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Ravenheart Music: Album Reviews


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


(Pavement Music) Reviewed 25th November 2015

After achieving notable status in their homeland, Australian rock outfit Bellusira chose to relocate to Los Angeles and continue in their quest for world wide domination, pushing to get their music to a wider international audience. Since landing in the United States with their feet firmly planted on the ground, the band went straight to work on their second album ‘The Healing’, which has been recorded and produced by both Dan Whittemore (Paramore, Macklemore, NE-YO) and Ulrich Wild (White Zombie, Pantera, Deftones), and mixed by Dan Whittemore. With 11 tracks on this recording that was released in October, Bellusira kicks major ass and deserves to be up there among the best new international rock bands on the planet. They've got a fresh take on songwriting that makes you want to hear more and a killer lead vocalist in Crystal Ignite. It is another step up with the band pushing their song writing skills to the limits and getting every ounce of emotion out and onto this record. Well worth checking out for fans of kick ass melodic alternative rock/metal… 8.75/10 (Katie McIntyre)


(Savage Productions/Seasons of Mist) Reviewed 22nd November 2015

Benighted Soul fronted by Géraldine Gadaut, is a Metal band from France. At the crossroads of Rock, Progressive Metal and Symphonic Metal, the band's music creates the perfect alchemy between effectiveness of melodies, complexity of compositions and power of riffs. This concept album, released October 27, 2014 and now re-released in digital version (with a bonus), speaks of myths and religions that have guided men through the ages. The writings of modern religions, like ancient myth, all meet the same universal questions, seek and invariably draw the same story in different entries. Each step, each chapter of this great history was set to music to create the album 'Kenotic'. This re issue gives us 14 tracks of the aforementioned style of music, the original pressing released last year having 12 I believe. Although no one track really jumps out and grabs you, I do have fave tracks like the melodic, pounding and heavily orchestrated ‘Only Make Believe’, the heavy and blistering ‘The Shallow and The Deep’ and the Epica inspired ‘Let You Win‘. But overall, this is an impressive and consistently good release, and it is a grower… 8.5/10 (Dave)


(logic(il)logic Records - distributed by Andromeda Distribuzioni)

After Apocalypse is a Symphonic Metal band from Brescia (Italy) fronted by a young lady called Elena with male grunts courtesy I believe from a guy called Varghar, who also plays the clarinet on certain tracks on this record, and plays it very well too (’White Page‘ is one example). This is prime time and rather bombastic Symphonic Metal that will blow your mind! Awesome female vocals taking on an operatic stance with some rather cool grunts from Varghar thrown into the mix as well. This album sure thunders along at a pace that will leave Usain Bolt breathless although they can slow it down a touch - the mainly instrumental track ‘Crying Moon’ being one number that starts at a slow pace before it finds another gear and ups the ante. This is a consistent release with progressive touches as well, and I will say that it is a grower so it will not grab you right away. But it is the growers that offer longevity!! Check the band out - facebook is here.. 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 10th November 2015

Amadeus is a Rock/Metal band from Central Florida consisting of Joe Rodda, Matt Young, Matt McCloskey, Mike Meeks and Mary Young on lead vocals. Experienced in a wide array of genres including country, electronic/dance, rock/pop, metal, and classical music, the collaboration of the group brings a unique sound to the world of Rock and Metal. And boy, do they rock combining awesome female vocals with mainly male screams, this combination working very well indeed! Opener ‘As The World Burns’ sets the scene rather nicely, while next up ‘Did You Scream’ is a mid paced rocker with a cool chorus. And there is further goodness within the pot of goodies – ‘Falling Down’ and ‘You’re Not My God’ are great rockers with fist pumping choruses. And there is no let up as the music pounds out of the speakers in dynamic fashion. Further heavy but catchy tunes to feast your ears upon, and if you find yourself keeping still while this album is playing, then you have a serious medical issue that needs sorting quickly! And Amadeus can slow it down a bit but still maintain the momentum within the chorus, ‘Nobody’ one such tune and a fave of mine from the record. In-fact, everything on this release is damn good and comes as a pleasant surprise. I like listening to an album and not initially know quite what to expect! This is well worth checking out and you can hear more at 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Indie Release) Reviewed 8th November 2015

