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Ravenheart Music: Album Reviews


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(Dead End Exit) Reviewed 28th November 2015

Welcome to the realms of Cinematic Metal or as the band describe on their Facebook page, Symphonic/Industrial Metal. It is interesting that over the years, Heavy Metal is simply now not just Heavy Metal. There is Melodic Metal, Symphonic Metal, Gothic Metal, Dark Metal, Black Metal, Stoner Metal and so on. Okay, some of those sub genres have been around for a while, but every day, a new sub genre seems to be springing up, no matter what style of music we are talking about, whether its Pop, Rock or Metal. Anyway, The Grim is a Swedish outfit and consist basically of vocalist and mastermind Carl Lofvenhamn and female vocalist, the lovely diva Maria Storck. And as a consequence, we have an album that could quite easily be a sound track to a massive sci-fi movie. Great orchestration, great vocals and great tunes, all put together into this awesome little package. Indeed, if you put Industrial, Classical, Symphonic, Gothic, Rock and Metal (among others) into a melting pot, add heaps of atmosphere and melody, the result would be this amazing record! Certainly an interesting and haunting listening experience and well worth checking out. Facebook is here - unique and epic!.. 9/10 (Dave)


(East West Records) Reviewed 27th November 2015

The Corrs…well what can I say? Formed in 1990 and it had all become a little quiet just recently within The Corrs camp until now. Indeed ‘White Light’ is their first studio album in a decade, after ‘Home’ (2005), their first of original material since 2004, and marks their much welcome return to the music scene. And they are still musically stunning as they give us an album full of great Pop/Rock! Andrea remains on top form vocally and the girls (and lets not forget that lucky guy Jim as well) all seem like a good wine - they get better with age. There is some fine awesome music here with many stand out cuts, ‘Kiss Of Life’ being just one track that kinda hit me with the word ‘magical’, from a tsunami of awesome music on this album. As many of you will have gathered, this is not a Metal album but who cares, I love this band, always have done and it is nothing to do with the pretty girl factor, just damn fine inoffensive Pop/Rock music!! Released today so get it!… 9/10 (Dave)


(The Leaders Records) Reviewed 27th November 2015

Scarleth come from Ukraine and on this album, they are fronted by two young ladies: Irina Makukha – vocals and Oksana Element – extreme vocals. However, I am a little unsure as to whether Irina Makukha is still in the band, as she is not listed within their current line up according to their website and indeed their Facebook page as well. Anyway, no matter who is in or not in the band, ‘The Silver Lining’, the band’s second album offers the listener 9 tracks of pure in yer face Melodic Metal. It all kicks off in manic fashion with the track ‘Night Of Lies’, this number laying the foundation for what is to come. And if they are Oksana’s growls, well she can growl like the best of them! But for those of you out there that are not fans of growls, then they are not overly done on this release. The momentum continues with second track ‘Double Memory’, another up tempo blast of Melodic Metal, while ‘The Gates of Dark Sun’ drops the tempo a little, but is a massive epic song nonetheless, with a kinda Middle Eastern feel! ‘Voices’ with its melodic chorus blasts out of the speakers, while the awesome ‘Dying Alone’ is the album’s power ballad. ‘One Short Life’ will have you dancing around the camp fire, with the closing trio of ‘Before The Night Falls’, ‘Pure Desire’ and ‘Last Hope’ failing to disappoint, so overall, a very good album from this Ukrainian band…. 8.5/10 (Dave)

TRACKTOR BOWLING…’Бесконечность'

(Moroz Records) Reviewed 15th November 2015

Tracktor Bowling is a Russian alternative metal band, formed in Moscow in 1996. The band is fronted by Lousine Gevorkian (who also fronts the Russian band Louna) and from what I understand from my contacts, they are one of the most popular metal bands in Russia. 'Бесконечность' is their fifth album and please do not ask for any translations LOL, but what I can say is that this band rocks and Lousine can sure belt out an awesome tune with those power house vocals of hers. There are 12 tracks on this record sung in the band's native tongue, and as my knowledge of the Russian language is literally non existent, I am unable to give any translation. But this is Alternative Rock/Metal of the highest calibre with a strong melodic sensibility. My advice - buy?... 9/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Release) Reviewed November 3rd 2015

SACRED GROOVE from Germany stands for energetic and ear catching songs with a fat groove. The musical style is based anywhere between heavy rock and melodic metal, while lead singer Alona’s exceptionally vibrant voice guarantees uniqueness. SACRED GROOVE´s trademarks are bombastic guitar riffs, a grooving rhythm & bass section, symphonic key and piano-parts, emotional vocals and of course lots of melody. The band's words actually and this is not too far from the truth, with the album offering up some great catchy numbers. A consistent release, which as a result due to its consistency fails to throw up any real highlights as all the tracks are good! The band’s website is at - find out for yourselves, but this band is good. Just one more thing on a tragic note - the album is dedicated to bandmate Juppi Pullen' who lost his life in a tragic road accident on his way home from band rehearsals in July 2014. The keyboard tracks on this album he had already recorded. RIP our friend!! 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Decca Records) Reviewed 26th October 2015

