Fake'. The powerful and symphonic 'Lagrimas De Cinixiu', features Alisandru "Quilo" Sanna who does a 'rap' interlude, this track being sung in the band's native tongue - and there is something about tracks sung in Italian - awesome! This album has the potential to be a biggie, the band's website is at www.onyriaofficial.com/
, and this is yet another album we have to recommend to all and sundry.. 9.25/10 (Dave)
(Self Release) Reviewed 16th April 2015
OH. (aka Olivia Hadjiioannou) is a young multi instrumentalist and by all accounts is going to be the new Prog-Rock sensation. In October of 2008, as an amateur violinist and guitarist she left her home town of Athens in Greece for New York, on the verge of the deepest economic crisis in both countries. Through the mirk and mire of lack of opportunity and the mass frustrations of her “lost generation”, she taught herself drums, bass and keyboards, experimented with sound engineering on Logic Pro and Cubase, mixed and mastered her own songs. OH.’s debut album 'Sleeping World' was independently released in February 2013, while this her second and mainly instrumental album is scheduled to be released as a Double 12" Gatefold vinyl album and digital album on April 24, 2015. The songs on the new album journey through the complex emotional states we experience when we are overwhelmed by concerns and fears – escapist feelings in the song 'Run Away', anger and frustration in 'Rumpus' – wanting to cower and hide in 'Subterfuge' – longing and nostaglia in 'Elegy' and the experience of disappointment and let-down in the song 'Deception'. Finally, letting go and receiving the feeling in the song 'Reception' – and the awareness and sensation of irony knowing it will all start over again in the 'World of Warcraft'. The hard rockin' title track expresses in words of Olivia this entire journey from pain and fear to release and hope. But most importantly the song uncovers how we cope with pain, fear, disappointment, depression, embarrassment and futility, it uncovers what actually happens to us, when we are overwhelmed by experience, and with a strange twist of perception, gifts the listener a path out of the darkness and despair, into an even more compelling and complex palette of emotions and sensations. The song gives hope and strength to walk through life, even with wounds and disfigurement and have an even greater experience than before. Lots of instrumentation on this album - and it is damn awesome too from this young lass. The haunting vocals of Olivia first appear on fourth track 'Deception', still mainly an instrumental however, with the girl proving that she can shred it too. Everything on this album is done by Olivia except the mastering, what a talent! And another thing I notice, the tracks are fairly short and sweet, between 3 & 4 minutes, so no long potentially boring solos. Check out the videos to the title track here
and the opening track from the album 'Runaway' here
... well recommended when released 24th April .. 8.5/10 (Dave)
NIGHTWISH...'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL'
(Nuclear Blast) Reviewed 3rd April 2015
When I listen to Nightwish, and I do not mean to be disrespectful to all the other massively awesome female fronted bands out there, but the total superiority of Nightwish over their counterparts shines through, often copied but never equalled. Not only are they premier league, they are anchored at the top of the league, and they cannot and will not be shifted. As with all other Nightwish material, this album is massive, and now with Floor Jansen at the mic, I fail to find words to describe its supremacy over anything else that this music scene has recently issued onto the music loving public. Do I dare to mention any track on the eleven on this record? Let me just say that they are all totally bombastically and magically awesome and that is all I am gonna say. And the closing track? - Epic!! Okay,as one may have gathered, I like Nightwish and I have for a long time now, and no doubt so have a lot of other people into this type of music. Believe it or not, it was a totally sweet 18 year old lass who was well into the metal scene, that way back in 1998 got me into Nightwish big time (Nightwish themselves were really only then just starting on the road to stardom). I still see her around town on the odd occasion and needless to say, we still talk music. I have digressed slightly, but to simply say that this Nightwish album is a must buy is an understatement, but if you are into the female fronted rock & metal scene and do not like or have never heard of Nightwish, you have a serious medical issue, no doubt about it! 10/10 (Dave)
ONLY WE REMAIN...'SIREN EP'
(Hellwyck Promotions/Ravenheart) Reviewed 11th March 2015
