Master of the Universe: Arjen Lucassen of Ayreon

Having spent more than two decades developing the Progressive Power Metal and conceptual universe of Ayreon, creator and visionary Arjen Lucassen recently celebrated the very best of his project by releasing a live album and DVD. The Dutch multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter spoke to Ghost Cult about the grandiose Ayreon Universe (Music Theories/Mascot Group). Continue reading

Leaves’ Eyes – Sign Of The Dragonhead


After switching over to a new vocalist in April 2016, following the seemingly acrimonious departure of Liv Kristine, Leaves’ Eyes presents their first album with Elina Siirala on vocals. The new record is titled Sign Of The Dragonhead (AFM), and once again dives Dragonhead first into Nordic mythology and culture. Continue reading

Jess and the Ancient Ones – The Horse and Other Weird Tales


Jess and the Ancient Ones are back with a new album! This Finnish occult rock band have released their third album, and with The Horse and Other Weird Tales (Svart) they have taken a nosedive further into the psychedelic genre. Spanning only 34 minutes, the album isn’t terribly long, but it manages to cram a lot of goodness in that half an hour. Continue reading

Tarja – From Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas)

The Venn diagram of people who like symphonic metal and people who like Christmas music is most certainly not a circle, but it is statistically probable that there is some kind of overlapping area in there. Is From Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas) (earMUSIC) the perfect album for this niche crowd? NO. Continue reading

Serenity – Lionheart

Symphonic Power Metal band Serenity is back with a new album, Lionheart (Napalm), and they are strong as ever. As on previous album Codex Atlanticus, which explored the life and writings of Leonardo DaVinci, the band’s passion for history inspired the themes and lyrics of the album. Continue reading

Lunatic Soul – Fractured

Founded in 2008, Lunatic Soul is the musical alter-ego of Riverside frontman and bass player Mariusz Duda. Duda has poured his heart and soul into the new album, Fractured (Kscope), which reflects what seems to have been a turbulent time in his personal life as well as the current sociopolitical climate in general. Continue reading

Disperse – Foreword

Polish and English progressive rock and metal quartet Disperse returns to present their third studio album Foreword (Season of Mist). This band may take inspiration from bands such as Pink Floyd, and Dream Theater, but it ends up with a very modern sound , in some parts similar to pop bands such as Kensington, but with a more progressive bent to their music. Continue reading

Dool – Here Now, There Then

New Dutch band Dool are here with their début Here Now, There Then (Prophecy Productions), and while they may not be a super-group per se, this group definitely comprises a bunch of experienced musicians. With the rhythm section formed by drummer Micha Haring and bassist Job van de Zande, formerly of Occult Metal band The Devil’s Blood, and guitars provided by Nick Polack (Gold) and Reinier Vermeulen (The New Media), musically this band is set up for great sound in a variety of genres. Continue reading

Firewind – Immortals

After 5 years, Greek Power Metal machine Firewind is back with a new album, Immortals (Century Media). In that time guitarist Gus G has been touring with Ozzy Osbourne, and the band has gone through another line-up change, with Henning Basse now admirably fulfilling the role of vocalist. Continue reading