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Showing posts with label blackened power metal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blackened power metal. Show all posts

Friday, October 2, 2020

Aeolian/The Negationist/Black Lion Records/2020 CD Review

 


  Aeolian  are  a  band  from  Spain  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  blackened  form  of  death  metal  with  some  elements  of  folk  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "The  Negationist"  which  will  be  released  in  November  by  Black  Lion  Records.


   A  very  fast  and  melodic  sound  starts  off  the  album  along  with  a  great  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  blast  beats.  Vocals  are  mostly  angry  sounding  blackened  metal  screams  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  add  in  a  lot  of  melody  as  well  as  adding  in  some  touches  of  classic  metal  and  death  metal  growls  are  also  utilized  at  times.


  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  recording  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.  When  acoustic  guitars  are  utilized  they  also  bring  elements  of  folk  metal  onto  the  recording  as  well  as  some  clean  chants  also  being  utilized  briefly.


  Some  of  the  heavier  riffing  also  shows  an  influence  of  thrash  metal  along  with  a  later  track  also  introducing  power  metal style vocals  onto  the  album  and  as  the  album   progresses  some  songs  also  add  in  stringed  and  folk  instruments.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  damage  earthlings  are  dong  to  their  own  planet.


  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Aeolian  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  black, death,  folk,  thrash  and  power  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Momentum"  "Unseen  Enemy"  "The  Flood"  and  "Reborn".  8/5  out  of  10.


http://www.aeolianband.com
https://www.facebook.com/aeolianmetalband 
https://twitter.com/aeolianmetal 
https://www.instagram.com/aeolian_official 
https://www.youtube.com/aeolianofficial 

       


   

Friday, July 10, 2020

Blood Of Angels/Failure Of Faith/Sliptrick Records/2020 CD Review


  Blood  Of  Angels  are  a  band  from  Florida  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  on  this  recording  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black,  death  and  thrash  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "Failure  Of  Faith"  which  will  be  released  by  Sliptrick  Records.

  Classical  guitars  and  synths  start  off  the  album  before  going  into  a  heavier  musical  direction  will  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.  All  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  along  with  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats.

  Vocals  also  bring  in  a  mixture  of  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  growls  while  the  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.  A  touch  of  groove  metal  can  also  be  heard  during  the  mid  tempo  sections  of  the  songs  and  some  of  the  vocals  along  with  the  music  also  adding  in  some  elements  of  thrash  metal.

  Throughout  the  album  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  one  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length  and  also  introducing  clean  playing  and  spoken  word  parts  onto  the  recording  and  they  also  bring  in  a  cover  of  Motorhead's  "I  Don't  Need  Religion",  power  metal  style  vocals  can  also  be  heard  on  the  closing  track.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  anti  religion  and  historical  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Blood  Of  Angels  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  melodic  black,  death,  thrash  and  groove  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Monotheism"  "Blood  Of  The  Lamb"  "Crusader"  and  "America's  Mythologies".  8  out  of  10.

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Saturday, June 27, 2020

Ensiferum/Thalassic/Metal Blade Records/2020 CD Review


  Finland's  Ensiferum  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  the  epic  folk  metal  style  of  previous  releases  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2020  album  "Thalassic"  which  will  be  released  in  July  by  Metal  Blade  Records.

  Water  sounds  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  clean  vocals  and  acoustic  guitars  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  music  also  brings  in  some  symphonic  sounding  keyboards  which  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  songs  at  times  and  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  while  black  metal  screams  and  death  metal  growls  are  also  utilized  at  times.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are utilized  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  some  tracks  also  adding  in  some  back  up  shouts.

  The  clean  vocals  also  add  in  some  elements  of  pagan  and  power  metal  when  they  are  utilized  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  Blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  in  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  as  well  as  some  tracks  also  adding  in  some  folk  instruments  and  as  the  album  progresses  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  history,  myths,  legends  and  heathenism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Ensiferum  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  band,  you  should  enjoy  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Seafarer's  Dream"  "The  Defence  of  The  Sampo"  "One  With  the  Sea"  and  "Cold  Northland  (Vainamoinen  Part  III".  8  out  of  10.

http://www.facebook.com/Ensiferum
http://www.ensiferum.com
http://www.metalblade.com/ensiferum 
   

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Skylord/Frostcraft/Soundage Productions/2019 CD Review


  Skylord  are  a  band  from  Russia  that  plays  a  very  melodic  and  symphonic  mixture  of  viking,  black  and  death  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2019  album  "Frostcraft" which  was  released  by  Soundage  Productions.

  Keyboards  start  off  the  album  while  also  using  a  variety  of  many  different  sounding  keys  and  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  at  times.  The  riffs  also  bring  in  a  great  amount  of  melody  along  with  the  vocals  being  mostly  high  pitched  black  metal  screams  and  when  the  music  speeds  up a   great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard.

