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Thorium – Thorium

Posted in Metal with tags , , , , on 17th November 2018 by izaforestspirit

Thorium
Thorium
Released 9th November 2018
Heavy Metal/Melodic Power Metal
Released via Rock N’ Growl Records

Thorium - Thorium

‘Thorium’ is the debut album from the Belgian heavy metal band of the same name. Thorium was formed two years ago and their line-up includes former members of Ostrogoth.

Just in case the connection to the band Ostrogoth was not obvious, this album includes a song called Ostrogoth. It’s an entertaining, albeit a little cheesy, piece of melodic power metal with powerful vocals and good guitar work. I like how they managed to get the guitars to mimic the sound of galloping horses towards the latter half of the track. Watch out, the Ostrogoths are coming!! Some of the songs reminded me of early works of Helloween, mostly due to the pace and the similarities in the vocal style.

There are also elements of traditional heavy metal and thrash metal on here. This is evident in tracks such as Godspeed with its catchy chorus as well as more varied but no less cheerful-sounding guitar melodies. They continue with the same mixture of heavy metal and power metal for the rest of the album. The final track Four by Number, Four by Fate is one of those that listeners are either going to love or hate. It definitely stands out on here for numerous reasons. Let’s start with the length – it’s just short of sixteen minutes which is very long even for a ballad. The style is a mish-mash of everything ranging from acoustic guitar instrument parts, progressive guitar riffs, power metal, heavy metal to some thrash metal thrown in just to keep you on your toes. Personally I think this might have worked better if it was broken up into two separate tracks.

Overall, Thorium’s debut album has a lot of things going for it. They have created a good balance of catchy and melodic heavy metal with enough variety to keep the listener entertained. I think that fans of power metal and heavy metal will enjoy it, especially those who are into Helloween and Iron Maiden.

3.5/5
Iza Raittila

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Hypocrisy and Kataklysm live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal with tags , , , , on 11th November 2018 by izaforestspirit

The Spirit, Hypocrisy, Kataklysm
Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland
10th November 2018

This time I opted for an evening of melodic death metal. My exposure to Hypocrisy’s music is limited a handful of songs from their old albums but I am fan of Peter Tägtgren’s other side projects so I figured it was about time that I checked out his main band. Similar things apply to Kataklysm – I discovered them via their singer Maurizio Iacono’s side project Ex Deo. Out of the two bands I am more familiar with Kataklysm, particularly their mid-career works such as ‘Epic (The Poetry of War)’ and ‘Shadows & Dust’.

First up was a German melodic black metal band called The Spirit. I have never heard of them before but I really enjoyed their show. Their music reminded me of Dissection and Taake. 4/5

Hypocrisy drew in a sizable crowd and rightfully so because they put on one hell of a show. They started off slow with the first song but then they really got going. Mr Tägtgren is quite the show-man and these guys did a good job of entertaining the audience. I stayed clear of the mosh-pit but I did do a fair amount of head-banging. The only thing that could have made their show better is if they had played ‘Osculum Obscenum’ but I guess you can’t have everything. 4/5

This was Kataklysm’s first time in Finland and I guess that if you like their current style you probably would have enjoyed their show. They played a lot of tracks from their recent albums which I am not particularly fond of. I actually prefer their older material. Luckily they played ‘Shadows & Dust’ which was the only highlight of the performance for me. This was not what I expected and I was left feeling a little disappointed. 2.5/5

Overall, it was a fun night out but I did not enjoy all the performances as much as I thought I would. The Spirit were surprisingly good and probably the best show of the night. Hypocrisy also put on a good show. As for Kataklysm, I do not like their latest album and I was really hoping to hear more old stuff. Maybe the next time I will check out Ex Deo live instead.

