Archive for Musical ensemble

Karisma Records sign jazz rockers Ossicles

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 19th March 2014 by Nico Davidson

Karisma Records, the Norwegian label that focuses on the more progressive side of music, have recently signed jazz rockers Ossicles and will be releasing the duo’s follow-up album to their 2012 release Mantlepiece. The band will be entering the studio in the summer to begin recording and it is expected that the new, as yet untitled album, will hit the streets towards the end of the year.

Formed in 2011 by cousins Sondre Veland on drums, percussion, vocals and keyboards, and Bastian Veland on guitars, vocals, bass, upright bass and keyboards, Ossicles is, according to the band, a constantly evolving project that is influenced by genres as varied as jazz, rock, avent-garde, ambient, noise and minimalism.  Mantlepiece, which was a double album released on Ossicles‘ own label, No Weather Records,  was largely written when the two cousins were around the ages of 16 and 17, but also includes later material, as well as tracks written during the recording process itself.  On the strength of this release Ossicles was invited by Mike Portnoy to appear at the Progressive Nation at Sea Festival in 2014, an opportunity the band sadly had to turn down due to the high cost of travelling to the USA to join the ship in Miami.

Ossicles online:

http://ossiclesband.wix.com/ossicles
http://www.facebook.com/Ossicles

 

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First bands announced for Valkyrian Festival 2014

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 30th November 2013 by Nico Davidson

The fourth edition of Valkyrian Festival has been confirmed for Friday 21st November through to Sunday 23rd November. Tickets are currently available for pre-order from this location and are priced at £20 (excluding P&P). Valk-Fest 2014 will be in aid of Rape Crisis.

Scottish blackened folk royalty Cnoc An Tursa have been confirmed to headline the opening night of Valkyrian Festival 2014 on Friday 21st November. Hailing from the historic settlement of Falkirk, Cnoc An Tursa have become one of the most respected and well known bands from north of the wall and without a doubt will bring something new to the masses at Valkyrian Festival 2014. Joining Cnoc An Tursa on Friday 21st November will be Yorkist metallers Pantheon who have been confirmed as main support.

Confirmed as the headlining act for Saturday 22nd November are Belgian gothic metallers Azylya, who made their UK debut at a sold out Dames of Darkness Festival earlier this year, where they supported Dutch symphonic rockers Delain. Since then, Azylya have played a few more times in the UK and were featured at Belgium’s Metal Female Voices Festival earlier this year in October. Azylya frontwoman Jamie-Lee comments:

It is an honour to be headlining Valkyrian Festival, especially in aid of such a worthy charity. We’re looking forward to playing to our UK fans again. We hope to see you all there.

Solo artist Sakara will be main support on Saturday 22nd November. The alternative pagan solo artist, who spent a brief stint as frontwoman for Apparition earlier this year, released her debut album Blood & Stone via Ravenheart Music in 2011 and since then has received positive reviews. The follow-up album will be released in 2014 via Ravenheart Music. Sakara also comments:

I am over the moon to have such a great opportunity to play Valk-Fest 2014. I look forward to seeing you all there. I’m also looking forward to sharing the stage again with Azylya!

Also added to the Saturday line-up are West Midlandic symphonic metallers Divided We Fall and Yorkshire metal mobsters Hamerex.

Valkyrian Festival 2014 is sponsored by Black Phoenix Rising Metal Forums and custom Gothic jewellers The Crypt of Curiosities. Weekend tickets are available from this location for £20. The event is in aid of Rape Crisis.

 

Crossfaith launch new music video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 12th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Japanese band Crossfaith have released the first taste of forthcoming album Apocalyze. The band released the video for We Are The Future earlier today which offers a glimpse of what to expect from the band’s upcoming dance-orientated yet heavy release.

Crossfaith online:

http://crossfaith.jp
http://facebook.com/crossfaithofficial
http://twitter.com/CrossfaithJapan

 

Fortid founding member issues statement about upcoming album and other projects

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 6th July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Einar Thorberg, the founding member and frontman of Norwegian Extreme Pagan Metallers Fortid has issued an update on the progress of the band’s fifth full-length album.

