Within Temptation

Thy Shade – The Last Goodbye Review

Thy Shade – The Last Goodbye Review

“You know, you can say what you want about female fronted symphonic metal like Nightwish, Within Temptation and Leaves’ Eyes, but they have (or had) some terrific vocalists. Tarja, Sharon van Adel, Simone Simons of Epica, the list goes on. In plenty of cases the music may be tepid and derivative, but at least those golden throats are there to put salve on the wounds and distract from the musical mediocrity.” Throwing shade.

Trees of Eternity – Hour of the Nightingale Review

Trees of Eternity – Hour of the Nightingale Review

“Life is fleeting, sometimes cruel and always impossible to predict. Case in point – the circumstances surrounding the Hour of the Nightingale debut by Trees of Eternity – a project formed by Juha Raivio (Swallow the Sun) and his partner Aleah Liane Stanbridge. Prior to Trees, Aleah was best known for her vocal work on Swallow the Sun‘s Songs of the North and AmorphisUnder the Red Cloud. Trees‘ and its melodic quasi-doom style was designed to showcase Aleah’s vocal talents and take her career to the next level.” What might have been.

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?

Chaos Magic – Chaos Magic Review

Chaos Magic – Chaos Magic Review

“Timo Tolkki is a busy chap. Sure, he isn’t Vardan busy, but I don’t begrudge anyone time to enjoy of deep vacations, not even the former mastermind of Stratovarius. While maintaining his Timo Tolkki’s Avalon project and manning the writing desk for the Allen/Lande albums, you’d think the man would be all tied up. Yet he found time to team with Chilean songbird Caternia Nix to create Chaos Magic, a mega-melodic goth-metal outfit looking to horn in on the sales of Within Temptation, Sirenia and all the other rack metal denizens.” There’s no chaos to see here, move along.

Battle Beast – Unholy Savior Review

Battle Beast – Unholy Savior Review

“What better way to start 2015 than with a smack in the face by 120 lbs. of steaming, internally conflicted cheddar? That’s right, Battle Beast is back after their disappointing eponymous album, and they sound even more confused than when they made the dubious leap from the raucous, over the top Euro-power of their wondrous Steel debut to hair metal influenced pop-power.” Head of a lion, wings of a bat, feet of limburger.

Within Temptation – Hydra Review

Within Temptation – Hydra Review

“I’ll admit to liking the early Within Temptation output like Mother Earth and The Silent Force. Sure, they were a dime-a-dozen, female-fronted gothic metal act with more gloss and slickness than the complete works of Glee, but the song-writing was consistently sharp and catchy without sounding too commercialized or fake and Sharon den Adel had big, captivating… vocals. Things started to drift for me by the time The Heart of Everything came along and though it had some good songs, it also felt more forced and AOR. I paid scant attention to 2011s The Unforgiven and didn’t really want to review this one, but hey, somebody had to do it and I wanna be somebody!” Steel Druhm reviewing goth rock is always a scary ride on a rough road. Tempted yet?

Serenity – War of Ages Review

Serenity – War of Ages Review

Serenity have been releasing solid power metal albums for a while now, but so far they seem to be fairly underrated. I really enjoyed their older releases, especially Fallen Sanctuary (“The Heartblood Symphony” is a great fucking song). No small part of their appeal comes from the fact that singer Georg Neuhauser sounds a lot like Sonata Arctica‘s Tony Kakko, but Serenity‘s music is heavier and more ballsy than anything Sonata has attempted in ages. War of Ages sees the band right the flagship and find the proper balance between their increasing symphonic leanings and their prior metal edge. The result is a good approximation of what Kamelot would sound like if they replaced Roy Kahn with Mr. Kakko and continued on their merry, pirate-shirted way. ” Do you like Sonata Arctica? Do you like Kamelot? Well according to Steel Druhm, this is so deep in your wheelhouse, you’ll never get it out!

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving Review

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving Review

As one of the elevated culprits who took guilty pleasure in bringing the so-called “female fronted” symphonic metal genre to fame, Within Temptation has often been right next to the milestone names of Tristania, Theatre of Tragedy, Nightwish, After Forever and the like from this infamous subgenre [Also known as “Chick Metal” by this member of The Patriarchy – AMG]. This is often accompanied by blunt comparisons, senseless “expert” statements and, of course, rabid hate from people who just can’t appreciate chicks in metal [Example: my earlier comment. – AMG]. But hey, life goes on and so does the music industry. Whatever the case, unlike their colleagues who have gone through hard time line-up changes that have proven catastrophic at times, Within Temptation has continued to add new chapters to their own story. Through times of war between legions of Tarja and Anette die-hards, crazy Vibeke rumors in the air, Floor & Sander drama break-ups, the flame of Within Temptation continued to burn ever brighter, offering fascinating music with each release.