Top 25 Metal Albums Of 2019

Future generations will look back on 2019 as the Year of Power Metal. With very few exceptions, every major power metal band released new material this year, most of which was nothing short of excellent.

However, power metal wasn’t the only dominating force this year. Most of the big prog, heavy, and folk players also released albums, as well as bands that I don’t give a shit about like Slipknot, TOOL, and pretty well everything on the extreme metal side of things.

Anyway, the following features twenty five of the best “melodic” metal albums of the year! The competition was steep; of the 380+ albums I listened to this year, almost seventy of them were serious contenders for this list.

Also, you might notice that, despite a few placements in my monthly Top Tens and my scoring in general, some albums listed here are higher or lower than they “should” be. The main reason here is that, surprise surprise, opinions can change with time, and so can music.

Regardless, you can be damn certain that the following 25 metal albums are the best to come out of the monster than was 2019!

25. Elvenking – Reader of the Runes – Divination

Elvenking’s tenth album, Reader of the Runes – Divination, kicks all sort of ass, pagan-style. Fans will be pleased that Divination still retains the core Elvenking sound: a primarily-pop/punk vocal style, folk melodies, proggy song structure, and a power metal energy. Conversely, though, the album is as much a breath of fresh air as it is an Elvenking album, as it takes the band in two directions that they haven’t really explored in depth before; the road of Divination is generally darker and heavier than their previous material, and it also brings a whole concept that tells of a journey into a mystical world of runes and magic. It’s not the band’s best, but it’s really fucking good.

Full Review

24. HammerFall – Dominion

Since their founding in 1993, heavy metal templars HammerFall have fought to continue the legacy of 80s heavy metal, smithing more than ten full-length records and establishing themselves as Sweden’s and Europe’s premier heavy metal masters. Their latest album, Dominion, is an epic powerhouse that easily contends with their early material in terms of quality and heart.

Full Review

23. Rhodium – Sea of the Dead

Sea of the Dead is the latest offering of Greek power metal (think Firewind, Diviner, stuff like that). Featuring an almost all-new lineup, the album drives forth with exceptional guitarwork and even more impressive vocals, which sit somewhere between the usual, coarse Greek power vocals and higher Euro power norm. This is one hell of a sophomore album and is more than strong enough to earn spot on this list.

Full Review

22. Chaos Magic – Furyborn

Caterina Nix’s second installment of Chaos Magic is, quite simply, amazing. Written alongside Chilean musician Nasson, Furyborn is a far cry from its predecessor and exchanges its typical symphonic metal sound for a more original, albeit poppy, take on melodic metal. It’s full of sick guitars, killer melodies, and boundless attitude. This “pop” metal album blows all other pop metal albums out of the water.

Full Review

21. Frozen Crown – Crowned in Frost

Frozen Crown have solidified their sound in a heavier, grittier, more diverse power metal offering than their debut. This female fronted (or should I say, “female fueled,” due to vocalist Jade Etro as well as eighteen-year-old southpaw shredder Talia Bellazecca) powerhouse has created an exceptionally refined record that blasts forth with elements from harsh death metal, traditional heavy metal, and everything in between. Pair that with elaborate guitarwork and numerous vocal styles and you have yourself one ferocious album!

Full Review

20. Finsterforst – Zerfall

Furious German folkers Finsterforst are back with a fifth backbreaking album, complete with lengthy arrangements, chanted melodies, and intense orchestrations. Zerfall is a very unique take on folk metal, combining keyboards, orchestras, and heavy guitars with elements of death metal and folk melodies (sorta like Wintersun but heavier). The choruses have a slight ring of Orden Ogan to them that amplifies already-huge atmospheres, so it’s safe to say that you’re in for a poundingly heavy ride with this one.

19. Amulet – The Inevitable War

Blasting forth with a fresh lineup, Amulet’s sophomore record is an exceptional work of classic metal. The Inevitable War takes the band to new heights and is the best classic metal album of the year.

There’s really nothing to dislike. The mixing is flawless, the band is exceptionally talented, and the music simply bleeds energy. Each anthemic chorus hits with a similar impact as classic Manowar, and the galloping rhythm section chugs away with the likeness of Iron Maiden. Get your fix of the classics with this very new release.

