The title says it all! Opinions expressed here are those of the authors. Personal tastes may vary, and we are cool with that.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Come Cover Me: "Sleeping Sun" by Apollonio Scardino

A Facebook friend of mine, Anex, has this cover of NW's "Sleeping Sun" posted in her feed this morning.  Fascinating!  I actually really like this.  If you go to Apollonio's YouTube Channel, you can read all about him.  Sounds like a very interesting, well-educated guy with a lot going on.  And he has a great set of pipes, too.

Embedding of the video has been disabled, so you'll have to follow this link to listen.  It's worth it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sabaton's New Video: "Screaming Eagles"

Fresh off the press!  And it's a great video, too.  I thought it was very well done.

I sent this to my friend who is accompanying me to the gig in Vancouver in October just to give her a taste of what to expect...Should be interesting!

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's a British Columbia Thing...

Thanks to Eneas of Knights of the Temple, I came across this Canadian metal outfit from my very own home province of British Columbia, Unleash the Archers. They have recently released their second album, Demons of the Astrowaste, and it was accompanied by this fantastic video.

It might take a true British Columbian (or Pacific Northwesterner if you're from the States) to realize the genius of this video.  The myth of the Sasquatch, AKA Bigfoot, is something we all grow up with here, and I doubt there is a tyke out there who goes camping out in the woods at some point in his or her childhood without wondering if he/she/it is out there lurking in the forest.

Or, it could be just me. 

Right now, I fear bears and cougars when I go hiking and camping out in yonder mountains, so I carry bear spray and a whistle and hope for the best (so far so good). 

Not too far from these parts, over the border, there is a music festival called the Sasquatch Festival, and it's on next weekend, which is an American long weekend (ours is this weekend, lucky me).  Our local big beer company, Kokanee, has successfully used Sasquatch in many an advertising campaign - and even I like those ads (here's a classic from 1985). 

This video is hilarious to me and it gave me a good laugh this weekend, one I really needed. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

CD Review: Leaves' Eyes' "Meredead"

What can I say about Leaves' Eyes and my love for this band? Not enough. Following their evolution from their debut, Lovelorn, through to their newest release, Meredead, is pretty epic, and I can only say that the movers & shakers behind this band, vocalist, composer and lyricist Liv Kristine and composer, harsh vocalist, composer, and producer Alexander Krull (Liv's husband), and their knack for producing lush, rich soundscapes accompanied by lovely, evocative imagery and storytelling only gets better and better with each album they do. Meredead is a tour de force in epic Nordic folk metal and a huge leap forward in the evolution of Leaves' Eyes' sound. This album sees LE make the jump from Nordic folk-inspired metal to full-on folk metal - and it is fantastically executed on every level. Meredead is heavy, folky, and more gorgeous in sound than any of their previous CDs.

From the opening rat-a-tat-tat of an almost military-sounding drum beat in the first song, "Spirits' Masquerade" the listener is transported to a magical place everyone who digs this kind of metal only hopes exists in the afterlife. Based mostly on Viking and Norwegian folklore, with a bit of Irish thrown in for good measure, Liv Kristine herself puts it best when describing the landscape of Meredead: "Sometimes you will hear about men going on adventures, some ending up drowning in the sea, their wives, evil witches, three-headed trolls, or spell-bound princesses, as well as marble halls and blood-thirsty creatures."

I use this quote by Liv also because five out of the 11 sung songs (the twelfth,"Veritas", is pretty much an instrumental with a bit of non-lyric vocalizing) are written in languages other than English, so I cannot properly verify what they are about. If you have the bonus track "Sorhleod" you get a13th song, and it's also not English. Liv took it upon herself to write some lyrics in Olde English (the title track, "Meredead," for instance, which translates into "dead by/in the sea,"or "the mortal or killing sea", according to Liv) and I believe the bonus track "Sorhleod" is also in Old English (correct me if I'm wrong). There are songs sung in Norwegian, including two traditional tunes, "Nystev" and "Kråkevisa."

