Whether or not you consider yourself a fan of Alestorm, the power metal offshoot known as Gloryhammer might be just what the doctor ordered. Aside from the mighty Avantasia, this might be the best side project on the market, and “Tales From The Kingdom Of Fife” is one of the best albums of the year.
Far be it from me to speak for the influences and inspirations of a band, but whatever Vancouver based Tatanka had in mind when recording their self titled EP, they did it to near flawless perfection. Broad instrumentals and a beautifully flawed vocal performance fill four tracks of modern melodic metal that does the name well.
Folk metal has become so generic, hasn’t it? Not a chance. Thanks to projects like Tengger Cavalry, a nomadic folk band from Beijing, China, the genre manages to stay innovative while continuing to spread culture throughout the world. Their latest album, “Black Steed,” is a monument to history.
That dirty bastard known as the Easter Bunny brought me a little something extra in my basket this year; a head cold that crippled me for days! Better believe I’ll have a surprise waiting for him next year. Wanted to catch up on the highlights of the last two weeks in reviews, with some pretty amazing albums. We touched on all facets of the metal world: the death/doom genre was reinvigorated by the work of Soliloquium, power thrash gained new life thanks to Windrunners, the metal opera got a new installment thanks to Tobias Sammet and Avantasia, Intronaut turned heads with a hazy brand of psychedelic sludge, Myrkgrav told us a little bit about the history of Norway in true folk metal style, and Moradin proved that Canadians can do melodic black metal better than anyone.
No amount of descriptive words, comparisons, or prodding could make you want to listen to an album. But once the music clicks in your mind, it is stuck there forever. Windrunners, from the Ukraine, are a band of merry men who need no help flooding your subconscious. And “Undead” is an album that needs to introduction.
It seemed far too long since a true death doom outfit had not only crossed our desks, but managed to stick in our minds for more than a few scant minutes. Luckily, with our inbox overflowing with new and exciting bands, Swedish based Soliloquium took the the time to reach out. And with their newest demo, “The Concept Of Escape,” reinvigorated our love of the heavy arts.
With new full time singer Clémentine Delauney in tow, European symphonic metal band Serenity are ready to change gears. Going from the realm of good, but overlooked into the leaders of the genre won’t happen overnight. But as Brian writes, “War Of Ages” not only tops their previous work, but makes you forget it ever happened.
Music is ever changing. It evolves. A lackluster effort in 2010 shouldn’t push us away from a new offering in 2013, though it so often does. But as we learn from The Howling Void, time has a way of changing things. On “Runa,” you have a one man band, taken to another level.
As the title indicates, the latest album from Aidan delves deeper than an average piece of metal. As a study of our brain function and how we behave ourselves, this is something that will elicit evolved thinking. But as a metal album, “The Relation Between Brain and Behaviour” doesn’t completely sink in.
We want bands to change. We want bands to stay the same. We want it all, and complain when we don’t get it. But when it comes to “Habitual Levitations (Instilling Words With Tones),” the new album from Intronaut, you get something different that somehow remains familiar. And you will like it, one way or another.