Band:DERDIAN Title:Human Reset Genre:Melodic Power Metal Year:2014 Label:Self-release Saturday, August 30, 2014 : 0 Comments
Back when MySpace was booming, was the no. 1 social medium, DERDIAN was one of the many bands on that platform that caught my attention. They were then promoting their debut album, “New Era Pt. 1″ (2005) like hell. Also, when “New Era Pt. 2 – War Of The Gods” came out, in 2007, again the band didn’t stop posting about it, even offering packages with both albums. I did buy the second album later, found it great that the band played the music that e.g. RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) played ten years earlier (“Legendary Tales”, “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands”).
The third album, “New Era Pt. 3 – The Apocalypse”, was not that good, in my humble opinion. Not only the songs, but also the production lacked punch. I found it a step back, especially compared to the preceding two albums. Afterwards I lost track of the band, which means I haven’t heard DERDIAN’s last album, “Limbo” (2013). Recently I got a mail from the band with regards to their newest release, “Human Reset”, which came out in July 2014. With thirteen tracks, this fifth full-length ends after a good 60 minutes. (more…) More info at http://www.derdian.com/
Band:LAST BASTION Title:The Road To Redemption Genre:Melodic Power Metal Year:2014 Label:Self-release Wednesday, August 6, 2014 : 0 Comments
LAST BASTION is an American Power Metal band from Seattle. Two years after their formation in 2012, its members have a first full-length ready since April 2014. “The Road To Redemption” is the title. This album contains ten tracks, resulting in a playtime of almost 60 minutes. The artwork was done by Caio Caldas from CadiesArt.com, who has worked with DRAGONFORCE, CRYSTAL TEARS, SOULSPELL and many others.
“The Road To Redemption” starts with “I Know When I’m Home”. An atmospheric intro with keyboards leading the way and powerful vocals (clean with a rough edge), ideal for a Heavy / Power Metal band, singing the chorus. The whole slowly grows, builds and erupts indeed into melodic Power Metal. Guitars deliver power, but also do a lot of melodic work together with the keyboards. The song itself, as most on this album, are quite theatrical, hymnic even, and have catchy choruses. For a starter, this is very well done. (more…) More info at http://lastbastionofficial.com/
Band:DIABULUS IN MUSICA Title:Argia Genre:Gothic Metal Year:2014 Label:Napalm Records Tuesday, July 29, 2014 : 0 Comments
2012 was the year I got to know about the Spanish Gothic Metal band DIABULUS IN MUSICA, as they released their second full-length then, called “The Wanderer”. And it was a positive experience, I must say. See my review here. Since then the band played of course the necessary gigs, but also saw their line-up reduced to two people: Zuberoa Aznárez (vocals) and Gorka Elso (keyboards, growls). To be replaced: bass, guitar, and drums.
Several months later, in 2013, the line-up was completed with three new members. And so the band could continue to play gigs and more importantly, work on a new album. “Argia” was again mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen, like the band’s previous album, “The Wanderer”. And like before, the band got some help from guest musicians for vocals (a.o. Thomas Vikström – known from CANDLEMASS, THERION, etc.), choir, and instrumental recordings (a.o. Ad Sluijter on guitar, ex-EPICA). The album itself was released in April 2014. (more…) More info at http://diabulusinmusica.com/
Band:BENEATH Title:Antidote Genre:Thrash Metal Year:2014 Label:Self-release Sunday, July 20, 2014 : 0 Comments
The Swedish Thrash trio BENEATH was formed back in 1994. Not a lot is known about this band, though. Between 1994 and 2003 the band recorded and released five demos: see here. It wasn’t until 2008 that the band came back together and took the time to work on a first full-length. “Antidote” is the result and came out in March 2014. It’s a self-release, as BENEATH is one of the many unsigned bands out there. The press text also stated that for now there are no plans for a second album, but chances are open. For the recording of the guitar and piano parts, the band got help from several guest musicians.
“Antidote” contains nine tracks, totalling a playtime of a good 60 minutes, also due to a few longer songs. Upon looking at the releases on Metal-Archives.com, several tracks seem to be re-recordings of older songs. Whether or not the band re-recorded them as they were back then or reworked those songs a little, is unknown to me. (more…) More info at http://www.beneath.se/
Band:MEADOWS END Title:The Sufferwell Genre:Symphonic/Melodic Death Metal Year:2014 Label:Self-release Sunday, June 29, 2014 : 0 Comments
MEADOWS END, the Swedish Symphonic/Melodic Death Metal band, first came to my attention in 2011, when they released their debut album, “Ode To Quietus”. See my review here. Since then I’ve played the album many times, for the lads did make quite a catchy and entertaining album with a… charming production, so to speak. In any case, “Ode To Quietus” is an album to be proud of, and one to have in your collection.
Several gigs and a few years later, album no. 2 is out and this since the 13th of June this year: “The Sufferwell”. This is again a self-release, as no label seems yet able to recognize the band’s potential and sign them. “The Sufferwell” was mixed and mastered by Oscar Nilsson (see his page on Metal-Archives.com) from Crehate Studios (see here), who gave the songs a powerful and tight sound. A big difference with the aforementioned “charming” production. Also, guitarist Stefan Sjölander was replaced by Rikard Öqvist last year. The artwork was again done by Fredrik Burholm (website). (more…) More info at http://www.meadowsend.org/
Band:FIREFORCE Title:Deathbringer Genre:Heavy/Power Metal Year:2014 Label:Limb Music Products Sunday, June 15, 2014 : 0 Comments
The Belgian formation FIREFORCE, playing Heavy/Power Metal since 2008, have returned to the battlefield. After their debut album, “March On”, in 2011, and many gigs later, including the one at Wizzfest (see here) in March this year, album no. 2 will be unleashed on the 20th of June 2014 via Limb Music Products. As for “March On”, the band again collaborated with Dimitri Liapakis (MYSTIC PROPHECY) to have a powerful and fitting sounds for their new tunes.
