Top Eight Metal Albums of January (and One More You’ll Probably Like)

This month was pretty shitty in the power metal department. Only a couple albums really wowed me, and only a couple more stood out. However, the really good albums are really fucking good. 

In no particular order, here are my Top Eight (Heavy, Power, Folk) Metal Albums of January!

Ancient Bards – Origine – The Black Crystal Sword Saga Part 2

Symphonic metal heavyweights Ancient Bards have unleashed what I believe to be their best record to date. It’s epic. It’s fast. Sara Squadrani’s chops are as perfect as usual. The guitar and keyboard solos are just shining icing on the fantastical cake.

There’s not a thing I dislike about this album. There is so much dragon-slaying variety that it could keep you busy for days. From the heroic highs to the peaceful lows, Origine – The Black Crystal Sword Saga Part 2 (yeah, say that five times fast and bite your fucking tongue off) is everything you could want in a symphonic metal band, plus a whole lot more.

Ancient Bards – Impious Dystopia (Limb Music)

Delfinia – Deep Elevation

Delfinia’s debut album is a collaboration project headlined by vocalists Konstantin and Daria Naumenko, featuring an ass load of skilled metal musicians; Aerendir Johansson (Twilight Force), Krzysztof Gunsen Elzanowski (Pathfinder), Roland Grapow (ex-Helloween, Masterplan), and many more make appearances. Some of the best solos, however, come out of session guitarist Stas RED Semilietov (like the one in ‘The Brightest Days’).

The overall feel of the album is reflective and it remains consistent (despite the surplus of guest musicians) but each track has something unique to offer. This ambitious power metal project is a must-listen for sure.

Delfinia – Heaven feat. Aerendir from Twilight Force

Steel Engraved – Steel Engraved

German heavy metal group Steel Engraved’s self-titled album is by far their best. Their foreboding sound reflects their bleak content. No one part sticks out from the rest, but the band does great as a whole and delivers an organic heavy metal experience.

Steel Engraved – Rebellion (Rock of Angels Records)

Torben Enevoldsen – 5.1

This feature album is Enevoldsen’s fifth addition to his solo project. Enevoldsen himself lays down some absolutely beautiful melodies and disgusting solos. He certainly deserves some serous metal cred. This guy fucking rocks.

Unfortunately, while not bad per say, the rhythm section is pretty one-dimensional except for a few tracks. That being said, the album is still a pleasure to listen to and Enevoldsen’s fusion-styled playing is addictingly incredible.

(Check out the full review here!)

Torben Enevoldsen – Hangar 84 (Perris Records)

Frenzy – Blind Justice 

Singing comic book-themed songs with a classic metal spin, Frenzy is a lot of fun. Their debut album is full of fantastic old school solos and Anthony Stephen’s vocals are damn good.

Frenzy – Save Me (Underground Power Records)

Wolfhorde – Hounds of Perdition

Although I was disappointed that this album was so much worse than their debut (which is a borderline fucking masterpiece), Hounds of Perdition still holds up as a solid piece of music.

Moving almost entirely away from their folk roots, Wolfhorde has reinvented their sound into a brash combination of power, melodic death, and even symphonic metal. There synth tracks are many and the folk instruments barely surface, but each song is heavy and intense and carries the fierce essence of Wolfhorde through the snow.

(Check out the full review here!)

Syu – Vorvados

Vorvado is a perfect example of guitar feature album done right. The guest vocalists (and Syu himself) are immensely talented and the songs have so much more to offer than just wicked guitar solos.

Every musician on the record gives a stellar performance, but special attention must be paid to the drummer. He just doesn’t screw around and continues to kick the shit out of his kit until the album’s final breaths.

This is easily my favourite album of January. It’s so. Damn. Good.

(Check out the full review here!)

Syu – REASON (Warner Music Japan)

BONUS: Evergrey – The Atlantic

Evergrey’s eleventh album is about what you’d expect from them; a darker, more American-styled heavy metal sound. In all honesty, I’m not crazy about these guys, but they’re fairly popular so I felt they could be included on the list.

Evergrey – Weightless (AFM Records)

Stay Tuned for More News and Reviews!

Stay Metal \m/

Black Sun Tales – A Wanderer’s Stories Review

Score7.5/10
GenreProg/Power
CountryCanada
Runtime33:09
Release date22 Dec 2018
Record LabelNone

Canadian prog/power outfit Black Sun Tales has released their debut album, A Wanderer’s Stories (22 December, 2018). Featuring only seven songs, including the instrumental prelude (which, by the way, is one of very few I’ve heard that aren’t just a waste of album space), it makes for a listen shorter than thirty five minutes. A Wanderer’s Stories assembles elements of power, folk, and progressive metal, which adds a high level of diversity to the album.

The sound is similar to later Falconer, what with the clean vocals of Wolf Biller and folk sound that is especially prominent in the final tracks, ‘Blade of Destruction’ and ‘Living Pages’. There are a lot of harpsichord and string components, which are very in-your-face at times.

The lyrical content is fantasy-centric but it manages to stay clear of genre clichés or ridiculous tales about the power of believing in yourself (à la Freedom Call) or robot space battles (I’m looking at you, Iron Savior).

The first real track, ‘Weatherhold’, starts the album at its lowest point. The musicians are solid and nothing is necessarily bad, except maybe the synth solo, which is pretty sloppy, but nothing really sticks out. My expectations dropped from this song but, on the bright side, the album has plenty of room to get better, which it does.

Most of the proggy grooves and time changes aren’t forced and fit together well in the songs, evident in ‘Holders of the Stars’. The lyrics and parallel structure in this song are also really cool (as cool as fantasy lyrics can be, anyway). I was also really like the climbing vocal run, which sounds like something straight out of Disney, and the laid back solo section that follows.

One of my favourite tracks in A Wanderer’s Stories is Ritter’s Demon; while many of the synthesizer solos on the album aren’t anything special, the solo section in this song makes for exceptional synth and guitar solos alike. The song goes in many directions and the pulled back outro builds into a nice ending. 

Another notable mention is ‘Kivimaa’. It’s more pulled back than the rest of the record and there are no time changes or prog breaks, but it is straightforward and well done. The solos are awesome and there is even a soli at the end, which comes as a pleasant surprise. It’s nothing too complicated but solis are a rare breed in metal.

Overall, A Wanderer’s Stories is a hit for me. I wanted a bit more from it, but there is plenty of variety, especially considering the short runtime. The lyrics are actually tasteful and the songs are dynamic.

Additionally, despite the amount of prog influence, the songs aren’t strictly rigid. There is a lot of freedom that lets the background parts add more than just the typical “I’m gonna slap an extra snare onto the off beat and call it 11/8”. Fans of Dragonland, Falconer, Twilight Force, and Wisdom will enjoy this album. It will be a pleasure to see Black Sun Tales’ weave more fantastical stories.