“The drums have been finalised, and we’re well into the pre-production stage and happy with the way things are progressing.  With this album I didn’t want to make a repeat of 2012’s Pagan Prophecies or any of our other albums come to that, so there will be more diversity in tempo, and maybe even an occasional flirtation with pop/rock, but not enough to upset our fans.  The lyrical concept of the album deals with the quest for knowledge and a deeper understanding of oneself and the universe through Nordic tradition and the story of Odin.  The lyrics will be in Icelandic, which is my mother tongue and allows me to express myself more personally and deeply than I could in any other language.

Thorberg formed Fortid in Iceland in 2002, essentially as a solo project, and released the first two parts of the Völuspá Trilogy, the full-length albums Thor’s Anger and The Arrival of Fenris, before moving to Norway and releasing the third part, Fall of the Ages.  By this time Fortid had a permanent line-up which today includes Thorberg on guitars and vocals, Øystein Hansen (ex-Thornbound) on guitars, Rikard Jonsson (Forcefed Horsehad, ex-Deject) on bass and Daniel Theobald (Curse, Den Saakaldte, Etherial Forest, Sarkom) on drums.

As well as Fortid, Thorberg has a number of other projects he is involved in, one of them being Midnattsvrede which has largely remained dormant since 1994, but is now active again, and set to release a split album with another of his projects, CurseMidnattsvrede’s contribution will be 4 tracks, one of which will be a cover of Ved Buens Ende’s Carrier of Wounds, a song that Thorberg is particularly excited about, having laid the groundwork for it back in 2007.  As he explains:

Finally the piece is going to come to light, and we’ll be interpreting it in a whole different way.  The track blends perfectly with Midnattsvrede’s own material and if you know VBE you’ll get some kind of idea of what to expect – but only partly!

Curse’s contribution will be one very long song which is divided into four separate tracks dealing with a blend of philosophy and science. It won’t be in the Black ‘n Roll style of Curse’s last album, but will hark back to the more atmospheric style that the band used on the split with Skydom.

In July, Thorberg will hit the stage at the Eistnaflug Music Festival in Reykjavík, Iceland, with Potentiam, the band that he fondly refers to as “the slowest working band there is”.  Despite this, after 16 years Potentiam is still going strong, with drums and half the guitars already recorded on what will be the band’s fourth full-length album which will feature eight tracks in the gloom-laden style for which Potentiam is known.

If Fortid and three other projects were not enough, Thorberg has also finished recording an album with Gudmundur Óli Pálmason from Sólstafir for Unknown Circle, a band he calls his new “experimental pet project”.   No decision has yet been taken as to how to proceed with Unknown Circle, but the album is ready and waiting.

Fortid online:

http://www.facebook.com/fortid
http://www.youtube.com/FortidNorway
http://soundcloud.com/fortid
http://fortid.bigcartel.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/fortid

 

Sea of Giants – The Greater Good

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , on 3rd July 2013 by Nico Davidson

Sea of Giants
The Greater Good
Released 29th June 2013
Northern Deathcore
Released via eMortal Records

Since 2011, Sea of Giants have smashed their way through the Yorkshire scene, support acts such as Dead Harts, Grader, Giants, Sirena, Annotations of an Autopsy and more, becoming one of the hardest working bands in the East Yorkshire area. Hailing from the sea battered town of Bridlington, the five piece band already have two releases under their: Into The Deepest Depths and Northern Idols. The Greater Good is the third addition to the band’s career thus far.

Rehabilitated opens the EP before launching into the threatening and crushing track Reality North. Frontman McGougan’s vocals dominate the song, exchanging heavy handed blows with the combative use of riffs, provided by Mangan and Axup, and warlike rhythm sections. Every Wave wanes in the raw, primal energy that was offered up in the previous track but supplies some of Barlow’s most destructive bass work. Trenches rushes in like a bull in a china shop but provides a new dynamic on the band’s already cumbersome sound.

Changing Colours is too short lived of a track and has more potential if it were a longer song. Nevertheless, it still embodies Sea of Giants’ most staunch elements as well as some memorable clean vocal lines towards the end. Seasick starts up with a noticeable hook, reeling the listener into a storm of furious riffs and raging vocals. The lyrics add a very personal and emotional touch to the music, which blends in magnificently with the melodic licks and screaming rhythm passages. The calm, melodic section creates a whole new atmosphere and sound – one that keeps the song fresh.