AMORTEM consisting of Dmitry Khakkinen – male lead and backing vocals, bass, keyboards; Ekaterina Mansurova (Katty) – female lead vocals; Alexey Shkapov – all guitars, is a Russian-Finnish Industrial metal/ Dance metal group set up in 2012, although the seeds were being sown a couple of years prior to that. The band offers an awesome combination of academic female vocals and hard screams and growls, dance beats and heavy guitar riffs coupled with beautiful melodic lines. And that all kinda just about sums it up, and what a record this is! There are some catchy foot tapping monsters, and it all kicks off with the hideously catchy track ‘Set This Fuckin World On Fire’, promptly followed by the pulsating and monstrously riff tastic ‘Prayer (Bring Me To Heaven)’. And the momentum continues at a thundering melodic pace, with Ekaterina’s operatic Tarja sounding vocals adding awesome fuel to the musical bonfire. ‘Vampires Prelude’ is an awesome instrumental of film score proportions followed by ‘When Sun Is Going Down’, a thundering metal track with a totally magical choral backdrop chorus that refuses to leave your head - first rate! ‘Time of my Life’ is a slower song with the operatic vocals of Katty adding the shine to an already brilliant track, while closing track ‘Power of Creation’ is a dance remix of a track featured earlier on in the album. More can be heard here, but there is some really good stuff coming out of Russia, add this to the list!… 9/10 (Dave)


(Tribe Alive Records) Reviewed 6th November 2015

Los Angeles based eclectic, melodic pop-rock duo The Blue Dolphins follow up this year's six-song 'Walking in the Sun' EP with their sophomore full-length, 'Come On!' A fourteen track collection of California-sun soaked roots songs that travel the landscape of memorable melodies, intricate guitar solos, luscious vocal harmonies, and uplifting lyrics, all wrapped up in fantastic production. Comprised of two-time Grammy Award winner engineer Alfonso Rodenas from Spain on guitar and English girl Victoria Scott on lead vocals, 'Come On!' is a major push forward for The Blue Dolphins, reaching towards a more complex and fully produced music scenario, this being fully showcased in the music that the band share with us here. This is certainly not Metal, I would call it Pop/Soft Rock, but certainly an album for those sun soaked summer days. Unfortunately 2015's sun soaked summer days (in the bulk of the northern hemisphere at least) have gone for a few months, but nonetheless, this is inoffensive radio friendly music for those easy listening moments in life, whether the sun shines or not! However, the pen ultimate and generally up tempo track ‘Sail Away’, does would you believe flirt with ‘punk’ territory. Check out their website here.. 8/10 (Katie McIntyre)


(Self Release) Reviewed 28th October 2015

As their oxymoronic name suggests, Bad Pollyanna fronted by charismatic Olivia Hyde, celebrate both beauty and darkness. Fascinated by the human condition, their music and art explore love, life, sex and identity. 'The Broken Toys' is the band’s second album and is a collection of stories related to identity; how we are not the various-often abusive-voices in our heads; mental illness and above all, what it means to be human. There are ten catchy poppy/rocky tracks here that will hit the stores 1st December, although Bad Pollyanna do rock out with some ooommpphh too, ‘Hooks’ being one helluva track – “I’ve got my hooks inside you” Olivia sings - great riffs and a great chorus, while the closing number ‘I See You’ is an acoustic ballad. A good album all round then with wide range appeal, but it will certainly appeal to fans of In This Moment, Fearless Vampire Killers and New Years Day. 'The Broken Toys' will be made available exclusively through Pledge Music before it goes on general release. Fans can still contribute to the Pledge campaign until mid November, and get the album before anyone else. So click here and get involved. Furthermore, you can check out the band’s website at 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Nuclear Blast) Reviewed 28th October 2015

