|Sacred Reign||Shining Star||Test of Faith||Ultimatum||Whitecross|
|Sacred Warrior||Sin Dizzy||The Metal Rose Collection||Unchained||Vardoger|
|Sacrificium||Sons Of Thunder||Theocracy||Third/Crow||Slav Simanic|
|Saint||SonX||3rd Day Rising||Wisdom Call||Shadows of Paragon||Tükkus|
|Sanctifica||Stairway||Templo De Fogo||Vaakevandring||Still Small Voice||Sardonyx|
|Scott Bradley||Step Cousin||Tinnitus||Vital Sign||Venia||Warrior|
|Sculpture||Stronghold||Tourniquet||Völlig Heilig||Veni Domine|
|Secretion||Stryper||Treasure Seeker||X-Sinner||Visual Cliff|
|Seventh Angel||Shining Force||Step Cousin||Troglodyte Dawn||Uglstyk||Strangeland|
SACRED REIGN - Food For Thought
Classic Metal fans rejoice! Here is Sacred Reign, the band you have been waiting for. They play a genuin kind of Classic Metal and have a real feel for good rhythmes and catchy hooks. This is good, almost a must-have. The only bad things I can say about this album is that some of the tunes are monotonous and they have too many short ones. But most of the tunes though are good Classic Metal. Their lyrics are very Christ-centered and full of hope. All in all I would say that this is a good debut from a very promising band.
SACRED WARRIOR - Live At Cornerstone 2001
Sacred Warrior strikes back! Finally this classic Heavy Metal band have dug up their battleaxes again, and are now back again in full armour ready to lead the battle against darkness and evil. This cd was recorded at last years Cornerstone festival. Some of the tunes on the album are Rebellion, Remember Me, Wicked Generation and many more including their cool worship tune Holy, Holy, Holy. There are tunes from all their four albums. One thing that dissapoints me though is that they have only included one tune from their heaviest and best album Master's Command. Sure, there are many good tunes on their other albums as well, but that album will always rule.
Except their album tunes they have also included 3 brand new tunes that will be on their new album. Yeah, Sacred Warrior is indeed back and are recording a new cd! Unfortunately though I don't really like the new tunes, they are way too light sounding and not as heavy as their old material. Overall I think their sound nowadays is too light and not as heavy as it was back in the day. But the classic tunes still rocks and it's really nice to have the boys back again, so I give this cd a 3. Sacred Warrior fans will definately enjoy it. As all the Cornerstone Live cds it is a limited edition only so you better pick up your copy quick before it's out of print...
SACRIFICIUM - Cold Black Piece of Flesh
Sacrificium is a death band hailing from Germany. As you can guess this is brutal stuff and nothing for your grandma :) Music is really brutal but it also contains plenty of timechanges between slow and fast tempo. Vocals are very low and growling. Production is good and the tunes are tight. Favourite track is Zustand Tod. It has a real catchy and melodic rhythm. Reminds me of the band Acoustic Torment. Some other great tunes are Vast, Come Close and Existance and Labyrinth. More tunes in this direction would be great.
The band already has a promising sound that is both melodic and brutal, but what I want this band to do is to write the tunes in are more direct way and not make them more complicated than neccessary. If they do this, the music will flow even better. They can also make some of the tunes more melodic and crunchy. I definately hear some talent here, just keep working with the songwriting guys and next release can be a real shredder. All in all a promising debut that gives good hope for the future.
SAINT - Live 05
Saint delivers classic Heavy Metal and they do it well. Finally they have recorded a live album that captures their energy live. The production is typical for live albums. Not studio quality but not bad either. The album contains classics from all their albums. All in all the cd consists of 13 tunes including Here We Are, Too Late For Living, Primed And Ready, Ryders, Plan 2 and other classics. As a longtime Saintfan this album is really enjoyable to listen to, since it's like a collection of their best tracks. Think it's a good selection of tunes, it's only Full Armor I don't like. The band seems to be really inspired and full of energy and they pull off the tunes well. My only complaint is that Josh Kramer could have used some more aggression in the vocals in some tunes. Besides this it's a really cool cd. So put your spikes on and put your fists up in the air and enjoy this cool live album. If you are fan of true classic Heavy Metal this album is for you.
SAINT - Warriors of the Son
This is a reissue of Saint's first cd. They have rerecorded the whole album. Soundquality has been greatly improved which makes this much more enjoyable than the original. The drums also sounds much better now. As an extra bonus the band has also added two bonus tracks that weren't on the original. The bonus tracks are Killers And The Destroyers and The Reaper. Of these two, The Reaper is definately my fave. It has the classic Saint sound with heavy noncompromising metal and on top of it Josh Kramer's great screaming vocals.
I'm glad they rerecorded this album. Saintfans will be delighted of the improved sound. Saint is surely back to stay and I really look forward to next studiorelease!
SAINT - Collection 1984-1999
Saint is a classic Heavy Metal band that has been going since the beginning of the 80s. After taking a pause for around 10 years they are now back again in full force. Musically the sound on this double cd is pure Heavy Metal in NWOBHM style that is musically influenced by Judas Priest. The singer Josh Kramer has a really cool dark voice with lots of attitude, which fits perfect with the music. Saint also has plenty of enjoyable guitar solos in their sound and the music is really HEAVY, and it's the heaviness and the attitude that sets this band apart from most of the other Heavy Metal bands. The band has put all tracks from their first four releases on this double cd. With the exception of the short The Perfect Life era when the band temporarily had another singer and a different sound, both cds are filled to the top with real heavy Heavy Metal. Saint's lyrics are mostly from the Book of Revelation in the Bible and they fit like the hand in the glove to the music. Except great music and lyrics there is also plenty of cool pictures in the booklet showing the band in full metal armour. The double cd has plenty of great classic metal tunes to enjoy, and also works great as introduction to this cool metal band. Saint is one of the absolut top metal bands all categories and I can really recommend all that missed the great 80s to check in Saint. They are just too good to be missed!
SAINT - In The Battle
Yeah!! Saint is back in the battle again! Saint fans rejoice, Josh Kramer is now back as vocalist and the band has gone back to it's metal roots delivering real Heavy Metal again! It's so good to see bands that stay true to their style and don't surf on trends. Saint do what they do best, Heavy Metal that is and they do it great. This is a comeback not just musically but also visually, it's great to see that they have picked up the spikes and leather again. Now I just hope that they let their hair grow out again to make the picture perfect... Anyway, when it comes to the music it's both heavy and catchy and contains plenty of enjoyable guitar solos by new guitarist Jerry Johnson. My favourite tracks are Ryders (fantastic tune!), Here We Are, When (very catchy and cool track with some great guitar solos) and the title track. The album also contains Star Pilote's Return which is part two of the Star Pilote track on The Too Late For Living cd. Lyrics are Christ-centered written in true Saint battle style and you can really feel the annointing of God all over the cd.
There are to say it short, plenty of great music to enjoy on the cd and the fillers are very few. Something, I don't like though is the lame spoken voices on Sacrifice. They just don't fit.
To sum it up this is is a great comeback album that shows that Saint is back to stay. Recently, I also heard the good news that Dee Harrington has re-joined the band so next release will have two guitarists! Until then it's about time to get the full armour on and get In The Battle.
SAINT - Time's End
Saint fans rejoice! Finally we can enjoy Time's End on cd! This is an exclusive special edition of their 2nd album. Except all the tunes from Time's End the cd also contains nine bonus tunes that were recorded live at their gig at Cornerstone 1986! Favourite tunes are Through You and Primed And Ready. Musically it's not really in pair with their classic Too Late For Living, but it's not far from. What keeps this cd back is that some tunes are repetitive and not as variable as on Too Late For Living. But it got that cool Saint-vibe over it so I'm sure any Saint-fan will enjoy it and gladly add this cd to their collection. Especially since it's limited to 1000 copies only. Definately a cd I can recommend. I give it a 3+.
SAINT - Warriors of the Son
The classic Heavy Metal band Saint is back again! This time with an exclusive special edition of their first album. Except the tunes from Warriors of the Son the cd also contains four bonus tunes from the demo which was recorded while they still were called the Gentiles. The booklet contains plenty of cool pictures with the bandmembers wearing full metal-armour. Musically the tunes on this cd is not in pair with Too Late For Living, but die-hard Saint-fans would still gladly add this one to their collections. Especially since it's limited to 1000 copies only.
SAINT - Too Late For Living
Yes! Finally this classic has been rereleased! To you that haven't heard this album I would describe it at as Heavy Heavy Metal similar to secular metallers Judas Priest. The singer has a dark fitting voice that is easy to hear and the music is real Heavy Metal. One thing that stands out on this album is the heavy sound and the fantastic guitarsolos. There are also lots of crunch and hooks that stays in your head. But above all this is Heavy! As heavy as Heavy Metal can be. The lyrics are to the point and mostly taken from Revelation. Production is excellent and I don't think I can say a bad word about this release. It's one of those classics that you don't wanna miss.