Black Sun Tales – Ritter’s Demon

Stay Tuned for More Reviews!

Stay Metal \m/

Top Eight DragonForce Songs

Since the release of Valley of the Damned in 2003, DragonForce has earned a place among the power metal gods. It’s lengthy solos and overblown fantasy heroism has given them a globally-recognizable sound. Despite the loss of iconic frontman ZP Theart in 2010, the band has managed to maintain its status; the most-recently released Reaching Into Infinity garnered mostly positive reviews, and the band is currently developing an eighth record.

The following are what I believe to be the best of DragonForce’s steaming discography. (Also, I’ll make no mention of guitar solos because it’s pretty much a given that Herman Li blows my face off with every one.)

8. Valley Of The Damned

The titular track to the debut album, ‘Valley Of The Damned’ blew me away the first time I heard it: the beating and chanting of the prechorus, the soaring chorus, the shift from dark to light from the first to second prechorus.

This song bleeds epic victory and adult me rocks just as hard to it as ten-year-old me did.

DragonForce – Valley of the Damned (Spinefarm Records, 2010)

7. Judgement Day – Reaching Into Infinity

I could probably fill this list with songs from the first three albums, but the new material deserves some love, too.

I absolutely love the introduction to this song. The jarring mash of the blast beat and tremolo just seems to stand out from all of their other intros. The rest of the song is great, too, but the intro pushes it a little further up in my books.

DragonForce – Judgement Day (earMUSIC)

6. Land Of Shattered Dreams – Reaching Into Infinity

Honestly, one of my favourite things about Reaching Into Infinity is that they seem to literally recycle entire stanzas from previous releases (I mean, they already basically just throw power metal tropes into a hat and pick them out to make lyrics, but it’s a little more in-your-face in this album). However, ‘Land Of Shattered Dreams’ seems to veer off the path a little bit and produce some (barely) original lyrics!

Despite the lyrics, which nobody really cares about anyway, I simply find myself coming back to this song all the time.

DragonForce – Land Of Shattered Dreams (earMUSIC)

5. Fury Of The Storm

Most of the reason I enjoy this track so much is because of the vocals. For whatever reason, the vocal harmonies ring through this song more than usual. On the same note, the final scream of the song really hits the spot.

The rhythm guitar underneath the first section of the solo sticks out to me, and the modified chord in the last chorus makes the resolve immensely satisfying.

DragonForce – Fury of the Storm (Spinefarm Records, 2010)

4. Heroes Of Our Time – Ultra Beatdown

Ultra Beatdown had a lot of misses for me, but ‘Heroes Of Our Time’ makes up for all of those. The rhythm guitar parts in the chorus are exceedingly on point and the blast beat fill before the first chorus still gives me goosebumps.

DragonForce – Heroes Of Our Time (Spinefarm Records)

3. Through The Fire And The Flames – Inhuman Rampage

Honestly, the top three are a toss up for me. ‘Through The Fire And The Flames’ was both the first DragonForce song and the first power metal song I’d ever heard. I was ten years old and heard it when my brother and his friend were playing Guitar Hero III (which I thought was the coolest shit ever back then).

More than ten years later, I’m still stuck with the insatiable lust for all of the tempo-destroying power metal cheese I can get my hands on.

DragonForce – Through The Fire And The Flames (Noise Records)

2. My Spirit Will Go On – Inhuman Rampage

I like this one because it sounds distinct from almost every other DragonForce track. The ominous intro is the perfect buildup to the rest of the song. I also can’t get enough of the drum fill before the final chorus.

DragonForce – My Spirit Will Go On (Noise Records)

1. Land Where Dragons Rule – Valley of The Damned

My all-time favourite DragonForce song is the bonus track of the debut album, ‘Land Where Dragons Rule’. Like most of the other song on this list, the intro just does it for me. Likewise, the ending is addictingly bittersweet.

The chorus is foreboding, yes not without hope, and the final moments before the piano outro is incredible.

DragonForce – Land Where Dragons Rule (Spinefarm Records, 2010)

Album Release Calendar

This is a database of 2019 album releases. Genres included are primarily power, folk, heavy, progressive but there are selections from other genres (gothic, metalcore, fusion) that make it on here. Feel free to contact me with something I may have missed (because it’s impossible to keep up with everything).

NAVIGATION SUPER PRO TIP:
Looking for a specific genre or just sick of scrolling to the bottom of the page? Hit Ctrl+F on your computer or click “Search in Page” in your phone menu and type in a keyword.

6 February:

Claymorean – Sounds from a Dying World [REISSUE] (Power Metal)

8 February:

Herman Frank – Fight the Fear (Heavy Metal)

Rosy Vista – Unbelievable (Heavy Metal/Hard Rock)

Beast in Black – From Hell With Love (Melodic Heavy)

SkeleToon – They Never Say Die (Power Metal)

Thornbridge – Theatrical Masterpiece (Power Metal)

10 February:

Steel Shock – With Fire & Steel (Heavy Metal)

14 February:

Allegro – Puzzled EP (Power Metal)

15 February:

Steel Raiser – Acciaio (Heavy/Power Metal)

Avantasia – Moonglow (Symphonic Power Metal)

Tigersclaw – Force of Destiny (Symphonic Metal)

Ascheregen – Untot (Heavy Metal)

16 February:

Sylvania – Testigos de las estrellas (Power Metal)

19 February:

Vanir – Allfather (Viking/Folk metal)

22 February:

Rhapsody of Fire – The Eighth Mountain (Power Metal)

Pounder – Uncivilized (Heavy Metal)[DEBUT]

Traveller – Traveller (Heavy)[DEBUT]

Sanhedrin – The Poisoner (Heavy Metal)

Booze Control – Forgotten Lands (Heavy Metal)

Dream Theater – Distance over Time (Progressive Metal)

Imperia – Flames of Eternity (Gothic Symphonic)

Mortanius – Till Death Do Us Part (Prog/Power Metal)

Delain – Hunter’s Moon (Symphonic Metal)

25 February:

Salduie – Viros Veramos (Folk Metal)

1 March:

Queensrÿche – The Verdict (Prog/Power Metal)

Darkwater – Human (Melodic Prog/Power Metal)

Athlantis – The Way to Rock ‘n’ Roll (Power Metal)

Raptor – Universos Paralelos (Prog/Heavy Metal)

Icestorm – Saga (Epic Heavy Metal)

Warrior Path – Warrior Path (Heavy/Power Metal)

2 March:

Symfobia – Smog Of Tomorrow (Symphonic Metal)

