Therion – Beloved Antichrist (Review)

TherionTherion are a Swedish symphonic/operatic metal band and this is their sixteenth album.

Holy crap. This is a three-CD album, with a total duration of over three hours. Dear me. Where do you even begin with a release like this? And in case you’re wondering; no, I have not listened to this in its entirety in just one sitting! Continue reading

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Xandria – Theater of Dimensions (Review)

XandriaXandria are a symphonic metal band from Germany. This is their seventh album.

This is grand, orchestral, operatic metal with lofty ambitions and high aims. It’s been a while since I’ve caught up with Xandria, and it seems they’re hungrier than ever for big things. Continue reading

Caelestia – Beneath Abyss (Review)

CaelestiaCaelestia are from Greece and this is their second album. They play Melodic Metal.

Well this is interesting. Superficially another Gothic/Operatic European Metal band, there’s actually more to Caelestia than that.

They combine elements of that sound with Melodic Death Metal and Progressive Metal to create an altogether more interesting beast than what you, (or me), might have been expecting.

The album is a mixture of these aforementioned styles, meaning that Beneath Abyss is not a listen that gets stale. This is a bigger than normal compliment actually, considering how easy it is for Gothic Metal bands to be quite generic. But of course, this is where the other influences come in.

Another very positive thing about the band is the main female vocals; the singer has a strong voice that definitely has her own personality stamped onto it and manages to avoid simply aping some of the bigger female vocalists out there. She has a versatile and powerful voice that oozes professionalism and quality.

Her voice is joined by choral backing vocals and harsher male shouting, as well as a guest spot from the singer of Soilwork.

These are enjoyable songs and the combination of the European Metal styles into one package gives Caelestia an identity of their own that differentiates them from the majority of their peers who play similar styles of music. It also lends the songs more depth than they’d otherwise have if the bite of the Melodic Death Metal or the musicality of the Progressive Metal were removed.

A very good listen. Check them out and see if you agree.