New Metal Out Now 5/27/2015

     Russian Power Metal band, Distant Sun has released two new blazing tracks on No Clean Singing.  Their new album Dark Matter comes out May 30th


Third Ion, a Canada based band featuring former members of The Devin Townsend Band, have a debut Prog Metal album out now!  The album is similar to bands like Tesseract and Star One.  It is interesting music with melodic touches and technicality.  You can buy 13/8 Bit on Itunes or stream their new album on Spotify here:


Southern Death Metal band, Coathanger Abortion, has a new album out June 2nd called, Observations of Humanity.  They are currently streaming 2 new exclusive songs here:

If you want something even heavier, Psychomancer now has a brutal psychological mutilation EP out now.  Inject The Worms is short and pounding all the way through.  If you like your Death Metal supremely gorey and unintelligible, then definitely stream this EP on Spotify.

Miami Based Prog Metal band Cave of the Swimmers has a new single out featuring four exclusive songs.  Reflection is an oddity with mysterious and elusive sounds, requiring imagination and personal thought provoking relations.  The instrumentation is unique, but lacks quality in the vocals.  If you like Opeth, this band may be right up you alley.  You can also stream Refleciton on Spotify.


Progressive and Dark Metal band, Shroud of Despondency, have a new independently released album out on Bandcamp.  It is the last chapter for the band in their creepy and elusive journey.  Two people alone record and produce all of the music heard throughout each album.  It is raw Black Metal with Prog influences, like Opeth mixed with Behemoth and Frostland Darkness.  The imperfections are what make this album so raw and beautiful.

Of course, there is more Black Metal to be devoured in 2015 with I am the Trireme’s new album Gnosis:Never Follow the Light.  This band combines Gore Metal and Melodic Death into the same album and intensifies it to a new level.  I highly suggest this album for Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, and Insomnium fans.  You can check out the album and more of the band here:

Nihilistinen Barbaariusuus is a lot to take in and impossible to spell, but their new album The Child Must Die is as Finnish and as Black Metal as it gets.  Of course the quality isn’t up to par with Behemoth or Watain, but it is educational.  The Child Must Die is based on an old Finnish mythical text called “The Kalevala”.   Stream this mystical and brutal album here:

North Dakota Death Metal band Frosthelm have a killer new song out right now with a great symbolical video.  Their new album The Endless Winter is also out now for purchase on Itunes.  Stream the video here:

Crytopsy have a new album dropping soon, but require some fans’ help to drop the album and tour in the US.  Crytopsy are a Death and Thrash Metal band with a lot of Brutality to offer.  Check out a video for their campaign to come to the USA here:

Progressive Metal band NECK OF THE WOODS hailing from Vancouver has a debut EP dropping May 30th, but you can purchase it now!

Boston Made Death Metal band Dysentery are streaming a new slamming album here:


“Memories From the Future” by Jaded Star


2015 Album from Jaded Star

2015 Album from Jaded Star

Powerful Greek and Symphonic Metal vocalist Maxi Nil recently teamed up with ex-Iced Earth drummer Raphael Saini and others.  This collaboration has forged new American signed band Jaded Star and their new album “Memories From the Future”.  The band also features bassist and synthesizer artist Babis Nikou of Dia Mageias and Neoclassical guitarist Kosta Vreto.  If you know anything about the Greeks, you know they usually go big with anything and everything.  Jaded Star has huge sound and unique touches that set them apart from a lot of Hard Rock bands out there today.  It’s difficult to categorize this band amongst other bands.  I’d say they have touches of Nemesea, Delain, Halestorm, Evanescence, and Triosphere.  However, I am definitely not comparing.  Jaded Star is a new band and this is their debut album.  They are just starting out and finding their styles and grooves.


“Memories of the Future” is a plethora of melodic and heavy tracks with excellent emotion and tight grooves.  It is rare for a band to show such tightness and chemistry on just the first album.  I was surprised by the quality of some tracks like Wake Up, In Memory, and You’ll See.  Those three tracks just ebb and flow very well between soft and heavy touches.  The vocals are so effortless and flawless as well as some really solid technical guitar riffs.  The solos make the music sound a little heavier too which help set this band apart.  Also, the album is mixed really well to wear the bass and low ends stand out and balance Maxi’s higher range.  Raining in Sao Paulo stands out eloquently as well with some 80s style synths and lower vocals, building into a serious jam.