Letharia – Dietrich EP (Symphonic Power Metal)

3 March:

Alpha Centauri – Return of the Herakleids EP (Epic Heavy Metal)

5 March:

Mileth – Catro Pregarias no Albor da Lua Morta (Folk/Pagan Metal)

8 March:

Iron Fire – Beyond the Void (Heavy Metal)

Tyr – Hel (Prog/Folk Metal)

Stonecast – I Earther (Heavy Metal)

The Raven Age – Conspiracy (Melodic Groove)

Brymir – Wings of Fire (Symphonic MeloDeath)

9 March:

Elvenpath – The Path of the Dark King (Power Metal)

15 March:

Iron Savior – Kill or get Killed (Power Metal)

Haeredium – Ascension (Folk/Power Metal)

Twisted Tower Dire – Wars in the Unknown (Power Metal)

Obsidian Shell – Mooniversary (Gothic Metal)

21 March:

Joe Stump – Symphonic Onslaught (Shred/ Heavy Metal)

22 March:

Battle Beast – No More Hollywood Endings (Heavy Metal)

Bloodbound – Rise of the Dragon Empire (Power Metal)

Burning Rain – Face the Music (Heavy Metal/Hard Rock)

Meridian – Margin of Error (Heavy Metal)

Frozen Crown – Crowned in Frost (Power Metal)

Avalanch – El Secreto (Prog/Power Metal)

Waylander – Eriu’s Wheel (Folk Metal)

28 March:

Vetrar Draugurinn – Hinterlands (Gothic Metal)

29 March:

Silver Bullet – Mooncult (Power Metal)

Yngwie J. Malmsteen – Blue Lightning (Shred/Power Metal)

Anthem – Nucleus (Heavy Metal)

Infinityum – Alliance (Pagan Metal)

1 April:

West of Hell – Blood of the Infidel (Heavy/Power/Thrash Metal)

2 April:

Age of Artemis – Monomyth (Melodic Power Metal)

3 April:

Jupiter – Zeus ~Legends Never Die~ (Symphonic/Neoclassical Power Metal)

Thunderspell – Power, Blood and Glory (Heavy/Power Metal)

4 April:

Atorc – Under the Raven Banner (Folk Metal)

5 April:

Eluveitie – Ategnatos (Folk Metal)

Lightfold – Deathwalkers (Progressive Power Metal)

Edén – El Despertar de los Sueños (Power Metal)

Silverheart – Destination (Power Metal)

Ossian – A reményhozó (Heavy/Power Metal)

10 April:

Hyerathica – Revolution Now (Heavy/Power Metal)

Pathless Land – Lightyears Collide (Progressive Power Metal)

11 April:

Scarlet Valse – Metamorphosis (Symphonic Power Metal)

12 April:

Solarus – Darkest Days (Power Metal)

Valence – Cognitive Dissidents (Progressive Metal/Rock)

13 April:

Northwind Saga – Mythological World (Melodic Power Metal) EP

19 April:

Atlas Pain – Tales of a Pathfinder (Epic Folk Metal)

Black Sites – Exile (Progressive Heavy Metal)

Dayslived – Flectar (Progressive Metal)

True Strength – Sanguinary Vivication (Heavy/Power Metal)

20 April:

Tillian – Lotus Graveyard (Progressive Rock/Metal)

22 April:

Sunroad – Heatstroke (Progressive Metal)

23 April:

Divine Ascension – Evermore (Progressive Power Metal)

24 April:

Papilio Effectus – Trickster (Progressive Metal ) EP

26 April:

Månegarm – Fornaldarsagor (Black/Viking/Folk Metal)

Astral Doors – Worship or Die (Heavy/Power Metal)

Steel Prophet – The God Machine (Heavy/Power Metal)

Asylum Pyre – N°4 (Progressive Power Metal)

Avandra – Descender (Progressive Metal)

Axenstar – End of All Hope (Power Metal)

Qantice – The Anastoria (Symphonic Power Metal)

Tanagra – Meridiem (Progressive Power Metal)

Ravenous – Eat The Fallen (Progresive Power Metal)

Blazon Stone – Hymns of Triumph and Death (Power Metal)

Taken – Unchained (Power Metal)

29 April:

Deep Sun – Das Erbe der Welt (Symphonic Metal)

30 April:

Lord – Fallen Idols (Heavy/Power Metal)

3 May:

Myrath – Shehili (Prog/Folk Metal [Middle Eastern])

Ruthless – Evil Within (Power Metal)

At the Dawn – The Battle to come (Power Metal)

4 May:

Jager – Four Symbols of the Lust (Power Metal)

5 May:

UNLUCKY MORPHEUS – 並行時空の音楽会 (Power Metal)

6 May:

Celestivl – TenTimesTwo (Symphonic Metal)

8 May:

Silver Lake – The Master of Lightning (Progressive Metal)

9 May:

Сварун – Divide ut Regnes (Symphonic Metal)

10 May:

TIR – Metal Shock (Heavy Metal)

Septris – Legacy (Power Metal)

Pulver – Kings Under the Sand (Heavy Metal)

Vultures Vengeance – The Knightlore (Heavy Metal)

Arch / Matheos – Winter Ethereal (Progressive Metal)

Aeon Zen – Inveritas (Progressive Metal)

Legacy of Silence – Our Forests Sing (Folk Metal)

Magnesium – Forging the Armory (Power Metal)

14 May:

Essence of Datum – Spellcrying Machine (Progressive Metal)

17 May:

Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly (Heavy Metal)

Grimgotts – Dragons of the Ages (Symphonic Power Metal)

Floating Worlds – Battleship Oceania (Progressive Metal/Rock Opera)

Amulet – The Inevitable War (Heavy Metal)

Emerald – Restless Souls (Heavy Metal)

Olathia – Snakecharmer (Metalcore)

Pythia – The Solace of Ancient Earth (Symphonic Power Metal)

Riot City – Burn the Night (Heavy Metal)

David T. Chastain – Alternate View (Heavy Metal Shred/Fusion)

Step in Fluid – Back in Business (Progressive Metal/Fusion)

18 May:

Mustakettu – Reformed Honest Men (Folk Metal)

Storm Seeker – Beneath in the Cold (Folk Metal)

20 May:

Power Tale -Огненный бог Марранов (Power Metal)

21 May:

Divisiv – Adharma (Gothic Heavy Metal)

22 May:

Knights of Round – In the Light of Hope (Power Metal)

Concerto Moon – Ouroboros (Neoclassical Power Metal)

Mesmerizer in Flames – Legend of Victory (Progressive Power Metal)

24 May:

Visigoth – Bells of Awakening (Heavy Metal)