The groundswell of interest in Country music in the UK is now officially unstopable. But one of the acts helping to make country cooler than ever on this side of the Atlantic aren’t from Tennessee or Texas, they’re from Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire in southern England. And the duo of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes have swiftly become one of the real buzz bands of 2014. This album is their debut and this album so happens to be rather good. Alright, we will get one thing straight here, this certainly is not metal, so if metal is your forte, you may not even be reading this anyway, but we here are very open minded to the music we listen too. I am reviewing the deluxe edition featuring 15 outstanding tracks of easy listening Pop/Country Music, and everything here clicks all the right buttons. From the opening number, the bouncy 'Tonight', through the country feel of 'Nashville Grey Skies', the lovely ballad and title track 'Brave', the catchy 'All Over Again', the beautiful single 'State Lines' and the lively 'Drink You Away' (Deluxe edition). The Shires have literally found a piece of country to call their own. They love American music, but they’re proudly British and intensely keen to add some real indigenous flavour to the pot. The song ‘Made In England’ is a perfect example, a real celebration of all things British. My Dad who is not the worlds best authority on anything music (apart from Elvis or Roy Orbison) has just said to me; "do Decca Records still exist then?". Obviously they do...this is a brilliant record and is well recommended from a very talented duo! 8.75/10 (Katie McIntyre)


(Self Released) Reviewed 22nd October 2015

September is a female vigilante grim reaper, and a trouble-maker in the eyes of the Reaper-ruler, Fate. She does what she thinks will "make things right" but in doing so, she often screws up the fabric of space-time. September is unique because she is part human, part reaper. So she has the ability to fight against the orders of Fate, swap souls, and other rogue reaper behaviour. For this reason, she is hunted by Fate. The Skullfly – like a moth with skulls on its wings - appears as a tattoo on September’s neck that comes to life to collect the souls. And now, she's coming for yours...So a word of advice, buy this EP because it is awesome and I will say that as September is knocking on my frikin’ door. Six tracks of awesome music on this EP, not a filler, it rocks, kinda imagine In This Moment crossed with Evanescence on speed! Got it? Good… website here…well worth it and rather sexy too! 9/10 (The Nugget)


(SD Records) Reviewed 18th October 2015

Symphonic Destiny come from Temerin in Serbia! What a band!! Fronted by Timea Santa, this band has released one helluva debut full length album here. There are 12 tracks on my version of Melodic Symphonic Metal to feast your ears upon, and I have to be honest and ask myself if I will hear a better debut album in this style of music this year. This is a massive record running in at well over the hour, and not a duff track to be found. This band on this record has all the ingredients to make the big time. Kicking off with the appropriately titled ‘The Beginning Of An Adventure’, that is sure what we have got here. There are Symphonic belters like ‘Light In The Darkness’, ‘The Magical Sphere’, the atmospheric ‘Voice Of Temptation’, the belter ’Witch’s Cottage’ and after all that, there is the awesome pen ultimate 15+ minute title track that is the cream that tops this little lot off. And let us not forget the ballads, ‘Garden Of Eden’ and the beautifully crafted ‘Well Of Souls’. Everything here hit’s the spot! A massively beautiful debut that has surely propelled the band into the Premier League at the first attempt. The band’s website is here.. 9.75/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 15th October 2015

What an awesome album we have here from this Scottish Band. We have pounding Symphonic Metal fronted by Laura Tracey (also known as Evangeline), music that is similar to the greats such as Within Temptation, Nightwish, Epica, Lacuna Coil and the like. And it all becomes immediately apparent how good this band is from the start, with the melodic and pounding ‘Under My Skin’ that kicks thinks off in a near perfect manner. And after that awesome start, ‘Abandon’ keeps you glued to the music player, this being one record you will not abandon, I can assure you, while ‘The Devil Never Sleeps’ is a Symphonic Metal masterpiece. In all honesty, there is nothing here to fault with further blistering numbers like ‘Our Salvation’ and the amazing ‘Destiny’. And of course let us not forget the ballad ‘Forgotten’. This record from this Scottish band is straight out of the Premier League. Frikin’ awesome, and for a debut full length, amazing! Check out their Facebook pages here… 9/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 2nd October 2015

Here we have a very talented band from Northern Ireland, a small country that with the utmost respect, does not really have a place on the Symphonic Metal map. However Selene aim to change that scenario, as they are about to burst onto the Symphonic Metal scene with this 11 track opus. Fronted by the cool vocals of leading lady Shonagh Lyons, the band has already released two EPs, ‘Paradise Over’ and ‘Among The Frozen‘. Indeed three tracks from the latter feature on this debut full length, which to be perfectly honest is totally awesome from beginning to end. Highlights are in abundance, we have the catchy and melodic ’Neverending Silence’ (lyric video here) , the bombastic ’Fade Away’ (featured on the ’Among The Frozen’ EP), the ballad ’Sweetest Dreams’ and the epic 9+ minute closing epic track ’Piano Black’, to name just four, with the closing number showcasing very well the direction this band is taking. Overall, the album offers a bombastic and melodic sound, being well worth the purchase price when released on November 19th. The band’s FaceBook is here… 9/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 30th September 2015

