Amaranthe

Volturian – Crimson Review

Volturian – Crimson Review

“The brainchild of Frozen Crown‘s Federico Mondelli and Sleeping Romance‘s Federica Lanna, Volturian prioritizes fun over all. These tunes will get stuck in your head, you will kind of hate that they get stuck in your head, and you will be powerless to stop it if you give it the smallest opening.” Activate earworm lock!

Secret Rule – Against Review

Secret Rule – Against Review

Secret Rule is an Italian quartet gracing the metal scene with their fifth studio album. Reading through the band’s promo gave me a glimmer of hope that I got my hands on something exciting. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of Xandria and Delain and are recommended for fans of Within Temptation, all three of which are exuberant bands full of energy and marked by grandiose, winsome sounds.” Double secret probation.

Life Right Now – Avant Garde Review

Life Right Now – Avant Garde Review

“Let’s start with the title of the band’s debut, Avant Garde. I guess it’s conceivable these lads genuinely don’t know what that phrase means. After all, it’s French. Then again, the band claims to be from the entire world, so. Point is, Avant Garde doesn’t test the outer edges of anything except this reviewer’s patience.” Is this real life?

Turilli / Lione Rhapsody – Zero Gravity: Rebirth and Evolution Review

Turilli / Lione Rhapsody – Zero Gravity: Rebirth and Evolution Review

“Luca Turilli—the primary composer and guitar hero of various versions of [Luca Turilli’s] Rhapsody [of Fire]—represents one of two types of successful musicians, for me. I suspect that if one groups successful artists by attitude toward music, you’ll find two attitudes that can be grouped as either high or low openness to experience.” Guess who’s back to wax poetic about the new Turilli/Lione Rhapsody record? This motherfucking guy!

Amaranthe – Helix Review

Amaranthe – Helix Review

“One part pop, one part -core, and one part power metal, Amaranthe could only have come from Sweden: a country and people so obsessively modern and image-conscious that they created the Eurovision industry, the national Twitter account, and the marketing model for trend-driven consumption from furniture to clothing. Even some of the most iconic metal Sweden has produced had remarkably trend-driven second acts. In Flames‘ fall from melodeath darlings to nü-metal wannabes was followed by bands adopting the Swedecore sound. What’s the most successful metal band that Sweden has produced since Gothenburg? Well, Ghost. But even for Sweden Amaranthe is another level entirely.” Amaranthe is back for more. How’s that working out for them?

Cryonic Temple – Deliverance Review

Cryonic Temple – Deliverance Review

“As a fan of power metal for almost as long as I’ve been a metalhead in general, there are a few things about it that set my teeth on edge. Pitchy, squealy tenors a la Stratovarius, for instance, or shameless poppiness, like Amaranthe. It’s in the latter camp that we find the once-respectable Swedish band Cryonic Temple. Having arisen from the early 2000s power metal boom, Cryonic Temple managed to carve out their own niche, but apparently lost steam in the back-half of that decade.” Seal the temple!

Insatia – Phoenix Aflame Review

Insatia – Phoenix Aflame Review

“The promo selection at AMG is a brutal process. If you are late to the game, all the good stuff has been picked by the vultur- I mean, my colleagues, and your choices are reduced to black metal, metalcore or symphonic metal (which nearly always means Nightwishcore.) I was late this time, and Jorn help me, I picked symphonic power metal album Phoenix Aflame completely blind. I recall my last thought before my own private hell was unleashed: “Can’t be worse than Akoma.” The early bird gets the Wormrot.

Kobra and the Lotus – Prevail I Review

Kobra and the Lotus – Prevail I Review

Kobra and the Lotus is a Canadian melodic power band that first came onto my radar in 2012 with their self-titled debut. Fronted by the actually-legally-named Kobra Paige, the band’s third LP, Prevail I, is on Napalm Records, after releasing the debut on Spinefarm, and 2014’s High Priestess on Titan Music. Prevail I is, apparently, the first of two albums which will be released in quick succession, and it’s being marketed as produced by the guy who produced Amaranthe‘s records, with a debut single squarely marketed at people who like Delain. Since the band’s debut was a solid power metal album, this strategy raises a question for me: three full-lengths (and three labels) into this whole experiment of being named Kobra, how’s the whole thing going?” That’s a very personal question.

Antropofagus – Methods of Resurrection through Evisceration Review

Antropofagus – Methods of Resurrection through Evisceration Review

“There are plenty of underground gems out there, unsigned bands full of youthful energy, small-time groups without major label support, and skilled veterans in the scene that just don’t do music for a living. But for every great artist waiting to be discovered, there are ten just not worth unearthing. I’ve found another one; don’t continue reading.” That’s a joke. Keep reading!