Stormhammer – Seven Seals (Power Metal)

Enchantya – On Light and Wrath (Gothic Heavy Metal)

Rendezvous Point – Universal Chaos (Progressive Metal)

Odyssey – The Swarm (Progressive Metal)

Tanith – In Another Time (Hard Rock/Heavy Metal)

Answer With Metal – Centralia (Heavy Metal)

25 May:

Silent Winter – The Circles of Hell (Progressive Power Metal)

31 May:

Gloryhammer – Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terror Vortex (Power Metal)

Hidden Lapse – Butterflies (Progressive Power Metal)

Constantine – Aftermath (Various/Shred)

Energema – Magical Force (Power Metal)

Ruler – Descent into Hades (Heavy Metal)

Until Rain – Season V (Progressive Metal)

6 June:

Degrees of Truth – Time Travel Artifact (Symphonic Progressive Metal)

Стожар – Холодом битв в объятья зимы (Folk Metal)

7 June:

Diviner – Realms of Time (Heavy/Power Metal)

Majestica – Above the Sky (Power Metal)

Embrace of Disharmony – De Rervm Natvra (Progressive Metal)

11 June:

Barad Guldur – Frammenti di Oscurita (Folk Metal)

Farcaster – Farcaster (Progressive Metal)

Æternal Requiem – Rise (Power Metal)

12 June:

Mary’s Blood – Confessions (Power Metal)

14 June:

Sweet Oblivion – Sweet Oblivion (Progressive Metal)

Ravensire – A Stone Engraved in Red (Heavy Metal)

Chaos Magic – Furyborn (Symphonic Metal)

Beyond Infinity – Welcome to Infinity (Metalcore/ Melodic Power Metal)

Freternia – The Gathering (Power Metal)

Cremisi – Dawn of a New Era (Symphonic Folk Metal)

Mayfair – Frevel (Progressive Metal)

Nightqueen – Seduction (Symphonic Power Metal)

Merging Flare – Revolt Regime (Heavy Power Metal)

Steignyr – Myths Through the Shadows of Freedom (Celtic Folk Metal)

Starbynary – Divina Commedia – Purgatorio (Progressive Power Metal)

Timo Tolkki’s Avalon – Return to Eden (Symphonic Power Metal)

15 June:

Boudika – Chaos Theory (Symphonic Power Metal)

Darksider – Darksider (Heavy Metal)

Dunedain – Memento Mori (Power Metal)

17 June:

Mighty Thor – Ragnarok (Epic Power Metal)

21 June:

Moonlight Haze – De Rerum Natura (Symphonic Power Metal)

Dreamslave – Rest in Phantasy (Symphonic Metal)

28 June:

Majesty – Legends (Heavy/Power Metal [Pop Metal])

Battle Tales – Lè lèjande dè vêr no (Folk Metal)

Centrilia – In the Name of Nothing (Metalcore)

Harpyie – Aurora (Heavy Folk Metal)

Eternal Breath – World of Chaos (Power Metal)

Stille Volk – Milharis (Celtic Folk Metal)

Dreams in Fragments – Reflections of a Nightmare (Symphonic Metal)

Havamal – Tales from Yggdrasil (Viking Metal)

5 July:

TraumeR – History (Power Metal)

Turilli / Lione Rhapsody – Zero Gravity (Rebirth and Evolution) (Symphonic Power Metal)

By Fire & Sword – Freedom Will Flood All Things with Light (Heavy/Power Metal)

6 July:

Velesar – Dziwadla (Folk Metal)

Infinity Factor – Praise the Juggernaut (Heavy/Power Metal)

7 July:

Last Drakma – Here I Am [EP] (Power Metal)

9 July:

Banshee – The Madness (Power Metal)

10 July:

Gradior – Gradior (Heavy Metal)

12 July:

Mind Key – Mk. III – Aliens in Wonderland (Progressive Power Metal)

Visionatica – Enigma Fire (Symphonic Metal)

Intrinsic Souls – Voices of Mind (Symphonic Metal)

Glasya – Heaven’s Demise (Symphonic Metal)

Hollow Haze – Between Wild Landscapes and Deep Blue Seas (Progressive Metal)

Dream Troll – Second to None (Heavy/Power Metal)

Freighter – The Den (Progressive Metal)

ShadowStrike – Legends of Human Spirit (Power Metal)

16 July:

Empyria – Divided [EP] (Progressive Metal)

Elfheim – Hugin’s Drink [EP] (Folk Metal)

19 July:

Sabaton – The Great War (Heavy/Power Metal)

Hellish War – Wine of the Gods (Heavy/Power Metal)

Ривия – Дань героям (Power Metal)

Moonlight Prophecy – Heat Lightning [EP] (Progressive Power Metal)

Nightrider – Rock Machine (Heavy Metal)

Mind of Fury – The Fire (Heavy Metal)

Brocelian – Guardians of Broceliande (Symphonic Metal)

Gates to the Morning – Return to Earth (Progressive Metal)

Valis Ablaze – Render (Progressive Metal)

20 July:

Chaos over Cosmos – Chaos over Cosmos [EP] (Progressive Power Metal)

21 July:

Finis – Finis [EP] (Power/Folk Metal)

25 July:

Morke – Melancholia (Symphonic Gothic Metal)

Control the Storm – Forevermore (Power Metal)

26 July:

The Trigger – The Time of Miracles (Melodic Heavy Metal)

Forlorn Hope – Over the Hills (Heavy/Power Metal)

Arcane Tyrant – War at the Edge of Time (Heavy/Power Metal)

Hellscream – Hate Machine (Heavy/Power Metal)

27 July:

Stormrider – What Lies Within [EP] (Heavy Metal)

Cantus Levitas – Auf Grund (Folk Metal)

30 July:

Desert – Fortune Favors the Brave (Heavy Power Metal)

1 August:

Lord – Fallen Idols (Heavy/Power Metal)

2 August:

Narnia – From Darkness to Light (Power Metal)

NorthTale – Welcome to Paradise (Power Metal)

Crystal Ball – 2020 (Hard Rock/Heavy Metal)

Finsterforst – Zerfal (Post-Black/Folk Metal)

Egor Lappo – Azimuth (Progressive Metal)

Levania – Episode 0 [EP] (Gothic Metal)

3 August:

Sellsword – …Unto the Breach (Power Metal)

8 August:

Retournelle – Эхо времени (Gothic Metal)

9 August:

Unprocessed – Artificial Void (Jam/Progressive Metal)

Hemina – Night Echoes (Progressive Metal)

14 August:

Ark Royal – Arise [EP] (Power Metal)

16 August:

Hammerfall – Dominion (Heavy/Power Metal)

