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Sonata Arctica

Serenity – Codex Atlanticus (Napalm)

Austria’s Serenity are on album number five. Even their debut was top class Symphonic Power Metal (if you’ve not heard them think Sonata Arctica leaning slightly more towards Symphonic, rather than Power Metal…though Serenity certainly still have their moments!), so… Continue Reading →

Xandria – Fire and Ashes (Napalm)

It’s Xandria’s turn to release one of these extended EP type things that Napalm are so keen on as a fill-in between albums. We are treated to 3 new songs 2 re-recordings and a cover. There are actually TWO cover… Continue Reading →

Magic Kingdom – Savage Requiem (AFM)

Magic Kingdom…Magic Kingdom…oh yeah, debuted in 1999 with an album of decent Power Metal struggling through ropey production and wrapped in a terrible cover! Well, everyone has to start somewhere and follow-up “Metallic Tragedy”, belied it’s portentous title and was… Continue Reading →

Neonfly – Strangers in Paradise (Inner Wound)

Neonfly are a promising band who just seem to keep growing from strength to strength. Having shared the stage with the likes of Alice Cooper, Sonata Arctica, Magnum and more recently, Dragonforce, the power metal five piece from London are… Continue Reading →

Silent Call – Truth’s Redemption (Dust On The Tracks)

I’m torn. Torn between championing the cause of a massively underrated and under-exposed Metal band, and the pride I feel when chatting about Progressive Metal to like minded people and playing them Silent Call – who invariably they have never… Continue Reading →

Amberian Dawn – Magic Forest (Napalm)

Finland. Female Singer. Well Executed Symphonic Metal. 7.5/10 – Andy Barker What? You want more than that? Surely that’s all you need to know. Well, OK, I guess the pub can wait a little longer and I suppose that the… Continue Reading →

Xandria – Sacrificium (Napalm)

  Symphonic Metallers Xandria underwent a bit of a change with last year’s “Neverworld’s End”. It wasn’t a major change but for fans of the band it was a change none the less. I loved their debut “Kill The Sun”… Continue Reading →

Elvenking – The Pagan Manifesto (AFM)

There’s this game everyone can play: What music do various fantasy/folklore races listen to? Nasty Hobittses? Folk music. Maybe a bit of Korpiklaani. Giants? True doom, bit of sludge doom. Orcs? Black and death exclusively. Dwarves? Metal metal metal heavy… Continue Reading →

Epica – The Quantum Enigma (Nuclear Blast)

  “Pushing The Envelope”. On the surface a strange phrase, but something I often say that Epica do with their Symphonic Metal genre – so I thought I’d better check exactly what it means; To attempt to extend the current… Continue Reading →

Tuomas Holopainen – Music inspired by the Life and Times of Scrooge (Nuclear Blast)

Tuomas Holopainen, The brains behind Nightwish read Scrooge by Don Rosa nearly 20 years ago. But in 1999 he thought about making a soundtrack to the book. 14 years later and Tuomas spent most of 2013 writing and recording for… Continue Reading →

Delain – The Human Contradiction (Napalm)

Sometimes a band starts off well and goes down a path that seems correct at the time, but three albums down the line they start to sound constricted, trapped and a little unoriginal. That, for me, was Delain. Stuck with… Continue Reading →

Sonata Arctica – Pariah’s Child (Nuclear Blast)

Finnish cheese-metal masters Sonata Arctica have a bulbous 7 albums under their belt in their 18 years of existence, with the first in 1999 ‘Ecliptica’. Throughout the years the band built up a good following and releasing at least something… Continue Reading →

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