Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review KING DIAMOND "Dreams of horror"

Veröffentlicht am 6. November 2014 von Markus W. in King Diamond, Merciful Fate, Heavy Metal, Occult Metal, Dark Metal, CD Review, News

(*/10) To introduce King Diamond is like carrying sand to the beach. The iconic singer from Denmark, who lives in the US since many years, is a constant factor in the scene for decades. He didn't only celebrate big successes during his solo career; he already released records with Merciful Fate that influenced metal very much.

Due to his falsetto you might love or dislike the King, but his impact on metal, and esp. the occult metal scene, is undisputable.

The new 'Best of...' album is looking back in the King Diamond solo years. The double CD package contains the highlights from 'Roadrunner years' and the 'Metal Blade years'. Since I like esp. "Abigail" and "Them" I was happy to see songs like "The family ghost", "Black horseman" and "The invisibal guest" on the tracklist.

But also newer material as "Spirits", "The puppet master" and "Never ending hill" made it on the album.

The only song I miss is "Arrival" from "Abigail", but of course it's about making choices. Not everything can't be put on the album.

"Dreams of horror" is a good retrospective on the works of Kind Diamond. An album that is for collectors and (the few) people who might not have heard about King Diamond so far.

And there is a wish in the end. Hopefully the "Best of.." album is a bridge for a new studio record. But let's see.





CD 1:

  1. The candle
  2. Dressed in white
  3. The family ghost
  4. Black horsemen
  5. Welcome home
  6. The invisble guests
  7. At the graves
  8. Sleepless nights
  9. Let it be done
  10. Eye of the witch
  11. Insanity


  1. Dreams
  2. The spider's lullabye
  3. Waiting
  4. Heads on the wall
  5. Voodoo
  6. Black devil
  7. Help!!!
  8. Spirits
  9. The puppet master
  10. Blue eyes
  11. Never ending hill
  12. Shapes of black


Label: Metal Blade

Genre: Heavy Metal






CD review KING DIAMOND "Dreams of horror"

CD review NIGHTINGALE "Retribution"

Veröffentlicht am 5. November 2014 von Markus W. in Nightingale, Hardrock, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News, Rock, Prog Rock

(8/10) There is no Yin without a Yang. This goes also for Dan Swano too. The musician from Finspang, Sweden lives out both parts in his music. If the Yin is the death metal he played/produced with bands like Bloodbath and Edge Of Sanity, it is the Yang that he goes for with Nightingale.

What started as a side project of Swano next to Edge Of Sanity became a more serious band during time that released so far six records and one 'Best of...' album. The last one came out in 2007 and it took till 2014 to release a new album.

Now it's time for "Retribution" - the name of the newest release. The album contains ten great songs which reflect the hardrock/prog side of Swano very good.  When I listen to the first triple ("On stolen wings", "Lucifer's lament" and "Chasing the storm away") I felt reminded to bands like Ten and Magnum. It is melodic hardrock that has an essence of prog rock flavoured with some classic rock elements. The songs are on a high level and it's always the . This makes actually the entire album to a great experience - even for non-musicians.

After this very light beginning of the album "Warriors of the dawn" is a song where the prog parts are a bit more represented in the song structure. In addition the tune has a gloomy vibe that makes it different too. The highlight is the chorus in this song. Superb.

"Forevermore" is a good hardrock song with a bit of Magnum in it. Not bad, but the acoustic "Divided I fall" is a much better track again. It is a very emotional tune with piano, acoustic guitars and a great vocal line.

"The voyage of endurance" is a pushing rocker that combines catchiness and complexity before Nightingale has another highlight on the tracklist. "27 (Curse or coinsidence)" has an acoustic verse, similar to "Divided I fall" and gets more powerful in the chorus. The sense of Swano when it comes to great arcs of melodies is amazing. And everything sounds so light and easy going - as it would have been easiest thing on earth to write those brilliant hardrock songs.

With "The maze" Nightingale enter again the more dark side of life. The tune is a bit slower compard to the others and it has a riff that gives you some goose bumps. With "Echoes of a dream" the album also got a bouncer that easily keeps the level of the nine earlier heard songs. Anchored in classic rock the silent, almost 6 minutes long anthem, is a treat for your ears.

