Archive for December 2017

Shadow Realm – ‘War Of The Archons’   45 comments

Born late 2012, Shadow Realm is largely a classic metal band, influenced by thrash, prog, power and neo-classical metal. Their material features high operatic vocals and shredding solos. They’re a 5 piece, from Adelaide, South Australia. Their main influences are Dio, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Forbidden, Dream Theater, Rainbow, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Samael, Dimmu Borgir, Yngwie Malmsteen, Metallica, Kreator, Tool, Death, Symphony X, Queensryche, Rush, Megadeth, etc.

Frequently termed, ‘powerful, energetic, amazing crowd-pleasers’. Live appearances – in 2015, Shadow Realm’s debut gig, ‘Black Conjuration V’, took place, at which, their debut EP, ‘Into The Shadow Realm’, was also launched. So far, they’ve toured with bands such as, Lord, Taberah, Elm Street and played some high-profile fests, throughout Australia, eg, Legions of Steel Fest, SA Metal Heavy Fest, Churches of Steel Fest, Stormrider Heavy Metal Fest, Scorching Steel Fest and they’ve played support for ANVIL. Their Legions of Steel Fest performance in June 2016, in Melbourne, was played to a sold-out audience (their first ever interstate gig).

Prelude – The Arrival – Unexpected darkened, doom laden piano intro, displaying the kind of physicality, through the descending scales and raindrop like, storm riven keys you can usually only hope to feel from truly accomplished masters of their art. Quite spine tingling, in effect.

Satanic Twin – Dumbfounding, Dio-esque intro screams rend at your flesh and literally, leave you in shock. This really is something else! The stunning piano sections are enough, in themselves, to silence any doubters, as are those metallically possessed vocals, but once those megalithic riffs join in, you’re just lost for words. Magnificent power, of extraordinary volume and class just about summarises it.

Dead Space – Blowing your mind in two, the otherworldly strength emanating from that battle-esque sound is just exceptional. This tops the lot, especially when those God-like vocals kick in. The sounds audible in here are of the highest calibre. Savatage, Malmsteen, Judas Priest, Dio, modern sounds are relatable to Farseer, (fans of their ‘Chthonic Visions’ single will hear snatches in here), etc. Those riffs are heavenly. It’s got enormous drum power and deep down bass, a collective sound of something already elevated to a skyward, deity level and it never veers from that.

Scream Of Darkness – Banging that intro right into your skull, the soaring sound has entered. These vocals are the kind that smash through all the levels on the mixer, in their quest to be heard and absorbed. War themed lyrics, in keeping with the album title and its inspiration, a catchiness you just can’t help but be carried along by and a strength of spirit not of this world. This stuff is gargantuan.

The Awakening – Down to a deep, dark, low key, with a hauntingly sinister edge. Instantly, it’s vocally reminiscent of the sound of sacrificial rituals. Again, those vocals soar, heavenward. Very visually evocative, it’s a huge power fest, of epic proportions. Twanging guitar solos, coming forth, out of the darkness, as the atmosphere builds. With it, the drums also gain increasing momentum, as the fire of sound gains power and height. Throughout this track, there’s an overpowering sense of a pyre, to which more and more fuel is added and the result’s a rising power and exultant emotion, like nothing else.

Moloch’s Domain – Drumming battalion intro’s, raging into battle, with a fierce intent, defying anything that’s gone before. A blackened sound enters here, yet the vocals are still so gloriously melodic and those riffs are designed to override anything in their path. That’s where the Dream Theater influence comes in. Continuously, consistently increasing the pace, to an almost violent pitch, there’s a war-like element to it, resonating throughout.

Shadows From Within – Insistent, forceful, hammering at your brain, till you accept defeat. Well you best had, cos this band certainly won’t. Building this track around that same hammering rhythm, you can actually visualise the theme and progression of the storyline (through the sound). Like the battle of 1000 armies, using the thunderous, lightning tinged voice of God, as a weapon. The drumming intensity never lets up, showcasing unstoppable stamina and those Malmsteen-esque riffs are exactly the momentous magic needed, finished off with the edgily placed piano sections, creating their own breed of magic. Closing on that final scream, like a power filled entreaty to the heavens. This is pure, once-in-a-lifetime metallically majestic magic.