Adding to the mystical atmosphere of Meredead are a host of folky instruments like the uilleann pipes, a traditional Norwegian instrument called a nyckelharpa, the mandoline, the baroque guitar, the fiddle, and whistles. There is also a lot of choir work and on several songs guest vocalists appear (Anette Guldbrandsen appears on 5 tracks, and Maite Itoiz appears in two), and the vocal harmonies combined with Liv's amazing voice are beautiful.

One of the big improvements overall that I heard on this album was the speed of the songs. LE previously leaned towards slower, more "doomy"-sounding songs with not a lot of gallopping tempos. Meredead is has a lot of speed to it, and I really enjoyed that change very much.

There are so many stand-out songs here, but ones that stuck out to me as particularly awesome were "Étain", which the wannabe Celt in me really appreciated, the traditional Norwegian song, "Kråkevisa", "Nystev" and the over 8-minute long "Sirglinn" on which Liv's sister, Carmen Espanæs, vocalist for Midnattsol, makes a guest appearance.

Low on weaknesses in general, my typical beef with LE does apply here: Alex's growls. As I said in my review of Melusine, I totally respect Alex's work, but his growls are just not my cup of tea. Luckily, they are not all over the place in this CD.

And as usual, the album art is amazing. The booklet is beautiful to look at.

So, this rates a double horns up from this reviewer. Well done, Leaves' Eyes! \m/ \m/

Edit May 22: God, writing and then editing this post made me hate Blogger even more than I already do. I am seriously considering moving this little project over to WordPress where the platform is 10000000% better and easier to work with...

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Find: Crysalys

Eve's Apple is, according to their official Facebook page, "is a worldwide community of professional female singers, designed to be a platform that informs about women's work in the world of music, supports new female fronted bands, and offers advice for navigating the music business world." It's members include Lisa Middlehauve (ex-Xandria), Sharon den Adel, Heidi Parviainen (Amberian Dawn), and Charlotte Wessels (Delain), amongst many others. Their FB promotes quite a few new bands, and one I recently came across was Crysalys, fronted by Chiara Malvestiti.

Crysalys hails from Italy, and this is the description that appears on their web site and Facebook page: "Surrounded by a magnificent modern metal scenery, a theatrical soprano goes back to the roots of Italian Opera Lirica and leads us through this wonderful Post-Opera masterpiece."

As for Chiara herself, it sounds like she has had some impressive training, studying with opera singers like mezzo-soprano Isabella Conti and Italian-Brasilian soprano Patrizia Morandini. Currently she is at the Italian music school, studying classical singing with tenor Nazareno Antinori.

Crysalys will release a debut album entitled The Awakening of Gaia in September, and involves some impressive credits including mastering done by Mika Jussila at Finnvox studios.

The band has an official video for their single "The Awakening of Gaia", and here it is!

When it was initially posed on FB, one of the comments was, "Intense." And, yes, I think that pretty much sums it up. But I think this is promising. I'm glad the lyrics appear below the video, because I can't understand a word she's singing.

I'm curious about the whole album.

In the meantime, you can find Crysalys at these fine locations:

Official Site

Crysalys is:

Chiara Malvestiti - VOCALS
Alessandro Camela - DRUMS
Fabio Amurri - KEYBOARD
Giuseppe Cardinali - BASS
Janos Murri - GUITARS

Sunday, May 15, 2011

CD Review: Borealis's Fall from Grace

Since discovering this Orangeville, Ontario band a couple of years ago via, I have been a big fan. Borealis's debut CD, World of Silence was powerful and mature for such a young band, and I felt right away that they had a bright future. The guitar work, vocals, synths - pretty much everything - were all so strong that the world seemed to be their oyster. Long did I await their follow-up, Fall from Grace.

As the saying goes, "ask and you shall receive." Lion Music, Borealis's new label, had an application process for prospective reviewers, so I applied, was accepted, and very soon I was able to download a review copy of FfG courtesy Lion Music's site.

