March Round Up

Date:2019-03-28 20:15:35
Bloody friggin' hell! I've listened to a whole heap of Goddamn albums in March. Too many to be honest. And there's still a few late albums that will have to wait for next month. In fact I've spent more time listening to new albums than enjoying the albums which I've liked along the way.

February was already a stellar month but I reckon March has even surpassed it or equalled it in quality and far surpassed it in numbers. My cut off point for albums that I like is 7/10. The ones below that have to fight a bit harder to make it but one or two of them might and then maybe some of the 7/7.5 albums might drop below the 7 cut off.

Here we go starting with the lowest ranked..

Enterion - Ad Inferos - 2.5/10 - Cheap melodeath. Poor unlistenable sound.

Project Flight - A Heavy Metal Study of All Things Supernatural 3/10 - Poor production, cheap thrash.

Rock Goddess - This Time - 3/10 - poor NWOBHM return. poor sound and lame execution and sound.

The End Machine - st - 3.5/10 - does zilch for me. Performances ain't great and so is production. I don't get how seasoned vets can come up with such boring music.

Burning Rain - Face The Music - 4/10 - Not much better than TEM. Does zilch for me. Slightly better but not worthy of my time.

Haunt - If Icarus Could Fly - 4/10 - one of the retrad bands I don't get. Cheap sounding and poor quality.

Meadows End - The Grand Antiquation - 4/10 - poorly executed melodeath. I hate cheap sounding recordings.

Source - Totality - 4.5/10 - modern prog band with thick riffs and ok vocals. Songs are mostly boring with not much to raise excitement levels.

Appearance of Nothing - In Times Of Darkness - 5/10 - just barely standard prog metal. Decent but forgettable.

Pyramid - Gold Tooth - 5/10 - solid prog music, poor and boring vocals, average song writing in this prog metal band.

The Mute Gods - Atheists and Believers - 5.5/10 - Interesting modern prog rock. Strangely the lyrics are the best thing about this. Very quirky and cynical. Music is sometimes decent but not my thing overall.

Athanasia - The Order of the Silver Compass - 5.5/10 - Modern thrashy melodic death/black metal. Too mixed up. Some parts ok but too mixed up for me to get any joy out of.

Zergoth - Thrash Odyssey - 5.5/10 - Had initial hopes on sampling but the whole thing comes as across as third tier thrash.

Predatoria - Casting Shadows - 5.5/10 - Just average Bolt Thrower worship but not so bad anyway.

Iron Fire - Beyond The Void - 6/10 - Iron Fire is back with their heaviest album to date. This is really heavy. Singer Martin Steene's voice has changed a lot since the early days. He's singing in a much heavier tone. A lot of the songs are in one ear and out the other though so no excitement but not bad by any means.

Temple Balls - Untamed - 6/10 - Heavy and crunchy hard rock with a slight glam edge. Vocals average and songs sometimes plainly average sometimes
pretty good. Good sound anyway and some potential.

Mortifex - st - 6/10 - reasonable melodic thrash. Nice shouty vox. Decent riffage, but unexciting overall. Worth a listen for thrash enthusiasts who
need to listen to every thrash album going.

Starchild - Killerrobots - 6/10 - Oddly these guys haven't improved since their last album which I enjoyed. They've gone slightly backwards if
anything. They still like their Maiden but the album lacks vocal hooks. Music is not bad by any means.

Hackers - Empezar de Cero - 6/10 - Very pleasant Aor sung in Spanish. Gentle and cool.

A New Revenge - Enemies & Lovers - 6.5/10 - A decent effort by Ripper and whoever else is in this band. Better singing and more memorable song writing. At times not even really metallic. Sort of catchy melodic rock/punk hybrid. Good and defo worth a listen but no great shakes in the end.

Acid Death - Primal Energies - 6.5/10 - Greek tech death guys return with a more standard release. Still some good riffs and technical passages here and there. Not bad but may need time but well worth a listen.

Avalanch - The Secret - 6.5/10 - Decent melodic power. Something about the singer doesn't sit that well with me. Music is very decent.

Bray Road - Formation EP - 6.5/10 - Decent heavy thrash metal. Thick riffing and good mid pacing, so not overly fast. An ok headbanging ep.