"Retribution" is a great album from Nightingale. It shows very much that we have missed the band for the last seven years and it is great to have them back. Hopefully it will not take another seven years for the next record.





  1. On stolen wings
  2. Lucifer's lament
  3. Chasing the strom away
  4. Warriors of the dawn
  5. Forevermore
  6. Divided I fall
  7. The voyage of endurance
  8. 27 (Curse or conincidence?)
  9. The maze
  10. Echoes of a dream


Label: InsideOut

Genre: Classic Rock


CD review NIGHTINGALE "Retribution"

CD review HAKEN "Restoration"

Veröffentlicht am 4. November 2014 von Markus W. in Haken, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, Rock, CD Review, News, Heavy Metal

(8/10) It seems to be the 'prog weeks' this autumn. InsideOut has quite some good releases in their launchplan in these days. Devin Townsend, Pain Of Salvation and now also Haken with a new EP.

The title is "Restoration" and the name is telling you what to expect. One year after releasing "The mountain" the prog sextett is looking back in time. They took three of their favorites from the demo days have redone those. One of the rearranged songs is the gloomy "Darkest light" that rocks quite heavy. It is a multilayered metal track with a great melody. I felt reminded to the earlier Dream Theater. 

Compared to the opener "Eartling" is much more relaxed. The songs starts with some sphereful keyboard samples. An acoustic guitar joins in and the vocals are almost fragile. Along the way the tune shows also more of its rocking aspect, but it never gets really loud. 

The highlight of the EP is the nineteen minutes long "Crystallised". I don't know why, but the beginning I had Eloy's "Though a somber galaxy" in my mind. However, after one minute the Haken tunes takes a total other direction and develops to a complex anthem with great rhythmics. By the way, Mike Portnoy (Transatlantic / Flying Colors) had a guest appearance as well as Pete Rinaldi. And it was bass player Conner Green who had his first recording with Haken. The result speaks for itself.

For the rest the song contains everything a good prog tune should have. Canon vocals, rocking parts, silent sections, bombast and great instrumental perfomances.

"Restoration" is an excellent EP from a prog band that deserves your attention.





  1. Darkest light
  2. Earthling
  3. Crystallised


Label: InsideOut

Genre: Prog Metal 

CD review HAKEN "Restoration"

CD review PAIN OF SALVATION "Falling home"

Veröffentlicht am 4. November 2014 von Markus W. in Pain Of Salvation, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, Rock, Alternative Metal, CD Review, News

(8/10) The brain and heart behind Pain Of Salvation is Daniel Gildenlöw. He is the frontman and mastermind of the Swedish prog band. The band released already eight studio records and got quite some attention in the prog scene.

The idea behind the album is as unusual as the band itself. Pain Of Salvation played some acoustic shows in Germany in 2012 and the plan was to record those and release a live album - esp. since "12:5" was released already in 2004. But sometimes things don't work out as planned. This means in this case that there have been no recordings that could have been used. Bad luck. But also no reason for Pain Of Salvation to give up.

Gildenlöw was that much convinced about the idea that he recorded the acoustic album "Falling home" in the studio. So you could say that the new record is a live album without being a live album.

And after I heard the album I must say that it was a very good decision not to give up. "Falling home" contains a pretty good overview about the discography of the Pain Of Salvation.

Already the opener "Stress" with the dominanting bassline in the beginning is different. The tune got a kind of jazzy arrangement with a real rock'n'roll guitar solo in the middle. Different and good. "Linoleum" is much more relaxed than the original version and "To the shoreline" still reminds to the "The good, the bad, the ugly" from Ennio Morricone - at least in some parts of the song.

"Falling home" also comes with two cover versions. The first is "Holy diver" from Dio. This is a controversal thing since Pain Of Salvation arranged the classic as a chilling piano bar song. I like the version since it sounds very cool. But I guess that there are also totally different opinions about this interpretation.

The second cover is from Lou Reed. It is "Perfect day" and compared to the Dio cover this song it will please much more fans. There is so much emotion in the tune that you want to listen to this version again and again. Very soulful in a great new dress.