Avatarium come from Sweden and this is their second release. The band ply their trade via their powerful and masterful vocalist Jennie-Ann Smith, their style of music being put into the Doom Metal category. Opening number on this their second album which so happens to be the title track, is an upbeat energetic number however, that does actually flirt with Power Metal, a powerful vocal performance as well. ‘The January Sea’ is a riff tastic number with a 70s feel, another powerful track running in at close on 8 minutes with Progressive elements coming to the fore. The band is in full flow after the first two tracks and it continues, my cup runneth over with fave tracks, but apart from the above mentioned opening salvo, I do rather like ‘Pearls and Coffin’ and the up tempo ‘Run Killer Run’. Although an album that fits into the Doom Metal cubby hole, the vocals are clean and powerful, this album being near faultless! 9/10 (The Nugget)


(Frontiers Records) Reviewed 25th October 2015

Blackmore's Night is a British/American traditional folk rock duo formed in 1997, consisting of Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night. To date they have released nine studio albums; this their latest being released on September 18, 2015. And this continues to show the duo on top form if you are into this style of music. Rockers and headbangers may wish to avoid however! There are some corking numbers here nonetheless, that will have you up and dancing around the camp fire in no time whatsoever. Among the gems that include the rather awesome and magical guitar/violin/organ intrumental 'Darker Shade Of Black', the album offers up the Linda Ronstadt hit 'Long Long Time' (penned by Gary White), the Mike Oldfield song, 'Moonlight Shadow' and an inspiring Maypole Dance treatment of Sonny & Cher's 'I Got You Babe'. Furthermore of note, from all the legendary artists Ritchie Blackmore who by the way is 70 yrs old (making me feel old too) has cooperated with, Candice Night is the one who has lasted the longest. I loved Purple and Rainbow, and Ritchie to me is an icon, this is a great album but as I said earlier in the review, hardened headbangers may wish to avoid... 8.75/10 (Dave)


(WormholeDeath) Reviewed 22nd October 2015

Ashes To Ashes is an alternative Metal band founded in Genova, Italy in 2010 by MARTA VASSALLO (pianist/vocalist), PAOLO SCHIAVI (lead guitarist) and PAOLO DI LORENZO (drummer). The progress of the band was slowed because of finding the definitive line up. But when ENRICO CABONA (second guitar) and Simone Moi (bass and vocals) joined the band, they were ready to start. In June 2013, they released their debut 'Borderline', and now in 2015, we have been presented with this, their latest recording 'Urania'. The record features eleven tracks of pounding Melodic/Alternative Metal with catchy choruses like on the number ‘Once Upon A Time’, and we get not only the awesome clean vocals of Marta, she can let rip with growls that appear on the tracks ‘The Forgiveness Song ‘ and ‘Mother of Grace’ – and yes, it is Marta’s growls! The album closes with the awesome ballad ‘Just Daydreaming’, and ends what is a rather good long player. The band’s website is here…9/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 21st October 2015

We have had the pleasure recently of reviewing bands from Northern Ireland and Scotland. No disrespect, but these are not locations known for setting the Rock and Metal music scene on fire. But with recent releases from Selene, The Fall Of Eve, guy band Screaming Eagles and now Scottish band Altered Sky, it seems that all that is well and truly changing. Altered Sky is fronted by a young lady who goes by the name Ana Nowosielska, and she is backed up by an amazing band of musicians . There has been some big rumblings on the underground about this band, and these rumblings are now surfacing! This is Pop/Rock of the highest calibre that surely will give bands like Fireflight and Paramore a run for their money. Just listen to the so so catchy ‘Apple Tree’ and ’Bury It All’ and I am sure you will get my ghist. There is not a filler to be found on this album, every track catchy and melodic, all this in the past having caught the attention of Kerrang FM, XFM and other independent radio stations, the band also having Kerrang presenter Johnny Doom as a self confessed fan. Recorded in Cardiff’s famous Longwave Studios, ‘Without Wonderland’ was produced by Romesh Dodangoda who has worked with the likes of Twin Atlantic, Bullet For My Valentine, The Blackout, Funeral For A Friend. The album picks up a release date on 20th November and is a good un. More on Altered Sky can be found here… 9/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Release) Reviewed 21st October 2015