Dialith – Extinction Six (Symphonic Power Metal)

Tarchon Fist – Apocalypse (Heavy Metal)

Twilight Force – Dawn of the Dragonstar (Power Metal)

Parallel Dimension – Angular Perceptions (Progressive Metal)

23 August:

Equilibrium – Renegades (Epic Folk Metal)

Freedom Call – M.E.T.A.L. (Power Metal)

Scimitar – Shades of Man (Pagan Metal)

Cemican – In Ohtli Teoyohtica In Miquiztli (Progressive Power/Folk Metal)

Shiver of Frontier – Can You See the World? (Power Metal)

Ivory Tower – Stronger (Progressive Power Metal)

Astralium – Land of Eternal Dreams (Symphonic Power Metal)

Helvetets Port – From Life to Death (Heavy Metal)

30 August:

Tarja – In the Raw (Symphonic Metal/Rock)

Visions of Atlantis – Wanderers (Symphonic Power Metal)

Elvenking – Reader of the Runes: Divination (Power/Folk Metal)

1 September:

Ancient Empire – Wings of the Fallen (Heavy Metal)

Khepri – Bellymetal Vol. 2 (Progressive Metal {Middle Eastern})

2 September:

Unbound – Prophecy (Power Metal)

3 September:

DEgITx – Digital Hell (Electronic Power Metal)

Metatron – Romelin (Symphonic Power Metal)

Shades of Sorrow – Paradox (Melodic Heavy Metal)

5 September:

Beyond the Labrynth – Brand New Start (Heavy Metal) [EP]

6 September:

Stevie D feat Corey Glover – Torn From the Pages (Hard Rock/Funk Metal)

Sonata Arctica – Talviyo (Power Metal)

Divided Multitude – Faceless Aggressor (Progressive Metal)

Everfrost – Winterider (Power Metal)

Liv Sin – Burning Sermons (Heavy Metal)

Transylvania – II (Heavy Metal) [EP]

13 September:

The Hu – The Gereg (Mongolian Folk Metal)

Centurion – Centurion (Progressive Heavy Metal)

Saint Deamon – Ghost (Power Metal)

Wasted – Electrified (Heavy Metal)

14 September:

Heaven Denies – The Essence of Power Pt. 1 (Power Metal)

20 September:

Gus G – Live in Budapest – Part 1 (Heavy Metal/Shred) [EP]

Ereb Altor – Jartecken (Viking/Black Metal)

Holy Dragons – Unholy and Saints (Heavy Power Metal)

Kobra and the Lotus – Evolution (Heavy Metal)

Michael Schenker Fest – Revelation (Heavy Metal/Hard Rock)

Soul of Steel – Rebirth (Power Metal)

Waterland – Darklight in Riverwood (Power Metal)

Crow’s Flight – Storm (Melodic Heavy Metal)

Dead Kosmonaut – Recviem (Heavy Metal) [EP]

Mystery Blue – 8RED (Heavy Metal)

23 September:

Beyond Forgiveness – Live to Tell the Story (Symphonic Metal)

25 September:

Cerebellar Rondo – The Realizing (Power Metal)

27 September:

DragonForce – Extreme Power Metal (Power Metal)

Wind Rose – Wintersaga (Power/Folk Metal)

Excalion – Emotions (Power Metal)

Borknagar – True North (Viking Metal)

Prime Creation – Tears of Rage (Heavy Metal)

Starborn – Savage Peace (Power Metal)

Vorna – Sateet Palata Saavat (Pagan Metal)

Sarpedon – Before the Nightingale Sings (Progressive Metal)

Sleeping in Traffic – That Which [Saves]/[Destroys] Us (Progressive Metal [Dual EP]

Vortex – Them Witches (Heavy Metal)

1 October:

High Moonlight – Arcturians (Heavy Metal) [EP]

2 October:

Sereptah – Acoustic (Progressive Power Metal)

4 October:

Iron Kingdom – On the Hunt (Heavy Metal)

Chur – Four-Faced (Folk Metal)

Yurei – Saudade (Progressive Metal)

Dawn of Destiny – The Beast Inside (Power Metal)

Fought Upon Earth – Grave Miscalculation (Progressive Metal)

Knightmare – Space Knights (Heavy Power Metal)

The Fall of Eve – Nevermore (Symphonic Metal) [EP]

6 October:

Midnight Force – Gododdin (Heavy Metal)

Iron Attack! – Japonism (Progressive Power Metal)

9 October:

MistFolk – Королева воронья (Folk Metal)

Orthanc – Carnival (Heavy Metal)

Vinnie Moore – Soul Shifter (Shred)

11 October:

The Ferrymen – A New Evil (Power Metal)

Eclipse – Paradigm (Hard Rock/Heavy Metal)

Ethereal Kingdoms – Hollow Mirror (Symphonic Metal)

Screamer – Highway of Heroes (Heavy Metal)

Silent Call – Windows (Progressive Metal)

Stargate – The Dream (Heavy Power Metal)

Unleash the Archers – Explorers (Power Metal) [EP]

FireForce – The Iron Brigade (Power Metal) [EP]

Vanden Plas – The Ghost Xperiment: Awakening (Progressive Metal)

15 October:

Arcane Tales – Power of the Sky (Symphonic Power Metal)

16 October:

Magistina Saga -Invite in the Story (Symphonic Gothic Metal) [EP]

18 October:

Nifrost – Blykrone (Viking Metal)

Danger Zone – Dont Count on Heroes (Heavy Power Metal)

Induction – Induction (Power Metal)

Aerodyne – Damnation (Heavy Metal)

Rexoria – Ice Breaker (Heavy Metal)

23 October:

Galneryus – Into the Purgatory (Power Metal)

25 October:

Edenbridge – Dynamind (Symphonic Metal)

Metalite – Biomechanicals (Melodic Metal)

Moon Chamber – Lore of the Land (Heavy Metal)

Noveria – Aequilibrium (Progressive Power Metal)

Savage Master – Myth, Magic, and Steel (Heavy Metal)

Millennium – A New World (Heavy Metal)

Steve Blower – Back in Hell (Heavy Metal)

Turbokill – Vice World (Heavy Metal)

Hevisaurus – Bändikouluun! (Heavy Power Metal)

Dragonfly – Zeitgeist (Heavy Power Metal)

Cathubodua – Continuum (Symphonic Metal)

Vision Divine – When All the Heroes Are Dead (Progressive Power Metal)

Velvet Viper – The Pale Man is Holding a Boken Heart (Heavy Power Metal)

28 October:

Ironsword – In the Coils of Set (Heavy Metal) [EP]

31 October:

Apotheus – The Far Star (Progressive Metal)

