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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Update on Imaginaerum

Slowly we're getting some news concerning Imaginaerum CD & film. According to Variety, Finnish Film Fundation will pay out $575,000 grant and the budget of the film will be $3.7 million.

Today TH website published an interview with Tuomas about Imaginaerum and other stuff. Check it out. 

Tuomas says they'll tour for 1 year, which should be 80-90 shows. 
Hopefully, this time I'll be able to go. Will see where I will be at the time of European tour.    

Monday, June 27, 2011

Come Cover Me: Eva Urbanova does some Nightwish

Apparently, if you're a Tarjaholic you might be up in arms over this interview snippet in which Czeck opera diva Eva Urbanova states that she doesn't think Tarja is a great singer.

I am so over Nighwish/Tarja dramas that I don't really care who says what about whom anymore, but listening to Eva's covers of two NW songs was an interesting experience indeed.

First up, "Deep Silent Complete".  Vocally, it's fine-ish.  Performance-wise, way to turn a great metal song into a pop parody with silly back-up dancers!  Ridiculous!  Check it.

Eva also covers "Wish I Had an Angel" and I have to say this is pretty bad to my ears.  It completely loses all impact in her translation of the song.  It's awful. It's hideous.

What do you think?

Some News

A few snippets of news have come to my attention I thought I would share here.

1. Italian Gothic rock/metal/whatever band Lacuna Coil have set October 4 as the release date for their next album, to be entitled Dark Adrenaline.  Vocalist Cristina Scabbia has described the music in the new album as "probably the heaviest we have ever written. But then we have some cool songs with a dark, 'old-school' vibe, and then some other rocking songs which are a bit more modern and anthemic sounding."  I'm curious, of course, but I was so disappointed with Shallow Life I'm not sure I can move on.  But I'm open-minded!

2.  German power metal band, and my #2 band ever, Dawn of Destiny, is teasing fans like me on Facebook with hints about a new album, being very coy about a release date.  Apparently, from what I can glean, it'll be out sometime late this year.  It'll be their first album with new vocalist Jeanette Scherff, who, I have to say, I haven't been really fond of when viewing live performances the band's had with her since she joined.  Again, I remain open-minded!  We shall see.

3.  Evanescence finally will be releasing a new CD, self-titled, also on Oct. 4.  It's about time!

4.  Nightwish has been confirmed for the 70000 Tons of Metal Cruise, which takes place Jan. 23 - 27 and will sail around the Caribbean.  The cost is $666 and includes meals and non-alcoholic beverages.  Other confirmed acts are Amorphis, Tristania, Eluveitie, Therion, and Stratovarius.  This sounds like an awesome event!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Upcoming CD Reviews from me

Lately, I have been a little busy. But now that I have some time to do some album reviews. Here are sjust ome of the albums I will be reviewing in the future:

  • Symphony X: Iconoclast

  • Kalmah: 12 Guage (A little late I know, but I need to do a review of this one)

  • Stratovarius: Elysium

  • Iron Maiden: The Final Frontier (Also last year's album, but I will get to this one too)

  • Rhapsody of Fire: From Chaos To Eternity

  • Nightwish: Imaginarium (When it comes out)

I will also try and do a series on the DVD's released by Nighwish too as well, so stay tuned for more!

CD Review: In Flames' Sounds of a Playground Fading

On February 4th, 2010, long time In Flames guitarist (and early drummer) Jesper Strömblad made the decision to quit the band due to personal and health issues. Being with In Flames since the very beginning while losing his presence will sure make an impact in the future for the long time Swedish metal band. But of course, the band had to move on, and in 2011 with Björn Gelotte as their lead guitarist now along their newest addition on guitar Niclas Englin, the group released their new album Sounds of a Playground Fading, the first In Flames album to not feature Jesper on any instrument in their music.

As many know about this band, the original melodic death metal sound the band had back in the 90’s slowly dwindled away and went for a more modern, alternative metal approach to their sound recently, thus dividing their fan base in half. I happen to really like their original sound as well, but I understand that nothing stays the same forever. As I mention all the time with my reviews, bands evolve and it sometimes isn‘t for the better. In this case, In Flames were able to be more successful in some regard but only to lose a lot of what they used to be. One of the biggest problems right now is Anders Fridén attempting clean vocals. Honestly, he sounded amazing back on albums like The Jester Race and Whoracle when he used to just growl practically the whole time, but now he sounds too whiny and I personally don’t think he has that great of a clean voice. So after four mediocre to poor albums, could In Flames be able to change an old fan’s mind with this release? Well, let’s find out with my song by song review:

1. “Sounds of a Playground Fading”: The title track. To be honest, I think the intro to this song is one of the best this band has done in years. I really adore the clean guitar intro along with their trademark dual guitar harmonies that made them the band they are today. After the intro, it goes into a typical modern In Flames song with Anders putting out his usual vocal style we all are used to by now. While the rest of the song isn’t as impressive as the intro, it still has something to offer and it still retains the melodic approach that this band got famous for. 3.5/5

2. “Deliver Us”: The first single off this album. This was obviously written to be a radio hit because Anders’ vocals are clean the whole time, which isn’t always the best thing and the song overall is very dull and lacks substance with a typical song structure suited for a hit song. Listen at your own risk. 2/5

3. “All For Me”: This song has once again another acoustic intro with that typical In Flames style to it. Though not as impressive as the title track, it holds it own nonetheless. The rest of the song? I would say that it is a very depressing track with Anders adding some very desperate sounding vocals of pain, which he actually does good at for this song. His vocals actually fit this one quite well unlike most of the other tracks. I think that is a song worth listening to a couple of times but don‘t expect “Moonshield“ or anything like that. 3/5

4. “The Puzzle”: This is the fastest song on the album, but does that mean it’s good? Out of all the songs, Anders vocals are the most annoying on this track, especially in the verses. Musically, it isn’t too bad, but nothing special either. Although the outro of this song is actually very cool and is actually worth skipping the whole song up until that point, which is why I gave it a higher rating. 2.5/5

5. “Fear Is the Weakness”: I really like this song musically, but I feel that Anders sort of ruins it for me again, which seems to be a continuing problem for this album. I really like the guitar work on this track as it has more presence than the previous tracks. Worth a listen for sure but once again it could be better. 3.5/5

6. “Where the Dead Ships Dwell”: Another attempt at a radio friendly song. I feel that this song is really stock and doesn’t do a lot for me at all. One of the weaker songs on the album, that is all I am going to say about this one. 2/5

7. “The Attic”: A very weird and acoustic guitar song with some raspy vocals from Anders once again which sort of kills it. I don’t think this is the worst song on the album, but it doesn’t have much lasting appeal either. 2.5/5

8. “Darker Times”: The main riff sounds very Korn like to me and with that being the case, this is definitely a filler track. Nothing special here. 2/5

9. “Ropes”: A very good main guitar lick, but Anders vocals ruins the song again. I think the guitar work on this track is pretty good though. Not that great of a song again as it is another filler once again. 2.5/5

10. “Enter Tragedy”: Faster than most of the other tracks, the vocals are surprisingly a little more harsh than the other songs, but it comes off as too whiny and forced once again which ruins the whole song. 2/5

11. “Jester’s Door”: I think this track is about Jesper Strömblad judging by the lyrics. I don’t know what to say about this one other than it is a weird track with basically a narration going on. Ugh, worth maybe one listen but that is it. I don’t consider this really a song so it gets a pretty low rating. 1/5

12. “A New Dawn”: After one of the worst tracks in the bands’ history, we get to the best song on the album. The guitars seem to have more inspiration, the structure is more complex, and the overall feel of the song is much more powerful and has better execution than the rest of the album. Anders vocals aren’t that good as usual, but here he sounds better than the other tracks. The bridge section of this song has some strings in it which gives it a very nice melodic touch to it. I don’t know how they will reproduce this live unless it is played over the PA or if they have enough money to afford session violin players. Anyways, this is by far the best this album has to offer. 4/5

13. “Liberation”: Really?? After the best song we get this one? Reminds me of some radio rock song. Sounds nothing like In Flames at all! Another filler track. 2/5

So that is my song by song review of Sounds of a Playground Fading. Here are my overall thoughts:


- A significant improvement over A Sense of Purpose.

- Very good melodic intros to some songs.


- Anders’ vocals

- Lyrics are a bit whiny and corny at times, although much better than their last album.

- A lot of filler tracks which makes it inconsistent.

To me, In Flames sounds tired and worn down and the album grows very old after a while. I think this band has seen better days and while I think that they really tried to make some memorable songs like “A New Dawn”, it doesn’t sound like the band has anymore ideas left in the tank. Their overall sound seems like it is growing old and tiresome, and that they are getting bored of making this kind of metal in general. But despite the setbacks, there are some positives to this release. You would think that Jesper’s absence would have a big impact on the overall sound, but Björn fit the shoes of lead guitar nicely with some very cool and unique solos to the In Flames library. I don’t think it would have made a difference either way if Jesper would of stayed or not because this album would not have sounded that much different in my opinion.

Fans of old In Flames, like myself, have to realize that they will never be the band they once were. Being true melodic death metal again for this band isn’t going to happen anytime soon. It is what it is, and since it is a more modern In Flames album, I would put this one quality wise above Soundtrack To Your Escape and A Sense of Purpose. But even though it is an improvement, I will still have to give this album a horns down /w\ due to the inconstancies this album has plus the annoying sound of Anders’ modern vocal sound which he started utilizing since Reroute To Remain. Of course if you like their new sound and style, pick this album up as there are some nice aspects about this album. It isn’t all bad, but I really do miss the old style this band once possessed.

Overall rating: 2.5/5

Friday, June 24, 2011

Come Cover Me: Zombie by Sarah Jezebel Deva

Deva covered Zombie on her new album The Corruption Of Mercy, which will be released on 27th June.
Zombie, one of the biggest hits of Irish rock band The Cranberries, was released in 1994. It's a protest song from No Need to Argue album.

In my opinion it is qutie good cover. Though I am not fond of the long guitar ending, the piano part at the end of the song fits in well.

The Cranberries

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Heavy Metal Burger Fix

Food is so metal - obviously. Previously, I have posted about the Vegan Black Metal chef, who sings and performs his recipes in black metal style. And now in another melding of food and heavy metal, I,a  self-professed foodie, present you with an eatery just profiled on Food Network's Eat St., Grill 'Em All - a food truck owned by heavy metal lovers serving burgers named for heavy metal bands & personalities.

Check out the menu here.

Located in Los Angeles, this place looks like pure win! I would definitely make an effort to go here if I were in the neighbourhood!


Monday, June 20, 2011

The Myötähäpeä

The band I would love to see live one day but that won't happen*.
The Myötähäpeä'a guitarist Tuomas Holopainen said, the band's playlist consists of two songs - Sukset by Popeda and For Whom The Bell Tolls by Metallica. Still they want to add a ballad to make the gig a bit longer. 


The Myötähäpeä gang:
lead vocals - Tony Virtanen
backing vocals - Jamppa Lautamäki  
drums - Heikki Kovalainen 
guitar - Tuomas Holopainen
bass - Emppu Vuorinen
keys - Jukka Nevalainen 

 * This band was created just for fun during the NW's Summer Camp 2010. That's why, they won't ever perform live. (maybe)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

CD Review: The Metamorphosis Melody by Midnattsol

I love Midnattsol - always have since I stumbled upon them a few years back.  Their song "Desolation" still brings a bit lump to my throat and the odd tear to my eye to this day.  Their sound in their previous two albums was characterized by a thick, bassy, voluptuousness unlike anything else in the Gothic world - with a bit of folkiness thrown in for good measure.  Lead vocalist Carmen Espenaes (little sis to Liv Kristine) has a unique tone to her voice for the genre and I have always enjoyed it even though it differs vastly from her sister's.

The Metamorphosis Melody marks an evolution in Midnattsol's sound.  From the get-go, with the title track, we are treated to a jumpier version of Midnattsol, and as we journey through the CD, the listener hears a lot of symphonic, and, to my ear, progressive, elements.  The songs are more complex than in previous offerings, and they are more upbeat and almost power metal-ish in nature.  The compositions are terrific and at times pretty frakking rollicking.  This is their fastest album yet, and I loved that about it.

Lyrically, this is all over the place: there are fantasy themes, environmental themes, and songs about personal development, as well as the typical Gothic-y loneliness/sadness stuff.  There are two songs sung in Carmen's native tongue, Norwegian, and there is a bonus track out there that is growled.

Standout songs for me are "The Metamorphosis Melody", "Kong Valemons Kamp," "Spellbound" and the acoustic ballad, "Goodbye."

There is one glaring issue I have with this album, excellent though I found the music: the mixing is terrible.  Specifically, Carmen's voice in all but one song sounds drowned out by the music.  Before the hard copy of the CD was available to me and before I got my hands on it, I listened to a download.  I thought perhaps I had a bad torrent because I could barely hear Carmen's singing.  I also found I needed the lyrics in the booklet, so I was grateful when my copy came so I could read along.  In one of the best songs of the album, "Kong Valemons Kamp" - which is awesome - I can barely make out what Carmen is singing.  In some songs, she sounds like she's almost whispering.  This really detracts from the overall impact of the music and it  affected my enjoyment of the album.  I think this is such a crying shame because this is a really excellent album and the fact that the vocals are so hard to make out clearly is almost its downfall.  Almost.  The vocal melodies are absolutely lovely but they lack the oomph they require to give the listener that impact they need to make them shine.  This isn't a problem with Carmen's voice at all, make no mistake; she's as great as ever.  She's just a little lost in here somewhere.  The only song where the vocals weren't an issue in the mix was in the acoustic "Goodbye."  I think whoever mixed this CD needs his ears checked.

Anyway, apart from that, the album is strong and I hope it launches Midnattsol into something grand!

Metal from Canada: Kobra and the Lotus

I just found this band today via John at Sugar and Spikes Music and Sonic Cathedral.  Originally hailing from Calgary (OMG...there is metal in Calgary???) , Kobra and the Lotus a are female-fronted metal-rock crossover band featuring classically trained Brittany Paige on lead vocals.  One site I read said, "Imagine Lee Aaron fronting Iron Maiden and you get an idea of what this hard rocking quintet is all about."  Without a doubt, Paige has definite pipes, though the four songs I've listened to do not contain any classical vocals.  This band is making some waves, and have toured the UK; they'll be touring Europe this summer in Spain, Belgium, France, and again in the UK.  They have one album out, entitled Out of the Pit and an upcoming CD due to be released in August.

The reference to Lee Aaron is interesting for me.  I was a Lee Aaron fan as a teenager (God...) and Kobra & the Lotus have a very retro-ish feel to their sound, and Brittany reminds me of vocalists like Lee Aaron for sure.  She has also been compared to Doro Pesch.

Here is their new video for the song "Welcome to My Funeral" from the upcoming CD.  Check them out!

Kobra and the Lotus are:

Brittany Paige - Vocals
Chris Swenson - Guitars
Griffin Kissack - Drums
Peter Dimov - Bass
Tim Brown - Guitars

You can find them at these fine locations: - there are three songs there available for free download
Official Site

Maybe if they come to Vancouver, I'll get a chance to see them, 'cause guess who's moving to Vancouver? :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Elis Announces New Vocalist

The wait is over: Elis has announced their replacement for Sandra Schleret as Simone Christinat, who hails from Switzerland. Simone is also the lead vocalist for Swiss symphonic-ish metallers Legenda Aurea. Their first concert together will be next month.

Here is a sample of Simone's voice, in Legenda Aurea's "Years of Coldness."

And here is an example of her singing live, also "Years of Coldness."

I think this could be good!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The mixing sessions for NW new album Imaginaerum are finished

Today in the studio diary Tuomas announced that the mixing sessions are finished. The mastering will be later in the autumn. Meanwhile, they are going to design the cover, complet the instrumental and orchestral versions of the album, plan the upcoming tour and shoot the movie. 

Imaginaerum consists of 13 songs totalling 75 minutes. To find out more read the diary.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

CD Review: Týr's Lay of Thrym

Týr is:

Heri Joensen – vocals, guitar
Terji Skibenæs – guitar
Gunnar H. Thomsen – bass
Kári Streymoy – drums

Like Ensiferum, Týr is one of my favorite folk metal bands. Awaiting this new release has me on the edge of my seat because I have always been such a big fan of this band’s music since I first started listening to them! What separates them from other metal groups is their uniqueness in both style and flare. They do not even have a keyboarder and they still sound great without one too and of course in their genre, it is unique to not have a keyboardist. Also Heri Joensen’s vocals are great as well, so unique that no one can even come close to his abilities!

So the question remains; will this be another great release by Týr? As of late, Týr has been making their songs faster and more upbeat than what they did in their earlier releases. Of course as I always mention, every band evolves and never wants to stay the same so that bands can stay fresh sounding. Well let’s dive into this album with my traditional song by song review of The Lay of Thrym.

Here is my rating system revised for both songs and albums:
6/5 = Classic/Perfect
5/5 = Outstanding/ Near perfect
4.5/5 = Amazing/Excellent
4/5 = Great/ Worthy material
3.5/5 = Above average/ Good work
3/5 = Average/ Kind of bland
2.5/5 = Sub par/ Bland
2/5 = Poor/ Rushed
1.5/5 = Awful/ Garbage
1.0/5= Pathetic/ Worthless
0/5 = Abomination/AutoTuned crap

1. “Flames of the Free”: No question that this is a fun and catchy metal song. Fast paced and furious, this song is a great opener and is sure to impress many! This is very power metal sounding, only with that flare that Týr provides. Laying down some impressive vocals from Heri Joensen as well as catchy riffs, this is a great way to open the album! (4/5)

2. “Shadow of the Swastika”: Without a doubt, my favorite song on the album. This song, judging by what I heard and by the lyrics, is a retaliation to certain groups of people in which Heri says “kiss my Scandinavian ass”. That is amazing and this is indeed the most angry song this band has ever composed! The first verse is about the German organizations accusing Týr (and bands like them) that they are a band who promotes Nazism and racism through ancient symbols of Scandinavian mythology. The second verse is a total bashing of Nazism and racism in general! So wow, I had no idea that Týr was capable of writing something so angry! This is a great song and one of my favorites by this band! (5/5)

3. “Take Your Tyrant”: Another upbeat song with a very typical Týr riff to begin the song with some very bombastic vocals from Joensen yelling TAKE YOUR TYRANT! Indeed a fun song to get into done very well. (4/5)

4. “Evening Star”: A slower, more ballad feel than the first three songs. I really like the lyrics in this song as it adds so much emotion in this song. I really like the faster more upbeat part of the chorus as it is very catchy indeed. A very nice solo here too. Another worthy song! (4.5/5)

5. “Hall Of Freedom”: Right away we are back into another furious song again! Damn this song is catchy! Very cool hooks and lyrics once again, and is another song worth listening to. Though not the strongest song on the album, still a great song to get your fist pumping to! (4/5)

6. “Fields Of The Fallen”: Judging by the beginning of this track, I would of never guessed this was a Týr song. It starts out with some traditional power chord riffing and then it erupts into a furious intro solo. There are basically no folk elements in this song which is disappointing, but this song proves that they can expand their style. The main chorus is a little repetitive I will admit but damn the guitar solos really rock on this song. (3.5/5)

7. “Konning Hans”: Ah yes, we get a song sung in Danish! Very cool! Unlike the previous songs, this one is done more in their traditional style; slower with more progressive elements. Great vocal melodies with plenty of folk elements throughout make this a great track indeed! (4.5/5)

8. “Ellindur Bondi A Jadri”: Now that we got a song in Danish, this one is in Faroese! Very nice! That is what I like about Týr. They choose to do different things and aren’t afraid to take chances! Another fast paced song with power metal elements. The solo in this song is mind-blowing as well! Very good track again with great melodies! (4/5)

9. “Nine Worlds of Lore”: The intro reminds me of the “Flames of the Free” intro. While not one of the stronger tracks on the album, it still has that cool Týr sound we all come to like. A catchy song, but not one of the better songs. (3.5/5)

10. “The Lay of Thrym”: The title track as well as the most complex and longest song on the album! A very good intro followed by an ass-kicking lead into some serious folk metal fury! Once again the power metal elements are present and Joensen once again lays down some impressive vocal tracks. The guitar riffs and harmonies are very well put together as well! Definitely worth a listen! (4.5/5)

The next two tracks are bonus tracks, but they are also covers of two Dio sung songs (perhaps in memory of his life.. RIP Dio). So I am just going to compare both versions and give the one I liked better!

11. “I” (Black Sabbath cover): This is honestly a very good cover of this song as I know that Týr could do no doubt! Dio is a tough act to follow of course, but Joensen is a great vocalist too and he puts his heavy metal fury into this. Not as good as the original, but worth a listen for sure!

12. “Stargazers” (Rainbow cover): This is a hard song to sing and perform no doubt. When I first saw this, being that this is my favorite Rainbow song, I was skeptical if Týr could actually pull this off, but they sure as hell did. Granted, the vocals by Joensen are not as good as Dio because he is a tough act to follow as I mentioned earlier. Also, Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar work and style is hard to emulate and Cozy Powell’s drumming in the beginning of the song is tough to get down too. But damn this is as good of a cover as it could be with what Týr did to it. Standing ovation for Týr, not only for covering these two Dio songs, but for paying tribute to one of the greatest vocalists of all time! I am sure Dio would be proud to hear these versions!

So that is my song by song review of The Lay of Thrym. Here are my overall thoughts:

-Very catchy and upbeat songs throughout! Not a single dull moment!
-Great guitar melodies/solos and awesome singing by Joensen once again!
-Very cool lyrics and themes.
-Great Dio covers!

-The songs aren’t as complex as a normal Týr album, with shorter songs and more power metal elements.
-Less folksy sounding than their previous releases.
-A few filler songs.

If you are a big fan of the style from Eric The Red, then you would be a little disappointed with this release because it is much faster and more power metal oriented than what they usually do. In my opinion, I think that this is a worthy Týr album, and unlike their older material, I think this album is certainly easier to digest for sure. I think they definitely are masters of their style and they know how to keep material fresh to listen to. I am going to give this album a horns up no doubt! \m/ Everything this band has done is nothing short of amazing. These guys continue to rock, and I know they aren’t done making quality albums. I actually recommend their whole discography including this one because these guys are certainly on top of the folk metal genre! Very impressive and I hope to hear more from these guys in the future with more great albums!
Overall rating: 4/5

Nightwish goes karaoke

If you happen to be a fan of karaoke and you want to sing NW songs without crappy versions from the Internet, you can buy Heavy Karaoke - Hits of Nightwish in their official shop.

1. Over The Hills And Far Away
2. Wish I Had An Angel
3. Nemo
4. Sleeping Sun
5. Wishmaster
6. Slaying The Dreamer
7. Ever Dream
8. Bless The Child
9. Dead To The World
10. Eva
11. Amaranth

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fabio Lione talks about Kamelot & new CD of Rhapsody of Fire

Rhapsody of Fire's singer and current singer of Kamelot talks in an interview for Austrian Heavyzine about the new RoF album From Chaos to Eternity and touring with Kamelot. Fabio also revealed that he would be more than happy to join the band permanently if they aked him to do so.

Pain's new single

The second single from the new album You Only Live Twice is out now. After the first single Dirty Woman, Pain came up with a single called The Great Pretender.
I think the song itself is ok. Yet I would like to meet the person who came up with the idea of this video. Giant bunny, cow, gorilla with bananas and carrots.

Come Cover Me: Smells Like Teen Spirit by Tarja

If you think that Poison and Still of the Night are the worst covers she has come up with yet, let me disappoint you! In my humble opinion, this one is definitely the worst song of her repertoire (so far). The song was performed during the Marimekko fashion show in 2007.