"1979" comes as a singer-songriter version while "Mrs. modern mother Mary" got a atmospheric expression.

I like the version of "Spitfall" which is arrange far less heavy than the known version. The groove of the original song comes much more to the front and the rap-like vocals make it really something special. For me, together with the Lou Reed cover, the highlight on the album.

The title track is the bouncer on "Falling home". The song is OK, eventhough there are better ones on the album. It is a slow acoustic track with a certain country-/folk expression.  

All in all I have to say that I like the album very much. It is great to see what you can get out of songs if experience musicans re-arrange their own tracks. They got a new face by still keeping their personality. Well done.





  1. Stress
  2. Linoleum
  3. The the shoreline
  4. Holy diver
  5. 1979
  6. Chain sling
  7. Perfect day
  8. Mrs. modern mother Mary
  9. Flame to the moth
  10. Spitfall
  11. Falling home


Label: InsideOut

Genre: Prog Rock


CD review PAIN OF SALVATION "Falling home"

CD review TRIOSPHERE "The heart of the matter"

Veröffentlicht am 3. November 2014 von Markus W. in Trioscpapes, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Prog Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) With "The heart of the matter" Norwegian Triosphere released their news prog metal album, which their fourth one. The band from Trondheim, Norway was founded in 2004 by singer Ida Haukland, who is also plays the bass, Marius Silver Bergesen on guitar and drummer Ørjan Aare Jørgensen. All three founding members are still part of the band that is completed by guitarist Tor Ole Byberg.

On "The heart of the matter" the band worked together with Jens Bogren in Sweden. Bogren also worked already together with bands like Kreator and Opeth and gave the new album from Triosphere an excellent sound which is powerful but also differentiated.

In the beginning I described the album as prog metal. This is of course right, but I have to add that it is prog metal with a good dose of power metal.

The music of Triosphere is layered and includes heavy riffs and powerful chords. The melody is another constant factor that give the songs a certain catchiness. Basically it's the heavy guitars and the melodic vocal lines from Haukland, that characterize the music of Triosphere. 

I highlight is "Breathless", one of the more silent songs with a great guitar solo part in the middle. When it is about the hevay songs I call the opener "My fortress" to my favorites. The tunes is based on a power metal riff and the vocal lines show the entire range of Hauland - from melodic to gloomy and rough. But Triosphere can also play fast. After a slow beginning "Relentless" builds up into a fast metal track that is very refreshing.

The music of Triosphere might miss some originality, but the twelve tracks contain well crafted music that 





  1. My fortress
  2. Steal away the light
  3. The sentinal
  4. Breathless
  5. Departure
  6. The heart's dominoin
  7. As I call
  8. Relentless
  9. The sphere
  10. Remedy
  11. Storyteller
  12. Virgin ground


Label: AFM records

Genre: Progressive Metal

CD review TRIOSPHERE "The heart of the matter"

CD review APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE "Of woe and wounds"

Veröffentlicht am 3. November 2014 von Markus W. in Apostle Of Solitude, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Apostle Of Solitude is looking back on two full-length longplayers and a couple of EPs/Slit albums. The guys from Indianapolis, Indiana started in 2004 and the first demo was published one year later in 2005.

The third strike of the four-piece is now available and got the name "Of woe and wounds". Again Cruz Del Sur showed that they have a great sense for undergound bands. Apostle Of Solitude plays doom metal the more oldschool way and fit perfect into the portofolio of the label.

The album starts with an intro called "Distance and the cold hard", which by the way is also picked up again in the end as the closer of the album. Doom songs are slow and they normally have a longer playing time. This is also the case with Apostle Of Solitude. The tunes are all between five and epical seven minutes which gives you an hour of slow and heavy riffs.

The sphere the music spreads fits perfect to the name of the band. It's an almost perfect match. The feeling of 'solitude' comes back in many of the songs. It's a melancholic vibe with a lot of despair and the impression of loneliness.

