September Round Up

Date:2019-10-02 18:22:38
Late posting but got there finally.

2/10 - Sonata Arctica – Talviyo
Disastrous effort and lucky to get 2/10.

3.5/10 - Blood Red Throne - Fit To Kill
Very disappointing comeback effort from Norwegian death thrash black merchants.

5/10 - Ancient Empire - Wings of the Fallen
Beyond average US power metal.

5/10 - Evyltyde - Singularity
Quite good music but sleep inducing, monotone female vocals.

5.5/10 - Disillusion - The Liberation
Has great moments but I just can’t listen to stuff as long winded as this.

5.5/10 - Icons of Brutality - Doctrines of Deceit
Old school death metal. Not a disaster but in the end will go precisely in the bog standard folder.

5.5/10 - Jimi Anderson Group - I Belong
Could have been good AOR but gets bogged down in mediocrity after a while. Just doesn’t get me excited.

5.5/10 - Soleil_Moon – Warrior
Lush soft AOR but just sleep inducing even though it has quality.

6/10 - Elvenking - Reader of the Runes - Divination
Never been a fan of the vocals in this band but this is a reasonable return but I’ll most certainly never play it again.

6/10 - Essence of Datum - Spellcrying Machine
Skilful instrumental death metal but I’ll never play it again.

6/10 - Mark Baker - The Future Ain't What It Used to Be
Guy used to work with House of Lords so he knows what he’s doing. This sounds like outtakes and demos but there are some decent songs buried in there.

6/10 - Opeth - In Cauda Venenum
I leave a 6/10 for the band’s fans and move on. I won’t be listening to this again. An album like Morningrise or Still Life is just impossible I guess.

6/10 - Sacred Reich - Awakening
Never been into the Reich but this is solid but just doesn’t get the juices flowing quite enough.

6/10 - Sorcery - Necessary Excess of Violence
Old school Swedeath. Typical stuff. Not bad not great.

6/10 - Tarja - In The Raw
The first half has me thinking this could be the best Tarja album yet but then the second half kicks in with coma inducing music.

6/10 - Year Of The Goat - Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis
Like I said just not into this chap’s vocals but this is ok and I listened a couple of times.

6.5/10 - Ram - The Throne Within
Trad true metal return. Not bad and almost really good but sounds a bit bland at times. Maybe needs more plays.

6.5/10 - Sed lex - Burn The Witch
Raw thrash metal with decent riffs. Just not polished enough. Maybe next time.

6.5/10 Tungsten - We Will Rise
Initial song led me to believe I would like this more but in the end it didn’t wow but it’s ok for a start for this Family led power metal band. It’s Hammerfall drummer Anders Johansson and his 2 sons.

7/10 - Block Buster - Losing Gravity
Fun melodic rock with a thick guitar sound. Couple of duff tunes near the end where they sound really cheesy.

7/10 - Borknagar - True North
A decent listen overall. Nice epic vocal melodies. Not too grim. I don’t do grim.

7/10 - Crobot - Motherbrain
Uziel recommendation. I actually liked it. Decent music. Didn’t hear the Jorn much in there though but the heavy grooves are cool.

7/10 - Divided Multitude - Faceless Aggressor
Solid as a rock Prog metal. Need to get a handle on the songs a bit more as prog is difficult for my brain to process. I’m a simple man.

7/10 - Michael Schenker Fest - Revelation
Definitely a few decent songs to replay. Some duff ones though to dampen my enthusiasm. Production should be sharper too. Sounds too old school which is probably intentional I just prefer up to date sounds.

7/10 - Mortal Infinity – In Cold Blood
Decent and mature head banging thrash.

7.5/10 - BAEST - Venenum
Crunchy old school death metal. Actually while it’s really good I was expecting much more after the initial single.

7.5/10 - Circus Maximus - Isolated Chapters EP
Hard to rate a 2 tracker but this is a great little listen. Lush and melodic prog metal. Bodes well for an album.

7.5/10 - Endseeker - The Harvest
Catchy old school Swedeath but with a crisp and modern sheen to proceedings. Solid and likeable but not amazing.

7.5/10 - Exhorder - Mourn the Southern Skies
Underground thrash comeback. Super heavy and crunchy sound. Couple of duff slow tunes and vocals and lyrics sometimes pretty crass. Overall a solid comeback when they put the pedal to the metal.

7.5/10 - Fragile Things - Echo Chambers
Hard hitting 7 tracker large ep or small album which ever way you wanna call it. I enjoyed the songs for the most part. Plenty of potential.

7.5/10 - Insurrection - Circles Of Despair
Holy crap. ATG style melodeath with a monster heavy sound. Unfortunately the screaming vocals are just a little too aggressive and borderline annoying. Shame he couldn’t tone it down a little. Music is superb and blows current ATG out of the water.

7.5/10 - Kobra and the Lotus – Evolution
Very quick turnaround after Prevail II. Going for a different route altogether now but still doing a very good job of it. Kobra is still a star on vox. The songs are mostly good but the themes of empowerment and the modern riffing is moving away from the band’s original sound. It may grow on me more as I get through more plays though but a solid album nevertheless.

7.5/10 - Saint Deamon - Ghost
A bit long and mixed but overall I think this is pretty decent. It won’t make any huge waves in power metal circles but it’s a solid addition to the multitude of power metal infested waters out there lol!

7.5/10 - Sascha Paeth's Masters Of Ceremony – Signs of Wings
Rather a worthwhile start for Sascha’s new vehicle. Her vocals are great and the screams are minimal though pointless. Songs are solid all the way. Maybe next time forget about growls and concentrate on melodies.

7.5/10 - Starset – Divisions
Sci-fi related epic heavy rock. Some very cool lilting auto-tune style melodies. I’ve liked their albums before and this is again solid if you enjoy Starset’s modern style of music.

7.5/10 - The 69 Eyes - West End
A surprise entry. Goth rock with a playful nature. Like a slightly happier more tongue in cheek Type O. I enjoy the songs with a jollier tempo best . I hear a little Ghost in them too.

8/10 - Black Star Riders - Another State Of Grace
Probably their best and most consistent album. I’ve always like a few songs from BSR but not a full album but this time I more or less like it all. Love Ricky’s vocals too. The spirit of Lizzy lives on.

8/10 - Cognizance - Malignant Dominion
Clinical tech death. Every now and then an album of this ilk comes along and wows and not it’s Cognizance’s turn to do the job.

8/10 - Crashdiet – Rust
Their best album for me. Drpooed the sleaze and went for an edgy rocking approach. Somewhat similar to Hardcore Superstar at times. New singer fits in well. Love the riffs and grooves.

8/10 - Everfrost - Winterider
Cheesy happy loony tunes styled power metal. Keyboards bring a huge dose of the cheese but the songs are pleasantly toe tapping. I’ll be alone in my fandom for Everfrost but I loved this. Sue me!

8/10 DragonForce - Extreme Power Metal
This maybe just the usual Dragonforce but there are some really nice choruses on this. However, most of it is Dragonforce being Dragonforce.

8/10 Excalion – Emotions
Very good effort ineed. Very clean production. Nice riffs, songs and vocals. Forget about Sonata’s epic fail and try Excalion.

8/10 - Sinner - Santa Muerte
I wasn’t sure how this was gonna turn out but I actually love this minus the blues songs which I can safely skip. New female singer fits in well. The production is great and there is a strong Lizzy vibe here and there as the last album. Well done to Mat and Co for a very decent offering.

8/10 - Visions of Atlantis - Wanderers
Such a wonderfully pleasant power metal album to soothe your ears with this one. Of course it’s all down to Miss Delauney and her wonderfully soothing vocals. She really has a beautiful voice. The new chap is ok but no one cares about him. All about Clemmy this thing.

8.5/10 - Liv Sin - Burning Sermons
Oh yes the best Liv Sin album by miles. She and her buddies must have worked overtime on the songs to make them more catchy. Liv’s vocals are very powerful too and I enjoy them more than before. If she and her troops came calling to our shores I’ll be a paying customer indeed.

8.5/10 - Rockett Love - Greetings from Rocketland
A big surprise entry as their debut album was just good. This time the Swedish melodic hard rock troop deliver on all counts. Very clean production. Nice crunch. Solid songs. Great vocals. What’s not to love?

8.5/10 - The Defiants – Zokusho
And in a very similar vein a very solid follow up to the killer debut by The Defiants. Production has been beefed up a notch. Song writing is solid and enjoyable though maybe no better than the debut , just more of the same. Overall a worthy follow up. Frontiers delivers.

9/10 - As I Lay Dying - Shaped by Fire
Well this is a controversial release of course but damn it, I was blown away by this. Sure it’s a bit iffy listening to an album by a convicted “near wife killer” but he paid his dues and his band mates let him back into the fold and they’ve repaid their fans with a cracking album of superb melodic death metal/core. Easily the best AILD for me, speaking as someone who doesn’t really get involved in that core scene if he can help it hehe. The riffage and vocal melodies are just super huge at times. If you can put aside the man’s crime then give this a shot, it’s really full of energy and killer production and songwriting.

There’s about 7-8 albums which I will put into October’s pile as it’s too late to judge for this month. Some good one’s in there too but that’ll need more plays to sort out.

October will obviously be dominated by Eclipse’s Paradigm. I’m just hoping that it will grab my top album of the year spot currently held by Majestica. There’s plenty more to look forward to in October too:

The Ferrymen - A New Evil
Vanden Plas - The Ghost Xperiment – Awakening
Wayward Sons - The Truth Ain't What It Used To be
Danger Zone - Don't Count On Heroes
JD Miller – Afterglow
Aerodyne – Damnation
Ray Alder - What The Water Wants
Edenbridge - Dynamind
Vision Divine - When All The Heroes Are all Dead
Noveria – Aequilibrium
Metalite – Biomechanicals
Art Nation – Transition
Insomnium - Heart Like A Grave
The Darkness - Easter Is Cancelled
Alter Bridge - Walk The Sky
Exmortus – Legion of the Undead ep
Crow’s Flight – The Storm
Unleash The Archers – Explorers EP

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