  At  times  the  music  also  gets  very  symphonic  sounding  while  death  metal  growls  and  clean  pagan  vocals  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  recording.  The  music  also  has  a  lot  of  90's  influences  as  well  as  sounding  very  modern  at  the  same  time  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  also  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Throughout  the  recording  you  can  also  hear  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  along  with  the  guitar  solos  and  leads  also  being  done  in  a  very  melodic  style.  Tremolo  picking  can  also  be  heard  in  some  of  the  faster  riffing  along  as  well  as  some  of  the  clean  vocals  also  adding  in  a  touch  of  power  metal.

 Some  of  the  tracks  also  mix  in  elements  of  folk  metal  as  well  as  the  slower  sections  of  the  songs  also showing  some  influences  of  goth  and  doom  metal  and  as  the  album  progresses  whispered  vocals  can  also  be  heard  briefly.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Nature,  Fantasy,  Paganism  and  Russian  History  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Skylord  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  and  symphonic  mixture  of  black,  viking  and  death  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Drained(Emberdreams)"  "Enchanted  Forest"  "Scarlet  Winter"  and  "Wintertears".  8  out  of  10.


      

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Tanagra Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
The recording was a really long process, close to 3 years, and that took a lot of time that'd be spent writing and practicing, but we still played some shows in the meantime, and have continued to write and practice. We're currently working on a couple EP's with a narrower focus on each one, as well as some more general writing for the 3rd album.

2.In April you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
While the first album had a relatively narrow focus of European Power Metal with a dash of prog influence, Meridiem is much more full and composed. Not only does it embrace a lot of prog elements (and some black and doom metal elements); but it's just sonically bigger. Lots more synths, multiple guest musicians, heavily layered vocals, and all the extra experience our producer/engineer Sacha has had come to bear on this album. I believe Witness was over 250 tracks by completion.

3.The band started out with more of a power metal style but on the new album mixed in some symphonic black metal influences, what was the decision behind going into this direction?
The previous album had much less influence from Chris since it was mostly written by the time he came on, and he didn't directly write much of the music. Chris's more direct influence on the new album brought with it more doomy, neo-classical, and black metal influences. Additionally; Erich dabbles in this realm so it's an easy sell. It was a semi-conscious decision, inspired by bands like Forefather, Ancient Rites, and Caladan Brood who all have hints of a power metal / black metal hybrid, it became a fun challenge to combine them together with a heavier emphasis on the cleaner parts. It's a relatively rare combination which is surprising, as they actually combine incredibly well. There were quite a few times when we'd come up with an intense riff and Chris would be like "Oh man, I gotta blast over this and we'll have some big choral vocals!" One of the songs Chris took the lead on, Across the Ancient Desert, was very much intentionally putting the black metal aspect front and center as he was experimenting a bit with just how much he could get away with.

4.While you have some black metal elements you also keep your vocals all in a clean style, are you open to experimenting with some harsh vocals or do you prefer to keep the traditional power metal style?
A lot of material for future albums has already been created, and I don't think any of it has a hint of such vocals. I wouldn't close the door entirely on it if it was thematically appropriate for a song, but I have a distinct feeling it won't come up for a while. Though in line with the black metal influence a bit, I do see us drifting a bit more towards the kind of low-choral vocals you'd hear in Caladan Brood and occasional Summoning song as the soaring resonance of that style is beautiful over fast aggressive music.

5.Your lyrics also cover a lot of science fiction and fantasy themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interests in those subjects?
I think everyone but Josh is some form of a nerd if I'm frank. Erich is into all kinds of gaming including 40k and Magic The Gathering; Steve is into a lot of video games, Star Trek and anything involving the concept of time, Tom is a big Board-game and book/science guy who is big into Star Trek; and Chris on top of being a Malazan fanboy and total weeb I'm not sure there's a nerdy thing he would avoid.  For the most part though future references to these subjects will still be using it as a conduit for whatever the message of the song is; it's about capturing and delivering the feeling of the story to the listener rather than saying "Hey, we like that thing that you like!"

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Tanagra'?
The first major song of the band (never released, has been torn apart, maybe rehashed in the future) was a very long epic called "At Tanagra"; a reference to a Star Trek episode: Darmok (Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra is the classic phrase). When stewing on possible names for some number of weeks, Scott mentioned Tanagra as a name; and it stuck... Steven once described the meaning: The particular episode, Darmok, which has a theme of coming together to work towards a common goal and working together to create new experiences that exist as a metaphor in history for the future to build upon, and as a band, we try and take in multiple influences to create something new out of, and the name was a reflection of that.