The Greater Good is definitely a milestone that Sea of Giants have reached and displays the band’s evolution since starting up two years ago. Whilst it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it shows what the Yorkshire quintet have to offer and why they’re one of the best acts on the northern circuit.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Sea of Giants online:

http://www.facebook.com/seaofgiantsuk
http://www.twitter.com/seaofgiantsuk
http://seaofgiantsuk.tumblr.com

 

The Moth Gatherer stream new album, A Bright Celestial Light

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , on 11th April 2013 by Nico Davidson

The unconventionally – and emotionally – sounding metal duo The Moth Gatherer have made their entire new album available for streaming prior to release date. The debut full-length entitled A Bright Celestial Light will hit the shops on CD and vinyl on April 16th worldwide via Agonia Records. It can now be listened to in full at this location or down below.

The Moth Gatherer is recommended for fans of music in the vein of Neurosis, Pelican, Breach or Cult of Luna. “We just want our music to be an emotional explosion,” comments Alex, the band’s co-founder. “A lot of the songs is about death, missing people you loved who have passed away and losing hope in mankind. We want the music to make you feel like you can move mountains with it. I wish for that when people hear our recording, they start to dream away.

Tracklist:
1. The Water That We All Come To Need
2. Intervention
3. A Road of Gravel and Skulls
4. The Womb, The Woe, The Woman
5. A Falling Deity

The band is: Alex Stjernfeldt and Victor Wegeborn, who both handle guitars, bass, electronics, vocals and drums.

Retail pre-orders for A Bright Celestial Light are being taken now at this location.

More on the band at the following links:

http://www.facebook.com/TheMothGatherer
http://www.themothgatherer.com/

 

Spires–Lucid Abstractions

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 21st July 2012 by Nico Davidson

Spires
Lucid Abstrctions
Released: July 2012
Acoustic
Self-Released

Hailing from the rich and diverse metal scene of Manchester, come the progressive metal quarter Spires, a band who have received critical acclaim from radio, printed and online media since their debut release of Spiral Of Ascension, back in 2010. Following their recent tour of Ireland and a busy 2011, where they toured with Incassum and two slots at the UK’s biggest metal festival Bloodstock, Spires have released their highly anticipated acoustic EP.

The grimly titled Under Bloodstained Skies opens the EP under with calm riff and intense set of vocals that add that eerie touch to the lyrics. The title track Lucid Abstractions follows next, in three parts. The track begins rather mystically with almost jazz-like musicianship that leads into the more progressive styling of the band. The main vocals are soothing, whilst the guest vocals, provided by Talena Cuthbert, add a certain warmth to the song.

Perception takes a subtle approach to the music but keeping true to the progressive spirit of the band’s sound. The vocals really stand out yet blend in well at the same time. The cello sections, provided by Jacqueline Wilson, adds a unique touch to the song. The melodic riffs of Inevitability bring a very enchanting aspect to the EP. The final track is none other than Sprial Of Ascension, which does take some getting used to when listening to this version if you’ve already heard the original version on the album of the same name. However, the acoustic version does really capture the essence of the song and project across quite brilliantly, though when I listen to it, I can’t help but epect to start hearing some major extreme metal styled riffs.

Acoustic music isn’t really my thing, save for a few artists, but Spires really have proven to be a band with a diverse and unique style. Each track contains its own unique sound and spirit without betraying the band’s sound.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Skarlett Riot- Villain [EP]

Posted in Review with tags , , on 23rd February 2012 by izaforestspirit

Band: Skarlett Riot
Album: Villain
Release Date: March 2012
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Self-released

‘Villain’ is the new EP from the British rock band Skarlett Riot.

“Party Hard” offers a promising start to the EP with its well executed guitar riffs and the female vocals which cement it position as radio-friendly rock. Nothing super-heavy but at least they’re good at what they do. “Read My Lips” is a catchy track which sounds like an anthem for teenage girls who like to sing in front of the mirror. And let’s face it, the chorus is so catchy who wouldn’t want to do that!

