Gomorra – Dealer of Souls (Review)

Gomorra - Dealer of SoulsGomorra are a heavy metal band from Switzerland and this is their second album.

Featuring members of Comaniac and Destruction, Gomorra combine heavy, thrash, and power metal into 49 minutes of well-executed music. Continue reading “Gomorra – Dealer of Souls (Review)”

Judicator – Let There Be Nothing (Review)

Judicator - Let There Be NothingJudicator are a power metal band from the US and this is their fifth album.

Let There Be Nothing is a 60-minute concept album, one that’s epic on scope and ambition. Will this be 2020’s best power metal release? Well, it’s certainly the best one I’ve heard so far, for whatever that’s worth. Continue reading “Judicator – Let There Be Nothing (Review)”

Burning Witches – Hexenhammer – (Review)

Burning Witches - HexenhammerHexenhammer are a heavy metal band from Switzerland and this is their second album.

Featuring a member of Ursinne, here we have 48 minutes of old-school heavy metal spiced up with elements of speed/thrash and power metal here and there. Continue reading “Burning Witches – Hexenhammer – (Review)”

Sonic Prophecy – Savage Gods (Review)

Sonic ProphecyThis is the third album from Sonic Prophecy, a power metal band from the US.

I really enjoyed 2015’s Apocalyptic Promenade, so now that Savage Gods is ready to be unleashed, I’m very happy to reacquaint myself with their work. Continue reading “Sonic Prophecy – Savage Gods (Review)”

Burning Shadows – Truth in Legend (Review)

Burning Shadows are a power metal band from the US and this is their third album.

Burning Shadows made a lasting impression on me with their 2012 release Gather, Darkness!, which demonstrated a band that had a strong sound, good tunes, and a very capable singer; all essential components for power metal success. Continue reading “Burning Shadows – Truth in Legend (Review)”

Distant Sun – Into the Nebula (Review)

Distant SunThis is the second album from Distant Sun, a Russian power/thrash metal band.

2015’s Dark Matter was an enjoyable slab of metal, in which Distant Sun, (featuring members of Shadow Host and Starsoup), showed the world what they had to offer. Continue reading “Distant Sun – Into the Nebula (Review)”

Iron Kingdom – Ride for Glory (Review)

Iron KingdomThis is the third album by Canadian Heavy Metallers Iron Kingdom.

After enjoying their second album Gates of Eternity, Ride for Glory promised much. Once again we’re treated to Iron Maiden/Iced Earth-style Heavy/Power Metal that’s epic and embraces fully everything about True Metal.

The solos and leads are shred-tastic and everything is flashy, ostentatious and overblown. Although they don’t reach the totally over-the-top heights of a band like Freedom Call, (one of the best), it doesn’t seem to be for the want of trying.

The vocals are just as histrionic as the previous album and work just as well with the music.

Iron Kingdom know their style very well and Ride for Glory is the complete Heavy Metal care package. Loving attention has been lavished on this release and the songs may not be perfect but what they sometimes lack in creativity is more than made up for with passion and zeal.

Unless you’re completely allergic to fantasy/mythology-inspired Heavy Metal it’s hard not to like this. The band have an enthusiasm for their subject and genre that is positively infectious.

Give them a try.

Distant Sun – Dark Matter (Review)

Distant SunDistant Sun are a Russian Power/Speed Metal band and this is their début album.

This is Power Metal played in the European style with a nice influence from US Thrash/Speed Metal felt throughout.

The vocals are a little grittier than most European-influenced bands and this falls in line with the Thrash influence. The singer does have a good voice though and is reminiscent of the singer of Metallica in some ways, but thankfully not overly so.

The band are comfortable playing chuggy, Thrashy riffs as well as more stirring, melodic ones. Overall the album is quite riff-heavy and the guitars have a nice bite to them.

Distant Sun’s style is kind of late-90s, combining the Power, Heavy and Thrash Metal styles of the time into a kind of Blind Guardian/Testament/Iced Earth/Annihilator melting pot. Add to this a bit of an 80s Thrash influence too and you have Dark Matter.

The songs are a good combination of these styles and frequently result in tracks that are both high-octane and catchy.

The band members in Distant Sun are also active in Shadow Host and Starsoup; both are top-notch bands and Distant Sun is another great outing from them.

I firmly recommend this and suggest you check them out.

Jaded Star – Memories from the Future (Review)

Jaded StarJaded Star are based in Greece and play Melodic Heavy Metal. This is their début album.

Featuring former members of Iced Earth and Visions of Atlantis, you know straight away that this is going to be competently and professionally played before you even hear it.

This is modern Melodic Heavy Metal with a state-of-the-art recording and songs that are catchy and memorable. Electronic enhancements are subtle and don’t detract from the Metal core of the band.

I quite enjoyed Cast Away by Visions of Atlantis, but it suffered under the shadow of the mighty Nightwish. I never heard them after that. Fast forward 11 years and The now ex-singer of Visions of Atlantis has come into her own and the performance on Memories from the Future is faultless. She has a great voice that combines power and melody in the right amounts to bring these songs to life with anthemic vigour.

She also doesn’t play it entirely safe, as she injects more variety into these tracks than a lot of similarly-styled singers try to do. Commendable.

Musically you might expect Metal-by-numbers, but the sound, although professional, is surprisingly organic and fresh for a band within this genre. The musicianship certainly is first rate and there are enough leads and solos to provide a meaty feast but without becoming ostentatious as can be the case with some European Power Metal.

These songs are energetic bundles of hummable Metal that don’t commit the cardinal sins that a lot of bands of this style do – overly commercial, weak guitars, generic songs, etc. – Jaded Star avoid all of these by providing a much more personal take on a style that is, by now, well-worn at best.

This kind of music is never going to be innovative or new, but that’s not the point; there is, however, a much needed injection of individuality and true passion into the genre, as a lot of bands of this ilk can sound same-y and boring. I’m extremely pleased with Jaded Star though as they remind me of what I first loved about female-fronted Metal when I first started listening to it in earnest over a decade and a half ago, (gulp!).

Jaded Star have reaffirmed my love for this kind of music and I can honestly and heartily recommend Memories from the Future. Had your fill of this style? Weary of the same old stuff? Give Jaded Star a try and watch your passion re-ignite.

Jaded no more.