Archive for Progressive Metal

Cellar Darling – The Spell

Posted in Alternative, CD, Folk, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 24th March 2019 by mickbirchy

Cellar Darling

The Spell

Progressive Metal , Folk-Metal, Symphonic

Released: 22nd March 2019

via Nuclear Blast Records

After being really impressed with their 2017 debut album, This Is The Sound, Cellar Darling have returned with their new record, The Spell. After that debut, I was hoping for another record and I was hoping that they would attempt something a little different. Well, they must have heard my wishes because their second record is a very different beast from the first album. The Spell is a much heavier and more progressive album than This Is The Sound. It feels like a lot more care and attention to detail was put into this album. I mean they improve on their sound in every way conceivable here. There is also an audiobook of the album, which offers more context for all of the songs and where the lead vocalist Anna Murphy adds another layer to this album’s meaning.

This album is just a tonne of fun from the first few notes. Immediately hitting you with those sharp tones and sweet melodies that were present on the last release. The production on this album real super slick and everything feels really tight with all of the instrumentation standing out and playing its part. When it all comes in together, it just sounds so grandiose. This sound can only be described as progressive rock with enchanted whimsy thrown in. The beautiful compositions with excellent sound mixing give the album an other-worldly vibe to, what would be, just another progressive folk-metal album. Then you have the immense vocals of Anna Murphy. She just has an amazing presence on this album, it really is a star-making performance. It baffles me how she isn’t usually brought up in the discussion of the best female rock-vocalists by the fan community. She has so much range both, in vocal technique and in, emotional presentation.

There is a really nice variety of musical styles presented here. From eerie and atmospheric to heavy and “in-your-face”. The Spell will captivate and entrance listeners. I immediately wanted to put it on again and again as this album rewards repeated listens as there is a lot you can miss on your first play-through. There are just so many subtle little things in the music that you only catch on repeated listens. I would say the songs that are really worth your time on this album are “Burn” with its excellent riffs and exciting chorus, “Love” & “Love Pt II” also “Death” & Death Pt II” both of these two-part songs make for excellent companion pieces and really show the strength of Cellar Darling’s songwriting abilities. Also, my personal favourite on the record is the haunting ballad “Sleep” which reminds me of those old progressive tunes where the music sounds like random instrumentation but it really perfectly calculated musicianship.

Yep, I would definitely say this is worth your time. I really didn’t know how they were going to follow up that first album but I truly wasn’t expecting this. The Spell is one of those perfect records to accompany your imagination. It’s enjoyable and enriched with wonderful lyrical content. This one gets a big thumbs up from me.

5/5

Mick Birchall

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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

Chronus – Chronus

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 28th October 2017 by izaforestspirit

Chronus
Chronus
Heavy Metal/ Progressive Metal
Released 27th October 2017

via EMP Label Group/SPV

Chronus - Chronus

‘Chronus’ is the debut album from the Swedish heavy metal band of the same name. They were formed in 2012 and their music has been compared to the likes of Mastodon, Goijra and Ozzy Osbourne.

There is something about the cover art that reminds me of the Swedish metal band Ghost. And it’s not just the artwork. Just like their fellow countrymen Ghost, Chronus seem to have taken inspiration from classic heavy metal and to some extent 70s prog-rock. Some of their songs feature distinctive prog-rock style guitar riffs. Take City of Light for instance, the melodic guitar tunes definitely have that Ghost/Opeth-esque, progressive rock feel while the vocals made me think of Ozzy Osbourne.

Then you get the more energetic, slightly aggressive yet still proggy-sounding songs such as Baron along with the guitar-centered, melodic tracks such as Avarice. “Progressive” is the key word here, so if you’re not into technically complex guitar melodies then you ought to stay clear of this album.

Overall, Chronus’ debut is likely to appeal to fans of Ghost and progressive metal bands such as Mastodon and Opeth. Personally, it’s just a little too proggy for my liking.

3.5/5
Iza Raittila

Need – Hegaiamas: A Song For Freedom

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 5th February 2017 by mickbirchy

Need

Hegaiamas: A Song for Freedom

Progressive Metal, Hard Rock

Released 17th January 2017

 Self-Released

What is it with Greek metal music and me.  Every single band/artist I lock my ears on to from Greece, I absolutely love them. I must make an effort to get to Greece one day for a gig or a festival. Need, are a progressive metal band from Athens, they’ve been around since 2004. Hegaiamas: A Song for Freedom is the fourth album from them and it’s good. Like, really good!

I have to say I’m really impressed with this album. There are some absolute powerhouse tunes with solid production. Everything is clear and balanced, with right amount of emotion drawn out of every song. The musicianship on display is pretty damn superb. The band gel together so well and deliver and amazing performance here. They manage to produce a decent amount of atmosphere that lingers across the record. It sounds simply wonderful. The spoken word parts also add to this, in fact the track ‘Iota’ really does make the album feel more of an experience than just a record. They way the performance and production move me on this album is staggering. The vocal performance is excellent had it really draws you in.