“You’re The Enemy” features some good guitar solos whilst the title track “Villain” offers more catchy melodies and well executed female vocals. The vocal parts in “Take It Away” remind me of “Celebrity Skin”-era Hole, whilst the music is infused with a healthy dose of classic rock.

Just when I thought there’s no point paying attention to female fronted rock bands ‘cos they all sound the same’, a band like Skarlett Riot shows up to prove me wrong!

4/5

Iza Raittila

Odessa w/Support @ The Ringside [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , on 22nd November 2011 by conorclaustrophobia

Bands: Odessa, Calasis, Not Another Code Red, Gratitude, Scrimshaw, The Stanford Prison Experiment, A L E T H E I A, The Colour Line
Location: Ringisde, Hull
Date: 20th November 2011

Odessa’s UK tour them to the musically diverse city of Hull at the Ringside as part of an all-day event. The first act of the night were a new band known as A L E T H I A. This was their first gig and it was no surprise that their stage presence was poor, though this might have something to do with it being their first gig as well as the nerves getting to them. They struggled to get the crowd excited with their metalcore sounding set – a feat only accomplished by bands that the Hull folk are used to seeing. The roaring of their guitars sounded more akin to a distorted explosion of unpleasant sounds as opposed to something the crowd could get into and the snarling vocals left much to be desired. Another notable thing about this new band’s set was the lack of song names being announced, almost as if they expected the crowd to automatically know the names of their songs, in some form of vain arrogance, despite it being their first gig.

The Stanford Prison Experiment took to the stage afterwards and they weren’t any better than the first band. The frontman had his back to the crowd throughout most of the set, almost like he was just performing to the rest of the band – Not really something that should be done if a band wants to entertain people or even gain some new fans. The next band Scrimshaw completely upped the quality of the show so far with a mixture of good stage presence and some humourous statements that lightened up the mood of the crowd. So far, they were the best ‘core band of the night. Gratitude were next in line to play. Before they went on stage, a lot of people were outside having a quick smoke but the second they knew Gratitude were on a lot of them came rushing back. They played an energetic and heavy set that had some progressive rock sounds to it and an even a song that sounded like a Foo Fighters track. “Relentless” and “In Smoulders” went down well with the crowd.

The Hull based pop-punk-meets-post-hardcore outfit Not Another Code Red were on of the definite crowd pleasers of the night, especially with their cover of “Black And Yellow”. Calasis were a no show due to a run-in with the long arm of the law at a gig the night before, so let’s move onto the main support The Colour Line. Without a doubt, they stole the show on Sunday night with great sounding vocals, a strong, post-hardcore sounding set and a lot more energy and charisma than the other bands. The headliners, Odessa, failed to reach the bar set by The Colour Line. The performance was lacking heavily and there’s definitely room for improvement.

The show was mediocre at best due to the differing quality of performances from each band and the headliner really did fail to impress – Perhaps The Colour Line should have had their slot instead.

Conor Taylor

In the Studio With: Kidney Punch

Posted in Studio Report with tags , , , , , , , , on 17th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

It was cold and miserable Saturday morning when I set off to Powerstage Studios with two men – Well, one man known as Adam and a half man, half hobbit called Oli. For those who don’t know, it was the day that I was due to head into the studio with a new and upcoming band called “Kidney Punch”, formed by former Torsohorse and Filth Wizard members. Kidney Punch are a trio made up of Adam Towse [Vocals, guitar], Mikey Bolton [Drums] and Tim [Bass].

We arrived at the studio to be greeted by Mikey and Tim. Everything had been set up from Mikey’s mammoth-like kit to Cu-Base, the rogram that Mikey uses for recording when in his studio. We all got ourselves settled in and Adam began the sound check for the drums, starting with the kick drum then moving onto the snare and the other parts of the kit, while Mikey sorted all the levels and did some other fancy studio work that baffles the mind of a writer like myself. After the drum sound check was done, the band proceeded to do a few quick runs of their songs so that the half-man, half-hobbit could set the levels for the bass and guitar while Mikey battered – I mean played – the drums.

Adam and Tim checking their instruments

When the recording process properly began, the drums were recorded with relatively fast speed. Four out of five of the drum tracks were recorded with a click track, though the other one didn’t need a click track as it has a “natural tempo fluxuation” – Adam’s words, not mine. I’m surprised I still remember that term to be honest. The rest of the day was spent eating, drinking, smoking and recording the guitar tracks – Though I did spend a good hour or so sleeping – Tiredness is not a good thing for the studio!

