|David Benson||Final Reign||Divinefire|
|Destra||From Kaamos To Midnight Sun||Deborah|
|Heartcry||Eternal Decision||Heavenly Soldiers||Divine Symphony|
|Evroklidon||Feast Eternal||Holy Knight||Demoniciduth/Sabbatariam|
DAEMONGRINDER - Inhuman Acts of Brutality
Daemongrinder is a brutal band from the USA delivering death metal. James Kline is the man behind the band and he does all the music and all the vocals. Unfortunately all drums are programmed, which is a big drawback. James seems to has done some serious Bible studying before he wrote the lyrics since they are filled with Biblical truths. Musically Daemongrinder sticks to pure death metal. Last tune though is like a mix of industrial noise sounds. Overall Daemongrinder's music is performed well with a healthy dose of melody and variation. What disturb me though is the drum machine. I hope they get a real drummer to next release. One thing that disturb me is the pictures and all the skulls. It seems like it's just too much of the gory stuff to my taste. But nonetheless it's musically and vocally a solid death metal release.
DAVID BENSON - Purpose of the Cross
This is David Bensons 2nd album. Compared to their first this is a bit lowbudget with copied booklet and all. Some of the tunes are crunchier and have more hitpotential on this one than the tunes on their first did. But some tunes doesn't make it at all and become repetitive. So it's a bit up and down musically. Lyrically though this is topnotch stuff that makes you wanna sing along and really gives you something from above.
With more variation and better production this one would have rule, but now it's only a good one. Still, I like it and recommend it to people that like the sound of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. If you like these bands I'm sure you would like this one as well. All in all I like their first album a bit better but if you like that one you probably like this one as well.
DAVID WALLIMANN - Deep Inside The Mind
What can I say about this cd? It's definately odd and one of a kind. Musically it's melodic/progressive hardrock/metal influenced by jazz. On the positive side I do hear some great guitarsolos. However there are a few things that keeps me from enjoying this cd. First of all I find the music too slow, which makes the tunes somewhat boring. I really hope they speed up on coming releases. Another setback are all the spoken voices. They get very irritating and keep the tunes from getting fluent. Please sing instead of talk in coming releases! It sounds so much better. Talking can be done in intros but in the tunes I want to hear singing and not spoken voices. On the positive side David is really on fire for the Lord and the album is a theme album pointing people to Christ.
Musically it's however definately not my thing, but taste is different. If you want to hear something odd this might be something for you.
DEADLINE - During All Your Life!
Deadline is a melodic metal band hailing from Brazil. Music is very melodic and have plenty of harmonies and guitar solos. This minicd consists of three tracks. Running feels like a filler but the other two tracks are really good. The guitars have real crunch and there are lots of hooks to enjoy. Production is good and lyrics are Christcentered. Deadline is a pleasant surprise and is definately one of the better bands from Brazil. Would love to hear a fullength from them.
DEBORAH - The Song of Deborah
What we got here is a brutal mexican band that mainly consist of women! Not that common, eh? I was a bit sceptic when I first heard about this band but I decided to check it out. First track Song of Deborah is really good hardhitting thrash reminding of Exousia's album Welcome To The Kingdom of Light. Second track is a cover of Immortal Souls classic Christ Mass. The cover isn't as good though as the original version. Next track is a cover with Deuteronomium and it sounds much better. The rest of the cd contains of three slower tracks of which I don't like the two first. But I do like the last track that is very atmospheric and beautiful.
So what do I think then about this album? Well it's too much up'n down for me to really like it. Some tracks are really good while others don't make it. They show potential but need to develeop it more and spend more time rehearsing. Musically I hope they do more speedy tracks like Song of Deborah on coming releases. The album isn't bad but not extremely good either, it's somewhere inbetween and since I like half of the tunes I give it a 3.
DELIVERANCE - Live at Cornerstone 2001
Deliverance is back! Last Summer they had a very memorable gig at Cornerstone. For the first time in many years the audience had the pleasure to once again hear speed metal classics like No Time, What A Joke, Weapons Of Our Warfare, Victory, Psalm 23 and many more... Yeah! Truly a metal feast. :-) And the good news is that this awesome gig was recorded and now has been released on this cd! So here we have Deliverance doing what they do best, speed metal that is. Except the speed metal tunes they have also included some of their newer tunes like Sanctuary and Learn.
This is a really good album with excellent production, an album I highly can recommend. On the negative side the drumming is not really as good as on the albums but it's surely good enough to make this album a dream for all hard-die-Deliverance fans (me included) that loves their speed metal-era. So crank it up and enjoy this Metal feast! Definately a must have if you are into speed metal. As all the Cornerstone Live cds this is a limited edition only so you better pick up your copy quick before it's out of print...
If you are into Thrash and Speed-metal you gonna love this cd!
