Bloody Tyrant – Solitary Eagle

The band’s third studio album Solitary Eagle offers very creative, entertaining and inspiring melodic black metal. The epic atmosphere on the album is enhanced by a multitude of elements. Some songs offer majestic symphonic elements and choirs that aren’t a far call from contemporary Dimmu Borgir and the likes. Other songs focus on Taiwanese folk…

Bare Infinity – The Butterfly Raiser

One can fire out all of the usual comparisons to Bare Infinity’s brand of metal (that being Nightwish, Delain, Epica, et al) but it shouldn’t hinder one from checking it out in full. For while the formula is in fact familiar, Bare Infinity does their best to give it their own stamp to move forward…

Atlas Pain – What the Oak Left

Folk metal is broad descriptor so I’ll first attempt to capture the essence of these fervent Italians. The best starting point is the compositions and density of Wintersun but with less black metal, more power metal and an ear for cheeriness above grandiosity. What the Oak Left is buoyant and nimble but thankfully avoids the…

Wolfchant – Bloodwinter

After five releases, most of which ranged from good to excellent, Wolfchant is back and up to its old tricks. With galloping drums, a mixture of harsh and epic clean vocals, keyboard melodies, orchestrated choruses, and pagan lyrical subject matter, Bloodwinter is about what anyone familiar with this Bavarian unit would expect, with only a…

Pain Of Salvation – In The Passing Light Of Day

The whole album is loaded from start to finish with big, chunky, emotional songs. But what I appreciate about Pain of Salvation‘s later stuff is Gildenlöw and company’s excellent compositions and arrangements. These dudes write beautiful, evocative melodies and subtle arrangements. “Silent Gold,” for example, is a simple, piano-driven song with sloping bass and a chorus that will make anyone…

Mors Principium Est – Embers Of A Dying World

Where Mors Principium Est‘s fourth and fifth albums sounded more like Part 1 and Part 2 of one another, Embers of a Dying World does a damn good job of simply allowing itself to be its own album. First and foremost: by amping up the orchestral elements…so much so, that Andy Gillion himself jokingly refers…

Ignea – The Sign of Faith

Much of what builds Ignea isn’t the most innovative, but they put it all together in a fresh way. There’s a direct component of symphonic metal (think more along the lines of Epica than Nightwish) as well as some melodic death metal influences in heavy riffs and both male and female extreme vocals. But the…