Overall – Wow-inducing, speech-stealing, jaw-dropping, gold standard metal magic.

10/10 **********

For fans of Savatage, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio, Judas Priest, Farseer, Dream Theater, RAM.


Posted December 18, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Austral- ‘Patagonia’   20 comments

Austral formed in Santiago, Chile, in 2011. Their ‘Emerge’ EP was launched in 2012. This was where the roots of their original metal ethnicity came to light. Now, their style has progressed, to a more intricate form, demoed in ‘Patagonia’, a concept album, exploring the Selknam culture, specifically, amongst other southern world cultures. Geared to a format combining visual and musical origins, it aims to identify their own cultural backgrounds. It’s hoped that this will enhance Chile’s musical identity.

Kiloketen – Solid hard and heavy intro, fast-paced, energised, grit filled vocals and a hammering beat. High-powered drums, infectious melody and a freshness of sound, with unique cultural enhancements, creating positive atmospherics. Closing on a manly roar, edging towards gore, yet too melodic to make it so. This is firmly in hard edged, experimental metal territory.

Caceria – Oh yeah liking that chasing, up-tempo paced intro! That’s how to create contagion. Catchy, fast, rhythmic, tuneful and vibrant, with a soaring sense, but staying true to the hard and heavy angle. Audible cultural injections, combined with the kind of sound evoking visions of high-speed car chases, to loud metal, played hard and fast). One or two classic towering and descending riff scales in there, too. Exciting, exuberant and uplifting.

Mestizaje – Heavy drum beat intro, followed by a Slayer-esque riff, instantly electrifying it, then bringing in some very culturally stronger lyrical emphasis and interspersing it with more catchy speed riffs. It’s an enlightening combo and it may be short, but it packs in heaps of atmosphere.

Newen – Intrigue opens the show, with some oddly timely tinkling bells, which should come with a sleigh attached. Never fear, though, the metal’s close behind. Increasingly strong vocals, performed with a definite masculine edge – always very welcome. That accompanying drum beat’s hard as hell and very metallically soothing. Providing an exemplary driving back beat, it knows how to pack intense feeling into a performance. Same can be said of those rhythmic, powered vocals, never missing a beat. A very plausible energy emanates from Austral.

Yague – Gorgeous gentle slower acoustic, flute and heavily strummed chords open. Lightly performed vocals, still coursing with passionate emotion. Introing a truly lovely melody in the next bar. This holds an entrancing, special power of its own and much like pan-pipes, it evokes a similar freeing atmosphere. A deep healing sound permeates, provoking much visual imagery of native rituals and landscapes. Just beautiful. Like finding treasure.

Almas En Castigo – Didgeridoo intro! Now that’s not something you’ll hear often! Discreetly accompanied by another round of tinkling bells and this time, a sound more eastern in form than southern, but soon overtaken by intensely strong vocals. Battering drum rolls again, pounding riffs and it all comes together fabulously. Such enormous passion in there and some great upward soaring notes. Pace increasing, adding in a Rammstein flavour, soaring melodies and an all-powerful beat, ending on a giant roar and a lightly played steel strung guitar – it’s the business.

Ignorancia – Opening now with a woodwind and light percussion section, seguing, so smoothly, into a raining, fittingly exact melodic rhythm. Vocals lighter in emphasis, but certainly no less passion. A heavily folk influenced section comes in next, interwoven with straight heavy vocals and a higher pitched woodwind performance, followed up by the most striking blues guitar riffs, as smooth as beauty itself. Harsher edged vocals coming into play, towards the end, with that gorgeously gravel encrusted sound, a bird takes flight, in song, just as it closes. Perfection.