7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the album cover?
We once again had the pleasure of working with the incredible Gary Tonge, who did the panoramic cover art of our first album as well. This time the process was a little different; rather than Tom describing a specific composition, he just gave Gary some ideas about what kind of atmosphere the new cover should have and listed some elements that should be included. What followed was several weeks of discussions and refinements that resulted in the cover art you see now. We made a conscious choice to go with a completely different color palette compared to the first album and wanted the atmosphere of the cover to reflect the undercurrent of drama and melancholy that permeates this album. The artwork aims to illustrate the album's overarching theme of transition-- A long journey has been made, but there's still a long way to go. The distant temple represents dreams yet unrealized, with many different paths leading there. The album's name means "midday" in Latin. Conceptually, this represents a crucial pivot point in the band's journey, which we feel this album is. Our first album's art depicted a sunrise; this time the sun is high in the sky. There are several significant numbers present in the artwork as well: The two massive columns (this is our second album), the five spires of the temple (five members in the band), the seven monuments in the sky (seven songs on the album), and nine paths through the valley (this one is a bit of a musical joke-- part of what gives this album its overall vibe is the repeated use of ninth chords). Each of these numbers has other significance as well (for example, a total of seven people have been in the band at this point, it's been nine years between the start of the band and the release of this album, and two original members on this album aren't coming back).

8.So far there has been a 4 year gap in between the 2 full  lengths and demo you have released so far, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Both records took substantially longer to finish than expected. One aspect of Meridiem's delay was an injury that occurred to Tom's voice during tracking a particularly difficult part for us baritones. I don't think the full details are necessary, but it caused a substantial 8-10 month delay. This album also underwent a lot of "debugging"; where we rehashed sections, re-performed parts, rewrote parts, etc. The album definitely ran away from us a little bit. We consistently had this idea of "bigger and more epic" every step of the way so we were always wanting to add more. For example, we decided to have 2 songs with heavy orchestral influence. Well, then the other 5 would feel a little bare, so we decided to write some basic backings to those, but then that quickly turned in to every song have a ton of backings, and then that gave birth to some beautiful melodies where we decided to bring in live musicians. Or at times we'd have an amazing vocal melody and decide "you know what, now we need a 5 part harmony behind that." Things like that happened in every song, and while it really drew the recording process out, the end result is that every song has a huge amount of effort and focus and refinement put into it. Chris always described it like "I've always wanted to do a crazily huge over-produced album, this is awesome!"

Finally, there was a substantial delay in figuring out the logistics of the majority of the cost of the album. Once we made some decisions regarding that we started plotting a lot more points on the calendar to get things done.

9.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The first show was amazing; since the crowd was rather larger than expected due to Josh's local popularity and the intrigue of this new project. There was a particularly good show downtown in a venue called Slabtown ( that no longer exists) but it was packed, we covered a Blind Guardian song, the crowd was happy, we had an encore we weren't prepared for.  The encore ended up being like 20 minutes and the crowd just kept wanting more, it was a good time, but our poor drummer just wanted a beer after that, power metal's tiring. Playing at the first Hyperspace show (in Vancouver BC) was pretty sweet, if nothing else because it was a decent venue and crowd; and they were mostly new ears. The Blaze Bayley show also went well.

Our stage performance is largely focused around delivering a truly accurate rendition of the songs you hear (which can be quite difficult with the parts we write haha) and usually shows some new material that is a year or two out (or more!). We have our drummer plugged into a click track so we can have all of the backing symphonic and synth elements included in our show over the PA as well. It makes for a pretty huge full sound, and if with a good lighting guy and a fog machine, it's quite the experience and not something you usually see/hear live. We try to write many of the choruses or parts to have sing-along style crowd engagement; much like many European power metal bands (such as Blind Guardian.) We want you to have a good time and we want you to hear what you came for. If you want to hear new material you'll be ahead of the curve if you can see us live!

10.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Probably not at the moment; but were the album successful enough we could maybe pull it off. It'd definitely be fun to get out there, but as always, things like real life and money get in the way, and this album was quite expensive, so we're trying to catch up with ourselves in affordable ways. Ideas are hatching about how to move forward optimally, but first things first, gotta finish getting this album out there!

11.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
There is a bit of a mixed sentiment on being signed in the band. It's a bit of a tricky proposition these days with how many good tools are out there for self-promotion and how even most signed bands have to pay for their own tours and make most of their money from merch anyways. We're open to hearing all offers though, and we'll shop this album around and see what happens but if there's not a good offer our lawyer signs off on we'll continue being self-funded and self-released.

12.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of metal?
Even on the last album, we had random orders all over the world, from the coldest parts of Russia to Europe, to South America, to Japan, to Polynesia; etc. We've had a nice response in Germany, Canada, the UK, and Denmark in particular, but I think we've mailed CDs to over 20 countries!

13.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I think we're going to play around with some more focused concepts (both lyrically and audibly) on an EP level. Erich's working on some Bolt Thrower sounding stuff, Chris is working on a 4-part epic based upon a certain character in the Malazan book Memories of Ice that will sound more like Summoning or Caladan Brood, and Steven's working on something that's a bit closer to None of This is Real. Our next full length will most likely be a natural progression from Meridiem though. We're all really happy with the sound on that and want to build upon it as our "main" sound, but we still are having fun dabbling in other soundscapes as well.

One major thing is integrating the vocals earlier in the writing process which has been something we've struggled with getting figured out on the released material. The hope is that they fill more of an instrument's role; and another hope is that it helps with the "debugging" mentioned earlier; that the album will be much more complete before heading into the studio.

