Author Archive

Calea Dreaming – The Rainforest Canopy

Posted in Instrumental, Metal with tags , , on 4th February 2019 by izaforestspirit

Calea Dreaming
The Rainforest Canopy
Released 9th December 2018
Atmospheric Post Black Metal / Ambient
Self-Released

Calea Dreaming - The Rainforest Canopy

‘The Rainforest Canopy’ is the debut album from the Australian post-black metal one-man project Calea Dreaming. All his music is instrumental and it is inspired by nature, specifically the landscapes surrounding the New South Wales region of Australia where the musician is based.

I’m not all that well versed in post-black metal but based on my limited exposure to this sub-genre, anything with a “post” prefix, be it metal or rock tends to imply that it is a mixture of that style with some added ambient. This is definitely the case here. Aside from the guitar riffs and some of the drum work, this album has very little to do with black metal. As stated in the intro, there are no vocals on this album. The songs are melodic, atmospheric and very long, with the shortest track Rivers of Rosewood clocking in at over nine minutes. This is what I would describe as “chill-out” music, the kind that you might want to put on when you want to relax, enjoy a hot drink and a good book. I almost dozed off in my chair while writing this review!!

If any of you suffer from insomnia I would recommend that you give this album a go. It creates this tranquil mood, inviting the listener to close his or her eyes and picture themselves in one of the landscapes referred to in the songs. You can actually hear the sound of rain falling in the background on A Storm In The Mountains. There are also violins and other string instrumentals present on here, all contributing to the relaxing atmosphere.

Overall, ‘The Rainforest Canopy’ is a very atmospheric album which I would recommend to those who enjoy ambient and instrumental metal. It’s very relaxing and pleasant to listen to. It is not really my type of music though so I am unlikely to play it again unless I have trouble sleeping.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Advertisements

At The Gates and Behemoth live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal with tags , , , , , on 31st January 2019 by izaforestspirit

Wolves In The Throne Room, At The Gates, Behemoth
Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland
30th January 2019

My first gig of 2019! I have been waiting for a long time for a chance to see Behemoth again. The last time I saw them live was Tuska Open Air 2012 on their first tour shortly after their front-man Nergal’s recovery from leukemia. I have kept up to date with all their releases and news and last year I could not believe my luck when I discovered that they are coming to my home town.

The venue was sold out on the night and the there was already a sizable crowd right from the start. I could not really get into the first band – Wolves In The Throne Room. Their sound can be described as a mixture of atmospheric black metal and dark ambient. Some of the songs they played were incredibly slow and more ambient than black metal. While this kind of music might be fine to listen to at home, it’s not really something that I want to hear live 2.5/5

I guess that most people who are into melodic death metal are familiar with At The Gates. They are after all one of the forefathers of the genre with some genre-defining releases to boot. This was not the first time that I have seen them live and I hope that it will not be my last. They had a few issues with their performances. First, their vocalist Tomas got the name of the city wrong, a minor mistake which he spent the rest of the night apologizing for. The other issue they had turned out to be more serious – a broken drum set.


It took some time to fix the problem but luckily they managed to sort it out in time to play a few more songs. A very good show overall despite the setbacks. 4/5

Finally came the moment I have been waiting seven years for. Behemoth started their set a little later than planned but it was definitely worth the extra time. They had an impressive amount of visuals and various props all contributing to a wonderful performance. They played some of the hits such as ‘Decade of Therion’(my personal favourite), ‘Chant For Eschaton 2000’, ‘Slaves Shall Serve’, ‘Lucifer’ along with lots of songs from the new album including ‘Bartzabel’ and ‘Wolves of Siberia. What a fantastic show! It was even better than the last time that I saw them live. 5/5

In summary, the only band I did not enjoy watching live was Wolves In The Throne Room. It was a little too slow for my liking. At The Gates managed to overcome their technical problem and put on a great show. Behemoth were everything that I hoped for and more. I absolutely loved their show. This was their first time in Tampere and I really hope that they came back again in the future.