"Luna" is one of the highlights on the album. Not only due to the fact that it is the longest track on "Of woen and wounds". It is also one of the slowest songs with an intensive slo-mo riff and the melodic vocals, spreading a feeling of hopelessness. This is pure emotion.

A song I like too is the quite fast "Whore's wings". Downtuned guitars and a pounding rhythm caracterize the song which is a real headbanger. And there is the really mean riff in "Blackest of times" that tears down everything.

Maybe Apostles Of Solitude don't have a real unique feature in their music, but they play good doom metal with a strong underground expression. 





  1. Distance and the cold heart
  2. Blackest of times
  3. Whore's wings
  4. Lamentations of a broken man
  5. Die vicar die
  6. Push mortal coil
  7. This mania
  8. Siren
  9. Luna
  10. Distance and the cold heart (reprise)


Label: Cruz Del Sur

Genre: Doom Metal

CD review APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE "Of woe and wounds"

CD review STENCH "Venture"

Veröffentlicht am 2. November 2014 von Markus W. in Stench, Death Metal, Black Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Seven tracks, 38 minutes - no compromises. Stench from Sweden released a new album called "Venture". It is their second full-length disc and it comes with seven black- / death metal tracks.  All of them are stright-forward and doesn't give you time to lay back. 

It starts with "Archways"; a metal anthem that begins with a baleful intro before the track takes up speed and turns into a 3 minutes long black metal monster. "The vast" takes out the speed in the second part and replace it with a mean riff. This makes the track quite heavy.

"Road" is more a highway when it comes to the high-speed of the song and "Smell death" is a brutal and raging piece of music with screaming guitars. The six minutes long track has some intelligent breaks that makes it interesting to follow from start to end. Stench can write even longer songs like the eight minutes long "Celebration". The tune has quite some pace changes along the way. Sounds pretty cool and has enough diversity to keep up the tension.

After those riff infernos "Way" starts comparatively slow. For me it is the best song on the album. It's not often that I can say this from an instrumental. But as said, the tune starts slow and emotional before it builds up to an oppressive death metal track. This is very well done.

Last but not least the title track "Venture - another raging highspeed song that has a certain kick-ass attitude. 

After almost 40 minutes this metallic spin cycle ends. Stench packs everything into the seven songs. No gimmicks - just pure death metal. "Venture" is a good metal record and the band shows some potential. It could be that we will hear more often from them and it's worth to give the album a chance if you like fast performed death metal.



  1. Archways
  2. The vast
  3. Road
  4. Smell death
  5. Celebration
  6. Way
  7. Venture


Label: Agonia Records

Genre: Death Metal

CD review STENCH "Venture"

CD review KONTRUST "Explositive"

Veröffentlicht am 2. November 2014 von Markus W. in Kontrust, Crossover, Alternative Metal, Modern Metal, CD Review, News

(5/10) The music of Kontrust might make you DANCE. The band from Austria, with the capital VIENNA, is the homebase of Kontrust. The band plays crossover, by mixing all different kind of styles. While crossover bands like Rage Against The Machine roll over you like a BULLDOZER Kontrust just wants to PLAY! With singer Agata the band has a COSMIC GIRL(s) and Kontrust clearly focus on THIS IS MY SHOW. But is it JUST PROPAGANDA (maybe the best song on the album)?

My question after I have heard the album is more WHY? The album didn't really give me a BAD TIME, but I also have to say that it wasn't my cup of tea. For me there are too many styles mixed and matched. I miss the red thread in the music of Kontrust.

Now I have used all the titles of the album for this review, except I FREAK ON. Ups, wrong. I used it now.

However, the crossover out of hard metal riffs, some dub sections and reggae elements with a touch of Guano Apes isn't my thing. Sometimes less would be more.





  1. Dance
  2. Why
  3. Just propaganda
  4. I freak on
  5. Shut up
  6. Cosimic girls
  7. Vienna
  8. Bulldozer
  9. Play!
  10. This is mt show
  11. Bad time


Label: Naplam Records

Genre: Crossover



CD review KONTRUST "Explositive"


Veröffentlicht am 1. November 2014 von Markus W. in The Jury And The Saint, Punk, Punkrock, Hardcore, News, Vusi

Punk rock from New Zealand? Why not. The Jury And The Saint is the name of the band and they will release their new album via SPV. Here is with "Focus" alsready a first song from the upcoming album.