And it was so worth it! Borealis has done it again with an amazing release that belies their youth. Exploding out of the gates, the opening track "Final Hour" impresses right off the bat with a pounding heaviness, and, wouldn't you know it, the echo of a growl in the background! Immediately, I noticed the drumming, performed by Sean Dowell. Drumming isn't something I normally notice much, but for some reason, the drumming in this track - and throughout the entire album - really stuck out for me.

This album gallops along at full throttle (sorry to mix my metaphors) and never rests. It's fast, and I think an improvement in the complexity department over World of Silence - which says a lot. I also felt that the keyboards were, for lack of a better word, integrated more into the tracks than they were in WoS. Matt Marinelli's clean vocals are also a real highlight, as is, again, the superior guitar-work done by Marinelli and Ken Fobert, who, incidentally, has since left the band.

Standout tracks for me are the aforementioned "Finest Hour", "Where We Started", where I can hear a definite Nightwish influence in the guitar parts, "Regeneration", where I also hear an Oceanborn influence and is also one catchy tune, and the slower, acoustically-driven "Watch the World Collapse", which I think shows off the bands sensitivity, emotion, and versatility very well. This is a metal ballad done right.

I only wish the lyrics had been part of the downloads from Lion Music, because one thing I really enjoy about real CDs as opposed to downloads is sitting back and listening while reading along with the lyrics. I also wish there were more than 9 tracks!

I can't say enough great things about this album, and I really hope this launches Borealis into the greatness it deserves. Congratulations you guys - this rocks! Double horns up! \m/ \m/

Vegan Black Metal Chef Goes Viral!

Well, given the fact that I am a serious foodie, it was only a matter of time before food in some element showed up here on this blog! This video is getting lots of attention. I initially saw it on Facebook, but then it showed up in Blabbermouth's RSS feed as a story - accompanied by the typical asshole-y comments that appear on most Blabbermout stories.

This is fucking brilliant! I just love this. I don't really like the looks of the sauce (way too much sugar for my tastes and I have my own Pad Thai recipe that works pretty well and could be veganized very easily), but the entire video is amazing and the attention to detail is incredible. The lyrics are hilarious! There are so many priceless lines in here!

Check it out!

If all black metal sounds this good, I might have to give this genre another go.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Corruption Of Mercy by Sarah Jezebel Deva

The artwork and track list of Deva's second album were released couple of days ago.

 1 No Paragon Of Virtue
 2 The World Won't Hold Your Hand
 3 A Matter Of Convenience
 4 Silence Please
 5 Zombie
 6 Pretty With Effects
 7 What Lies Before You
 8 Sirens
 9 The Eyes That Lie
10 The Corruption Of Mercy
The album will be released in Europe on June 20.

You may recognise Sarah as a  backing vocalist in Cradle of Filth or a leader of Angtoria.

Ozzfest 2011 Officially Cancelled

On the official Ozzfest Facebook page it has been announced that Ozzfest will be cancelled in 2011. This would be the second time in three years that this cancellation took place, mainly due to the slow economy and more competition with other events. You can read more about this here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sandra Schleret Leaves Elis

This announcement from the Lichtenstein Gothic metal group Elis just hit my Facebook feed.  In Sandra's own words:

More than 4 years ago I joined Elis as their new singer. Our journey was very special to me, and I think that we found one another at a time when we really needed it the most. I gave my best to honor Sabine's legacy and nevertheless stay true to myself and open a new chapter together with the band. I am sorry to say that we have reached a point where this chapter now comes to an end. We had an amazing and exciting time and the guys really touched my heart. We made a great album in which I've put all of my heart and which means a lot to me. We sat together and talked long about everything, and we concluded that it is better to go seperate ways from now on. I simply feel the need to devote myself to my own music, my aims and tasks, and the guys can not accompany me on that way because they have their own aims, ideas and expectations. I am sure that it's the right desicion, because it is very important to me to dedicate myself to everything I do with full heart and soul. Now that I can not ensure this anymore I think it's only fair to say it freely. Elis will always have my full support and my friendship will guide them on their way. The guys have found a great new singer and so I am leaving with a good feeling, though I am very sad about the end of our time together.