Yay, yay and triple yay! The former Sacramento singer Laura Vargas gives us a real musical treat here. This is The Inferno Doll, ten tracks of totally bombastic modern melodic metal to blow your mind totally. No soppy ballads on this record as Laura Inferno as she is now called, pummels her way through tracks like the opening cut 'Crushing Me', the absolutely marvellous and tuneful 'Conciencia' (ft. Paula Barouh from the band Barouh - Chile) the powerful and pounding groove of one of my faves, 'Nemesis Within' (ft.Roland B. Marx from the band The Outside - Germany), 'Asylum' (ft. Claudio Carrasco from the band Poema Arcanus - Chile), the pulsating 'The Dream' and the totally melodic and thumping closing number 'Carmilla', a live fave I am sure this number will be! Indeed, despite giving a mention to the above tracks, everything on this album is so awesome and as a consequence, it is without a doubt a no filler all killer album, being heavy, melodic and it is a record to play loud and play again and again and again. I have to say it, on this showing, Laura can create an inferno and dollminate me anytime - the website is here - my advice is buy!...9.5/10 (Dave)


(Warner Music Group) Reviewed 23rd September 2015

Genesis (released last year) is the third album from Patricia Tapia, formerly of Nexx and now second voice in Wizard of Oz (who I believe have so far released 14 albums!). Sung in Spanish, this latest album from Patricia is another rather good record to come from this talented musician. There are some catchy rockin' numbers here including second number in 'Miedo (En Lo Mas Profundo), the melodic 'Me Cuesta Respirar' (great chorus), the infectious 'En Mis Suenos' and the riff tastic 'Penquenas Almas'. They are just four tunes from a plateful of golden nuggets. Then we have the slower numbers like the atmospheric Power Ballad 'Neckna' (video here) - rather good if I may say so. Our version of this album closes with the Anastasia cover ‘Left Outside Alone’ - cool! If one has been lagging behind like we have, this is well worth adding to your ‘to buy list‘… 8.75/10 (The Nugget)


(Frontiers) Reviewed 21st September 2015

Veronica Freeman aka The V is the lead vocalist of the American heavy metal band Benedictum. Her most recent album with Benedictum is 'Obey', released through Frontiers Records in 2013. In July 2015 Frontiers Records released this her debut solo album, which includes an array of special guests including Pete Wells, Aric Avina and Rikard Stjernquist of Benedictum, Michael Sweet (Stryper), Garry Bordonaro (The Rods), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner), Mike Lepond (Symphony X), Tony Martin (Black Sabbath), Jerry Dixon (Warrant) and more. With such an array of musicians involved, one would expect this to be from the top drawer and of course, this album does let rip, with 12 tracks of melodic hard rock/metal, showcasing as Veronica does in Benedictum, what a belter of a voice she has. Of the numbers on offer, 'L.O.V.E' and 'Line In The Sand' takes the more melodic 80s sounding route, while 'Love Should Be To Blame' is a slightly slower number but hideously melodic to boot - kool! I have seen one or two not very good reviews of this album, because it is different to what Veronica normally does in Benedictum. Erm…that is why it is a solo record guys, therefore it may well be different! Overall, this is a damn good hard rockin’ record, well worth checking out if not already done so... 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 11th September 2015

Formed in 2012, Since Ever is a 5 piece Symphonic Metal band from Stockholm fronted by Linda Lundberg, and to be honest, anything out of Scandinavia and the surrounding regions will attract my attention. To be released on 2nd October, this is a massive mix of metal with a huge dose of Hans Zimmer-esque film-scores, which creates what we here at Ravenheart like to think is a very epic listening experience. Indeed, I must say that The Murder Of My Sweet (also from Sweden) springs to mind as a comparison, although Since Ever do have a sound of their own. I have already used the words "epic" and "massive", but those two words do sum up everything that is here, you can add bombastic to that as well. For a debut offering, this is absolutely superb, and I can honestly say that there is not a filler to be found among the 11 monster tracks! And with the final track which so happens to be the title track running in at over 10 mins, this is so damn good - the closing epic taking the listener on a great journey through the last days of our civilisation. I am finding it hard to fault this - great production, great musicianship from all involved. The band say that they are ready to embark on their quest for world domination, on this showing, they are almost there, not a bad start eh?! More info here... 9.5/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 2nd September 2015

