The masters of black romance - Stormwitch - revealed on Facebook the cover of their new upcoming album called "Season of the witch".
The masters of black romance - Stormwitch - revealed on Facebook the cover of their new upcoming album called "Season of the witch".
Emigrate is back with a new album called "Silent so long". And yes, true, it was silent around the project for a long time. The last album came out in 2007. But now the waiting has an end. The new disc is coming in November and here are already some first impressions.
Emigrate is the side project from Rammstein guitarist Richard Kruspe. The song is called "Eat you alive" and is taken from the upcoming album "Silent so long".
"Silent so long" is the second album of the band and follows the self-titles debut from 2007. "Eat you alive" is a grooving rocker with a great hookline. Of course there are some parallels to the main band of the six-stringer but Emigrate has enough own identity to stand-out. Looking forward to the album.
Swedish garage rockers The Durango Riot have an new video in the starting block. The track is a straight-forward rock'n'roller called "Paranioa's rock" and is worth to check. Here it is.
Thomsen has released a new video for the song "New horizon" which is taken from the latest album "Unbroken".
(9/10) Tom Phillips, the only founding member of the band that is still active, and his band mates went into the studio and worked on a new album. The masterpiece of epic metal has now seen the light of day and it lives up to all expectations. What a great piece of music.
What I like with the music of the band is the wide epic metal they play that is based on many different influences. There are the prog elements from bands like Fates Waring on the one hand. Than there are the doomy and intense riffs inspired by bands like Black Sabbath. And this merged with even some classic elements. This combination makes While Heaven Wept very unique and their music sticks out from the majority of bands.
While Heaven Wept had quite some releases before a bigger audience noticed the band from Virginia, USA. It was in 2009 when Cruz Del Sur Music signed the band and published their album "Vast oceans lachrymose". This was the break-throught and the next disc "Fear of infinty" emphasised While Heavens Wept's staus in the epic metal scene.
Also their new album is a pleasure to listen to. It is actually a 40 minutes long track that is divided into 11 subchapters.
The music of While Heaven Wept changed a bit over time. The new album shows more prog element than e.g. "Vast oceans lachrymose". This doesn't matter at all, since it shows a development of the band, that still includes all their trademarks in each track.
The start is very relaxed. "Introspectus" is a solemn instrumental that introduces you into the story. It shows some classical element and feels like a prelude to what comes next. And the next anthem is the masterpiece of the album. The 15 minutes long "Icarus and I / Ardor" shows the whole width of While Heaven Wept's music. The songs starts heavy before a beautiful vocalline join. The track has some rough vocal sections that suits very well and added female background vocals are the cherry on the cake. The tune is an epical anthem with a wide-ranging sound. I also have to say that the way how the song is build creates excitement throughout the whole 15 minutes. To have the capability to write this kind of tunes is a gift.
"Heartburst" follows. It's a silent track with great melodies that carries a lot of emotions - as actually the entire album does too. With "Indifference turned paralysis" the rocking side shows up again. It's a faster metal track that is actually an instrumental with some added choir parts. Cool stuff.
"The memory of bleeding / Souls in permafrost / Search the stars" is the most progressive metal track on the album. It reminds me a bit to Dream Theater in the early days combined with some Fates Warning. Talking about Fates Warning - it is Victor Arduini that also supported the band as well as drummer Mark Zonder.
Via the more melancholic "Reminiscene of starngers / Lifelines lost" the listener comes towards the end of the album. As in the beginning it is an instrumental, called "Retrospectus", that closes this chapter of While Heaven Wept's musical journey.
I like the new album. It is a masterpiece of epic metal. A band found their own style which is not to compare with anything else. Already this is something remarkable in these days. And if this own identity sounds that awesome than it's even more exciting. Go for it. This music is real.
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Epic Metal
(7/10) Engraved Disillusion is a fairly new band from the UK. The four-piece plays melodic death metal and has released so far the debut album "Embers of existance" and the new "The eternal rest".