Naturaleza – Birdsong intro’s, with an acoustic guitar, floating along on a cloud, gradually accompanied, with precision timing, by colourful vocals and a cheerful backing melody. A slight ambient tone enters, before returning to the accompanied rainbow of melody. Again, the birdsong ends it. Gorgeous.

Exterminio – Rapid fire thrash style intro! Still deeply cultural, vocally, but very much cross-over Bay Area/NWOBHM, instrumentally. Though interspersed with lighter segments, the vocals always come back to that gloriously overpowering quality and it ends on a quiet, low hummed heartbeat.

Patagonia – Opening with that heartbeat with which ‘Exterminio’ closed, but bringing in a much stronger bass emphasis. An intriguingly religious note enters the equation, in what may be interpreted as a chanted prayer, performed in unison, between two people, in a duet style. The keyboard also makes itself known here and the riffs move into a more liquid format, performed with complete fluidity. A gentle background sound of a church organ closes and the mysterious atmosphere remains.

Overall – An incredibly inventive, adventurous, almost escapist album, fitting the ‘concept’ theme well. An abstract sense is present throughout, colouring it with intrigue and bringing the passion to the fore. Flawless performance and production quality. The mysterious flavour it leaves behind can almost be physically tasted and in that sense, too, it achieves its aims. Real, profound and meaningful.

10/10 **********

For fans of Gypsy Pistoleros, Rammstein, Xerosun and Acrania.

Posted December 17, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Euphoria – ‘The Omega Void’   8 comments

Euphoria hail from Detroit, Michigan, USA. A thrash metal band, formed in January 2016, though the concept for the band has been alive since 2012, inspired by vocalist Justin Kelter. Other members: Bubba Colonna IV and Eric Lemmon (guitars), Louie Badalement, (drums), ex Axe Ripper and former member George Ford (bassist). Influenced by Death, Vektor, Slayer, Megadeth, Pantera, etc.

Since forming, Euphoria have rehearsed continually. In mid-March 2016, their debut gig took place, at New Dodge Lounge, in Hamtramck, Michigan. (Louie’s workplace, as bartender and entertainment manager). Playing on stage, with Witchaven, Steel Bearing Hand and Nuke, to a sold-out crowd of 200, the band then began recording their debut, ‘Operation Genesis’, at Mount Doom Studios, in Warren, Michigan. ‘O.G’. Is a 50 minute concept album, about the beginnings and destruction of the earth, by beings from other worlds. It was launched on 10th June 2016, at its own release show.

Proceeding from there, to another sold-out show, at that same venue, Euphoria then received airplay from 101.1 WRIF – Detroit’s commercial hard rock/heavy metal radio station, went on a self promoted tour of America in August 2016, continuing on into spring 2017. Autumn 2017 brought a successful European tour, with the loss of Eric Lemmon from the band. At this time, ‘The Omega Void’ was produced on silver disc, via EvilEye Records, in Deluxe Digipak format, with a bonus disc, with now sold out debut album.

The Omega Void – Tunnel like echo chamber intro. Intriguing, in itself. Slight wobble board effect. Brief, but hauntingly ethereal.

The Divine Embrace – Bang! Straight down to business). True metal territory here. Proper thrash speed riffs, melody, power aplenty and highly unique extreme vocals, with a demonic edge and a sense of possession, via glass swallowing goblin. Extremely entertaining, with a few death style monster growls thrown in. Like Gollum, from ‘Lord Of The Rings’, on speed.

Senescence – Right to the opposite extreme, opening with ominous acoustic and string sections, proving unquestionable versatility. Especially in the quality of performance. A pure instrumental, continuing in that same consistently considered and contemplative vein. Absolute beauty, conveyed in an entrancing style.