Age of Dust’s first release,’ Messenger in a Soulless World’, is inspired by the different aspects of the sensations of the soul, from its creation to its acceptance of death and the presence in life of everything that implies a human being, from its darkest side from the one that projects more light. They are fronted by the very talented Mexican lass Maria Rugo providing female operatics, and Sergio Ainoza who supplies the male grunts, they come from Barcelona, and they are a Symphonic Metal band of so it seems quite a high quality. Although this band has so far escaped our radar, the aforementioned quality shines through on this record. This is most certainly confirmed on the opening salvo of ‘If I Die Is To Sleep’ and ‘Genesis’. And OMG, it continues with further massive symphonic numbers such as ‘Desires’, ‘Moon For A Poet’, the lovely orchestrated ballad ‘Someday’, the catchy 8 minute plus ‘No Shade Of Grey’ and the bombastic symphonic closer ‘Slaughter of Insane (The Fall)'. Indeed, everything here is good, oh and there are clean male vocals as well coupled with great choral backdrops on many of the tracks. This has to be another record as a consequence that is well worth checking out, further damaging our bank accounts. Check them out here…9/10 (Dave)


(Bat Country Records/Scarlet Records) Reviewed 19th October 2015

I love something a little different and here is the latest release from UK artist Liz Lenten and her band Auburn. This is a lovely slab of laid back acoustic based music to listen too after a hard day at the office! Liz’s voice has been described as “so sweet it’ll make your hair curl” and “husky with an emotional frailty”, and that sums it up rather nicely. There are 12 tracks here with influences that include among others a unique blend of Americana Blues and Roots music, this being written by Liz over a two month period on a vintage Martin guitar called Rosie, that she ‘stole’ from her good friend and sound engineer Justin. ‘Mixed Feelings’ was recorded in Nashville, like the band’s previous appropriately titled recording ‘Nashville’, and is a strong album covering all the usual emotional issues - love, loss, domestic abuse and manslaughter, confusion, trust, friendship etc etc. To be honest, I am personally enjoying listening to this cd, with fave tracks being the bluesy opener and title track ‘Mixed Feelings‘, the beautiful ‘Lovers Lullaby’ and the country feel of ‘Out There’. Each song on this long player tells their own little story and I wholeheartedly recommend this album, Liz I believe to be on a par with other artists within this genre of music and as a consequence, should be recognised as such. Check out the band's website at (Dave)


(Napalm Records) Reviewed 10th October 2015

After their last highly acclaimed 2014 album 'Magic Forest', female fronted Finnish Symphonic sextet Amberian Dawn return with this their latest recording, their second studio album in-fact with gorgeous singer Päivi "Capri" Virkkunen. Presented in a catchier and more melodic way than previous efforts, 'Innuendo' sounds like a deliberately fresh new start with some strong vocal performances. This album as a consequence is certainly an accomplished recording from the band, with tracks like 'Ladyhawk' with its catchy chorus, the pounding title track, the orchestrated ballad 'Angelique', the quirky 'Knock Knock Who's There' and the album closer ‘Your Time - My Time’. With production work from Mikko Karmilla (Amorphis, Apocalyptica), and the main man Tuomas Seppälä's apparent influences of the likes of Jean Michel Jarre to Vangelis, this album showcases the epic trademarks of an album that could easily fire the band into the forefront of the Symphonic Metal genre! Well recommended when released 23rd October... 9/10 (Dave)


(Massacre Records) Reviewed 6th October 2015

Asylum Pyre fronted by Chaos Heidi, come from France in case one has been living in a cave for the past few years and are out of touch. And this band has the uncanny ability to not only release albums that are consistently good, they seem to also have the ability to write a catchy tune or two. And on this their latest and third album, they prove just that. We have thirteen tracks here of melodic and hideously catchy metal within a record that lyrically deals with the human spirit and its twists and turns, which is musically emphasized by both female and male vocals (courtesy of guitarist Johann Cadot). ‘Spirited Away' focuses on catchy and powerful songs, everyone a total gem including tracks like the album opener ’Second Shadow’ the heavy but electro infused ’Only Your Soul’, the superbly tuneful and bouncy ’Unplug My Brain’ with its catchy chorus and the epic 7 minute plus and rather awesome ’Soulburst’ - the album incorporating electro elements while reinforcing the organic sound of the instruments. And let us make a mention of the pen ultimate track ‘Remembering’ - 22 seconds of silence. Overall, expect a mix of European and American metal, which consequently is very good and well recommended when released on 23rd October… 9/10 (Dave).