SAINT - The Perfect Life
Saint is back! Yeah the Heavy Metal band from the 80s is back again with a new album! The new setting contains of Richard Lynch on bass, Dee Harrington on guitars and new member Tim Lamberson handles the vocals. Those of you whom have heard their album "Too Late For Living" knows that Dee Harrington is a good guitarist, which he also shows on this album even if he doesn't solo as much as on the TLFL album.
Stylewise they have made a dramatic change from Heavy Heavy Metal to Melodic Metal. To say the truth I was pretty shocked when I heard this cd the first time. After coming over the shock and listening through the album many times I'm starting to like it. It has great hooks and melodies, it's just that I miss the old HEAVY sound! I also miss the real drumsound. Drummachines and Metal don't match at all in my opinion. There are also some cheesy sounds in the background on some tunes. The lyrics are Christcentered and also talks about real life situations.
I miss the old sound but maybe they will go back to it the next album. We'll see, anyway it's nice to have them back again. All in all I give this 6 tune CD a 3 because of the great melodies. But I do hope they will be heavier again.
Are you tired of "wimpy" worship music and want some Heavy music to worship the Lord with? Then this is definately something for you. Sardonyx, the classic metal band from the 80s have recorded a fourtrack cd filled with praise songs in real metal style. Cool! I also love that each tune is a Bible study with plenty of references to the Scripture. Master And My King is my favourite track. It has both wonderful harmonies, tasty guitar solos and great lyrics. The other tracks are cool as well, although it would be good if they were a little less progressive and more hookbased. Power Unto You has a powerful hardhitting chorus that goes like this: "Power unto you so that you may overcome the plans of the evil one". The only problem with the cd is that it's over way too quick, I want a fullength! Truly a cd that makes me wanna worship the King, our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ.
Hailing from the dark forest in Sweden, there is a talented black band that are spreading light in the darkness. Their name is Sanctifica and here we have their first fullength cd. I really liked their demo In The Bleak Midwinter. The cd continues on with Sanctificas significant sound of atmospheric black metal. The keyboards does a big part in creating the special atmosphere that fits so well in this genre. The music is mostly ultrafast and vocals are shrilling so it ain't nothing for your grandma. :-) But if you are into atmospheric black you will most probably enjoy it. I do anyway, even though it took some time before I got into this cd. My favourite tunes are Landscape, Riket and the Wanderer. Sanctifica is best when they speed up and play real fast. Hubertus also got a great shrilling voice that fits good to the music, one of the best when it comes to black metal. On the negative side the drums are mixed way too low. A few cuts also gets repetitive and are too chaotic. I want more melodic harmonies and less chaos. Most of the tracks is good though so I give this album a 3+ rating overall.
SCOTT BRADLEY - In The Beginning
Glam metal is back! You know the big hair, catchy hooks and all. Scott Bradley truly got it all. There are plenty of great hooks and melodies to enjoy here. If you only like brutal metal you better look elsewhere but if you are like me and like melodic catchy metal this might be what you are looking for. Bride fans will also be delighted to hear Dale scream like he did on the old days on one of the tunes. Lyrics are loud'n'clear, no waterdowned lyrics here. Scott Bradley truly loves the Lord and it shows in the tunes.
I haven't heard this good glam metal in many many years. Ahhh, it's like being back in the golden 80s when this music ruled the airwaves! The only drawback with this album is that a few tunes are fillers. Besides that this album shreds. Glam metal fans will love this cd.
SCULPTURE - Spiritual Matrix
Thrash from Holland, could this be something? Yeah, it truly seems so after hearing this album with Sculpture. Since Thrash is one of my favourite styles I'm always interested to hear what the new thrash bands sounds like. Sculpture's sound is quite unique and it kicks! Great heavy chugga-chugga-thrash. Deliverance-what-a-joke and Believer-sanity-obscure comes to mind. I would say that Sculpture's strength is their heaviness. The music has plenty of timechanges and the sound is tight. Production is good too.
The lyrics are evangelistic and also shows that the band have good knowledge in the scriptures. My favourite tunes are Grinding Sacrifice and Death To Death.
The letdowns is that some riffs becomes repetitive and the vocals goes on my nerves on a few tunes. They would also gain if they let loose and speed up more. But the band got great talent and if they continue to write tunes that are as good as Death To Death they will go to the top.
SECRETION - The Crucifier
Secretion is another band hailing from America. They play brutal death metal. I like the first two tunes but I feel something lacking on the other three. Vocals are deep and growling but too unclear which makes the words very hard to hear. They are also mixed slightly too low, a common mistake for independent releases. Lyrics are biblical and Christcentered.
For coming releases I would like this band to add more catchy harmonies and more variation to their sound. They should also speed up more. More tunes in the direction of the two first on this cd would do good. As I said I like the first two tracks so with some more work and improvement future releases will be really interesting to hear. They got the brutality, they just need to incorporate more crunch and catchy melodic harmonies in their sound to get over the top.
SECRETION - Reborn
This is Secretions 2nd release and their 1st fullength. As always they play brutal death metal. Vocals are so extremely deep and brutal that it almost sounds like a bass! Because the voice is so deep it's very hard to hear the words. That's why you need the lyricsheet! :-) Lyrics are very Christcentered and shows that these dudes know their Bible well. In fact it's some of the best lyrics I have seen lately. Production is better than their previous release. They have also incorporated more harmonies to their sound which is definately a step in the right direction. Highlights on the cd are The Feast, Take It Back, Freed From Torment, Fight For Light, Our Daily Prayer and Found In Truth. More tunes in the caliber of these would be great to hear on cds to come.
For coming releases I would like this band to add more catchy harmonies and more variation to their sound like they did on tunes like The Feast and Freed From Torment. More tunes in this direction will keep them from falling in the trap of getting repetitive tunes. They can also variate the vocals more. They got the brutality, they just need to incorporate more crunch and catchy melodic harmonies in their sound to get over the top.
SEVENTH ANGEL - Heed The Warning
Bombworks is a relatively new record label that focus mostly on underground bands and special releases by more wellknown bands like Seventh Angel. Seventh Angel hails from England and brings us their own kind of doom-influenced thrash metal. The band's strength is their heaviness and originality. This special cd brings us the entire Heed The Warning demo. Although it's a demo the production is album quality. The remaining eight tracks are recorded live and here we can really experience the energy this band had. The production on these tunes is however not in the same league as the demotracks. Unfortunately the band is now no more but this album marks a good ending to this cool band. Seventh Angel fans will really enjoy this cd. Thanks Bomborks for digging up this treasure!
SEVENTH ANGEL - The Torment
Finally this cool thrash cd has been reissued! Seventh Angel is a Brittish thrash band and The Torment is their first release. First thing that strikes me is the cool cover that Rodney Matthews has designed. Seventh Angel's strength is their heaviness, their tunes are so incredibly heavy. My favourite track is the anti abortion anthem Dr Hatchet. Fantastic track, a true classic! (It's worth buying this cd for this tune alone). Typical for Seventh Angel is that they seldom thrash on i full speed but rather let the music go in halftempo and instead of speed focus on heaviness. Besides heavy tunes the album also consists of two acoustic tracks that makes a good contrast. As a whole a good solid album for all you thrashers out there.
SEVENTH AVENUE - Eternals
Seventh Avenue is one of the top bands in German Power Metal. The production on Eternals is even better than Step Between The Worlds and vocals are also improved. Music is fast and heavy while still being melodic. Favourite tracks are Remission, Storm III, Voices, Domination of Sin and Heaven Can't Wait. These tunes are phenomenal, especially Heaven Can't Wait!
Mike Plüger has written all the lyrics this time and they are both insightful and to the point. I really like their boldness. It seems like the more the famous the band become the bolder they get lyrically. The lyrics on Heaven Can't Wait goes like this: "Jesus came to set us free. He is the key to eternity, key to eternity. It is more than just a feeling. More than just a tear in your eye... Changes may come and people pass by. But this one will stay. You know deep in you heart. No time to lose cause heaven can't wait."
A cool album, but I'm still waiting for the masterpiece. What they still can improve is to incorporate some more catchy hooks to their sound and make the tunes even more melodic. If they do this next release will be a masterpiece.
SEVENTH AVENUE - Between The Worlds
Seventh Avenue is a german Power Metal band. The band has existed for many years and Between The Worlds is their fifth release. Something they have improved a lot compared to earlier releases is the production. The singing has also been considerably improved. When it comes to the music it has been improved as well and the quality is now more even. The harmonies and the guitars have been lifted to the foreground which has made the music more fluently. Seventh Avenue has always been a good band but with this cd they have taken the step from just being a good band to being a great band. Something I really like with this album is that it's full of great hooks and guitarsolos. Another good thing is that the lyrics now are bolder than ever and clearly shows that the band are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I especially like the lyrics in Until You Come Again "Jesus, you are lord, you are saviour. Only through your blood we are worth to come before God's throne some day. You died and have been risen. Only those who believe in that and accept you as their Lord will have eternal life when you come again"
There are still a few things to work on for this band but as a whole is Between The Worlds a very good cd that should not be missed if you like Power Metal. If they keep on improving like this they can blow the best secular bands away in coming releases. This is a great album that you can recommend to anyone without being the least ashamed. To say it short this is a very good release that gives good hope for the future...
