Mob Rules – Beast Over Europe Review

749344In the part of classic power metal secluded from mainstream fame artists like Sabaton or PowerwolfSigns Of The Time Live is known as one of the most thrilling live experiences delivered on recording, but with 14 years gone by and five new albums between then and 2019, Mob Rules‘ testament for rousing live shows from 2005 got long in the tooth. Following their 2018 record Beast Reborn and the appertaining Beast Over Europe tour with Brainstorm the German band decided to update and upgrade their live album catalogue with a new 14-track offering recorded during mentioned tour including plenty of more recent tracks. But can Beast Over Europe relieve Signs Of The Time Live of its paragon duties? Continue reading “Mob Rules – Beast Over Europe Review”

Equilibrium – Renegades Review

Equilibrium - Renegades_4000pxBy releasing Sagas, Equilibrium set the bar all too high. Since then, the record stirred some waters in Nuclear Blast’s lenghtly catalogue and to this day hangs like the sword of Damocles over its creators – an unavoidable fact that made founder (and currently last original member) René Berthiaume take a sharp turn in his sixth opus. Continue reading “Equilibrium – Renegades Review”

ISON – Inner – Space Review

a1109664369_10Where to begin? is the question posed by Inner – Space, ISON‘s 2019 venture into a musical cosmos commonly referred to as drone, post black metal or shoegaze. Musical is a term used purely out of practicality; Inner – Space successfully avoids any kind of genre conformity or comparisons, ISON simply chose to offer their artistic vision as an audible recording. Like the universe, with which the lyrics are mostly concerned with, ISON‘s music has no beginning or end, no up or down, no left or right. Where to begin? is the question Inner – Space asks, just for the listener to find out they either already began or were never there to begin with. Continue reading “ISON – Inner – Space Review”

Sonata Arctica – Talviyö Review

Sonata Arctica - Talviyö - ArtworkIn evaluating a record, there are various questions to be considered; how important is singularity to an album’s quality, how important is fulfilling expectations, or, on the opposite, going against expectations? Is self-development necessary, irrelevant, disappointing or welcome? Sonata Arctica have been exhausting the possible answers to these questions at least since their 2007 record Unia by coming out with complex, demanding and undoubtedly diverse albums, each of which split their fanbase in two distinct factions: those who love for the Fins to experiment, and those who miss the old days of straight-forward Stratovarius style melodic power metal. This year’s record Talviyö is not going to unite the two camps in celebration as it may be the most experimental – as in far from the power metal roots – album Sonata Arctica have released in their career. Continue reading “Sonata Arctica – Talviyö Review”

Moonlight Haze – De Rerum Natura Review

020913Expectations rarely have been as high for a debut record as for De Rerum Natura, Italy’s Moonlight Haze‘s first album after forming in 2018. The cause of that are the names of those involved with members and ex-members of high-class Italian metal bands such as TemperanceElvenking and Sound Storm. The most exciting inclusion among Moonlight Haze‘s ranks is probably Chiara Tricarico who left Temperance in 2017 and recorded a bunch of great melodic metal records with the band thanks to her voice suitable for international competition. Continue reading “Moonlight Haze – De Rerum Natura Review”

Stormlord – Far Review

37222222222222222222222226847I remember listening to Mare Nostrum, Italian symphonic black metal band Stormlord‘s fourth album, in 2009 and being blown away by how one band could combine such extreme metal with such great melodies and atmospheres.Of course, this type of mixture is something Dimmu Borgir have been brewing up as early as 1994, but there’s just a kind of dramatic aspect that Italian bands are great at portraying, be it black metal, death metal or power metal. Precisely, Stormlord strike a balance between those genres with a focus on atmospheric black metal; not in a Summoning kind of way, but leaning heavy on keyboards and solemn melodies to facilitate the new album’s lyrical contents concerning, as always, ancient Roman myths, but also fictional topics like Conan. Continue reading “Stormlord – Far Review”

Spacelord – Indecipher Review

a1741241995_10Recent years have seen the resurgence of ’70s classic rock and metal styles across all sorts of heavy music genres, from mainstream appeal to stranger, more underground sounds, some in the form of Led Zeppelin, some more Blue Öyster Cult or Black Sabbath. Even I, someone whose interest in musical traditions finds its limit in ’80s hair metal, must admit that albeit far from groundbreaking, young bands like Greta Van Fleet have made the music many would call classics, bad or good, and about which most don’t care anymore, more accessible again. Interestingly enough, Buffalo foursome Spacelord avoid affiliation with any kind of trend; and instead of building an altar of worship to just one band, the four lads brew their own kind of mixture out of Led Zeppelin‘s energy and Alice In Chain‘s darker guitar sounds plus their own quirky influence befitting the outlandishly alien retro sci-fi art and concepts. Continue reading “Spacelord – Indecipher Review”

Atlas Pain – Tales Of A Pathfinder Review

sdf1Oh, the glory days of pagan metal, remember when Ensiferum released Victory Songs? When Equilibrium let loose their epic masterpiece Sagas? When Turisas were at the height of their songwriting? What would you give to go back to those days? As it turns out, you don’t have to give a lot, all it takes is Atlas Pain‘s new album Tales Of A Pathfinder. Somehow, the freezing winds of the northern sea reached the north of Italy where four men are looking to revive the faltering genre mixture between folk, epic and viking metal with an album that sounds taken straight out of 2008. Conceptually, Atlas Pain do not concern themselves with bloody battle stories but rather tales of times and people in a steampunk cladding. Continue reading “Atlas Pain – Tales Of A Pathfinder Review”

Bloodbound – Rise Of The Dragon Empire Review

50710999_2527599240590116_3806848059560689664_nIf swordbearing was a term or scale to describe metal bands, Swedish power metallers Bloodbound would make first place in swordbeariness, even before the likes of ManowarRise Of The Dragon Empire, their 8th album already, is the third album in the band’s discography to deal with the happenings in Game Of Thrones, or A Song Of Ice And Fire for booklovers. And that’s a great source of inspiration since Stormborn, their 2014 record, was one of the strongest albums Bloodbound put out since their revival in 2011 with then new singer Patrik Johansson and the first to draw inspo from the famous book/TV series, spawning one of the band’s greatest hits, “Iron Throne”. Whereas Stormborn was a pretty brutal power metal record in the vein of earlier Sabaton records, War Of Dragons in 2017 and this year’s Rise Of The Dragon Empire decelerate a bit. Continue reading “Bloodbound – Rise Of The Dragon Empire Review”

Iron Fire – Beyond The Void Review

Iron_Fire_CoverIt’s no secret I am a huge Iron Fire nerd and their most recent “album” Dawn Of Creation, actually an extensive best of type record with lots of new tracks thrown in, promised a bright future for the Danish dudes. Naturally I was eager to listen to their newest output Beyond The Void, especially to find out where 2019 will take the band. 2016’s Among The Dead saw Iron Fire take a drastic step away from their early days’ true power metal with classic albums such as Blade Of Triumph or Revenge and a step towards a more modern, thrashy sound that they already hinted at with what is maybe their best record, 2012’s Voyage Of The Damned, an epic mixture of influences modern and classic alike breaking the genre’s boundaries. Continue reading “Iron Fire – Beyond The Void Review”