Space Elevator fronted by a young lass who goes by the name of The Duchess (who also takes care of Backing Vocals and all Vocal Arrangements) features among others Neil Murray (Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, The Brian May Band) on bass. There are 12 tracks here of AOR/Melodic Rock inspired by the likes of Queen, Genesis and The Darkness to name a just a few. And furthermore, I would like to add that this is a release that hits the awesome category. If you like your metal heavy with a large dosage of “ooommmppphhh”, this may not be to your liking, but if you are open minded regards the music you listen to, and enjoy a good helping of Melodic Rock inspired by the above mentioned bands, with the occasional ballad thrown in for good measure, this is an album well worth checking out. Check out the website at, jump on the Space Elevator and enjoy... 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Frontiers Records) Reviewed 26th August 2015

The Murder of My Sweet was founded in Stockholm in 2006 by drummer and producer Daniel Flores. It consists of Angelica Rylin (vocals), Andreas Lindahl (Keyboard), Teddy Westlund (bass), Christopher Vetter (guitar), and Daniel Flores (drums). Their debut single ‘Bleed Me Dry’ reached 14th spot in the national Swedish singles chart. In January 2010 they released their debut album ‘Divanity’ on the Italian label Frontiers Records. Fast forward to the current day (August 2015) and this new one is their 3rd, and to put it in a nutshell before we even start, it is bombastically, mouth wateringly and symphonically awesome! Around 70 minutes of music, a total mind blowing concept piece as one track merges into another. It will take more than one play to get into the music here as it is not too easy to digest all at once, but boy, once you have got it, it sure will not let you go! I personally just love this, a kind of mini opera traveling the spectrum of emotions from anger through to love, passion and angst. This is a work of art, a grower but a work of art. I will not bother naming any individual tracks as such, they are all that good! Just get it, play it and you will hear what I mean. Fans of the Female Fronted Symphonic/Gothic scene will find this a totally orgasmic experience to the full :) ….9.75/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Released) Reviewed 19th August 2015

Sovereign Council from Canada is comprised of five members: Alexander MacWilliam (vocals), professional vocalist and vocal coach Lisa Thompson , Chris Thompson (guitar), Shaun Vanhooser (bass guitar) and Brandon Schneider (drums). The group’s blend of male/female vocals has earned them comparisons to Lacuna Coil, Evanescence, Delain, Nightwish, and Kamelot. On this their 2nd album, they have throttling guitar riffs, intense bass lines, driving drums and fluctuating vocals that are at times guttural and at others more mellow and introspective. Their unique and at times Progressive sound has been influenced by a wide array of artists, from Chopin and Mozart to Slipknot, Metallica, Slayer and Epica, and they find inspiration for their song writing in lost loves, betrayals, deaths and other hardships in life that many of us sure experience at one time or another. Like many US bands that embrace this style of metal, the use of keyboards is subtle, preparing a more in yer face guitar sound for the listener. And one sure gets their monies worth on this record with 14 tracks to wrap your ears around. This is a consistent and a very accomplished release, although no one track actually jumps out and grabs me. However, the band was able to acquire the services of Timo Somers from Delain who features on the heavy and metallic sounding track ‘The Human Condition’, Delain of course recently released the similarly titled album ‘The Human Contradiction ‘. There are not many Symphonic Metal bands coming out of Canada at the moment, but Sovereign Council is certainly one band from that country to watch out for! Their Facebook is here - this is a grower..8.25/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Released) Reviewed 18th August 2015

Israeli Symphonic Metal band Salvation began its way at the dawn of 2000. Their music is a mixture of Symphonic and Gothic melodies, with a small amount of middle eastern flavour as expected of a band from Israel. The band finds way to integrate these influences into classic symphonic melodies and metal riffs, with clean female vocals and deep deathly growls and grunts. Original Female Vocals on this recently released debut full length, were performed by Natalie Akselman, a very talented session singer. However, during the production the band was joined by vocalist Victoria, and they then decided to re-record all lead female parts with the current vocalist, leaving a fair amount of backing vocals performed by Natalie. There are some heavy and pounding corkers on this record including tracks like ‘Tears I Cried, Years I Bled’, the melodic ’Dark Shades Of White’ and the keyboard/guitar driven ‘All Is Silent Now’ . Indeed, the band has come a long way since its conception, this album including songs from various eras of the band’s history, a refined mixture of new and old, including a remake of closing track, the rather nice 'Roses' that was originally from their very first EP . This album is rather good and well recommended as a consequence. Their website is here… 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 18th August 2015

Quality exists within this band as they continue to release awesome music, as demonstrated within the music on this, their latest offering. This young and very confident band from Lincolnshire here in the UK is fronted by Skarlett, and they continue to mature like a flippin’ good wine. ‘We Are The Brave’ was released earlier in the year, but due to various circumstances totally beyond my control, coupled with illness, I myself have only just got around to reviewing this rockin’ masterpiece. There are five tracks here of blistering melodic tunes, and surely this band is going places if they continue to release music like this. There is not a filler on this EP so my advice is just go and buy the damn thing. It rocks and certainly will not disappoint!... 9/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 18th August 2015

