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Estate – Mirrorland (Mighty Music)

Estate – Mirrorland (Mighty Music)

Russian Symphonic Melodic Metal band Estate have had a bit of a re-assess in the past 4 years. “Fantasia” was a more than credible Symphonic/Melodic/Power Metal debut, relying as it did on good tunes and memorable melodies, but possibly lacking that final kick, that slap.. Read More
Sisare - Leaving The Land (V.R. Label)

Sisare – Leaving The Land (V.R. Label)

As fine as it is, that artwork doesn’t give a lot away does it? Possibly something retro? Something a touch Doom-laden perhaps? Well actually Sisare are a Finnish progressive rock/metal quartet, building nicely on their debut with this, their 2nd album (obviously…), and yes, there.. Read More
Ayreon Universe - Best Of Ayreon – Live (Mascot)

Ayreon Universe – Best Of Ayreon – Live (Mascot)

If someone as musically innovative and fan-friendly as Arjen Lucassen is approached to release a ‘Best Of’, it’s pretty fair bet he will find a way to do it differently, in a way that treats his fans to something new. Two years in the planning,.. Read More
Hexed – Netherworld (Vicisolum)

Hexed – Netherworld (Vicisolum)

Sweden is a damn fine place for Heavy Metal – it has been for many years. So many Metal bands of so many genres have hailed from it’s musically fertile territories and it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome another one, Hexed, to the World scene... Read More
Borealis - The Offering (AFM)

Borealis – The Offering (AFM)

In 2015 Canadian Dark Power Metallers Borealis released “Purgatory”, an album that elevated the band onto a new higher level, booking their place as one of the top bands in their genre and (to a much less worldly important level) was one of my top.. Read More
Auri – Auri (Nuclear Blast)

Auri – Auri (Nuclear Blast)

Ideally, side-projects should be different from the full-time band that the main protagonist is known for, otherwise many would argue what’s the point, and Tuomas Halopainen from Nightwish has always been well aware of this. Whether it’s the classy turn-of-the-millennium Gothic Metal of For My.. Read More
Bhleg – Solarmegin (Nordvis)

Bhleg – Solarmegin (Nordvis)

It’s a daunting prospect – an album that’s 98 minutes long and basically about how great the sun is. I worried it would be like watching endless re-runs of “Wish You Were Here” with Judith Chalmers being gradually baked in the Mediterranean, but thankfully we’re.. Read More
Armored Dawn - Barbarians In Black (AFM)

Armored Dawn – Barbarians In Black (AFM)

So I took a look at that cover artwork and expected something like Tyr or Ensiferum. I read that Armored Dawn are from Brazil, so armed with that extra info changed my guess to folk-tinged metal like fellow South Americans Skiltron – or maybe that.. Read More
Visigoth - Conqueror's Oath (Metal Blade)

Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath (Metal Blade)

I’ll clear one thing up straight away, Visigoth aren’t Goth in any way. I was once misled in a similar way by Belgian Metallers Ostrogoth, who also aren’t Goth-like…but they do have a little in common with Visigoth ironically. Not that I wanted either of.. Read More
Voodoo Circle - Raised On Rock (AFM)

Voodoo Circle – Raised On Rock (AFM)

If you have a penchant for Melodic Metal’s heady late 80’s period of wealth there are still plenty of routes open to you if you want to reconnect with those halcyon days. Many of the bands have reformed, some of the musicians of the time.. Read More
Black Label Society - Grimmest Hits (Spinefarm)

Black Label Society – Grimmest Hits (Spinefarm)

Zakk Wylde and Black Label Society genuinely need no introduction, so for just about as long as it takes to type that opening sentence, plus the additional line – Grimmest Hits is BLS’s tenth studio album, the opening track has already kicked in with one.. Read More
Meden Agan – Catharsis (No Remorse)

Meden Agan – Catharsis (No Remorse)

“Catharsis” is the fourth outing for Greek Symphonic Metallers Meden Agan, who continue to make further in-roads into the imposing territory occupied by bands like Epica, Xandria and Nightwish (by pure coincidence, and in-keeping with Symphonic Metal history, it has a bit in common with.. Read More