I dearly want to thank all the Elis fans, who gave me such a warm welcome! I hope we will see eachother again!

With all my best wishes,

Wow. This makes me sad.  I was a big fan of Sandra with the band and I loved the album she did with them, Catharsis.  She was a great addition to the band and some of her songs were very touching to me on a personal level, particularly "Rainbow" which I blogged about here.  Sandra is a great vocalist and I wish her all the best on whatever path she takes, and the same goes with the band, too.
She alludes in her statement that Elis has found a replacement already, so I am very curious to see who that will be.

CD Review: Leaves' Eyes "Melusine" (EP)

I am a HUGE Leaves' Eyes fan, and I have always loved their EPs.  They usually have great bonus material on them and have always, in my opinion anyway, been well worth the bucks.  So I was pretty stoked to read that LE was releasing an EP around the same time as their new CD, Meredead (I will have a review of that upcoming when my copy eventually arrives in the mail from  Imagine how unstoked I was to hear that this EP was going to be some kind of exclusive release to European fans (mainly German!) who bought the May edition of a German music magazine called Sonic Seducer.  Thank God Eneas of Knights of the Temple had a link to a downloadable version.

What initially excited me about this was not only the non-album track Melusine (because often LE saves their best for their EPs) but also the acoustic version of one of my favourite LE songs, "Legend Land."

Well, I have listened to Melusine the EP and all I have to say disappointing.  Apart from the acoustic "Legend Land", which was the strongest piece on the release and demonstrates how well LE does acoustic work as always, the rest of the songs were nothing to write home about.  "Melusine" the song was just not good.  Now, I have a lot of respect for Alex Krull as a musician and producer, but I have never been able to get behind his growls.  They are lame and I often think that LE's music would be better off without them.  In "Melusine" they are just bad, and combined with a rappy-sounding chorus that just didn't do it for me at all.

I cannot tell the difference between the two versions of "To France" that appear on both Meredead and Melusine, even though the Melusine one is described as a "sonic remix."  Similarly, the version of "Telltale Eyes" is almost identical to the version on Meredead. The remastered version of "The Battle of Maldon" also sounds very similar to the original.

So, I wouldn't spend the money on this as I have with previous EPs from Leaves' Eyes.  If you're a collector, that is one thing, but I am not.  The cover art is cool, though, but that's to be expected from this band!

Come Cover Me: Vika Yermolyeva's cover of "Master of Puppets" live

Vika Yermolyeva out of Iceland... wow.... in my opinion the best piano player on Youtube by far! She covers pretty much any hard rock or metal song with her awesome piano skills! She is such a unique talent and her ability to perform and execute these songs are very impressive! I have been listening to her for about a year now and I always look forward to her covers of my favorite rock and metal bands. This video here is her performing Metallica's "Master of Puppets" live in Zurich:

Like how Apocolyptica is to cellos, Vika is with the piano in metal! She needs to be more well known because I have never seen anyone cover metal songs on piano like this before! I would not be surprised if she had the title of "Metal Pianist" soon, if not already! A great talent indeed! Here are some links for you to check out:

Vika's YouTube page
Vika's Homepage
Vika's Myspace
Vika's page

CD Review: Solisia's "Ordinary Fate"

Here is another band I've seen a lot of buzz about on the interwebs lately and thought they were worth looking into. Hailing from Italy, Solisia's Ordinary Fate is their first full-length release after a shorter demo came out in 2007. Most commonly labeled as progressive power metal, Solisia is a female-fronted band with a ballsy lead vocalist, Marilena Stigliano, who belts out in a decent alto-ish range.

How important is labeling? The eternal question. When it's done right, it's not an issue. When it's not, it becomes an issue. Solisia is definitely not symphonic power metal, and if you listen to it thinking it is symphonic PM, then you are going to be disappointed. There really are no symphonic elements in here to speak of. Perhaps this is why Arno Callen, who reviewed this CD over at Black Wind Metal, might not have liked the album so much.