The Siren EP is an interesting release from the UK band Only We Remain, fronted by the sweet vocals of a young lass who goes by the name of Kitty. What we have here is 4 tracks of tuneful rock music with some rather cool electro/industrial influences. The band has developed from its early Gothic Metal roots and is materialising into a force within the UK music scene. The title track opens proceedings and instantly has become a favourite of mine. Second up, the catchy 'Run Away' displays some strong electro influences, which should become a dance floor fave if I had my way. 'Chase Me' is a featured track on the Ravenheart site and maintains the momentum of the opening duo. Closer 'Up' is a slow to mid tempo number. These four tracks showcase very well the strength of what can be found within the UK rock music scene, so if you enjoy bands like The Birthday Massacre, then please check out Only We Remain at their Facebook which can be found here
, rather cool.. 8.5/10 (The Nugget)
NUBIAN ROSE...'MENTAL REVOLUTION'
(Livewire/Cargo) Reviewed 10th December 2014
Nubian Rose fronted by Sofia Lilja, released 'Mountain' a couple of years or so ago, this album being a Melodic Rock/AOR masterpiece. Now at the back end of 2014, we here are reviewing the latest offering from these Swedes and an interesting release it is too. Indeed, it seems the ante has been upped by the band, the music on the record being more up tempo Hard Rock in nature, but still maintaining a great melodic sensibility. 'War' is the opening track, initially making one think they are in the Vatican, before the number kicks in big time, a Power Metal offering in-fact with a rather catchy chorus. As I have said, the album maintains a melodic sensibility, with next up 'Time Again', one of the more AOR ish tracks on this album. 'Illuminated Within' is another powerful track that will rock your sox off and will take you back to the rocking 80s - great stuff. 'Mental Revolution' never really veers from the tried and tested Hard Rock formula with further corking heavy rockin' tracks like 'Tough Guys Don't Dance', 'Break Out' (video here
), the bouncy 'Higher', the power ballad 'You Will Never Walk Alone' and the oh so good melodic rocking '(Taking This) Further'. This record is very good indeed from start to finish, and should be obtainable quite easily from your Hard Rock/Metal music stockist or Amazon amongst many others... 9/10 (Natalie Gold)
(Self Released) Reviewed 18th July 2014
My word, this is an awesome release from NeraNature. The band was founded in 2009 by Nera, a singer also associated with the Polish metal band Darzamat. Running in at a litte under 28 minutes, it is not exactly a lengthy release, but basically this is an all killer no filler album. This release follows on from their very good 'Foresting Wounds' album that was reviewed here in May 2011. This is an awesome dose of atmospheric Rock/Metal, but with the poppy and totally awesome vocals of Nera nailing the music to a tee, this perfectly shown in the second track in 'Drifting' - absolutely magical!! Neranature can rock too with tracks like 'In Contrast To' and although a little on the short side, there is nothing really to fault here on this recording. Check out their Facebook at www.facebook.com/NeraNatureOfficial/info
, but by and large, I would highly recommend this! 9.25/10 (Dave)
NOISY TOYZ...'FOREVER ONE'
(Dark Sounds Records) Reviewed 25th June 2014
Noisy Toyz is an awesome English band who released the rather good 'The Fate Of Dreams' cd in 2012. Building on the success of this album, the band has now in 2014 released 'Forever One' that is at this moment hitting the shelves and boy, this is rather good too. They have a new vocalist, Lisa Axworthy who carries in a similar style to the previous front ladies of the band. There are ten tracks of pure Gothic Metal with melody to die for on this release, and what I do like about Noisy Toyz, is they have kinda developed a sound of their own, with the new record very similar in sound to their previous full length effort 'The Fate Of Dreams' - if it ain't broken, why fix it?. Very little to fault here and a very consistent release too. Difficult to pick out any highlights, so what I shall say is just buy the album and decide for yourselves - but I must say that 'Memories' is one fave track from an album of faves. In summary - the album features symphonic orchestral hook lines to add to the theatrical edge, along with the melting pot of synth atmospheres, 7-string wall of guitar sound and drum grooves. Well worth checking out - their Facebook is here
... 9/10 (Dave)
OPUS DORIA...'A DAY ON EARTH'
(Self Release) Reviewed 5th June 2014
Opus Doria is a French Symphonic Metal band who took to life in the fall of 2009, with compositions mixing the lyricism and rigour of classical music and the rythmic power of metal. The band released their first album 'Infraworld' in 2011 and this their latest offering, came to fruition on May 1st 2014. The band is fronted by Christel Lindstat with all music and lyrics by the rather talented keyboard lass Laura Nicogossian. What the band offer the listener is a 7 track epic dose of Symphonic Metal, which all kicks off with the five minute + 'Prologue'. This as the title would suggest is an instrumental with a strong classical influence. This then segues into the up tempo 'The Mission' showcasing the operatic vocal style of Christel very nicely, with the good work carrying on into 'Crystal Ocean of Tears'. 'Lost Children In The World' is downright beautiful and rather quirky at times with a folky feel, while 'Epic Race' is another cool quirky instrumental. The closing duo of 'Wind Whispers' and the epic 8 minute + 'Requiem For A Wise Man' (great organ intro) closes a rather good album to my ears, and although Symphonic and to an extent Metal, it is slightly different but in a good way. For more info, check out their bandcamp at www.opusdoria.bandcamp.com/releases
