Reveal The Change

SKU: IW83028
Label:
Inner Wound
Category:
Power Metal
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"SILENT VOICES is a relatively unknown band hailing from Finland, nevertheless they had already published many recommended albums such as their debut in 2002 “Chapters Of Tragedy” or 2006’s “Building Up The Apathy” or the great “Infernal” (2004), the line-up team is also composed by ex-members of REQUIEM and also share some musicians with SONATA ARCTICA like Henrik Klingenberg as keyboardist and bass player Pasi Kauppinen (WINTERBORN / KLINGENBERG SYNDROME). It’s been a while since the last SILENT VOICES album was out in the streets, it had occurred a lot of things in their lives, lots of turmoils, hassles -you name it-, the band was on deep winter sleep and they lost their vocalist, the great but rather inconstant Michael Henneken (SENTIMENT / ADAMANTRA) was gone for good.

While they were in quest of searching for a new perfect singer they opted for the trick that consist to have different famous vocalists at the same time in order to increase their creativity and the band’s polyvalence, it’s also a good marketing move but the risk is to weakened the impact, to have a dilution of the personality of the music with each guest singer's specificity but finally the idea works pretty well, I believe.

Now the new permanent singer for SILENT VOICES is known as Teemu Koskela from WINTERBORN’s fame (their 2008’s release “Farewell To Saints” is warmly recommended). But the album contains, beside the impressive vocals of Mr. Koskela in the very first song (which is a killer), nothing more than four guest vocalists such as:
Mats Leven (ex-TREAT / ex-SWEDISH EROTICA / ex-ABSTRACT ALGEBRA / ex-RISING FORCE / ex-SOUTHPAW / ex-THERION / ex-ADAGIO / ex-AT VANCE / ex-FATAL FORCE / ex-SABBTAIL / DOGFACE), Michael Vescera (ex-LOUDNESS / OBSESSION / ex-RISING FORCE / ex-FATAL FORCE / ex-DR SIN / ex-REIGN OF TERROR / ex-KILLING MACHINE / WARRION / ANIMETAL USA / SAFE HEAVEN / MVP), Tony Kakko (SONATA ARCTICA / ex-NOTHERN KINGS) and Mike DiMeo (PHENOMENA / THE LIZARDS / ex-RIOT / ex-ILLIUM / ex-MASTERPLAN).

Swedish citizen Mats Leven is absolutely stunning within the songs “No Turning Back” & with “Burning Shine”, his vivid interpretations, his deep implication and his voice leaves no hope for another contender, his signature vocalizing are clearly unbeatable, he is the king. Those songs are very well composed , maybe a little more direct than before but with still some intriguing arrangements and great orchestrations plus as always some acrobatic playing.

Mike Vescera from USA delivers also a very solid performance, within the third track that is quite reminiscent of the SILENT VOICES old style, with an amazing display of virtuosity in the solo section, that’s funny that they opted for the titled “Reign Of Terror” with Vescera singing on it. Tony Kakko is the weakest of all the hired vocalist, the track is quite good but don’t fit with the thin voice of the SONATA ARCTICA’s mastermind, I believe that Teemu Koskela could do a better job with that particular one.

“Black Water” is an instrumental number that allows to each member to shine a little more, a fine demonstration of agility. New York City very own Mike DiMeo is doing a fine rendition of this song called “Through My Prison Walls” but I still think that Teemu is able to sing even better, the long epic cut itself  is a good mix of past and fresh Prog Metal , with some amazing musical parts and many twists and turns.

