Archive for Power Metal

Kilmara – Across The Realm of Time

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 9th September 2018 by izaforestspirit

Kilmara
Across The Realm of Time
Released 31st August 2018
Heavy Metal / Power Metal
Released via Rock of Angels Records

Kilmara - Across the Realm of Time

‘Across The Realm of Time’ is the new album from the Spanish heavy metal band Kilmara. They have been around since 2003 and have undergone various line-up changes. This is the first album to feature their new singer Dani Ponce who joined the band in 2015.

My knowledge of the Spanish metal scene is very limited. Most of the bands I am familiar with are no longer active so it’s about time that I checked out something new… The description for this album was fairly vague – “melodic metal” could potentially mean anything from heavy metal, power metal, atmospheric metal ,progressive metal or even Gothic metal. Power metal on the other hand, is one of those genres that ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous. At it’s best it will entertain you and fill your mind with wonderful stories of fantasy adventures or epic historic battles. At its worst, it’s just cheesy, and so badly over-the-top that it becomes irritating after a few listens. That is why there are only a few power metal bands I regularly listen to.

So let’s see what category Kilmara fit into…. Well, for one thing it’s not cheesy so that is a good thing. The vocals are melodic and powerful but not high pitched, which is another plus. The use of keyboards is minimal and very sporadic and most of the emphasis is on the guitars. Fantasy adventure is a highly plausible theme based on the track tiles, the cover art and the cinematic style intro. So far so good… Some tracks have a hard rock feel to them – such as the mid-paced I Shall Rise Again, which is one of the more melodic songs on here. It’s one of those moments when the vocals are in harmony with the guitars, complementing each other. Mr. Ponce’s duet with guest vocalist Viktorie Surmøva works well and I can’t fault the guitar work either.

Principle of Hatred initially caught my attention due to the middle-eastern style acoustic guitar intro. A nice touch which I didn’t see coming. The rest of the song is essentially pure power metal, not too far removed from the likes of Helloween. Once again the vocals work a treat and the guitar work is top notch. Similar things can be said about The Forge except that song has a more aggressive stance when it comes to the guitars.

In summary, ‘Across The Realm of Time’ features a mixture of various styles ranging from heavy metal via hard rock to power metal. All the songs are well executed, not overly cheesy, melodic but not progressive. There is a lot to like on here if you’re a fan of these genres, especially power metal.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Advertisements

Powerwolf – The Sacrament of Sin

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 24th July 2018 by izaforestspirit

Powerwolf
The Sacrament of Sin
Released 20th July 2018
Power Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Powerwolf - The Sacrament of Sin

The German wolfpack have returned. Even before hearing the music I had to take a few minutes just to admire the album title – ‘The Sacrament of Sin’. How ironic, ludicrous, perhaps even blasphemous, yet so very typical of Powerwolf. Ever since discovering this band I’ve always liked their song titles. Unlike their Swedish brethren Sabaton, these guys like to add some humor to their lyrics. You won’t find too many epic tales inspired by historical events in their songs but there will be werewolves, other horror themes, references to religion, theatrical and grandiose vocals that occasionally mimic a church choir.

Let’s start with my favorites, the songs that have been in my head for weeks even before the album was released thanks to the videos. My personal favorite Fire & Forgive is just classic Powerwolf doing what they do best. Catchy chorus, check. Bombastic orchestration, powerful vocals and ultra catchy guitar riffs, check. Latin chants and church music in the background, hell yes! Fire away guys! Then there’s the fabulously titled Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend. To call the lyrics cheesy would be a gross understatement. They’re not even cheesy, they are syrupy, dripping with ultra sweet, sticky ‘wickedness’. As with anything sweet it would probably be better in small doses but who can resist the temptation? Oh, and the video; I haven’t seen anything as ridiculously funny since Blutengel’s ‘Reich Mir Dir Hand’. Yet laugh as I may, every time I hear it or watch the video it doesn’t change the fact that I still find myself singing along and playing it repeatedly.