Dreamkeeper - In A Parallel World - 6.5/10 - Decent melodic power metal from these unknowns. Decent in all depts but work to be done to gain higher

Megakill Paranoise - Total Fucking Shame - 6.5/10 - Russian melodic thrash/punky crossover. Totally off the wall and far away from my usual listening but this madness was sorta fun. These Russians have energy to burn!

Meridian - Margin of Error - 6.5/10 - slightly disappointing melodic metal compared to their previous album but it is good nevertheless just maybe inconsistent.

Royal Sin - Annihilation - 6.5/10 - Speeding thrash from Sweden. Not bad at all but needs a little more something to reach the higher levels of thrash in the world today.

Prostitute Disfigurement - st - 6.5/10 - Standard death metal sickos come back from nowhere. Their still sick muthas but know a catchy riff when they come across one. Like Deicide and CC mixed basically. Just accepted something even more blistering and catchy.

Statement - Force of Life - 6.5/10 - Again a pretty decent listen. Sometimes modern and sometimes more classic heavy metal/rock. If they could make all the songs more memorable they'd be on to a winner but overall pretty listenable.

Wretched Fate - Fleshletting - 6.5/10 - mix of classic and more modern death metal. Production is great. Vocals are great for this style. Just could do with more memorable riffs I guess but could grow with more listens.

DeVicious - Reflections - 7/10 - I was thinking to give this an 8 but then I thought I was over-marking it a touch so 7 it is. Still it's much better than their bog average debut. This time they just made a much better melodic rock record all round with way more memorable tunes.

In Flames - I, the Mask - 7/10 - Definitely the best IF disk in a long time. The sound is great the vocals not so annoying and whiny and the cleans are actually pretty catchy. Some of the tracks are just a little boring and nothing much happens. Put the pedal down and we're in good IF territory however the classic melodeath days are history, but at least IF made an album you can listen to without it being a chore.

Mindmare - Psychotic Regression - 7/10 - Unknown melodeath guys. Very nice sound. Vocals ok. Songs decent but not amazing. Worth listening for melodeath fans.

Queensr├┐che - The Verdict - 7/10 - Yes it's a good solid record but this is getting way overrated by some people I see around review sites. The sound is good and Todd sounds amazing if you ask me but the album lacks 2-3 big
bangers with monster hooks. It's a good record but the meaty hooks are not quite there.

Twisted Tower Dire - Wars in the Unknown - 7/10 - These guys are back from the dead and it's a good record but not as good as I was hoping when I heard the single. The production seems a bit average too. However to be positive it's a good record and will defo have fans in the true metal underground.

Wreck Defy - Remnants Of Pain - 7/10 - Decent heavy thrash metal with a fair bit of melody too and tasty sound. Not bad but needed more for a higher rating.

Brymir - Wings of Fire - 7.5/10 - This album is an epic viking folky melodeath album. If you like Wintersun then you'll love this too. Great epic sound and lush melodies all over.

Cats In Space - Daytrip To Narnia - 7.5/10 - The Cats are back with their third album and to tell you the truth I was expecting more. It's very good
but no better than their previous efforts. Some songs are a touch boring dare I say and yet it still gets a 7.5 with ease since the songs I do like are so amazingly catchy and memorable.

Elvenpath - the Path of The Dark King - 7.5/10 - These Germans have changed a lot since the start and very much for the better. Some of their songs are bordering on Agent Steel like speed metal now as they do away with fancy folk or symphonics. The vocals are a bit awkward here and there but I must
admit I enjoyed listening to this.

Hannes Grossmann - Apophenia - 7.5/10 - Very solid tech death solo release with a lot of zany riff passages to salivate over.

Michael Jessen - Bulletproof - 7.5/10 - Enjoyable melodic rock solo project from this Mr Jessen fellow who managed to get Goran Edman to sing on the whole thing. Now Goran's one of my fave melodic Scandi singers so I always check out his albums and this one is a good one indeed. He sounds good and the songs are very acceptable.

Roulette - Now! 7.5/10 - Classy Scandi melodic rock with a heavy edge. Very solid manly vocals and mostly solid songs. Production could be a touch clearer. Well worth a listen for heavy melodic rock fans.

Warrior Path - st - 7.5/10 - Epic metal from Greece. Good solid songs and vocals. Enjoyable for all fans of epic metal and well worth a listen.