Only little disappointment is the length of the disc itself, after seven years in the making I had wished for one more song with Teemu, a remake of an old song could have been a good ide. Maybe this is their best album, I don’t know only time will tell, but it surely can compete with their great back-catalogue, easily. " - Metal Temple

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  • 2CD limited edition mediabook features a bonus CD with 1 extra track as well as 5 acoustic versions."Beer soaked and battered from the epic battle with the Terrorsquid, Captain Bowes and his merry band of Scottish pirates were able to proceed further northbound. The quest for gold and desire for plundering alcohol was too strong, especially in these days when the golden age of piracy was nearing its end. However, with enough energy as men in their mid-20's could muster, the buccaneers "scraped the barrel" yet again for new innovative ideas to add to the folkified brand of metallic pirate songwriting. With nothing to lose....the band fuels the most fun of the adventures to date.Following in the footsteps of men like Francois l'Olonnais, who ate a fucking heart, or Jean Lafitte, who told King George to suck it, or even Blackbeard's mentor, Benjamin Hornigold, who just didn't give a shit, Bowes, Evans, Murdock, Alcorn and Vernon relish in the spoils of others....stealing their rum, turning ships into cannon fodder, and calling out the Spanish and Japanese bastards that turned them into peg legs. Sailing the high seas like the days of yore isn't an easy task in the 21st century, so they get their fair share of weird looks, critical analysis citing stupid silliness and comparisons to Jack Sparrow. Pirates care not, they take and steal.This volume of adventures includes a new round of war, silliness, and mishaps. There's pompous and overbearing keyboards (that's not a bad thing when it comes to these lads), ridiculously engaging choruses, the occasional black metal screech (from Elliot Vernon) and bizarre speed changes that really harken back to the "golden age" of hardcore punk a la Attitude Adjustment, Ludichrist/Scatterbrain, Agnostic Front, and The Meatmen with that hallmark metallic edge. Songs like "Wooden Leg" and "Surf Squid Warfare" are nearly straight up punk, again another hallmark of Alestorm releases. As for production, it's Lasse Lammert, so expect perfection and he delivers.The single biggest "change" with this release is that the fun side is ratcheted up quite a bit more. I've never heard a collection of songs that are so perfect for the band's already stellar live shows. Oddly, the most fun comes in the form of the Taio Cruz cover "Hangover," the controversial hip hop song that sounds way more like a normal Alestorm song than a Top 40 megahit. It so suits the band's live image that it easily is my favorite song on the album, though I wouldn't be shocked if it was met with utter hatred. It compliments the first single "Drink" even more than the "ironic" before and after title effect. "Magnetic North" is the first song since Running Wild's "Jennings Revenge" that truly makes you feel like you are on the high seas.Alestorm clearly isn't for everyone. You either love them or hate them, mostly having to do with whether you decide to accept the "old pirate bullshit." I stand by my plea that metal needs bands like Alestorm, if only to immerse oneself in the cheesy silliness of life. If you've seen the band live, or Bowes' other equally silly fun power metal act Gloryhammer, you cannot help fist pumping or waving a drink. This album is even more fun than Tobias Sammet's new Edguy release. Drink up mateys...the Golden Age won't last forever!Highs: The most fun pirate album EVER.....Lows: ....if you like that sort of thing. Alestorm has it's haters, and they will be out in droves with this one.Bottom line: Alestorm scrapes the barrel yet again....and a new "sunrise on the Golden Age" is seen on the horizon." - Metal Underground 
    $16.00
  • "he power struggle within Van Halen was often painted as David Lee Roth's ego running out of control -- a theory that was easy enough to believe given his outsized charisma -- but in retrospect, it seems evident that Eddie Van Halen wanted respect to go along with his gargantuan fame, and Roth wasn't willing to play. Bizarrely enough, Sammy Hagar -- the former Montrose lead singer who had carved out a successful solo career -- was ready to play, possibly because the Red Rocker was never afraid of being earnest, nor was he afraid of synthesizers, for that matter. There was always the lingering suspicion that, yes, Sammy truly couldn't drive 55, and that's why he wrote the song, and that kind of forthright rocking is evident on the strident anthems of 5150. From the moment the album opens with the crashing "Good Enough," it's clearly the work of the same band -- it's hard to mistake Eddie's guitars, just as it's hard to mistake Alex and Michael Anthony's pulse, or Michael's harmonies -- but the music feels decidedly different. Where Diamond Dave would have strutted through the song with his tongue firmly in cheek, Hagar plays it right down the middle, never winking, never joking. Even when he takes a stab at humor on the closing "Inside" -- joshing around about why the guys chose him as a replacement -- it never feels funny, probably because, unlike Dave, he's not a