SHADOWS OF PARAGON - Shadows of Paragon
Looking for fresh christian black metal from Sweden? Then maybe this band can be something for you. This 5-track cd is their first release. Sound is brutal but still has melodic parts where they incorporate influences from classic metal. The two tracks I like most are Screams of Silence and Psalm that are both melodic, brutal and majestic. Vocals are overall very brutal. The guitarplayer Zharlie also adds female vocals on some tracks that makes a good contrast. On the negative side I feel some tracks could be better thought out and sound could also be tighter. On coming releases I would also like them to include more melodic harmonies to their sound. Lyrics are really good, they are Christcentered and show that the band has good knowledge in the Bible. Lyrics are both comforting and upbuilding.
Overall this is a cool release so I give it a 3.
SHINING FORCE - Holy Nation
Shining Force is a new american metal band. Good to see that the metal scene is growing in the US again. Shining Force delivers melodic hardrock/metal. This is their first cd and it's an independent release with good production. Lyrics are Christcentered and overall very biblical and uplifting to your spirit. This is like the bold lyrics that was so common in the middle of the 80s, which also is my favourite kind of lyrics.
Over to the music, I would say that it's good but not anything that knocks me to the ground. But I do like the guitarplay. One of my favourite tracks is Holy Nation with it's catchy rhythm and chorus. Other highlights are the tunes Bow Down, Take Authority and Moving On To Zion. For coming releases I would like this band to incorporate more catchy melodies to their sound and also speed it up a little. More heaviness would do good as well. More tunes in the direction of Moving On To Zion would do good. Overall Holy Nation is a good relase that gives good promise for the future. Recommended.
SHINING FORCE - Shining Force
Shining Force are here with their 2nd release. The production is better than their debut and the tracks are overall faster and heavier on this release than they were on their first. Stylewise they play classic metal with a heavy edge. I like the heavy rhythmes and boldness this band have. The cover is brutal and it would be good if the band had explained it in the booklet. I think though that it means to kill the old sinful self and let the life of Christ shine through us. Lyrics are Christcentered and deals with topics like the return of Christ (Come Quickly), the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross (The Blood) and what it means to us today (The Holy One). Lyrics are really uplifting and strengthening to your faith. Shining Force don't hide their faith behind the bush. The purpose of the band is simply to be a light in the darkness and shine for Christ and they base their name on Matthew 5:16 that says "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven."
One thing that can be improved though is the vocals. On a few tracks especially on The Old Serpent Whispers they are too screaming and become annoying.
All in all a cool release from an up'n'coming classic metal band. My favourite tracks are Come Quickly, Holy Nation, Bow Down, Holy of Holies, Exodus and The Holy One. If they do more tracks in the caliber of these and incorporate some more guitar solos and hooks next release can be a real shredder. They have the potential just have to sharpen their talents some more. I'll give this release a 3+ rating.
SHINING STAR - Fatal Mistake
Shining Star comes from Brazil and their debut cd is a pleasant surprise to my ears. Cause what we have hear is some quality guitar play influenced by the guitarshredders C-J Grimmark and Yngwie Malmsteen. There are many blistering solos by guitarist Fabio Rocha that make this cd to a real metal feast. Favourite tracks are You're not Alone, Alive and Well, Master of the Skies, I Wish and the beautiful instrumental 1000 Years Ago.
The tune Fatal Mistake has great lyrics that goes like this: "How can you say there's no God up in the sky if you never searched, never tried to find". In You're not Alone the lyrics talks about Jesus: "I feel, I can see. In the cross he is dying for me. He paid the higher price. I trust in his sacrifice. You know the history. Why don't you trust in him?"
SIN DIZZY - He is not dead
There I was, awaiting to hear what Tim and Oz new band would sound like. Sorry to say I became very dissapointed when I finally got it. I was hoping for some hooks and the great Stryper-sound, but nope. Here was nothing of it. Instead, what we have here is a very rough, groovy sound with raspy vocals. It reminds of "against the law" but much rougher. But where are the great harmonies and where are the hooks?? The lyrics are Christcentered so that something good anyway. I also like the bluesy ballad Rise Above and two more tunes. But that's about it. So if you are looking for the Stryper-sound you better look anywhere else. In my opinion this is only for the serious collectors that want to have every disc where a Stryper member is involved.
SLAV SIMANIC - Water of Life
Slav Simanic is a new name to many. He has his roots in former Jugoslavia but has been living in Canada for many years. Slav is a a fullblown guitarist and he has such a fantastic feeling in the guitarplay!! Except guitar Slav also handles all the other instruments on the album. Water of Life is an album that is filled with tons of enjoyable guitar solos and is a perfect album to relax to. Just sit down comfortable in your favourite chair, close your eyes and enjoy this wonderful music. A catchy riff is constantly followed by another and the whole cd is truly a metalfeast for all guitarlovers! Slav's guitarplay reminds both of Rex Carrol and Carl Johan Grimmark, eventhough he mostly plays at a slower speed than Carl Johan do. Many also say that Slav's guitarplay reminds of Joe Satriani.
Slav focus on enjoyable hooks and he has a great feeling for making it to sound good. He is also good at variating the tunes and make them interesting. Slav has produced the album himself and released it on his own record company Latter Reign Records. All tracks except one are instrumental so the cd really gives you plenty of guitarsolos for your money. Many of the instrumental tracks also contains spoken voices associating to different episodes in the Bible. The only negative about the cd are the programmed drums that even though they are well programmed disturbs a bit. But besides this, Water of Life is a fantastic album that you really can enjoy, over and over again! With a real drummer this would have been a masterpiece, but it is an extremely good release anyway and definately a must have to anyone that are into guitar solos. I'll give it a 4+.
SLAV SIMANIC - Let It Go
Slav is back again with another great album for all guitarlovers to enjoy. This time he is backed up by a full band. Another difference from Water of Life is also that this cd contains more tunes with vocals. As usual Slav gives us a smorgasbord of fantastic guitarsolos and moving hooks. I just wish that the music had been slightly more heavy. The album overall is very good but it still isn't really in the same caliber as Water of Life. While Water was more direct and hookbased, this is a bit more complicated and the band sometimes takes too long before they kick off the tunes. There were also some more guitarsolos in Water of Life. With this said the album is still a real feast for all lovers of guitarsolos. Slav is truly a master when it comes to do catchy riffs and fantastic solos. If you liked Water of Life this is another must have. When it comes to the lyrics Slav doesn't hide his faith behind the bush, but is very open in Who he believes in. Most of the lyrics are also taken directly from the Bible. You can also feel the presence of God in both his albums. With these two cds under his belt Slav Simanic truly shows that he is one the best guitarists there are. It would awesome to see a jamsession with Slav, Rex Carrol, Markus Sigfridsson and Carl Johan Grimmark. :-) All in all I give this album a 3+ rating.
SONS OF THUNDER - Metal Praise
Sons of Thunder strikes down like thundering flashes from the sky. They play 100% Metal and the lyrics are 100% praise so the title saids it all, this is Metal Praise. And it works very well! Finally we got a Praise album that we metalheads can sing along with! The guitarsound is very heavy and it's full on for Jesus. The cd have 4 tunes. The first two lacks something but the other two shreds. Their last one called Psalm 151 really sticks out with it's shredding guitars and crunchy rhythm. All in all this is great stuff and I'm really looking forward to hear a fullength with this promising band.
The swedish metal band Sons of Thunder has just put out some more thundering metal with their new release Load, Aim, Fire. Apart from their previous EP this is a fullength CD. What I like most with this band is their combination of heavy Heavy Metal and Praise lyrics. Yeah man, this is Heavy Metal Praise folks, a combination that we christian metalheads have missed so long. It's so great to be able to worship the Lord with the music I like most! The music on the cd has lots of shredding guitars and crunchy rhythmes that makes us starving metalheads satisfied. :-)
On this release the band have also used some cool unusual instruments and effects that makes the sound more variable. At times though the music has too long slow parts before they kick of, they could be more direct. The last tune has a cool ending but it's way too long. Michael's vocals also sounds a bit thin in the tune S.O.S. But all in all this is a kickin´solid release that I gladly can recommend. I really feel uplifted and glad when I listen to it. If you are into their EP you will love this one as well.
Circus of Power is Sons of Thunder's latest release. Typical for their sound is their heavy riffs. Production is made by Thorbjörn Weinesjö from Veni Domine and he has done a great job! Lyrically they maintain to be very Christcentered and bold. When it come to the music I like half of the tracks very much, but I feel the others lacking in melody and speed. I also want more guitar solos! Michael Hero is a great guitarplayer, I just wished he showed it more by doing more cool solos. Favourite tracks are Rescue Me (fantastic tune! More tunes like this would be awesome!), 777, Jesus for President, Flames of Fire, Circus of Power and God Rulez.
