Album Reviews

  • Emergency Gate - Rewake (2009)

    Every time I hear and album start with the phrase: “Are you ready”, I get so irritated, since they are usually pretty bad. Well this album is an exception to that rule.

    I can’t really label this bands genre since they combine clean with harsh vocals, with some melodic death metal touches as well as power metal elements, and sometimes it even sounds like metalcore.

    I have to admit the songs are very catchy but the metalcore parts kill it for me. When the songs are more power metal or melodic death metal their guitar melodies are pretty awesome, also the drumming is pretty decent.

  • Tardy Brothers - Bloodline (2009)

    The Tardy brothers if you where living under a rock for the last 20 years, or are too young to know, are 2 of the founding members of Obituary (vocals and drums). I was very interested in listening to this album since they announced it. And let me tell you this album arrived 10-15 years late.

    While you can clearly notice the typical vocal style of Obituary, the Tardy Brothers music is more of a trash metal and death metal. I would have imagined that the brothers would have broaden their musical horizons in the last few years, but apparently they have been listening to their old tapes and LP’s for too long.

  • Luna Mortis - The Absence (2009)

    Luna Mortis is an American band formed in 2002 under the name of The Ottoman Empire, which they changed in 2008. They are traditionally labeled as progressive metal, but I think gothic/progressive metal is a better description of their music.

    This bands musical style is very interesting since they sometimes sound like Arch Enemy with clean female vocals, and the only weak point in my opinion is the  harsh vocals that sound a bit amateurish. Other than that this is a very good release both musically and production wise.

  • Battlelore - The Last Alliance (2008)

    The Last Alliance is Battlelore’s latest addition to their impressive musical catalog. This Finish band has been improving and refining their music since they where conceived almost achieving perfection in this last release.

    This album contains 11 carefully crafted battle hymns that will surely please any Battlelore fan. The album opens up with Third Immortal, an instant Battlelore classic of the caliber of House of Heroes, and it keeps this level all the way through the album.

  • Isole - Silent Ruins (2009)

    This Swedish band was known as Forlon until 2005 when they switched names and apparently their luck changed since they released their first full length under this name in 2005. While I’m not a big fan of epic doom metal, this release packs 54 minutes of pretty solid music. Sometimes it reminds me of Solstice or even Candlemass, yes the band is this good, and this release better than their 2008 effort.

  • Crimfall - As the Path Unfolds (2009)

    After their self released Burning Winds demo, I was anxiously expecting their full length album. This band formed in 2007, and they got a deal right after their previously mentioned demo and there is big reason why, their music is a perfectly constructed blend of symphonic, viking, folk and progressive metal.

    The band members come from different bands in the musical scene and have an ample background in making music over the years. No wonder Napalm Records snatched them so quickly and gave them a recording contract.

  • Lunatica - New Shores (2009)

    I’ve been following this Swiss band since their 2001 debut Atlantis, and while they have been taking almost 3 years in between releases, they are worth the wait. This band’s latest album is a new stepping stone in their musical evolution.

    New Shores marks the bands entrance into more commercial sound since most of the songs here are typical power metal ballads, while they are not bad musically they are just something that I would not imagine Lunatica doing in 2001.

  • Autumn - Altitude (2009)

    Autumn is one of my favorite bands coming from the Netherlands, Solar Wake from their Summer’s End album is in my top 30 songs of all time. After hearing that Nienke de Jong left the band in 2008 for health reasons, I was eagerly waiting to see how they sound with their new vocalist.

    While the new singers vocals are a great fit for Autumn’s gothic metal style, this album marks their progression into a more gothic rock style since their music has a more mainstream feeling and I would not be amazed if they reach the popularity levels that bands like Lacuna Coil and Within Temptation have.

  • IXXI - Elect Darkness (2009)

    IXXI sound is very traditional of the current progression of many black metal bands, since they combine elements of black metal with trash metal with perfection. Most of the song have catchy melodies while being aggressive, it kind of reminds me of Satyricon when they released Volcano, however I prefer this album.

    The harsh vocals are almost identical to Satyr’s vocals and provide a perfect match for the sound of the band. The guitar riffs are strong and repetitive but never dull, the drums are perfectly executed and typical of a black metal release.

  • Sirenia - The 13th Floor (2009)

    After making us wait 2 years after their last full length release this Norwegian band comes back in full strength with The 13th Floor.

    Sirenia continues with their unique gothic metal style, and while this album sounds very similar to Nine Destinies and a Downfall, it improves on that album taking the band’s sound to a more mature level.

    The female vocals are top of great quality providing a different sound to other bands in the genre. The male grunts courtesy of Morten Veland are more rare than in previous releases but they are still present and well used.

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