References: Metallica (early), Testament, early Vengeance Rising and Believer.
DELIVERANCE - Weapons Of Our Warfare
This is a real classic in the Thrash/Speed-metal genre. This is chugga-chugga-speed/thrash that really bites! Some of my favourite tunes are Supplication, Flesh and Blood and Slay the wicked (has a very cool intro!) The cover pictures a big angel slaying a demon. Very cool indeed! The bandmembers themselves saids that the lyrics are biblestudies put to music. And that's what it is, but it isn't wimpy in any way! This is both Heavy and fast speed/thrash.
With awesome music, lyrics and cover this is a must have for all fans of Thrash and Speed-metal.
References: Metallica (early), Testament, early Vengeance Rising and Believer.
DEMONICIDUTH - Dogs of Antichrist / SABBATARIAM - The Valley of the Shadow
References: Fans of brutal metal that don't care about production might like this.
DESTRA - Sea of Doubt
Brazil seems to have a lot to offer when it comes to Metal. Destra is a new band hailing from this big country. I hadn't heard anything from this band until they sent me their cd. Stylewise they play progressive metal with influences from Poetry of Dreams, Test of Faith, Dream Theater and the likes. The musicanship is great and the music is technical.
DETONATION - Cry It Out
Metal from Switzerland, can this be something? Yeah, why not, Detonation shows that this country also has talent. Detonation delivers heavy and crunchy music. Good thrash with melody that makes me think of early Deliverance and Vengeance Rising. It's even a bit punkfeel in the music. What I like most with Detonations sound is that it's full speed all the way and no dead moments. This is the best speed/thrash I have heard in a long time. A negative thing though is that the cd is only 30 minutes long. At times the music gets repetitive, especially in the first tune.
One tune is about anorexia. The lyrics talks about that God loves us as we are, a truth so many forgets in this culture where almost everything circles around our outer look. The lyrics are overall very biblical and the booklet even has a salvation prayer. Evangelic Metal is back again in full force! I just wanna wish Detonation good luck on their musical journey. With this talent and focusing on Jesus, coming releases will be very interesting. If you are into cruncy speed/thrash you shouldn't miss this album. With more practise and a more professional production they might even succed to take over the speedmetal throne from Deliverance… A really nice album that gives good hope for the future.
DEUTERONOMIUM - Here To Stay
Their last album Streetcorner Queen was very experimental but this one is more consistent.Their sound can now be described as dirty groovy death metal or death'n'roll as they say themselves. This is a change to the worse in my ears since I loved the melodic death metal sound they had before (especially on the Tribal Eagle EP). But now these great harmonies are almost gone. What's left is repetitive groovy death metal. Aaaaahhh, what have they done?? Their last album was too experimental with too many styles but this is consistently repetitive and boring. Well, there are some exceptions of course and I like a few tunes. On the positive side the singing is much better now and the lyrics are topnotch stuff that are both thoughtprovoking and evangelistic. The production is good too.
Well, as always keep in mind that this is my personal opinion and I hope my friends in Deuteronomium still remains friends after this review. :-)
DEUTERONOMIUM - Streetcorner Queen
Deuteronomium just released their first full - length album! The music is still Melodic Death Metal. Or to be more accurate the mainpart of the music is Melodic Death Metal and the rest is pretty diverse with influences from Black Metal, Hardcore, Rap and Reggae!! But don't you worry there are only rap and reggae on one tune. The mainpart of the music is still beautiful Melodic Death Metal. You can say that it's a continuation of Tribal Eagle that's a lot more diverse.
The letdowns of the album is that the singers voice is a bit annoying at times (sorry Mika but I have to be honest) and the music is too diverse for me to really love this album. I like it though and I think that around 2/3 of the tunes are good or really good.
One of their tunes is a cool praise song called Northern Praise that makes me wanna worship our Great Lord! Overall the tunes have good thoughtful lyrics that shows that the band really cares about people on the edge. They also have one of their classics called Blue Moment (taken from their mini - cd Tribal Eagle) as a bonustrack.
All in all this is a good cd but to my opinion it would have been a lot better if they didn't experiment so much.
DEUTERONOMIUM - Tribal Eagle
Melodic Death Metal from Finland is what we got here. The music is both beautiful and brutal, a kombination I really like! Reminds me of Schaliach. There are 4 tunes on this mini - cd. Three of them are melodic metallers and one is more hardcore - oriented. I can't really get into their "hardcore - tune" but the others are good and solid Death Metal with Melody. (These dudes have really improved a lot since their demo - days). The lyrics are pointing to Christ - the only one that can give real meaning and purpose to our lives.