“March On” was a very good album, even if the recipe has been tried and tested several times, FIREFORCE did a proper job on it. And so they do live. Considering the “never change a winning team” (except for the line-up) credo, it’s no surprise that “Deathbringer” continues where “March On” left off. Thirteen tracks, including a TYGERS OF PAN TANG cover (“Gangland” from the “Spellbound” album from 1981), to shake the ground from start to finish, taking no prisoners. (more…) More info at http://www.fireforceband.com/
Band:WARCKON Title:High Treason Genre:Thrash Metal Year:2014 Label:Emanes Metal Records Saturday, June 14, 2014 : 0 Comments
It’s only since last year that I know about the Belgian Thrash Metal band WARCKON. The band was formed in 2009. Two years later, their debut album came out under the title “The Madman’s Lullaby”. Several gigs and a selection among the last 100 contenders of Humo’s Rock Rally, Belgium’s biggest mainstream rock rally, WARCKON signed a label deal with the French Emanes Metal Records, who re-released the aforementioned album in 2012. More gigs were played, including sharing the stage with bands like ARTILLERY, HYADES and ENFORCER. Since March 1st, 2014, album no. 2 is available: “High Treason”.
The album begins with the intro “Mare Tranquilitatis”, on which waves sounds of a music box can be heard, joined by incoming guitar leads. Gradually the whole grows, becomes more powerful, creating a tension that will snap as the old school Thrash of “The Weak” kicks in. It’s got the typical ingredients: shouting vocals, shredding guitars and that humpa-beat. The solo sounds rough, though. Still, quite a good track to start with. Dark, mysterious lead to “(My Very Own) Moriarty”. As the Metal breaks free, it’s got a somewhat dancy touch. I would almost describe it as TÝR (that Folk/Power Metal band from the Faroe Islands) going Thrash. Over halfway, it’s (screamy) solo time. There’s more of those later on, even in dual form. But again, the sound is rough/raw. A matter of taste, I’d say, as the lads keep it old school. (more…) More info at http://www.warckon.com/
Band:ANCIENT BARDS Title:A New Dawn Ending Genre:Symphonic Power Metal Year:2014 Label:Limb Music Products Sunday, June 8, 2014 : 0 Comments
ANCIENT BARDS, the Italian heirs to the throne of RHAPSODY (OF FIRE), stepped into the spotlights in 2010 when their debut album, “The Alliance Of The Kings”, was released via Limb Music. Finally, Limb had found another diamond like he had in the late 1990s. Fans could have waiting long for RHAPSODY OF FIRE to return to their former self – something that was sure not to happen – and so ANCIENT BARDS filled that hole. Not that the band is a clone, not at all, but their music is very comparable. Having a female singer, Sara Squadrani, made things a little different and yet more interesting.
“The Alliance Of The Kings” was the first part of a trilogy. The album was very well received, generally speaking, and so the band put to work on the follow-up, meanwhile playing the necessary gigs. “Soulless Child” was album no. 2, came out in 2011, and showed a band that had grown, that had gained experience. In short: they improved themselves on all levels. So much even that for me it was the album of the year (see here). You can read my review of the album here. (more…) More info at http://www.ancientbards.com/
Band:SKYLINER Title:Outsiders Genre:Progressive Power Metal Year:2014 Label:Limb Music Products Friday, May 30, 2014 : 0 Comments
SKYLINER, a fitting name for an American Power Metal band, considering this kind of buildings in the States… The band was formed in 2000. Five years later a first release was put out, the demo “Light Comes Out Of Black”. This was followed in 2009 by the demo “Skyliner”. Another two years later the band released the EP “The Alchemist”. And since late in February 2014 a debut album is available under the title “Outsiders”. This release contains nine tracks, totalling a playtime of a good 75 minutes!
The line-up changed throughout the years and when there was a stable line-up possible, which recorded this debut album, not everyone could commit as much as the others. This means that in the current line-up Ashley Flynn (keyboards) and David Lee Redding (bass) left the band last year, after the recordings of “Outsiders”. David Lee Redding was replaced in 2013 by Nathaniel Cutis. The band, however, is looking for a new keyboardist. (more…) More info at http://www.skylinermusic.com/
Band:AXXIS Title:Kingdom Of The Night II (White Edition) Genre:Hard Rock Year:2014 Label:Phonotraxx Publishing Sunday, May 18, 2014 : 0 Comments
The German Hard Rock / Heavy Metal formation AXXIS celebrates its 25th anniversary anno 2014. Even though the band was formed in 1988, it was in 1989 that their debut album, “Kingdom Of The Night”, was released. Throughout their career, every few years a new album was released, next to the many gigs they played in between.
I got to know about AXXIS in 2006, the year of “Paradise In Flames” (see here). That album didn’t really convince me, although it has good songs. However, I did notice that as a new album came out, it was better than the predecessor. In this case, “Doom Of Destiny” (2007, see here) and “Utopia” (2009, see here), of which the latter was indeed very good.
Two years ago, the band fronted by Bernhard Weiß released a cover album, titled “reDISCover(ed)”. This was quite a letdown for me, as you can read here. Let’s focus on the band’s newest releases: “Kingdom Of The Night II”, available in two versions, a black one and a white one. The black one contains the heavier tracks, the white one combines the softer, more accessible songs. Both albums were released on the 28th of February 2014. (more…) More info at http://www.axxis.de/