Within Temptation's An Acoustic Night at the Theatre. You know some things you should not fuck around with: Caesar Salad (ever had a vegan one of those? yeah...), bedbugs (don't ask), and perfectly wonderful plugged in compositions of certain metal songs. This CD is a live compilation of acoustic versions of some of WT's repertoire. Highlights were the revamping of "Somewhere" featuring Anneke Van Giersbergen and the new single "Utopia." Lowlights were aplenty, however, notably "The Cross," the duet with Keith Caputo, "What Have You Done," "Frozen" and "Stand My Ground." One of the things I love about WT is the drama in their sound, and making these songs acoustic really took out a lot of the drama for me, particularly in "The Cross." Well, at least they didn't acoustic-ize "Jillian" or "Our Solemn Hour."
Manticora's The Black Circus Part 1: Letters. This was a recommend from Jon and I was completely wowed by this release! I loved it! It's dark, it's heavy, it's powerful, it's beautiful. Hailing from Denmark, I had never before heard of Manticora, but I am now hooked. The most notable song on this CD is "Wisdom" and it sends chills down my spine, and it's made all the more compelling to me because I have no idea who the female vocalist is in it, there is no information out there that I can find about who she might be, and she sounds vaguely familiar! I also love this album cover. There is a sequel to this CD, which I really want to hear, but of course cannot find anywhere!
Wuthering Heights' Salt. I know James was impressed with these guys and this album, and so was I, being a fan of folk metal. This was another recommend from Jon, and WH also shares some band members with Manticora. This CD is amazing and it reminds me a lot of Tyr's work and style, though WH's sound is heavier and fuller. They also have some fan-fucking-tastic lyrics. Check out "The Mad Sailor" and "The Desperate Poet," which, I have to say, kind of reminded me of Tuomas Holopainen...
I'm a desperate poet, lost for words and I know itMoving on...
My ink is dry, though I try, still my words will not fly
I'm a desperate poet, and I know that I owe it to you
To deliver the goods, and I would, if I could
But this tune that I'm destroying
Shows there's nothing more annoying
Than a desperate, desperate poet
Katra's The Beast Within. Is this a band or a solo artist? I don't know, but they are Finnish! As I mentioned in this post, James actually introduced me to Katra initially and I didn't quite know what to think about I was listening to, but she/them started to grow on me and I am now really like The Beast Within. Highlights on this release include "Scars in My Heart," "Flow," and "Grail of Sahara." It has it's weak points, too, like "Promise Me Everything" and the title track, "Beast Within," but I love Katra's voice and will be looking forward to whatever she (they?) releases next because I think this is a very promising debut.
That's about it for now!