DIVINEFIRE - Hero
Divinefire is already back again with a new album, just half a year after their first one. They truly work hard! This time they have got some assistance from Thomas Vikström (Candlemass), Carl Johan Grimmark (Narnia), Mikko Härkin, Plec, Maria Rådsten and some more. Musically the band continue on with their characteristic sound that is both fast, heavy, symphonic and melodic. Production is topnotch and this time the drumming sounds great, much much better than on the debut. One thing I really like with Divinefire is that they always supply us with tons of enjoyable hooks, harmonies, catchy choruses and tasty guitarsolos. In other words a full metal meal, which is just what we starving metalheads need. The lyrics are pointing to the One that truly cares for us and wants our best, Jesus Christ that is. Favourite tracks are Divinefire, Leaving The Shadows, Open Your Eyes, The Show Must Go On and Hero. The only track I dislike is New Beginning. The cd ends with a cover version of The Show Must Go On originally written by Queen. This tune is amazingly good and Maria Rådsten has one of the best female rock voices I have ever heard. What a fantastic powerful rock voice she has! The arrangement on this tune is also of worldclass and it has very beautiful choruses. This is definately one the very best metal releases in 2005 and I'll give it a 4+ rating!
DIVINEFIRE - Glory Thy Name
Divinefire consists of Christian Rivel (Narnia), Andreas Olsson (Narnia) and Jani Stefanovic (Renascent). The cd also features the guest musicians Thomas Vikström (Candlemass), Pontus Norgren (Talisman), Torbjörn Weinesjö and Fredrik Sjöholm (Veni Domine). Christian Rivel handles most of the vocals and you can clearly hear that he has progressed as vocalist the latest years. Vocals are mostly clear and the growling voice is just used a few times. An interesting thing with Divinefire is that all the tunes on the cd were written in just a month! God inspired Christian and Jani and gave them ideas for the music and lyrics and in just a month the tunes were complete. It is also clearly evident that the band was very inspired when the album was recorded, since Glory The Name is a masterpiece both when it comes to the texts and the music. Lyrics are both encouraging and Christcentered and the music is truly groundbreaking. Divinefire have really managed to create a sound of their own and has succeeded to combine heaviness and melody packed in a bombastic and symphonic sound. The cd is also filled with plenty of enjoyable hooks, harmonies, catchy choruses and tasty guitarsolos. Since the music is both heavy and melodic it will appeal to both people into melodic and brutal metal. One thing I really like with the tracks is that they are varied and well thought out both when it comes to the tempo and the arrangements, which makes them interesting and keeps them for getting boring. The only thing I am not satified with with this album are the drums that could have more punch in them. Glory Thy Name is a groundbreaking album that really makes me hungry for more. This is definately one the best metal releases in 2005.
DIVINEFIRE - Glory Thy Name
This is a promo with 5 tracks that will be on Divinefire's fullength. Since it's a promo it is not possible to buy it, so you will have to wait until the fullength comes. The band consists of Christian Rivel (Narnia), Torbjörn Weinesjö (Veni Domine), Andreas Olsson (Narnia) and Jani Stefanovic (Renascent). Additional musicians on the cd are Thomas Vikström (Candlemass), Pontus Norgren (Talisman) and Fredrik Sjöholm (Veni Domine). Christian Rivel takes care of most of the singing, which he does very well. You can really hear that he has improved his singing the latest years. An interesting thing with Divinefire is that all the tracks that will be on the fullength cd was written during only a month! God inspired Christian and Jani and gave them ideas to music and lyrics and in just one month the tunes were ready. It's really evident that the band has been inspired when the album was recorded, since Glory Thy Name is a masterpiece both when it comes to the music and the lyrics. Lyrics are both encouraging and Christ-centered and the music is very fresh and innovating.
The trademark for Divinefire is that they have a fresh sound of their own! The has succeeded with the masterpice to combine heaviness and melody dressed in a bombastic symphonic sound. The cd is also filled with enjoyable hooks and cool guitar solos. Music is both melodic and heavy and has a style that will appeal to both melodic metalheads as well as to those that like more brutal music. Something I like with the tunes is that they are varied both when it comes to the tempo and the arrangements, which keeps them from getting boring.
The best with Divinefire is that they have a fresh innovating sound of their own that will clean the floor with most bands both in the christian and secular metal scene. There is no other band, christian or secular, that sounds like Divinefire, but they are just as groundbreaking as Tourniquet and Rhapsody. Divinefire is definately something extra and a band that will go far, hear my words.
To sum it up, this is a most excellent promo and it really makes me hungry for more!
DIVINE SYMPHONY - Reject Darkness
Looking for symphonic black metal? Then this cd is definately something for you. What makes Divine Symphony to stick out is that they have incorporated plenty of classic och symphonic influences to their brutal sound. Brutal, symphonic mixed with plenty of guitarsolos is a great combination. Nice to hear such a varied album! Production is also good. In the lyrics they tackle issues like Satanism, Salvation and Repentance. To sum it up a really good album even though not all tunes are good all the way. Divine Symphony is without a doubt a band for the future. With a promising sound like this they can go far. I give it a 3+.