14.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Erich listens to a lot more symphonic black metal, atmospheric stuff, and dark/synthwave than before; but still runs the gambit from Dio to Melechesh. Chris primarily listens to atmospheric black metal, funeral doom, and uplifting trance as his 3 favorite genres that primarily inspire his writing (we actually have a full-on trance build-up and bass drop on Meridiem if you listen for it!).  Steven's always had a knack for video game music (Megaman, Chrono Trigger, etc) and later found Iron Maiden to be his biggest influence both musically and as a model of how a band should be.  Nowadays he also listens to synthwave and prog.

15.What are some of your non musical interests?
Erich plays a lot of games, paints models, runs D&D sometimes, gardens, hosts BBQs.
Chris is an anime web and video game shut-in, mostly playing Final Fantasy XIV at the moment with some Monster Hunter World on the side. Also on my re-read of Malazan: Book of the Fallen.
Steven plays old video games and goes to Magfest, a video game music festival held once a year to hang with his internet family theshizz.org/fourm.
Tom is currently surviving under a heavy school workload but likes to spend time reading.

Erich and Chris are also both software engineers professionally and dabble in hobby programming from time to time.

16.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
There's lots more to come and the next era of Tanagra already has a lot of cool stuff ready to go. We'd like to thank all of the fans who were patient with us recording this album through the delays (Meridiem! Dropping Feb. 2016!), yourselves for the interview, and your readers for making it this far. It's hard to put in words how excited we are for people to hear this album, we've put a lot of heart and soul into it and unleashing to the world is a huge moment for all of us. We hope everyone enjoys it!

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Tanagra/Meridiem/2019 Full Length Review


    Tanagra  are  a  band  from  Portland,  Oregon  that  plays  a  mixture  of  progressive  power  metal  and  symphonic  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2019  album  "Meridiem".

  Epic  sounding  synths  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  classical  guitars  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  mixes  in  with  the  heavier  sections  of  the  music  at  times.  A  great  portion  of  the  tracks  are  very  long  and  epic  in  length  while  the  songs  also  mix  in  a  great  amount  of  symphonic  elements.

  Clean  power  metal  vocals a re  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  recording  while  the  riffs  also  add  in  a  great  amount  of  melody.  When  guitar  solos  and  leads  are  brought  into  the  music  they  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  the  music  also  mixing  in  a  great  amount  of  progressive  elements.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  elements  of  black  metal  and  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard  as  well  as  the  songs  also  adding  in  a  decent  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.  Stringed  instruments  are  also  added  into  some  parts  of  the  music  along  with  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them,  spoken  word  parts  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the recording.  The  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  self  released  while  the  lyrics  cover  science  fiction,  fantasy,  history,  time  and  dreams. 

  In  my  opinion  Tanagra  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  progressive  power  metal  and  symphonic  black  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Meridiem"  "Etheric  Alchemy"  and  "Across  The  Ancient  Desert".  8  out  of  10.

 https://www.metal-rules.com/2019/03/08/portland-power-metal-tanagra-reveals-enticingly-epic-meridiem-off-new-album-via-metal-rules-com/ 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Heidra/The Blackening Tide/Time To Kill Records/2018 CD Review


  Heidra  are  a  band  from  Denmark  that  plays  a  mixture  of  folk,  viking,  black,  melodic  death  and  power  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2018  album  "The  Blackening  Tide"  which  was  released  by  Time  To  Kill  Records.

  Acoustic  guitars  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  epic  sounding  synths  a  few  seconds  later  before  adding  in  some  heavy  riffs  and  power  metal  style  vocals  while  black  metal  screams  are  also  utilized  at  times  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Death  metal  growls  are  also  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  the  solos  and  leads  are  done  in  a  very  melodic  style  along  with  the  songs  also  adding  in  elements  of  folk  music  as  well  as  some  of  the  tracks  being  very  long  and  epic  in  length and  at  times  the  music  also  gets  very  symphonic  sounding  and  when  the  music  speeds  up  a  small  amount  of  blast  beats  can  also  be  heard.

  Heidra  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  folk,  viking,  black,  melodic  death  and  power  metal  and  mixes  them  together  to  crate  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover Scandinavian  Tales.

  In  my  opinion  Heidra  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  folk,  viking,  black,  melodic  death  and  power  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Dawn""Lady  Of The  Shade"  and  "Hells  Depths".  8 out  of  10.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

A Cunning Man/To Heal A Broken Body/2018 EP Review


  A  Cunning  Man  are  a  duo  from  Scotland  that  has  been  featured  before  in  this  zine  and  plays  a  mixture  of  black,  melodic  death,  folk,  power  and  progressive  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2018  ep  "To  Heal  A  Broken  Body".

  Saxophones  and  atmospheric  sounds  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavier  and  melodic  direction  along  with  some  clean  vocals  a  few  seconds  alter  that  also  add  in  a  touch  of  power  metal  while  the  solos  and  leads  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  as  well  as  all  of  the  musical  instruments  having  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them.

