August Round Up

Date:2019-08-30 10:11:46
3.5/10 Unruly Child - Big Blue World - very flat and disappointing album from AOR stalwarts.

5.5/10 Kawn - Kawn - poor imitation of Myrath.

5.5/10 Thobbe Englund - 2019 - Hail to the Priest - Hailing the Priest is all well and good but one needs to be able to sing at least a little bit hehe!

6/10 Narnia - From Darkness to Light - Disappointing effort from Christian. Some good songs though at least but overall forgettable foray into Jesus worship.

6/10 Tanith - In Another Time - Didn't do a lot for me this retro metal/rock band with dual vocals but it's passable.

6.5/10 Ivory Tower - Stronger - I was expecting more after first single but then I got bogged down. Decent but perhaps needed a deeper listen.

6.5/10 Sacrilege - The Court of the Insane - Trad metal from UK NWOBHM band. Some slow stuff but some pretty good songs to like the title track.

6.5/10 Skillet - Victorious - modern pop metal. Yes it's catchy but it's not something I feel the urge to keep playing for some reason.

7/10 Astralium - Land of Eternal Dreams - Italian symphonic power with a female singer. Yes we've been here before countless times and during this very year. A good effort but not at the complete top either mainly due to her overly soft vocals.

7/10 Hemina - Night Echoes - Aussie pristine melodic prog. Needed more plays from this but as with most prog it'll probably not keep my attention for a full album's length but these guys surely know what they are doing and prog heads will defo enjoy this.

7/10 Risen Prophecy - Voices from the Dust - I though I was gonna like this theatrical version of Iced Earth quite a bit more but it's just solid in the end with a flat production unfortunately.

7/10 Skyline - Uncovered - German standard heavy rock/metal. Very passable but not at the top tier.

7/10 The New Roses - Nothing But Wild - Seems to be very popular and they're very good at aping the American blues rock sound but overall it just doesn't quite have it for me but solid nevertheless.

7.5/10 Dialith - Extinction Six - Female led American sympho power. Very solid start on which to build as the ambition levels are very good for a debut.

7.5/10 HammerFall - Dominion - So it's Hammerfall. All ingredients are present and correct but have they hit a home run song wise? Not sure they have. Still a solid record and Hammerfall will never completely let you down but at the moment I feel it's inferior to the last 2 records but more plays might change my mind who knows.

7.5/10 Killswitch Engage - Atonement - Just another average KSE record. The guys probably wrote this record in their sleep. It's about the same as the last record but not as good as the comeback record with Jesse. I can still enjoy it if a song comes on but nothing on here really really grabs me.

7.5/10 NorthTale - Welcome to Paradise - new power metal project with the ex Twilight Force singer. It's a solid start but the songs are a bit mixed from really great to really not great. Also singer Eriksen sometimes sounds a bit whiny and sometimes great. Lot of potential though and the guys are seasoned vets of this power metal game.

7.5/10 Saints Of Sin - Saints of Sin - UK heavy and groovy glamsters. Very nice production and decent songs but singer gets on my nerves sometimes with over whining. Great band though.

7.5/10 Thicket - Descend into Darkness - Unknow US melodic thrash. Long 7 track EP here. Great riffs and normal vocals no growls. Decent and catchy.

8/10 Desert - Fortune Favors the Brave - Israeli heavy/power troop are back with a mix of all their fave bands. That is Blind Guardian, Iced Earth and Sabaton. Mix those three and you got Desert. Lovely massive production job too. Very metal!

8/10 Destruction - Born to Perish - Teutonic thrash merchants are reliable like clockwork. They deliver meaty thrash that rampages around your ears like a pack of angry wasps. Bruising and brutal thrash assault!

8/10 Freedom Call - M.E.T.A.L - Our German brothers of happy metal do not let us down. Songs that make me smile basically. Nice thick production this time too and even more cheesy lyrical matter too. Cheesier the better I say! Stay happy...

8/10 Lord - Fallen Idols - Heavy power metal Aussies return with a corker of a record. Strong stuff indeed from Tim Lord/Lord Tim haha and crew! If you like your power metal with added steel then you need Lord pure and simple.

8/10 SellSword - ...Unto the Breach - UK trad power metal with a sweet baritone voice singing songs about battle, glory and ancient times. I'm happy!

8/10 Suicidal Angels - Years Of Aggression - Greek stalwarts return again. Very close race between Destruction and SA for thrash album of the month, maybe this by a smidgen since the riffs these guys write are a little more intricate. Headbangers...your necks will be wrecked.

9/10 Volbeat - Rewind, Replay, Rebound - Well it seems Volbeat's name has soured a bit round here but I seem to love them more and more. I love the new record. Has elements of all their career to me and most importantly a very melodic set of tunes. Star of the show is Michael's vocals of course. Can listen to his crooning and musings all day and he can use quite a beastly aggressive tone here and there too to spice things up.

9.5/10 Twilight Force - Dawn of the Dragonstar - The AOTM without fail and only second to Majestica over the whole year. I have played this to death since I got it. Got the CD book and t-shirt combo. They've outdone themselves with this album. The choruses are from the Gods or even for the Gods le me rephrase! Alex Conti's a godsend for the band. He fits in like a glove in this role. His accent is sometimes as strong as ever but his actual melodies make you feel like you are gliding across mountains on the back of a giant eagle! Now I'm being silly I know but hear me out this TF album is truly beautiful to listen to if you enjoy fantasy like I do. A glorious and triumphant return and a great start to the Conti fronted era for the band. Hope to catch them live again soon.

Late August albums with not enough time to digest are going to have to wait their turn for September. VoA, Saint Deamon and a few others too were released too late for me to give a fair judgement.

Sept list:
Black Star Riders - Another state of grace
Liv Sin - Burning sermons
Sonata Artica - Talvyiö
Block Buster - Losing gravity
Crashdiet - Rust
The Defiants - Zokusho
Sascha Paeth's Masters Of Ceremony - Signs of wings
Sinner - Santa muerte
Starset - Divisions
Kobra And The Lotus - Evolution
Michael Schenker Fest - Revelation
Divided Multitude - Faceless Aggressor
Blood Red Throne - Fit to Kill
Ram - The Throne Within
DragonForce - Extreme Power Metal
Wind Rose - Wintersaga
Opeth - In Cauda Venenum
Tungsten - We Will Rise
Weapon UK - Ghosts Of War
The 69 Eyes - West End
Age of Reflection - A New Dawn
Exhorder - Mourn The Southern Skies

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