DRACMA - Perfect Creation
Brazil has plenty of bands and the metalscene is very huge there. Dracma is one of the up'n coming bands from this big country. They follow in the tradition of Destra and Staurus and has plenty of progressive elements incorporated in the music. Production is really good. One of the big highlights on the album is the instrumental The Fall. It has a majestic feeling to it and I really hope the band will do more tunes in this musical direction. Waiting is another highlight. Riders has plenty of nice guitarsolos. Svor De Sangue is a real masterpiece showing that this band has talent for something big. More tunes in this calibre would be great! Really cool also with all the symphonic influences this band has. I'm no big fan of progressive music when it gets too progressive (too little harmonies) which Dracma often does. This is In coming releases I would like to hear more harmonies and hooks.
Lyrics are based on personal experiences with God and also based on the Bible. The band writes in the booklet that the purpose of the lyrics are to motivate you to get closer to the Creator and to discover the plan He has for your life.
The general problems with Brazilian releases is that the vocals often not sound fluent when they sing in english. The vocalist Alexandre Schultz does his best but sometimes his voice just don't make it. I'm sure it would sound much better if he sticked to his native language portugese. In the last track Svor de Sangue he actually sings in portugese and it sounds great! If the vocals would all have been on portugese I would have liked this album much much more. So please sing in portugese on coming releases (just write a translation in the lyric sheet). For next release I would like the band to do more tracks in the veins of The Fall, Waiting and Svor The Sangue with plenty of hooks and harmonies. This band has the right focus and plenty of potential, the problem is that they often make the music too complicated for their own good.
EDEN - Fan The Flame
Eden is a new band to me even though they have existed for a long time. This cd was originally released in 1994 but due to the big grunge/alternative scene that unfortunately was so popular at that time this cd didn't got the distribution it should. But now things are different and Metal is coming back again (finally!) and so do this album that recently has been rereleased. What makes this band/album special is that guitar hero Rex Carrol from Whitecross is handling the guitars! Yes, finally a new album with this talented guitarist to enjoy. You can also hear an evident early Whitecross influence in the guitarplaying with plenty of biting guitars, which makes the cd very enjoyable. Joe Dokken is handling the vocals and he has a really good voice that fits both the rockers and the ballads. Lyrics are loud'n'clear about the hope we have in Christ. Favourite tracks are Tomorrow's Yesterday, Love Rolls On, Fan The Flame, Forgotten Child and Need Somebody.
On the downside a few tunes don't really make it all the way but overall it's a very good solid release with REAL guitarshredding Metal. Welcome back Rex, you have been greatly missed!
ETERNAL DECISION - Ghost In The Machine
This is Eternal Decision 2nd album and the sound has changed quite a bit from the Metallica-inspirated sound on their first to a sound that is reminding of Alice in Chains. They have also thrown in some industrial influences that just sounds like noise in my ears. A few tunes are still enjoyable but unfortunately they are few. There's too much repetitiveness and too less crunch and melody. And what has happened to the lyrics?? From the very bold Christcentered lyrics on their debut they have now become more vague. One of the few tunes that I totally enjoy on this cd is Thru This Pain. More tunes like this and they will shred. All in all this cd is a big dissapointment to me. :-(
ETERNAL DECISION - s/t
Here is another debutalbum, this time from an american band. The singer have a cool voice that reminds of Metallica. The music is also similar to this band. Sometimes it's very crunchy and enjoying but sometimes it's repetitive and monotonous. The problem with this album is that it's a bit up and down. Lyricallwise though this is some of the best I have seen, ever! They have very Christ - centered lyrics that are filled with Biblical truths. The lyrics shows that these dudes really know Who they are living for.
The band shows that they have the talent and vision to succeed. If just the music becomes more solid and varied this band can go far.
EVROKLIDON - Flame of Sodom
From Ucraine comes Evroklidon. Like Holy Blood they seem to like to mix folk music with black metal. Evroklidon variate their music well and has incorporated quite some harmonies and crunchy rhythmes into their lightningfast music. If this had just been an instrumental album it would have been an excellent album. But now it isn't and the shrilling vocals disturbs me, I have heard much much better black metal vocals than this. But on the track Funeral of Dead Soul the vocalist sings clean and then it sounds really good. This track is also the best in my ears. More tracks of this caliber is what this band needs! Spiritual Battle reminds somewhat of Deuteronomiums classic Spell of Hell and here the vocalist Artaaroth shows that he indeed can sing black really good. I just wished he had showed it more on the other tracks. Evroklidon's lyrics are focusing on Jesus victory over Satan and that we through this can have our sins forgiven. To sum it up, the band has a very promising s ound and a good focus but the vocals really needs to be improved on coming releases.