  Black  metal  screams  can  also  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  while  blast  beats  are  also  used  at  times  along  with  the  music  also  mixing  in  elements  of  folk  and  progressive  metal  as  well  as  a  brief  use  of  spoken  word  parts  and  the  music  sticks  to  mostly  a  slow  or  mid  tempo  direction  as  well  as  adding  in  influences  from  classical,  jazz  and  post  rock.

  A  Cunning  Man  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  their  mixture  of  black,  melodic  death,  power  and  progressive  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  Goetia,  Alchemy  and  Western  Occultism  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  A  Cunning  Man  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  black,  melodic  death,  power  and  progressive  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  ep.  RECOMMENDED  TRACK  "Picatrix  &  The  Calcine  Alchemist".  8  out  of  10.

https://acunningman.bandcamp.com/

    

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Battlesoul Interview


1. Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?

Answer:

Since recording the new album, time was spent on getting the artwork and other detail for the album sorted.  Time spent together as a band since finishing Sunward and Starward has been mostly spent rehearsing the new material.

2. You have a new album coming out in February, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Answer:

I would say that this album turned out darker. There is still some folk influences and you can still tell it's us playing but overall I think it's more of a metal album then our previous ones.

3. This is your first album in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time?

Answer:

Song writing for what was to become Sunward and Starward started right away after Tir Na Nog was released.  The recording/production process is what really took the most time over the 5 years.  As with our previous albums - this one was self-recorded/mixed/mastered.  This time however, it was a struggle to get it to a point that I was happy with.  Even to the point where we re-recorded the drums three times. This can be the downside of self-producing and why it's not necessarily recommended. I would have preferred this album to be released sooner but we weren’t going to rush it.

4. Your Lyrics cover a lot about Celtic mythology and history, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?

Answer:

Our singer Jon Doyle solely handles the lyrics.  I must say I think he does a great job and I am always excited to see what he comes up with. I feel like he has a great way of bringing the story out of the song. I personally like Celtic mythology and history because the epic themes that comes along with it.

5. What is the meaning behind the name Battlesoul?

Answer

Mike Grund, who was the founding guitar player, came up with it.  My interpretation is that it’s the warrior spirit found inside of you.  Summon up your Battlesoul!



6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and how would you describe your stage performance?

Answer:

We have fun on stage and we hope that people watching have fun too.

We have been fortunate enough to have played with lots of great bands. Playing with Sabaton and with TYR would definitely be highlights for me.

7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?

Answer:

Nothing, as of right now.

8. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of folk, black and death metal?

Answer:

For the most part feedback has been positive. Some negative that it's good to hear all sides. It's great reading reviews from all over world. It gives you a sense of how metal really is a worldwide community.

9. What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of.

Answer:

I am currently not in another project and am actually not too sure what the other guys are up to with regard to their other projects.

10. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Answer:

Not sure really, I can’t say that Battlesoul is heading in any specific direction currently.

11. What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays.

Answer:

It's tough to say.  Every member has there owns distinct preference and there are few bands/styles that the members of Battlesoul can agree upon - all our answers would be different. For me, I am always a big fan of film scores and you can definitely here the influence on the album, that and trying to incorporate doom type riffs. This morning I was listening to some Man-O-War and Master of Puppets.



12. What are some of your non-musical interests?

Answer:

I also record bands so most of my time is spent doing music.  However when I do have free time,  I quite enjoy learning about history.

13. Before we wrap up this interview do you have any final words or thoughts?

Answer:

Thank you for the interview. I would like to thank CDN Records and Black Element for all the work that they are putting into 'Sunward and Starward'.  I would also like to thank everyone who has taken the time to check out Battlesoul, it is appreciated!

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Nordheim/RapThor/Maple Metal Records/2017 CD Review


  Quebec,  Canada's  Nordheim  have  returned  with  a  new  recording  which  continues  their  mixture  of  folk,  melodic  black/death  and  power  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "RapThor"  which  will  be  released  on  November  24th  by  Maple  Metal  Records.

  Heavy  and  melodic  riffing  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  symphonic  elements  a  few  seconds  later  while  the  faster  sections  of  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  blast  beats  as  well  as  the  vocals  also  bringing  in  a  great  amount  of  black  metal  screams  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody.

  Death  metal  growls  can  also  be  heard  at  times  while  the  songs  also  bring  in a   great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and fast  parts  along  with  some  clean  vocals  being  added  into  certain  sections  of  the  recording  that  also  bring  in  a  touch  of  power  metal  and  the  fast  riffs  also  bring  in  a  decent  amount  of  tremolo  picking  and  as  the  album  progresses  some  songs  also  bring  in  clean  playing  and  folk  instruments  and  the  closing  track  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Nordheim  creates  another  recording  that  remains  true  to  their  mixture  of  folk,  power,  melodic  black  and  death  metal,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  bacon  and  dinosaur  themes.