Each track sounds like a low tuned anthem with some darker touches.  No the album is not outstanding, but it is surprisingly good for a debut album.  Maxi Nil is a really stellar vocalist with mad range and a soothing voice.  The rest of the band is really solid and fit together nicely.  It doesn’t sound over rehearsed or over produced either.  This album is not the greatest of the year by any means, but if Jaded Star continue and grow, their albums to come will be spectacular.  I feel like it was just a test album to get their name out and start developing as a band, which is incredibly smart marketing.  Next album I hope they use more of Maxi’s range and Kosta gets a little more star time.  I feel like Kosta was only getting started with this album.  Overall it’s a good album and worth a listen, but I’m not rushing out to buy it.


Rating: 6/10


The Bleakness by Secret Revealed


German hardcore band, A Secret Revealed, is typically described with the ever puzzling tag of “Post Metal”.  The meaning of this genre is a mystery to me and how it fits with A Secret Revealed is beyond me.  I would describe the band as being similar to Devil Wears Prada, The Acacia Strain, and Upon The Water.  They have an all out wailing vocalist and guitarists heroically attempting to balance out these harsh vocalists.  To compare this band to the ones I listed above is a stretch.  While the melodic side of A Secret Revealed is interesting, I find the overall quality of the music to be lacking greatly.   From what I have heard so far from this band, their name is very fitting to the lack of diversity in their music.  So, my hopes are not very high for their new album.


A Secret Revealed’s new album “The Bleakness” is an album for hardcore Metal fans that thrive on the murderous chaos of an angry pit.  This album is not for the weak or the Metal fans who like any clean vocals.  In fact, I would say this band has a very small target audience for their music.  Hardcore is an ever growing genre throughout the world.  While I don’t understand or appreciate the genre or what “Post Metal” is supposed to be, I feel it’s fair to give this album an unbiased review.  As a fan of Death Metal, I look for certain characteristics to grasp onto.  These characteristics help me decide whether or not I like it.  A Secret Revealed lacks all of these likable aspects of a good Death Metal band.


Firstly, I look for a mix of deep grunts and high pitched screams or pleasant melodic clean vocals.  This band only illustrates one type of screaming, added with constant straining and lack of dynamics.  The “growler” has absolutely no range in his screams and sounds like he is burning from the inside out.  Then, I look for fast and technical guitars with a melodic break down.  The guitars aren’t bad and do have melodic riffs throughout each track, but do not differ from any other mainstream Modern Metal band.  Thirdly I look for an interesting depressive theme in the lyrical content and throughout the music.  While “The Bleakness” illustrated outright pain, anger, and distress, I find it impossible to make an emotional connection.  Overall, this album goes against my grain as a Metal fan.  It is not that it is too heavy for me, but it lacks everything I love and have a passion for in Metal.


Overall Rating: 1/10- No Dynamics, Abysmal Vocals, Boring Guitars, Over Distorted.


Listen for yourself:

Ten Years of Epica: Retrospect and Personal Retrospective



Since Epica announced a 10 year Anniversary show immortalized into a live DVD, I have gone to great lengths to get my hands on this show.  People may not know that I am an extremely devoted Epica fan.  Delain may be my favorite Symphonic Metal band as of now, but I believe Epica is my favorite band of that genre.  If I had not seen Epica live in 2012 on their headlining tour, my music taste and knowledge would not be half of what it is today.  Of all the bands I consider in my top ten favorites, Epica may be the most critical band to my music taste.  They are vastly important to me in ways that I cannot put into words in a single post.  They are life altering to me and so many people.  Because of their lyrical content and passion for nothing but the music they so expertly compose, thousands of people from all over the world honor this band.