What sticks out first is the great cover of the album. It transports exactly what you can expect from the music too - a melochcolic and dark vibe in a rough and heavy environment.
The guys recorded ten songs which are a mix of rough ones combined with more silent tones. "Lost" is a good example for this. The track has some heavy, but melodic riffs, and some growls. But there are also more fragile parts embedded in the middle of the song with some clean vocals. Since the track has a six minutes length it's a well placed break.
The most straight forward songs are "Embrace the fire" and "Into oblivion". Both are pure death metal tracks, performed with a lot of power. Without knowing I also would say that Engraved Disillusion also heard already about Paradise Lost. In some of the tunes, like "No tomorrow", parts like the guitarline remind very much to the guys from Halifax, UK.
The end of the disc is reserved for the longest track on the album. The title track "The eternal rest" is a nine minutes long highlight that starts very silent with some piano parts. There is a kind of underlaying depressive feeling esp. when the guitar joins. The song slowly builds up into a metal track with mostly clean vocals. There are some screams as well but more in an epic surrounding. Towards the end the song gets acoustic again and the piano, that kicked-off the track, also finishs it.
I can't really understand why the band haven't got a deal yet. The album sounds pretty good and I guess it is just a matter of time when one of the labels will sign them. Check it out.
Label: Independed Release
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
(8/10) This album from Lunatic Soul has a fragile beauty that is based on the silent but very soulful songs - nine in total.
But who is Lunatic Soul? We have it to do with a project founded by Mariusz Duda from Riverside. He started the side project already in 2008 and released three albums under this banner. "Walking on a flashlight beam" is the newest kid in town.
By knowing Riverside you can find some elements back also in the music of Lunatic Soul. But Duda adds enough different elements to make it his own.
The album opens with an almost 9 minutes long instrumental; at least that is what the track makes you think during the first 2/3. It's actually waves that is the first thing you hear. Some sphereful sounds join in and the track becomes a dynamic prog song along the way. It reminded me towards the end to Eloy.
"The fear within" is an instrumental that is very much focussed on emotions. Lunatic Soul manages to transport the 'fear within' perfectly with their music. The track is build on a repetative guitar motive that is going through the first half of the seven minutes long song. The motive is accompanied by some keyboards samples which get more into focus in the second part of the track.
"Treehouse" instead feel very light compared to "The fear within". Beautiful melodies are characterisic for this song and the clear vocals from Doda are a treat for your ears. Very good stuff.
The nine songs are a journey though sound and time flies while listening to the album. The band/project creates arcs of suspense in each of the tunes that makes them all standing out. Big melodies, sphereful keyboard samples and great vocal lines - this is what makes the album a real listening experience. It forces you to take time in this fast moving time. Hopefully it will get the time it deserves.
Genre: Prog Rock
(8/10) I will not go too deep into the music and the setlist, since I talked about this already in the CD review from a few days ago.
The DVD though contains the same songs as the CD. This means that you get the full package with this release. The show was recorded at the mighty Wacken festival 2013 and it was split into three parts.
The first part covered the more glam tracks from Alice Cooper like "House of fire" and "Billion dollar babies". The second section of the gig was the more dark side of Alice Cooper. "Go to hell", "I love the dead" and "Feed my Frankenstein" are supported by all kind of gimmicks and typical Alice Cooper show elements incl. the obligatory guillotine.
The last third of the songs is a combination of covers and tunes from Cooper's old heroes. It is The Who ("My generation"), The Beatles ("Revolution") and Jimi Hendrix ("Foxy lady") that influenced the singer in his early days and he pays tribute to those rock dinosaurs.
The end of the show is for THE hits of the band. "I'm eighteen", "Poison" and "School's out" finish a great show. Cool that it was put on DVD so that even a bigger audience can enjoy the concert.
The sound is excellent and the three guitar players are pushing a lot.
As an add-on the DVD contains a 16 minutes long interview in which Alice Cooper talks about the background of the show and gives insights into his musical life. A nice thing, but the core is of course the show itself.
