GHOST CULT’S ALBUM OF THE YEAR: Steve Tovey: Top 20 of 2019

2019 seems an odd year for me to be writing a post about my albums of year, and to have so many albums I want to name-check or mention. See, early in the year I stepped down from my role within Ghost Cult – nothing the Cult did wrong, just a question of life and balance. Stepping back from direct exposure to every rock, metal or alternative release should have meant I had fewer albums to care about, but, actually, it’s afforded me more time with each of the albums that I have connected with. Continue reading

Ghost Cult’s Album of the Year 2019 – Part 1 (75-41)

Carcass with Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast) in 2013, Behemoth and The Satanist (Metal Blade) in 2014, Ghost in 2015 and 2018 with Meliora and Prequelle (both Loma Vista), Magma (Roadrunner) by Gojira in 2016, and 2017’s Emperor of Sand (Mastodon – Reprise) is our legacy. Those incredible, scene-enhancing, ear-destroying releases are the standard-bearers by which Ghost Cult‘s albums of the year are to be judged. These are the albums of our times; and following another sensation year of great alternative, rock, and metal, the pantheon cries out for more, for another slab of wax, another Album of the Year to join them… the very best of 2019.

With a fully democratic poll of the views and votes of the length and breadth of Team Ghost Cult (including our photographers, reviewers, newshounds, podcast and YouTube contributors) taken, with no editorial steer or amendment, we present to you Part 1 (75-41) of the Official Ghost Cult Albums of the Year for 2019, for your vulgar delectation… Continue reading

André Matos, Former Lead Singer of Angra and Viper, Dead at Age 47

André Matos, the former lead singer of the Brazilian metal bands Angra and Viper, has died unexpectedly at the age of 47. His death was confirmed by ex-Angra drummer Ricardo Confessori, who wrote on his Facebook page: “It is with deep pain in our hearts that we say goodbye to André once again, this time definitively.” André performed last Sunday (June 2) at the Espaço das Américas in São Paulo with Shaman and also made a guest appearance with the show’s headliners, Avantasia. Tobias Sammet wrote on his Facebook page: “I am devastated by the tragic news about the passing of my friend André Matos whom I shared the stage with only five days ago. I am in shock. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in peace, André Matos.” We send our deepest sympathies for Matos’ family, friends, and fans at this time. Continue reading

Avantasia – Moonglow

The bombastic operatic Metal of Avantasia continues apace with their eighth album Moonglow (Nuclear Blast), and just in case you were in any doubt it opens with a nigh on ten minute slice of pomp that would not sound out of place on Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell 2 (MCA/Virgin). The conceptual nature and fantastical sound of previous album Ghostlights is expanded upon here, helped by the ample time Tobias Sammet was given when making it. Continue reading

Amorphis – Queen of Time  

At first Death Metal but now encompassing Folk, Symphonic and Prog Rock elements, Amorphis are a multifaceted Finnish Metal group with nearly thirty years on the clock (twenty eight, but who’s counting). Following on from the driven yet melodious Heavy Metal of Under the Red Cloud is their thirteenth album Queen of Time (Nuclear Blast), along with the production skills of Jens Bogren – whose previous work includes Amon Amarth, Kreator and Opeth amongst others. This record follows the same urgent, heavy yet tuneful ethos but with a much broader scope, with synths, choirs, violins, folk and prog all adding to the mix. Continue reading

Magnum – Lost On The Road To Eternity

The release of Magnum’s twentieth studio album, Lost On The Road To Eternity (SPV/Steamhammer) is no mean feat, considering twenty-five years ago, the band were releasing the aptly named and wholly underwhelming Sleepwalking (Music For Nations) while struggling to find a foothold in a musical environment that had no room for them. Continue reading