(Self Release) Reviewed 4th October 2015

Wetzikon is a small town in the Zurich Highlands area of Switzerland, in the district of Hinwil in the canton of Zürich. Okay, enough of the geography, so what about it then? Well it so happens to be the home of Swiss Melodic Progressive Metal merchants Atomic Symphony. This is their debut record released three weeks or so ago, and there are nine tracks of Melodic Metal with a strong progressive undercurrent. Great vocals from Jasmin Baggenstos, awesome use of keys throughout, in-fact a sterling performance from the band in general. This very well crafted masterpiece of an album has it all, just listen to second track 'Abyss' as an example, heavy, progressive but with one helluva chorus! Then we have the ballad ‘Face The Evil’ - awesome! Indeed, every track on this record is a progressive gem and as a consequence, I would say that this band has got what it takes to progress further on this showing - and support slots with stalwarts like Dream Theater or Threshold, why not? Their Facebook is here, the album being well worth checking out... 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 30th September 2015

Featuring 2 female vocalists and a male vocalist, German band Black Stars Falling on this their 2nd record, offer the listener an experience near second to none. There are on the ten tracks here, classical arrangements associated with a mechanical spirit of the new age and a good charge of bombast. We have dark-romantic soundscapes that are based on hard rhythms and groovy guitar work, all this merges together into one unit, with the two sopranos (Regina and Jasmin) and one energetic male vocalist (Nio) being the topping on the cake. And lets us not forget the awesome orchestration from LArs, making this is a damn cool cake too. And indeed, I think the description given above, does describe the album quite nicely, with personal highlights galore such as the rather cool, atmospheric and orchestrated instrumental opening track 'Prelude', a track of film score proportions, second track, the bouncy ‘Forever And Never’ featuring male and female vocals, the choral influenced ‘Send My Wings Back’ (I just love it!) and the riff-tastic ’Meaning of the Rain’. Indeed, not a filler in sight actually and certainly well recommended from the team here. Check out the band‘s Facebook at And just one more thing to add - there is a limited edition double cd featuring instrumental tracks of those on the main cd, in a digipak format with awesome artwork… 9/10 (Dave)


(Self Released) Reviewed 4th Sept 2015

Fronted by the awesome vocals of a dark fairy from the dark forest who goes by the name of Demontia, Annysia come from Spain and this is their debut release, featuring 13 tracks of prime time Symphonic Metal. The album is based on a fantasy: Similar to a sound track for Lord of the Rings, it's based on a world named "Nephilim", which is inhabited by mystical creatures and humans. The Annysia are the watchers and the most powerful beings in the realm. They want complete balance and harmony in the world. Overall, this is another album that one who just loves this type of music will have to shell out the cash for if they want it. Overall the record offers up great vocals and some great tunes performed by a great bunch of musicians. There is even a female guitarist – Valna, a Nordic Princess kept by the Royal Court against her will and forced to marry – now you know! And the band has even acquired the services of Mike Le Pond (Symphony X) for the song ‘Nivek’. Released on the 30th August, this is a consistent and impressive release – the band’s website is here… 8.5/10 (Dave)

ANGELLORE...'La Litanie Des Cendres'

(Shunu Records/Seasons Of Mist)