  In  my  opinion  this  is  another  great  sounding  recording  from  Nordheim  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  folk,  power,  melodic  black  and  death  metal,  you  should  check  out  this  album.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Troll  Riding  A  Raptor"  "Black  Witch  Rises"  and  "Dragonthorn".  8 out  of  10.

 http://newnoisemagazine. com/stream-nordheim-wish-beer/  

  

Friday, August 25, 2017

Crimfall Interview

Mikko Häkkinen – Vocals, lyrics
Jakke Viitala – All music

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
MIKKO
A lot of waiting for sure. The recording itself took quite some time since we didn't have the label to financially support us and had to use time consuming means to get everything on tape. Then the actual mixing took surprisingly long, but it must have been something to do with hundreds and hundreds of tracks the songs contained. When we finally had the complete album in our hands we approached various record labels and started the negotiations for the deal. And of course the actual release of the album took months. Meanwhile we have been doing few live shows, shooting our first music video and planning for the future.

2.You have a new album coming out during the end of August, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
JAKKE
AMAIN is a beast. It is the most epic Crimfall album so far. It has the enegry of our first album but also the mood and visuality from our second. So it is kind of hybrid but with everything tuned up to eleven.

The songwriting, musicalship, arrangements and the whole production is taken to a complete new level. So, like everyone usually tend to say about their latest work "this is our best album so far"...but it really is... seriously!

3.You label your music as 'epic cinematic metal', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?
JAKKE
Coming up with a term has been a difficult task. We have had a chat about it with all of our record labels and promoters, but we simply cannot cover our music with one term without giving wrong impression about the music. Our material varies a lot by taking inspiration from all the possible sources. But there are few elements which have been present since the beginning of our band. Epicness and movie scores.


4.This is your first full length since 2011, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
JAKKE
Since our previous album "the writ of sword", quite a lot has happened. We were already working on these new songs in 2011 when our previous label had to let us go due to their financial problems. We were alone again.... without anyone supporting us. Because of that we were struggling quite a lot with our motivation and even had a meeting about our future. But as the new album was already written and the demos already sounded pretty impressive, we decided to try one more time... and make it perfect! And as we had to pay everything from our own pockets, we also had to do as much as possible by ourselves... But still invest huge amount of money to the production.

The recording and editing process itself took more than one year from drums to vocals. Mixing all the 1600 tracks to one album took almost half an year. So even if 6 years is a long time indeed, we have been working on AMAIN almost for the whole time. Doing as massive album as this one by yourself (while having a daily job) simply cannot be done any faster.



5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?
MIKKO
One of the themes is facing unsurmountable odds with your back against the wall and coming through that storm a changed man, with tempered new truths. We also want to celebrate freedom in its many forms, rebellion against rules of oppression and outright lies meant to bind your will. This time we are dealing more with contemporary topics than dwelling in the past and myths.

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Crimfall'?
MIKKO
It doesn't really have such a deeper meaning. We wanted a name that wouldn't point too evidently to any genres and wouldn't necessarily carry too obvious meaning. Rather a symbol that raises images and connections from your subconscious. I can say we were thinking of Finnish autumn when ending up with the name.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
MIKKO
I could mention two highlights. One was the sold out concert in London warming up Turisas where we felt really welcome. Another one was Metal Fest Open Air in Pilsen with an awesome location. But we do enjoy playing in small stinking clubs where the audience is spitting beer in your face. We aim to bring on stage all the visuality and intensity of the music but without cheap gimmicks. Building a journey or arc of drama and contrast with the music.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
MIKKO
Few shows have been released but otherwise it seems our plans will be delayed until next year. It is a shame since we are eagerly waiting to get back to the stage to play the new songs.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of folk, viking and black metal?
MIKKO
The first reviews are only now pouring in so it remains to be seen what the final reception will be. So far it has been mostly positive and we have been finding new audiences amongst the people who don't normally listen to this kind of music. Also our music video did get lot of positive feedback and we are excited how it turned out. We wanted something that would really capture the relentless and dismal atmosphere of the song.

10.Are any of the band members currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
MIKKO
I have somewhat darker pagan metal band Draugnim that is actually older than Crimfall but hasn't been able to gather as wide audiences. It is more uncompromising and closer to black metal and I'm extremely satisfied how the latest album "Vulturine" turned out so feel free to keep the name in mind. Helena used to have quite many different projects but to my understanding she will be focusing more on song writing and staying in the background with those. I would imagine Jakke to have other projects at some point but currently he is way too consumed by efforts he puts on Crimfall.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
JAKKE
It is too early to say. All the Crimfall albums are pretty different to each other. As our music comes straight from the heart and is not giving a poo about the trends or public opinion, the sound and style starts to find its form sometime during the writing process. They all represent the era they were written, the music, movies or other sources of inspiration which were playing important role that time.


12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
JAKKE
I'm listening mostly movie scores and classical music. Of course I have been listening to metal music since I was a little bastard, but nowadays rarely find any impressive new albums. So for me movie score have much more to give at the moment.