born comedian. Then again, 5150 wasn't really intended to be funny; it was intended to be a serious album, spiked by a few relentless metallic rockers like "Get Up," but functioning more as a vehicle to showcase Van Halen's -- particularly the guitarist's -- increasing growth and maturity. There are plenty of power ballads, in "Why Can't This Be Love" and "Love Walks In," there's a soaring anthem of inspiration in "Dreams," and even the straight-up rocker "Best of Both Worlds" is tighter and leaner than the gonzo excursions of "Panama" and "Hot for Teacher." And that's where Hagar comes in: Diamond Dave didn't have much patience for plainspoken lyrics or crafting songs, but Sammy does and he brings a previously unheard sense of discipline to the writing on 5150. Not that Hagar is a craftsman like Randy Newman, but he's helped push Van Halen into a dedication on writing full-fledged songs, something that often seemed an afterthought in the original lineup. And so Van Hagar was a bit of an odd mix -- a party band and a party guy, slowly veering into a bourgeois concept of respectability, something that eventually sunk the band -- but on 5150 it worked because they had the songs and the desire to party, so those good intentions and slow tunes don't slow the album down; they give it variety and help make the album a pretty impressive opening act for Van Halen Mach II." - Allmusic Guide
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  • "Christianity and Heavy Metal have never really been the most obvious of bedfellows. Ever since the formation of the genre at the end of the 1960's, the relationship between Heavy Metal, in particular the more extreme variations of it, and the established Church, have been, for the most part, frosty. This doesn't mean that the two cannot come together though; There are countless great bands that have been playing great music that pays homage, rather than expressing outright hatred, to Christianity; TROUBLE, MORTIFICATION, HORDE, CRIMSON MOONLIGHT and DIVINEFIRE are the first bands that spring to mind for me every time I hear some closed minded moron quote that old, cringe-worthy and wholly incorrect adage about the Devil having the best tunes. Slovakian Power Metallers, SIGNUM REGIS, are one such band that are not only proving this phrase wrong, but are also using their knowledge of their faith to create great themes and concepts for their albums. Their last full length, for example, was based around Moses' liberation of the Israelites and their trials in the desert. This latest EP is full of the sort of classic Power Metal that many have grown to love, and it sounds amazing.This EP opens with a very solid, powerful opener, "Living Well". This is a great piece of Power Metal, with all the hallmarks of the genre; with a few harder aspects peppering the classic sound, which gives it it's own unique flavour. All this track’s elements work well together; it's really well mixed, and doesn't wander into the realms of cheesiness as some Power Metal has a tendency to, and above all, it's a great way to kick the record off. "Through the Desert, Through the Storm" treads down a much more straightforward Heavy Metal path, with razor sharp guitar lines, angelic vocals and some fairly interesting keyboard parts thrown in for good measure. The chorus is great, with some genuinely hair-raising parts that were just made for singing along to. "My Guide In The Night" is another really good piece of Power Metal with brilliant vocals and guitar work, punishing drums and some really cool keyboard sections. The fourth track, "Come and Take It", is perhaps the most straight forward Power Metal song on here, with plenty of great hooks to keep the listener interested. The penultimate track, a re-recorded version of "All Over the World", sounds even better for having been redone, and sits very well among the bands newer material.  "Vengeance Liar", which closes this EP, is perhaps the strongest song on this record apart from "Through the Desert, Through the Storm", and has a really cool, classic Power Metal sound with some genuinely inspired guitar playing and really spectacular vocals to match. It sounds awesome, and is a very good high note to end this record on.This EP is very good. Anyone who loves Power Metal will most likely enjoy this. This sounds like a band that have honed their style and perfected their image, now ready to take their music to the world at large. I'd highly recommend this EP, and indeed the rest of this bands awesome back catalogue, to anyone who loves, powerful, uplifting Metal music." - Metal Temple
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  • "Factory of Dreams is a symphonic metal gothic project consisting of Hugo Flores and Jessica Lehto. Hugo produces and creates all the music while Jessica provides her beautiful vocals. Following their album POLES in 2008, Factory of Dreams are back with a new production bringing a whole new epic and progressive feel to the sound crafted on their debut. More complex, heavier, faster and at the same time catchy, this is a huge album, featuring the hallmark of Factory of Dreams, with great melodic sense and shivering moments and a great cast of guest singers and performers. As a highlight, the near 10 minute Epic E-motions, and the beautiful track Sonic Sensations depicting a World created by Sound and Music."