Angellore is a French Atmospheric Post-Doom Metal band and this release is their second album, after the good reception of their 2011 debut 'Errances'. There are only five tracks here, but the album spans nearly an hour. However, despite the length of the tracks on the CD, this release is nowhere near boring as some people may think, and comes highly recommended by the team here. Featuring the core of the band which is Rosarius: Clean & extreme vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Walran: Extreme & clean vocals and Keyboards, Ronnie: Drums, plus we must not forget the ladies on this particular release: Lucia doing the Female Vocals and Cathy on Violin. This I know will appeal to fans of Draconian and the like, opener 'Shrine Of Clouds' being a total 13+ minute epic, featuring everything including the kitchen sink! - clean vocals, harsh vocals, female vocals, thumping drums & guitars and cool & atmospheric synths, absolutely awesome. And before one can catch their breath, along comes the 10 minute epic 'Still Glowing Ashes'. A beautiful slow to mid tempo number featuring those awesome growls coupled with the angelic vocals of Lucia. Next up 'Twilight's Embrace' is another slow to mid tempo atmospheric doomy tune, just love the violin!! Two tracks left, 'Inertia' is the shortest number at 6+ minutes, a piano/orchestrated and rather gentle tune featuring Lucia as the main vocalist on this one accompanied with clean male vocals. This track proves that Metal can also be beautiful!! And then we have the cream to top the cake, the epic 18 minute plus closer 'Moonflower', which equals anything Draconian (just an example) has released. I was once upon a time not an avid fan of this style of music, but over time I have grown to like it rather a lot. Bringing together drama, darkness and melancholy, ANGELLORE have become a unique voice in the doom metal scene in France, gathering plenty of interest with their eclectic gothic and folk influences. Recommended if you like: ANATHEMA, TRISTANIA, SATURNUS, DRACONIAN, EARLY WITHIN TEMPTATION and SHAPE OF DESPAIR... 9/10 (Dave)


(Day Records) Reviewed 19th August 2015

Anadora formed in 2008 come from Russia, and they play Melodic Folk Metal, something that seems to be becoming quite fashionable on the metal underground circuit at present, particularly from the eastern European nations. We have twelve numbers and 45 minutes of mid to up tempo music which although sung in the band's native tongue, is well worth the purchase money. This is very catchy stuff with use of pipes and flutes well to the fore including at times the violin – cool. All this of course in addition to the heavy guitars and drums that us metal people come to expect. I do not know much about the band itself, but anybody who is a fan of Female Fronted Metal would do themselves no harm in checking this out. The band's Facebook is here... 8.5/10 (The Nugget)


(Pavement Entertainment) reviewed 5th August 2015

A.D.D. started 2015 out with a bang, releasing their 2nd full-length hard hitting album 'CORE'. Having just got around to planting a review on this website, this we here must say is a very good Rock/Metal record. Margaret Young (vocals), Dave Adams (guitar), Jeremy Sparta (guitar/vocals), and Jason Delismon (drums) make up this four piece, and these Chicago based metal merchants sure know how to rock! Nine of the cuts here are originals, but there is one cover, the track from Sevendust called 'Black'. Margaret's husky vocals are top notch, while guitarist Jeremy does a frikin' good job on the rather cool songs 'Was My Life' and 'So Much (So Little)'. The album was mixed by Tadpole (previously worked with Disturbed, 3 Doors Down, Staind) and mastered by Grammy Award winner Trevor Sadler. Drummer Jason Delismon on what the album means to the band: "The album shows the diversity of influences we all have. The title 'Core' comes from our singer, myself, Jeremy, and Dave being the core four of the band. [It] shows our tight bond of brotherhood and sisterhood. Stay true to what you believe in and follow your dreams.” Ride on man!! - website here.... 9/10 (The Nugget)


(Brennus Music) Reviewed 30th July 2015

Adrana is a French female fronted Progressive Symphonic Metal band, formed in 2004 by Max and Ludo. They are soon joined by the mezzo-soprano singer Anaé, with Grhyll and Mric soon joining the band as keyboard and bass players. Adrana's lyrics are based around the Fantasy/Story of a certain Princess Adrana. There are 12 rather bombastic tracks on this, their 3rd full length album release, featuring clean male vocals and growls, as well as the awesome operatic vocals of Anaé, who I am sure has been listening to Tarja at some time during her musical career. This album is an intense listening experience and is well worth checking out for fans of the female fronted Metal scene. The band's Facebook can be found here... 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Self Released) Reviewed 24th July 2015

