Tungsten – We Will Rise Review

Tungsten - We Will Rise - ArtworkYoung blood is often needed to rejuvenate a genre and introduce new ideas to it, and even though Tungsten has old blood running in its veins, they are here to modernize power metal as we know it. The band’s core, Nick and Karl Johansson, are musicians new to the scene, but there’s a catch: their father is Anders Johansson of Hammerfall fame who undoubtedly fed Nick and Karl templar steel through their baby food. Together with Anders, the brothers formed Tungsten to deliver their vision of modern power metal. Continue reading “Tungsten – We Will Rise Review”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Seventh Wonder – Tiara Review

CoverYeah, any Tiara review’s opening will use the 8 years time span between Seventh Wonder‘s last record, The Great Escape, 2010, and Tiara. Is it more or less tacky to go meta? Anyway, eight years! That builds expectation. Especially as the Swedes have never disappointed with their albums, putting out prog metal opus one after another. Granted, after the epochal Mercy Falls from 2008, there is little left to be said. The band could have stopped right then and there with one of the greatest prog metal albums of all times in their catalogue. Fortunately for us, we are still getting new stuff, even though at a relatively slower rate than in the ’00s. Part of that is surely singer Tommy Karevik’s engagement in Kamelot, which seems to have left little time for his true home. Let’s shed no tears here though and get instead rejoice that we get another Seventh Wonder record after all with the band in peak form and Tommy exercising the whole range of his prowess. Continue reading “Seventh Wonder – Tiara Review”