EXOUSIA - Welcome To The Kingdom of Light
This is the first album I heard from these Mexican metal band. Typical for their sound is their brutal vocals and melodic crunchy harmonies. Musically I would describe as crunchy thrash with influences from classic metal and on top of it growling death metal vocals. The cool thing with music is that it is varied, wellwritten and has plenty of hooks and variation. Cd also has heaps of great guitarsolos and it's a real metal feast! Guitarsolos totally rule on this release! Favourite tracks are Eternal Dimension, I Believe In God, Salvation, Covenant, You Can Trust and the beautiful and powerful track Extreme Love that also has some beautiful female vocals. I also like the last track Drink My Blood which has some very beautiful operatic female vocals.
Lyrics are very Biblical and Christcentered. One good example of this is the lyrics in Salvation: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord… If you confess that Jesus is the Lord and believe in your heart, you will be saved".
The drawback on this release is the production. With better production this album would totally rule. But the music is so good so despite the production I consider this a must have. Exousia has tons of potential and are really on fire for Jesus. With better production this band can be one of the very best metal bands in the world.
EXOUSIA - Conquer
Exousia is back with a new release. Compared to Welcome To The Kingdom of Light cd this has a lighter sound and isn't as heavy. I prefered the heavy sound so to me this is a step in the wrong direction. The standout track on this album is Te Necesito (I Need You) which is extremely beautiful and very atmospheric. More tunes in this vein would be great. I also like Victory and Conquer.
A letdown for me ist that this albums isn't as fast and crunchy as the Welcome album were. My advice to the band is that they should go back to the sound of the Welcome album but add a track or two in the musical direction of I Need You. That would rule! The band still have have lots of potential but it doesn't shine through as much here as it did on the Welcome album. So please folks speed it up and make it heavier next time. Then it would also fit better with the brutal vocals.
FEAST ETERNAL - Prisons of Flesh
Feast Eternal hails from the US and plays brutal death metal. Production is good, much better than on the Crimson Thorn album. But there is one big problem with their tunes and that is that it's too repetitive and gloomy to my ears. And I miss the crunch that won't let you go! I feel like something is missing. Some tunes sounds good like the second one. More tunes in this caliber would do good. Lyrically they are full on for Christ so they surely seem to have their priorities right.
If this band wanna reach the masses they need to make the tunes more crunchy and melodic.
FINAL DESTINY - North Of Hell
100% Melodic Hardrock is what we got here. The album have plenty of hooks, a good singer and a great production. It's just that it's too commercial. This is something that I could recommend to young girls that want some whoa-whoa-hardrock.The lyrics are really uplifting and they have even done a cool hardrock-version of the worship-tune I Surrender All. But the music overall is just too commercial for me to really get into it.
FINAL REIGN - Destiny
Destiny is Final Reign's selfproduced debut cd. Lyrics are biblical and to the point. The music is straight-ahead-metal. Favourite tracks are Crazy and Washed by the Blood with their catchy and driving rhythm, Take His Hand, Destiny as well as the instrumental Battle of Michael. Guitars have a nice bluesy feel somewhat reminding of the 70s metal. Really like the guitar sound! On the negative side the music at times gets too slow and repetitive, more variation and a faster tempo would do good. More hooks/harmonys would do good as well. Singing could also be improved.
Don't know what more to say about it more than it's a solid debut from these american rockers.
References:Check it out if you want something new and fresh that has a bluesy 70s feel.
F.O.G - Broken
American band F.O.G. is a band that delivers real 70s metal. Broken is their second release and compared to their first the production has really improved a lot. The guitars are also more upfront and there are plenty of heavy riffs to enjoy on this cd. Lyrics are both personal och biblical. Musically it reminds somewhat of early Saint. Highlights are the tunes 88, Keeper of the Gate, Struggle (fantastic track!) and the heavy Skulls Hill. The band also does a great cover of After Forever. On the downside the music on this album at times feels somewhat too slow, it would be good if the band speed up a little. As a whole though it's a enjoyable cd that really sounds 70s metal to the bone. I give it a 3+.
References:People into crunchy bluesy 70s Hardrock/Metal are gonna love this cd! Highly recommended to fans of David Benson/SonX and Black Sabbath/Deep Purple.
F.O.G - Visibility Clearing
F.O.G is a new american band with an old school hardrock sound. Didn't like this at first listen but it has grown a lot when I gave it some more spins in the cdplayer. The singer has a raspy voice that fits well with the music. Music has many catchy riffs and heavy grooves that grabs you and won't let you go. Really cool stuff! If you like bluesy 70s hard rock/metal you will love this album. Favourite tracks are Seek Out, Am I worthy, Ecclesiastic Answer and As Paddles Row. There are only a few tunes I can't get into. Lyrics are bold and loud'n'clear and there is no question that the band serves Lord Jesus.