Dimension Zeroth – More of that heavenly thrash led riffage intro’s. Bigger drum presence here and a powerful one, at that. Here comes the melody, in the next section and you could just get high off that. Those Gollum-esque vocals return and they really do fit this sound perfectly. That’s quite some vocal skill and that beat reminds of Blaze Bayley’s ‘Voices From The Past’. Now they bring in the most beautiful involved guitar breakdown and those ensuing paradiddles are truly orgasmic. Real songcraft resides in here and the cohesive quality is absolute. So many classic levels of ability and sound are alive within this and you just can’t fail to be affected by it. Ending on an almost sci-fi-esque notational trio, given the entire performance, this is the cream of the crop.

Overall – A truly special, unique and highly entertainingly unusual EP, showcasing a combo of bravely accomplished sounds, unlikely to be heard often. Every feature stands out, both in isolation and in unison with the rest. An enthralling listen, of high-quality production.

10/10 **********

For fans of modern thrash and speed metal, with old school classic roots, extreme, death and melodic metal, melo-death and NWOBHM.

Posted December 16, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Toxin – ‘HF’   30 comments

Toxin are a 4 piece thrash metal band, from South Bay Los Angeles. Members Sam Fajardo, Ricardo Rodriguez, Ricardo Alonso and Michael Jiminez. 2013 saw them rise to fame, as one of L.A.’s top live metal bands. Gigs renowned for moshers, stage divers and headbangers. 2016 brought their debut self titled demo to light, giving extra credence to their metal presence. Their fan base grew, as did their touring opportunities. Fast forwarding to 2017, their 2nd EP, ‘HF’, coincided with a new addition to the band, Marco Barajas, adding to the frenetic aggression, modernised sound and driving force visible in their live performances.

Intro (A Call To Arms) – Entrancing feedback intro riff, closely followed on its heels, by a drum section that means business. An almost jungle like quality permeates the sound and it’s over rapidly.

Affliction – A blast of violent drumming and a cacophony of metal noise, joined by RATM type vocals, echoing ‘A Bullet In Your Head’. Similar pace, too, but it quickens and treats you to a few melodic riffs, in amongst the tinny background, yet the riff quality grows, hitting a faster pace, matched note for note, by the accompaniments, in both sound and timing. Okay, so the production values could do with some work, but it’s true to say you can visualise them live and the sound would make for a dazzling show.

G -Town – Now it hots up, with lightning fast intro riffs, blitzing onto the scene and cutting it well. The pace doesn’t let up and though that tinny sound still persists, the drive and enthusiasm behind those riffs does compensate, to some extent. Again, that jungle drum beat re-appears and this one could do with more melody, it has to be said, but it’s energised, if nothing else. Just a tad repetitive and echoic, but it’s certainly memorable. Major drum emphasis throughout, on which, it ends.

Horror From Inside – Opening with more of that tasty riffage, of which it needs more. Drums almost take 2nd place here, the riffs taking precedence. Vocals slightly shoutier than might be expected, but it’s those riffs that stand out here. Even moving up into a very slight Slayer-esque style, at one point, then utilising a bit of vibrato, they’re really the backbone of the operation. Very heavily energetic drumming closes it and it just leans a bit too far to the noise angle for me, but it might work for darker moods.

Overall – Plenty of enthusiasm and a fuck ton of energy, but just too noise rock oriented, overtaking the whole show. The riffs are the standout factor and they do save the sound, to some extent, but there just needs to be a bit more emphasis on melody, subtlety and general production quality.

5/10 *****

For fans of RATM, noise rock and drum heavy sounds. Darker ended thrash fans might dig this, too.

Posted December 14, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Black Emerald – ‘Hell Can’t Handle All Of Us’   10 comments

Black Emerald are a 3 piece band from Reading, influenced by: hard rock, thrash, doom, southern and prog. Their aim – to create a genuine signature sound. The launch show for ‘Hell Can’t Handle All Of Us’ will be held at the Facebar, Reading, at which, the full album will be played. Event link below.
Mixed and mastered by Matt Bew and James Billinge, of Whitehouse Studios, Reading. Featuring guest appearances, including Craig Mcbrearty, of Gutlocker (vocals on ‘Life Of Anxiety’) and Andy Gunn, of Remnant (guitars on ‘Voodoo Princess’).
Artwork by Andy Pilkington, of Very Metal Art.
Band members – Connor Shortt (drums), Edd Higgs (guitar/vocals) and Simon Hall (bass/vocals).