The story telling and kind of visuality that type of music has is something I try to create with Crimfall as well.


13.How would you describe your views on Paganism?
MIKKO
Paganism to me is most of all source of vehement inspiration, it taps into roots of all archetypes, subconscious gods if you will that resonate vigorously when conjured. One cannot also forget the primeval understanding of man being part of nature and not the king of creation, or even kingmaker with his figment gods.

14.What are some of your non musical interests?
MIKKO
Collecting literature, especially of esoteric nature. Good craftsmanship on drinks and dining. Traveling. Previously I would have said movies but the new golden age of tv-series has changed that a bit. Oh and wrestling drunk in Finnish summer cabin. Jakke hunts, but rarely hits anything.

15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
MIKKO
If you feel that our music has given you something, please support it by coming to the shows, sharing our tunes, spreading the word and feeding the flame.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

SinnerAngel Interview


1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
1.Of course. Sinnerangel is a band from the city of Medellín, Colombia, which combines and mixes several genres of metal without established guidelines. Our denomination is the Dark Metal

2.In June you had released your first album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
2.Our sound is the result of a decade of musical experimentation, we wanted to take the time to find the style that is finally reflected in the album. As we emphasized in the previous question, we never wanted to enter the studio with everything completely defined or established, and in a certain way it is what gives an identity to our music.

3.The band has been around since 2004 but waited until 2017 to release an album, can you tell us a little bit more about the first 13 years?
3.The band had an important activity at the local level for the first 5 years, at that time we did not have enough perseverance to continue with the project on the rise and each member ended up focusing on their personal projects. In 2014 we started the activities again and we started the project to what would be our debut album.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
4.Our vocalist is the author of most of the lyrics, he takes a lot of theatrical literature and in that sense we consider that they are like short poems and writings that we try to preserve to give identity to the sense of obscurity.

5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'SinnerAngel'?
5.Sinnerangel is duality and contradiction to time. It is the profane and the sacred. In a way the name gives us a little bit to express the band's sense of not being on one side

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
6.In our first stage we shared the stage with important national bands of great trajectory like REINCARNATION AND NEUROSIS, I believe that these bands have international recognition, since both had at that moment more than 20 years of trajectory. Then came other minor concerts and in this new stage of the band we are preparing better with our performance, we hope to have our album launch soon with a concert that has better conditions on stage.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
7.We are in talks with some bands and labels. But our priority for the moment is to launch the album nationally.


8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
8.We receive weekly review reports on zines, websites and other media. It is encouraging to see how there are good comments on our music, keeping in mind that it is our debut. Currently there are many emerging bands worldwide and it is difficult to highlight in any way. But it's a long-term job.

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
9.Definitely composing a new work, and advancing conversations to play at an international level.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
10.Each member has his tastes and therefore the band has this multiplicity of sounds, in general melodic death, black metal and much of the old school metal is always present in our most common tastes. Bands like Hipocrisy, old man childs and at the gates, are influences of our first stage

11.Does Occultism play any role in your music?
11.I would say that more than an occult theme we are talking about the decadent human gods, the need for approval to continue living and the constant fear of death.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?
12.Hahaha, well, no one is a mystery that few metal bands can dedicate entirely to music. We all have alternative life projects, and our areas of work are architecture, photography, couching and things like that.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
13.A huge thank you to Qabar Extreme Music and our GRIMM DISTRIBUTION labels for the support and diffusion in this time. To all the readers I recommend to visit our channel and fan page, to acquire our album and to be attentive to the innovations that we can bring in a future! Long live the metal from Colombia!

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Crimfall/Amain/Metal Blade Records/2017 Full Length Review


  Crimfall  are  a  band  from  Finland  that  plays  a  symphonic  mixture  of  power,  folk,  viking  and  black  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Amain"  which  will  be  released  on  August  25th  by  Metal  Blade  Records.

  A  very  atmospheric  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  album  along  with  some  spoken  word  arts  a  few  seconds  later  which  also  leads  to  stringed  and  folk  instruments  being  added  onto  the recording  along  with  some  drum  beats,  melodic  male  vocals  and  symphonic  elements  and  female  vocals  are  also  a  very  huge  part  of  the  songs.

  When  the   music  gets  heavy  it  still  mixes  in  with  the  folk  and  symphonic  side  of  the  recording  and  after  awhile  death  metal  growls  and  black  metal  screams  start  to  make  their  presence  known  and  the  riffs  also  use  a  great  amount  of  melody  while  the  solos  and  leads a re  also  done  in  a  very  melodic  fashion.

  A  great  amount  of  power  metal  elements  can  be  heard  quite  a  bit  throughout  the  recording  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to them  and  as  the  album  progresses  acoustic  guitars  are  added  onto some  of  the  songs  while  the  tracks  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  the  last  track  is  very  long  and  epic  in  length.

