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May 9, 2014
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Savn – “Savn” (2014)

Label: CDR Records/Intergroove

Review by Tony Cannella

Every so often, I’ll think, “Whatever happened to The Sins of Thy Beloved?” They released two albums in the late 90s and early 2000 (“Perpetual Desolation” is such a great record). Well now, two of its former members Stig Johansen and Anders Thue have resurfaced with lead vocalist Carmen Elise Espenæs from Midnattsol in a Gothic metal super group of sorts called SAVN. With that mystery now solved let’s get to the matter of their self-titled debut album, shall we?

It remains to be seen if SAVN is just a one off project or will continue to record down the road. Whatever the case, this debut a pretty cool album, with some heavy and emotional moments featured within its 50-minutes of musical playing time. Continue reading »

May 7, 2012
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Iluminato – “Reflections of Humanity” (2011)

Independent Release

Review by Tony Cannella

Brazil’s dark Symphonic/Gothic Metal band Iluminato came to fruition in 2010. The band is comprised of two full-time members. Female vocalist Liz Demier is joined by the bands founder Pablo Ferreira – who also adds Grunts and Guitars to the mix – on their debut release “Reflections of Humanity”. With a playing time of only 37-minutes long “Reflections of Humanity” is a pretty relentless slab of metal that brings forth plenty of aggression combined with healthy doses of melody. The opening track “Helm of Blindness” starts us off with a mournful violin intro before the track kicks into high gear. Female vocalist Liz Demier offers an operatic style which is offset by the guttural screams of Pablo Ferreira. The second track “Hypocrisy” brings the intensity up a notch with its brutal thrash metal style and is a track that I wanted to hear over and over again, this – in my opinion – was the best song on an album filled with such strong material. “Betrayed Soul” slows the tempo down a bit and evolves into a cool, melodic number. “Howard Beale” is next and uses an excerpt from the mid-seventies American film Network. This leads us into the pounding “Imperial Heart”. “Aurea” quickly became another favorite and it shows the diversity that Iluminato are capable of with a part ballad/part mid-tempo heavy style, the vocals between Liz and Pablo are really the highlight of the song for me. “Diana Christensen” is another intro track that uses another bit from Network and segues into the next track “Hell”. If you think with a title like “Hell” this would be one of the heavier tracks, you would be correct. “Reflections of Humanity” is brought to a beautiful conclusion with the final two songs “The Last Road” and “My Astral Home” which is a striking ballad highlighting the voice of Liz and only lasts for about 2-minutes. Despite its rather short playing time “Reflections of Humanity” definitely goes in for the kill and gets the job done. Iluminato has delivered a fine debut that should please fans of (old) Tristania, The Sins of Thy Beloved and Draconian.

Rating – 86/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Helm of Blindness
  2. Hypocrisy
  3. Betrayed Soul
  4. Howard Beale
  5. Imperial Heart
  6. Aurea
  7. Diana Christensen
  8. Hell
  9. The Last Road
  10. My Astral Home

 

Line Up

  • Liz Demier – Female Vocals
  • Pablo Ferreira – Grunts, Guitars

 

Links

MySpace * ReverbNation *  Facebook * Twitter  * Site

 

Apr 23, 2012
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Crimson Sky – “Rising” (2011)

Label : Black Art Productions

Review by Luisa Mercier

Crimson Sky is an Ukrainian band founded in 1998, but they started their real activity only recently. “Rising” is their debut album and I can tell you that it was worth the wait. They play a baroque gothic-doom metal rich in strings which reminds me of the old works of bands like Tristania or Theatre of Tragedy. Mixing their native tongue and English, they deliver a musical performance which is melodic and powerful at the same time. I was impressed by the violin skills of Lyudmyla, who is present in all the songs, maybe more than the keyboards. For this reason Crimson Sky slightly reminded me of The Sins of Thy Beloved. Worth mentioning are also the two vocalists, rather talented Bohdan is able to be dramatic and aggressive at the same time, while Olga fascinates us with her opera style. One of the highlight of “Rising” is doubtless “The Ode” which features all the characteristics previously mentioned, followed by the peaceful instrumental “Apoptsosis”. Strongly advised to lovers of old-school gothic metal!

Rating – 80/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Crimson Sky (Intro) 
  2. Примарний Сон – Illusive Dream    
  3. Хрест- The Cross   
  4. In Eyes of Mine    
  5. The Ode     
  6. απόπτωσις – Apoptosis
  7. Nord-lys 

 

Line Up

  • Olga Guziy – Female Vocals
  • Bohdan Torchylo – Vocals
  • Sergiy Medvid’ – Guitar
  • Olexiy Omel’chuk – Guitar
  • Lyudmyla Savchuk – Violin
  • Anatoliy Kyrilyuk – Keyboards
  • Ivan Fedorov – Bass
  • Dima Drum – Drums 

 

Links

MySpace * Facebook

Mar 31, 2012
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Tristania – “Rubicon” (2010)

Label : Napalm Records

Review by Tony Cannella

It’s been three years since the last CD by Norwegian Gothic Metallers Tristania. Since then, the band has undergone some line-up changes, with the biggest being the addition of the new vocalist, Mariangela Demurtas who replaces Vibeke Stene. Finally Tristania returns with their new line-up and their new album titled, “Rubicon”. “Rubicon” has a playing time of about 47-minutes contained over 10-songs. Tristania definitely maintains its melodic appeal, while still continuing with their heaviness and playing with more up-tempo melodies than I can remember in the past. Of course, all eyes will be on new vocalist Mariangela Demurtas and she pulls through with flying colors. Her vocal style is perfect for Tristania and melds nicely with the other styles of vocals being provided by her male counterparts within the band. Clean and extreme male vocals are also present throughout the disc. “Year of the Rat” gets things off to a high-tempo, rousing good start. Tristania are at their melodic best here and is a great way to re-introduce them to their fans, both old and new – with the main vocals being performed by Mariangela. Right from the start, this song creates a great feeling for what is to come. “Protection” continues the great pacing on the CD. The tempo is a little slower on this one but it quickly became a favorite, thanks to its great melody and memorable chorus. “The Passing” features a great doomy opening riff to it. “Sirens” and “Vultures” are two more high points. “Rubicon” also has its share of songs with heavy, doomier sounding songs. The final track is the 8-minute “Illumination”, which oddly enough was the title of the last Tristania CD. This is a cool song, which features a hypnotic pace to it, it’s still heavy but the pacing is deliberate. This song certainly brings “Rubicon” to an atmospheric conclusion. It is good to see that with the new additions to the band, Tristania has not skipped a beat. They continue to be one of the very best in the Gothic Metal scene. “Rubicon” is a monster of a comeback for this Norwegian band and one that should keep long time fans satisfied.

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Year of the Rat
  2. Protection
  3. Patriot Games
  4. The Passing
  5. Exile
  6. Sirens
  7. Vulture
  8. Amnesia
  9. Magical Fix
  10. Illumination

 

Line Up

  • Mariangela Demurtas – Vocals
  • Kjetil Nordhus – Clean Vocals
  • Anders Høyvik Hidle – Guitar & Harsh Vocals
  • Gyri Smørdal Losnegaard – Guitar
  • Ole Vistnes – Bass & Backing Vocals
  • Einar Moen – Synthesizer
  • Tarald Lie – Drums

 

Links

MySpace * Facebook * Twitter * Site

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