After Clay is an alternative rock band formed in Naples, Italy, in 2005 by Marialberta Lamberti (voice), Vincenzo Padovani (guitar), Alessio Russo (bass) and Giuseppe De Felice (drums). On this, their new album, there are 13 tracks and to be honest, this is rather good. After an atmospheric intro..’Rise’, first track proper ‘The Donor’ kicks in and it is a rather catchy track to get things going. Next up ‘Firestone’ to my ears has a near retro feel coupled with a catchy chorus, while ‘Shores’ is a rather nice ballad. The tempo gets going again with ‘Lovergirl’, while the interestingly titled ‘Hot Man With Ambiguous Shoes’, is a sexy song about a sexy man wearing interesting shoes :) - a quirky number I hasten to add. Further highlights include the acoustic driven folky ballad ‘Sterling Bridge’, the mid tempo ‘Prometheus’, the bluesy but catchy ‘Dia De Los Muertos’, the retro sounding ‘Black Needle’, and one of my faves from the CD, ‘Winter Sea’. This album was recorded, mixed and mastered at home by the band themselves, which proves what can be done when one puts their mind to it! The lyrics to some of the tracks may not be suitable to young ears, and may be the record could have done with perhaps a slightly better production, but not every band has a Bon Jovi production budget! Kudos to the band nonetheless for getting this album together - a good effort and you can get an idea for yourselves here.. 7.75/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 22nd July 2015

Ajana was founded as a solo project formed in 2003 by Luise Markert alias Ajana, who is responsible for song writing, lyrics, vocals and other instruments. I reviewed the debut full length Ajana release ‘Home In Decay’ back in October 2012 and now in 2015, I have a newie to review, this epic album gets released via Bandcamp on 24th July. Once again Christoph Brandes has mixed and mastered the album at Iguana Studios and yet again doing a great job! Besides that, Cornelius Heck on drums & bass and Simon Schillinger (all guitars) have also been involved with the recording process as they did on the debut. So what have we got music wise? This is certainly a little different to what I am normally used to listening too – the intro ‘et non descendit’ sounds like something from a Boston album (great guitars) and this leads perfectly into the first track proper, the mid to up tempo and pounding ‘Outside’ featuring the vocals of Ajana – this is cool and heavy stuff! With other fantastically epic tracks like ‘In The Past I Thrive’, ‘Nonexistence’, the heavy and progressive ‘Profanation’ and ‘Descending’, I suppose like the debut, there are many influences shining through these nine epic metal tracks. And talking “epic”, apart from the intro, there is not a track shorter than six and a half minutes, with the closing number ‘Procession’ exceeding 13 minutes! Whether these lengthy tracks are a good or bad thing, I am not too sure, but one is sure getting their monies worth here! Overall, at times imagine epic Doom Metal with clean female vocals – this album may be an acquired taste but I would call it thinking person’s metal! So do not expect glorious hooks and catchy choruses. Check out the website here - stick with it as it is a grower!…. 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 16th July 2015

Brocelian come from Germany and they released this their debut album last year (2014). What the band offer is 12 rather cool tracks of catchy melodic Metal injected with a little folk here and there to mix it up a bit, as we find in the opener ‘Fields of Sadness’ and tracks like the quirky ‘The Hunt’. And to be honest, this is rather good from this band. The awesome vocals of Susan fit the music so well, while the violin (compliments of Elli) plays an important role within the music the band throws at the listener. There are some further good numbers here including tracks like the pounding and melodic ‘Heartstrings’, the hard rocking vibe of ‘Lost Memories', the rocking ‘Theatre Moments’ and the bouncy 'Unbreakable', and I do love that violin, adding a different slant to the music across all tracks – cool!!. This album is good and I do rather like it. The band’s website is here although you may need Google translate… 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Digital Self Release) Reviewed 16th July 2015

