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”

Gloryhammer – Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex Review

gloryhammer-legends-from-beyond-the-galactic-terrorvortexThanks for making me type out that album title at least once for this review, guys. GloryhammerAlestorm‘s Christopher Bowes’ brainchild, make no secret of the fact that nothing changed regarding the band’s style or music. Just like the previous two records and just like its title, Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex is a crazy, over-the-top power metal nerd out extravaganza without concern for what is too much heroics. Of course the whole effort is even less than half-serious, but Gloryhammer established quite a reputation among power metal fans with their flawless execution of the more symphonic-laden, dramatic fantasy metal established in the late ’90s by European, especially Italian bands; as such Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex at least fueled expectations as a serious contender for one of this year’s significant power metal albums. Continue reading “Gloryhammer – Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex 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”

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”

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”

Ancient Bards – Origine: The Black Crystal Sword Saga Part 2 Review

ancientbards_origineSneakily, but steadily Ancient Bards have grown on me from just another Rhapsody “cover” band – from Italy even – to a serious contender to be the legitimate successors to the genre-establishing warriors who are a bare shadow of their former glory these days, at least the contemporary of Fire incarnation with only one birthing member left. I don’t mean to run down symphonic power metal masterpieces like AB‘s first record, The Alliance Of The Kings, but the borrowing of Rhapsody style was a bit too blatant to lift the album and its sequels beyond the cliche of “just another (albeit great) power metal record”. Continue reading “Ancient Bards – Origine: The Black Crystal Sword Saga Part 2 Review”

Marius Danielsen – Legend Of Valley Doom Part 2 Review

Marius_Dani22222elsen_LOVD_Part2I am anticipating this review to exceed the average number of mentions of “power metal”, but Norwegian singer, songwriter, guitarist and overall composing mastermind Marius Danielsen makes it hard to avoid that thanks to his metal opera featuring just about anyone famous in the genre. “Metal opera” is a positively tainted phrase coined by Mr. Tobias Sammet and his ground breaking two as such titled records from the early 2000s, which he since left behind and sometimes seems to wish to ignore. Good, good, then someone else can take up the flag where he left it. On paper, it looks like Marius Danielsen’s project is fit for the task; an epic fantasy story and about a billion guest singers and musicians, the prerequisites needed, are present in Legend Of Valley Doom Part 2. Continue reading “Marius Danielsen – Legend Of Valley Doom Part 2 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”