June Review and half year report...

Date:2019-06-29 10:49:47
Here we go with the June review starting with the lowest ranked album that got a full listen.

Dark Blue Inc. - Linked To Life 4/10
Proggy metal with Goran Edman on vox but it just doesn't work out. Far too average and boring.

Symphony Of Pain - Virology 4/10
English prog metal but hampered by terrible production. Songs also too weird for me.

Bloody Hammers - The Summoning 5/10
Couple of decent tunes but alas not an album I'll be returning to.

Conquest - The World Has Gone to Hell 5/10
Well they got the title right! Rest is just average chunky heavy metal with a think but raw guitar sound.

Constantine - Aftermath - 5/10 Greek shredder. Some songs have vocals and some just instrumental. Fairly average in the end but a few tasty chops.

Janet Gardner - Your Place in the Sun 5/10
Solo album by ex Vixen starlet. Her voice is not good or even shot but her backing band is pretty ok.

Nucleus - Entity - 5/10
Production clear as mud. Riffs not even that great. Sci-fi death metal sounds good on paper but I'm not having this kinda execution no thank you.

Arakain - Jekyll & Hyde 5.5/10
I forget where they're from but it's either Czech Rep or Slovakia. Straight ahead heavy metal.

Dissolution - Insects And Interlopers 5.5/10
Tech death with some black metal parts. Just didn't do it for me.

Eternal Breath - World of Chaos - 5.5/10
Rough and ready power metal. HAs it's peculiar charms but not gonna makes waves in my metal world.

Majesty Of Revival - Timeless - 5.5/10
Weirdo Russian prog metal doesn't work out.

Chaos Magic - Furyborn - 6/10
Better than debut but again just doesn't take off in anyway that demands repeat plays.

Victims of Contagion - Lamentations of the Flesh Bound 6/10
Tech death but not really the kind that excites me. Just average.

Firespawn - Abominate - 6.5/10
Entombed spin off band. Almost decent but quite boring at times and others grinding and heavy.

Moonlight Haze - De Rerum Natura - 6.5/10
Could have easily gone up a point but something not quite right with this symphonic power metal band. Maybe it's her vocals.

Nitrate - Open Wide - 6.5/10
Slightly annoying vocals in this steady and catchy melodic rock band.

Progressor - Doppelganger - 6.5/10
Interesting but slightly weird Russian power.

Skelator - Cyber Metal - 6.5/10
I want to really like this and it's quite good but the singer is just a pip squeak and bottled in too much, otherwise good and funny true metal.

The Lord Weird Slough Feg - New Organon - 6.5/10
Again I want to like it but in the end it's just too weird for my ears but they have a lot of curious talent for strange and arcane metal sounds.

Wheels Of Fire - Begin Again - 6.5/10
Only the singer's very prominent accent stops me from rating this higher. Good time melodic rock otherwise.

Beheaded - Only Death Can Save You - 7/10
Super brutal and aggressive heavy death metal from Malta. Savage riffage and everything is set to maximum destruction.

Damage SFP - st - 7/10
Decent heavy thrash metal vocals a bit shit but no biggie. Riffs flow well..

Helker - Metamorphosis - 7/10
Pretty good from Diego and crew. Not amazing but decent overall.

Human - Alizarin Refraction - 7/10
Fairly decent tech death from Italy. Nice and sweet riffing.

Majesty - Legends - 7/10
Slightly cringy and extremely cheesy but I still like Majesty even though I have to grit my teeth a little more than usual. Some songs make the ride worthwhile.

Memoriam - Requiem for Mankind - 7/10
The best album from the Bolt Thrower/Benediction off shoot but still cannot get close to BT's best. Missing a little bit of glorious melody that BT had.

Death Angel - Humanicide - 7.5/10
Solid as hell, groovy and crunchy thrash. Gets a bit slow and mundane here and there which dampens my enthusiasm. I don't do slow and meander but when it rips it really rips.

Freternia - The Gathering - 7.5/10
Surprisingly solid pwer metal but actually below what I was expecting after hearing the first single. Maybe the voice is slightly excruciating but solid pm nevertheless.

Maelstrom Aeterna - Hellweaver - 7.5/10
Uk melodeath. very close to a mix between Bodom and Tranquillity. Impressed.

Rob Moratti - Renaissance - 7.5/10
A fine AOR record but I was actually expecting more. Rob sounds great as always though and very high pitched.

Timo Tolkki's Avalon - Return to Eden - 7.5/10
Fairly impressed with this comeback. One of the singers really annoys with his delivery.

Winterwolf - Lycanthropic Metal of Death - 7.5/10
Crusty old school death metal filth with a sick guitar sound. One for the sickos out there!