Horizon’s End – Skeleton Keys (Progressive Metal)

1 November:

Angel Witch – Angel of Light (Heavy Metal)

Legendry – The Wizard and the Tower Keep (Heavy Power Metal)

Wilderun – Veil of Imagination (Symphonic Folk Metal)

Voyager – Colours in the Sun (Progressive Metal)

Wotan – The Song of the Nibelungs (Heavy Metal)

8 November:

Blind Guardian Twilight Orchestra – Legacy of the Dark Lands (Orchestral Metal)

The Dark Element – Songs the Night Sings (Melodic Metal)

Pretty Maids – Undress Your Madness (Heavy Metal)

Terminus – A Single Point of Light (Heavy Metal)

14 November:

Great Master – Skull and Bones – Tales from Over the Seas (Power Metal)

15 November:

Conjuring Fate – Curse of the Fallen (Heavy Power Metal)

CyHra – No Halos in Hell (Melodic Metal)

Scarleth – Vortex (Symphonic Metal)

Subterfuge – Prometheus (Progressive Metal)

22 November:

Crystal Viper – Tales of Fire and ice (Heavy Metal)

Eleine – All Shall Burn (Symphonic Metal) [EP]

Magic Kingdom – MetAlmighty (Power Metal)

Redline – Gods and Monsters (Heavy Metal)

Signum Regis – The Seal of a New World (Progressive Power Metal)

Thunder and Lightning – Demonicorn (Power Metal)

29 November:

Coronatus – The Eminence of Nature (Symphonic Folk Metal)

6 December:

Brothers of Metal – Emblas Saga (Heavy Power Metal)

Crystal Eyes – Starbourne Traveler (Power Metal)

Power Theory – Force of Will (Heavy Power Metal)

Running Wild – Crossing the Blades (Heavy Power Metal) [EP]

Syth – Road To Infinity Review

Score8/10
GenreClassic
CountryScotland
Runtime57:11
Release Date21 Dec 2018
Record LabelNone

In the wake of numerous hiatuses and pain-in-the-ass lineup changes, the independent traditional metal outfit Syth has released another album of considerable quality. Their third full-length release, Road to Infinity, is a well-rounded and fun tribute to classic metal, with especially clear influences from Iron Maiden and Dio.

Guitarists Niall Russell and Baz Fitzsimmons produce many chugging riffs and clean solos and the soaring vocals of Dave Bisset pack a serious punch. Mark Connelly’s skillful drum fills and grooves add a certain sophistication to the music, which seems to be lacking in many classic metal bands. While the best songs are tucked into the tail end of the record, there is no lack of power from the first half.

The album kicks off with the title track, Road to Infinity: a straightforward and steady banger. It builds a solid foundation for the rest of the album, with a catchy chorus and a victorious guitar solo, and concludes with an impressive 25-second-long balls-out scream by Bisset.

The album takes its first turn at Where Valkyries Cry: a fairly monotonous nine-minute power ballad which leaves much to be desired until its final minutes. The next track, All is not Lost, however, more than makes up for the previous song with what is easily the most tasteful solo on the album.

There are two songs that deserve special mention on the album. The Liar’s Eyes will instantly get your blood flowing as it drives energetically until the end. The vigourous Seas of Madness carries on the momentum with a mighty, chopping intro and thrashing riffs. The pulled-back section is a nice layer to build upon intensely into the final breakdown and chorus.

Considerably more tense than the rest, the twelve-minute Demons of the Kirk marks the end of the album. While definitely not the peak of the album, the numerous tempo changes and variety of tone it contains make it an enjoyable ride. This track balances the highs and lows quite well and no one part seems to overshadow the rest. Less importantly, however, the demonic voice effect in the latter half had me cringing a bit. It fails to deliver the impact it intends.

Road to Infinity is definitely an album that every classic metal buff should add to their collection. Furthermore, Syth is one of the best classic metal bands I’ve encountered in a while. They break free of the shortcomings common in the genre; their melodies are relatively creative and there is great diversity among the tracks. The rhythm instruments manage to fill in the blanks with many well-timed fills without upsetting the balance of the band.

Despite the couple misses, Road to Infinity is a hit and exceeded my expectations.

Syth – The Liar’s Eyes

Stay Tuned for More Reviews!

Stay Metal \m/

Torben Enevoldsen – 5.1 Review

Score8/10
GenreShred/Fusion
CountryDenmark
Runtime51:50
Release Date11 Jan 2019
Record LabelPerris

Having had a fairly successful solo career and a handful of side projects, Danish guitarist Torben Enevoldsen has released a fifth addition to his solo project: 5.1. 5.1 is all instrumental, like the rest of Enevoldsen’s solo releases, and often sounds like he just ripped off Jeff Beck’s arms and used those (which is especially apparent in the funky ‘Say What’).

Guitar feature albums are always a difficult endeavour. Oftentimes the record ends up being nothing but a big guitar solo, with endless shredding and a lack of melody or tasteful phrasing. It’s also tough to strike a balance between the lead guitar and rhythm section; the guitarist could be the most talented musician on the planet, but, if the rhythm section is weak, it could kill the entire setup.

Enevoldsen’s playing is exquisite. His melodies are smooth and lively and his phrases flow like water. His playing style is far closer to jazz fusion than metal. On the flip-side, his fast, chugging solos would give many metal guitarists a run for their money. The balance of the guitar playing couldn’t be better.

One issue I have with the album, however, is the rhythm section in the first and last thirds of the album. In the first four tracks, there isn’t much going on besides the straight beat. There is a clear pickup in ‘Inside Out’ (which is also the most metal-sounding track on the album) that carries on through the next four songs and into ‘Hangar 84’. ‘Hangar 84’ is undoubtedly the best song on the album. The proggy staccato intro is remarkable and the rest of the song is full of energy from the entire band. The rhythm section then simmers back down in the final four tracks.

That may seem like a nitpicky complaint for a feature album, but for a release from an artist of such caliber as Torben Enevoldsen, I don’t think it’s too much to expect a bit more colour in the background.

The only other aspect I don’t like about 5.1 is that half the songs conclude by fading out. That drives me insane. I think it’s just lazy songwriting, but maybe I’m missing something. Write a damn ending; it won’t kill you.

It’s safe to say that Torben Enevoldsen’s 5.1 is a phenomenal display of guitar shredding. Despite it’s flaws, the album is quite enjoyable and will likely have you coming back for another taste.

Torben Enevoldsen – Hangar 84 (Perris Records)

Stay Tuned For More Reviews!

Stay Metal \m/

Eight Ridiculous Power Metal Music Videos

Music videos are ridiculous on the best of days. On top of that, power metal has bastardized an already-questionable practice and transformed it into an intentional joke that not everybody seems to be in on.

