Arch / Matheos – Winter Eternal

Gobsmacking. That’s the first word that came to mind and I wasn’t even a minute into Winter Eternal (Metal Blade Records). Arch / Matheos deliver everything people like about heavy metal. The music is imbued with headbanging fury. The guitar riffage is sublime. Winter Eternal is that perfect storm of a heavy metal album. It’s a wicked mixture of classically awesome Iron Maiden, heady powerful Dream Theatre, and has the story-telling prowess of Queensryche. Listening to the album makes you go, “Grrrrrrrrrr!” Continue reading

Mask Of Judas – The Mesmerist

With the UK’s Progressive/Tech Metal scene growing ever bigger and ever more packed, a band that provides any form of new ideas is surely going to be a welcome addition, right? On paper, Mask Of Judas sounds like an intriguing prospect which should offer some wide appeal with their brand of progressive metal with vocals that range from the recognisable growls to contemporary pop and R&B. The sad reality, however, is that, at very best, debut album The Mesmerist (self-released) can only be described as a mixed bag. Continue reading

Adagio – Life

Times have been rather tumultuous for French progressive metal stalwarts Adagio since the release of their last album Archangels In Black (Listenable) way back in 2009. A continuing series of vocalist setbacks saw numerous changes in that time, with the latest seeing Mats Levén single year duration come to an end with him being succeeded by Kelly Carpenter. Jelly Cardarelli and Mayline Gautie have also joined as drummer and violinist respectfully. A mammoth wait for an album was also heightened by a crowdfunding campaign, and thus, the promise of big things to come. Now finally the follow-up arrives, revealing what is their most ambitious work to date, which sadly is not entirely a saving grace. Continue reading