Skies Below from Seattle consist of Liz Porcayo on vocals, Dan Sides on guitar, Ryan Akin, bass, and Tim Strovas, drums. Recorded and mixed at Witch Ape Studio with Tad Doyle (Tad, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth), 'Aphelion' is the much-anticipated follow up to their 2013 debut EP 'Prologue'. Their music conjures elements of progressive rock, metal, doom, blues, and jazz. Evoking awe-inspiring vistas and glimpses of eternal darkness, the haunting melodies and lyrics will draw the listener in, guiding them through tales of wonder and despair. The album may not be to everybody's liking, but if you think that industrial prog served amongst a doomy atmosphere will be up your alleyway, then check this out. Okay, this is an intense journey musically with no ooohhh lala choruses, but it is good and highlights very well what this band is capable of! They ply their trade with seven tracks of the aforementioned style of music, with the band TOOL being I suppose a major influence style wise to what they offer the listener. Ending with the epic and haunting 9 minute plus ‘Doorway_Descent_Dissolution’, you will find the band’s Facebook here. The album meanwhile, is worth checking out, is due August 29th and it can be pre ordered here!... 8/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Release) Reviewed 31st July 2015

Samantha Scarlette is an Alternative Rock singer/song writer & film music supervisor, originally from Saddle River, NJ, and she released a 7 track EP last November. Five of the tracks on the EP were produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa (HIM, The 69 Eyes, Amorphis, Apocolyptica) and we are reviewing that very EP here. I have known about this artist for a wee while now, and she is rather good. The album kicks off with the catchy and bouncy 'These Violent Delights', possibly one of the best tracks from the CD. Next up 'Forgive Sins (From Dusk Til Dawn)' is another catchy number, showcasing Samantha's poppy vocal style. Thereafter, the listener is treated to 5 further foot tapping radio friendly numbers. My copy however, has a digital only bonus track, that being the number 'Fallen Star', released as a free download single in February 2014, accompanied by a music video. For more info, Samantha's website is here.. 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 16th July 2015

The Val feature German lass Gabrielle de Val on vocals and are a Madrid based band. I am no spring chicken and my younger years saw me listening to bands from the hard rockin’ 70’s and 80’s. The melodic rock/AOR scene became quite strong then until grunge came along and killed it off. I was into all the hair band stuff, Glam Rock/Hard Rock/Melodic Rock/AOR and it is bands like The Val that confirm to me why I love music in the first place. This effectively is prime time Melodic Rock/AOR and to be honest, I simply just love it! There are 12 tracks here and I simply cannot fault this little package. OK, if you are into all the Symphonic /Gothic stuff and are not open minded to the music you listen too, then this possibly will not be your cuppa tea. But this is inoffensive radio friendly rock music that to me demands mainstream attention. I reviewed their previous album ‘Back’ in January 2012 and I liked what I heard then, but this is even better. If you like your Fleetwood Macs and your Totos, then this will be for you. The band’s facebook is here, for some reason, Mcafee would not let me onto their own website..well recommended to lovers of this style of music.. 9/10 (Dave)


(Self Released) Reviewed 9th July 2015

Here is what can best be described as a rather cool band from The Netherlands. This by all accounts is their 2nd EP and needless to say, as with most bands from Holland, the music here is rather good. I would class it as Melodic Metal with subtle Progressive tendencies. Fronted by Karen, there are four numbers on this EP, all of which tick all the right boxes! The opener and title track commences instrumentally and briefly sounds like something from Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planet Suite’, before the band kicks in and ups the ante - awesome. Second up ‘Weight of Loss’ maintains the momentum carried by the opener, and is sheer evidence why the Dutch are good at this game. The 7+ minute ‘Mother Egypt (All For Love)’ is a totally epic and majestic tune, the EP closing with the bouncy ‘Broken Images’. Advice: Why not check out their website at, where you will find the video to the title track - this song and video is also a booktrailer for the fantasy books "Hunter and Prey" from Kim ten Tusscher. Well recommended... 8.75/10 (Dave)

SHINE IN ASH...'No Way Out'

(Jetglow Recordings) Reviewed 2nd July 2015

Shine in Ash is an Italian metal band born in Padua in 2007. The band was founded by the bass player Enrico Coi, the guitarist Paolo Braghetto (who is also the main composer) and the singer and lyricist Eleonora Sattin. The final line up was acquired when the keyboard player Giorgia Alfonsi and the drummer Giovanni Renzini joined the band. Shine in Ash play a genre characterized by a mix of prog, metal and gothic elements coupled with symphonic influences, and that is well characterised by the nine cuts here. Certainly the prog and symphonic elements shine through which makes Shine In Ash a little different from the major players in this field. The band's Facebook is here....well worth checking out even though the album was released some months back... 8.25/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Released) Reviewed 29th June 2015