The following is a treasure-trove of special videos that’ll have you cringing like you’ve just been stricken by an energy beam.

Gloryhammer – Rise of the Chaos Wizards

Even the (arguably) most tame on this list is bat-shit crazy. I mean, look at this. Is the meteor alive? Why did Angus McFife stop using the green super blaster in exchange for a hammer? Where are they headed? Then we have hype-man Chaos Wizard unfreeze from the bowels of the meteor to initiate a badass solo.

Nothing is clear, but in the end, I’ve still watched it more than five times.

Gloryhammer – Rise Of The Chaos Wizards (Napalm Records)

Rhapsody of Fire – Rain of a Thousand Flames

Genius move showing us boobs in the first five seconds, Rhapsody, because the rest of this video gave me an ulcer.

I don’t get it; are you in a field? The forest? The Cosmic Plane of Flames and Lightning, perhaps? You can’t throw me off with random excerpts of a mostly-naked woman forever, you tricksters.

Rhapsody of Fire – Rain of a Thousand Flames (Limb Music)

Brothers of Metal – Prophecy of Ragnarök

While this one might seem too normal, I find it absurd mostly because there is virtually no battling (with the exception of some one-on-one skirmishing) in such an epic-sounding song that sings of Ragnarok. They’re just hanging out and waving their hands around.

And what even is that jump in the middle? At least the mead spilled on his face and not the ground, otherwise that’d be a waste.

Brothers Of Metal – Prophecy Of Ragnarök (AFM Records)

DragonForce – Operation Ground and Pound

This one is by far my favourite and it holds a very dear place in my heart. This was the first power metal video I had ever seen. Even though I watched it in seven parts on the most laggy computer known to mankind, eleven-year-old me thought this was the hypest shit of all time.

As most of the rest of this nonsense is, DragonForce is painfully self-aware. But that doesn’t matter, because the guitar hero joke is hilarious and the devastating wind storm is absolutely necessary.

Because of this video and so much more, we will always love you, ZP.

DragonForce – Operation Ground And Pound (Roadrunner Records)

Twilight Force – Flight of the Sapphire Dragon

Twilight Force is undoubtably a Lord of Cheese.

I think that, more than even the energy beams shooting out of the instruments, frontman Chrileon’s actions are the funniest things in the video. He’s basically going nuts over this story he’s telling his friends and nobody else even comes close to matching his level of excitement.

Trilight Force – Flight Of The Sapphire Dragon (Nuclear Blast)

Nanowar Of Steel – The Call of Cthulhu

I deliberated including Nanowar Of Steel but I decided that they had to be on this list. The fish bit at the end was enough to make me choose this one over the rest of their videos.

Also, the dance is catchy.

Nanowar Of Steel – Call of Cthulhu

Stratovarius – Eagleheart

This one is just weird. The sped-up-but-actual-speed effect makes every single movement immensely disturbing. And, the fact that the entire band seems so bored and dull makes me feel like I’m having a fever dream.

Overall, this one’s pretty minimalist, but still manages to bother me to my core.

Stratovarius – Eagleheart (Nuclear Blast)

Nocturnal rites – Avalon

Let me first say: those cinematics. Wow. The rapid flash-cuts make it so choppy that it gives the song the illusion of being 300bpm. And the little girl with the strange, soaring vocals is something else.

One question comes to the forefront of my mind. What in unholy Hell is even happening? I can’t watch this asinine running (which looks like something that weird schoolkids do when pretending to be anime characters, by the way) without bursting into laughter, so I guess I’ll never know the truth.

Also, why is the band safe and sound upon Nocturnal Rites Mountain while the rest of humanity is forced to Forrest Gump its way away from the antichrist?

Nocturnal Rites – Avalon (Century Media Records)

Well, that’s it for this list. I hope you enjoyed this even half as much as I did.

Stay Metal \m/

January 2019: Highlights Of The Month

With the month almost over, there’s no time like the present to recap the highlights. As bands get ready for the tours, albums, and festivals for the coming year, January tends to be a time that’s more about preparation and less about releases (which isn’t to say there were none).

There were plenty of singles released this month (as well as albums, which you can check out here). Come check out some of the best power metal news of the month!

New Singles

Iron Savior – ‘Eternal Quest’

Probably the biggest announcement this month was that of German power metallers Iron Savior. Their twelfth album, entitled Kill Or Get Killed, is slated to be released 8 March. After a steady level of quality despite frequent releases, their first single ‘Eternal Quest’ sounds incredibly promising.

Iron Savior – Eternal Quest (AFM Records)

Battle Beast – ‘No More Hollywood Endings’

Battle Beast has released the titular single for their album No More Hollywood Endings, coming out 22 March. They made clear through interviews and social media posts last year that this album would feature more pop-influenced content, and, while definitely still a solid track, ‘No More Hollywood Endings’ reflects that clearly.

Battle Beast – No More Hollywood Endings (Nuclear Blast)

Rhapsody of Fire – ‘Rain Of Fury’

This is turning out to be quite the year in power metal; it seems like every heavyweight will be putting out new material. Rhapsody of Fire released their second single of the upcoming The Eighth Mountain, which erupts 22 February. The track, ‘Rain Of Fury’, delivers the fast-paced power we’ve grown to love since the bands fruition.

Rhapsody of Fire – Rain Of Fury (AFM Records)

Hate World Hero – ‘Time’

Finnish Metalcore band Hate World Hero came out with a new single, called ‘Time’. The structure is poppy but the guitar riffs are heavy and the electronic components support the rhythm instruments well.

No album has been confirmed yet, but their released material is well worth listening to.

Hate World Hero – Time

Dream Theater – ‘Fall Into The Light’

Making up for the cosmically underwhelming record that was The Astonishing, Dream Theater’s new single ‘Fall Into The Light’ reminds us why we love them. The time changes aren’t overdone, the track is very dynamic, and it sounds like something new.

The upcoming Distance Over Time is set to release on 22 February, and, if the singles are anything to judge off of, it’ll be another phenomenal Dream Theater release.

Арктида – ‘Во все тяжкие’

Арктида has released nine singles and an EP since their last album back in 2015. This month saw two fast-paced power metal singles: ‘Во все тяжкие'(‘Breaking Bad’) and ‘Первый удар'(‘First Strike’). Both of them are absolutely fantastic, but the raw speed and power in ‘Первый удар’ puts it as my favourite of the two.


Арктида – Во все тяжкие

Beast in Black – ‘Die By The Blade’

Now comes my favourite piece of metal news of the month: Beast in Black’s new single. Upon their announcement of their sophomore album late last year, I’ve been dying to here more 80s cheese from Anton Kabanen, and, man, does ‘Die By The Blade’ deliver.