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  • "Let There Be Blood, Stormblåst MMV, more recently Battle Hymns MMXI, aren't exactly big success stories in the world of heavy metal. This rash of "re-recorded classics' has seemed more like embarrassing cash grabs and/ or desperate contractual out-clauses. The only example of severe ass-kicking that came from large-scale re-recording for me has been Vader's XXV compilation, which is tasty. The latest band to do so is Tarot, personal faves and the granddaddies of Finnish heavy metal, reworking their less-known 1986 debut The Spell of Iron.It works extremely well, considering the poor track record of such attempts and the disparity between Tarot's dual-guitar, single-vocalist scrappy metal of the '80s, and their dual-vocalist, single-guitar mammoth sound of Crows Fly Black and Gravity of Light. The album features a huge guitar sound for Zachary, with even 'Never Forever' sounding a lot heavier than the Iron Maiden copycat original. The athletic scale runs punctuating the track still sound nice and sharp, and Zachary does a fine job of flexing his ability in various styles throughout the record.Things have been slowed down in places, possibly to allow the release to make more sense alongside the band's recent discography. No problem. Opener 'Midwinter Nights' sets a mid-paced groove for much of its runtime, but this makes the neoclassical shredding of its halfway solo even more exciting. 'Love's Not Made For My Kind' is slowed down and expanded into a crawling epic. Although the lyrics and melody suit the pace, the twinkling keyboards throughout prohibit the new, creaking mid-paced riffs from letting it be as awesome as 'Hell Knows' or 'Warhead'. Without the Nightwish style synths it MIGHT sound a lot cooler, but unfortunately they are all I can hear. The title track is no longer the simple, breathless metal anthem it once was, but rather an eerie mid-paced track that gives the lyrics and tune a more foreboding quality. The chorus, which remains at a galloping pace, still gets the heart thumping - but now with a more sinister vibe. It doesn't always work - 'Dancing on the Wire', which was an absolute standout on the original, floats past here, possibly due to its acoustic chorus and now rather relaxed vocals which sap the tension from the composition.Tommi Salmela took his time to grow on me, until the release of Gravity of Light actually, but now I dig this guy's vocals big time. His high wail gives a great contrast to Marco's gruff howl. He's had a workout with these songs onstage, but here he's allowed to bellow in unison as well as line-by-line with Marco in the climaxes of 'Back in the Fire' and 'Wings of Darkness' (the former ending with a huge ad-lib roar from both, awesome), and it sounds as epic as it did on songs like 'Satan is Dead'. I think Salmela's voice has even improved, he just slays when he opens 'Never Forever' and sings on the title track, and often rivals Marco for the accolade of most insane sounding Tarot singer on this and other tracks. Marco, meanwhile, who has developed a more varied and above all intimidating vocal presence since For the Glory of Nothing, puts in a far superior performance here to the original (something which I don't think can be said about any other re-recorded album anywhere). He does 'Things That Crawl At Night' solo, and sounds as if he's stood alone on stage in an opera house, he's that powerful, not to mention dramatic.Aside from Salmela, the greatest necessary contrast to navigate in recording this was likely the fact that Tarot has had only one guitarist since the mid '90s, and their songs have been written for such a setup. The bass has played a bigger and bigger role since the days of the '90s, and the grooving sound of recent albums now pervades these old songs. They adapt well, with slight amendments to a number of riffs giving a more lumbering, heavy sound than the melody-dependent originals. This is also the first time the band have substituted early dual-guitar attacks with keyboard lines on record as they do during concerts, and on 'Back in the Fire' in particular it sounds great, giving a threatening modern twist to what was a decidedly old school sounding track. Now it fits right in with 'Crawlspace' and 'Traitor!'All in all, a number of tracks actually sound better, due to the heavier sound, the tendency toward ominousness the band has built into their sound over the last decade or so pervading through, and the fantastic vocals. 'Pharao' is melodic as it ever was, the tense riffs sounding unbelievable in this reimagining, and surpasses the original due to Zachary being far tighter and heavier than back in the '80s. 