Drum recording

The guitar recordings took up most of the day but it was certainly entertaining listening to the songs that I’ve only heard in the band’s rehearsals being recorded. When we left Saturday evening, the tracks were sounding great – despite the bass not being recorded on that Saturday and it clearly says something about the band if they’ve almost finished the recordings completely with such ease.

Kidney Punch will hopefully be booking gigs soon as well as releasing their first EP. Until then, all we can do is wait for these metal dominators to unleash their Yorkshire-styled heaviness on the UK’s metal underground.

Nico Davidson

Other studio videos of the band are available from the Valkyrian Music YouTube channel.

Devil Down [Band Review]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 17th November 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Devil Down
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Metal
Site:
http://www.facebook.com/devildown

Devil Down are a metal quintet from Stoke-on-Trent, England. They’re currently on hiatus but have some big things planned for 2012. Musically, the band are a destructive force of pure hate-fuelled metal, similar to old school Slipknot (pre-Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses) mixed with a dash of extreme metal. The riffs are well constructed, strong and face-meltingly brilliant. Devil Down pull no punches with the music. Vocally, they’re hard to compare to anyone else, due to the diverse range of their vocals. “War Drums” is one example of this, as it features a number of screams, grunts, growls and clean vocal work, all of which fits in well with the band’s music. “Havok” is another song that shows their diverse use of vocals, as well as some of their powerful and ingenious riffs and slaughtering drum work. Devil Down are definitely going to b act to keep an eye out for in 2012.

Nico Davidson

Interview: Sanguine [2011]

Posted in Interview with tags , , on 26th August 2011 by Hannah

14/08/2011

Hannah talks to Sanguine during Bloodstock Festival, 2011

Hannah- Hi guys! So we saw you performing on the New Blood stage earlier. You’ve got a very unique sound; I know unique gets bandied about a lot! I was thinking earlier, normally when  you get a female fronted band, they either have the Nightwish style operatic vocals or the Angela Gossow manly vocals. Whereas Tarin has a very femine, harpy sort of sound.
Tarin- Banshee! That’s what I’ve been compared to!
Hannah- So, given that you have this very feminine front to you, how would you describe your sound?
Tarin- I don’t put on a voice, I just sing with my natural voice. The screaming is just something that I found that I could do, and it’s a very high pitched scream. I just love that. It’s two elements of the voice coming together; where you have a really singular note and then a rattle behind it.
Hannah- Yeah, it really adds to the emotion of your songs. Some of them have a really groovy bit, and when I was watching your set, I was reminded in places of Tool and similar bands.
Tarin- You noticed that? That’s insane, because we’re big Tool fans, but we also love lots of other genres, and lots of different bands within the metal scene. We started off as a prog rock band! And then we got heavier, and heavier, and heavier; the second guitarist left because we got too heavy! Then we ended up with the sound we’ve got now.
Hannah- Ah, so obviously Tool and proggy stuff are some of your main influences; who else would you say are big influences on you as a band, and as artists?
Tarin- We’re big grunge fans, so everything from Nirvana…
Nick- Soundgarden!
Tarin- Yeah, Soundgarden, everything like that. And then we’re metal fans, stuff like Metallica.
Nick- I’d say Faith No More is a really big influence for me.
Tarin- Oh, yeah in terms of vocals, he’s my hero. I want to be able to do everything he can do.
Hannah- I liked your range. I know you didn’t have a very long set, but the range of all your songs and stuff, and you’ve got your single and your album coming up… Do you like to ensure you have that? Without trying to haphazardly put it all together, yours seems to flow really well. Do you try to put the many faces of Sanguine on record?
Nick- I think the joy with Tarin is you can always recognise her voice. It gives us a lot of license to play around with different genres. Our default setting is heavy; but that’s more to do with us just happening to be heavy.
Tarin- We didn’t set out and say ‘Let’s go and be a metal band!’ We just set out and said ‘let’s create some sound’; it all happened very naturally.
Hannah- You can tell that, definitely.
Tarin- Thank you!
Hannah- So, is Bloodstock the biggest thing you’ve done?
Tarin- In terms of festivals, yeah. Professionally, the biggest thing I’ve done is work with Adrian Smith, which was a big honour. But in terms of gigs? Yeah.
Nick- We’ve also played with some pretty big bands, like Pitchshifter and Skindred, Evile; all sorts of bands. That’s been really good fun, ‘cos you get to perform, and then watch them afterwards!
Hannah- I guess the good thing about playing with such diverse bands like that, and with festivals like this, is that you get exposure to alot of people that might not look at you and want to pick up a CD.
Tarin- We appeal to all ages and all backgrounds. Our influences are quite eclectic, and with Faith No More being such a big influence… That’s eclectic in itself, with what they did with that project. I think we just want to make songs. We want to continue a theme of ‘let’s write a driving song’ and producing a song that you want to play when you’re driving your car.
Hannah- I think that’s a good theme and a good formula to have. Thanks for your time, good luck with the single and the album!

www.sanguineband.com

Sanguine’s single, For Love, is released on October 3rd. Their as yet untitled album is due for release in January 2012.

Raeven Irata [Band Review]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 19th July 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Raeven Irata [Crimson Eden]
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Electronica/Classical/Folk
Site:
http://www.crimsoncreatives.com/

Yorkshire is known amongst many for its rich and diverse music scene, in which many great bands and musicians have appeared and risen to the top. A part of this diverse music scene is the multi-talented solo artist and composer Raeven Irata who has three different musical projects: An electronica project, a classical project and a traditional folk project.

The electronica project is different to how many people would perceive it to be. While having the typical beats and synth sounds found in said genre, Raeven Irata adds a twist which features the use of both haunting male vocals and dark yet angelic soprano vocals along with some eerie sounding sections. “Not Destroyed” and “I Sow In Sorrow” are perfect examples of this, though the latter features only the female vocals. “The Zombies Are Coming”, however, has a different sound to “Not Destroyed” and “I Sow In Sorrow”. The track seems to have more of a cyber-industrial feel and sound to it, as opposed to the haunting Gothic effect of the other two tracks, though it is still a brilliant composition.

Raeven’s classical compositions are certainly not what a new listener to classical music would expect them to be. Rather than containing the stereotypical “grand and majestic” sound, they are more solemn, sorrowful and melancholy. “The Forbidden Forest” is both a testament to Raeven’s skills and talents as well as a piece of music that many can enjoy. “Waltz Of The Shadow Fae” is a brilliant strings-orientated composition combining an epic feel with a sorrowful sound and atmosphere topped off with a hint of gloom. Whilst the previous two seem sorrowful, “Vaults Of Heaven” is perhaps the more grand-sounding though it still brings that sadness with it, making it a most enjoyable track as it seems to capture real feeling and certainly brings a tear to the eyes.

The folk project is an interesting one to listen to. “My Young Love” is composed entirely of Raeven’s strong, powerful and emotional soprano vocals. The only issue with the song is that it’s too short though it does seem to last an eternity, it is a let down when it ends. “She’s Like The Swallow” is another one featuring only Raeven’s vocals. It has a very warm and welcoming sound to it, bringing a small smile to the listener’s face. “All Things Are Quite Silent” is slightly more fast than the previous two tracks, bringing the warm feeling with it. Raeven’s vocals are certainly very impressive when singing “All Things Are Quite Silent”.

Raeven Irata is clearly one of the most talented individuals in the Yorkshire music scene at the moment and perhaps one of the most talented in the UK. Each of her projects bring something new to their designated genres, containing emotion and intelligence that one won’t find in the mainstream music of today. Good things are ahead for this talented individual.

Nico Davidson

The official name of Raeven Irata’s music projects is “Crimson Eden”.

Raeven Irata is currently looking for paid composition work. Raeven is also looking for a producer and a sound engineer for her musical projects. Anyone interested in enquiring about this, e-mail Raeven at: raevenirata@crimsoncreatives.com 

Rhapsody Of Fire – From Chaos To Eternity [2011]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 14th June 2011 by Nico Davidson

Band: Rhapsody Of Fire
Album: From Chaos To Eternity
Release year: 2011
Genre: Power Metal/Symphonic Metal

Rhapsody Of Fire have been a dominating force in both the Italian and European metal scenes. “From Chaos To Eternity” is the last album based on the fantasy saga that started with the band’s 1997 debut album “Legendary Tales” and is the first album to feature the band’s newest member Tom Hess.

