With last week being fairly slow in the world of power metal (and others), it was nice to have plenty to look forward to this week. There were only a couple notable singles but that’s just fine with me because I was very busy on the album front. Tons of records came out that I didn’t include on this list, either because they were crap or I just couldn’t find much to say about them, but you can hit the ‘Upcoming Albums’ tab up top if you want to see what else there was!
Let me start this list by saying that yes, I know a new Motley Crue single came out on Thursday and no, I will not post the link here because it’s really fucking bad.
Eluveitie – Ambiramus
Folk masters Eluveitie unleashed another music video for their upcoming Ategnatos, out 5 April. Now, I’ve already heard the album a few times (review coming soon!), so I know what to expect, but this is one of my favourite tracks. It’s fun, catchy, powerful: everything I want from Eluveitie.
Trick or Treat – Aries: Stardust Revolution
Helloween-tribute-band-turned-real-deal Trick or Treat have unleashed their second single since their last full-length record, Re-Animated. It’s also the first single for their coming concept album, The Legend of the XII Saints, which will be released month by month based on the zodiac signs.
Their happy, uplifting power metal is of the likeness of Dragonland, Galderia, and Skeletoon, so if power metal cheese ain’t your thing (which it is, otherwise why would you be on this site?), you’ll want to give this one a wide berth.
Bloodbound – Rise of the Dragon Empire
Bloodbound has taken all of the glorious, dragonslaying exuberance from War of Dragons and crammed it all into Rise of the Dragon Empire. Along with more dynamic variable songwriting, it’s altogether better than its predecessor and, in my opinion, the best Bloodbound record to date. The soaring choruses are thunderous, the guitar solos are grand, and the synth is heavy in this power metal monster.
Meridian – Margin of Error
In a world where mediocre and experimental metal outfits stir up a storm of over-saturation, Danish outfit Meridian’s third record, Margin Of Error, offers a journey that rarely strays from its course. Complete with incredible guitar solos and expressive vocals, its style is true heavy metal and, although there is a limited amount of variety in the song selection, the album is nonetheless enjoyable.
Click here to navigate to the review.
Frozen Crown – Crowned in Frost
Frozen Crown arrived on the power metal scene in a blizzard with last year’s debut, The Fallen King. Their mix of melodeath and power metal combined with a strong female lead and insanely good musicianship made them a formidable force right out of the gate. And to prove their legitimacy further, Frozen Crown have hardly stopped long enough to catch their breath. They’ve wasted no time or effort in the making of their second record, Crowned in Frost, and have produced yet another exceptional slab of metal.
The guitar work is nothing short of exceptional; with every riff or solo comes a flurry of ass-kicking axemanship. However, there’s far more to see here than just the guitars, so make sure you give this one a serious listen!
Catch the review here.
Joe Stump – Symphonic Onslaught
Joe Stump is an exceptional soloist, but that’s about where his skillset stops. Symphonic Onslaught falls into the classic guitar feature trap of one-man-showmanship. The rhythm section is fairly lazy (whether that’s due to the writing or the players, I don’t know) and only ever sits on the beat rather than filling the background out with any sort of detail.
Another issue I find is to do with Stump’s playing style. I do think he’s an incredible soloist, but his melodies are pretty weak, which is a bit of an issue when you’re listening to an album’s worth of music. He can play all sorts of fast, but he fails to show restraint or attention to the finer things outside of speed, so after a couple songs, you really won’t find anything new in the rest. This may seem like a small issue, but this is what separates guys like Stump from the true masters.
Also, it’s beyond me why the fuck this record has ‘Symphonic’ in its title. Anyway, if you like sick guitar shredding and have no care for anything else, check this record out, because Joe Stump is really good at it.
Battle Beast – No More Hollywood Endings
Battle Beast has all but completely reinvented its sound this time around, abandoning its unique brand of melodic heavy/power metal for a shinier, late 90s/early 00s pop sound. If Bringer of Painwas a step in a new direction, No More Hollywood Endings is a trip to the next city over. If it weren’t for a couple individual tracks and Noora Louhimo’s iconic, raspy vocals, it’d be unrecognizable as a Beast album.
In all honesty, when it lost Anton Kabanen, the Beast lost its bite. No More Hollywood Endings is widely dynamic, but a lot of the songs are very one-dimensional. Although many of the tracks feature epic orchestras and plentiful keyboards, more parts doesn’t always mean better parts.
I have very mixed feelings about this album mainly because of how hit-and-miss the tracks are. That being said, the reviews for this one are all over the place, so decide for yourself how good it is!
Check out my review here.
I just stumbled upon these guys while tracking down the music videos for this article and, I swear to God, I haven’t laughed so hard in a couple weeks. Not from a joke or a punchline, but from the blatant fucking pretension I felt the entire time I was watching it. Was it the generic, “gothic” vocals? Or maybe that line of text about genetics underneath the presolo? Or was it the weird attempt at throwing a sexy secretary in for no reason?
I’m probably alone here, but I think this video is hilarious.
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