Iza Raittila

 

Blood Times – On A Mission

Posted in Metal with tags , , , on 26th January 2019 by izaforestspirit

Bloody Times
On A Mission
Released 11th January 2019
Heavy Metal
Self-Released

Bloody Times - On a Mission

‘On A Mission’ is the second album from the German heavy metal band Bloody Times. The band started as a solo project of bassist Simon Pfundstein back in 2014. He was later joined by two former members of Iced Earth, drummer Raphael Saini and vocalist John Greedy. This album also features guest performances from various heavy metal musicians including Ross Friedman aka Ross the Boss (ex-Manowar).

The first thing that struck me when listening to this album was how much it reminded me of old Iced Earth. Luckily I happen to like old Iced Earth, so it’s good to hear John Greedy behind the mike again. The mid-paced opening track Alliance is one of the more melodic songs on here. I guess that this was meant to be some sort of classic metal ballad and as such it works reasonably well. I just wish that they would have omitted the progressive, ponderous and slow guitar parts mid-way through the song. It’s not the best start to the album but luckily what follows is the energetic, thrash metal style Fort Sumter– easily my favourite song on here due to excellent guitar work and powerful vocals. Now that’s more like it! If only this track was the first one….

Die In A Hole also has that thrash metal vibe to it; it is more varied in pace, not quite as fast ‘Fort Sumter’ but not too slow either. There is a good range of guitar riffs and Mr. Greedy manages to find the right balance between low pitched shouting and clean vocals to match the tone of the music. I also like the reworked version of Curse of Genevieve. What lets this album down is a short track called The Warning (Until Blood Boils pt.1) which falls under the category of what I commonly refer to as “filler”. I honestly do not know what I found more irritating, the strange vocal effects or the ultra dull-sounding, doom metal style guitar riffs plodding along in the background. Time to skip this. Next! Luckily the part 2 marks a return to the fast and aggressive heavy metal.

Overall, despite its flaws, ‘On A Mission’ is a good heavy metal album which I would recommend to fans of old Iced Earth.

3.5/5
Iza Raittila

More details about the new TYR album

Posted in Metal, Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , on 18th January 2019 by izaforestspirit

It’s been six years since their previous effort ‘Valkyrja’… Now the Faroese progressive folk metal band TYR have announced that their new album will be called ‘Hel’ and it is scheduled to be released on 8th March 2019 via Metal Blade Records.

You can see the cover-art and tracklisting below:

1. Gates of Hel
2. All Heroes Fall
3. Ragnars Kvæði
4. Garmr
5. Sunset Shore
6. Downhill Drunk
7. Empire of the North
8. Far from the Worries of the World
9. King of Time
10. Fire and Flame
11. Against the Gods
12. Songs of War
13. Alvur Kongur

In the meantime here is a preview of one of the new tracks:

For more information go to:

http://www.tyr.fo

https://www.facebook.com/tyrband

Belle Morte – Game On

Posted in Metal with tags , on 15th January 2019 by izaforestspirit

Belle Morte
Game On
Released 11th April 2018
Gothic Metal / Symphonic Metal
Self-Released

Belle Morte - Game On
‘Game On’ is the first EP from the Belorussian Gothic metal artist Belle Morte. This one-woman project was launched in 2015 and all her music is available for streaming and download from the Bandcamp page.

Female-fronted Gothic metal bands are a dime in a dozen these days. It almost seems that everyone wants to become the next Nightwish. Well, not quite everyone. If you’re looking for another Nightwish clone with over-the-top symphonic, Disney soundtrack -style tunes, operatic vocals under the guise of a metal band you have come to the wrong place… Belle Morte has a very melodic, ethereal voice but is not quite as powerful as that of Tarja Turunen or Floor Jansen. So forget the Nightwish comparisons. Her vocal style is more like that of Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation).

