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Andy Barker

Avantasia – Moonglow (Nuclear Blast)

I’ve always thought of Avantasia as Edguy’s more mature, more refined sibling. Even though Edguy is the older of the two, Edguy still likes to go out and party whereas Avantasia is more likely to have friends around for dinner…. Continue Reading →

Evergrey – The Atlantic (AFM)

In 2019, it would be surprising if you, the person taking the time to read this review, had never heard anything by Evergrey. Over more than 25 years this unique Metal band have been releasing quality material that has rarely… Continue Reading →

ÆRA – The Craving Within (De Tenebrarum Principio)

Over the years, black metal has evolved away from its roots and there are now endless sub-black metal genres, many bearing little resemblance to the original forefathers of the notorious genre. However, Scandinavian duo Æra have achieved that difficult balance,… Continue Reading →

Ancient Bards – Origine (The Black Crystal Sword Saga Part 2) (Limb Music)

Part 2? What the hell happened to part 1? I was sure Ancient Bards’ previous album was called “A New Dawn Ending” back in 2014. Further investigation shows that this is actually a continuation of the story from their debut… Continue Reading →

Metal Church – Damned If You Do (Nuclear Blast)

After waxing lyrical about Metal Church re-uniting with vocalist Mike Howe on 2016’s excellent “XI” album, I’m personally overjoyed that they’ve returned with almost the same line up on “Damned If You Do”. With an added promise of further revisiting… Continue Reading →

Kalidia – The Frozen Throne (Inner Wound )

Italy knows how to do Symphonic Power Metal. Since Rhapsody (Of Fire etc…) blazed a trail back in the mid 90’s it seemed to unleash a plethora of like-minded souls which has continued through to current times. There is generally… Continue Reading →

Divine Ascension – The Uncovering (Vicisolum)

It’s almost 4 years to the day that I had the unreserved pleasure of reviewing Divine Ascension’s previous release “Liberator”, and damn fine piece of Symphonic Metal it was too. Four years is a long time between releases and although… Continue Reading →

Brothers Of Metal – Prophecy Of Ragnarok (AFM)

So AFM sign a Swedish Power/Heavy Metal band. No big news there. AFM sign a Swedish Power/Heavy Metal band with 8 members – well that’s a bit more out of the ordinary…3 guitarists and 3 vocalists (with a bassist and… Continue Reading →

Saboter – Architects Of Evil (No Remorse)

On the surface Saboter seem happy to offer themselves up as a no nonsense, heavy as you like Metal band. It’s a shrewd move in some ways, let people discover you for themselves and hear what they hear in their… Continue Reading →

Northward – S/T (Nuclear Blast)

I reckon so many reviews of this album are going to start along the lines of “What would you expect from a project between guitarist Jorn Viggo Lofstad of Prog/Power Metal band Pagan’s Mind and virtuoso power vocalist supreme Floor… Continue Reading →

Manticora – To Kill To Live To Kill (ViciSolum)

It may come as a surprise to some, but Manticora have been a going concern for over 20 years. Their debut came out in 1999 and their Dark-tinged speed-driven Power Metal style spawned a further 5 albums over the following… Continue Reading →

Riverside – Wasteland (Inside Out)

I hold Riverside in very high esteem. By far one of the better acts within the progressive umbrella, I’ve been an admirer of the band since I stumbled across their debut back in 2003. I saw them rise in ability… Continue Reading →

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