I see on some sites that this is being listed as 'Gothic Metal'. Okay, a band fronted by a female does not necessarily mean to me that it is 'Gothic Metal'. I would myself call this Alternative Metal and boy, this Spanish band is rather good. Sounding vocally at times like Amy Lee (Evanescence), this is 40 minutes of some rather awesome music. After a brief intro, the album gets going good and proper with the track 'Pull Off My Skin' a catchy track and a good way to kick of this record. 'Flying Alone' sounds a little like Evanescence vocally, but is another awesome track with such a catchy chorus. And it all continues with great sounding numbers like the ballads 'Weak Dreams' and 'All The Lies' and rockers like 'Back To School' and 'Don't Open Dead Inside'. This is good - their Facebook is here and well worth looking into as to my ears, the game is far from over regards this band.. 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Indie Release) Reviewed 25th June 2015

Okay, I have absolutely nothing on this band except I believe that they are from Russia and they are big there too. But despite what I do or do not know, I have an album here in my grubby paws featuring 9 tracks of awesome mainly mid tempo Symphonic Metal. Of the nine tracks there is not a duff one in sight. And we also get a little Folk Metal thrown into the melting pot too on tracks like 'Le Legende', while there are ballads like 'I'll Remember You' and 'Beautiful Night', and I am a sucker for the odd ballad as most know. As I say, I know very little about Tears Of Heaven, but if you are able to pick this album up, it will be well worth it. Despite my lack of information regarding the band, they do have some videos on youtube including a 50 minute live video, so check the awesome ballad 'I Don't Believe You' out here... 9/10 (Dave)


(Shinigami Records) Reviewed 25th June 2015

Save Our Souls come from South America (Brazil) and this is another belter of a release that has drifted our way. Released this month digitally, we understand from the label that a physical release is yet to be scheduled, however the album can be preordered here. But what about the music? This is a stonker giving the listener 11 tracks of some great Melodic Symphonic Metal, occasionally flirting with Prog Metal. Fronted by the Iron lady, a 25 year old who goes by the name of Melissa Iron, who also deals with the keys department, this is rather good. It all gets going in the best way possible with the 7 minute plus 'Another Life', and if that left you breathless, then next up 'All The Lost Souls' will leave you with the feeling you have run a marathon - totally awesome. It all continues with belting tunes like 'The Judgement Day', the energetic 'Web Of Lies', 'Leave Me Alone' with some great organ interplay, 'You (Leave Me Alone Pt II)' and the epic 'Dark Enigma'. And then let us not forget the ballads: 'The Sound Of Heart' and 'Find The Way' as two examples of fine music from this excellent band. This is great Melodic Metal, and another release worthy of using one's credit card... 9/10 (The Nugget)

T.H.E. SACRAMENT... 'СверхНовая' (Supernova)

(Self Release) June 22nd 2015

Dave has palmed this one on to me but to be perfectly honest, like him I do not have a clue about the Russian language. So this will be a brief review upon what I can hear musically. What I do know is that this release is heavier and more bombastic than the other full length release I am aware of, that being 'The Sobering Cold' that was released in 2010. After doing a little snooping around however, this album's Russian title translation to English is 'Supernova'. And it seems an English version of this record will be released later this year! But from what I hear, this is very good. Some catchy and at times grandiose stuff on this 12 track record and as a consequence, the album is well worth looking into, whether you check out this Russian version or wait for the English version. The vocals of Ekaterina Stalukova (LoraSS) are from the school of pop/rock and are rather delectable. Check the band's website out here (you may need Google translate)...8.75/10 (The Nugget)


(Inverse Records) Reviewed 17th June 2015

And yet another corker, this time we have Sinners Moon from Slovakia. Fronted by the awesome and clear vocals of Simona, this is your typical Symphonic Metal fare, incorporating cool female vocals with male growls from Derick. There are eleven tracks of pounding metal and boy, this is rather good. I know we have a lot of people saying that it has all been done before, but personally I do not give a toss. Some well crafted numbers here that define the style of music very well. And we even have Tony Kakko from Sonata Arctica popping up on the track 'My Servant'. And I am always a sucker for a good power ballad, so check out 'Pray For The Child'. Everything on this record is damn good and overall it is a very solid melodic effort - well recommended and their Facebook is here... 9/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 15th June 2015

Sensorium fronted by the operatic vocals of Kesenia Glonty, is a Power Metal band from Israel founded in 2012 by Michael Timoshko (lead guitar) and Alexander Piavsky (keyboards). This band by the way is not to be confused with another band of the same name from Italy. 'The Art Of Living' is the band's Debut Album and it resides deep within the Power Metal and Operatic Metal styles, with emphatic keyboard elements. There are thirteen tracks here on this album that spans around 68 minutes, so one gets their monies worth. The album pounds along at quite a rate, offering up some thundering numbers like 'Surreal Nightmare' (awesome vocals), 'Winter Death' and 'Leviathan'. Plus we have the customary ballads like the awesome 'Thousands Of Stars' and the closing title track. When I was at school, okay, I was a rock and metal lover, but our music lessons were based on the classical stuff - Bach, Beethoven and the like. And dare I say it, I was good at music at school, so when I listen to music like this from this band (and many others too), combining Metal with the symphonics, it is right up my alleyway. The band's Facebook is here - well recommended.. 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Echozone) Reviewed 10th June 2015