'Wings of Darkness', the band's signature song, is now assisted by a hammond organ and the most outrageous vocal performance on the album (possibly by Tarot in years), both singers sounding totally unhinged and fucking awesome over the newly throaty interpretation of the addictive guitar riffs. It's only 'Love's Not Made For My Kind', 'Dancing on the Wire' and the bizarre acoustic rendering of 'De Mortui Nil Nisi Bene' (which while being cool and catchy, doesn't really make sense here) which fail to impact in quite the same way.Somewhat sacrilegiously, I've enjoyed a good number of these better than their original incarnations. The original album should still be bought first (for context, or as a friend of mine would put it, for awesome), and I'd even recommend Undead Indeed for a first taste of Tarot blasting out their oldies with their current lineup and sound. Loyal Tarot troopers definitely need this record. It's received a lot of attention from me and is by far the best attempt I've heard at reimagining an old album in its entirety. However, just because this turned out good, does NOT mean Venom and Slayer have an excuse to give me Black Metal MMXII and Reign in Blood MMXII next year." - Metal Archives
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  • "What is it about the glorious country of Sweden that makes such amazing Metal bands? Despite the fact Metal originated mainly from the UK, it’s seemed to have migrated over to Scandinavia to rule over all other genres, while we Brits and the Yanks are stuck with Nicki Garage and Justin Beaver being forced down our throats. Oh well, non-metal fans are missing out on the awesomeness that is BLOODBOUND! A Swedish Power Metal band that formed in 2004 and have released many a great album filled with Power Metally goodness. And oh boy, is this new album another great addition for any Metal fans music library; the heavily Game of Thrones, (or A Song of Ice and Fire, for you book readers) referenced, “Stormborn”.The album kicks off with an excellent instrumental intro (like a lot of Metal albums tend to have) and was entitled “Bloodtale” and leads straight into “Satanic Panic” (and they say Metal is all about the devil, ha!). I must admit, “Bloodtale” truly compliments “Satanic Panic” and makes it so much more epic, so if you like “Satanic Panic”, I recommend putting this intro on your iPod if you don’t normally keep album intros; I know I will.Now, did I mention this album has many Game of Thrones references on it? Well, I don’t need to tell you that if you’re a fan of the books and/or show ‘cause if you pay attention to the story and this album’s damn name, you’ll notice it’s named after Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals.I’m getting side tracked.Anyway, if you’ve listened to BLOODBOUND before, this album is what you’ll expect from them and I wish I could see them live again to hear them perform this album, ‘cause damn, it’s good.It’s catchier than previous albums, it’s a heavier, faster and much better written, and that’s what I personally think. I mean, you still have your great BLOODBOUND songs like “Nosferatu”, “Drop the Bomb” and “Metal Monster” which appear to be competing with the best songs on this album, like “Iron Throne”, “Satanic Panic” and “Made of Steel” with an ever so catchy, Judas Priest-esque riff.So, if you want some amazing Power Metal in your ears (or neighbour’s ears), then put this album on and be sure to blast it ‘cause, in the words of Jack Black, it’ll rock your fucking socks off." - Metal Temple
    $16.00
  • Limited edition 2CD set includes a live set recorded at Buxton Opera House."The bleak setting of BJH’s first album in 14 years – and their first since Woolly Wolstenholme cut his life short – evokes rumination on the times when the harvesting is done and one is to gather stones. That’s how the things are set in motion with a tiredly flowing “If You Were Here” until its pining ennui takes a vertiginous turn at the song’s end, when John Lees’ voice starts spinning from channel to channel for the listener to land on familiar ground which hasn’t been trodden for so long. Nor for nothing the record’s cover features a scenic view from the Northern parish of Saddleworth where the group come from.Once on terra firma, the band’s patented sense of humor kicks in, too, and the riff of “The Real Deal” casts rocks far enough, with “it’a a long way back” argument, to convince yer olde fan the album is exactly what this track’s title suggests, yet even those who’ve been following BJH for four decades won’t be prepared for the brass-brandishing “On Top Of The World” that makes the homecoming glorious. Anxious love pours out of the record’s title piece depicting local landscapes and the twangy memory-lane emotions, but the album is as ancient as it is modern.Thus, the slow boogie “In Wonderland” satirizes today’s ways of communication, with web acronyms thrown in for a chorus, and alloys the slang use of “schmetterling” with the ensemble’s symbol: a butterfly. Such an integrity lurks also in the alliteration between “North” and its predecessor, “Nexus,” as well as in the literary appropriation of Saddleworth’s Ammon Wrigley’s poem for the parting that is “The End Of the Day” wherein the gods of Ale and Mirth give birth to a child which can be a child of the universe, an important part of BJH’s lore. It’s elegiac rather than jolly, though, but Jez Smith’s piano in “Ancient Waves” and Lees’ guitar render this melancholy warm and delicate, while, for all its twilight shimmer, the 9-minute “On Leave” – surely a Woolly tribute – joins the pantheon of the band’s best ballads, whereas the quiet communal merriment fills the folk lustre of “Unreservedly Yours” that oozes the ultimate, if autumnal, dedication.With the parallel existence of another BJH, featuring Les Holroyd, “North” could have been a simple attempt of reclaiming the legacy; instead, it turns out to be a shining addition to the classic canon." - Let It Rock