Soilwork - Underworld [EP] - 8/10
Just a 4 tracker but I loved th3 3 new tracks and 1 from the album.

Sweet Oblivion - Sweet Oblivion - 8/10
Best thing to have Geoff's voice on it in 25 years and more. Geoff sounds good and Simone is doing a marvellous job on everything else. It's not mind blowing but what more can we expect from Geoff after making boring music for a full 25 years.

Fireland - Fireland IV Forged in Fire - 8.5/10
No one really knows or cares about this band as far as hype goes but this album is the real deal. Great and heroic power metal is what's on offer with solid vocals. Any powerhead needs to give this a shot.

Gloryhammer - Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex - 8.5/10
Pleasingly cheesy and fun. If you're gonna do OTT you might as well really go OTT, no half measures. A lot of fun melodies.

Merging Flare - Revolt Regime - 8.5/10
This month's biggest surprise is MF. I just love this album. Epic choruses all over the shop and lots of quite differing influences but always very memorable. Production could have been a touch cleaner to send it to the stratosphere.

Teramaze - Are We Soldiers - 8.5/10
Their most melodic album but some of the frentic prog edge is taken off and replaced with smoothness. It's a compromise that will lose them some fans but probably gain quite a few too. I'm happy either way as I don't need ultra heavy all the time. Very solid effort and lots to discover in this music the more you play it.

XentriX - Bury the Pain - 8.5/10
The ultimate surprise thrash come back from English underground heroes. There's some serious bad assery going on in the riffs here. Strongly resembling classic Testament in every which way. That crunch is seriously tasty! Welcome back Xentrix!

Diviner - Realms of Time - 9/10
Greek brothers of power metal return with the follow up to the mighty impressive debut. I'm giving this a 9 and would you believe I'm actually slightly disappointed as it's not really better than the debut. The sound is a bit meatier but maybe some of the songs had a little more appeal on the debut goddamn this is mighty as hell anyway. 100% heavy power metal fist!

Nightqueen - Seduction - 9.25/10
I keep saying albums surprise me but I guess this one really HAS surprised me. This came out of the blue and gave me a great wack right in the chops. I'm in awe of this lady's vocals! Move over Noora...there's a new Nightqueen in da house! This gal can sing and then some and her band ain't no slouches either. They pen some shit hot memorable tunes for her to sing. Addicted to playing this! maybe 10 times this month...and yet it's not my AOTM..

Majestica - Above the Sky - 9.75/10
I should really be giving out the max but I dunno I guess I'm holding that out from my brother Erik later on in the year. But Tommy and co have returned with an absolutely stellar release and my current number one AOTY contender pushing Darkwater out of the top spot even though they both have the same rate of 9.75/10. Sure the album won't be for everyone but what can I say I just love this. Melodies so pure and true that give a great feeling to the listener. Tommy is the absolute king of those. Hail to Majestica for capturing the hearts of the fans of pure and epic melody. I was waiting for Tommy to start up ReinXeed again but to think that he had this up his sleeve is amazing.

Round up of the first 6 months of the year. Been a very good year so far. Not mind blowing but lots of good music around in the many different styles that I enjoy. I've rated 140 albums at 7/10 or higher so far this year. I think that's a bit higher than normal but it fluctuates year to year. Sometimes quantity is higher and quality lower sometimes the other way. Maybe quantity will be higher this year than quality but I don't really sweat it. I just listen and enjoy music.

Here is my top 25 from that 140. I'm sure a fair few of these will drop out of the top 25 as the year progresses but the top 10 should remain in the top 25 I would guess by the year's end. We'll see won't we. The first half of the year has literally flown by - I hope the second half allows us breathing space but I doubt it. Strap yourselves in!

25. Gathering Of Kings - First Mission

24. Thornbridge - Theatrical Masterpiece

23. Myrath - Shehili

22. Teramaze - Are We Soldiers

21. M.I.GOD. - Specters On Parade

20. Grand Magus - Wolf God

19. Silver Bullet - Mooncult

18. Anthem - Nucleus

17. First Signal - Line Of Fire

16. Toby Hitchcock - Reckoning

15. Rhapsody of Fire - The Eighth Mountain

14. Fireland - Fireland IV Forged in Fire

13. Gloryhammer - Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex

12. Merging Flare - Revolt Regime

11. Find Me - Angels In Blue

10. Iron Savior - Kill or Get Killed

09. Diviner - Realms of Time

08. Savage Messiah - Demons

07. Battle Beast - No More Hollywood Endings

06. Flotsam and Jetsam - The End of Chaos

05. Nightqueen - Seduction

04. Bloodbound - Rise of the Dragon Empire

03. Avantasia - Moonglow

02. Darkwater - Human

01. Majestica - Above the Sky

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