I personally though it was very good and very promising. It has all the trappings of good melodic metal: it's fast, bombastic, heavy on the keyboards, has strong guitar work, and altogether has an amazing PM feel to it. However, had Solisia gone with a classical soprano and some of the more traditional symphonic sounding keyboard elements, I would probably have agreed with Arno because those would have made this band sound a bit cheesy and cliche. As it is, though, Marilena's vocals are a definite rock-style in a lower range and the keyboard elements have an 80s synth sound to them that sounded pretty cool and pretty different for the genre. These two elements alone make Solisia a bit of a stand-out to me. Marilena is does not have a "sweet" tonality to her voice, which makes it not poppy, but rather she is quite powerful and at times she reminded me of Coronatus's original rock alto Lisa Lasch and Silentium's Riina Rinkinen.

Standout songs for me were the title track, "Ordinary Fate" which starts the album off with a terrific bombastic intro and with the backing vocals reminded me a lot of Edenbridge, and the final track, "Unrevealed Words", which has a pretty epic feel to it. There is one ballad, "I'll Take You With Me" that I enjoyed, and there was a really cool instrumental piece entitled "Overlude" that was also very well done.

So, in the end, I enjoyed this and think it's a promising start for Solisia. Horns up! \m/

Here is "Ordinary Fate."

Piano solos by Tuomas Holopainen

Today I came across this video on YT. There are all piano solos from albums, live gigs and DVDs.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Symphony X's new single "End of Innocence"

As part of an upcoming new album, here is Symphony X's new single "End of Innocence":

Their new album Iconoclast is set to be released June 17th 2011 according to I myself am very excited about it! Rock on! \m/

New Find: Shear

I found this band via a comment left by John of Sugar and Spikes Music (Facebook here and MySpace here) and because they are a female fronted Finnish act, I had to give them a try.  Shear is a six-piece ensemble hailing from Helsinki and to date their only release has been a demo entitled "In Solitude."  According to their site, they are in the process of recording a full-length album.

The demo contains four tracks of what sound to my ear, at least, like power metal-Gothic metal crossover.  Vocalist Alexa Leroux has a ballsy voice with a lot of edge and the songs are heavy and melodic with lots of strong guitar and keyboard work.  The first two I listened to, "In Solitude" and "Mistakes" were all right, but the next two, "Scorched" and "Trapped in a Shell" were much better and perhaps foreshadow best what might come from this young band. 

Shear is:

Alexa Laroux - Vocals
Mikael Grönroos - Guitars
Eerik Purdon - Bass
Lari Sorvo - Keys
Lauri Koskenniemi - Guitars
Juhana Karlsson - Drums

Official Site
MySpace (where there are free downloads of the four songs from the demo)

Here are some samples.  These are the two songs I thought were the stronger of the four.

CD Review: One Without's "Sweet Relief"

I stumbled upon a pretty nifty metal blog recently called Black Wind Metal, and since reading it, I've got a running list of bands I need to check out. After reading this review of Swedish metalers' One Without's release, Sweet Relief, I was intrigued enough to check them out, the prospect made even more appealing by the availability of a free download on the band's site and their page.

This band has been around for quite a while in various incarnations since 2003, and Sweet Release is their fourth release.

I listened to the album for the first time yesterday after spending a considerable amount of time with Amaranthe, and my perception of it might have been coloured at the time because I had listened to too many growling male vocals already and I was starting to get a headache. Overall, my first impression was that it wasn't my cup of tea, mainly because of all the growling.

Upon a second listen, my impression hasn't changed much. There are a lot of pluses going on in this album for sure. Musically, it's aggressive, heavy, and tight. The compositions aren't bad and there is some great guitar work along with some cool synth elements I kind of liked. The pace of the individual songs was good.

The intros to their songs are all very strong, and the opening track, "Hunger" is a great example of this.

But after the intros I found things lacking. Apart from the growls, I didn't find female vocalist Catrin Feymark's vocals really captured my heart or imagination. She doesn't have a lot of range and the songs all to me had a monotonous sound to them because of this. While I don't think she's a bad vocalist, once again, I feel that here is a metal band with a female singer not suited well for the music. Because of her lack of vocal chops (at least evidenced in this release), the songs eventually wound up sounding the same to me after a while. This is a shame because there is a lot of heavy shit in here and some really strong elements. Stronger songs are the aforementioned "Hunger" and "Pretender."