  Crimfall  plays  a  musical  style  that  power,  folk,  viking  and  melodic  black  metal  and  mixes  together  with  symphonic  elements  to  create  something  very  original,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  Norse  Paganism,  War  and  Anti  Religion  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Crimfall  are a   very  great  sounding  mixture  of  power,  folk,  viking  and  melodic  black  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "The  Last  Of  Stands"  "Ten  Winters  Apart  Part  4:  Dawn  Without  A  Sun"  "it's  A  Long  Road"  and  "Until  Falls  The  Rain".  8  out  of  10.

http://www.crimfall.com/site/
https://www.facebook.com/crimfall/
https://www.youtube.com/user/CrimfallOfficial



  

Friday, June 23, 2017

SinnerAngel/Sinister Decalago/GrimDistibution/2017CD Review


  SinnerAngel  are  a  band  from  Columbia  that  plays  a  melodic  mixture  of  black, death  and  power  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2017  album  "Sinister  Decalago"  which  was  released  by  GrimDistribution.

  A  very  epic  sounding  intro  starts  off  the  album  bringing  in  the  atmosphere  of  a  fantasy  movie  along  with  some  symphonic  elements  and  after  the  intro  the  music  goes  into  a  heavier  direction  along  with  a  great  amount  of  melodic  riffing  and  after  awhile  black  metal  screams  are  added  onto  the  recording.

  When  the  music  speeds  up  a  great  amount  of  blast  beats  can  be  heard  while  all  of  the  musical  instruments  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  death  metal  growls  are  also  used  at  times  and  the  solos  and  leads  also  stick  to  a  very  melodic  style  and  the  songs  also  bring  in  a  great  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  At  times  the  music  can  get  very  ritualistic  and  demonic  sounding  while  the  fast  riffs  also  utilize  a  great  amount  of  tremolo picking  and  the  music  also  incorporates  a  great  amount  of  80's  and  90's  influences  and  still  keeping  it  modern  and  the  solos  and  leads  capture  the  melody  of  power  metal  and  classical guitars  are  added  onto  the  closing  track.

  SinnerAngel  plays  a  musical  style  that  takes  black  metal  and  mixes  it  in  with  the  melody  of  melodic  death  and  power  metal  to  create  a  sound  of  their  own,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  the  sinister  side  of  human  existence.

  In  my  opinion  SinnerAngel  are  a  very  great  sounding  melodic  mixture  of  black,  death  and  power  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Zeon"  "Cerberus"  "Banshee"  and  "IX".  8  out  of  10.

WEBSITE
http://artistecard.com/SINNERANGEL
  

FACEBOOK
www.facebook.com/sinnerangel-1773234572941400
  

E-MAIL
sinnerangelmetal@gmail.com

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Cunning Man Interview


1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?


A Cunning Man is one man metal project combining different styles of extreme music. Expect blast beats and tremolo picked guitar lines, but also piano, strings and clean vocals sung with a Scottish accent.



2.In January you had released on ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?


I wanted to fuse all my favourite things about music. The sounds range from Black and Melodeath Metal to Modern Classical and Post Rock.

Everything is shaped by my own experience living in Scotland.



3.Your lyrics cover some Occult topics, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in Occultism?


Each song title is named after a Renaissance period Grimoire.

As the EP title: Practical Applications of Theurgy hints, the content is concerned with different Occult and spiritual topics. These range from The Shared Unconsciousness to Folk Hymns.



4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'A Cunning Man'?


Cunning folk were the esoteric advisors of the common people throughout Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

I wanted a name which reflected my interest in this history. I also wanted it to reflect that the project was the work of a single person.



5.On the ep you had recorded almost everything by yourself, are you open to working with a full band or do you prefer to remain solo?


At the moment I’d like to continue doing the majority of the work myself, especially the composition. For the next EP though, I think I’ll be bringing on board a guitarist.


.

6.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?


At current I’ve only been sending the EP out to press. I’m comfortable handling the distribution and PR myself at current.

I’m very interested in working with a label for future releases though.



7.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of melodic and extreme metal?


Broadly positive at current, which is very exciting. I’m really enjoying receiving feedback on my work and connecting with fellow metal fans.



8.Are you also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?


I’m currently studying music so most of my time goes towards that. A Cunning Man is my only project at the moment.



9.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?


The next release will be another EP. After that I'll consider a full length. Pending possible label support.

I’m always looking to improve my compositional and song writing skills, so expect increasingly complex music going forward.



10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?


Iron Maiden’s Brave New World is what really inspired my initial love for music.

My influences include Katatonia, Evergrey, Shade Empire and Eternal Tears Of Sorrow. I love my metal as melodic as possible with lots of different instrumentation.

At the moment I’ve been enjoying the new releases from Harakiri for the Sky, Insomnium and Dark Tranquillity.



11.What are some of your non musical interests?


I love gaming when I have the time and play a lot of RPGs. I’m also big into table top gaming with friends.



12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?


Thanks very much for the interview and for reviewing the EP on the site.

You can expect a new EP in the early months of Summer.

https://www.facebook.com/acunningmanmetal/