    $17.00
  • "It is such a rare feat these days that a band can boast a back catalogue of such highly acclaimed albums. Nightwish’s career has not stagnated once in their nearly 20 years of existence, and despite highly publicised vocalist changes that has quartered the fanbases, their popularity has gone nothing but up. Why? Their music is simply immense. So here we are with album number 8, but after throwing so much into their previous effort ‘Imaginaerum‘, have the band finally run out of steam?If the opening track of ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ has anything to say about it, absolutely not. The album opens with Richard Dawkins, the figurehead in the album’s theme of evolution, speaking to provide a brief introduction to the loose concept. Without hesitation the album bursts into life with ‘Shudder Before The Beautiful‘, orchestras blaring, keyboards frantic, and suddenly a wall of guitars thickening into one of Nightwish’s heaviest tracks in their career. The band have gone all out in this one, from a massive chorus transitioning to a prolonged solo battle between guitars and keyboards. It purely represents the things to come on the album, a raw Nightwish that has tapped all the highlights of their career into a transcendent epic.Moving straight on to ‘Weak Fantasy‘, the band does not immediately lift up the power and aggresion, yet makes an immediate impact of the spectrum of elements the instrumentalists now have to offer on the album. From a massive heavy chorus of ominous choirs transitioning into folk guitar melodies and tribal drumming, overlaid by the diverse vocals of Floor Jansen marking her Nightwish recording debut. The further addition of Troy Donockley as a full time member proves to be one of the wisest of investments as they make use of his talents with the vast array of unique instruments evident with tracks such as ‘Elan‘ and ‘My Walden‘.There are moments of this album that represent pure passion and take us on a journey of reminiscence of styles throughout Nightwish’s career, whilst building on top of them with the vast resources of choirs and full orchestra the band now have at their disposal. The softer ‘Elan‘ takes us to the softer metal with hook that Nightwish singles in recent years, while the heavier ‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ and playful ‘Alpenglow‘ revisit the ‘Century Child‘ days with a diverse range of Emppu Vuorinen’s erratic guitar work with memorable guitar melodies, and dramatic choruses that completely define Nightwish as a musical force.As the album draws to a close, we come to expect a poetic closure of such an exquisite palette of music, however the higlights of the album are only to come. The beautiful instrumental ‘The Eyes of Sharbat Gula‘ serve as dramatic solace before the storm in the centerpiece of the album – the 24-minute monster of ‘The Greatest Show on Earth‘. This progressive epic highlights the songwriting brilliance of Tuomas Holopainen, taking on the theme of ‘life and evolution by natural selection’, the track takes on the aggressive, the beautiful, the mysterious and everything that the band have to offer in one neat package, making full use of the massive vocal range of Floor Jansen and the masculine prowess of Marco Hietala. One of the finest tracks in Nightwish’s career if I may say so!‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful‘ simply put is sheer brilliance. Where the previous opus’ of ‘Dark Passion Play‘ and ‘Imaginaerum‘ continued a theatrical progression off of the success of ‘Once‘, this album has taken a renewed and raw approach to songwriting, revisitng the process of old and writing songs to highlight talents of band. The broad and experience-laced musicianship has put to full use just englightening us again as to why this band has made, and will continue to make history, and should be very proud of their 8th album. Forget about the past controversies, put aside your vocalist disputes, Nightwish has produced a fantastic album that can be adored by all." - The Metalist
    $6.00