Iza Raittila

Escape The Fate announce ‘This War Is Ours’ 10th anniversary tour

Posted in Misc., News, Rock with tags , , , , on 9th November 2018 by izaforestspirit

The American rock band Escape The Fate have announced that their ‘This War Is Ours’ 10th anniversary tour will come to Europe at the start of next year. The tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of their debut album starts in The United States in December 2018. Then the European leg of the tour begins on 24th January 2019 in Bristol, The UK .

Here is the full schedule:

January 2019
Thu 24th – Bristol, UK, Thekla
Fri 25th – Manchester, UK, Gorilla
Sat 26th – Nottingham, UK, Rock City
Sun 27th – Dublin, Ireland, Voodoo Lounge
Mon 28th – Belfast, N. Ireland, Limelight 2
Tue 29th – Glasgow, Scotland, Garage
Thu 31st – Antwerp, Belgium, Zappa

February 2019

Fri 1st – Cologne, Germany, Kantine
Sat 2nd – Copenhagen, Denmark, Pumpehuset
Sun 3rd – Stockholm, Sweden, Fryshuset
Tue 5th – Helsinki, Finland, Nosturi
Thu 7th – Oslo, Norway, Parkteatreret
Fri 8th – Goteborg, Sweden, Sticky Fingers
Sat 9th – Hamburg, Germany, Grunspan
Sun 10th – Berlin, Germany, Bi Nuu
Mon 11th – Munich, Germany, Backstage Halle
Tue 12th – Prague, Czech Rep., Futurum
Thu 14th – Vienna, Austria, Szene
Fri 15th – Milan, Italy, Live Club
Sat 16th – Zug, Switzerland, Galvanik
Mon 18th – Paris, France, Le Trabendo
Tue 19th – Eidenhoven, Holland, Dynamo
Wed 20th – London, UK, Electric Ballroom
For more details visit:
http://www.escapethefate.com.
https://www.facebook.com/escapethefate/

Green Death – Hallowmass

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 31st October 2018 by izaforestspirit

Green Death
Hallowmass
Released 19th October 2018
Thrash Metal
Released via Combat Records

Green Death - Hallowmass

It’s been two years since I reviewed Green Death’s last album. Now the Iowa-based American thrash metal band is back with a new album called ‘Hallowmass’. I like the title, very well timed for this year’s Halloween…

The horror themes are difficult to miss as evidenced not only from the cover art but also from the song titles. Oh yes, Halloween is upon us. Get ready for your annual onslaught of werewolves, ghosts, witches and other spooky things. As far as the music goes, this is not far from where they left off with the previous album. They still remind me of mid-career Iced Earth. The predominant style is thrash metal but some tracks have a droning doom metal feel to them such as the slow and eerie-sounding She Couldn’t Live. The guitar work on that song actually made me think of Black Sabbath. They also occasionally incorporate elements of melodic death metal like the semi-growling vocals and the shredding guitars on The Betrayed – one of the more aggressive tracks on here.

The short instrumental Messis Diaboli is a beautiful, melodic piece which highlights the skill of the guitarists. Then it’s back to an unholy brew of thrash, doom and melodic death metal for the remainder of the album. It is not an easy mix for the listener to process. The vocals vary from howling to semi-growling. Personally I prefer the latter.

In summary, I had a hard time getting into ‘Hallowmass’. I was really hoping that this would be like Iced Earth’s ‘Horror Show’ album. Instead what we have here is an amalgamation of various styles which do not really work so well together. Some of the songs sound as though they were performed by a completely different band.

