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”

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”

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”

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”

Warrior Path – Warrior Path Review

WP Album CoverLiterally out of nowhere, Greek semi-supergroup Warrior Path pop up into the metal world with big names sure to draw the attention of classic heavy metal fans; Bob Katsionis of Firewind and Yannis Papadopoulos of Beast In Black united! The catch? Neither of them were involved in the composition of Warrior Path‘s self titled debut. One day, previously unknown newcomer Andreas Sinanoglou meets with Katsionis and performs the album he’s had in his head since forever start to finish. And it was impressive enough for Katsionis to produce it and even get Yannis on board. Continue reading “Warrior Path – Warrior Path 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”