They got a cool sound already but what they can improve is to add some more hooks/harmonies to their sound to make it even better. A really nice debut, I'm already looking forward to their next release.
References:People into crunchy bluesy 70s Hardrock/Metal are gonna love this cd! Highly recommended to fans of David Benson/SonX and Black Sabbath/Deep Purple.
Voila! Here we have a Finnish Metal Compilation. So let's see what this country has to offer when it comes to Christian Metal. First band out is Immortal Souls, a heavy band in the melodic death metal genre with a sound reminding of the secular bands At The Gates and In Flames. First tune is repetitive and boring so I hit the skipbutton. Next tune is much better with a nice combination between brutality and melody. Good stuff!
Next band is Manifestium, that are one of my fave's on this disc. Awesome metal with a great atmospheric feel and beautiful melodies, still it's quite brutal. Very varied and interesting music. Can't really understand their lyrics though, they are too deep and poetic for me.
Deuteronomium follows next with two tunes, one new about abortion and the other is Spell of Hell taken from the Streetcorner Queen album. Abortion is a fast tune but way too repetitive. Good lyrics though "You have no right to destroy new life. It's not childs fault you didn't think.God's creation not a plaything. Abortion is murder. You will kill innocent child. The child is victim of your irresponsibility." Spell of Hell talks about the illusion that Hell is a cool place. The music is fast and crunching and have black metal vocals. Sounds really cool. Some of the best tunes they have made.
Then we have a new black metal band called Mordecai. They only have one tune on the compilation. It sounds really promising. Nice harmonies, fast drums, lots of atmosphere and Christcentered lyrics makes this band to be one of the best black metal bands I have heard. Following Mordecai is the band Scream. Honestly to say I don't like their first tune at all, with an exception of a fast part in the end. The mainreason I don't like it is because it sounds like noise, there is too little melody and harmony in it. They also have a ballad that's pretty good. Nice melodies but a little too slow. This is the only band on this compilation I don't like.
Hallowed follows them with their blending melodic metal. Awesome metal with great guitars, hooks and melodies! The music is incredible good, some of the best melodic metal I have heard. Lyrics are very scriptural and shows that the band have their priorities right.The only drawback is the vocals. With a wider range and a crystalclear voice a la Michael Sweet and Rob Rock this band would have rule. Anyway, they are very promising and I would love to hear more from them. Cruciferae is last band out. They have changed their sound to melodic death. Great growling voice (but he should stick to it and not sing clear :-) Nice harmonies too. The sound is really heavy and crunchy with lots of doublekick on the drums. Woah, this is Metal folks!
To sum it up I like 10 of the 13 tunes so I highly recommend this cd. It's almost a classic.
GRAVE FORSAKEN - Grave Forsaken
Grave Forsaken is a thrash band hailing from Australia. They do not play pure thrash though, but also mix in some slower doom parts into their sound. This make the music varied. In their tunes they also have many guitarsolos which always is a big plus in my ears. The vocalist has a good powerful voice that fits thrash well. Lyrically it is very clear that the band focus on Jesus and what he did for us on the cross: "Death, death, death on the cross. Christ died for our sin. Death, death, death on the cross. Salvation comes through him." The production on this demo cd is ok even if the drums could sound better and have some more punch. To sum it is a really good demo from a promising thrash band. I give it a 3+.
GUARDIAN - Live at Cornerstone 2001
Last Summer Guardian did an 80s flashback gig at Cornerstone! The result is this cd. It includes melodic metal hits like The Rain, Power of Love, Shoeshine Johnny, Curiosity Killed The Cat, the beautiful ballad Never Say Goodbye and more... They have also included a couple of tunes from their Bottle Rocket album.
It's really nice to hear them do the metaltunes again and I like some of the Bottle Rocket stuff as well so I'll give this cd a 3-rating. Check it out if you like Guardian's albums Fire And Love and Miracle Mile. I'm sure Bottle Rocket fans will like it as well. As all the Cornerstone Live cds this is a limited edition only so you better pick up your copy quick before it's out of print...
GUARDIAN - The Yellow And Black Attack Is Back!
Does someone remember STRYPER?? I certainly do and here is a cover album of the first Stryper album! Yeah, that's right, Guardian has covered the whole album. (The first version with 6 tracks) And the good thing with this album is that it's really close to the original! Wow, this is how a cover album should be done, close to the original but with some extra finesses thrown in. This is exactly what Guardian have done. Even the vocals reminds of Stryper with Jamie Rowes raspy voice. Jamie does a good job with the singing but when it comes to the high tones his voice can't match Michael Sweets (but who can??).
