Review by Tony Cannella
From Italy (a metal band from Italy? What a surprise) comes the conceptual symphonic death metal band Norhod. The band was born in the summer of 2009 with original members: Michele Tolomei (keyboards), Giacomo Casa (growls), Giacomo Vanucci (guitars) and Andrea Stefani (guitars). After solidifying their line-up with a few new members including female vocalist Clara Ceccarelli, Norhod has released their independently released EP “Arianrhod”. “Arianrhod” is a concept EP based on the Homonymous Celtic goddess, but at its core the story is about the age old struggle between good and evil. Norhod utilizes beauty and the beast style vocals with Clara’s clean, soaring vocals contrasting with Giacoma Casa’s growls. The music performed by Norhod does lend itself very well for storytelling – as it does create a special atmosphere throughout the 22-minutes worth of playing time. The intro “Caer Arianrhod” sets the stage for the bombastic opener “Doomed to Ashes”. The two vocal styles are split pretty evenly. For the most part, “Arianrhod” combines melancholic metal with folk metal influences and tempo changes; “Last Sundown” is a pretty solid indicator of what is good about the album. The album is completed with the pounding title song “Arianrhod”. I can already tell that the vocals will be an acquired taste for many – they will either be loved or hated – especially Clara’s high-pitched vocal delivery. The growler Giacoma Casa will definitely appeal to the death metal side of the metal spectrum. Norhod are far from being a mainstream band. The songs on “Arianrhod” are definitely going to appeal to a select audience, but fans who like a little bit of melancholy with their metal, should like what they find from this Italian band.
Rating – 73/100
- Caer Arianrhod
- Doomed to Oblivion
- Lily’s Ashes
- Last Sundown
- Clara Ceccarelli – Vocals
- Giacomo Casa – Growls
- Giacomo Vanucci – Guitars
- Andrea Stefani – Guitars
- Michele Tolomei – Keyboards
- Matteo Giusti – Bass
- Francesco Aytano – Drums
The long waited new album by Mandragora Scream will be released Tomorrow Nov 21st. The Italian Band led by singer MORGAN LACROIX is back with their brand new album “LUCIFERLAND”. Luciferland represenst the city where the Gods were born, a kind of Atlantis, the city where everything begun. Luciferland is released three years after “Volturna”. This is a sophisticated album both in in the compositions and in lyrics and concept. Infact Morgan Lacroix has spent a lot of her time studying with experts in quantistic physics and esotherism as well as with archeologists and experts in ancient languages who have driven the author of all lyrics to sing some excerpts in Sumeric, Latin, Babylonese and even geroghliphic. Luciferland represents not only an album with songs, but is the real start of a path for all followers of hermetic science. Some videos are being shot to support the album. These will be released during the next months. The first single will be a song dedicate to the goddess “Medusa”. LUCIFERLAND will not be distributed in the classic points of sale; the purchase will be possible directly on the band’s website and on the music portal Gattimusic.com. An order dedicated mail service will be provided so that all sellers throughout the world will be in the position to sell LUCIFERLAND directly. Each album will contain a parchment with Morgan’s autograph and with her kiss, each piece being of course customized by Morgan herself. This activity took Morgan’s time during the past weeks as she wanted to prepare a different gift for all follower who will buy the album.
This is the tracklist of the album:
- The Chant Of Furies
- Hekate – En Erebos Phos
- The Illusionist
- The veil of Neith
- Six Grains Of Pomegranate
- Night’s Master (Azhrarn & Sivesh)
- Love For Endymion
- Lucifer’s Ballade
- Titan – Extraterrestrial Suicide
- Lucifer’s Lullaby
Interview by Connie Bach
Raven Tide offers an energizing, yet soothing blend of driving guitars with a strong bass line, and balanced orchestra. The result is dark, warm, dreamy, and flowing.
Hello, Cheryl. “Ever Rain” is an awesome EP. I can’t wait to check out the new album.
Hi Connie! I’m very glad that you gave me the chance to talk about raven tide and it’s awesome to hear such good words about our songs!
What’s going on with the band these days?
Good question Connie!! This is a very intensive period for us. We’re trying to find the better way to promote “Ever Rain”, choosing few but relevant events where we can show what raven tide really is. We’re also working for new songs and our days are full of studio sessions and writing. It’s not easy, in fact, to spend energies in the right way, especially when you have so much to do in so little time!!!
Raven Tide has been featured on several compilations. “Doom Revealed” will appear on “Beauty and Brutality” and “Lucifer Bliss” appears on “Rock for Haiti”. I love the charity aspects to these two compilations. What made Raven Tide decide to contribute?
It’s wonderful. I think the idea of creating compilations of good music and use the cash to charity is a wonderful initiative. In fact, you get a double benefit. For the bands is certainly an excellent opportunity for visibility and expression, while using the music and its power, you bring more people to a social problem, making them participate by simply listening to a song.
in the past we have often thought of organizing lives and events for a charitable purpose but it is not easy for band to be able to set up this type of event…so when the opportunity to participate in this initiative came, we didn’t think twice!! Especially when it comes to a quality product like “Beauty and Brutality”.
Raven Tide is such a young band, yet has such a polished sound. What brought the members and their various skills, together?
Indeed, although the moniker Raven Tide is dated 2009, all of us for many years were part of a previous musical project, a tribute band that has enabled us to acquire over time a deep musical and personal understanding and improving through long live experience. Over time, of course, came the need to express ourselves with original music and create something where everyone could put their ideas and influences.
Turning to the recent release of your EP, it is a lovely taste of what is to come in the future. The name Ever Rain suits it. Where did the name come from?
Ever Rain was, in truth, the first moniker of the band, replaced with Raven Tide for reasons of homonymy with another band. After this, we decided to use it anyway, as the title of our first EP, maintaining continuity with our first idea. The reason for both names is, however, to evoke a particular image that remains a feature of all our work.
MySpace says that “Ever Rain” is a preview of a full-length album in the works. Why did the band decide to release a “preview”? I love when bands do that, it is kind of like the smell of baking before the bread comes out of the oven.
To be honest, we’ve never thought of “Ever Rain” as a preview…. it was simply a demo cd to present what we are. Then, he started receiving more and more confirmations becoming an EP and with the precious support of our promotion agency (Alkemist Fanatix Europe) was distributed in most of Europe and the major online music sites overseas. It was a good surprise!
I love the song “Lucifer Bliss”. What is the story behind the lyrics?
The message of “Lucifer Bliss” is that everyone in this life hae to face bad moments and suffering and sometimes, when the pain get deeper, there’s an instant in which we wish to get heartless and we’re tempted to lose ourselves denying the good we have inside. I guess is another way to describe the fragile nature of humanity, and the constant danger to fall down to Lucifer. Especially in these violent days, it seems easier for us to forget what’s important in our existances. Sometimes lucifer may seem enchanting but if we look inside ourselves, love is always the better way… How did it come about that you and Joe Bardazzi worked together? His growls and clean vocals are demonic in feel, perfect for “Lucifer Bliss”.
This sounds like “the answer is in the question” Connie!! Since the writing of this song, Lucifer was a sort of dialogue between good and evil. We were looking for a voice that was deep and strong enough to play the “lord of night” part. So, during a live show in a pub of our town, we listened Joe’s performance and we just undesrtood he was perfect! We talked with him right that night and he was immediately ready to go! Amazing!
“Stillness” is purely orchestral and is a nice opening. Why did Raven Tide decide to include a bag pipe solo in this song?
It gives it a lovely celtic feel. We really think that bagpipe sounds are extremely powerful and absolutely perfect for an “ouverture”. “Stillness” in a sort of hymn, where we’ve tried to mix our gothic inluences with the idea we have to create something new using electro samples and movies soundtrak effects. We’re really happy you like it!! I have the feeling that live shows are pretty explosive. What is one experience you will carry with you from performing for the rest of your time?
Well…thinking about it, I can’t really say which of my live shows I will carry with me forever…
each one have won a special place in my heart, ‘ cause everytime there’s a different mix of sensations and everytime you get back home with a different vision…
What I know is that I’ve always done my best to reach the heart of people, no matter if i was on a little stage of a little town or in front of the crowd of a great location.
I must admit that I’ll always remember our shows at Alcatraz in Milan. We performed there before Raven Tide’s birth with the tribute band and it was exciting, I was scared to death before my entry on stage!!! Now i’d be very happy to back there and present Raven Tide…who knows??? Where is the one place you dream of performing at? What makes it special in your mind?
Oh …I really adore big festivals like Rock Am Ring, Wacken etc…
I think it’s a common dream for rockers to sing in front of such a crowd but personally I also think that nothing is more evocative than an acoustic set with an elegant design, soft lights and contact with the people. We’ll try to provide both experiences with our music, just keep on follow us!!!
I’ve always been music addicted. I’ve always “needed” music. At fourteen I completed piano and composition studies privately, then i’ve been part of a poliphonic choir as half soprano for 8 years. During that period i’ve always had experiences in rock bands, as singer or playing piano then it came the tribute band and finally… Raven Tide.
“Ever Rain” brings amazing images to mind. I’d like everyone in the band to contribute to this one if possible. What is the symbolic value of music? Why is it so valuable?
I think it is undeniable that music is an indispensable element in the lives of everyone. It’s like a constant soundtrack that follows us even if we don’t pay attention or are busy in our business. It has the great power to communicate with our intimate and it does so without barriers, nothing can stop it. I think this is the great magic of music.
Shark: Hello Connie, is a pleasure to talk with you! Well, I agree with Cheryl about the importance of music, personally I could not think of my life without music, is simply a great form of expression, perhaps the most universal.
Mark: …and even more understandable. Only listening it can give strong emotions but even more amazing is when you can create music!
Fred: …especially when you realize that what you wanted to convey through your work came straight to the heart of someone. This is fantastic.
“Ever Rain” is a great taste of what is to come and I’m definitely excited. Cheryl, thanks for your time. It’s been wonderful talking with you.
Thank you so much for this special occasion Connie!! It was great to share with you part of our world! Thanks to femme metal for the wonderful work and for believing in us! The Raven Tides promise you all big news shortly! Keep on following us and…stay metal!!!
Review by Tony Cannella
It is no secret that the country of Italy has become a major force in supplying the world with some great metal bands of all genres. One of the latest bands to emerge from Italy is the Melodic Metal band Windfall. Windfall keeps up the tradition of high quality Italian metal on their independently released debut EP “Crush”. Despite having a production that is not the greatest, “Crush” features some excellent material that is able to overcome some of the shortcomings as far as the production goes. Beginning with the interestingly titledb, Windfall simply tears into this opening number with fierce intensity. “Life Is a Challenge” is up next and gets my vote for best song. “Revenge” is next and features a cool prog-like keyboard opening before a monstrous riff joins the fray and pretty much is present through the remainder of the song. The EP is completed with the powerful title track “Crush”. The strong vocals of Francesca Tedeschi are a huge highlight for me and one of the reasons why “Crush” made a good impression, but the talents of the other band members cannot be ignored. Overall, Windfall possesses a great deal of talent and potential which is on full display on “Crush”.
Rating – 83/100
- Dad Show
- Life Is a Challenge
- Francesca Tedeschi – Vocals
- Lorenzo Nardi – Guitar
- Tommaso Buzzegoli – Keyboards
- Marco Patracchini – Bass
- Matteo Bresci – Drums
Review by Tony Cannella
In This Pain is a Female fronted Gothic/atmospheric metal band from Italy. They have just released their 8-song, 37-minute debut demo titled, “Bloody Tears”. For a first effort, In This Pain has recorded a pretty impressive demo, both in song and sound quality. After viewing the album art work and song titles, for some reason I had an idea that In This Pain would be a little more aggressive and brutal than I actually found them to be. I was pleasantly surprised by the pacing of the songs, the atmospheric nature and the melodicism that is present throughout the 8-songs. That is not to say that “Bloody Tears” doesn’t have its moments of metal mayhem and powerful guitar riffs – it has plenty of those. The sinister sounding intro “Dance in the Darkness” segues perfectly into “Alone in the Dark” a song with plenty of ambiance and a strong opener. “Only Dust”, the great “Requiem” (this song has a “Elegy” by Leaves’ Eyes vibe to it) and “Zombies” are up next and really keep the energy level going. In This Pain close out this strong demo, with the over 7-minute track “Bloody Tears”, which turns out to be a strong way to end things, as the song gallops to a forceful conclusion. After listening to In This Pain’s “Bloody Tears”, the end result is very satisfying for this cool band from Italy.
Rating – 78/100
- Dance in the Darkness – Intro
- Alone in the Dark
- Only Dust
- Leave Me Alone
- Everything Ends (After Death)
- Bloody Tears
- Keys – Vocals
- Alek – Guitar
- Lukk – Bass
- Vik – Drums
Style switcher only on this demo version. Theme styles can be changed from Options page.
- Unleash the Archers – “Demons of the Astrowaste” (2011)
- Unleash the Archers – “Behold the Devastation” (2009)
- Mark Jansen – Epica
- Se Delan – “The Fall” (2014)
- Tuomas Holopainen – “The Life and Times of Scrooge” (2014)
- Anna von Hausswolff – “Ceremony” (2013)
- Introducing Margaret Berger
- Zuberoa Aznárez – Diabulus in Musica
- Xandria – “Sacrificium” (2014)
- Arkona – “Yav” (2014)
- Asami – Voice of Divine Children (Japanese version)
- Hanna Pakarinen – “Olipa kerran elamä” (2013)
- Stream of Passion – “A War of Our Own” (2014)
- Leah – “Otherworld” EP (2013)
- Nina Persson – “Animal Heart” (2014)
- Cristina Scabbia – Lacuna Coil
- AkromA – “La Cene” (2014)
- Temperance – “Temperance” (2014)
- Rebekka Karijord – “Music for Film and Theatre” (2014)
- The Floating World – “The Apparition” (2012)
- Still Corners – “Strange Pleasures” (2013)
- Magistina Saga – “Two-Facedness of A Tale” MINI ALBUM (2013)
- Lacuna Coil – “Broken Crown Halo” (2014)
- Heart – “Fanatic Live From Caesars Coliseum” (2014)
- Eths – “Ex Umbra In Solem” EP (2014)
- Wallis Bird – “Architect” (2014)
- Revontulet – “Hear Me” (2014)
- Louna – “Behind a Mask” (2013)
- Shear – “Katharsis” (2014)
- Memoira – “Memories, Tragedies, Masquerades” (2013)