Any Given Day - Overpower - 8/10 - Tip from Nos, otherwise this would never have got the time of day. And it was a great tip too. I don't love every
aspect obviously but the melodic angles are just superb. The songs are riddled with monster chorus work throughout. The heaviness and core vocals are not too harsh and the music avoids too many metalcore cliches for the most part. Maybe in the future these guys should think about doing away
with growls completely, that would be a heck of an album if they did that!

Contrarian - Their Worm Never Dies - 8/10 - I didn't really like these fellows on their previous effort but this time it sounds leaps and bounds better. A very strong influence from latter day Death is the main cause of this wonderment. However the vocals are still a bit suckworthy but I'll get over it. Amazing music!

Eradicator - The Atomic Blast - 8/10 - Heavy and catchy melodic thrash from Germany. Killer riffs all over the place. Tight production. Bang your 'eads suckaz!

SkeleToon - They Never Say Die - 8/10 - I loved this pure and simple. Fun and silly cartoonish, cheesy power metal. Great performances and vocals
throughout. I maybe alone but I love these types of non serious bands especially when they really do it justice and Skeletoon definitely does.

The Raven Age - Conspiracy - 8/10 - A lot of people are gonna miss out on this and that's too bad. This sounds pretty similar to In Flames's album but with better execution and no screaming vocals. There are some awesome riffs on this album that's for sure. The singer is ok and even good and a million miles better than the previous dude who couldn't sing with melody. Very impressive effort by The Raven Age. Check it out.

Tyr - Hel - 8/10 - I've always liked Tyr. They are just a fun band. Folky power metal with chants and epicness to the fore. This album sees Tyr just
following their formula to the letter which is fine by me.

Children of Bodom - Hexed - 8.5/10 - I was playing this non stop earlier this month. I absolutely loved about 3/4 of this and I mean loved. Wonderful cripsy riffs and keyboards are just so catchy. I'll never love Alexi's vocals but it's actually no biggie. I think this is one of the best albums in their catalogue and the best since Hatecrew Deathroll with ease.

Battle Beast - No Hollywood Endings - 9/10 - So for me the battle between the beasts ends with a narrow victory for these fellows and gal. This is so melodic and catchy and Noora is just a darling ain't she. She sings more in her normal voice here and there and there's even an AOR tune causing concern hehe but I love AOR so that's no problem for me! Just an all out fun record for fans of melody.

Iron Savior - Kill or get killed - 9/10 - I love most things Piet does and he's really outdone himself this time. I love most of this. Very catchy and heavy power metal with Piet's unique throaty vocals. Happy fist pumping power metal peeps!

Bloodbound - Rise of the Dragon Empire - 9.25/10 - A truly inspired return for the Swedes and for me possibly their best album ever. The melodies are
just divine and a pleasure to listen to. Can't help but raise a big shit eating grin whilst listening to this. Forever Bloodbound!

Darkwater - Human - 9.75/10 - I was all set for my first 10/10 but on careful listening I'll take a quarter point off. Mainly because not every single song is blessed with a monster hook. However musically and production wise the album is flawless and faultless as is the Khan like vocal performance. Damn this was close to the big 10 but I'm hoping something else can come along and top it in the coming months As for this month this album was just too good to put down. Every listen revealed layers of music that only repeated plays can reveal. I may yet go the full 10 with this as there's some magic at work here by these Swedes.

Earlier albums I found this month:

Six Foot Six Project - Very nice modern melodic metal with the ex Falconer. Glad I came across this.

Be The Wolf - Empress - A side band from the Frozen Crown guitarist. Rather decent melodic metal actually. Luckily I came across it by sheer fortune.

Purser Deverill - Square One - from 2018. This duo sound like Canadians Saga. Not bad.

Expecting a right royal slow down in April but still some goodies in there and hopefully some unknowns to help me out.

Exumer - Hostile Defiance
Grand Magus - Wolf God
Paragon - Controlled Demolition
Steel Prophet - The God Machine
Enforcer - Zenith
Leverage - DeterminUs
Fortune - II
Lonely Robot - Under Stars
Hardline - Life
West of Hell - Blood of the Infidel
Allegaeon - Apoptosis
Astral Doors - Worship or Die
Axenstar - End of All Hope
Qantice - The Anastoria
Lord - Fallen Idols

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