Paradise Lost – Obsidian (Review)

Paradise Lost. - ObsidianThis is the 16th album from UK metal band Paradise Lost.

This is the eagerly awaited follow up to 2017’s Medusa, which was a thoroughly enjoyable album through and through. Back with 45 minutes of new material on Obsidian, this is a great time to be a Paradise Lost fan. Continue reading

Diablo Blvd – Zero Hour (Review)

Diablo BlvdThis is the fourth album from Belgian dark metal/rock band Diablo Blvd.

Just take a look at that album cover. I mean, how could you not be intrigued by that?

When you delve in, you’ll find that Diablo Blvd play a mix of classic and Continue reading

Embassy of Silence – Verisimilitude (Review)

Embassy of SilenceEmbassy of Silence are from Finland and this is their third album. They play Progressive Rock.

This is bright, upbeat and cheery Progressive Rock with Gothic elements and just a tinge of Metal. Good songwriting and the abundant energy that the band pour into the tracks mean that Verisimilitude is a winner.

Although there are Gothic elements, these are only added in for extra colour as the main base of the band is a Progressive one. This is good, as Gothic Rock/Metal has been so thoroughly done to death over the years that it’s a style that’s usually simpler and duller in many ways than what we find on this album.

As the band’s songwriting is based mainly on Progressive Rock rather than the Gothic variety, this allows them to avoid the obvious pitfalls of the Gothic Rock/Metal style. On this album the band have the mix just right, concentrating mainly on the Progressive and just adding a bit of the Gothic in here and there.

Verisimilitude is a well-done and enjoyable listen, with each of the songs having character and presence. The Progressive Rock influence is evident in the guitars and the keyboards, as well as the overall feel and style of the songs.

There’s a rich tapestry of orchestration and added layers of atmosphere to the songs and a good amount of diversity and variety of feeling and moods on the album. This is also true of the singer’s voice, which is used to great effect throughout. She has a top quality voice with a good range that’s more than capable of dealing with whatever is thrown at it.

Impressive and professional; Embassy of Silence have created a cohesive and compelling album that’s based around energetic and impassioned songs with bright hooks, catchy melodies and music with substance and depth. Who can ask for more?

Highly recommended.

 

The 69 Eyes – The Best of Helsinki Vampires (Review)

The 69 EyesThe 69 Eyes are from Finland and play Gothic Rock.

This is a pretty epic Best Of album, spanning 28 tracks across 25 years. Most bands will never be that prolific.

I haven’t actually heard The 69 Eyes before but they’re certainly a band I’ve been aware of.

As is the case with Best Of albums like this it’s essentially a greatest hits package, and the quality of the songs reflect this.

It shows a remarkable consistency over the band’s long career. Times, style and fortunes may shift and change, but a good song is a good song regardless.

These are catchy, memorable, Gothic-infused Rock songs with personality and choruses aplenty.

The singer has that kind of deep, charismatic voice that is essential for this kind of music and it’s easy to see why he has captivated so many hearts over the decades with his vocal performance.

There is a lot of music on this release, almost 2 hours in total. But even given the constraints of the genre there’s a decent amount of variety here, with everything from up-tempo rockers, moody slower songs and outright ballads getting a chance to shine. The band have suffered no shortage of inspiration over the years, that’s apparent.

From my own point of reference, they combine elements of HIM, Ashbury Heights, Mono Inc., Paradise Lost, Tiamat, Type O Negative, Moonspell and Sentenced; although I’m well aware that it’s probably the other way around in reality.

With such a wealth of riches in one package, if this is your kind of music then it’s hard to go wrong with The Best of Helsinki Vampires.

I’m sold. Sign me up.