SonX - Staring At The Son
SonX a new band to me and surely for many of you as well. The style they play is heavy hardrock in the veins of Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne. They are no clones to these bands though but got a sound of their own. And there are plenty of catchy melodies and lots of heaviness to enjoy here! They got a very promising sound. My favourites are Don't play with the devil and Living in despair. If they continue to write tunes like these this band will go far. The weak points are that at times the music gets repetitive and boring and sometimes the singer falls short in holding the tone. But as I said before this is their first album so hopefully they have improved these things until their next recording. The lyrics are both Christ - centered and educating, and also shows that they have a real heart for people that are hurting and living on the edge.
SonX got both talent and a promising sound, they just have to sharpen it a bit more.
STAIRWAY - On Hallowed Ground
Do you like NWOBHM (New Wave of Brittish Heavy Metal)? Then this is definately something for you! Stairway hails from Britain and they deliver true classic metal in true NWOBHM style. They have been around for many years and this is their 3rd release. The best thing with this cd is the many flashy guitar solos. Favourite tunes are Under The Gun, Stop The Pain, Silent Dreams (fantastic track with fantastic guitarplay!) and The Sky Is Beautiful. Foolish Heart is also a great tune with a cool bluesfeel in it. Lyrically Stairway talks about people's search for God, the importance of turning to Christ, love and about prophecies that soon will be fulfilled.
Great to hear some classic metal again! However, what keeps the rating down is that some tracks are too slow and take too long before they take off. If they write more direct, add more hooks and speed up the tempo next release can be a real shredder. They have the potential, they just need to improve their skills a bit more.
Fans of NWOBHM will love this album! Recommended to fans of Recon and Whitecross. For those of you that aren't familiar with christian bands I can recommend it to fans of Iron Maiden and Saxon.
STEP COUSIN - Experiments in Sound
A new american band this is. Don't understand the cover. An explanation of it in the booklet would be good. Over to the music. Step Cousin sounds like a mixture of Vengeance Rising and old Mortification with a hint of Deliverance/Metallica thrown in. Very interesting mix indeed! The music is mostly crunchy thrash/death metal with plenty of melody. They even got a cover of Vengeance's tune Can't Get Out which they perform well. Definately the best Vengeance cover I have heard. Raised From The Silence reminds me very much of Mortifications Raise The Chalice. It almost sounds like a ripoff. The tune really has plenty of Mortification influence all over it and it sounds very cool. Their own tunes is mostly really enjoyable and I like almost all of them. Lyrics are both personal and biblical. A very good debutalbum overall. A promising band indeed. Future releases will be very interesting.
STEP COUSIN - Innocence Before Oblion
Step Cousin kicks off with their second release titled Innocence Before Oblivion. A change from their first album is that it's not pure thrash anymore but more a mixture of thrash and melodic slower metal. The tunes have a lot of crunch in them, somewhat like the crunch in the Deliverance tune After Forever.
My favourite track is Lonely Garden with it's heavy and thrashy rhythm. Hook Through The Lip, Deceiver, God in a Box and Treading Tainted Waters are some other of my faves. Wash Away reminds a lot of Mortification's thrash tunes . Lyrically they deal with issues like abortion, temptations, materialism and standing for Christ.
What Step Cousin need is to speed up the tempo more and incorporate more harmonies to their sound and do more tunes in the caliber of Lonely Garden, cause that's what their strength is - to combine melody and thrashy rhymes. More of these things and coming releases will be real shredders.
STRANGELAND - Strangeland
Strangeland is hailing from USA. This is their first demo-cd and it consists of three tracks. Production is very good. First track titled The Enemy is an excellent melodic metal tune with driving guitars and a great hook. Very good track! Jesus Walk follows next and this track is more like a filler. Third track Saviour is better but not in the caliber of The Enemy. Lyrically it is bold and clear and very Scriptural. A promising band indeed. With more tunes in the caliber of The Enemy this band can go very far. They definately have the talent and focus to succeed. Would love to hear a fullength! Definately a band to check out and keep your eye on.
STRONGHOLD - Prayer From A Yearning Heart
The splendid metaldistributor Nordic Mission have now also started up a record company! Stronghold is their second release. (The first one was Vaakevandring). The music truly sounds norwegian with slow blackmetal a la Antestor and Vaakevandring. The mini-cd contains five tunes, all performed by Erik Hellem Bö. Erik also handles the vocals. Guestplayer on the cd is Kjartan Vestvik on synth. The lyrics talks about prayers and worship to God. My absolute favourite is the tune Tears. Really nice catchy black with atmosphere and melody. More tunes like this would be awesome! Truly a top worldclass tune. First two tunes on the cd are too sorrowful to my taste, but then it gets better. My advice to Stronghold is to speed up the tempo, do more melodies and make more tunes in the calibre of Tears. All in all the cd overall sounds good and they got a promising sound, which makes "Prayers From A Yearning Heart" to a good debut album.
STILL SMALL VOICE - Embers
A cool thing with this band is that they are hailing from North Ireland. The first band I have heard from that region. Lyrics are all about Jesus and are really uplifting. Vocals is mostly screamy reminding of typical metalcore. I'm no fan of this kind of vocals which makes it hard for me to enjoy this cd. With a different kind of singing I would have like this cd a lot more. But taste is different. Anyway, sometimes the vocals are melodic and sound much better in my ears.
The music has a heavy dose of metalcore in it. It also has some thrash/death influences and plenty of timechanges. Since metalcore isn't that popular anymore maybe this band should change style to thrash. I think this band would sound great if they went thrash all the way, but that's just my opinion. On the positive side the music has plenty of variation and is well thought out. Really like the fast parts of the track Hail. Hopefully the band will go more in that direction in coming releases.
STRYPER - Reborn
Stryper are Reborn! After 15 years long wait they have finally released a new studio album. The setting nowadays consists of Michael Sweet, Robert Sweet, Oz Fox and new bass player Tracy Ferrie. The first thing that strikes me when I listen to the cd is that the sound has changed dramatically and nowadays sounds more like modern rock. This was a chock to me to say the least, but after listening to the album repeated times the cd has grown on me. But it did take at least 5 rounds in the cdplayer before I started to like it. Despite the new style there is still some of the classic Strypersound left and the tunes have a healthy portion of catchy melodic hooks, which makes most of the tunes enjoyable, although I usually don't like modern rock. A very touching track is Passion that shows that Stryper still rocks for Jesus and that their greatest wish is to honour Him. If I Die is another favourite that sound very much like the classic old Stryper sound. This track has fantastisc hooks and very sweet guitars! Other favourites are Wait For You and Make You Mine. Two tunes that I totally dislike are Open Your Eyes and Live Again. These two sounds really awful in my ears and way too much modern rock. The cd ends with a Stryper version of Amazing Grace plus a new heavier version In God We Trust. When you listen to Reborn you have to be prepared that it's an album that takes repeated rounds in the cdplayer to really sink in. After listening to it many times I now think it's a good album and I do enjoy it. But there are way too few guitarsolos on it to match their 80s albums. Stryper can much better than this and I really hope that they focus more on guitar solos and falsetto screams on next album.
STRYPER - 7 Weeks: Live In America, 2003
After years of waiting, Stryper has finally released a live album! The cd was recorded during their USA tour last Autumn. The result shows that they still can nail the tunes, although it was 12 years since they last toured. Production and soundquality is amazingly good. (The only thing I can complain about is that the drums could have more punch in them.)
Something cool with live albums is to be able to get the livefeel and hear the response of the audience. Since the gig is very well mixed the audience can also be heard loud'nclear. It's very powerful to hear when the audience sings along, especially on Makes Me Wanna Sing.
Michael Sweet has always had a voice above the average and on the liveshow he once again shows that he can hit the high tones, just like he did in the 80s. As always when it comes to Stryper there are plenty of guitar solos and catchy hooks to enjoy. What can you say, this is truly melodic metal at it's best!! A fantastic album from start to finish which both new and old fans will take to their heart. The cd shows that Stryper is back and that it's no accident that the band has sold 10 million albums.
The live album has the following tracks: Sing Along Song, Makes Me Wanna Sing, Calling On You, Free, More Than A Man, Caught In The Middle, Reach Out, Loud 'n Clear, The Way, Soldiers Under Command, To Hell With The Devil, Honestly, Winter Wonderland and ends with a powerful prayer by Michael Sweet. Throughout the whole album you can also really feel that this cd is annointed by God. The presence of God is very evident on the album and no one can miss it. This is a very strong cd both musically and spiritually and there is one word that describes the album will and that is: Worldclass! Soon we will also be able to not only hear but also see Stryper live on the DVD that will be released later this year...