I had never been so impressed by a band in concert before Epica.  I was reluctant to go to this show originally, because they weren’t my favorite at the time and I didn’t know the other bands.  I went solely to support my brother, who is not ironically the biggest influence in my music taste.  Somehow, he always knows what bands are the best for me, even if it takes me years to appreciate them.  He knew that seeing Epica and the other bands were in my best interest, and thank every god in existence that he was right.  That show began my crusade and journey through European Metal and every subgenre to go with it.  After that show, I was inspired to research Metal on a deeper level and create a blog sharing my knowledge with the world.  Because of Epica and the incredible show they put on, I found a new purpose to dedicate my time to.  That is extremely powerful.


I feel like I’ve been on a journey with this band from the first time I heard Storm the Sorrow and experienced it live.  It was very important that I at least see “Retrospect” on a DVD as soon as possible.  Due to a recall of the first run of the DVD, shipping costs, and lack of availability in my area I was forced to wait two years to see it.  Finally on vacation I picked up the DVD at a local record store in Denver.  I watched it on a Sunday night with my family, insisting they at least experience this band once in such a personal way.  It’s no doubt that I would love this live concert celebrating 10 amazing years of Epica, but I never expected to be reviewing it so highly.


“Retrospect” is a concert that celebrates and showcases Epica’s music over a decade of existence.  In 2013, it was the 10 year anniversary of “The Phantom Agony”, Epica’s very first album.  It was the perfect time to celebrate the special occasion.  The band brought back the same 70 piece orchestra they used for “The Classical Conspiracy”, Hungarian Remenyi Ede Chamber Orchestra and the Choir of Miskolc National Theatre.  This concert is unique to other Metal shows with orchestras, because Epica typically collaborates with choirs and orchestras on their albums.  Also I was surprised to find that keyboardist and main writer, Coen Janssen, arranged 99% of the music performed.  I find it amazing that the band had a hand in every single part of the show.  It’s the most authentic version of Epica I have seen yet.


The band perfectly constructed a show melding the new and old favorites.  They began the 170 minute concert with Monopoly on Truth, one of my absolute favorite tracks off of “Requiem For the Indifferent”.  They jump back in time with Sensorium, then a little forward with Unleashed and Martyr of the Free Word.  Unleashed is no doubt one of Epica’s live tracks, especially with the huge addition of a full orchestra.  The power Epica provides has already wowed and awed you into a state of shock by the time they settle into another gorgeous melody.  Chasing The Dragon performed live is a level of musical perfection I have only experienced a handful of times.  They follow such a brilliant track with Presto, a dueling battle between lead violinist an Isaac Delahaye.  This solo track is expertly performed as Yngwie Malmsteen intended Classical music and Metal to be combined.  They rage on with Never Enough, then a brilliant operatic duet between Simone and special guest Floor Jansen.  They expertly perform a favorite of Simone’s, Stabat Mater Dolorosa and show off their exquisite ranges.   Epica follows up with the touching ballad and soundtrack Twin Flames, beautifully ebbing and flowing with an absolutely brilliant melody.


By far Serenade of Self Destruction is one of the best Epica songs, and of course they play it masterfully live with a raging passion.  I absolutely love this song and the live version is on a whole different level.  It seems to be darker and more untamed, the band coming undone in such a perfect way.  They also bring Floor back out for the heavy thrashing jam, Sancta Terra, becoming even more mesmerizing.  They continue on, showcasing more of the orchestra’s talent as well as Coen’s signature sound for Epica.  They also perform a song especially written for this show called Retrospect, a tribute to the good and hard times in a decade of Epica.  Quietus was absolutely breathtaking as well on this show.


Overall, “Retrospect” is a DVD that will be forever hard to top in quality and wow factor.  People complain that Simone  isn’t as good live or that their light show distracts from the band.  I honestly do not understand these complaints.  Simone is one of the best vocalists I’ve seen live and puts immense emotion into her vocals.  It is rare to see such a highly regarded and trained vocalist still show passion and personality.  The ability to deliver lyrics directly to a crowd and through a screen is something that cannot be taught however, and Simone absolutely captures the audience with every word.  “Retrospect” solidifies that Epica is one of the greatest Metal bands of all time.