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”

Majestica – Above The Sky Review

Majestica - Above the Sky - ArtworkTommy Johansson is a busy guy and all-around multi-talent; throughout the better part of this century the Swede has been hunting high and low in power metal combos of all fashions and on all fronts, as a vocalist, guitarist and keyboard magician. Up until 2016 only known to a smaller audience thanks to among specialists beloved, yet on a larger scale not extremely impactful bands ReinXeed and Golden Resurrection, he joined audience of all styles appealing Sabaton as guitar wizard in said year. At this point, his melodic metal child ReinXeed had been abandoned for about three years after a rather mediocre A New World. It seemed as though the band that previously released close to one album a year ran out of steam. All the more fitting that workaholic Johansson decided to refurbish his love for fast melodic metal and restarted ReinXeed‘s journey with a new name: Majestica was born. Continue reading “Majestica – Above The Sky Review”

Grimgotts – Dragons Of The Ages Review

Grimgotts - Dragons of the Ages - Front coverLet’s get this out of the way right now: Yes, Grimgotts is a power metal band, yes, this album is as cheesy as the cover artwork makes you believe and yes, if you don’t like keyboards, you should avoid this record. Alright, now that the garage sound black metal elitists are gone, the European power metal enthusiasts can savour this English band’s second full-length record which they offer us to tickle our palate. That’s right, there’s not too many class power metal acts left to sweep the lands from the UK’s shores; Power Quest would be the one closest to Grimgotts melodic sound off the top of my head. But, to be honest, the lads named after Harry Potter lore sound much more Scandinavian anyway, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the band’s members happened to be the Twilight Force guys’ cousins. Continue reading “Grimgotts – Dragons Of The Ages Review”

Skeletoon – They Never Say Die Review

CoverNerd Power Metal? From Italy? Hell yeah, please. For anyone unsure what nerd power metal sounds like, the nerd part references the band’s lyrics, while the music takes care of the power portion. Some more stuck up stereotyped thinkers would simply pigeon-hole Skeletoon with the usual melodic power metal bands from the ’80s to the ’00s, but that’s half the fun, and as expected from the self-described genre name, fun is what Skeletoon‘s all about. The Italian band is Mr. Tomi Fooler’s brainchild who, as it seems, likes to fuse nerdy, or rather geeky, topics with the speediest European melodic power metal on the block. This particular spawn titled They Never Say Die concerns itself with classic ’80s movie The Goonies. Yeah, no Lord Of The Rings, no Wheel Of TimeSkeletoon prefers it lighthearted. Which obviously suits the classic uptempo power metal the Italians are celebrating with this record. Continue reading “Skeletoon – They Never Say Die Review”

Sinbreed – IV Review

la07-sinbreed-IV-artwork(1)With 2010’s When Worlds CollideSinbreed made a huge impact on European power metal as one of the progenitors of modern power metal sound we know these days characterized by a focus on prioritizing aggressive drum and guitar sound, along with often lower register power singers as displayed by bands who got famous even beyond the circle of power metal fans like Sabaton. In 2018, Sinbreed continue this path just like they did on their three previous albums, there’s just one major difference: one of the most unique voices of the genre has left the band; Herbie Langhans was replaced by Nick Holleman, probably known best for his job at Vicious Rumors – who his by far not a bad singer, but many will agree that Herbie is on a similar level of distinction as Sabaton‘s Joakim Brodén. How does Sinbreed‘s aggressive power metal fare with another singer? Continue reading “Sinbreed – IV Review”

Masquerage – Hangman’s Revelations Review

37638094_10156249532690609_8934513105124196352_nI’m always looking forward to new releases from Stormspell Records’ roster, and Masquerage is just another gem in the rough featuring some hard-working people who somehow managed to stay underground all this time. The Finns have been around since around 2000, with four full-length records to their name already. I hadn’t known them before this album, but my bets were on them being a brand new, young band. Hangman’s Revelations just has this kind of fresh air to it. Of course, I recognized Masquerage‘s voice and big player – Kimmo Perämäki of early Celesty fame, who managed to stay relevant trough Finland’s scene and recently grouped up with Celesty again, but to no recorded avail at least yet. Continue reading “Masquerage – Hangman’s Revelations 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”

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”

Powerwolf – The Sacrament Of Sin Review

907264Powerwolf return to bring sex to the church of power metal. So much sex! Was I too ignorant or too innocent to see this on their past albums? Sure, tracks like “Resurrection By Erection” from their 2009 masterpiece Bible Of The Beast were very much on the nose, but this time around the Germans conceal their innuendos in smart allegories which will bring the same dirty smirk to your face as the one probably found on this album’s “Stossgebet”‘s priest’s visage. Continue reading “Powerwolf – The Sacrament Of Sin Review”