I could praise the shit out of this track here, but I’ll just let you listen for yourself.

Beast in Black – Die By The Blade (Nuclear Blast)

Other News

Swedish heavy/pirate metal band Blazon Stone announced that their fifth album is in production, but a release date has not been confirmed. If you haven’t heard them yet, go give them a listen.

Blazon Stone – Down in the Dark

Solarus, a new power metal band from Canada, announced a second album. With no date yet set, their Facebook page has teased that it will be coming soon, also posting a music video for a new single. (Sorry for the lack of video; it wouldn’t convert from YouTube properly.)

Elvenking and DragonForce have been posting recording updates on their social media pages, but have yet to announce release dates for their upcoming albums. Equilibrium also disclosed that a new album is on the way, but not much info has been released as of yet.

Brand new international power metal outfit Warkings begins touring with Amaranthe on the Western European leg of the Helix World Tour on 31 January.

Stay tuned for more news and articles, coming soon!

Stay Metal \m/

Welcome to PowerThorn!

PowerThorn is your source for news, reviews, and recommendations for the power metal, heavy metal, and folk metal of the twenty-first century.

Contrary to popular belief, new metal bands pop up every month. Additionally, some of these bands are actually really good (as if)!

Unfortunately, it seems like too many metal sites get stuck either posting about the same thrash and death metal bands or talking about nothing but the classics. Don’t get me wrong; the classics, especially Iron Maiden and Ozzy, are what got me into metal in the first place. Yes, we all know they paved the way for metal today. Yes, we all know they’re great. Yes, we all know that they actually aren’t great, but legendary.

However, I will very rarely post about them, because that’s been done for the past fifty years. I’ll also leave the extreme metal to the other guys, because that’s just not what I’m into.

Most everything posted on PowerThorn will be about power metal, folk metal, or heavy metal. Foremost, I’ll keep the content current. I’ll try my best to include content from newer, lesser-known bands. I’ll also do a fair bit of posting about the popular ones.

So, come check out the site. Don’t forget to come back for frequent posts. Also, go like the Facebook page!

Stay Metal \m/

Want to request a review or recommend some new material? Leave a comment or contact the Facebook page!

Seven Great New Folk Metal Bands

With long-standing bands like Elvenking and Equilibrium still putting out quality albums, it’s evident that folk metal is alive and well. The following is a diverse list of folk metal bands formed in the past five years that prove that the legacy of the genre is in good hands.

KormaK – Italy, 2014

The metal put forth by KormaK is some truly heavy stuff. Their first album, Faerenus, was released in June 2018. Beyond the deep content and melodic death metal sound, leading lady Zaira de Candia’s harsh vocals take KormaK to another level; her sheer versatility is already enough to impress, but, man, can this woman growl. The acoustic parts are tasteful and the songwriting is anything but one-dimensional.

Despite having since released one new single, entitled ‘Brigante se More’, KormaK will surely leave you impatiently waiting for their next record.

KormaK – Faerenus (Rockshots Records)

Blodiga Skald – Italy, 2014

I love these guys; their act, complete with tacky Norseman garb, super-corny nicknames (such as “The Glorious One” and “Shepherd Tamburine”), and even painted on abs, is exceedingly befitting of a folk band. While the entire band displays impressive technical ability, vocalist Anton Caleniuc (stage name ‘Axuruk “Jejune”‘) deserves some special recognition. Between his hilarious stage presence, throaty growls, and bouncy personality, he adds a special flavour to an already splendid band.

In the wake of so many bands with heavily emotional content, many people seem to forget that one of folk music’s primary purposes is to be fun. Not to worry, however, because Blodiga Skald will do a fantastic job at reminding you to loosen up.

Blodiga Skald – Panapiir (Soundage Productions)

Cronica – Poland, 2014

With three vocalists, a violin, keyboards, and flute parts, Cronica’s Na Tej Ziemi (October 2016) delivers a beautiful, full-sounding folk tribute with plenty of variety. The feel is light and the electric guitar mixing is toned down, allowing for greater ease in hearing each individual part.

No one musician sticks out, but that only enhances the cohesion of the group as a whole. While not my favourite band on this list, they lack no talent and are surely worth checking out.

Cronica – Śpiący Rycerze

FoxTale – Russia, 2015

Foxtale’s first release, Сказания севера, was put out December 2017. The sound is of the epic, power-metally variety, and, while no one song is exceptional, the album is pleasant to listen to.

FoxTale’s style isn’t anything new, but I can’t share a folk list without a band that sings of the glory and might of the gods (and trolls). The songs are entertaining and structured well enough to keep from being banal.


FoxTale – “Ярость Тора” (В Светлый край EP Version)

Rumproof – Hungary, 2014

No folk metal list could be complete without a healthy dose of pirate metal. Featuring the typical ale-driven shanties and lively instrumentation, Rumproof’s music makes for a much more light-hearted listen than most of the other bands on this list.

Rogues of the Seven Seas was put out in April 2018, delivering all the familiar high-seas antics without boring you into walking the plank. Despite the silly tropes that may seem overdone, Rumproof still does a good job at remaining likable and stays afloat. The band is surprisingly tight, Péter Szűcs’ guitar solos are killer, and the instrumentals are dynamic.

Rumproof – Rogues of the Seven Seas

Chrysilia – Greece, 2015

Chrysilia is the brainchild of lead vocalist Chryso Stamatopoulou and keyboardist/composer Elias Pero. Their first and only full-length album release to date, Et in Arcadia Ego, blends elements of symphonic metal into their own flavour of folk metal, which, combined with the crisp production quality and Stamatopoulou’s soft vocals, creates an more relaxed, immersive experience.

Chrysilia – The Menalon Trail (Feat. Margarita Papadimitriou)

Iomair – Canada, 2017

Canadian prog-folk metallers Iomair came together in late 2017 under the design of multi-talented songwriter, drummer, and clean vocalist Dylan Gowan. The band’s influences range from latin music, to funk, and, in case you haven’t figured out yet, folk and metal.

Iomair’s self-titled album came out in September 2018, with recurring themes of internal reflection and struggle. The violin, played by Laura C. Bates, is prominent throughout, and there are plenty of short, jazzy breaks that set Iomair aside as something new and unique. Despite the sorrowful content, the music seldom conveys too much doom-and-gloom.

Iomair – “Cast Away” (Infamous Butcher Records)

Bonus!

Remember when I said folk metal is meant to be fun? Well, have fun!

Blodiga Skald – Isla Bonita (Madonna Cover) / Colegiala (Tefaccioseccomerda EP)

Stay Metal \m/