Hell Can’t Handle All Of Us – Quite ‘Poison’ like intro, but just longer, considered, low keyed and very rocky, with a tasteful bluesy touch. The drum section heats things up, just before the gritty, powerful, downright delicious vocals kick in. Slightly Stiltskin-esque, in their sound, they’re twinned well with the dirty, low-down bass emphasis. Testament like vocal tones, an air of A.I.C., C.O.C., an edge of Down and a hint of Kyuss, all wrapped up in a Clutch like atmosphere, only harder and heavier.

Life Of Anxiety – Liking that ‘Coma’-like intro. Building great drum memento and taking it up into something altogether more vibrant and vivid. That gravel throated vocal really does it for this track and those lyrics may be a bit intense for some, but there’s huge, undeniable power resonating through the whole track and it lends itself to a catchiness, which makes it groove along, till the end.

Dr Stein – Another great well considered intro, giving it a road trip type sound, quickly descending into a hard as nails backdrop. The lower keyed emphasis really works well for this. You just get imagery of a dusty pick-up truck, driving down a gravel back road, in deep South America. Sudden ending, but it’s appetite whetting enough to stand on its own merits, regardless.

B.O.D. – Picking up the pace now, with a clear blues streak, this is more rhythm based than anything else. Very Belligerence-esque here and again, those building drum rolls stand out hugely. Some great twiddly melodic riffs in there, too). Really heavy feel to this whole sound and a brilliantly placed outro. Precise, assertive and impeccably timed.

One For The Road – Fabulous kick to that drum intro! Clear, loud, unhesitant. Catchy general sound, upbeat riff quality, magically combined with that ground eating bass. Like Down, with even bigger balls and even more power. Everything just turned up to the max and getting into its stride, with awesome magnetism.

Voodoo Princess – Banging intro there, turning up the Belligerence-esque vocals and with them, the strength of atmosphere. Really visual and obvious homage to Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Child’, working tremendously well, with their own individual spin. Filling the creative space with joyful, uplifting, involving riffs, from which, passion screams. Fun, fun, fun and tasteful musicality with it. The best’s reserved for that ending, which just kills it! Stunning.

Drown In The River – Cymbal hits, opening the way for harder, heavier, grittier sounds and lyrics. More of an A.I.C. feel to this, harking back to ‘Dam That River’. Though, there’s more to it, throwing in those strategically placed street entertainer sections. Slight Cathedral sound too, in that ‘Corpsecycle’ like section. Booming bass, awesome paradiddles, concrete heavy and powerful as hell.

Sculptures To The Sky – Intro very reminiscent of The Answer’s ‘Come Follow Me’. Great, well structured arrangement of descending riff scales. Nice rhythm, intriguing lyrics and stone like heaviness. Even some deathy growls in there and never losing the thread for a moment. Bringing it right back, from deathy style, to melodic heavy metal. Just moving into a slight stoner-ish arena now, but making an impressive job of it.

Figure On A Barbed Wire Cross – Instant hard-hitting intro, riff heavy, laced with that stoner vibe again, those vocals really do pack a massive punch. Very catchy lyrics, great rolling rhythm, moving towards an increasingly heavier close. Just the bomb.

Jonestown – Fabulous bluesy intro, gentler acoustic, initially, quickly giving way to a full on amped up, rock out section. Interweaving hellishly heavy instrumentals, with ominously whispered vocals, alternating them with full impact shouts and groove led rhythms. So Belligerence-esque again and just inordinately strong, impassioned and real. Intriguing voice-over stuff and big, big atmosphere, surrounded by pure metal. Cacophonous sounds towards the end, but it’s done its job and the cacophony does serve the purpose of depicting the chaos suggested in the orations.

