Paragon – Controlled Demolition Review

cover-final_FULL-SIZEaParagon is a tank. This band doesn’t care about its surroundings, what’s going on outside of their window, what other bands are doing or what the trends of the times are; they are simply plowing through the metal scene with their inexorable mixture of heavy, speed and thrash metal which they have been firing at their fans’ ears since 1995 without much change. Be it their debut record World Of Sin or 2019’s Controlled Demolition, you are in for a ride without breaks in this tank of mass destruction called Paragon. Continue reading “Paragon – Controlled Demolition Review”

Dragony – Masters Of The Multiverse Review

Dragony_MOTM_Cover_fin_weblThere are few genuine classic melodic power metal bands left in the business, with most ancient champions either retiring or “evolving” into something no one asked for. Austria’s Dragony have been supplying the old power metal crowd with finest European forged steel since their inception around 2011, when their first album Legends released independently, a time where I’d known them for a while already and had come to revel in the ’90s symphonic power goodness long before the band was signed by Limb Music in 2012, who released Legends again. Smart move, after all, Legends was the most explosive piece of the genre I’d heard in a long time. Continue reading “Dragony – Masters Of The Multiverse Review”

Dynazty – Firesign Review

38614493_10155362015946504_3741389648413327360_nIn 2016, Dynazty released the best power metal album of the year. Titanic Mass was a massive titan of hit rate, with every song being amazing in its own right. This caught me by surprise as I’d never even heard of the band before. What, me, the power metal mastermind? That’s because Dynazty went through some major changes in their rather short history. Their first release Bring The Thunder in 2009 was deep, deep in sleaze rock/metal revival territory à la Reckless Love or H.E.A.T. The same holds true for the two follow-up records in 2011 and 2012, only with 2014’s Renatus shifting towards the… right direction. Titanic Mass saw the band at the top of their power metal evolution with an extremely modern high-energy sound in the vein of Amaranthe or Borealis. Continue reading “Dynazty – Firesign Review”

Black Majesty – Children Of The Abyss Review

438248Black Majesty have been one of the premier faces, if not the face of Australian power metal since their debut Sands Of Time in 2003. Their first three, characteristically blue-covered albums released through then legendary power metal label Limb Music perfectly suited the spirit of the time: melodic guitar leads, rapid fire riffs and drums and overall high-energy fast-paced tracks put Black Majesty musically much closer to their European power metal siblings than the often much heavier Australian outlets like Dungeon. Continue reading “Black Majesty – Children Of The Abyss Review”

Beyond The Black – Heart Of The Hurricane Review

CoverEver since their debut, Beyond the Black made quite the impact on the symphonic scene, to the point in which they became one of the most attractive line-up additions to the bigger festivals. Having the energy-driven sound of Songs of Love and Death in their arsenal, that wasn’t surprising – the combination of metal with Celtic elements (albeit nothing new in the genre) mixed with Jennifer Haben’s crystal voice, put the record above the overall lacking in quality releases of 2015. Continue reading “Beyond The Black – Heart Of The Hurricane Review”

Mob Rules – Beast Reborn Review

305540Beast Reborn? German heavy metal outfit Mob Rules surely hasn’t been gone long enough to warrant a whole relaunch; as such the new album’s title is more of a reinforcement than a comeback promise. After all, the band’s previous album was released in 2016 and received phenomenally by both press and fans. Rightly so, as Mob Rules evolved and matured their sound greatly over their now 20+ years career. With their first few albums the Germans started out as a rather traditional power metal constellation in the vein of Helloween with melodious guitar leads and heavy keyboard influences. Continue reading “Mob Rules – Beast Reborn Review”

Elvenstorm – The Conjuring Review

the conjuring artwork 3000Despite their corny generic-power-metal name, Elvenstorm are far from your ordinary Euro power band, and even frontwoman Laura Lombard F by no means places the French band amidst Nightwish clones. Quite the opposite, you won’t find a musically more down-to-earth troupe than Elvenstorm. No keyboards, only riffs and blasting drums for days. Contrary to their Manowar-like artwork and track titles from 2014’s Blood Leads To Glory, this year’s The Conjuring visually and lyrically sets foot in the horror metal genre. Still this does not imply any change to the band’s musical style, which is as established on their third release as it has been since their first record in 2011, Of Rage And War. Continue reading “Elvenstorm – The Conjuring Review”

Nils Patrik Johansson – Evil Deluxe Review

32222499_10156518361739756_4436752219504640000_nIt’s hard to record a bad album when you’re one of the most unique and sovereign voices in heavy metal. This is true for fellow Swedish vocal valiant Jørn as much as it is for Nils Patrik Johansson, releasing his first album with his eponymous solo band. While Jørn Lande’s powerful voice can’t fail expectations, his songwriting sure can. Lucky for him, his voice carried some of his rather monotonous solo albums in the same vein that Nils Patrik Johansson’s voice made his band Astral Doors‘ albums around 2010, even though lacking in songwriting, still enjoyable to listen to. With consecutive releases, Astral Doors recovered to old strength and NPJ proved to be exploding with creativity, fueling both Astral Doors and all-star band Civil War. Having left Civil War in 2016 to spend more time with his family, NPJ is still commited to the metal scene with Astral Doors, writing material for a follow-up to his band Lion‘s Share‘s 2009 album Dark Hours and now releasing his solo album. Hej Nils, while you’re being creative, how about you gather with Wuthering Height‘s Erik Ravn again? Those were some sweet records. Continue reading “Nils Patrik Johansson – Evil Deluxe Review”

Monument – Hellhound Review

731411Let’s not beat around the bush; Monument are an Iron Maiden cover band. They’re not playing songs the Maiden released yet, but they probably traveled to the future to steal their fellow Brits’ upcoming hymns. While Monument aren’t sporting an iconic three-guitars line-up, the harmonic twin guitar leads, the prevalent bass licks and singer Peter Ellis’ vocals all pay homage to the greatest metal band in history (there, I said it). There aren’t as many Maiden mimics out there as one would expect considering the band’s huge influence – maybe musicians don’t dare to challenge the Maiden at their own game. After all, Iron Maiden‘s musical style is quite singular as opposed to the more or less rather typical heavy metal compositions of Judas Priest or Metallica, of which there are a million clones, simply because as soon as you play some kick ass riffs, you’ll be subjected to the comparison. Continue reading “Monument – Hellhound Review”

Grailknights – Knightfall Review

1000x1000 (2)Grailknightis a band that I disregarded for all 14 years of their existence, which is mostly due to their ridiculous image and outfits. And that’s not because I hate fun (my favorite genre is power metal, go figure) but because I detest forced images constraining bands’ musical style and development, exempli gratia Alestorm, their power metal counterpart Gloryhammer and recently German power metal outfit Victorius‘s demise into Gloryhammer platitudes. I just don’t expect these bands to deliver genuine music, and in the case of the ensembles given above this stereotyped thinking worked out for me. Alestorm are just a money-making factory centered around getting shit-faced and their music has been suffering of this since the second decade of the 2000s. Due to all those all show no substance bands, Knightfall is the first album of Germany’s Grailknights I consume. The band calls it superhero metal. Arrggghh, the nemesis. Continue reading “Grailknights – Knightfall Review”