Nightwish

Diabulus in Musica – Secrets Review

Diabulus in Musica – Secrets Review

Diabulus in Musica is a band that you’ve heard before dozens of times in different forms. There was a while when like every single band on Napalm Records sounded like them, but it is not a sound that is terribly popular in the year 2010. So while the band could be commended for releasing an album that sounds like Theatre of Tragedy or Epica in 2010 because they’re bucking the trend and doing their own thing, they could also be heavily criticized for sounding exactly like Theatre of Tragedy or Epica (more the latter than the former). I’m sure that the members of Diabulus in Musica are sick of being compared to Theatre of Tragedy and Epica, if they’re sick of that they should probably not read this review, because I am about to launch into a 500 word diatribe about how there has to be something new that can be done with the chick in a metal band thing, but that no one seems to be doing it.

Disdain – Leave This World Review

Disdain – Leave This World Review

Those well-versed in the metal arts may see a band named Disdain and expect a dose of brutal death metal or possibly some frostbitten and bitter black metal. In this case however, the name is quite misleading. Disdain’s debut album Leave This World reveals a Swedish troupe bringing a somewhat unique spin to the traditional power metal sound and sounding far more experienced and professional than you might expect. This may owe to the fact that these guys have been in existence since the late 90’s and at one time even included Nightwish’s Anette Olzon on vocals. I can already hear the chorus of power metal bashers out there (you know who you are) screaming about how much crappy power metal is already on the shelves these days and how there isn’t room for any more whether it’s good, bad or ugly. Well, doubters be damned! Disdain has managed a rare feat and rise above most of their peers with this release while managing to avoid the many pitfalls that doom lesser power metal bands.

Tarot – Gravity of Light Review

Tarot – Gravity of Light Review

Talk about a long-suffering, unheralded and unsung band! Tarot has been slogging through the metal trenches in relative obscurity outside of their native Finland since 1986. For many non-Finnish folk (myself included), Tarot was an unknown quantity until lead singer and founder Marco Hietala joined up with Nightwish in 2002 for their Century’s Child outing, thereby drawing much needed attention to his primary recording outfit. It has been nearly four years since 2006’s Crows Fly Black, but finally the metal underdogs of Tarot are back in action with their eighth album, Gravity of Light.

Interview with Mary Zimmer from Luna Mortis

Interview with Mary Zimmer from Luna Mortis

One of the most promising bands that I’ve ever encountered in my time in the underground has been Luna Mortis. Within the scene that they were surrounded by, it was basically taken for granted that if someone from the scene was going to take off it would be them (at the time called The Ottoman Empire). To no one’s surprise they got bigger, got better management, got a better band together and continued developing. To no one’s surprise they started getting good press and good reviews and making contacts. To, I think, a lot of people’s surprise they ended up getting signed by Century Media. Not that they didn’t deserve it, but just to think that a group of local kids were getting picked up by the label that had shepherded so many of us into the extreme metal scene was pretty astounding.

Epica – Design Your Universe Review

Epica – Design Your Universe Review

Epica is a symphonic power metal/gothic metal band from the Netherlands that has really taken the scene and the world by storm since their founding in 2002 due to the amazing voice of their mezzo-soprano vocalist (who also happens to be a hotty, there are no coincidences in metal) Simone Simons and the epic *cough* nature of their music. Design Your Universe is the band’s fifth album, and honestly, the first one I’ve ever sat through assuming the band would be like a mix of old Theatre of Tragedy and Nightwish.

Leaves’ Eyes – Njord Review

Leaves’ Eyes – Njord Review

Fame has its benefits. Getting signed immediately after you leave/get fired from your other band is one of those things. Of course, the inevitable problem with fame is that no matter how far away from what you got famous for, you will always be compared to it. And for me, Liv’s voice will live on forever in Theatre of Tragedy’s classic album Velvet Darkness They Fear. Leaves’ Eyes is not Theatre of Tragedy and Njord is definitely not Velvet Darkness They Fear, and while it doesn’t need to be that album all over again for me to like something she’s done, I know it can be better than this.