Ivan Beets gives also a few more informations about the new record:

"As a band we have always captured our ideas quickly, we want the driving force of a song, or a live show, to be the initial creative spark - this album was no exception. The songs were written in New Zealand with a focus on capturing the most energetic, intense and real album that we could. SPV introduced us to Alex Lysjakow who ended up producing the album over a 2 week period (in the middle of a European tour) at SoundArt Studio in Germany. Due to living in different countries we didn’t have much time to get to know Alex so there was as lot of trust involved, which we feel really helped the whole process. Because everyone was focused on working hard and getting things done, decisions were made based on gut instinct rather than lengthy discussions. Throughout this process, Alex's background of rock production helped us achieve the energy and authenticity that we were after. Playing live is a huge part of who we are, so it was crucial that the songs and the recordings captured the raw energy and life that we want people to feel when they watch us at a show. We always want our audience to feel like they are part of what we do, and this record reflects that intent with songs that are easy to connect with. We don’t care about making a technical album, we care about making music that translates both in the studio and live, music that hopefully moves people, music that makes you have to sing, music that connects because its coming from a place of energy and honesty.”


SIX FEET UNDER on tour in Germany before x-mss

Veröffentlicht am 1. November 2014 von Markus W. in Six Feet Under, Maat, Zanthrpya Ex, Cretura, Invisible Mirror, Death Angel, Tour, News

Six Feet Under plays a couple of shows in December in Europe under the header 'x-mas in hell tour 2014'. They get support by Maat, Zanthrpya Ex, Cretura and Invisible Mirror. Here are the dates:

SIX FEET UNDER on tour in Germany before x-mss

CD review BLACK VEIL BRIDES "Black Veil Brides"

Veröffentlicht am 1. November 2014 von Markus W. in Black Veil Brides, Modern Metal, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, CD Review, News

(7/10) The Black Veil Brides are for sure no rookies. The band was founded in 2009 and in the meantime it is only singer Andrew Biersack who is part of the Black Veil Brides from the very beginning. The guys have had their first successes during the last 5 years, mainly in the US. The awareness of the band in Europe is far less and let's see if this will change with the new record.

Having three albums in their backpack the five-piece added number four now. The name is simply "Black Veil Brides" and it offeres eleven song that are stylewise somewhere between alternative metal, modern metal and hardrock. Actually the new album reflects pretty much an intersection from the last records.

The music is probabaly not totally new. There are the alternative metal parts like we know them from bands like Alter Bridge, there are thrashy riff sections and their are grooving modern metal elements included in their compositions. The cover itself feels also quite familiar too since Kataklysm had similar ones years ago.

However, in general I must say that I like the music of the guys. The opener "Heart of fire" comes already with a heavy riff. Combined with the melodic chorus the song has a good balance. "Last rites" is another highlight on the album. It sounds like Metallica having created the blueprint for this song. The pounding rhythm and the bridge remind very much to the San Francisco dinosaur. The chorus is more melodic without taking out the heaviness. Towards the end it gets heavier again.

"The shattered God" starts with a hammering guitar and a galloping rhythm. The first lead joins before the vocals lines add more melody to the song. I was reminded to Avenged Sevenfold. One small point of critic though. You should never fade out a song like this. This is a real downer for such a good tune.

Next to those highlights there are also a couple of songs which are more avarege. "Devil in the mirror" is one of those. Compared to the other tracks it's pretty heavy but it's also a bit trivial. "World of sacrifice" doesn't really belong to my favorites too. And "Walk away", the power ballad, is a song where the band plays safe. Very melodic, with some orchestrated background samples the song is a bit too much focussed on the big audience. The tune could be part of a Hollywood movie soundtrack,

All in all the fourth strike of the band became a powerful rock/metal longplayer that is entertaining. Without drowning in cliches the band mostly finds the right balance between being heavy and melodic.