Ancient Prophecy is a Power/Death/Gothic Metal Band from Germany dealing with lyrical themes such as Christianity, Biblical and Inner Struggles. There are nine epic bombastic numbers here that deal lyrically with the aforementioned themes, and taking into account the lyrics and the musical content is rather good. Some people seem to be put off the moment the phrase “Christian Rock” or “Christian Metal” is mentioned, but why? There is some frikin’ good Christian Rock and Metal in the market place at the moment, and these bands don’t always preach. Okay, although born a Christian, I am not the most religious person on this planet, but so what. I am here to appreciate good music and good music this album is throughout! Okay, this may lack some of the glorified hooks of some of the music we review here, but ‘Pounded By Our Sins’ is what I would call “thinking person’s metal”. I do not have the lyrics with the music here, but as examples, listen to the tracks ‘True Trinity’ and ‘The Fall of Vanity’ and you will hear where this band is coming from. I recommend this, so before I send the Vicar of Christ Church, Highbury in North London (near to where I used to live) together with his team around to sort you out, download this album now from all the regular digital retailers (iTunes etc). God bless you!. 8.5/10 (The Nugget)


(Santo Grial Records) Reviewed 8th July 2015

Against Myself come from Spain and this is their recently released 2nd full length album. Needless to say this is another blast of good old Melodic Symphonic Metal. I do tend to ask myself if the genre (if you can call it that) is becoming rather too crowded for its own good. I don’t know but I will let the boss man decide that. I am only reviewing what he has given me and to be honest, this is a rather good album. Fronted by the attractive looking and the ‘poppy’ vocal style of Irene Villegas, there are eleven tracks here of prime time Symphonic Metal to blow your ear drums out, and those of your neighbours if you play it loud enough :). All the ingredients are here on the menu, the Symphonics in tracks like ‘Beyond The Chains’, ‘Through The End Of Times’, 'God Of Deads' and the catchy 'Shadows In My Head'. There are also two epic tunes, ‘When Words Kill’, a 14+ minute Progressive Metal masterpiece and the near 10 minute closing track ‘Critical Situation’. Let us not also forget the ballad, the rather lovely acoustic driven 'Cross Eternity'. There is enough energy and variety on this release to keep the listener glued to the stereo (do stereos still exist? LOL), so why not check it out! The band’s website is here… 8.75/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Released) Reviewed 2nd July 2015

Aria Flame ( was formed after the disbandment of singer and composer Aziza Poggi’s former band Dendura. Dendura was a successful Egyptian themed metal band that was heard on The Comedy Central network, seen in magazines such as Metal Hammer, and opened for international touring acts such as Epica, Doro Pesch, Edguy, Scar Symmetry, Unexpect and The Agonist. This is their first release, an EP featuring six tracks of awesome neo-classical symphonic metal with progressive elements. It is not often (no offence to US bands) that it can be said of bands from the USA, but this is a band that is set to compete with Europe's finest from what I hear on this record. Just check out the closing track 'Divine World' from this fine set of nuggets. The awesome EP was produced by bassist Greg Cloon and mixed and mastered by Grammy award-winning producer Neil Kernon (FM, Judas Priest, Nevermore, Queensryche, etc.), and currently, the band is setting up additional national and international tours, recording more music videos, and planning to release a full album of new music in 2016. Worth looking into no doubt about it... 9/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Release) Reviewed 23rd June 2014

This French band fronted by Lucia Ferreira is rather good! Formed in 2006, this is their 2nd full length release following 2010's 'Asleep'. So after 'Asleep' we are now 'Alive'. There are 13 tracks of ALternative Rock/Metal with an occasional subtle progressive feel flowing just underneath the surface. Some catchy foot tapping stuff throughout the album too, including tracks like 'Self Esteem' and 'My Son'. Then there are the rather nice acoustic based ballads like 'The One' and the piano led 'Final Dance Pt 1', which leads rather nicely into the more upbeat closing track 'Final Dance Pt 2'. And they can ramp it up too on tracks like 'Magic Trick', 'Resurrection' and 'Kick Ass' that does just that!. Although released last year, once again, we feel that this is an album that deserves a review on this website. The band's website is here. Let us hope that this is not the Final Dance!.. 8.75/10 (The Nugget)

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