Amaranthe

Arion – Vultures Die Alone Review

Arion – Vultures Die Alone Review

“I don’t put much stock in award shows or competitions. Really, who amongst us does? Ever since the first Metal Grammy went to Jethro Tull metal fans around the world have viewed these sorts of things with more than a little trepidation. So when a band comes my way that came to fame in a competition, it’s more a curse than a blessing. Power metal act Arion (the Finnish act, not the Greek) is such a band. As teens these guys were finalists in UMK, the Finnish qualification program for Eurovision, eight years ago.” Beauty pageant meets the metal world.

Red Cain – Kindred: Act II Review

Red Cain – Kindred: Act II Review

“Maybe you thought I was joking when I claimed the mantle of weeniedom. I do sometimes joke, after all. But now you are coming to realize that Red Cain is not a death metal band. They’re not even a black metal band. Look them up, I’ll wait. Look at the tags down there. Oh, and the score. Yeah, see, it says power metal. You know why it says that? It could be that I’m a big weenie now.” Cain and the Weenies.

Memoremains – The Cost of Greatness Review

Memoremains – The Cost of Greatness Review

“Pop metal. Sure. Why not. Sorry, hang on, I missed a crucial detail there. Finnish pop metal. Sure! Why not? Frankly, as much as I may have misgivings about the style, pop is generally meant to be a cheery style and right now I could use some cheer, because this month has seriously sucked on just about every level and, frankly, I’m getting tired of catharsis. So I’m turning away from doom for a second, turning up the speakers, loading up The Cost of Greatness, and am ready for my self-prescribed dose of artificial happiness (non-drug category). So bring it on, Memoremains. Bring. It. On.” The price of happiness.

Reasons Behind – Project: M.I.S.T. Review

Reasons Behind – Project: M.I.S.T. Review

Reasons Behind is a four-piece Italian symphonic power metal band trying their hand at synth metal on Project: M.I.S.T., their second full-length album. Given that Reasons Behind‘s debut album sits squarely in pure symphonic metal territory, I can imagine the band had fun getting their hands dirty experimenting with synths and chasing after more trance or dubstep inspired sounds for their new release.” M.I.S.T. opportunities.

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?