Seriously not a bad thing to say about this one other that it’s a damn great record with and amazing atmosphere.  The band have clearly grown to a point where they can make great tunes consistently and they really sound great. The melodies are enchanting and the lyrics, captivating.  This is really a record you need in your life. I’ve already gone back through their discography and picked up their previous albums. They have a maturity not found in other bands of their ilk.  The smooth musicianship coupled with amazing writing makes this record an experience you have to immerse yourself in.

5/5

Mick Birchall

Section A – Wall of Silence

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , on 26th February 2016 by izaforestspirit

Section A
Wall of Silence
Released 12th February (North America) 26th February 2016 (Europe and Asia)
Melodic Heavy Metal/Progressive Power Metal
Released via Mausoleum Records

‘Wall of Silence’ is the new album from the Danish heavy metal band Section A. It is the long awaited follow-up to their previous release ‘Sacrifice’, which was released back in 2010. This is the first album to feature their new singer Nicklas Sonne (Wasted, Defecto). The band was formed back in 2001 by guitarist and keyboard player Torben Enevoldsen (Fatal Force).

This is my first encounter of Section A, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from them. The album’s futuristic cover art made me think of science fiction themes and ‘outer space’, which in metal tends to be linked to bands such as Fear Factory or The Kovenant. In this case, though, it couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s no techno drums, electronics or space metal here. Instead, what you get is some melodic, mostly guitar-driven power metal with melodic keyboards and the odd hint of progressive tunes.

Some of the songs are faster and heavier than others, for instance No Tomorrow picks up the pace and really highlights Enevoldsen’s skills as a guitarist. Speaking of guitar tunes, the ones on that song owe more to power metal than progressive metal which is good for me since I’m not a massive fan of the overly technical prog-metal guitar work. It’s got the right balance of a decent pace, catchy and slick guitar riffs and a sing-along chorus. I also enjoyed the dynamic guitar tunes and highly energetic keyboards in the first half of When All is Falling. However, if more complex structures and progressive guitar riffs are your thing, then Bleeding Chains is the song for you.

Overall this album requires a bit of patience and it took me a few listens to get into it. While I’m not super keen on the progressive elements, I did enjoy the catchier, more power metal -style tracks like ‘No Tomorrow’. Also the guitar work is top notch and that’s what counts the most for me.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Northwinds – Eternal Winter

Posted in CD, Metal, Uncategorized with tags on 4th January 2016 by Paul Macmillan

Northwinds
Eternal Winter

Released: July 10th 2015
Prog Rock/Trad Metal
Released via Black Widow Records

 photo Northwinds-2015-Eternal-Winter.jpg

It’s my personal opinion that some sub-genres have been expanded repeatedly to the stage where certain fringe elements are no longer a part of the original movement in any recognisable way. Some atmospheric black metal, to me, just isn’t ‘black’ in any shape or form. Likewise, and probably even more so, the ‘doom’ moniker has been diverted from what it means to me, and, I can imagine, to a vast number of metal aficionados. Northwinds are one of the bands that fall outside of the bracket they have self-chosen; the latter above-mentioned category of doom.

I can certainly see that, if you were to pick out a cross-section of young-ish metal fans of today, you’d find that the ones most likely to give this band a warm welcome would be those obsessed with the slow dirge of doom, but that doesn’t make them any more of a doom band than Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. That might sound like a slating, but it really isn’t. I love classic rock (another designation with moving goalposts), and that is most certainly what this is.

I can’t help but feel Northwinds are missing a trick by not playing on that a bit more. All the original bands who they bring to mind – Black Sabbath, Angelwitch, Rainbow, and the like – are slowly but surely coming to end, as much as we hate to hear it. Although those progenitors of metal were most certainly the founding fathers of the doom genre, Northwinds sound more like one of them than a band influenced by them. They are a fairly long-running band, but not quite that long-running.

This is a solid player, straight out of the 1970s, and if that’s what you’re looking for, this will most definitely hit the spot. Let’s face it, if you don’t occasionally feel like getting your trad metal fix, you probably don’t get metal in general, and Northwinds are tapping right into that old time vein.

3.5/5

Paul Macmillan

New Queensrÿche album in October

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 4th August 2015 by Pieni

Queensrÿche have revealed the details of their upcoming studio album. Scheduled to be released on October 2nd, via Century Media Records, and produced by Zeuss, “Condition Hüman” will feature the following 12 tracks:

1. Arrow of Time
2. Guardian
3. Hellfire
4. Toxic Remedy
5. Selfish Lives
6. Eye9
7. Bulletproof
8. Hourglass
9. Just Us
10. All There Was
11. The Aftermath
12. Condition Hüman

“The artwork depicts a beautiful innocence surrounded by the darkness of a jaded unpredictable world”, says singer Todd La Torre:

 photo condition human_zpsqcszuetq.jpg

The opening track, “Arrow Of Time”, is available for streaming on the label’s Soundcloud account here.

www.facebook.com/QueensrycheOfficial