Yay! This may be sung in the band's native tongue but this is good! Sündenrausch hail from Hamburg and this is a brand new effort from the band. The long work of singer and lyricist Kira and guitarist/producer Michael, this album was about a year in the making, and to me it is jolly well worth the wait. The results are powerful in your face rock songs with stacks of melody, and so so catchy. Although I do not speak or understand German, the lyrics apparently revolve around the different facets of love and passionate mind consuming sex! The opening four track salvo offers up a tsunami of tuneful rock music, great foot tapping stuff and sure offering chart potential in their native land. It slows down a bit for the instrumental atmospheric track 'Poesie' that is followed by the rather nice ballad 'Lug Mich An' - so far so good! 'Wahnsinn' ups the ante again and is yet another hideously catchy melodic tune, to get your ears around. 'Brenn!' pounds along, a real melodic thumper while 'Verstand Verloren' slows it down again, being a bluesy sounding number but with an uptempo chorus. The closing duo of 'Ewig Verbunden' and the bonus cut, the piano led ballad 'Narben', end what is a very good record. I do rather like this album from this German band - Well recommended... 9/10 (Dave)


(Self Released) Reviewed 9th June 2015

Tiarra is a gothic metal band from Bucharest, being formed in 2004. They are fronted by the lovely vocals of Anda Pomponiu with male vocals I believe from Alex "Indianu" Pantea. And boy, I wanna tell you something, this album is absolutely amazing, offering a 14 track double cd of nearly 107 minutes of Gothic Metal mayhem. Indeed, there is everything here from Death, Doom, Darkwave, through to Gothic and Progressive as well as Modern Metal, and I am sure the kitchen sink can be found somewhere among that little lot! There are two epic sounding tracks that exceed 14 minutes ('Broken Echoes II' and 'No More Sun'), but despite their length, do not bore the listener. Anda's vocals meanwhile, kinda remind me of Nell from The Crest and latter day Theatre of Tragedy, while there is a helluva lot going on here to plow through. Tiarra's style combines Metal instruments with classical instruments - we have heavy guitar riffs vs the poignant and warm sound of the cello, violin and the sound of keyboards, that in turn create subtle contrasts. I must say that there is something for everybody on this double disc...'Cold' is one of the slower atmospheric numbers, the band can also rock out totally on tracks like the 8 min plus 'Burn', featuring the growly vocals of Alex and the number 'Hard To Let Go', while offering a commercial feel on tracks like 'When She Cries'. Until recently I had never heard of this band (website here), but the album that lyrically is based on personal experiences and is exploring the duality and antagonism of human feelings, is totally awesome and well recommended.... 10/10 (Dave)


(7HARD Records) Reviewed 5th June 2015

Here is yet another album to grab ya by the doo dahs! Setanera come from Italy, and from 2004 to 2009 they played as an Evanescence cover band. A wee while ago (Jan 2011 to be precise), they released a five track EP that was rated highly here at Ravenheart Music. So now in 2015, the band at the end of May released their debut offering and this is another album that has completely blown us away here at the Towers - the tracks that featured on the EP are also on this recording. This Symphonic Metal album gets going with the oh so catchy title track, and if that doesn't have you bouncing around your house, well nothing will. With subtle electro elements popping up at times throughout the record, next up 'Bring Me Back' is a heavier but equally melodic offering, and I love the vocals of Valentina Setanera, and the choral symphonic bits - awesome! 'Spettralia' was featured on the EP and is just another great offering sung in the band's native tongue. 'Dance Floor' is a pounding bouncy number as the title may suggest, the first four numbers of this album having blown me away! 'I Must Go' enables you to catch your breath and is a breathtaking 5+ minute piano led power ballad, while the 6+ minute 'Black River' is a bombastic and yet another catchy Symphonic tune, which appeared as the opening track on the EP. 'Oltre' is a slow but powerful atmospheric track again sung in Italian I believe and all this is leaving me breathless - totally overwhelming!!! 'Heroes' is not David Bowie but is another impressive track from these Italians, while the Evanescence sounding 'Lie' (again from the EP) just maintains the awesome momentum of this album. With closing duo of the Folky/Symphonic Metal of 'Meadows Of May' and the Symphonic 'Journey To Freedom', I am having big problems finding fault with this impressive album. It is a wholesome band effort led by Valentina, some great guitar work too from Alex Merola, but all I can say is get it and listen for yourselves, you will not be disappointed... 9.75/10 (Dave)