... 8.5/10 (Dave)
(Wild Game Music - Belgium) Reviewed 1st June 2014
Musically, Nightqueen fronted by Keely Larreina brings a mix of heavy metal that is not only accessible within most metal communities, but also for all that enjoy a good riff. The style, as a result, is founded on these strong guitar riffs, rooted in the 80s, mixed with more modern metal beats, symphonic tunes and very catchy melodies from the vocal department. And this becomes immediately apparent on the opening salvo of 'The Hunter' and 'Love After Life', the latter having a catchy and very accessible chorus. The tempo is maintained on the uptempo title track and so far, a near faultless display. And the fine display of songs continues on the slower 'Rain Of Blood And Fear', with Keely giving a fine vocal display as she does on all the numbers here. 'Beyond The Gates Of Heaven' is a splendid Power Ballad with a fine choral display throughout the song too - this is a fave of mine from the album. 'Scream In The Night' ups the ante and this track along with others, confirms that Keely is backed up by a fine set of musicians. 'Demoncracy' starts with the sound of soldiers marching - an interesting song lyrically. Another cool song is the melodic thumper 'The Watcher' while closer, the 10 minute + epic Power Metal sounding 'Queen Of The Night' commences with a great church organ and symphonic instrumental intro - I have a feeling this song will be awesome live!! In summary, this is not Within Temptation, Delain or Nightwish sounding, being more comparable to bands like Battlebeast and the like, but nonetheless, it is a very enjoyable listen from beginning to end. The album is currently available world wide digitally (iTunes etc) and physically in Benelux, and furthermore it is well recommended from us here at Ravenheart Music.… 9/10 (Dave)
(Daily Rock Records / Musikvertrieb) Reviewed 9th May 2014
Swiss band November-7 fronted by Annamaria it has to be said is one of my fave bands, having seen them live too here in the UK. And they prove that Switzerland is not just famous for watches, chocolate or cow bells :) This rather awesome and interestingly titled and very well produced album features 10 powerful tracks on the conventional version of the cd, and all the tracks rock with the familiar 'Acid Life' being a fave of mine, this number like much of the rest of the album rocking like a rhino on acid (no pun intended)! Very good indeed, with Annamaria exercising her lungs to full effect. 'Another Day' is another fave of mine from the cd, a melodic offering with a catchy chorus that screams radio airplay, and 'Your Turn' must surely become a live favourite! The album comes in at least two formats including a "full therapy collector package" that includes a feast of goodies including a bonus disc. Overall, the album is pure November-7: it embraces melodies and martial sounds, fusing catchy choruses, fat and obsessive guitars and industrial samples. Stefan Glaumann’s mix delivers each sound with extreme power and accuracy. It is damn good, and we here at Ravenheart must well recommend it to all and sundry. And they tour here in the UK in August too! ...9.25/10 (Dave)
(Self Release) Reviewed 6th May 2014
Hailing from San Francisco, Nouveau-Expo brings listeners a quirky blend of indie-pop-rock music. Alexander Fostar (guitar, violin, vocals) and Kayleigh Mack (keyboard, tambourine, vocals) met while in production for a musical theater piece at the University of San Francisco, and their musical chemistry and compatibility developed instantly. The duo’s release of 'These Woods', has given the band a distinct sound that would suit the aforementioned indie-pop genre rather nicely. With the vocal duties shared between Alexander and Kayleigh, we are given a nice mix of original and quirky songs, some laid back, some upbeat - upbeat tunes including 'Quiet Space', 'Upturn In Texas' the rather good 'Classic Cut' and the title track, more laid back tunes including the bluesy 'A & A'. We also have the quirky and acoustic feel of 'The Ship', one of my faves from the record. It is not something that I would normally listen too, but this album is a good dose of Indie-Pop, so if you feel that may tickle your taste buds, go check them out - www.soundcloud.com/nouveau-expo
... 8/10 (Dave)
OVERNIGHT COLLIDES...S/T EP
(Self Release) Reviewed 15th April 2014