The one thing that I enjoyed most about this EP was the keyboards, the sombre sounds of the cello and violin sandwiched neatly between the guitars and drumming. It is impressive just how well all this works together. Devilish Deal is the most prominent example of this. The instrumental arrangements are absolutely beautiful as are the vocals.

Overall, the only issue I have with this EP is that it is too short. ‘Game On’ offers four tracks of beautifully arranged and skillfully executed Gothic/symphonic metal. I cannot wait to hear a full album.

4/5

Iza Raittila

The Raven Age announce new album and European tour

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , , on 11th January 2019 by izaforestspirit

2019 will be a busy year for the British groove metal band The Raven Age. They are currently putting the finishing touches on their second album ‘The Conspiracy’ which is scheduled hit the shops on 8th March 2019 via their own record label Corvid Records.

You can check out the cover art and track-listing below:

The Raven Age - Conspiracy

1. Bloom of the Poison Seed
2. Betrayal of the Mind
3. Fleur De Lis
4. The Day the World Stood Still
5. Stigmata
6. Surrogate
7. Seventh Heaven
8. Forgotten World
9. The Face that Launched a Thousand Ships
10. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
11. Scimitar
12. Grave of the Fireflies

The album release will be followed by a European and UK tour this spring starting in Bristol on 20th March.

Here is the full schedule:

MARCH
Wed 20th – Bristol, The Fleece
Thu 21st – Manchester, Rebellion
Sat 23rd – Newcastle, Think Tank
Sun 24th – Glasgow, Attic
Tue 26th – Leeds, Key Club
Wed 27th – Stoke, Sugarmill
Thu 28th – London, Underworld
Fri 29th – Southampton, Joiners
Sun 31st – Biebob, Vosselaar, BELGIUM

APRIL
Mon 1st – La Boule Noire, Paris, FRANCE
Wed 3rd – Backstage Halle, Munich, GERMANY
Thu 4th – Colossaal, Aschaffenburg, GERMANY
Sat 6th – Luxor, Cologne, GERMANY
Sun 7th – Cassiopeia, Berlin, GERMANY
Tue 9th – Headcrash, Hamburg, GERMANY
Wed 10th – Poppodium W2, Den Bosch, HOLLAND

In the meantime you listen to one of the new songs here:
For more details visit:
https://www.theravenage.com/
https://www.facebook.com/TheRavenAge

 

Inferitvm – The Grimoires

Posted in Metal with tags , , , on 8th January 2019 by izaforestspirit

Inferitvm
The Grimoires
Released 25th January 2019
Atmospheric Black Metal
Released via Inverse Records

Inferitvm - The Grimoires

The Grimoires’ is the second album from the Spanish black metal band Inferitvm. The group was formed in 2014 and they are based in the Balearic island of Mallorca. It’s been a long while since I last heard any Spanish black metal. The main band of the genre I knew from there was Asgaroth, who called it a day back in 2007. So I guess it’s about time that I check out some of the current black metal scene in that region.

One quick glance at the cover and the song titles gives you a good clue about the themes of this album. This is very much centered around the occult, witchcraft and mysticism. As for the music, what we have here are eleven tracks of atmospheric black metal which appears to draw inspiration from the Nordic black metal scene, most notably Emperor, Satyricon and to a lesser extent Immortal. The vocalist has a similar style to that of Abbath. There are a fair few melodic elements on here such as the guitar passages and the keyboards on Malleus Maleficarum. They even included a short keyboard solo at the end of the track.

Another song that caught my attention is Goetia of Shadows. The pace is a bit more varied on here, ranging from slow and atmospheric to mid-paced and aggressive. The melodic guitar and keyboard parts at the start and mid-way through the track really reminded me of early Emperor. This song also marks a turning point in the album moving towards a faster, more guitar focused black metal sound enhanced by Vltra’s grim croaking and less keyboards.

In summary, ‘The Grimoires’ is a good example of modern atmospheric black metal that is heavily influenced by Northern European black metal from the 1990s. I reckon that fans of Emperor and early Satyricon would enjoy this album. I certainly do.

4/5
Iza Raittila