What's unusual about this album is its length: it contains 17 songs. As Space Kev said in his review, it was a tad long and some of it could have been cut out and released in another form. I agree with this assessment. Because of the sameness I felt pervaded all the songs, this was a bit of a slog to listen to, and by the second half I started to find myself bored and waiting for the end.

So, my overall feeling about this album is that it was just OK but not my cup of tea. I'm always open to listening to new stuff though and discovering new bands, so I appreciated Space Kev's review of Sweet Relief and the downloadability of the release.

Here is One Without's video for "Pretender" which was just released today.

Friday, May 6, 2011

CD Review: Amaranthe's Self-titled Album

I've seen an awful lot of buzz on the internet about Amaranthe since they recently released this new self-titled CD, so my curiousity was piqued, even though I have listened to some of their ealier stuff from their demo and didn't think too much of it. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I am not overly fond of growls, but you'll also know that I don't mind them in some instances (Crimfall, Epica, Dawn of Destiny) if they are executed in a way that isn't overbearing or in a way that enhances the music rather than takes from it. Amaranthe's growls fall into the latter category, so I didn't give them much thought after the initial listen because the music just didn't do it for me.

With the release of the full-lengthed CD Amaranthe and the accompanying promo and aforementioned buzz, most of which in my reading was positive, I decided to give this young band another go. Hailing from Denmark and Sweden and containing no fewer than three vocalists, there is no doubt that this band has energy and talent, something that their label, Spinefarm Records, no doubt was attracted to. But after two listens to this CD, I can't help but feel the hype is slightly misplaced.

Bear in mind that I'm old, all right?

No question this is a quality album with slick production. Sound-wise it's great. But my first impression after the first listen was "man, this is poppy." Now, I'm not one of those elitist metal snobs who uses the term "poppy" when referring to metal with derision. I like my fair share of poppier metal for sure, and I don't think there's anything wrong with it in general. But even I have my limits and Amaranthe really tested them.

For one thing, the three vocalists is a bit much. There are two clean vocalists, a male, Jake, and a female, Elize, and the growler, Andy. Individually, they are all strong singers, but as a trio they sound a bit bizarre. For instance, Jake sounds like he belongs in a 1990s boy band, and combined with Elize's notably strong voice (she reminds me of Anette Olzon sometimes) they sound together like a typical pop duo you'd hear on any old radio station. When you throw in the growls, it just sounds like they added that element to add some "brutality" to their sound just to give them some street cred. I don't think it works.

Writing-wise, there is nothing mindblowing here at all. The song structures are simple and are certainly pop-influenced to my ear. Most of their songs are in the low 3-minute range, with only two above the 4-minute mark. The most complex song is "Director's Cut" which is pretty decent, but like I said, not terribly mindblowing. The songs are fast and heavy and I like that about them, but the music overall isn't very complex or interesting. There are a lot of techno elements in here, too, and I'm on the fence about how I feel about them. Lyrically, the songs are pretty average, with some typical Gothic overtones. But remember I'm old, right? To my mind, they lyrics tend towards the slightly emo-ish, and that does nothing for me.

I did see on that this band has been tagged as "pop metal" and there is a good wiki there with a definition of this term:

The term is used to reference bands within the heavy metal music subgenres that perform more accessible forms of metal, most notably nu metal, glam metal, and metalcore, due to the heavy usage of techniques used in pop music that permeate bands within these genres.

"Accessible" is a good descriptor for Amaranthe.

Not that there is anything wrong with that, and despite all of what I said above, I did enjoy this album for what it was, which was fun, fast, and catchy. Songs I particularly enjoyed were "Amaranthine", "Leave Everything Behind", "Hunger", and "Automatic." "Amaranthine" is the pinnacle of poppiness in this album, too, by the way, but I enjoyed it a lot nonetheless. They look like they are set to succeed with not only the label they've signed to, but because they are touring with Kamelot.