Full Review

18. Control the Storm – Forevermore

This album is incredible: female-fronted power metal at its finest. The overall atmosphere is bright and energetic, and it’s fueled by symphonic components, folk elements, and rich vocal harmonies. Plus, the arrangements are dynamic and exceptionally written. If you haven’t heard of them before, this album is all you need to get excited about Control the Storm.

Full Review

17. Manegarm – Fornaldarsagor

In their best album in probably a decade, Manegarm have something grand in Fornaldarsagor. While primarily a coarser folk metal work, there’s the usual inclusion of impending black metal elements, as well as some female and clean male vocals. While the formula of Fornaldarsagor is typical of Manegarm, far more care has been taken regarding the songwriting that the past three albums.

16. ShadowStrike – Legends of Human Spirit

Legends of Human Spirit is probably the strongest power metal debut of the entire year. It’s insanely fast, vibrant, true power metal to the core. It’s really as simple as that. ShadowStrike, hailing from New York, have busted out of the gate with a DragonForce-influenced sound that manages to steer clear of being too derivative, delivering a unique, shredtastic album.

Part of the driving force of this individuality is the band’s tasteful use of symphonic elements (I would never consider this album “symphonic metal”, though) as well as sophisticated song arrangements. With nothing short of excellent on the record, ShadowStrike have quickly become one of my favourite power metal bands, ever.

Full Review

15. Noveria – Aequilibrium

Italian proggers Noveria don’t fuck around. As soon as it starts, Aequilibrium explodes into high-intensity with a death metal atmosphere and epic choirs. Through the rest of the album, we encounter sick riff after sick riff (not the least of which can be found in ‘Awakening’ and ‘Broken’) in all their beefy, syncopated glory, as well as beautiful interludes and pulled back sections. Another aspect that makes Aequilibrium stand out is the fact that, while there’s a dark tone to most of the album, it’s never depressing and it’s always energetic.

Full Review

14. Scimitar – Shadows of Man

Canadian pagan metal warriors Scimitar have been around for just over a decade. Early on in their career, they released their debut album, Black Waters, but the band took a bit of a break soon after. Now, nine years later, the band have finally unleashed their sophomore album. Shadows of Man is gritty, furious, and packs way more variety into it than I would have ever expected. With a sound that’s in the realm of Ensiferum and Vanir (although far less refined, production-wise), Scimitar’s combination of death, black, and folk elements will be welcome with any fan of the dark side of folk metal.

(Yeah, I know this is, like, the third melodeath/folk metal album on a “melodic metal” list. Deal with it. This is MY house.)

Full Review

13. Brymir – Wings of Fire

Brymir is extreme metal for the power metal fan and Wings of Fire is no exception. If it weren’t for the rough vocals, it’d be epic symphonic power metal through-and-through.No, I shouldn’t say that. It’s way too epic to be just that. It’s the kind of epic that’ll make you believe that you can crush mountains and fly through the sky as the bringer of life or death, sole judge of the universe, with all of the power of the gods in your hands, under your hands, through your hands, about your hands (but not over your hands). It’s that. Fucking. Epic.

Full Review

12. Sabaton – The Great War

This year saw the release of Sabaton’s ninth record: The Great War. Despite a lengthy career of two decades, the Swedish metal heroes are showing no signs of slowing down, and they prove that they’re here to stay by delivering their biggest, boldest, most bombastic blast of metal in years. Other than slamming the epic pedal down to the fucking floor, The Great War separates itself from Sabaton’s prior works by hanging a darker atmosphere over the music, as well as putting more emphasis on classical scales, especially in its guitar solos.

Full Review

11. Majestica – Above the Sky

After six years of hiatus, power metal cheeseballs Majestica (formerly ReinXeed) are back with their seventh album, Above the Sky. Aside from a drastic name change, Majestica’s sound has grown more mature, despite their lyrical content becoming more juvenile than ever. Of course, these are perfect qualities to have in a power metal album: bullshit, nonsensical lyrics over technically impressive music.

Full Review

10. Galneryus – Into the Purgatory

The finest neoclassical power metal band east of the Silk Road have unleashed yet another album of facemelting ferocity. Into the Purgatory is the twelfth album to come from the mighty Galneryus and, despite such a long career, it lives up to the band’s glory, and then some. A slice of Galneryus’ neoclassical edge has been swapped for a bit more of a progressive influence this time around so, while you can still expect a melodic work of shred insanity, it’s different enough from their other albums to keep things feeling new.

