Category Archives: CD Reviews

MUSIC REVIEW: Enthroned – “Sovereigns”

Enthroned-Sovereigns

For those individuals who are seeking that nostalgic 90’s Black Metal sound, one of which Enthroned has had in the past; this album does not provide that sound. However, it does offer a modern listening experience that does channel that unique sound I love so much. I will be honest. This is the first release since “Carnage in Worlds Beyond” that I have actually listened to and it did take some time for me to fully respect this album. Vocally, it is completely different from said time period. Lyrically I feel it is much darker in mysterious ways.

“Sovereigns” marks the 10th studio album from Enthroned. Throughout the 9 tracks, I found I could thoroughly enjoy most of them. There are certain parts that get my blood boiling because I can hear hints of the Enthroned that I was familiar with and realized they’re not jumping on the modern black metal band wagon like some other Black Metal bands. The tracks that are most memorable off this album for are “Of Feathers and Flames,” “Lamp of Invisible Lights,” and “Divine Coagulation.”

Moving on to the cover art. I read in an interview one of the band members hand painted it with blood of the members mixed into the paints. This is bad ass for many reasons. Most importantly, for me, is the fact it is not digital media. So many bands for a while went into digital media to compose the entire layout of the release and it took away from that “vibe” of being underground. Some of you will know what I am talking about. In the end this album is 3.5 Horns from me. For those individuals who are seeking that nostalgic 90’s Black Metal sound, one of which Enthroned has had in the past; this album does not provide that sound. However, it does offer a modern listening experience that does channel that unique sound I love so much. I will be honest. This is the first release since “Carnage in Worlds Beyond” that I have actually listened to and it did take some time for me to fully respect this album. Vocally, it is completely different from said time period. Lyrically I feel it is much darker in mysterious ways.

“Sovereigns” marks the 10th studio album from Enthroned. Throughout the 9 tracks, I found I could thoroughly enjoy most of them. There are certain parts that get my blood boiling because I can hear hints of the Enthroned that I was familiar with and realized they’re not jumping on the modern black metal band wagon like some other Black Metal bands. The tracks that are most memorable off this album for are “Of Feathers and Flames,” “Lamp of Invisible Lights,” and “Divine Coagulation.”

Moving on to the cover art. I read in an interview one of the band members hand painted it with blood of the members mixed into the paints. This is bad ass for many reasons. Most importantly, for me, is the fact it is not digital media. So many bands for a while went into digital media to compose the entire layout of the release and it took away from that “vibe” of being underground. Some of you will know what I am talking about. In the end this album is 3.5 out of 5 Horns from me.

– Shane Wilson
wilson.shane14@gmail.com

Enthroned

Head on over to Enthroned’s official website to hear music from their new album “Sovereigns” out through Agonia Records.

Leave a comment

Filed under CD Reviews, Metal Geeks, New Music Releases

CD REVIEW: Whitechapel – Our Endless War

whitechapel
First of all, I will start out by saying that I have always been a huge fan of Whitechapel, and their latest offering definitely doesn’t change things at all. There are not too many singers that I could see replacing Phil in Whitechapel. His crushing delivery really helps make this band what they are, which is something they never try to hide. I remember back when they were recording A new Era of Corruption, in one of the video docs, Phil said something about “pronunciating better”, and since then his vocals have gotten more legible every time without losing the relentless pummeling vocals.

In Our Endless War, it definitely seems like it’s a “balls to the wall” attempt to make this a truly heavy album without just relying on the nonstop breakdowns that this band normally follows. Back when I was younger, my friends and mother always mentioned how my music was all dark and the lyrics were always dark. On this occasion, I would have to agree with them, but that is what I love about this band. With the title song, one of the lyrics that keeps getting thrown in is, “let’s take back our justice for all”. In most occasions, when Whitechapel has “understandable” lyrics, they are usually very dark so this was a nice change. The drumming and guitar work have only gotten better with this album and I would like to say that within a few more albums, Whitechapel will potentially become a totally different band, dropping their deathcore title that they have gained. Overall, this is a great album and I recommend anyone to give it a listen even if you aren’t a fan.

4.5/5 horns

-Stephen Portala

Whitechapel-OurEndlessWar
Head on over to Metal Blade Records to hear a track off the album and if you like it; purchase it!

Leave a comment

Filed under CD Reviews, Metal Geeks

CD Review: Brainstorm – “Firesoul”

brainstorm
Brainstorm plays a combo of thrash and power metal that brings back the glory days of metal. “Firesoul” is, roughly, their 10th full length album.  The band does not create anything new or original. It is just pure metal in every way. All of the key ingredients:  fast and melodic guitar riffs, anthem filled choruses, and twin harmony solos are present. The downside is that after a few songs it does tend to all start sounding the same. The album really doesn’t produce anything memorable enough to warrant many repeat listens. Its just on the brink of being good but always falls on its face just before it reaches something exciting.  This has always been the issue with this band and probably why more people aren’t into them. If you have listened to everything and just want some background music while doing other things this is a great album for you otherwise skip it.