2.5/5

Iza Raittila

Ensiferum’s Acoustic tour comes to Europe this December

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , on 22nd October 2018 by izaforestspirit

The Finnish folk metal band Ensiferum have announced that they will be playing a series of acoustic shows in Europe this December. Here is more details about this special tour from their bassist Sami Hinkka:

“Just to tell you guys a bit more about the whole idea of these acoustic gigs. Ensiferum has always had acoustic elements and also whole acoustic songs on the albums but those have been impossible to add to traditional metal gigs. So we decided to create a setlist that would include songs that haven’t ever been played outside of Finland. Not just acoustic songs but also some very rare songs that we rearranged a bit to fit the acoustic atmosphere. Most of the setlist will be songs that haven’t been heard ever outside of Finland so even if you saw Ensiferum within the last years, this show will blow your mind! Partying, beer, moshpits, singalong, crowd surfing has always been a big part of Ensiferum’s metal gigs, how about this time? Fear not, it’s not going to be a ballads-only-evening, because we also include some old hit songs that went through an acoustic metamorphosis to keep the party spirit high! So see you all in the acoustic moshpit!

They will be joined by a Finnish acoustic rock band called TRIO DE FACTO.

To give you an idea of what kind of show you can expect, here is a video of one of their acoustic performances in Helsinki back in 2016:

For the full schedule check out the poster below:

For more information visit:

http://www.ensiferum.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Ensiferum/

 

God’s Army – Demoncracy

Posted in Metal with tags , on 16th October 2018 by izaforestspirit

God’s Army
Demoncracy
Released 12h October 2018
Heavy Metal
Released via Rock of Angels Records

God's Army - Demoncracy

‘Demoncracy’ is the second album from God’s Army, a heavy metal band featuring Mark Cross (ex- Helloween, Firewind and many others). They were originally formed in 2004 and their line-up hasn’t changed much since the beginning. The only new addition to the band is the German guitarist Eddie van Dahl.

The band stated on their Facebook page that despite the name they have “absolutely nothing to do with religion and everything to do with music.” So religion is not one of the themes, but based on the album title and the samples from political speeches it looks as though politics and current affairs are among the topics covered in the lyrics. The first track is an intro which you may wish to skip unless of course you like listening to crowd noises and politicians talking. Moving on… Right from the opening riff Free Your Mind sounds much more promising. It’s a guitar-driven, classic catchy heavy metal song with all the right elements to make you want to start headbanging. Final Destination takes on more melodic stance with some progressive undertones in the guitars. The vocals reminded me of mid-career Helloween.

There are more samples from political speeches further into the album, but that shouldn’t be a deterrent. I quite enjoyed the chorus and the guitar parts on Games Without Frontiers – another catchy heavy metal song. What I could have done without are the so-called filler tracks such as the whispers and ambient track The All Seeing Eye. Seriously, what the hell is the point of that song? Luckily it is short and what follows is more guitar-driven, melodic but very catchy heavy metal. They saved the best for last – closing the album is an entertaining heavy metal cover on Frank Sinatra’s My Way. Not the most obvious choice for a cover but it works very well.

Overall, ‘Demoncracy’ is a good example of modern heavy metal. The songs are catchy and well executed but not too progressive or over-complicated in structure. There’s a few tracks which I had to skip but those are the only minor flaws on this album.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

The Raven Age release new single and donate sales to mental health charity

Posted in Metal, Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , on 13th October 2018 by izaforestspirit

The British groove metal band The Raven Age have recently released a new single called ‘Betrayal of The Mind’. The central theme for the song is mental health.  Here what their vocalist Matt James had to say about:

” In an age where mental health problems are becoming a pandemic, it serves as a reminder how far we have come as a species but how unaccustomed we are to this new world in which we currently live. We are connected to each other through technology but yet are feeling more alone than ever. We need to spread awareness and act on these issues, and speak out when we are feeling alone. One way to do this is through music…”

The song acts the first preview of their yet to be titled new album, the follow up to their debut ‘Darkness Will Rise’ which came out last year.The band have also announced that they will be donating all the money made during the first month of sales to The Blurt Foundation – a charity helping those affected by depression.

You can listen to the track here:

 

For more information about the charity visit:

https://www.blurtitout.org/

You can also make a separate donation at: https://localgiving.org/charity/blurtitout/

The Raven Age

https://www.theravenage.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheRavenAge