Released an improbable seventeen years ago, Once (Nuclear Blast), the fifth album from symphonic metal pioneers Nightwish saw the band catapulted from relative obscurity and into the eyes and ears of a much wider audience. With lead single ‘Nemo’ being given regular airplay on radio and music television channels, everything seemed to be falling into place for the Finnish act.
In the absence of live shows as we know them, Dutch symphonic metal act Within Temptation have taken the idea of playing a simple online gig and moved it up a level, giving fans the full virtual reality sci-fi treatment. Instead of performing on a stage in an empty room, the band have produced something much more visually stimulating, creating not only a sequence of lavish futuristic sets but a fully functional wraparound storyline detailed ahead of each separate section by the disembodied head of a digitally constructed android.
A live-streamed event in support of their latest album Ωmega (Nuclear Blast), Dutch sextet Epica pull out the stops for an explosive return to the stage, their first since the Coronavirus crisis began last year. Presented by Danny Wimmer presents and filmed at AED Studios in Belgium, the band are given a generous performance area to strut their symphonic stuff and they utilise every bit of space in typically bombastic style.
It should come as a surprise to no-one that Omega (Nuclear Blast), the eighth full-length studio release from Dutch symphonic metal act Epica, is another concept-driven album. Formed in 2002, the band are widely known for their ambitious ideas and themes, covering everything from the Mayan civilization to religion, nature, quantum physics and the possibility that the universe is actually digitally created hologram. You know, simple stuff.
Returning with their tenth full-length album, Norwegian symphonic Gothic act Sirenia continues both the good work and the alliteration of their last couple of studio outings with their latest release Riddles, Ruins & Revelations (Napalm Records). Operatic vocals, a robust rhythm section, pounding riffs and flighty keyboards dominate proceedings, punctuated by some expert lead guitar work and differing vocal styles. Adorned with thunderous breakdowns or quieter, slower sections each cut remains interesting rather than outstaying its welcome.
Having successfully navigated their way around the many obstacles and challenges thrust into their path by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Christofer Johnsson and his Swedish symphonic act Therion return with their seventeenth studio album Leviathan (Nuclear Blast).
Italian Goth Symphonic Metal emissaries Dismal are releasing their new album Quinta Essential this Friday the 13th, 2020! The trio shares their penchant of an eclectic myriad of styles from Classical influences, doom metal, darkwave, neofolk, waltz, and much more. All of this combines to create their big concept of “The Waltz Of Mind.”. Stream the album now!
Dutch Symphonic Blackened Metallers Carach Angren has shared a new music video, the positively amazing “Franckensteina Srataemontanus.” The track is the title track from their recent new album, out now via Season of Mist. The album trellis the story of the vicious and troubled Conrad Dippel, the real-life inspiration of Mary Shelly’s original horror classic novel Frankenstein. Watch the video, Directed by Zoran Bihac, right now and purchase and stream the album at the link below.
A duo comprising Czechian vocalist Viktorie Surmøvá (Bohemian Metal Rhapsody) and Týr guitarist Heri Joensen, symphonic metal act Surma was formed in 2018 but spent the following year writing and arranging the music for their debut release.
Helion Prime’s third album features yet another lead singer shuffle as live vocalist Mary Zimmer (ex-Luna Mortis/White Empress) makes her studio debut, but their sci-fi Power Metal vision remains undeterred. Following the underwhelmed reception to 2018’s Terror Of The Cybernetic Monster, the band seems to aim for a vibe similar to their 2016 self-titled debut. The song structures are similarly streamlined, and the vocals have a consistently poppy character prone to anthemic layering and the occasional Melodeath scream. Guitarists Jason Ashcraft and Chad Anderson’s polished chugs and sweeping leads serve as the grand equalizer. Continue reading