Delain

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.

Ravenword – Transcendence Review

Ravenword – Transcendence Review

“An Italian symphonic power metal band formed by its keyboardist and primary composer releasing their first studio album, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘The Raven.’ This is what I bring to you today, faithful readers, and I invite you to kick me TheKenWord once for every part of that sentence you feel you’ve read somewhere before.” If nights were wishes, ravens would Poe.

Hidden Lapse – Butterflies Review

Hidden Lapse – Butterflies Review

“I’d like to invite you to take a moment and look at that album art. While you’re at it, admire the album title and band name. And now that you’ve spent three seconds doing that, you won’t be the slightest bit surprised when I tell you that Italy’s Hidden Lapse play progressive power metal with symphonic elements. If you were surprised, I’d recommend spending some more time on this site.” Butterfly effect.

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth Review

“Ah, yes. Symphonic power metal fronted by an operatic leading lady. This is the stuff that got me into metal in the first place, and my love for it remains unflagging still. But great albums from this specific formulation of the genre made themselves scarce in recent years, with only ElvellonDelain (shut up, entire AMG staff!), and Epica (shut up, entire AMG staff!) releasing albums I enjoy on a consistent basis. So when I saw a promo that featured name drops from two of those three bands and Nightwish, I knew what I needed to do.” Metal cred is overrated.

Seven Spires – Solveig Review

Seven Spires – Solveig Review

“Enter Seven Spires, a Boston-based act I blindly picked as a personal punching bag after going soft from weeks of reviewing great material. Featuring Adrienne Cowan of Light and Shade (a band we largely panned last year), their debut Solveig, armed with the most excruciatingly mediocre cover art of the year, is doomed to fail… right?” Books, covers, judgments, etc.

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.

Dark Sarah – The Puzzle Review

Dark Sarah – The Puzzle Review

“I’ll be honest with you, my first blush with Finland’s Dark Sarah, upon receiving their promo folder had me wallowing in despair, my lamentation palpable through gritted teeth for the seemingly poor choice I had made. Wading through publicity photos with the aesthetic charm of an easel that has been beaten to death by a rainbow, reading the insufferably trite album bio that speaks of mysterious caves and split personalities and the aforementioned laughable album cover all served to shrivel my hopes that I had discovered a ziggurat filled with wondrous music.” Dark Sarah has a dragon (and a cave troll).

Enbound – The Blackened Heart Review

Enbound – The Blackened Heart Review

“A few years back I had the pleasure of seeing Kamelot live at the only venue in my home state that hosts good metal concerts. It was a brilliant show, with the audience belting every lyric while the band granted us an unanticipated level of interactivity, yet one man I met in the crowd remained nonplussed. Forget one of America’s best power metal bands; this guy was excited as all fuck to catch second-rate supporting act Delain.” Taste is a terrible thing to taste.

Delain – Moonbathers Review

Delain – Moonbathers Review

“Metal bands sure like to take baths in a wide variety of places, be it in the sun, in blood, in ghosts, in wombs, in entrails, or in whatever “slaughtb” is. Me, I’m more of a shower guy. A nice cold shower helps you think, and tons of great ideas come to be in there, but sometimes you get this introductory bit. It seems that the Dutchmen and Dutchwomen in Delain have suggested a new place for our metallic hygienic niche to take place on their fifth album: the moon.” Delain got a tongue lashing from AMG for being normcore back in 2012. Will DiM be nicer than he was?