Overnight Collides is an independent Canadian act fronted by Melissa Kay, who not only sings her little heart out, she is also the drummer and from what I have been told, is an avid guitar player too! We have here on the band's debut offering, 5 tracks of catchy alternative rock with a captivating addictive sound. 'Trials' kicks the EP off and sets the scene rather nicely for the remainder of the record. The standard is consistent and therefore, it is difficult to pick out a fave track, although I do rather like the closing duo of 'Fallen Reigns' and 'Surrender'. Check the website out here
. There is promise being shown here and I am sure the band could progress onto bigger things in due course.. 8/10 (Dave)
(EarMusic) Reviewed 8th April 2014
We could be forgiven in mentioning Nightwish within this review, but mention over, let us now concentrate on the merits alone of their former singer, who can also list the AOR band Alyson Avenue within her CV. Effectively, Anette throws at us on this solo offering, 10 tracks of what could best be described as easy listening Pop/Rock, and rather good it is too. Not wanting to continue the bombastic metal route of her former band, Anette's vocals as always are smooth and effortless, with the keys and strings tending to dominate proceedings throughout the record. This is to be perfectly honest, a beautiful record that would even please your Grandmother. It never strays too far from the aforementioned Pop/Rock path. I have heard Pop/Metal mentioned, but bands like Metallica need never fear, Anette is not going to remove you from the metal pile that you have dominated for so long. As a taster, check out the video to the song 'Lies' here
, which many of you possibly have already!... 8.75/10 (Dave)
ONCE THERE WAS...'THE BLUE BOX'
(Demo) Reviewed 15th November 2013
ONCE THERE WAS is a project fronted by Jessica Lehto who is also front lady of the band Factory Of Dreams, Beto Vazquez Infinity and Erain. She seems a very nice young lass, and has so kindly sent me a demo from her new project. What I would like to say is that this is not really Metal, but Jess has proved one thing, she has an awesome voice and she can sing - but we already knew that anyway. This is great laid back music basically with just keys and strings, the kinda stuff you come home too after a hard day at the office, and relax with a glass of your fave tipple and actually, this is rather good. There are songs here that to my ears have the potential to be given the symphonic Rock/Metal treatment like the number 'Layers', but to be quite honest, I think the songs should be left just as they are. Jessica wrote all the music/lyrics/arrangements, apart from the guitars on the track 'A Truth Revealed' that were recorded and written by Beto Vazquez. There are a couple of clips to be heard here
, so give Jess and Once There Was a listen and support a hard working musician....rather cool - 8.25/10 (Dave)
OF EYES THAT SEE...'EMPTY SHADOWS' EP
(Self Release) Reviewed 15th November 2013
Bands that spring to mind while listening to this EP from OF EYES THAT SEE are Paramore, Firelight and Flyleaf to name just three. So if that kinda sound is your cuppa tea, you sure are going to lap this up. The band is fronted by Tiffany Sinko who is just a wee youngster at 17 years old, and she also writes all the lyrics, so I feel we have a talented young lass here. And this southern California outfit sure know how to rock in the vein of the above mentioned acts. There are five tracks here, the final song being a duet with a fellow musician from S. California Joel Piper. The numbers are all upbeat, they are all catchy so check the band out here
...Well worth looking into.. 8.5/10 (Dave)
NEVER TRUST...' MORNING LIGHT'
(Self Release) Reviewed 28th October 2013
Italy at the moment sure seems to be the hot bed of all things Rock & Metal, and NEVER TRUST is the next band to send a cd to Ravenheart Towers that just oooozzzesss musical appeal. Fronted by Elisa Galli, this band throws at the listener 11 tracks of awesome melodic uptempo alternative Rock on this their debut cd. To be honest, this is yet another record that has left me speechless - the opening three tracks are simply awesome and 'Rebound' should be on mainstream radio - massive! The album continues in a high octane fashion with tracks like the hideously catchy 'Honey' that is a Pop/Rock masterpiece, the hard rocking 'More Than This', the power ballad 'Heartbreak Warning' and well I will stop there, as to be honest, all the tracks on this cd are just simply that good! Produced, arranged and mixed by Onil Utsis & Jimmy Temper for Nookstudio, Cleveland, Ohio – USA and mastered by Dave Towne @ Welcome to 1979, Nashville, Tennessee, the eleven tracks here reveal the band's strong melodic rock’n roll essence. Check out the band's website at www.nevertrustmusic.com/
- great stuff and well worth spending some hard earned cash on! - 9/10 (Dave)
NORHOD...'THE BLAZING LILY'
(Wormholedeath/Dreamcell 11/Aural Music) Reviewed 7th August 2013