Good stuff which is worth to go for.
(5/10) A new album from the winners of the European Song Contest. This says it all. "Scare force one" is the title of their new disc and it lives up to all Lordi trademarks. And this is exactly where the album has its weak point.
There is no doubt that the catchy hardrock songs from the band stick from the very first moment on. Most of the songs have good hooklines and are easy to sing-a-long (except "She's a demon" which a total failure). But there is no real development in the band and their music.
Basically this was already from the beginning of the band. Lordi didn't do nothing else than what Alice Cooper haven't done already in his "Constrictor" to "Trash" period. Just that uncle Alice did it much better. This goes for the music as well as for the lyrics. Alice Cooper was singing already about Frankenstein when Lordi didn't even exist. And what about tracks like "How to slice a whore" and "Cadaver lover". Should it be scary, should it be creepy, should it be funny, should it be B-movie splatter? For me it's just childish.
Lordi's benefit in the beginning have been the masks and the costums. I can understand that this shocked grandma when she saw the guys on the European Song Contest stage. But seriously, the story is told and the gag becomes annoying - when it comes to the costumes as well as for the lyrics.
"Scare force one" is an album with good rock songs, which I heard many times before, and an image that is outdated. I think that the band missed the moment to reinvent themselfs. There is more exciting stuff to spend the money for.
(9/10) I guess that doom metal fans and also readers of my blog are familiar with The Skull already. The Skull is the new band with well-known doom metal musicians. The band is a combination of Trouble and Pentagram. It is singer Eric Wagner and Jeff Olson on drums - both from Trouble. The guys are accompanied by longtime Trouble bass player Ron Holzner and guiarist Lothar Keller. This means that it is the first time since 1995 that Wagner, Holzner and Olson are playing together again. Reading this and thinking about Trouble's album "The skull" explains where the name comes from. And it is Pentagram guitarist Matt Goldsborough who completes the line-up.
So we can state that there is a lot of experience in the band. And this is also reflected in the album. The Skull releases nine excellent doom metal songs that can be a good example for many new ambitious bands.
Already the riff that openes the gate to doom is chsoen very well. The song steamrolls everything in its way. A very heavy beginning that is continued by "The touch of reality" and "Sick of it all". Those tracks are a pleasure to listen to since they show the beauty of doom. Heavy doesn't mean 'fast'. This is what the entire album proves again.
With "The door" the band has another slow and sad song. Almost six minutes of pure emotion - that is what you get. After those more silent notes the heavy riff from "Send Judas down" pushes you out of your lethargy. The more standard "A new generation" is followed by the grooving "Till the sun turns black" - a song that is one of my favorites on the album.
Than it is time for the title track. "For those which are asleep" is a seven minutes long epical anthem that is a highlight on the record. Starting with acoustic guitars and vocals the tune builds up to a mighty riff monster. The song is jaw-droppingly good.
Also the two last songs can keep the high quality level. "Sometimes yesterday mourning" is the more intesive one with a roaring riff, while "The last judgement" is a bit slower again.
As a fan from albums like "Psalm 9" I'm very glad that they guys are back with such a strong album. Thumbs up and hopefully we will see them live in Europe too in the coming months.
Genre: Doom Metal
Foreigner is one of the dinosaurs when it comes to hardrock. The band released records that haven been sold very successfully all over the world. One of the, if not THE, most sold album was "4" from 1981. The album contains hits like "Cold as ice" and "Juke box hero".
Foreigner wants to celebrate this milestone in rock music together with the fans by releasing a new recording called "The best of Foreigner 4 & more". The songs have been taped beginning of October this year at the Borgata Hotel's Music Box in Atlantic City and will be released via Frontiers Records beginning of December.
The tracklist includes the highlights from the mentioned "4" album togtehr with some more classics from the band like the ballad hit "I want to know what love is".
(9/10) One the most influential death metal bands is back with a new record. Of course everybody was waiting for the new release from At The Gates and the expectations have been quite high. Now is the moment of truth. "At war with reality" is released and I can state that at least my expectations have been fully met.