  • "Periphery have been an omnipresent force in the prog metalcore realm since their first album released in 2010 – band founder Misha Mansoor has served as producer on several of the genre’s albums, and the other members are all famous in their own right, whether it’s simply for their craft (Matt Halpern), their involvement in other projects (Spencer Sotelo, Mark Holcomb, Nolly Getgood), or just simply being the nephew of someone exceedingly famous (Jake Bowen). This makes whatever they decide to do extremely important, and the band’s decision to release a concept double album has created hype of hugelargic proportions. In my humble opinion, the band has delivered on all fronts, but not without some disappointments in the “could’ve been” area.Since their inception, Periphery have changed from a chugga-chug ambidjent project posting demos on the internet in the late 2000s to a full-fledged prog metal band with heavy elements of metalcore, post-hardcore, and pop music in general. If you weren’t onboard for “Periphery II”, “Juggernaut” likely won’t change your mind (unless your issues were relatively small), as it’s more of the same poppy atmosphere and less of the techy downtuned riffs, though god knows THOSE are still around. But there’s also a lot of style experimentation – jazz fusion, death metal, and various forms of electronica are all utilized on a semi-normal basis, and range from being seamlessly integrated into the music to being tacked on to the ends of songs like gluing a top-rate dildo onto an already particularly throbby penis. If this all sounds a bit schizophrenic, rest assured that the songcraft is, for the most part, tighter than it’s ever been. Singles from Alpha like “22 Faces” and “Alpha” itself show off Periphery’s pop prowess with choruses and hooks that refuse to leave your head, and complex riffs that are somehow just as ‘wormy as the vocals. And the songs on Omega are longer, more complex, and still manage to be as infectious as the most annoying of STDs – even the twelve minute sprawling title track that has more in common with the bombastic riffs of Periphery I has a shapely middle section that rivals even the hottest of…ugh, fuck it, done with the metaphors. It’s just insane. I cried when I heard it.And now onto what I don’t care for; first off, the decision to split the album into two parts was definitely well-informed from a marketing standpoint. Most people don’t go around listening to 80 minute records all day, myself included, and the supposedly delicate structure of a concept album also means that listening to Juggernaut by skipping to different songs would devalue the experience. So the band broke it into two records to make it seem more manageable to listen to in daily life. Another stated reason was so that newcomers to the band would be able to buy Alpha at a discounted price, decide if they liked it, and then purchase Omega if they were so inclined (music previewing doesn’t work like that anymore, but hey you can’t fault the band for trying to turn that into tangible record sales). The problem I have is that Omega isn’t really paced to be its own album, which makes releasing it on its own instead as simply as the second disc in a package a little pointless. It’s not like the excellent “The Afterman” double albums from Coheed and Cambria, which were each albums that worked in their own right. I realize that this is really just semantics, but I think calling Juggernaut both the third and fourth album from Periphery, while technically correct, is just disingenuous, and judging them fairly on their own as separate albums is impossible (which is why all reviews being published are including them together).Periphery has always had a unique way of pacing their albums, regularly including playful, sometimes relatively lengthy interludes between tracks. Juggernaut is no different, and these interludes are now occasionally used to seed songs that will appear later on the album, or provide callbacks to tracks already present. The transitions aren’t always elegant however, and can range from grin-inducing to head-scratching to just plain grating. Thankfully, the band isn’t going for the illusion that each song flows seamlessly into the next, at least no more than they were going for it on any of their previous albums, and it’s easy to get used to everything given multiple listens.Overall, Juggernaut is a dense album that’s going to take a myriad of listens to fully sink in, just like most of the band’s prior releases (I don’t think anyone is gonna argue that “Clear” has any depth that you would find after about the fifth listen or so, but hey hey that’s ok kay). But it’s also accessible on the surface with deceptively simple rhythms and poppy choruses, which draw you in to appreciate the deeper cuts. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes unique and thoughtful music in the post-hardcore, metalcore, and progressive metal genres, but I’d also recommend it to anyone ever, because this is my absolute favorite band and I think they’ve created a masterpiece. So take from that what you will, and then get the fuck out of here. The play button is calling my name." - iprobablyhateyourband.com
    $11.00