All told, I'm on the fence about Amaranthe. While I enjoyed parts of this album, I'm not sure they're all they're cracked up to be. But that's just me and my two cents. I will say that I'm liking this stuff better than anything Sirenia has put out lately.

But damn is "Amaranthine" catchy!

Here are some samples for you. The single "Hunger" has a pretty sleek video.

EDIT: there is a great, scathing review of this album here that I totally enjoyed, along with the accompanying comments. It's defintely worth a read!

Olle Ekman's Death Metal Warm-ups

If you're Canadian, you no doubt know who George Stroumboulopoulos is. We call him Strombo for short, and some of us have huge crushes on him. He has a national radio show and is a known music geek and former VJ for MuchMusic. He also has a popular TV show on our national network CBC. Anyway, this video was in his Facebook feed today and I thought it was worth reposting here because it's really quite fascinating. Here is the original post on George's CBC site.

Here is the video on YT of death metal vocalist Olle Ekman's vocal warm-up. Now, I'm not the biggest DM fan in the world, but I did get a lot of enjoyment out of watching this. Olle sings for Swedish bands Volturyon and Deals Death.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Deliver Us by In Flames

Deliver Us is a new single from Swedish metallers. The track is from their new album "Sounds Of A Playground Fading" which will be released on 17 June. The track will be released on 7 May. This album will be the first one without founding guitarist Jesper Strömblad, who quit the band in February 2010 in order to continue receiving treatment for his alcohol addiction. The new second guitarist will be Niclas Engelin from Swedish band Engel.

Here is the track list:
01. Sounds Of A Playground Fading
02. Deliver Us
03. All For Me
04. The Puzzle
05. Fear Is The Weakness
06. Where The Dead Ships Dwell
07. The Attic
08. Darker Times
09. Ropes
10. Enter Tragedy
                                                      11. Jester's Door
                                                      12. A New Dawn
                                                      13. Liberation

You can hear 1 minute preview from Deliver Us single (the quality is not the best)

EDIT: Here is the full song

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Underrated Metal Bands #8: Stormzone

Thanks to this album review on Angry Metal Guy's blog, I discovered a new band! Hailing out of Belfast, Northern Ireland is a heavy metal band called Stormzone. Formed in 2004, the concept for this band was simple: keep a traditional 80's heavy/power metal sound while writing catchy, fun metal tunes.

One of the big things that caught me about this band was vocalist John “Harv” Harbinson and his great vocal range. His voice is very reminiscent of 80's NWOBHM vocalists like Rob Halford (Judas Priest) and Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden). Their musical style is very similar to those bands from that era as well and never goes past that. They sound like they belong in the 80's, especially with their flashy guitar solos, soaring power chord riffs, and high powered vocals. It's great to see a band keep a traditional 80's metal sound like this. Very few bands can pull this off nowadays since metal has evolved so much into what it is today with all of the diversity there is. This group has released two albums so far. Their latest album is Death Dealer, which is highly recommended for those who want to hear some classic sounding heavy metal. The Angry Metal Guy did a great review on that album. Make sure you check out his blog as well. He has great reviews and insight on metal!

Granted Stormzone's sound is extremely retro and very dated, so it may not be everyone's cup of tea. But this band intentionally did it that way for a reason and it works so well with how they sound! If you are into old school heavy metal, this is a band you need to hear! A very good find and I wish them the best of success!

One more thing, these guys are going to be at Wacken this year, so make sure that you can go see them and many other metal acts there as well! I am sure it will be one hell of a concert series there! ROCK ON! \m/

Here are a set of links:
Stormzone's Myspace
Stormzone's page
Angry Metal Guy's Blog
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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Dream Theater's new drummer

Couple of days ago Dream Theater announced their new drummer. It is Mike Mangini. He has played for Annihilator, Extreme, James Labrie and Steve Vai. Mike has written two books about his drumming techniques and also he is notorious for his technical prowess and holds three World's Fastest Drummer titles. For more info check out