February has started off with a bang. A handful of good singles came out, and Friday saw a couple of massively impressive album releases. There wasn’t much in the way of news or announcements, but the music was enough to keep me busy, anyway.
I’ll begin with the most unique piece of news: the Sabaton History Channel’s debut. Upon its announcement a few weeks ago, the concept of Sabaton History was generally well received. The first episode definitely lives up to expectations. It’s interesting and detailed, and you’ll likely learn a thing or two.
Týr – Sunset Shore
Týr’s upcoming album Hel is set to release on 8 March. I’m not a huge fan, but ‘Sunset Shore’ sounds solid enough. It sounds like the rest of their music; mournful and emotional with a great guitar solo.
Bloodbound – ‘Slayer Of Kings’
Bloodbound’s Rise of the Dragon Empire is coming 20 March. Judging by this single, it will be another light and fantastical release with the usual Bloodbound essence. ‘Slayer Of Kings’ is pretty straightforward, and doesn’t stray very far from it’s true power metal sound. There’s nothing exceptional here, but that isn’t really what we expect from them, anyway.
Grimgotts – ‘Ancient Waters’
Adventurous power metal band Grimgotts’ new single for their upcoming album, Dragons of the Ages, blows all of their past songs out of the sea. It’s a lot cleaner sounding than their first record, and it carries an uplifting and epic feel. A release date has yet to be announced, but it’s likely to be released by mid-year.
Darkwater – ‘A New Beginning’
‘A New Beginning’ is the second single for melodic proggers Darkwater’s new album, Human. This will be their first album release in nine years. By the sound of ‘A New Beginning’, the album will comprise of the same electronic sound as its predecessors.
Eluveitie – ‘Ategnatos’
Melodic folk-death masters Eluveitie are back. Their second single for the upcoming Ategnatos, coming 5 April, sounds promising; it’s characteristically mournful and delivers exactly what you’d expect.
Herman Frank – Fight the Fear
For fans of classic metal, Fight the Fear is everything you could want; heavy riffs, shredding solos, and a hard-hitting band. However, variety is almost non-existent in this album, and once you get two or three tracks in, there’s nothing coming up that you haven’t already heard.
That being said, this is a good (but not great) record. You can see my detailed review here.
Thornbridge – Theatrical Masterpiece
Thornbridge has surfaced with a second album that takes everything great about their first record and tags it with a newer, more original feel. The sound can most accurately be described as old school Blind Guardian with Orden Ogan choruses served on a modern power metal plate.
Check out my review here.
Beast In Black – From Hell With Love
I’ve saved the best for last. Of all the releases this week (and, realistically, probably this year), Beast In Black’s sophomore album stands far on top. They’ve taken their former 80s influence and blended it into their power metal foundation, resulting in a synth-heavy, heart-burning, cheese-oozing fury that sticks out from all of Anton Kabanen’s work thus far.
You can see my more detailed assessment of the Beast’s blast to the past here!