Revelations – Shimmering lighter percussion intro, with echoes of Led Zep’s ‘Your Time Is Gonna Come’ intro. An unpredictably ambient sound remains, with distant helicopters and a revealing closure to the preceding track. Very effective and noticeably haunting.

Overall – This is one mightily massive sound, packed with power, loaded with grit, filled with feeling and resonating pure blues edged, stoner enhanced, hard and heavy-metal. Not for the fainthearted, ‘HCHAOU’ stomps lesser mortals into the ground, whilst elevating those who are true to its cause. It’ll blast a bad mood out of the water and release all the pent-up tension, whilst rocking you to your core. True, full on, turned up to the max, heavy metal territory.

9/10 *********

For fans of Belligerence, A.I.C., C.O.C., Down, Clutch, Cathedral, Kyuss, Testament, Black Road Home, Kickin’ Valentina, Stiltskin, Heaven’s Basement, The Answer, Hendrix.
Upcoming Tour Dates (launch show event link).

Posted December 13, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Uncle Righteous – ‘Self Titled’   2 comments

From Cape Town, South Africa, Uncle Righteous have been gigging in and around Cape Town for a year now. Their debut self titled EP has just been released, on all platforms, free on soundcloud.

Uncle Righteous – Intro – Clunky intro, immediately striking as very Clutch like. Over more or less before it starts. A solo effort, comprising literal foot-stomping vocals, re: a book, of some intrigue, which will no doubt, become apparent.

Old Time Bones – Nice bit of slide guitar and bluesy vocals opening, both of which go down well. Motown references and lots of rhythm, very catchy vibe about this and just easy to listen to and chill out to. Short, but packs a punch, with plenty of manly grit.

Lean On Me – Open chords introing, getting right into the bluesy feel and it’s got a great beat and a really confident style. Something of The Stones’ ‘Little Red Rooster’ emanates from this and it’s just thoroughly blues. Cheerful, uplifting and laid-back. It works.

Slow Down Your Drink – Instant, hard-hitting bluesy intro, with loads of bass and a rough and ready feel to the production. A simple message, which needs no more elaboration.

Fire – Drum and riff intro this time, with a good time beat and a crunchy expression and it’s a tad repetitive, but somehow, the catchy rhythm seems to compensate. Another brief track, but still plenty of upbeat atmosphere.

Smoking And Drinking – Liking that slide intro a lot! That’s the way to open a blues track. Well timed percussion elements and the fun aspect resonates through the lyrics. The bass may be a simple line within here, but it fits. Good drum roll build-up in there, around 3/4 in. Still catchy and a big sense of early blues influences, lending it the simple enjoyability with which, it succeeds.

Prison Blues – Opening with a simple drum hit, the pace is faster and the lyrics stronger, at least in their vocal expression. More of that yummy slide guitar and I’m actually disappointed when it ends. Does seem a tad sudden, but given the consistent style of timing in the track lengths, generally, it actually fits.

Overall – A brief, but satisfying fore into blues terrain, with fittingly early influences apparent. For those in need of simple relaxation, in the company of the blues.

8/10 ********

Posted December 12, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Frost Giant – ‘The Harlot Star’   24 comments

Released 19th January 2018, on Transcending Records, ‘The Harlot Star’ is Frost Giant’s 3rd album to date. It’s 11 tracks of folk metal, inspired by epic metal, So-Cal punk, European folk metal, American hard-core, Norse mythology, history references, etc. Pre-album release, the animated video of ‘Prisoner Of The Past’ is available on YouTube. (Link below).

TRULY genre defying material, combining everything from choral music, to melo-death and anything in between, Frost Giant time travels through the myths, legends and stories of old, within ‘The Harlot Star’, bringing them up to date, with their own unique interpretation of folk metal. Whatever the contents, these songs are bound to strike a note with all.