STRYPER - To Hell With The Devil (Limited Edition)
When it comes to Melodic Metal there is one band that do it better than any others I have heard and that's Stryper, the band that put Christian Metal on the map. Recently they have rereleased their 3rd album. The special with this rerelease is that it has the awesome Angel cover!! So now you can finally enjoy this great cover on cd. And that's not all, since besides the ordinary tunes on this album they have also added the bonuscut Winter Wonderland! A wonderful tune that hasn't been able on cd until now. So all Stryper fans go out and get this album. It will blow you away!
But in case you haven't heard this album before here is a short review… First real tune after the intro is title track which is also the heaviest tune Stryper ever made. The lyric talks about our enemy Satan that one day will be cast into the lake of fire. A heavy tune with a singalong chorus. Calling on you comes next, a fantastic commercial rocker that is so moving so you can't sit still. If you want a firstclass metal top chart tune this is one of the very best. Free is a commercial rocker that's harder than Calling on You. Honestly is a great ballad that after a while changes to a rocker. This was the no #1 most requested tune om MTV when this album was new. I could go and on and rave over each tune cause they are all very good and none is a filler. Production is awesome as well. The bonustrack Winter Wonderland is a fantastic Christmas tune with lots of joy and CHRISTmas feel in it.
If you call yourself a fan of Melodic Metal this album shouldn't be missed in your collection. The only problem might be the price since this special limited edition with the angelcover and bonustune cost $20. But if you can't afford it get the ordinary version instead. This classic metal masterpiece is just too good to be missed.
STRYPER - Can't Stop The Rock
This is a collection with this legendary melodic metal band. Still unto this day many people don't even know that this cd exist. It contains hits from all of their cds including tunes like Soldiers Under Command, Free, In God We Trust and To Hell With The Devil. All in all the compilation has 12 tracks. Besides their classics the cd also contains two tunes that are previously unreleased and only available here!! One of these new tunes is called Believe and is a ballad that is a tribute to all the people that have died to defend the freedom of their country. A great tune where Michael Sweet really shows that he is one of best metalsingers there are. The other new tune is a rocker titled Can't Stop The Rock. The music to this tune was written back in the day when Stryper was still called Roxx Regime. Besides these two new tunes the cd also has a very exclusive booklet containing plenty of cool pictures and info about the singles, videos and albums that Stryper has put out. The booklet is very cool and I would even go so far to say that it's worth to buy the cd just to get the booklet alone.
All in all this a must have for Stryperfans and everyone else into 80s Metal. The cd also works good as an introduction to the band that put christian metal on the map.
STRYPER - 7
Stryper is back! Finally, after 12 years of waiting this awesome melodic metal band releases some new material! Stryper has called the album 7 since 7 is the number of God and Stryper's goal has always been to exalt God and give Him all the glory. This is also the band's seventh album so seven fits very well. The cd is a collection with classic tunes plus two new tracks. The new tracks were originally planned to be placed on Michael Sweet's solo album Truth and hence they sound somewhat similar to that album. First new tune Someday sounds way too soft but the second tune For You is much better. It has plenty of melody in it and a great chorus. A really good tune that grows a lot when you have listened to it some times.
The collection contains hits from all of their cds including tunes like Calling On You, Soldiers Under Command, All For One, Free, In God We Trust, Loving You, From Wrong To Right, Always There For You, To Hell With The Devil and many more. All in all the compilation has 18 tracks to enjoy! Besides the two new tunes the cd also has a cool booklet that among other cool things also contains a special message from singer Michael Sweet.
I think the band has done a great work in selecting the classics for this album. Shining Star is the only tune I dislike. I'm also missing Surrender. Besides these two things I'm completely satisfied with the selected tracks.
Stryperfans and everyone else into 80s Metal will love this album. The cd also works good as an introduction to the band that put christian metal on the map. Now I'm only waiting for a worldwide tour and a new studio album...
STRYPER - Expo 2000 Video
Yeah, finally a new Strypervideo! The video was recorded during the Stryperexpo last year. This was the first time the band played together in ca eight years but the music still sounds almost as tight as usual. But in some ways you could see that there was some time since they played the tunes. For example Michael even had to look in the lyric sheet to remember the lyrics to one of the tunes from their first album.
The video also contains plenty of other cool stuff except the concert footage from the Expo. There are interviews with the bandmembers, an unpluggedgig in a store, Mike and Oz plays unplugged in a radioshow and last but not least a few clips from the gig in Costa Rica. The Costa Rica gig seems to have been very successful and I would love to see a fulllength video from it! The Expogig is also rocking and you can really see that the band enjoy to play together again. As always when I hear Stryper I just can't help to sing along. It's so great to see them live again! (Even though I miss the yellow and black clothes.) Anyway, the video is well worth seeing and a must have to any Stryper fan.
STRYPER - Loud 'n' Clear Book
This is the official biography of Stryper! It's written by Dale Erickson & Jesse Sturdevant and contains the band's history, from the very beginning of the band to this present day. The book is based on interviews with the bandmembers and people around the band. The authors have really gone the extra mile to give the true picture about Stryper. For example they speak loud'n'clear about the band's hard period during the Against the Law-era.
But what hits you most when you read this book is the enormous success Stryper achieved! The key to their success must have been that they let God be the fifth member of the band. That's why God took them to the top. The book is full of plenty of interesting details and it's really an interesting read. There are also plenty of cool photos included. This is a book I highly can recommend not only to Stryperfans but to all who want to know more about this legendary band who put christian metal on the map.
SUPREME - s/t
From Skåne in Sweden comes this interesting band that recently released this EP. It contains four Melodic Hardrock tunes. Their titletune Supreme really stands out. Filled with hooks and an atmospheric feel a la Veni Domine this one shreds! Woah, with more tunes like this this will be very interesting! The other tunes are pretty good as well and grows the more I listen to them but they are not half as good as Supreme. The lyrics are encourageing an straightforward. The only letdown of this cd is that it at times is too cheesy for me, more heaviness wouldn't hurt. :-) Anyway I think it's a good EP from a promising band.
TEST OF FAITH - Selftitled
Test of faith is a Progressive Metal band from the US. The cd contains of 3 tunes with crunchy progressive metal. Yeah, that's right it's not just progressive but it's crunchy too! They even have some thrash influences. I like that, more crunch and thrash to the people! It's the crunch and thrash-influences that makes this band to stick out from the rest in the progressive metal genre. On the negative side there are some annoying background sounds on the first tune. The music is also too slow and boring in the beginning of the third tune. But besides that the music is both happening and crunchy. Lyrics are totally biblical and full on for Christ. Great to see lyrics that are this bold and evangelical!
All in all a very promising debut. I'm really looking forward to hear a fullength with this Christ-centered band. Check'em out, they might be the Christian Dream Theater we all have been waiting for.
THE METAL ROSE COLLECTION - Selftitled
Voila! This collection is filled with the cream of the crop of the christian metalbands in Finland. Compared to the first collection titled From Kaamos To Midnight Sun this collection contains more melodic metal and less brutal bands. First band out is Immortal Souls with their hybrid of melodic death metal mixed with power metal. A good tune. Oratorio is next. They are a new melodic metal band. The tunes starts very promising but then loses in tempo and intensity. If they just had kept the speed this would have been an excellent tune, now it's just good. Worship Factory's tune starts off with bells before it speeds up to a black tune. A pleasant surprise. The cool thing with this band is that they have plenty of beautiful atmosphere a la Antestor/Vaakevandring incorporated in their sound. The Power Metal band Hallowed then kicks off with a nice melodic rocker from their cd End of the Age. Tinnitus is next with their tune 2000 years. Melodic and progressive death metal. An excellent tune!
C-Force, a brand new band to me delivers a fantastic melodic tune! Wow, some of the very best melodic metal I have heard for years. Destination is another pleasant surprise. Great melodic metal with lyrics that talks about that God can cleanse and forgive our sins if we turn to Him and asks for His forgiveness. Definately a band for the future. V.I.P is promising band as well. Their sound reminds somewhat of Tourniquet. Exlife plays commercial metal with lots of hooks. All in all the collection contains 15 bands and tunes. Some of the very few bands whom I didn't liked are Catrabbits, Icon Clan and Pulse.
All in all this is an excellent collection that I highly can recommend. This cd is just too good to be missed...
THEOCRACY - Theocracy
Theocracy hails from USA and consists of Matt Smitt on vocals and on all instruments. And he does a fantastic job! In fact many bands with full setting doesn't even come close to what he has managed to do on this album. Very tasty power/progressive metal with tons of hooks and guitar solos. The music is also very powerful and well thought out. Fantastic that there can be so much talent in one person! The lyrics are topnotch as well. They are both Christcentered, thoughtprovoking and inspiring. It's crystalclear that Matt really wants to honour God with his music. This cd is without a doubt one of the absolute best albums that was released last year. One of the few letdowns is the drum machine. Eventhough they are programmed very well they still disturb somewhat. With a real drummer this band there is no limits to how good this band can be. The Healing Hand and Sinner are also too progressive to my taste. But all the other tracks are very enjoyable indeed. To sum it up I can highly recommend this cd! It's definately a must have to anyone into melodic/progressive metal!
