Feb 18, 2015
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Battle Beast – “Unholy Savior” (2015)

Label: Nuclear Blast

Review by CriX

The Finnish band Battle Beast is back with a brand new album called “Unholy Savior” and if the previous albums (“Steel” and “Battle Beast”) helped them forge their path into the metal panorama and get appreciated by the heavy metal audience, this latest release will only confirm that Battle Beast is, nowadays, one of the best bands on the scene.

But without further ado, let’s start with the opener “Lionheart”, which is a powerful song in where you can listen to the guitar and the keyboards alternate with a steady pace. It’s a triumphant beginning that introduces us to the self-titled song and follows with “I Want the World… and Everything In It”, where some killer solos take over during the whole song. Continue reading »

Feb 16, 2015
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Xanima – “Prototype: Homo Sapiens” (2013)

Label: Freeside Records

Review by Tony Cannella

Now for something just a little bit different. They are called Xanima and hail from Stockholm, Sweden. Previously they have already released an EP, a full length and now return with the follow-up to their debut full-length, “Prototype: Homo Sapiens”. What is their musical style? That’s a great question and the easy answer is to say that they encompass a wide spectrum of styles. They can be describe as progressive, art rock, theatrical, or theatrical, progressive, art rock, if you like.

If you’ve ever checked out Xanima’s YouTube videos you’ll see that the band has something to offer visually as well as musically. Lead vocalist Jade Ell almost presents herself sort of similarly to Peter Gabriel in his Genesis days and musically they have a sort of Kate Bush ambience. Continue reading »

Feb 16, 2015
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Merkabah – “Ubiquity” (2014)

Label: Metal Maple Records

Review by Tony Cannella

Hailing from Quebec, Canada, the melodic metal band Merkabah was formed in 2002. The band released their debut EP “Elliptic Thoughts” that same year and followed that up with their debut full-length “Shadows Never Forget” in 2005. In 2007 they released their sophomore effort “The Realm of All Secrets” before going silent for a number of years. Finally the band returns with their 3rd full-length album entitled “Ubiquity”.

The power house opener “Mythomania” gets us off to a fantastically dramatic start. The usage of keyboards gives the song a progressive metal vibe. From there comes the galloping Maiden-esq “Divine Sparks”. “Red Letter Days” is a great mid-tempo number. Lead vocalist Jacinthe Poulin certain has a powerful voice which fits in nicely with the music. Continue reading »

Feb 13, 2015
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Motor Sister – “Ride” (2015)

Label: Metal Blade

Review by Tony Cannella

Motor Sister is an all-star musical project that pays homage to Mother Superior a Los Angeles based hard rock band that existed from 1993 to 2011. The band formed when Anthrax rhythm guitarist Scott Ian invited some of his friends over to his house to play a bunch of Mother Superior songs for his 50th birthday. Among the musicians who joined him was Mother Superior vocalist and guitarist Jim Wilson, bassist Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning), drummer John Tempesta (The Cult) and Ian’s wife (and Meat Loaf’s daughter) Pearl Aday on backing vocals. From there the band decided that these songs were too good to be kept under wraps and went about recording an album of some of their favorite Mother Superior songs. The result of which is “Ride”. Continue reading »

Feb 13, 2015
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Equisa – “Strange Release” (2013)

Independent Release

Review by Tony Cannella

The Dutch prog rock band Equisa was formed in 2011 and released their debut EP “Straight Lines” the following year. They have since followed that up with their debut full-length “Strange Release”, which actually came out in 2013. Even though a lot of time has elapsed since this album has been release, it only recently came to my attention and it is well worth the time to delve into.

After receiving the physical copy of the “Strange Release” CD in the mail (imagine that) I gave it a few spins and was very impressed by what I heard. I would describe Equisa as a cross between Autumn and “Mandylion” era The Gathering – two other great Dutch bands. The 11-song, 51-minute disc kicks-off with the bombastic rumbling of “Faces”. The band has a great feel for melody and the song features a killer memorable chorus. Continue reading »

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