The ninth album from Greek power metallers Firewind finds the band introducing their latest vocalist Herbie Langhans, the former Sinbreed frontman replacing fellow German Henning Basse earlier this year. And the eponymously titled Firewind (AFM Records) is a fine way to get things rolling with their new frontman. Continue reading
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
The V is the solo project of Veronica Freeman, and Now or Never (Frontiers Music) is her debut album. Freeman has been storming her way through the music scene for ten years with Benedictum, and now brings forth a Hard-Rock album supported by a lot of big names in the scene. Not the least of these is Tony Martin, formerly of Black Sabbath, who appears in the duet ‘King for a Day’.
Unlike Benedictum, this album falls in the Hard Rock or Hair Metal categories, and as it turns out, these work very well with Freeman’s very strong vocals. The subjects vary from empowerment to love, and in the absence of love, sex. Musically, the album opens and closes with a very classic hard-rock sound, while everything in between has the same modern quality and feeling as Jorn Lande puts into his album. However, it has even more clichéd riffs and far more clichéd lyrics.
Of the more classical songs ‘Now or Never’ is probably the most exciting, with funky guitars and bass and that same unapologetic rock-vibe that Gotthard excels in. Of the more modern songs ‘Line in the Sand’ is the catchiest, although the modulation gives a certain cheesy quality to the thing. The real highlight of the album is ‘Kiss My Lips’, which has a lot of variation in vocals and music, but keeps it all together. The mysteriously soft pre-chorus contrasts nicely with the heavy and driving chorus.
Although the album is very enjoyable in places, the overuse of echo and somewhat unoriginal lyrics and music in some places is a bit of a let-down. It is certainly not a bad debut, but hopefully the focus on the next album will be a bit more on the writing of the songs and a bit less on the production value.