Third/Crow - The Denial
Lots of new metalbands are popping up. One of them is the american band Third/Crow that recently released this cd. Musically it's pure Melodic Hardrock/Metal. The singer has a cool raspy voice reminding of Jamie Rowe (Guardian) and Dale Thompson (Bride). One tune that really sticks out is "On Forevers Edge". Another outstanding track is the instrumental tune that are their heaviest tune. The lyrics are evangelistic and they make no bones in Who they stand for. I like 6 of the 7 tunes so I recommend this cd. But I do think that they can do much better, I mean many tunes are good but not over-the-top-hit-tunes if you know what I mean. I miss the hooks that just grabs you and won't let go. They have great harmonies and good crunch but still I miss something. Anyway this is their first release and they got a promising sound so I'm sure they will improve this in further recordings.
3rd Day Rising - Spiral
This is the 2nd cd from this brittish band. The sound has changed quite a lot from their first effort. The music is more rough and dirty now. I really miss the melodic harmonies their first cd had. But a few tunes on Spiral still has these great hooks. The lyrics has also changed and are now a lot more vague. The only tune that openly talks about Christ is "violence". Lyrics goes "How can society handle, mankind's inner sin. Applying human logic, when they just need God within." This is also without a doubt my favourite and one of the few tunes on Spiral I really like. "paradise found", "man dies" and "spiral dow"n are some other tunes I like but that's about it.
To sum it up Spiral is a big dissapointment to me. They can much better than this cd shows.
TEMPLO DE FOGO - Judgement
The melodic metallers from Brazil are back again with a new release. Cd starts off with a very enjoyable instrumental. Music is overall really enjoyable. It's varied and the band has a great feel for making hooks and melodic harmonies and there are plenty of guitarsolos to enjoy. Lyrics are Biblical.
The one thing that holds the band back is the vocals. It needs to be much more fluent and in tone. I think it's better if Moisés sings in his native language portugese instead, cause then it sounds so much better. He has a good voice but it doesn't sound good when he sings in a foreign language. I think portugese sounds really cool and to me it's just great if they sing in their native language (if they just do an english translation in the booklet, so I can get understand what they are singing). So I don't mind if they sing in portugese.
As extra bonus they have put their entire EP Sacrifício at the end of the cd. On these track the singing is in portugese and it sounds great (both music and vocals). I hope Moisés continues to sing in Portugese in coming releases, cause that what he does best.
TEMPLO DE FOGO - Sacrificio
Templo de Fogo is hailing from Brazil and this is their debut. The cd consists of five tracks filled with classic melodic metal. They have a good sense for creating melody and hooks. This is happy sounding metal that makes you glad. I'm really impressed with the quality this release has. Great production, tight sound, plenty of variation, great guitarplay and fantastic melodies. This is truly Melodic Metal at it's finest! It's so good and wellplayed that I haven't got anything negative to say about it except that it's too short. (My only remark is that all band members have short hair and it would be better if they let their hair grow out.) All vocals are sung in portugese which can be a problem to some, but it do sounds very well and the vocals flows very well with the music. Lyrically they talk about the hope we have in Christ.
Check out the new wonder from Brazil and you'll be positively surprised. Would love to hear a fullength from this talented band. Highly recommended cd!
TINNITUS - Iron Will
Progressive Death Metal from Finland this is, a quite uncommon combination, but it works. The cd is a ep with a total time of ca 21 minutes. First tune titled "you" is way too slow and never kicks off. 2nd tune has the same problem. "Love and Death" is better and has a lot more crunch in the guitars. The standout cut on this cd is No Regrets with it's crunchy heavy rhythmes, great hook and hardhitting lyrics. The lyrics talks about that you won't have to regret that you choose to follow Jesus. An outstanding tune in all ways. "Reijo" is another hardhitter that I enjoy. A bit chaotic but fast and cool. Typical for Tinnitus is also that they have plenty of timechanges.
All in all this is a good debut that I recommend.
TINNITUS - Veritas
Veritas is Tinnitus 2nd release, and as their first this is a EP. This time with 3 tunes. Tinnitus continues with their caracteristical style best described as progresssive death metal. First tune never grabs me. 2nd tune is better and has a nice guitar solo. 3rd tune titled "why should I fear" is also pretty cool but I miss something for it to really stand out. Lyrically Tinnitus have bold Christcentered lyrics with lots of interesting things to say.
All in all I miss something on this cd to really like it. More guitar solos and melodic harmonies with more hookfeel would do this band good. Sometimes the sound is way too gloomy to my liking.
TINNITUS - 2000 Years
This is Tinnitus latest EP-CD. "2000 years" feels like a return to their successful style on the "No Regrets" tune from their first EP "Iron Will". Stylewise this is Progressive Death Metal with plenty of crunch and hookfeel. 2000 Years is a great tune and a perfect combination of melody and brutality. 2nd tune is just a short jingle that was partly recorded in a sauna! (Typical for finnish people :) The sauna was so hot during the recording so the microphone got destroyed and almost melted. Despite this the production is excellent on this mini-cd. I really hope Tinnitus get signed soon so they can reach more people with their unique music and great message. I would also love to hear a fullength with this band. Enough with ep's now Janne, Fredrik, Stefan and Kenneth, it's about time for fullength!
TINNITUS - Human Creation
Tinnitus continues on with their tradition of releasing EPs. This is their 4th one. It contains the tunes Soul Escape and Human Creation. Stylewise Tinnitus plays Progressive Death Metal with plenty of crunch and hookfeel. Soul Escape has plenty of melody but the chorus is unnessary complicated and loses the beautiful harmony the rest of the tune has. A good tune nevertheless. Human Creation is a great tune that I totally love! It has plenty of crunch and melody. It also has good lyrics talking about the importance of first loving ourselves to be able to love others.
Production is excellent. Tinnitus just gets better and better with each release and I really hope they get signed soon so they can reach more people with their unique music and great message.
TOURNIQUET - Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm
Tourniquet is back again! This time they return to their thrash roots. (Yes!) As always though with this band they love to experiment, so it's not pure thrash but more a combination of all metalstyles you can think of plus some more music styles including classical music. There are plenty of timechanges and lots of variation. Mostly this is a strength but sometimes it just gets too much. Something that stands out with Tourniquet is the excellent drumming by Ted Kirkpatrick, the only one of the founding members that are still in the band. Lyrics are written in an intelligent way typical for Tourniquet addressing several issues while still pointing to God our creator. There are plenty of nice smooth melodies and harmonies to enjoy on this cd. This and the thrashbased sound makes the music really enjoyable. Production is excellent. Favourite cuts are The Tomb of Gilgamesh and Besprinkled in Scarlet Horror.
On the negative side there are 3-4 tunes that I don't like mostly because they are too chaotic and the singer shouts too much. This cd it's not really in the caliber of the Pathogenic album overall but it is definately one big step forward in the right direction. I'm sure almost any metalhead will like this album because of it's melodic and thrashy feel. I dig the album and give it a 3+. If they continue to play thrash with melody and skip the chaotic and repetetive stuff and the singer Aaron quit with the shouting, next album might be the masterpiece we are all waiting for.
TOURNIQUET - Where Moth and Rust Destroy
Tourniquet continues on with their unique combination of progressive metal. As usual when it comes to this band there are plenty of timechanges and lots of variation. Mostly this is a strength but sometimes it just gets too much. Lyrics are written in an intelligent way typical for Tourniquet addressing several issues while still pointing to God our creator. As on the Microscopic album there are many great melodies and harmonies to enjoy on this cd. This and the thrashbased sound makes the music rather enjoyable. Production is excellent. Favourite cuts are the title track, Convoluted Absolutes, Healing Waters of Tigris and Melting the Golden Calf.
On the negative side I dislike about half of the tunes mostly because they are too disharmonic or too slow. I liked the Microscopic album better than this one and I'll give it a 3- rating. It's still an ok album but not a shredder. Still I'm sure many metalheads especially die-hard-Tourniquet-fans will enjoy this cd. If they incorporate more harmonies to their sound, skip the chaotic and repetetive stuff and speed up the tempo next cd may be a masterpiece.
TREASURE SEEKER - A Tribute To The Past
Oh Yeah! Here we got something cool - a tribute album with covers of some of the best tunes in Christian Metal!! The bands / tunes that are covered are Stryper / To Hell With The Devil, Bride / Heroes, Bloodgood / Out Of The Darkness, Saint / Too Late For Living, Leviticus / Flames Of Fire, Jerusalem / Rebels Of Jesus Christ, Rez / Silence Screams, Creed / Meet Again and Force 3 / Warrior Of Light. And what a tribute it is! The tunes are very close to the originals and also have some extra finesses in between. The singer is really good in imitating the different singers. One song he fells short though is the Stryper - tune where he doesn't come up to Michael Sweets standard. But on most of the tunes he is doing really good.