The Harlot Star – Very apt intro for the band name. Very wintry, visually evocative and frost like, in its sound effects. Tunnel like outro, with a blast of palpably cold air closing. Thoughtful composition.

Forgive Me Not – Instant metallic drum intro, fast-paced and quite deathy vocals, with a slight anthemic backing section. Nice riffs entering at that point. Melodic and picking the whole thing up and breathing life into it. Reminiscent of Taberah’s ‘The Light Of Which I Dream’ album. Warrior-esque feel to those group vocals and it may end rather suddenly, but it packs enough power into the whole.

Apostasis – Really tasteful acoustic intro – ambient, yet bluesy and folky too. You could listen to those kind of beauteous notes endlessly, which works well, given it’s a pure instrumental). Just a very sentient, soothing track, with power still entwined within it.

Curse Of Doubt – Crashing metal rapid fire drum intro, aptly leaving no room for doubt. Growly death vocals come into play again, throwing a monster-sized passion into it. Ending on a rumble of thunder, it’s doing a great job with those sound effects.

An Exile In Storm – Chant-based intro, much like a Gregorian monk format. Rhythmic, consistent and notes held well throughout. It’s basically a sung chant and it does feel aptly like a Christmas Carol).

Prisoner Of The Past – Faster paced drum and low toned piano intro, yet performed within a high-speed chase format and oddly enough, it’s fun! Utilising this form is, it turns out, an effective way to inject some melody into those growls. Round the edges, at least. There’s actually a great audible sense of fun being had by the whole band here – a factor which always works, to enhance audience listening pleasure. More catchy riffage and again, that anthemic sound comes forward, as the band unites, to add to the vocals. Just a great sense of light-hearted cohesion and camaraderie in here and it really enlivens the whole track.

Ashes Amongst The Earth – Wow. Powerful solitary drum beat, followed by a pathos filled acoustic intro, with a light touch on the piano and a hugely emotional atmosphere. Very sudden, crash like ending there, which didn’t really fit and though I’m unsure what that was about, it just killed a potentially meaningful ending.

The Forgotten Graves – Much more powerful, intense intro, fuelled by an audibly strong energy. The anger in the vocals is well conveyed and yet, in true human fashion, the light still breaks through. The wall of rage may be evident, but the chinks of relief and colour play out just as volubly, in the instrumentals. What’s obvious here is the well blended match of collective and solo efforts. Together, they create a really powerful mix of sounds, giving this the strength it displays, as an example of a dynamic, vibrant folk metal track.

Of Clarity And Regret – Sudden blast of drums and melodic vocals introing and this is just filled with hugely catchy riffs, with a decent Celtic twist. Long enough to enjoy, take in and make the most of it. Ending on a tinkling, Christmassy winter-esque sound, fading out on a cold breeze. Gorgeous.

Monuments To Nothing – Banging tasty intro, packed with feeling and teeming with rhythm. Great joyful pace, strong Celtic flavour and an edge of Viking mood. Rapid pace, high-energy, barrels of fun, throughout and massively atmospheric. Loving those riffs! The most cohesive track yet and there’s so much light within the heaviness, that it just seems to rock ‘n’ roll along, so effortlessly, as if on exuberance alone.

Perpetuum et Aeternum – Opening on a shadowy, gradually formed female vocal, moving forward cautiously and tentatively, as the string section joins it, very briefly, before the fade-out, on the intrigue of the slowly burning embers of the fire, going out, with a barely audible crackle, on a possible sea shore. Beautiful and profound.

Overall – A well composed and thoughtfully arranged album, of collective moods, emotions and formations of music, which genuinely defy the perceived boundaries of Celtic folk metal. Well worth a listen.

8/10 ********

For fans of Farseer, Celtic Legacy, Taberah, Voltax, In My Embrace, RAM, Crowning Glory, Portrait, Altheniko, Grand Magus.

Pre-album release animated video of ‘Prisoner Of The Past’:

Posted December 11, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized