White Arms of Athena present themselves to me with a self titled album with beautiful album art. What do I expect? Something progressive, maybe melodic with some clean vocals. How close am I? Damn close. This is the first time I’ve actively paid attention to this band and gave them a listen. While driving in the car, I was focused on the music, which is a wonderful progressive style melodic hard rock. Layers of notes, groove and well placed sequences of musical drive. The vocals is where I was struggling to stay focused. Is it bad? No. However, I just couldn’t find myself openly enjoying the singing.
Okay. Here is something magical that hit my inbox and proceeded to keep me enthralled the entire listen and had me wanting to replay the album constantly. I even took a break from it just to revisit it and make sure I wasn’t insane. Meadows End, a symphonic/melodic death metal band from Sweden gives us the most astonishing sounding music since I heard Caladan Brood’s “Echoes of Battle”. I’m not comparing the two albums based on sound nor genre, I am comparing the feeling I got while listening to each for the first time. This is something magical, something brilliant and something I can listen to on a daily basis.
Combining thirsty newcomer musicians with veteran masters, White Empress delivers quality metal onto unexpected listeners. Lead by Cradle of Filth’s Paul Allender and the talented bassist Chela Rhea Harper (VII, Coal Chamber), the duo grab a handful of wildly driven musicians who all seem to come together all too well. The EP is 4 songs of quality melodic heaviness.
Dark Century – “Murder Motel”. Decent death metal with aggressive mentality throughout and cheesy lyrics. Vocals aren’t bad but don’t pay attention to what he is saying. Other than the elementary lyrics that you shouldn’t take seriously, the band reminds me of Exhumed in a way. 3 out of 5
Iced Earth returned earlier this year and I am just now getting around to writing a review for this epic return to the public. Plagues of Babylon is your traditional metal album filled with catchy riffs, tasty leads, up beat drumming and radical vibrato vocals. This album is very welcoming to my ears as it’s different from the usual when it comes to all of the metal I hear these days. Iced Earth are a great band with a good reputation and fans will be happy with the result of the new album, Plagues of Babylon.
One single track from German post-metal band Amber and one track from a melodic hardcore, post something from Cleveland known as Locktender. Two different artists, somewhat of a similar sound and one pretty kick ass short EP.
Frail Grounds is a melodic death metal band from Oslo, Norway. They have a bi-polar mentality when it comes to their song writing as they attack the prog and melodic death senses. Also, the bands features some good ‘death’ growling as well as traditional metal singing. ‘The Fields of Trauma’ is a unique listen and it’s definitely worthy of a try.
Oh Scythia, when melodic metal blends with folk and tends to stray away from non-death metal vocals, it seems to get a bad wrap and often ignored from the massive swarm of vile death metal listeners. However, this time around, the band turns up the musical charm and gives something with incredible replayability and “…Of Conquest” is full of quality metal from beginning to end!
Today’s choice cuts of metal meat come from the black ambient side of things, excluding Nilfgaard which is more of a melodic death metal act. Each band is quality in it’s own way.
Adora Vivos intrigued me instantly because it was the name of a song on Woods of Ypres’ final album. I HAD to listen to it. Woods is one of the best bands to ever exist and after listening to one single song from Adora Vivos, it’s clear that they are incredibly influenced by Woods’ style and song writing. Ever since Gold’s death, there has been a void left within my soul and it’s hard to find a band to fill that spot again. Well after many “spins” of this new EP from Adora Vivos, it’s left me with a great sense of fulfillment and excitement. Many more bands will come and many more will go. Another band will grant me pure enjoyment and satisfaction like Woods of Ypres once did…..and Adora Vivos have definitely done just that.