(Espanta Espiritos Records) Reviewed 5th June 2015

Born in 2011, Portugal's Secret Lie is fronted by the dolcet tones of an amazing 20 year old talent who goes by the name of Sara Madeira (she is 21 in November). And although this awesome band has been together for a relatively short period of time, this is in-fact their second album. And I must say that although this would not be called all out metal, there are some damn fine tunes here, some of which scream mainstream radio airplay. I do in-fact love this style of music, that also has an AOR feel about it at times. 'Filling Spaces' starts the 11 track record, being a slow to mid paced catchy rock tune, with a chorus that refuses to leave your head. Next up 'Until Death Do Us Part', is another bouncy commercial rock tune, and certainly this album has started of with a rather cool "wow factor". There are the slower passionate numbers to sink your teeth into including 'Black Butterflies' the subtle bluesy vibe of 'That Place', the atmospheric Power Ballad 'Trying To Reach' and closing track 'His Star' (with a hidden track tacked on the end - an acoustic version of 'Trying To Reach). There are further upbeat bouncy tracks too including 'Spinning Around' with its melodic chorus and the up tempo 'Another Chance'. To summarise: if you are an all out metal head, this may not appeal, but by and large, this is a very good rock record with lots of mainstream appeal. I think the USA would go mad over this, which is interesting as Silent Lie has already picked up a FOX MUSIC USA award for the Best Rock band! They are well worth checking out, no matter where you are and what music you are into (website here). And just one more thing, founder member Pedro Teixeira Silva is a damn good violinist, and an extremely talented musician to boot, who has also studied here in England!... 9.75/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 3rd June 2015

This album by German band Soulslide ( has actually been out for around a year now, but better late than never. The story of the band begins in September 2002 when a handful of young musicians from different local bands got together in order to pursue a new path apart from the caved ways of Black and Death Metal. Encouraged by good reviews of their debut record, 'Dreamshade', the band soon gained high publicity - even as far as Mexico! Fast forward to current time, and this is a very good recording, although vocalist Silenia who took part in the record is no longer in the band - current leading lady Juliane not joining until Sept 2014. There are nine tracks of Symphonic Metal with hardly a duff track to be found. If the band has not found it's way onto your wants list, well put it there now - damn cool! 9/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Released) Reviewed 29th May 2015

OMG, the quality of music being sent our way doesn't seem to subside. Sirenade fronted by leading lady Simona Janovičová come from Slovakia, and this album throws at the listener 9 tracks of rather good Melodic Metal. 'Fallin' opens the record, a mid to high tempo melodic tune which in turn is followed by the equally as good 'Master Of Pain'. There are other goodies to be found here including the catchy and Gothy sounding 'No One Hears You', the track 'Treasure' featuring male & female vocals, the heavy and pulsating 'One On The Other Side' and the mainly mid tempo title track. The band's Facebook (link here) lists their music as Gothic Metal, but a band fronted by a lady should not immediately bring the word "Gothic" into the equation. I would call it catchy Melodic Metal with perhaps a Gothic and Progressive current bubbling under the surface, but we here do wholeheartedly recommend the album being checked out - some good stuff here.. 8.5/10 (The Nugget)


(WormholeDeath) Reviewed 27th May 2015

Tearless from Croatia was formed in autumn 2003 by Zlatko Kušter (guitar, vocal), the late and dearly missed Marko Bregović (drums) and Zoran Ernoić (guitar) as a cover band. Soon after that, they started to compose their own music and write their own songs. The band expanded after Matija Brežni (keyboards), Josip Cujzek – Fure (bass guitar) and Kristina Mojzeš (female vocal) joined Tearless. In 2005 they recorded their first demo called 'Reverie', with Ivana Vuglač replacing Kristina as a female vocal. Fast forward to the current time, and there have been further personnel changes within the band, now featuring Ivana Novak as a female vocalist. This is a ten track Gothic Metal opus and in addition to Ivana's vocals, we have male vocals compliments of Zlatko Kušter and Filip Babić. This melodic and gothy album thunders along like a Japanese bullet train and to be honest, is rather good. We are unsure of a release date as yet, but the album will be well worth checking out when it appears. A preview of the album (the track 'Dreams Of You') can be viewed here… 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Gaphals) Reviewed 19th may 2015

Slowgold is Amanda Werne, and can be described like a vague dream hovering over the western parts of Gothenburg. The music brings to mind the Swedish archipelago in the earliest hours of midsummer eve - sitting alone, gazing at the horizon while your loved one is leaving. This album having already been praised by Classic Rock magazine here in the UK, is sung in Amanda's native tongue. There are 10 tracks here of laid back relaxing music for those coming Summer evenings, where you can lay back with the odd beer (or indeed wine) or six! But warning: This is NOT Metal, but it is rather good - facebook here. Imagine Mazzy Starr crossed with early Fleetwood Mac... 7.75/10 (Dave)

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