Personally I still like the original versions better but Guardian does a great job in covering these classics. Anyway a good melodic metal album this is, that surely will please your ears and makes you wanna sing along loud'n'clear with the yellow and blacks that started it all. Melodic metallers and especially Stryper fans are gonna love this album.
HALLOWED - End Of The Age
Hallowed is a rather new Power Metal band from Finland. They had two very promising tunes on the Finnish Metal Compilation "From Kaamos To Light". One thing they have improved since then is the singing. They even have a new singer now in Michael Majalahti that really does the music justice. Music is melodic and crunchy and has some very tasty guitarleads. Favourite tracks are End of the Age, The Challenge and Jesus Christ. The Chosen One is too slow to my liking and New Millenium has too less hooks in it. Lyrically it's full on for Christ. The cd also got a very cool cover with lots of cool symbolic and imagery from the book of Revelation.
I would say this is a very promising band. But there are a few things they need to improve to beat the best bands. That is to speed up the tempo a bit, do more guitarsolos (they got the capability, just need to go for it more), and last but not least incorporate more hooks to their sound. And last but not least they need to do a fulllength album! This 5-tune cd just makes me wanna hear more... To sum it up I really like three of the five tunes so I can definately recommend this cd and give it the rating 3+. Well done dudes, really looking forward to your next release...
HARMONY - Dreaming Awake
Do you love melodic metal? Do you love 80s Metal bands like Stryper, Holy Soldier etc? If you do, then this is a band you mustn't miss!! Cause what we have here is a quality melodic metal band that are gonna rock your socks off! This is in fact the best new melodic metal band I have heard for years! Production is excellent and the music is filled with moving harmonies, memorable hooks and beautiful guitarsolos, just as it was in the golden 80s. Music also has plenty of variation and melody as well as some symfonic influences. Harmony are really good in making memorable hooks and are even more melodic than Narnia. The guitarist Markus Sigfridsson is very talented and an evident Yngwie/Grimmark influence can be heard. Just like Narnia, Harmony is also hailing from Sweden. Lyrics are both biblical and thoughtprovoking. Something outstanding with this cd is also the booklet that is one of the coolest I have ever seen!
Favorite cuts are Eternity, Maze of the Past, Without You, When Shadows Fall and Remember. Don't think I can say anything negative about this cd. It just rocks and so far it's definately the best release this year. If you just have money to buy one cd this year then get this one. Harmony, make sure you remember this name. This is definately a band for the future that is gonna be big, hear my words.
HEARKEN - Nuclear Negligence
Hearken has finally released a fullength cd. They are one of the best bands when it comes to writing biblical based lyrics and that's their biggest strength. When it comes to the music they have changed style to more traditional american death metal. Unfortunately that's not my favourite kind of metal. I have very hard to like this kind of death metal since it's way too little harmony/melody in it to my taste. With this said I do like some tunes like for example Who Will Remain.
Well not really my thing, but still tight, well done american death metal that I'm sure you will like if you are into this genre.
HEARTCRY - Lightmaker
Heartcry is back again. This classic hardrock band from Sweden have played for many years. The latest years though has been very silent from the band and they have taken a wellneeded rest. But now Anders Johansson, the band's frontman has got new inspiration and the band is back again with a new setting and a heavier sound. Another change from previous albums is that they now sing in English. Favourite tracks are Burn Out, End of Times and Dark Side. The band's sound can be described as fast melodic 70s heavy metal with attitude that reminds somewhat of Saint. The album also contains quite a few guitar solos and tasty melodies. On the negative side some tracks at the end doesn't really feel worked through enough and isn't up to par with the rest. Sometimes Anders also tries to sing harsher than his voice can handle. These things takes the grade down. As a whole though Lightmaker is a good enjoyable cd with insightful lyrics. Good to hear some aggressive Heavy Metal again.
HEAVENLY SOLDIERS - S/T
Heavenly Soldiers is a new metalband from Switzerland. This 3-track-cd is their first release. Typical for their sound is that the vocals are mostly done by a duo of a girl and a boy. Sorry to say this combination don't work well since the female vocals many times is out of range. Tabea, the female vocalist needs to sing a bit lower, for her own best. On the positive side I do hear some promising guitarplay and harmonies here so with more practise this can be something. Another good thing is the lyrics that are very biblical and Christ honouring. So they do have a good ground to build on but need to practise more, lift up the guitars more and do the tunes more catchy. My favourite track is He Shall Be Called with it's cool guitarintro, catchy rhyme and enjoyable guitar solos.This can be a real hit tune! More tunes like this, a tighter sound, better production and future releases can be really interesting. An ok debut, I just wished the production was better. I'll give it a 2+ rating.