The band that have made this album is to 3/4 made up of members from Lightmare, Seventh Avenue and Crystyne. They are very tight and have also done a tune of their own that's awesome!
The musicstyle on the album is real Heavy/Power Metal and they have done a great job in covering the classics. Most of the tunes are just as good as the originals and some are even better! The only tune where I don't think they match the originals is as I said before, the Stryper - tune. (But anyway their version of their tune is tons better than the parody - Stryper - tribute that were released some years ago.) Some tunes that really stands out are Bride - Heroes, Creed - Meet Again and Leviticus - Flames of Fire. These tunes are even better than the originals. Meet again has a great lyric that talks about how wonderful it will be when we meet all our dead Christian brothers and sisters in Heaven. What a day that will be!
There are to say it short: plenty of Metal - classics to enjoy on this album. One thing I wonder though is why did they include Force 3?? They could have chosen a classic with Whitecross or Deliverance instead. ... But as always you can't get everything...
TRINO - Suffocated Breed
Thrash from Brazil isn't that common and I'm glad to hear that there are popping up thrash bands all over the world. The music has plenty of timechanges and lots of crunch. Vocals are brutal but hearable. Lyrics are evangelical. Sometimes the music gets slightly repetitive and the vocals could be better but all in all this is good stuff. Trino is a promising band but doesn't beat Believer and old Vengeance Rising yet but with some more practise they might be in pair with them.
This is a good thrash album from a promising band. I give it a 3+. Mosh it up dudes!
TROGLODYTE DAWN - Troglodyte Dawn
This is a new band hailing from the USA. All tracks are made by Randy Michaud (also called Trog) with the help of some of his friends. Typical for the band's sound is that it's groovy 70s metal. Troglodyte Dawn has also made a parody cover of Black Sabbath's tune After Forever and called it Forever After. They have also adjusted the lyrics to point to Christ full on. Definately one of the best tunes on the cd. Another favourite is the cool live track Redeemed. Some other fave's are Flower and Look On The Cross. The tunes has plenty of variation and harmonies. Production is good but it could be thicker. On the negative side I find the instrumentals Dawn and Dood boring and way too slow. There could also be some more crunch and heaviness to the tunes. Overall though it's a really cool release and a solid debut. Something I really like with the cd is that the lyrics are very biblical and Christcentered. They are really food for your spirit and give food for thought. This is a release I really can recommend. I give it a 3+.
TYKKÜS - Ümlaut
Tykküs hails from America and their style is Classic Heavy Metal. They remind a bit of Saint. Another band that comes to mind is Eternal Ryte. The fourtrack cd kicks off with Born To Die, which is a real heavy rocker with some crunchy hooks and driving riffs. Another good track is Warfare, that has both tasty guitar solos and encouraging lyrics. Last track With His Love has a crunchy rhythm and great harmonies. The production is good and the cd has a clear sound. Vocalist Randy Michaud also does a good job handling the vocals. I really like Tükkus sound, it's both heavy and melodic. Their cool sound combined with an uplifting message about salvation through Jesus Christ makes this cd a winner in my ears. The only problem with the cd is that it is over way too quick. Would love to hear a fullength with this cool talented band!
UGLYSTYK - Saved By The Blood
Sometimes I got pleasant surprises. I had never heard of this band before I got their cd in my mailbox. And man, what a pleasant surprise I got! Uglystyk plays my favourite kind of metal, melodic metal that is. You know the tasty riffs and the hooks that grabs you and don't wanna let you go. The cd is full of excellent guitarplay and beautiful melodies that makes me happy. Oh yeah, I like it! On the negative side though there are some tunes especially at the end of the cd that lacks a bit in melody and hookfeel, and therefore don't do it for me. That's why this cd only gets a 3. Most tunes though are very enjoyable and I can't wait to hear more from this talented band.
Uglystyk is a ministryband and have very Christcentered lyrics. I really feel uplifted and glad when I hear lyrics like this. It truly gives me something from above.
Imagewise though I have some advices for them. First of all, don't have a cheesy pink cover on a metal album! They also need to change their image a bit and look more metal if they want to get the metalheads attention and respect.
ULTIMATUM - Puppets of Destruction
Typical for this band is the singer's very special vocals. Either you like it or not. Sorry to say I'm in the last category but as always when it comes to music, it's all a matter of taste. Anyway, the closest comparison I can think of is Udo Dirkschneider.
The music is solid Heavy Metal / Thrash. First tune "Never" is really good and crunchy. If all the tunes were this good this would be an awesome album. Sorry to say, they are not. Some of the tunes are good but most of them gets repetitive and boring. That's too bad when the lyrics are this good and Christ - centered.
If the band continue to write tunes like "Never", varies the music more and the singer tries to sing in another way (sorry Scott but I have to be honest) they can go to the top, but for now they fall short, as least in my ears.
UNCHAINED - Never End
Unchained is a new band from the US. Good to see that more and more metalbands are popping up from this country. Unchained plays pretty slow heavy metal and vocals are easy to hear. I prefer faster stuff, it would be good if they speed up more. Because the music is slow it easily becomes boring in my ears. The only tune I fully like is Meet Again. A wonderful tune about the great meeting in heaven where we will meet our dead brothers and sisters in Christ. More tunes like this would do good. Lyrics are both personal as pointing to Christ. If the music just wasn't so slow I might have liked this but now I don't. More speed and catchy hooks/harmonies is what this band is lacking. I hope they incorporate more of that in coming releases.
VARDOGER - Whitefrozen
Viking Metal (slow black metal with influences from Nordic folk music) is a style that fits perfect for all the ancestors of the Vikings up in the cold Nordic countries. So what could be more fitting than a band from Norway that plays Viking Metal? The band I talk about is called Vardoger. After years of waiting they have finally released their EP consisting of five tracks of slow majestic Viking Metal. Silent Witness is my favourite track. An excellent track with hardhitting lyrics: "What is it that you fear? What is it that prevents you from seeking Him? When you got His Spirit to guide you. His angels to hide you. Open up let Him in so that you can be a radical son in the battle for truth." Another great tune is Footprints of Thunder with it's catchy viking sound. The only tracks I can't get into are Desert Pale and Inferno. But the other three tracks are excellent and as a whole Whitefrozen is a really cool cd that gives good hope for the future. Singer in the band is Peter Dahlbakk and his shrilling voice sounds even better here than his growls in Schaliach. As I said a really nice cd for everyone into slow black metal.
VENIA - In Our Weakness
Venia is hailing from Finland and a couple of the tracks are also in the Finnish language. Their demo was more Heavy Metal-oriented while this cd is more in the thrash vein. The Path is a good example of their new style. Really enjoyable thrash with lots of variation. Heikko is another fave with many harmonies as well as crunchy faster parts. Venia's lyrics often talk about our human limitations and that you can have a new meaning in your life by putting it into God's hands and submit to God. Venia has plenty of talent and variate the tunes well. But the tracks are still too uneven to match the best bands out there. On the first two tracks the tempo is also way too slow, which makes me to lose interest and skip to next track. In coming releases I would like them to do more tunes in the caliber of The Path and Heikko and that they don't slow down too much but keep the tempo up.
VENIA - Genesis (Demo 2004)
This is the first release from these finnish metallers. Typical for their sound is that there are a woman (Veronica) that handles the vocals. I'm no big fan of female vocals in metal but Veronica sounds alright and she has a good voice.
Over to the music: Stylewise I would describe their style as straight ahead melodic metal with plenty of hooks. Ei Mun Tarvitse has a nice crunchy melodic rhythm. I totally love Eternal Sanctuary that makes me thinking of Tourniquet. This track plenty of cool timechanges, crunchy hooks, tasty guitar solos and on top of it some violin. Really cool! I hope they do more tunes of this kind. Taivaassa has a great hookfeel and tasty guitars. Genesis and Tormented Souls are also really enjoyable.
On the negative side production is somewhat muddy, just like it often is on demos. Besides that this is really good and I like almost all tunes. To sum it up I do hear plenty of talent here, so keep going Venia and keep it melodic! I look forward to next release. This band can go far.
This is definately a cd I can recommend and I give it a 3+ rating. Check it out if you want to hear some new fresh melodic metal.
VENI DOMINE - The album of Labour
Veni Domine have had severe problems to get this album out and it has been finished for almost 3 years. But God hears prayers and now the album is finally released. If you haven't heard this band I would describe their sound as progressive, slow and heavy doom metal. With this album they go back to their roots and there are plenty of influences from their first two albums.
The vocalist Fredrik has a great highpitched voice. Many think his voice reminds of the singer in Queensryche. Torbjörn is a very competent guitarplayer and he put on some really heavy riffs and solos on the album. Compared to previous albums the tunes are a bit shorter.
I wasn't really happy with Spiritual Wasteland. Found it way too progressive. But this album I do like since it is more accessible and has a better flow in the tunes. It truly sounds like they were inspired when they recorded this cd. My favourite tracks are Doom of Man, Eli Lema Sabachtani, The Healing The Mystery, Healer's Face and River of Life I. Many of the lyrics are taken from the Book of Revelation (the last book in the Bible) and talks about how things will be in the future and that we are living in the last days.
