Evergrey – “The Atlantic”

 Posted by on December 23, 2018 at 19:13  No Responses »
Dec 232018

With their 11th album, Evergrey have released a masterpiece of dark, progressive power metal in The Atlantic, an album destined to be on year-end top 10 lists.

Originating in the midst of melodic death metal bands like At the Gates, and Dark Tranquility, the Swedish band Evergrey formed in 1995 and released their first album The Dark Discovery in 1998.  Being a productive band, in their 23 years together, the band has released now 11 albums including a live double cd with the Gothenburg Symphonic Orchestra, all the while enduring lineup changes and touring the globe. With the release of The Glorius Collision in 2011 guitarist Marcus Jidell and drummer Hannes van Dahl departed the band and were replaced by Henrik Danhage (guitar) and Jonas Ekdahl (drums).  This lineup has remained constant and produced  Hymns for the Broken (2014) and The Storm Within (2016).  Early 2019 will see the release of The Atlantic, which many are referring to as the third piece the trilogy combined with the other two albums from this iteration of the band.

To me, this album is what I had hoped The Storm Within was going to be when I first listened to it. Heavy and crushing while still providing an overall atmosphere that can best be described as from an epic tale.  Every performance, vocal, crushing riff, solo, pummeling drum rhythm, and beautiful atmospheric interlude on this album have been taken to a higher level.  This is a band in top form.  Even more amazing considering that the original recording was actually stolen from the band once completed, although that may have positively affected the final product. Continue reading »

Nov 232018

The official music video for the song A Silent Arc’ from acclaimed Swedish dark melodic metal masters Evergrey can be seen below. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming studio album, titled “The Atlantic”, which will be released on January 25, 2019 via AFM Records. The band has worked extensively on the follow-up to 2016’s “The Storm Within” (which entered the charts on high positions in numerous countries).

Says the band: “We wanted to invite you into the world of ‘The Atlantic’ by listening to the music without a real music video. However, you can trust that those are coming as well. We have been waiting forever to give this to you, so let’s hear your thoughts!”

The cover art was created by Giannis Nakos and can be seen below. Continue reading »

Feb 052018

German hard rock band Voodoo Circle have released an EPK (Electronic Press Release for their upcoming album “Raised On Rock”, which will be released February 9th via AFM Records. The video can be seen below.

If you consider the songs on Voodoo Circle’s new album “Raised On Rock” to be an indicator of the current emotional condition their most important protagonists find themselves in, there seems to be no reason to worry about band founder, guitarist and main composer Alex Beyrodt in particular. Thanks to Beyrodt’s excellent songwriting – as usual inspired by renowned sources such as Whitesnake, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix – and his outstanding guitar performance which brings to mind icons from Ritchie Blackmore through Jimmy Page to John Sykes, this recording oozes pure, unadulterated fervour. This exuberant energy, however, isn’t the merit of Beyrodt alone but, without doubt, also that of his colleagues Mat Sinner (bass), Francesco Jovino (drums) and – last but not least – new vocalist Herbie Langhans (Sinbreed/Avantasia). Continue reading »

Voodoo Circle – “Raised on Rock”

 Posted by on January 31, 2018 at 18:21  No Responses »
Jan 312018

Voodoo Circle are back with a new vocalist on  Raised on Rock, their 5th album that hearkens back to the hard rock sounds of late 80’s Whitesnake.

Back in 2008 guitarist Alex Beyrodt (Silent Force, Primal Fear) formed Voodoo Cirlcle initially with David Readman on vocals and the band quickly established a following among the hard rock crowd with their first two albums, Voodoo Circle in 2008 and Broken Heart Syndrome in 2011.  For Raised on Rock, Voodoo Circle debuts a new vocalist in Herbie Langhans (Avantasia).  As the story goes, Beyrodt and Langhans met at the legendary Wacken Open Air in 2015 when they sang the Wacken anthem from the Black Stage before a crowd in excess of 100,000 people.  Raised on Rock was mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, UDO) with production handled by Alex Beyrodt and Mat Sinner at Hansen Studios.

Being a huge Deep Purple/Rainbow/Ritchie Blackmore fanboy, seeing all of the above listed as influences for this album, I was really looking forward to listening to it.  Unfortunately, I really didn’t detect any such influence until song 8 (“Unknown Stranger”) out of the 11 on the standard album.  If I had read a bit further, I would have seen the Whitesnake influence mentioned as well and that really hit me from the very first track, “Running Away from Love”.  The track if a fast, rocking anthem with a catchy chorus and while listening, I couldn’t help but notice the similarity in Herbie Langhan’s vocals to those of David Coverdale (and yes I realize he sang for Deep Purple).  Add in a great guitar solo, that is much more John Sykes than Ritchie Blackmore and the Whitesnake comparison makes much more sense to the point that this song could have been on the Whitesnake album from 1987. Continue reading »

Iron Savior – “Reforged Riding on Fire”

 Posted by on December 10, 2017 at 22:35  No Responses »
Dec 102017

Legendary power metal band Iron Savior has re-recorded some of the band’s greatest songs in order to make sure the music in its best form is available to fans.

Formed in 1996 by ex-Helloween members Pat Sielck, Kai Hansen, and Blind Guardian drummer Thomen Stauch, Iron Savior is one of those bands who need little introduction to those familiar with European metal.  Since their self-titled debut in 1997, Iron Savior have released album after album of high quality power metal blending science fiction stories with the sounds of the New Wave of British Metal.  As has happened with most bands that have been around for over 20 years, personnel has changed quite a bit with Piet the lone remaining original member of the band, but this version has been around since at least Rise of the Hero in 2014 and operates as a well-oiled machine.

As with the other Iron Savior albums I’ve reviewed, this one proves to be a bit of challenge as well, simply because there are not enough superlatives available.  Continue reading »