There were a few moments on here where the music reminded me of Sabaton. Incense & Iron is an example of this, not just because of the lyrics such as “Stand, Follow the fight..”
It’s also war-themed and keyboard driven and features a touch of folk metal due to the bagpipe sounds. The only surprise comes in the form of a piano ballad called Where The Wild Wolves Have Gone. This not unusual for Powerwolf; they have made songs like this before, but on this album it definitely stands out due to the slower pace and overall style.

Overall, I have really enjoyed ‘The Sacrament of Sin’. There isn’t a song on here that I dislike though some are more memorable than others. It’s more consistent than their previous album and it is up there with their best works. Powerwolf fans will be pleased and if you’re new to the band this works as a good introduction.

4.5/5

Iza Raittila

South Park Festival 2018

Posted in Festival, Live, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , on 10th June 2018 by izaforestspirit

Helloween, Accept, Amorphis
Eteläpuisto, Tampere, Finland
8th-9th June 2018

Tampere’s prime metal festival South Park was back on this year after a brief hiatus in 2017. It’s a two day event but I only attended the Saturday. This year marked the return of the band that I discovered at the same festival three years ago – the one and only German power metal legend Helloween.

I arrived a little later so I missed the first two bands but just in time to see some of Amorphis. They’re one of the most recognizable bands within the Finnish metal scene and they seem to feature in most of the country’s festivals. I’ve seen them live a bunch of times before so I pretty much knew what to expect. I like their old albums though I lost track of them after ‘Silent Waters’. This was another solid performance, well executed melodic death metal. It’s always good to hear ‘House of Sleep’ and other favourites. So a good start to the night. 4/5

Next up was the Finnish thrash metal quartet Lost Society. They played some fairly decent-sounding thrash metal; sadly I’m not too familiar with their music so I could not appreciate it fully. 3/5

I did enjoy watching the Swedish heavy metal outfit Mustasch though. Their music is a mixture of Motörhead-style heavy metal with some elements of stoner metal. It’s probably not the kind of thing that I would listen to at home but it was fun to watch at a summer festival. 3.5/5

This was the second time that I’ve seen S-Tool live. For those who haven’t heard of them before, it’s a new band from Ville Laihiala (ex-Sentenced, Poisonblack). As a big a fan Mr. Laihiala’s other bands, particularly Sentenced, I was looking forward to seeing S-Tool. Music-wise, it’s essentially picking up from where Poisonblack left off only without the Gothic elements. Good show! I enjoyed it a bit more than the last time. 4/5

German heavy metal legends Accept were one of the day’s headliners and one of the main bands that I wanted to see. They put on one hell of a show. I’m not familiar with their recent material but it was great to hear some of the old classics such as ‘Balls to The Wall’, ‘Fast as a Shark’ and my personal favourite ‘Metal Heart’. 5/5

There’s not an awful lot I can say about Mokoma. They have a sizeable following here in their home country. Their performance was good but I’m not familiar with their music. 3.5/5

Then it was time for the night’s main headlining act Helloween. This show was special because it featured all three of the band’s vocalists from past to present together on stage. That’s right, all of them – Kai Hansen (the original founder of the band), Michael Kiske and their current vocalist Andi Deris performed together as part of the Pumpkins United tour. It was really good to hear some of the old classics such as ‘Heavy Metal (Is the Law) and ‘Halloween’ along with some of the more recent hits such as ‘Are You Metal?’ They also played one of my personal favorites ‘If I Could Fly’ from ‘The Dark Ride’ album. Fantastic show! 5/5

 

In summary I had a great time at South Park even if it was just for one day. It was worth it especially for Accept and Helloween. Amorphis and S-Tool were pretty good too. If the line-up is this good next year I will definitely come back again.
Iza Raittila

Powerwolf announce new album title

Posted in Metal, News with tags , , on 12th April 2018 by izaforestspirit

The German wolfpack have returned…

Powerwolf have just announced that their new album, the follow-up to ‘Blessed & Possessed’ will be called ‘The Sacrament of Sin’. The release date has been set for 13th July 2018 via Napalm Records.

You can check out the cover art below:

No automatic alt text available.

For more details go to:

http://www.powerwolf.net/

https://www.facebook.com/powerwolfmetal/

Savage Machine – Abandon Earth

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 27th February 2018 by izaforestspirit

Savage Machine
Abandon Earth
Released 19th January 2018
Heavy Metal/Power Metal
Self-Released

Savage Machine - Abandon Earth

It’s been two years since I reviewed Savage Machine’s single; now here I am reviewing their debut album ‘Abandon Earth’. I’m already familiar with two of the tracks since they were on the ‘Event Horizon’ single. Based on the description, this is a concept album about a post-apocalyptic world in which humans are at war with the machines. So, it’s traditional heavy metal with a science-fiction theme. That sounds promising, let’s see what we have here…

This is actually a little more complex than I expected it to be. In addition to the predominant classic/NWOBHM-style heavy metal, there are also some elements of power metal. Take the The Hunter for example, the guitar structures made me think of the old albums by Helloween mixed with the story-telling vocal style of Iron Maiden. Then they reduce the pace with a ballad called Time Traveller,  a melodic heavy metal/thrash metal hybrid which reminded me of the early works of Iced Earth. Good guitar work!

Speaking of guitars, the “rifftasic” Event Horizon and classic heavy metal style ‘Savior’ are the undisputed highlights of the album. The former is an energetic, fast piece of thrash metal packed with killer guitar riffs. As for Savior, I already liked it two years ago and it hasn’t lost any of its appeal.

In summary, it has to be said that there’s not a single filler track on here. There’s good variety in the pace with just enough ballads to please fans of melodic metal and power along with plenty of faster songs for the thrashers amongst us.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Reverence – Foreverence

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 23rd January 2018 by izaforestspirit

Reverence
Foreverence
Released 22nd December 2017
Power Metal/Thrash Metal
Released via Razar Ice Records

Reverence - Foreverence

Two years have passed since I reviewed Reverence’s last full length ‘Gods of War’. A lot has happened since then. For starters, they have a new singer. Secondly, last year they suffered the loss of their guitarist Peter Rossi, who died unexpectedly in March 2017. This EP is dedicated to his memory. It also features two live songs acting as preview to their new live album.

From the musical perspective, this EP essentially picks up from where their last full length left off. You’ve got your uplifting, guitar-driven power metal hit – Firelord which, though a little cheesy in the lyrical department, is rather enjoyable. Then there’s New Order which features some old school thrash metal and even groove elements in the guitar structure. Speaking of guitars, the band’s official tribute to their recently departed guitarist Final Flight – RIP PJR is a true masterpiece in guitar work. No vocals or drums, just full on guitar solo harmony and riffs galore. I’m sure that any current or aspiring guitarist would love to have a go at playing this tune.

Then there’s the sombre, slow acoustic ballad Sleep in which you can really hear the emotion in the vocals. It’s a far more profound and bittersweet sound than what you might expect to hear from Reverence but it suits the mood. Finally, the live tracks seem like a fitting way to end this EP, acting as a means to show that the band will go on doing what they do best.

In summary ‘Foreverence’ is a great way for the band to pay tribute to their departed guitarist. They have paid their respects and now they are getting ready to move on and take the next step forward. All I can say is keep up the good work!

4/5

Iza Raittila

Powerwolf announce tour dates for 2018

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , on 16th December 2017 by izaforestspirit

The German power metal band Powerwolf are currently working on their next album, the follow up to ‘Blessed & Possessed’. The title hasn’t been announced yet but their fans will be pleased to know that they are embarking on a European tour in  2018.

Starting with a few festival performances in the summer including Graspop and Sabaton Open Air.

Live

Then the “WOLFSNÄCHTE TOUR” will start in Wiesbaden, Germany on 26th October 2018. They will be supported by Amaranthe and Kissin’ Dynamite. For the full schedule see the poster below:

No automatic alt text available.

More dates coming soon. For more information visit:

https://www.facebook.com/powerwolfmetal/

http://www.powerwolf.net/