Veni Domine is back and has put out the best release for a long time. It's still not in pair with their classic Fall Babylon Fall, but it is a big step in the right direction. With some more harmonies added to their sound next release can be even better than Fall Babylon Fall.
Whitecross is back again! Whitecross has always been one of the best Christian Metal bands and it's so good to have them back again. Before they give us a new studio album they have chosen to re-record their first album. As extra bonus they have also added Love On The Line + some extra bonusclips. And what a great album it is! The production is tons better than the original and Rex Carroll's guitarplay sounds better than ever. Rex Carroll clearly shows why he is one of the top guitarplayers in the world and the album is filled with blazing guitar solos and tasty riffs. Scott Wenzel's raspy voice sounds a bit different nowadays however and doesn't really has the aggression/attitude he had before, still sings good though. Besides this the cd just rocks and listening to 1987 gives me a pleasant smile in my face. This album shows that Whitecross is back to stay. Highly recommended to anyone that loves Melodic Metal with plenty of guitarsolos.
This is guitarcentered Metal with real bite and energy. The guitars really bite on this cd! The guitarist is no other than Rex Carrol, the one who was voted the best rock-guitarist in the US 1986! Rex Carrol's guitarplaying sounds like a combination of Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen. I really like the energy and crunch this cd have. Great melodies and great production as well. The cd is truly awesome and it's one of my personal faves!
With straightforward Christian lyrics and real crunchy guitars this is one I higly recommend. It's a guitar metal classic!
Wisdom Call is the Narnia singer Christian Liljegren's soloband. Stylewise it's a mix of 80s and 70s Metal. They have even put in a few tunes with Christian's old band Modest Attraction at the end of the cd. I like the Modest-tunes and a few others like Through Fire and One Way Out. Hold On To The Truth is also a great ballad. But the good tunes are too few and I still feel like something is missing for this cd to really go over the top. To me it's just an ordinary album and not a must have. It ain't bad but not a classic either, it's somewhere in between. I want more melodic hooks and catchy rhymes from this band. I know they have the capability, they just need to really go for it.
These two cds do sound very different from most of the music I have heard. Music is slow and jazzy with a metal twist. All tracks are instrumental. Production is crystalclear.
I find the music too slow and too jazzy to really grab me. That doesn't mean it sounds bad, it is just means that this it not my thing.
VAAKEVANDRING - Demo 98/99
This is a another new and talented black metal band from Norway. Musically they remind a bit of Crimson Moonlight. Vocals are topnotch, the singer has a nice shrilling voice. First tune is a cool black metal version of the prayer Our Father! You got to hear it to believe it. Good tune. Next tune is pretty repetitive and boring so I hit the skip button. The 3rd and last tune really stands out. Fast, catchy melodic black metal with lots of atmosphere. Great stuff! With more tunes like this they will surely go to the top.
The future looks great for this band, check'em out.
VITAL SIGN - Vital Sign
Vital Sign is hailing from Sweden. The best thing with Vital Sign is their uplifting biblical lyrics that truly give you something from above. Musically they play melodic rock/hardrock with plenty of keyboards. I would say that this is also their biggest problem, since there are just too much keyboards and too little guitars. I also wish the music was more heavy overall. Favourite tracks are Hold On Tight, Lead My Way, Hallelujah and You Died In My Place. I really hope they got heavier and produce more tunes in the way of these in coming releases.
Vital Sign has it's moments but the overall problem is that they are slightly too soft for my likening. But fans of Whiteheart and their likes should definately give this a try.
WARRIOR - The Battle Has Started
What on earth is this? Some dudes painted as Kiss-lookalikes dressed in metal armour. Hmm. Their look makes me wondering if they are really serious. The lyrics however shows that they are serious and that the band really have a heart for reaching out to people with the hope we have in Christ. When it comes to the music Warrior brings us melodic hardrock with sing along-choruses, hooks and some taste guitar solos. Partly it's good but it sounds a little too soft, I really hope they add more heaviness in coming releases. Favourite tracks are the rockers My Little Runaway, Cry As One, I Can't Be Alone and the beautiful ballad Right Here, Right Now. My advice to Warrior is that they keep the armour but skip the makeup, get heavier and give the guitars more space in their sound.
VÖLLIG HEILIG - Looking For The Light
This band have a cool logo and use lots of cool biblical imagery. Lyrics are also loud'n'clear. What bugs me is the vocal approach, the singer just sings too high for his own good. Musically Völlig Heilig plays Classic Heavy Metal slightly reminding of Sacred Warrior. Nice riffing, crunchy rhythmes and melodic leads from two guitarists makes the music really enjoyable in most of the tunes. If just the singer changes his singing to the better this band will be very interesting to watch in the future.
This is X-Sinners first and classic album. Soundwise it's reminding of AC/DC, but X-Sinner is both faster and heavier in all ways. Tune after tune just shreds with melodic hooks, crunchy guitars and that megacool raspy voice! If you are looking for a christian alternative to AC/DC this is the perfect choice. Personal fave's on the album are Steppin' on Toes and No Way In. If you like melodic hardrock/metal you will love this. If you like AC/DC you will love this. Can't go wrong with this release, it's truly a classic, one of those albums that you just don't wanna miss. So do yourself a favour and go and Get It or you will regret it!
It's hard to follow up a classic. That's a problem X-Sinner had to face when they recorded this album. Another thing they had to deal with was a new singer, since David Robbins had quit the band. The new singer is Rex Scott. (Rex Scott sang in the band Zion for those of you that remember). I prefer David's voice before Rex Scott's, even though Rex has a good raspy voice as well. The production on this album is too soft sounding and unfortunately don't got the crunch Get it had. The tempo is also slower than Get It but you can still feel their characteristic moving AC/DC-influenced sound. With this said, this is still definately an album worth checking out. Cause what you get here are some great melodic metal tunes with hooks that directly goes to your head and won't let you go. My fave's are Hold On, You Got Me and All I Need. Another personal fave with a heartgripping message is the anti-suicide tune Don't Go. The lyrics goes like this:
"The time was spent together was truly heaven sent. But the price of loneliness is one that's overspent. I know life can hurt you, I know that life can make you wanna die. But the truth can set you free. All you have to do is ask and believe."You got to hear this tune and feel the emotion in it. It really touches your heart for those that take their lives as well as their relatives and friends who is left with a great void. If you are struggling with suicide thoughts right now, I just want to tell you that no matter what you face and how bad your situation is God can always help you out, just call on his name and He WILL help you. Suicide is NEVER a solution, it only causes pain and misery.
All in all I like this album and I recommend it, even though it's not in the caliber of Get It. Nonetheless, this is definately an album worth checking out and I'll give it a 3+ rating.
X-Sinner is back again! After many years break the melodic headbangers in X-Sinner are now back again with a new album. The cd is a special edition limited to only 1300 copies. It contains both unreleased tunes and different versions of album tunes from their two earlier albums. The production is good. Their nice groovy sound is immediately recognized and makes me think about the time when their classic album Get It was released. A classic already then and it still is. If you haven't heard X-Sinner before they sound like a christian AC/DC, but heavier and with more speed and crunch. Both singers, especially David Robbins have a great raspy voice.
All in all this cd is not really in league with Get It (should have been more speedy tunes), but it's definately a must have to all fans of X-Sinner. And since it's limited to only 1300 copies you better get it quick before they are all gone...
The 80s were the golden era of Metal. X-Terra is a three-piece-band that was active then and still is. Wolves is their latest release. Singer Bill Hunt has a good slightly raspy rock'n'roll voice that fits the music well. When it comes to the music this is 80s Metal all the way, meaning that it's very melodic and that there are plenty of hooks and guitarsolos to enjoy. Lyrics are very Biblical and shows that the band really cares for people. Great lyrics overall and the presence of God can really be felt when you listen to this cd.
Some tunes that stick out are All The Way, God's Grace, It Isn't Love, The Sun Will Shine Again and It Doesn't Matter. The guitar solos on the album are really enjoyable. Prouction is also well done, although this is an independent release.
Overall Wolves is a great cd that grows more and more on me the more I listen to it. There are only a few tunes I can't get into. Listening to X-Terra is like finding a lost treasure from the 80s. So if you are like me and love Melodic 80s Metal then this is a band you really should check out!
Many new bands are popping up. One of them is Zion. Lyrically they are really Christcentered. Zions sound is groove-based. Favourite tunes are Golgatha and Ousty Road and Jamie. More tunes like these are what this band need. The problem with Zion tunes is that they are mostly way too soft and slow to make it. They need to speed up (as for now they take way too long before they take off) and get a slightly tougher sound. Another important thing they need to work with is making more harmonies and hooks. A better production is also well needed. On the positive side I do hear that they have talent but they need to work more with their tunes, especially with the song structure.
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