Feb 17, 2013
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Armonight – “Tales from the Heart” (2012)

Label : Ravenheart Music

Review by Tony Cannella

From Italy, the Gothic metal band Armonight formed in 2008. In 2011 their debut “Suffering and Passion” was released. The band has recently signed with Ravenheart Music and has unleashed their newest offering “Tales from the Heart”.

The narrative intro “Into The Deepest Dream” kicks things off and leads us into “With Your Knife”. Armonight also made a pretty cool looking video for this track, which can be viewed on You Tube or their official site. There is a lot to like about this band. The songs are melodic, accessible and vocalist Sy delivers her lines with a great deal of passion and emotion.

She is definitely not of the operatic variety; instead she stays in a mid-range style that compliments the music perfectly – which is always a huge plus. “Dancing With Ghosts” has an up-tempo, symphonic sound and would make a great choice for the second video, in my opinion. “Always By Your Side” starts of as a beautiful, piano dominated ballad before picking up the tempo and quickly becoming another favorite. Continue reading »

Feb 14, 2013
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Hanging Doll – “The Sacred & Profane” (2012)

Label : Rocksector Records

Review by Tony Cannella

The U.K. based Gothic metal band Hanging Doll released their full-length debut, “Reason and Madness” in 2008 and have now returned with their sophomore outing entitled, “The Sacred & Profane”.

The opener “Cradle to the Grave” is a strong and melodic way to kick things off. The clear female vocals supplied by Sally Holliday are supported by the rough male vocals of Daniel Leddy, add in some good guitar work and you have a potent opener. The next song, “Carnival of Sin” begins with a piano intro as the song kicks in and continues to present some strong material. “Dark Narcissus (The Forest)” opens with a heavy riff and an atmospheric melody. Other highlights include: “Lacrimosa”, “Immortal Beloved” and the epic closing trio of “Bound in Servitude”, “The Inauspicious Host” and the 8-minute “A Question of Faith”, which – in my opinion – is the best song and a classy and memorable way to end things. Continue reading »

Feb 13, 2013
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Eluveitie – “The Early Years” (2012)

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Review by Tony Cannella

When it comes to Folk Metal, it simply doesn’t get much better than the Swiss band Eluveitie. The band formed in 2002 and in 2004 they released their first EP “Ven”. In 2006 they released their debut full-length “Spirit” and have never looked back. Earlier this year they released their latest album “Helvetios” and now they are back with some newly released versions of old songs.

The first 6-songs that makes up “The Early Years” is a re-recording of their rare “Ven” EP; and next 11-songs is their debut album “Spirit” which has been re-mastered. The re-recordings of the songs from “Ven” (with their current line-up) are a huge highlight, since as I mentioned the EP is a rare and very hard to find these days. The songs on “Spirit” run the gamut of traditional folk-ish influenced numbers to poundingly heavy tracks like “Of Fire, Wind & Wisdom” and the re-mastering gives the songs an added kick. Continue reading »

Feb 13, 2013
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Only Fate Remains – “Breathe” (2011)

Label : Ravenheart Music

Review by Tony Cannella

From Holland, Only Fate Remains is formerly known as Trisomy and were formed in 1996. They released three demos under that moniker before changing their name to their current one. This brings us to 2011 and the debut full-length from Only Fate Remains “Breathe”. The music on “Breathe” is some high quality melodic metal that has drawn favorable comparisons to such bands as Evanescence, Lacuna Coil and The Gathering. That is not a bad trio to be compared to.

From the opening track of “Nightly Walks” it becomes apparent that Only Fate Remains has something a little different to offer that many of the current female fronted bands. They eschew the usage of grunt vocals, orchestras and operatic vocals. Instead they opt for a more organic sound that emphasizes the heavy guitars and Eva Kokken’s excellent, clean vocals. My favorite song is the more up-tempo “Fall”. This track would make an excellent single/video, in my opinion and a song that I would play for anyone who has not yet heard the band. “Shallow Water” is buoyed by an excellent guitar riff which is complimented by the vocals and Maarten Siem’s keyboard work, but it is this huge guitar riff that really makes this song work for me.  Continue reading »

Feb 13, 2013
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FeedForward – “Upstream” (2012)

Label : Independent Release/Nightmare Records

Review by Tony Cannella

The Dutch Progressive Rock/Metal band FeedForward has been around since 2002. After releasing two demos in 2002 and 2003, they issued their full-length debut “Barefoot & Naked” in 2007. Now, after a five year absence FeedForward returns with their sophomore effort and first for their new label Nightmare Records, “Upstream”.

Like a lot of prog music, FeedForward are a band that loves to play long, complex epic type numbers and the songs on “Upstream” are no exception. Mixed in with the longer songs are more accessible 4-5 tracks. Actually, even their longer songs are pretty accessible as well.

FeedForward definitely has an ear for melody and the smooth vocals of Patrice really add a lot to the music. The songs on “Upstream” can and should appeal to prog fans and melodic rock fans alike. From the opening intro “Ahead of Echoes” and leading into “Deepest Thoughts”, it is quite obvious that FeedForward has a lot to offer a wide variety of rock and metal fans. Musically, I would describe them as sort of similar to latter day Fates Warning andQueensryche “Empire” era , with a nod to 70s era prog rock here and there. Continue reading »

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