Archive for Gothic Metal

The Vision Bleak reveal the title and the cover art for new album

Posted in News, Studio Report with tags , , on 3rd November 2015 by izaforestspirit

The German Gothic horror metal duo The Vision Bleak have recently announced that their new album, the follow up to ‘Witching Hour’, will be entitled ‘Into the Unknown’. You can check out the cover art here:

Here’s some comments about it from the band:

“The title pretty much sums up what we have been working on the last couple of months. When we started composing for this we didn’t know where we will be led to and our goal was to be truly honest and don’t think about nor care about anything we’ve done before. We were led into ourselves. The great ambivalence of our true beings. It will be an emotional record.”

Ureas – The Black Heart Album

Posted in CD, Experimental, Metal with tags , on 19th September 2015 by izaforestspirit

The Black Heart Album
Released 23rd October 2015
“Gothic” Power Metal/Progressive Metal/ Experimental Crossover
Released via Hänsel & Gretel Records, a division of M.I.G-Music Gmb

The Black Heart Album’ is the second release from the Danish Gothic power metal band Ureas. It is the follow-up to their debut album ‘The Naked Truth’. The band was founded back in 2006 by the husband and wife team Heidi and Per Johansson.

Ureas’s style is rather difficult to classify and the term “Gothic power metal” can be very misleading. These days it seems that any melodic metal band with a female singer will be labeled as “Gothic” or a Nightwish-clone even though it might not have anything to do with either the band or the genre. For those expecting another Nightwish-clone, prepare to be disappointed (or relieved). I can safely say that Ureas has very little in common with the world-renowned fantasy metal band. For one thing they have actually two singers; both Heidi and Per contribute an equal amount when it comes to the vocals. Whether they are singing on their own or as a duet, they both leave their mark on each song. Secondly, the power metal elements account for only a small fraction of a wide variety of styles present on this album.

The Gothic element comes from Heidi’s angelic and melodic voice, which contrasts the harsher and more aggressive vocals of her husband. Oh, by “melodic” and “angelic” I don’t mean operatic but rather soft and innocent sounds akin to early Within Temptation. Seven Deadly Sins is a good example of how well they work together to create a song that is memorable for all the right reasons. That particular track has a fairly simple construction: uplifting and playful, power metal -esque guitar riffs, symphonic keyboards, melodic female vocals and the brawny sounds of Mr. Johansson.

If only they stuck to the same style throughout the album I would have been happy. Alas but no. What comes next is the jaw-dropping abomination that is the title track, which sounds as though Jonathan Davis from Korn started rapping to groove metal playing in the background. Luckily Seal This Moment marks a return to the more familiar (and in all honesty better) Gothic power metal style. This particular song is more complex and progressive-sounding than ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ but it still captures that lovely symbiosis of the two vocal styles. Sadly my relief is short lived for it is not long until these guys start experimenting again. The subsequent tracks feature everything from lullabies, groove metal guitars, techno/electronica and Shut The Fuck Up – a cringe-worthy nu-metal track with highly unimaginative lyrics consisting of mostly swear words.

To conclude, I think that the best words to sum to my thoughts on this album would be “confusing” and “inconsistent”. At times they sound like a completely different band. Some songs are decent but on the whole it feels as though Ureas are not sure as to which style they want to focus on.


Iza Raittila

Moonspell – Extinct

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 24th February 2015 by Pieni

Gothic metal
Release: 6th March 2015
Via Napalm Records

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I’ve never liked labelling Moonspell as gothic metal as I’ve always felt they were much more than that. Until now. Well, actually, until “Omega White”, but since its counterpart “Alpha Noir” had that much-more in it, I still went for the vague “dark metal” at the time. Three years later, “Extinct” follows the path of “Omega White” and it leaves no room for vague descriptions – it’s gothic metal.

Reading what I’ve just written and listening to the first single – a very pop-ish first single – “The Last Of Us” might give you a false impression of mainstream, so please read this until the end. Because “Extinct” is quite a masterpiece. Me being able to pinpoint what genre of music they’re playing doesn’t mean they’ve lost that little je ne sais quoi that makes them unique.

There aren’t best songs here. Sure, everyone will have their favorites, but all tracks have been carefully crafted to a prime state. So despite the epic orchestral arrangements of “Extinct” and the fact that it’s the heaviest track, I believe the album was named after it due to the fatality ring such title bears and which echoes through others – “Breathe (Until We Are No More)”, “The Last Of Us”, “Funeral Bloom”, “A Dying Breed”, “The Future Is Dark”… See the pattern? And let me tell you that “La Baphomette” is macabre enough for your mind to associate it with the end of days. The short final track sung in French seems like it came straight from one of those horror-themed fairgrounds.

“Medusalem” will bring you vivid memories of The Sisters Of Mercy but only for a short while. It soon starts making new memories of Moonspell alone, with the richness of its guitars and some Arabian sounds. In fact, the whole guitar work is to be praised. Turning to a more gothic direction gave them the chance of putting the roughness aside and producing elaborate but fluid pieces. A special highlight on the solo of the enthralling “The Future Is Dark”, where, as I like to say, the guitar weeps its strings out. In “Domina”, they cry with a bit more vigor.

“Malignia” will seduce you with its dreamy nature, even if an ominous nightmare lurks around the chorus. This song comes right after “The Last Of Us”, which I’ve previously referred as pop-ish, so it’s quite the contrast. And mind that I’m not complaining about “The Last Of Us”, as its easy-going vibrancy is catchy and very pleasant. I was just concerned at the time of its release as a single that the whole album would be like that. After 10 albums – a double one included – I guess I should’ve known better, eh?


Renata “Pieni” Lino

Wretched Soul replace headliners at Bridgaard Metal Fest

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 27th February 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson


Thrash metal tyrants Wretched Soul have replaced Finnish progressive maestros Constantine at the Bridgaard Metal Fest. Wretched Soul will be joined by the likes of pirate metallers Red Rum (as seen at Warhorns Festival 2013), Scottish death metallers Exile The Traitor and Gothic doom coven Edenfall, as well as Alice In Thunderland, Bharghest, Satanic Malfunctions, Apnoea and acoustic metal solo act Liam White.

Tickets for this all-day event are priced at the low price of a fiver and are available online from this location and will be taking place at Basement (Formerly Shades Nightclub) in Bridlington. The event is all-ages but valid ID will be required for the bar. This will also be Wretched Soul’s only northern show before they support black metal legends Hecate Enthroned in July as well as Bharghest’s final show before Valkyrian Festival in November.

Wretched Soul online:


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Morguenstern – Sepulchral Burden

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 2nd February 2014 by Pieni

“Sepulchral Burden”
Dark/gothic metal
Released on 22nd January 2014
Via GlobMetal Records

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Morguenstern is a Russian dark/gothic metal band – in lack of a better genre. Despite the English title, they sing in their native language, but don’t let that discourage you (in case you don’t speak Russian, that is). Even if you can’t sing along properly, you’ll admit that it suits the music: horror is the lyrical theme (“zombies, vampires and cemeteries”, says the press release) and Morgana sounds quite creepy and ominous when singing in Russian.

She’s also in charge of the keyboards, to which she adds that same level of creepiness – you feel like you’re watching one of those black & white horror movies, where an ugly monster is about to snarl at you from the shadows – but sometimes those keys also take you to a more industrial atmosphere, although still in a dark way. Like “Последний путь” (last journey) or “Кровь” (blood), songs that I can totally imagine a bunch of goths dancing to.

“Идем со мной” is one of the most somber tracks, so I guess the “come with me” which the title means isn’t a very nice ride. The song itself, though, is one of the best.

“Sepulchral Burden” has several guest singers, the highlight being the title-track “Тяжесть могильная” with Alex Raymar from Desert. “До свидания” (farewell) is my second choice, but I’m not sure who the male vocals belong to.

All in all, I believe whoever has a thing for music which would play at an Adams Familiy party – meaning sinister but brisk at the same time – should try this out.

4 / 5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

EXCLUSIVE STREAM: Wolves by Edenfall

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd December 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Gothic doom metallers Edenfall have recently been working on their second album Under Sultry Moons and Velvet Skies. The guys – and gal – in Edenfall have been kind enough to let us stream Wolves, which is taken from the album. You can listen to the song down below.

Under Sultry Moons and Velvet Skies was recorded at Recorded at Batcave Studios, Cheltenham (England) and Sonic Forge Studios in Cardiff (Wales). The album will be released via Ravenheart Music but the release date is still to be confirmed. Artwork, as seen above, was made by Becca Dancer.

Edenfall online:

Aonia announce plans to record new EP entitled Sunchaser

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 8th December 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Midlandic mythic metal septet Aonia are currently cloistered away, writing and recording their next release – a six-track mini album of just over half an hour – which is planned for release on 5th April of 2014.

In a contrast to their dark, horror-inspired first release, City of Shadows, the new ‘mini-album’, entitled Sunchaser is a mixture of the uplifting – and the angry. Aonia’s new material sees the band dipping their toes further into progressive and power metal waters, with more prominent and intricate keyboards, as well as featuring dual lead coloratura soprano vocals. Co-vocalist Mel remarks:

Adding (co-vocalist) Jo to the band has given the music a whole new depth and life and I’m so excited by it. We’ve sung together for years – classically – so we’re really comfortable with each other. Having the opportunities for harmonies and contrasts really adds something special to the music. (Guitarist) James has taken on a more prominent role with backing vocals as well, so having the tenor to balance against keeps the vocals and the music cohesive. (Bassist) Gary and (drummer) Tony keep getting tighter and tighter, trying new, adventurous and creative ideas. Finally, (guitarist) Slick can shred like a cheese grater strapped to a chainsaw and Tim’s keys add so much drama and emphasis to the music. I am so overwhelmed by how much our music has evolved since we’ve started preparing this release, while still keeping the heart of Aonia sacred.

Having joined in January of 2012, bassist Gary considers his time in Aonia:

Having a done a lot of gigs in the last 2 years, it will be nice to have some time to reflect on the songs as individual parts and hear them as they will sound in their purest form. I am also looking forward to getting the latest songs created by the new line up out there to as many people as possible. Also, it is fantastic that we are all going to be contributing to the artwork – although I imagine my bass playing skills are definitely stronger than my drawing skills!

Guitarist James is also looking forward to the final product – and this is his first recording experience, as he wasn’t in the band when City of Shadows was recorded:

Having been in the band for 3 years now, I’ve seen virtually all of the various line-up changes. I can honestly say that we as a band have never felt so secure and comfortable with each other and I’m so excited by our future – now more than ever! And I’ll be selling something that I actually wrote too, which in itself is exciting!

Keyboardist Tim also comments:

As the newest member of the band, I have been struck by the great atmosphere and rapport there is between us. The songs have such energy and we have an awesome live sound with Mel and Jo‘s vocals giving us a melodic and harmonic edge that you don’t get in other bands. The musicianship in the band is awesome and I hope I can do the songs justice – I can’t wait to finish the new EP and to play them to our fans – at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about!

Vocal recordings, along with the final mixing, will be done by Simon Cliffe of Coventry Recording Studios, who has recorded bands such as Beholder and Internal Conflict. A release party is being planned at the Frog & Nightgown, Worksop on the 5th April, 2014.

Aonia online:



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