– Mark Clausen

1 Comment

Filed under CD Reviews, Metal Geeks, MSRcast, Reviews

CD REVIEW: Lacuna Coil – “Broken Crown Halo”

Lacuna Coil
Lacuna Coil was a band that a few short years ago had a lot going for them. They hit it big with “Heaven’s A Lie” and all things were set in place for them to get the attention they deserved. But wait, somehow the band decided it would go more “Poppy” and less metal; which in turn, lost their momentum with albums that just missed the mark. Lacuna Coil’s last two albums “Dark Adrenaline” and “Shallow Life” share the same sound of repetitive “Nu-Metal” riffs mixed with predictable male/female combo vocals. Fans expecting anything different on their new album will be in for disappointment. “Broken Crown Halo” literally rehashes the same formula with the only difference is that some of the male vocals are bit more on the “extreme” side. Otherwise, it is literally more of the same copy/paste songs this band has been stuck in for years now. Their last album, “Dark Adrenaline”, did have a couple of good tracks on it, but this new one is just one easy to forget song after another.

This band needs an over-haul. First, they really do need to get rid of the male vocals. Secondly, Cristina needs to let loose. She seems to enjoy staying in the same vocal comfort zone lately and at times her delivery is very robotic. I know she can belt it out, but instead the male vocalist gets those parts and it really takes away from the music. And oh yeah, the new album has what is pretty close to what I can only say is Rapping from Cristina on the track “Victim” and “Cybersleep.” It sounds like they are channeling Lady Gaga. FAIL! “Broken Crown Halo” is another failed attempt by a band trying so hard to jump from on one trend to another that they have lost sight of what they actually were in the first place. Just listen to “In Reverie” and “Unleashed Memories” for proof.

– Mark Clausen

Leave a comment

Filed under CD Reviews, MSRcast, Reviews

Reinxeed – “Welcome To The Theater” CD Review

Did someone say really over the top power metal mixed with movie quality orchestrations that is stellar-ly produced? Yes, please! This is definitely symphonic power metal to the nth degree. ‘Cinematic Metal’ is the newest term being thrown around that would appropiately pinpoint this band. The band has certainly been busy in the past few years, making a name for themselves through YouTube and releasing a concept album called “1912” based on Titanic, and also releasing a tribute to Swedish pop bands including ABBA, and Ace of Base called “Swedish Hitz Gone Metal”. Fast forward to 2012, and Reinxeed (No idea how to really pronounce the band name) have released their newest opus, “Welcome to the Theater” and I for one cannot get enough.

As for the metal aspect of the band, one thing comes into mind, and that is older era Michael Kiske Helloween. Combine that with symphonic, soundtrack music, and the over the top nature of bands like Rhapsody of Fire and you have the musical style of Reinxeed. Vocalist, and lead musician, Tommy Johansson is the main driving force behind the band, along the lines of Ayreon, where he pieces together an amazing lineup of talent to support his power metal ways. Tommy does his best, like stated before, Michael Kiske impression, and can definitely hit those power metal high notes that is sorely missing from metal music these days. Just imagine him putting out his hand as he hits those notes. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. The musicianship is top notch on this album, and the production matches the sheer brilliance of the songs. The orchestration and movie score laden-ed keyboards match the heavy, fast riffing of the guitars. It would have been easy to have either one too high in the mix, and just have a muddled affair. Guitar solos are played with precision. Thankfully, the drums are high in the mix as well, and are thunderous and played to complement the bombastic frenzy of the music.

This album is really the perfect Metal Geeks album. All the tracks on the album are based on various movies and other geeky subjects. From what I can gather, some of the songs based on movies include Pirates Of The Caribbean during the song, “Stranger Tides”, Indiana Jones in “Temple of the Crystal Skulls”, reaching 88 miles per hour with Back To The Future in the track “Somewhere In Time”.  I will admit that one of my favorite tracks on the album is “Save Us”, which is based on the Spider-man movie franchise, and even has hints of the epic movie score hidden in the song. This song is the epitome of fast paced, epic power metal, and features female vocals during the chorus.

This has tuned into one of my favorite albums of the year so far, but there is only one down side. I can only listen to Reinxeed in small doses without getting overwhelmed by the cheesy power metal goodness. Don’t take that as a bad thing though, because when Reinxeed is filling my earholes, it is a wondrous thing. I highly recommend this album. Put it on, crank it up, and get ready to cheese out to some high quality geeky power metal!

Leave a comment

Filed under CD Reviews, Metal Geeks, MSRcast, Reviews