The short lived track “Ad Infinitum” , which is Latin for “Endlessly”, is the first track of “From Chaos To Eternity”. The track is mainly composed of the technical guitar work of Luca Turilli combined with the epic narration of Christopher Lee. It is a brilliant opener for the album in true Rhapsody fashion. The title track, “From Chaos To Eternity” carries on from where “Ad Infinitum” finishes.  The track is already at a good start with the acute riffs and epic sounding piano sections. Fabio’s vocals are stronger than ever, the drums are masterfully played and the bass sections are pure genius. The third track, Tempesta Di Fuoco, which roughly translated means “Firestorm” in Italian, shreds its way next with a fast paced, technical intro riff mixed with some epic symphonic sections. There is use of some acoustic sections which brings a certain calm to the track whilst the piano only section takes away something from the track.

“Ghosts Of Forgotten Worlds” like the previous tracks, starts fast paced and technical, though some of the guitar sections on this track seem to have more bite and aggression.  The vocals blend well with the acoustic sections. The symphonic sections contrast superbly with the violent sound of the track. Even the drums seem to have more punch. The synth and guitar solos make this track one of the best ones on the album. “Anima Perduta”, Italian for “Lost Soul”, begins with the sound of wind followed by a beautiful combination of piano, flute and harpsichord. The vocals are soothing, blending with the solemn atmosphere and sound of the track. The symphonic sections make the track more majestic sounding. The guitars sound as if they don’t belong on the track however. Next is “Aeons Of Raging Darkness”. The introduction is mightily played bass section followed by an epic guitar riff mixed with a sagaic symphonic section. The guitar sections have more a speed metal element to them whilst the piano medleys add a hint of neoclassical to the track. The vocals, to begin with, are raw, aggressive and brutal, blending exceedingly well with the cleaner, operatic vocals. “Aeons Of Raging Darkness” is certainly one of the most aggressive, violent tracks ever to be performed by Rhapsody Of Fire and its a sound that works well for them.

“I Belong To The Stars” begins with a calmer introduction compared to the previous track though the track does soon turn heavy and symphonic. There seems to be more emphasis on the choir and symphony on this track, mixed in with some great piano medleys and strong vocals. Some of the guitar riffs leave much to be desired, as do some of the drum sections, however, the synth solo makes up for it. “Tornado” begins with a dramatic intro and the guitar riffs that follow are great. Like “Aeons Of Raging Darkness”, this track has a very aggressive and violent sound, complete with more harsh black metal screams mixed with the cleaner, more operatic vocals. The drum and guitar sections have improved since the previous track as well.

The last of the album is the almost twenty minute long epic “Heroes Of The Waterfalls’ Kingdom”. Christopher Lee’s narration is the intro, setting a certain legendary atmosphere. The vocals bring a very medieval sound, whilst the slight use of flute works well with the acoustic guitar.  The violin sections are well composed, making the track that much more pleasant to listen to. The symphonic sections signal the approaching metal assault, which was to be expected eventually. Fabio demonstrates his full range on this track, whilst the riffs are more acute and technical than they have been on the album. The harsh vocals can be heard in parts of this track, giving it more bite. The choir sections do seem to ruin the track ever so slightly, however everything else makes up for that. Some of the other guitar sections are more aggressive and barbaric, clearly demonstrating the masterful skills of the guitarists. Christopher Lee’s narration can be heard half way through the track, making it more and more sagaic. There is a conversation between the characters of the saga, which helps bring about a very legend-like feel, especially as it works well with the guitar riffs and symphonic sections. The track ends very solemnly and grandly. A perfect end to the saga.

“From Chaos To Eternity” fully demonstrates how much Rhapsody Of Fire’s sound has changed and mature since their first album. This album is perhaps the best one they’ve written and probably will be the best for a long to come. This is certainly a jewel to have for any fan of symphonic and power metal.

4.5/5

Nico Davidson