Promethean Misery – Bloodlet (Review)

Promethean MiseryThis is the latest EP from Promethean Misery, a one-woman Australian doom metal band.

Full of melancholy and misery, this is a single 20 minute track of dark riffs, haunting piano, and seductive violin. Continue reading

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Vetrar Draugurinn – I (Review)

Vetrar DraugurinnThis is the debut EP from Gothic metallers Vetrar Draugurinn, who are from the Netherlands.

Featuring current and ex-members of bands such as Stream of Passion, The Saturnine, and Autumn, this new band brings a wealth of experience to the table, showing a maturity and professionalism that you’d expect from such accomplished artists. Continue reading

Dimlight – The Lost Chapters (Review)

DimlightDimlight are a symphonic metal band from Greece and this is their third album.

Now this is quite interesting. Here we have a Gothic/symphonic metal band that have some death/black metal elements entwined into the tracks.

This is a modern, updated version of the old, so-called, beauty-and-the-beast vocal approach that twins angelic female cleans with guttural male growls. I always quite liked this approach when it was probably at the height of its popularity Continue reading

Elyria – Reflection and Refraction (Review)

ElyriaElyria are a symphonic metal band from Germany. This is their début album.

With a Classically-trained female vocalist in the ranks, you already know that her singing is going to be first-rate. With her Classical training it’s clear from the off that she really knows what she’s doing. How well this works for you depends on your take on the style and how you feel about these kinds of vocals.

There are some really nice vocal melodies strewn about these tracks, reminding me sometimes of older Kamelot in their delivery, and her voice is very enjoyable.

The music is largely of the Gothic/symphonic variety, but interestingly Elyria spice Continue reading

Tothem – Gemini (Review)

TothemThis is the second album from Tothem, an Italian gothic/heavy metal band.

This is the band’s follow up to their début album Beyond the Sea, which was a polished collection of gothic metal tracks.

As with their first release; no matter how enticing the female vocals are, Tothem still remember that they’re first and foremost a metal band. This means that the music is just as important as the singing, and the guitars are present and correct as they should be.

Continue reading

Beseech – My Darkness, Darkness (Review)

BeseechBeseech are a Gothic Metal band from Sweden and this is their sixth album.

Since reforming in 2012, this is the band’s first release in 11 years, after their last album Sunless Days in 2005. I always really enjoyed Beseech’s older work when I was in the mood for it so was looking forward to hearing their newest music.

Immediately as the first song Beating Pulse starts it’s like they’ve never been away, with sterling melodies and emotive vocals from both male and female singers. It’s a strong opening.

The Beseech of 2016 have refined their sound so that they now pay homage to their earlier work, but have also added something new and, dare I say it, better than what came before. There’s a bit more of a Rock vibe to parts of this album than there was previously, and this has replaced certain overly-Gothic aspects of their sound in some ways. I don’t have a problem with this though, in fact I think it makes for a stronger album overall.

Beseech were always quite an emotive and textured band, but they appear to have developed this even further on My Darkness, Darkness. There also seems to be a bit more subtlety and nuance here than before; although this is not something they were really lacking, it’s just a deeper part of their sound now.

Essentially this is Beseech 2.0; better, leaner, hungrier and more refined than before. Experience and time appears to have aged them like a fine wine, and this collection of songs is very enjoyable indeed.

I’m very pleased with this. Rather cynically I honestly expected some form of half-hearted rehashing of old glories, (not sure why), but instead the band have impressively produced an updated, fresh and wonderfully emotive release that has quite floored my jaded expectations and is currently swamping my brain with quality tunes.

Check this out.

Chronos Zero – Hollowlands – The Tears Path: Chapter One (Review)

Chronos ZeroThis is the second album from Italian Progressive Metal band Chronos Zero.

Chronos Zero represent the slightly heavier side of Progressive European-styled Metal. Chunky riffs trade off with soft keyboards to create emotive landscapes for both the band and listener to explore.

This is reflected in the vocals too, which are performed by both male and female singers. The female vocals are powerful cleans that recall the best of the 90s/00s days and the male vocals are a combination of cleans and shouts.

This combination of different vocal delivery helps with the album holding attention well, despite a running time of 72 minutes. The music contributes to this too, obviously; Chronos Zero have made sure that they have included enough Progressive/Power Metal to satisfy any fan of the genre.

The music is professionally played and the modern guitars work well with the extravagant keyboards, merging influences from the more restrained American brand of Power Metal with the exploratory, ostentatious side of the European style.

This album strikes me as a more modern updating of the male/female European style that was quite popular over a decade or so ago. There are no, (well, very few), Gothic Metal influences on this album though; Chronos Zero have distinct Progressive/Power Metal view of things, and I like their vision.

So, take a band like Threshold, add a heavier European Metal influence, add shouted male vocals, add luscious female vocals, coat in a modern, professional production…this will give you a good idea of what Chronos Zero have to offer.

This is a well-written and satisfying, albeit lengthy, feast that should appeal to any fan of the genre.

Very enjoyable indeed – check it out.

Moaning Silence – A World Afraid of Light (Review)

Moaning SilenceThis is the début album from Greek Gothic/Atmospheric Metal band Moaning Silence.

Featuring the kind of sound that was making big waves late 90s/early 00s, Moaning Silence play it well and I haven’t heard too much like this of late.

Combining the drawn-out Gothic sorrow of My Dying Bride with elements of Anathema’s approach, Moaning Silence have created an album that pays homage to the emotive, expressive side of Metal. There’s also an Anathema cover included for good measure.

Both male and female vocals appear, with the male vocalist’s voice having a quality to it that’s somewhere between the singers of My Dying Bride and Sentenced, while the female singer has a liquid, silken quality to her voice that is quite enticing.

This kind of style has been done to death, of course, so whether you enjoy what Moaning Silence have to offer depends on where your saturation point is for this kind of thing. I’ve pretty much reached mine, but I can still appreciate that Moaning Silence do what they do well, and there are some nice ideas on this release that show a lot of promise for the future. In fact, I enjoy them at their most when they’re relaxing a bit and letting the atmosphere flow naturally, as in tracks like The Last Days of December, (which is also notable for its lovely guitar solo and Classic Rock vibe).

As a début album, there’s still a lot of work to do for the band; I think they need to find their own style a bit more and also tighten up both the writing and the sound. Having said that though, there’s still a lot to enjoy on A World Afraid of Light, and I do like that this isn’t the ostentatious, flashy, overly-commercial brand of Gothic Metal either; this is a more earthy, honest interpretation of the original style that birthed a thousand Lacuna Coils.

So, give them a listen and see what you think.

Favourite Track: On Fragile Wings. Just a damn good song.