Virtual Symmetry – Virtual Symmetry (Review)

Virtual Symmetry - Virtual SymmetryThis is the third album from Swiss/Italian progressive metal band Virtual Symmetry.

Virtual Symmetry play progressive metal, and on their self-titled new album they give us 63 minutes of professionally crafted material. Also, you’ve got to love it when a band opens their album with a 20-minute epic. Spoiler alert – it’s a very good track indeed. Continue reading “Virtual Symmetry – Virtual Symmetry (Review)”

Queensrÿche – Digital Noise Alliance (Review)

Queensrÿche - Digital Noise AllianceQueensrÿche are a legendary US progressive metal band and this is their sixteenth album.

Following on from 2019’s enjoyable The Verdict, Queensrÿche have returned with a new 57 minutes of material in the shape of Digital Noise Alliance. Continue reading “Queensrÿche – Digital Noise Alliance (Review)”

Sumerlands – Dreamkiller (Review)

Sumerlands - DreamkillerThis is the second album from US heavy metallers Sumerlands.

Featuring a member of Vestal Claret, Dreamkiller contains 35 minutes of traditional heavy metal and AOR songwriting smarts. Continue reading “Sumerlands – Dreamkiller (Review)”

Sarayasign – Throne of Gold (Review)

Sarayasign - Throne of GoldThis is the debut album from Sarayasign, a rock band from Sweden.

Occasionally you stumble, blindly, across an album that is a real gem. Throne of Gold is exactly one such release. Sarayasign’s rock style may have fallen out of fashion some time ago, but that doesn’t change the fact that what they have produced here is a damn good album. Continue reading “Sarayasign – Throne of Gold (Review)”

Odd Dimension – The Blue Dawn (Review)

Odd Dimension - The Blue DawnThis is the third album from Italian progressive metallers Odd Dimension.

For an very rough idea of what The Blue Dawn sounds like, think of a metallic modern fusion of Dream Theater and Rush. It’s an imperfect description, but it gives you a decent idea of what to expect across the 64 Continue reading “Odd Dimension – The Blue Dawn (Review)”

The Progressive Souls Collective – Sonic Birth (Review)

The Progressive Souls Collective - Sonic BirthThis is the debut album from The Progressive Souls Collective, an international progressive rock/metal supergroup of sorts.

Here we have 63 minutes of music that features current and ex-members of a range of bands, all brought together by a central figure. I picked this album to listen to initially due to the striking album art, but never thought it Continue reading “The Progressive Souls Collective – Sonic Birth (Review)”

NVC – The Deleted Scenes (Review)

NVCNVC are a Canadian progressive metal band and this is their debut album.

This is modern and emotive progressive metal that marries some latter-day Anathema influences with a melodic death metal side; think Ensiferum and Wintersun for a starting point. The resulting Continue reading “NVC – The Deleted Scenes (Review)”

Avantasia – Ghostlights (Review)

AvantasiaThis is the seventh album from this German Symphonic Power Metal band.

At over 70 minutes in length, there’s a lot of music on this release. Also, featuring guests from such notable bands as Queensrÿche, Twisted Sister, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Unisonic, Edguy and many others, this lives up to the title of Rock Opera with very little effort.

For all the different guest singers, the album has a coherent feel to it, partly due to the cohesive songwriting and partly due to the brains behind the outfit’s voice, which is a near-constant of these tracks in some capacity or other.

The music is bombastic, dramatic, emphatic, symphonic and suitably epic in nature. Unless you just don’t like this kind of thing it’s extremely hard not to enjoy Ghostlights. Great musicianship, high production values, quality singing and well-written operatic Metal…it’s a feast for the ears and proudly espouses the most extravagant side of European Power Metal.

Combined with the effervescent guitars, the orchestral elements are ever-present and a big part of what makes Avantasia so epic. These tracks have such a flair for the theatrical that every song seems to tell a story in bright, colourful pictures, writ large against a suitably ostentatious backdrop. Although the album does have darker elements it’s largely a performance of colour and fantasy, providing the listener with ample opportunity for escapism via the very textured world that the players portray.

Returning back to the guitars; it’s important to remember that this is, ultimately, a Metal album. Thankfully the band remember this too and have included a fair amount of tasty riffs among the orchestration.

Ghostlights evokes various different emotions, as all good operas should, but ultimately I’m left with the feeling of being uplifted and happy. Such larger-than-life music should be celebrated and it’s only appropriate that its lasting impact is a positive one more than anything else.

70 minutes of pure escapist showmanship. Loved it.

Favourite Track: Seduction of Decay. Geoff Tate, (Queensrÿche), has always had one of my favourite voices, and on this track he shines. The music backs him up to the hilt and the entire song is glorious.