Smells Like Teen Spirit is a song by American rock band Nirvana and since its release, it has been massively covered by lots of bands and artists from different genres.

Let's have a look at couple of recent but also older covers.

Miley Cyrus 
The Ukulele Orchestra (could be better without singing)

Jazz cover by Paul Anka 

My personal favourite Herr-A-Chick

Within Temptation's Sinéad single

Today Sinéad video was officially released (no copyright blah blah finally). The single will be released in the beginning of July and will contain special remixes from four dance producers - Benno De Goeij, Scooter, VNV Nation and Groove Coverage.

WT said about the single: "Choosing to release “Sinéad” as the follow-up single, underlines our ambition to break down the walls between musical genres."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Find: Liv Moon

Because I have a crappy memory, I have no idea where on the interwebs I found this band, so if it's one of the blogs I frequent and you're put out that I don't remember you, let me apologize.

Anyway, Liv Moon is a Japanese symphonic power metal band fronted by a Swedish-born singer named Akane Liv, who also, according to various sources, is part Polish, Korean, and Japanese.  She's lovely to look and she's a treat to listen to. In March of this year, Liv Moon put out their third album since their inception in 2009, entitled Golden Moon, and it is a very difficult album to find if you're not in Japan or Asia.  Luckily, I found a decent torrent on some obscure site that luckily didn't give me a virus, and I've been playing this steadily for a few days now.

Akane trained at the Takarazuka Music School, which is attached to the Takarazuka Revue, which is an all-female Japanese theatre troupe.  As one might expect from someone with that background, Akane's voice is extremely dramatic, and so is the music contained in Golden Mood.  At times, it's so dramatic it's hard to take seriously - but I got over that quickly as I got lost in the music.  Despite some English song titles, the album is sung in Japanese, so I can't comment on lyrical content or themes, but the CD is a treat to listen to and I highly recommend giving it a try.  Akane is not a one trick pony; as you go through the tracks, you'll hear how versatile her voice is and that she has a hell of a lot of range.

Here is Liv Moon with the song and video that introduced me to them, the title track "Golden Moon."  As The Protagonist of Black Wind Metal pointed out to me, there is a "Dies Irae" influence in here.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tarja to release a Christmas DVD

On Thursday, Tarja left a message on her FB: "Mixing a concert with Kalevi, Marzi, Markku and me from 2009. I feel that I could sing these songs way better TODAY. It is like time has frozen. All together it sounds really nice."

But this is not the only thing she will release. According to her latest blog there is going to be a new rock album and she will do "shocking" images for the new album in India.
As for now, we don't know when the DVD or albums will be released but we will keep you updated!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Come Cover Me: Meadows of Heaven by Gregorian

I almost forgot about this song until 2 weeks ago. While ''studying hard'' for my final exams I made a little break and tried to find something interesting on TV. As I was checking every channel I stopped on Christian channel because I heard very familiar music. It was Gregorian's cover version of NW song. This song was covered in 2009 and released on Masters of Chant Chapter VII album where you can find covers of artists such as Kate BushDepeche Mode, or ABBA

Gregorian is a German band which performs Gregorian chant-inspired versions of modern pop and rock songs.  To find out more about this band check out their website

In my opinion this song suits more female vocals. Although the guitar solo sounds interesting, I miss the ''soul'' ending of the original version. So I go for the original version this time.

Here is the original version

Heritage by Opeth

Couple of days ago, Swedish progressive metal band Opeth announced the track list and cover artwork of their tenth album  Heritage. The album will be released on 20 September via Roadrunner Records and also will be released as a standard version, as a special edition with extra stuff, as a box set exclusive to the Roadrunner and the band's own official Omerch webstore and as a double LP. Vocalist Mikael Åkerfeldt described Heritage as  ''quite intense at times in some 'old' murky way, and quite beautiful and stark at times''. 

The track list:
 1. Heritage
 2. The Devil's Orchard
 3. I Feel The Dark
 4. Slither
 5. Nepenthe
 6. Haxprocess
 7. Famine
 8. The Lines In My Hand
 9. Folklore
10. Marrow Of The Earth