The album starts with an intro - spoken words in Spanish. Looking on the concept of the album I guess it is the introduction into 'magic realism'. Than the storm starts with "Death and the labyrinth". It's a blazing fast death metal anthem that blows you away from the very first second on. The title track starts cold and industrial with the sound of hammer and anvil. The mighty riff takes over and the song develops to a grooving metal masterpiece. The speed stays on a mid level also in the following "The circular ruins" before an acoustic intro introduces "Heroes and tombs". The pace decreases even more. Like slow moving lava the track rolls over you. It's the pounding rhythm section that is the highlight of this tune. Via "The conspiracy of the blind", a very typical At The Gates song, you get to "Order from chaos". The remarkable part of the track is the start with some elements reminding to Russian balalaikas. After this surprise the tune stays on midpace and has a silent part incl. some spoken words halfway. Already at this stage it becomes clear that there is a lot of variation in the songs, which I think makes "At wat with reality" very exciting. It's much more than a standard pattern that comes constantly back. At The Gates manages this while still keeping the band's trademarks in focus. "The book of sand" and "The head of the hydra" are again typical At The Gates tracks before "City of mirror" give s a moment to rest. It's a one and a half minutes long acoustic intermezzo which gives you a bit time to recover from the before heard death metal storm. The re-energizer is also need since the last three songs demand again all from the listener.
The lyrics of this album are not just words. There is a concept behind those. The theme that builds the red thread through all song is 'magic realism'. This is a sub-category of surrealism and it was Tomas Lindberg who came up with the theme for the lyrics. He took the inspiration from digging deeper into books from South American authers from the 50's/60's and 'translated' the topic into death metal. An intersting approach.
A few words about the production. It was Fredrik Nordstroem from Gothenburg who worked with At The Gates in his studion - Studio Fredman. It was an intensive work over four weeks and the result shows that every invested minute was well spend time. "At war with reality" has an enormous punch and spreads a lot of energy. In this context not to forget Jens Borgen who was responsible for the mix.
At The Gates is back. Not only on stage, as during the last years. The have written, produced and released a dignified successor of the "Slaughter of souls" classic. A highlight in 2014 and probabaly the competitive level for the coming years.
Label: Century Media
Genre: Death Metal
(8/10) And again Finland. This time with real heavy metal from Mausoleum Gate. The first thing that hits your eyes is the cover. I think if there is a competition for the worst cover this year Mausoleum Gate will end up in the top 5 - at least.
Fortunatley the cover doesn't reflect the music. The selfnamed debut of the five-piece comes with six songs. The band plays oldschool heavy metal - pure and straight.
The opener "Magic of the gypsy queen" is with the keyboard sounds and the giggles quite unusual. After this short intro the song itself is showing where the band base their musical inspiration on - the NWoBHM. The song has many crossreferences to the earlier Iron Maiden. Also the riff rocker "Mercenaries of steel" represents this background. I have also heard some parallels with Stormwitch too - esp. in the verse.
The heart of the album are the two songs with an epical length. "Lost beyond the sun" is the first one. It is a very slow one that convinces the listener with great melody lines. The tune has a silent beginning that creates goose bumps. Rainbow is not that far away. The pace increases during the track and some cool hammond parts fit very well.
"Mausoleum gate" is with eleven minutes the masterpiece of the album. Acoustic guitars and very melodic vocals introduce the hymn. A very soulful start into the song. "Mausoleum gate" has a pretty strong progressive touch too. It feels like a journey in time.
An additional benefit is the production. The sound is rough and basic. Being grown up with some demo tapes in the 80's I must say that I like what I hear. The sound fits to the music and it is a great experience to enjoy the warm and human sound in this perfectionized world.
Mausoleum Gate is a band which will be liked by all fans of traditional heavy metal. Another release from Cruz Del Sur that shows the label of the label for good metal.
Just next time with a better cover artwork, please.
Label: Cruz Del Sur Music
Genre: Heavy Metal