  1. Heart on fire
  2. Faithless
  3. Devil in the mirror
  4. Goodbye agony
  5. World of sacrifice
  6. Last rites
  7. Stolen omen
  8. Walk away
  9. Drag me to the grave
  10. The shattered god
  11. Crown of thorns


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Modern Metal

CD review BLACK VEIL BRIDES "Black Veil Brides"

CD review NE OBLIVISCARIS "Citadel"

Veröffentlicht am 1. November 2014 von Markus W. in Ne Obliviscaris, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(8/10) This is an amazing and thrilling album. "Citadel" from NE Obliviscaris, which means "Forget not", is an lognplayer that streches the limits. The music of the band is based on so many influences so that the result is an outstanding record which is quite unique.

It covers multilayered sound structures that merges classic influences with jazz, metal and progressive elements into an exciting sound experience. 

"Citadel" is based on two core parts. The first one is "Painters of tempest" which is splitted into three subchapter and the second main element of the album is called "Devour me, Colossum".  

"Wyrmholes" is the first part of the trilogy and is a classic sound collage which is a kind of prelude to what comes next. The masterpiece is the 16 minutes long "Triptych lux"; a combination of infernal death metal and fragile sounds. This goes e.g. for the vocals. There are the deep death metal screams/growls and clean vocals next to each other in an unexpected harmony. There are raging guitar solos followed by soulful string sections - and all in one song. "Reveries from the stained glass womb" rounds of this trilogy. It's a three minutes long acoustic track with guitars and violines, played by Tim Charles. 

"Devour me, Colossus" is following the same principle, of course. Awesome.

Inbetween those two masterpieces there is the angry death-/black metal anthem "Pyrrhic". It's a blazing fast song and who ever thought that high speed metal and violines doesn't go together should listen to this track. It proves you wrong. This song is structured musical chaos giving the word 'progression' a wider meaning.

Maybe the album isn't for each and every moment. You need time for "Citadel", but it's worth to invest in this record. 





  • Painters of the tempest (Part 1): Wyrmholes
  • Painters of the tempest (Part 2): Triptych Lux

      Movement I: Creator

      Movement II: Cynsure

      Movement III: Curator

  • Painters of the tempest (Part 3): Reveries from the stained glass womb
  • Pyrrhic
  • Devour me, Colossus (Part 1): Blackholes
  • Devour me, Colossus (Part 2): Contortions


Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Avangarde Death Metal

CD review NE OBLIVISCARIS "Citadel"

CD review SPIDERS "Shake electric"

Veröffentlicht am 1. November 2014 von Markus W. in Spiders, Hardrock, Rock, Alternative Rock, CD Review, News

(9/10) Gothenburg seems to be a creative hub that brings so many new exciting bands up to the surface that it becomes almost scary.

Spiders is on of those bands. And the band doesn't play death metal. Yes, there are Gothenburg guys playing other music too. Spiders has an exciting mix of classic rock with some metal and some punk elements. Their music is simple, in the best meaning of the word, and they benefit a lot from their singer Ann-Sofie Hoyles. Hoyles is together with Delila Paz from The Last International one of the best newcomers this year. Her voice is amazing.

She has this typical rock'n'roll timbre. She sings very melodic by still having this smoky aspect in her voice. Together with warm and dynamic music it becomes a melanche that is irresistable. 

"Shake electric" is the second album of the band after they have released the debut "Flash point" in 2012.

All tunes on the album are tracks are outstanding. There is no real filler. Highlights in my point of view are the very groovy opener "Mad dog" with the great guitar riff, the galopping fast "Control", the soulful "Hard times" that shows the whole range of Hoyles voice and last but not least the classic rocker "War of the world" that brings you right back into the 70's. 

"Shake electric" shows why rock'n'roll is such an awesome music style. I would like you to give this album a chance. It is one of the best ones I have heard this year.





  1. Mad dog
  2. Shake electric
  3. Bleeding heart
  4. Only your skin
  5. Lonely nights
  6. Back on the streets
  7. Control
  8. Give up the fight
  9. Hard times
  10. War of the world


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Alternative Rock

CD review SPIDERS "Shake electric"
<< < 1 2 3 4 5