Italian Symphonic band Norhod was born in the summer 2009, with Michele Tolomei (keyboards), Giacomo Casa (growl), Giacomo Vannucci (guitars) and Andrea Stefani (guitars). A few lineup changes ensued, but then along came female vocalist Clara Ceccarelli to help complete the essential components of Norhod and settle things down. So what do the band offer on this their debut full length record? What we have is 11 tracks of beauty & the beast metal, with the operatic vocals of Clara combining well with the growls of Giacomo. The music is dark but well beautifully orchestrated at the same time, with a couple of the tracks exhibiting Folk Metal elements. This is well worth checking out when the cd gets released, I believe sometime in the Autumn - for fans of After Forever, Epica, Haggard, Nightwish and Cradle of Filth.... 8.5/10 (Dave)
NYA...'DRIVING THE NAILS IN' EP
(Self Released) Reviewed 27th June 2013
I admit to having heard of NYA but that basically was as far as it got. Then it was mentioned to me to check the band out, so I kindly asked the band for a copy of this EP, and to be perfectly frank, I am glad I did. Based in the south of England and fronted by Anežka Piška, NYA give us 5 tracks of well produced hard rocking but melodic rock/metal, that refuses to leave your head after the cd has finished, leaving you no choice but to hit the repeat button and hear it all again. Great songs with great hooks and well worthy of checking out because on this showing, this band will be going places! Take a peek at their FaceBook
ORIANTHI...'HEAVEN IN THIS HELL'
(Robo/Fontana/Spinefarm) Reviewed 30th April 2013
Not only has Orianthi Panagaris a strong solo career going for her, this being her third solo outing, she has also amongst other things been a guitarist in the late Michael Jackson's band and been more recently, the lead guitarist in Alice Cooper's touring band, having done two world tours with the legend. And not only that, she has the looks to die for, and she is only 28! What this young blonde lass offers the listener is 11 tracks of hard blues orientated rock, with even a touch of country thrown into the mix on occasion. And not only can the girl sing, boy can she shred that guitar, but with her pedigree, that is to be expected! Some awesome music on this CD, not only proving that the girl can rock with tracks like the title track opener and 'Fire', but she can ply her trade with awesome ballads like 'Another You' and the closer 'If You Were Here With Me'. And throw in the blues - 'How Do You Sleep' and 'Filthy Blues' and I am struggling to find fault with this album. This is a damn good record and I like it! 9/10 (Dave)
OUR DYSTOPIA...'BROKEN BUT BREATHING'
(Self Release) Reviewed 23rd April 2013
Occasionally a band sends me music that just blows me away. And when that band is local, that is even better :) Our Dystopia is basically a Melodic Hard Rock Band that was formed in late 2011, they are based in Birmingjam here in the UK and this four track EP is quite simply epic! The band's music is based on hard hitting guitar riffs and totally awesome vocals, and offering music that should be played loud, and I mean loud. And what has struck me apart from the impressive vocals from leading lady Jane Gillard, is the high standard of musicianship from the remainder of the guys, plus some awesome fret work from lead guitarist Jim Daly, that guy can sure shred it! I am not going to single out any track here as they are all bombastic and epic, but if the band was to release a full length cd based on what is on offer on this EP, we will be in for a monster. Check this video out here
and visit them on Facebook
- mindblowing... 8.75/10 (Dave)
NOVEMBER-7...'LIVE IN BELGIUM 2012' DVD
(Self Released) Reviewed 5th March 2013
Okay, it must be said that Swiss band November-7 ranks as one of my fave underground female fronted bands. Fronted by Annamaria Cozza, this band is actually quite a busy little outfit having released cds/eps in the past, and I can testify myself are awesome live having seen them in Birmingham UK. Okay, I was not at the MFVF gig that this live DVD relates too, but from having seen the live performance from a link that the band had given me, it is a downright awesome set. Running in at a little under 35 minutes, we have a set of 8 numbers featuring known songs plus a newie or two. 'Her Name' from the album 'Season 3' kicks the set off, followed by the live fave 'Two Sides' from the 'Angel' EP. This sees Annamaria bouncing around like a demented kangaroo and as one would have guessed is a hideously catchy number - just love it! This gal is awesome and I love her to bits! 'In My Mind' is another massive track from the 'Season 3' album, followed by the heavier sounding 'Angel'. So far so good! A newie 'Acid Life' (about the corrosion of life) presumably showcases the material the band are recording for their forthcoming album and is impressive, while 'Parasite' is another song from 'Season 3'. The live DVD closes with 2 further new ones I believe, the bouncy 'Another Day' and 'Black Veil'. The DVD quality is close too if not perfect, the show itself is a pleasure to watch, the band are awesome, Annamaria is lovely and gives it her all - what more can I say. Check out the band's website at www.november-7.com/
where the concert performance can be downloaded, while the accompanying recording can be downloaded from iTunes. I rather like this... 9/10 (Dave)
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