HERO - Bless This Nation
Remember Sons of Thunder? The guitarist from that band Michael Hero has now started up a new band called Hero. The other members in the band are Tomas and Torbjörn Weinesjö from Veni Domine and Björn Sundström. Compared to Sons of Thunder this is more melodic and has more guitarsolos and more of an 80s feel on it. Music has plenty of hooks and choruses as well as some tasty guitar solos. Really love the guitarsolos on this album! What holds the band back a bit though are the vocals, that do need to be improved. Some singing lessons would be good to Michael Hero, so he can improve his singing technique. Favourite tracks are Holy, Deo Gloria, Superior and Bless This Nation. Would love to hear more tunes of this caliber on coming releases. Bless This Nation is as a whole a cool cd that gives good hope for the future. I give it two thumbs up and a 3+ rating.
HOLY BLOOD - The Wanderer
The Wanderer is Holy Blood's first release filled with furious black metal influenced by folk music. Compared to their second release Waves Are Dancing this isn't in the same caliber. Sure the brutality is here as well but the vocals sounds horrible on some tunes and the compositions are many times repetitive. Waves Are Dancing are so much better in all ways. But this release do has its moments like on Morning with it's beautiful harmonies. In The Lake of Fire, The Poor World, On Drakkares of Fate and Cold Winds are some other good tracks that have more variation and a crunchy rhythm. So they do show that they have potential but Waves Are Dancing is still a much better album. So get Waves Are Dancing instead, that's my advice.
HOLY KNIGHT - Crush Satan
Holy Knight is a new one-man-band. Crush Satan is their first release. Typical for this cd is the very bad production. This really sounds like a demo. Musically it has a groovy 70s/80s vibe to it but it's almost unhearable because of the bad production. Everything on this release needs to be improved, the vocals, the music and the composing. Sorry dude, but you have some serious work to do and make sure you spend a lot of time in studio next time. I give it a 1+ rating.
HOLY BLOOD - Waves Are Dancing
This is a cool viking metal band from Ucraine. They have a style of their own mixing harmonies from Ucrainian folk-influences and black metal. Music is mostly catchy and makes you wanna singalong. At times I get the feeling of being among vikings preparing for war. The band mix slow parts with fast blastbeats and the tunes have a lot of variation. Favourite tracks are In The Last Battle, Waves Are Dancing. More tracks in the calibre of these would be great to hear on coming releases.
Vocals are very raw. For the most part this fits very well with the music but sometimes it's just too much and gets on my nerves. Lyrics are loud'n'clear about the hope we have in Jesus and also talk about the importance that we as Christians armour up ourself so we can fight the battle against satan and be victorious warriors in the army of God.
Holy Blood needs to spend some more energy on producing and polish the vocals a little. But overall this is promising indeed and it's great to hear a band that has an unique sound. So a big hail to the Christian Vikings of Holy Blood!
HOPE - Light of the Salvation
Hope is back with a new cd filled with oldschool thrash. Music is overall more varied and better composed than previous release. They have also thrown in more harmonies which is a big plus. Mind Over Matter is a really good track with it's crunchy rhyhtm. Light of the Salvation, Ad Aeternam and Jesus Loves You are some other highlights. What still holds the band back is the production, it's still way too muddy to rival the best bands. If the band continue on in this style and improve the production coming releases will be really interesting.
HOPE - More Than Words
Hope hails from Croatia and plays thrash. Something that strikes me when I listen to this cd is that Hope really needs to spend more time rehearsing so they get a tighter sound. Production is another area the band needs to put more work and money on. There are however some tunes that gives hope for the future and shows that the band has talent to write and play good tunes (even if they need much more practise). My favourite tracks are More Than Words and Love Song For Z. Hope's strengths are that they have the right focus, good speed and also incorporate melodic harmonies in their sound. I do hear some talent here. Just spend more time rehearsing and next release can be something cool.
HOPE - S/T
Hope is a new metal band from Croatia! The first metalband I have ever heard of from this country. Good to hear that christian metal is growing and that new bands come up from new countries.
The sound on this 22 minute mini-cd is very raw and it's definately not wellproduced. Musically speaking Hope's style is mostly thrash with some slower parts incorporated. What I like with this band is their full thrash metal assault attitude without holding anything back. I also like the slower melodic parts. Lyrics are really Christ-centered which you can also see clearly in song titles like I Believe, The Almighty and The Cross. These three are also my favourites tunes on the cd along with A.D.S.
The big drawback with this release is the production. They really need to get a much better production in coming releases. Another very important thing they need to do is to practise more and get a tighter sound. Mikes vocals can also be improved and be a lot more fluent than they are on this cd. With these things said they do have a promising sound, just need to improve it more. If just the production was better they might have received a better rate. I wish Hope all luck. Keep thrashing for the Lord!
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