Full Review

09. Moonlight Haze – De Rerum Natura

Formed by ex-Temperance members Chiara Tricarico and Giulio Capone 2018, Moonlight Haze is a symphonic metal project that combines the talents of musicians from Elvenking, Sound Storm, and Epica to create a melodic, emotionally dynamic, technically-pleasing work of female fronted metal that stands high above your typical Delain or Nightwish ripoff. Complete with countless folk and world music elements, De Rerum Natura is as unique as a symphonic debut could be.

Full Review

08. Wind Rose – Wintersaga

Dwarf metallers Wind Rose are back with a rugged sound in their fourth album, Wintersaga. As usual, the Tolkien themes are strong, as is evident in half of the song titles. Additionally, the album is split into two sections; the first contains the fun, catchy party tunes, and the second, which encompasses the final three songs, features a more power prog approach that hearkens to the band’s earlier works. However, the core sound of Wind Rose has shifted as a whole from their progressive power metal roots to settle upon a more bombastic, anthemic sound.

Full Review

07. Twilight Force – Dawn of the Dragonstar

As you can expect from Twilight Force, Dawn of the Dragonstar is full of unlimited, overblown storybook energy. With the exception of maybe two moments, the album is consistently happy and heroic from the very first seconds of the galloping ‘Dawn of the Dragonstar’ into its final piano notes. This hyper-melodic, smile-demanding work isn’t just sheen and shine, though; there’s an absolutely staggering degree of talent and proficiency to behold in every track.

Full Review

06. NorthTale – Welcome to Paradise

NorthTale was born of vocalist Christian Eriksson (ex-Twilight Force), drummer Patrick Johansson (ex-Yngwie Malmsteem) and guitar maestro Bill Hudson with the dream of bringing back the glory of late 90s/early 00s power metal. Whether you’re in the mood for that golden-age power metal, anthemic stadium metal, or even a vegan happy meal, Welcome to Paradise delivers all that and more, complete with facemelting solos, exciting diversity, and catchy melodies. This is one of the year’s best power metal albums and is as technically impressive as it is fun.

Full Review

05. Eluveitie – Ategnatos

Eluveitie have hit their peak in their eighth record, Ategnatos. It’s fantastically fluid for such a diverse folk metal album, and, while it retains the trademark Eluveitie sound, it’s a distinct experience from their other releases.

The songs range from huge melodeath blast beats with rough vocals to softer, mournful tracks like ‘Eclipse’. There’s even a bouncy tune in ‘Ambiramus’ that’ll be stuck in your head for weeks (but don’t worry, you’ll welcome it). The broad instrumentation of this Swiss septet includes traditional instruments and shamelessly skilled drums, as well as three different vocal styles, my favourite of which are the versatile pipes of Fabienne Erni. The control she displays is insane and honestly, without her, the album wouldn’t have made it as one of my top picks.

Full Review

04. Wilderun – Veil of Imagination

Not many bands can pull off an exceptional atmospheric album so, when one does, I always get excited. One of the few (and latest) this year to accomplish such a feat are Boston’s Wilderun with their third album, Veil of Imagination. The album combines elements of death, symphonic, progressive, and folk metal to make a sound that bands like Wintersun have been trying so desperately to embody. It expertly conjures deep feelings of wonder, determination, aggression, hate, fear, reflection, and everything in between. With rich orchestrations supporting it, Veil of Imagination is almost impossible colourful.

Full Review

03. Gloryhammer – Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex

Epic, cheesy, heroic. These are words I often use when describing my favourite albums, but make no mistake; I only use these words if I mean it. So, if I were to say that Gloryhammer’s third and latest album, Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex, was one of the most ridiculously epic tales of heroism that I’ve ever heard from a power metal album, you can be damn sure it’s true.

Between the powerful cries of Angus McFife and the cosmic colours created by the rest of band, there’s no room to criticize the skill of these galactic warriors. Additionally, while the core sound is true, pure power metal (with a healthy dose of symphonic backing tracks), the songwriting is pleasingly dynamic. So, bust out your most enchanted headphones and get a load of this ultra-melodic cheesefest and see for yourself why this just might be the greatest power metal album of the year (or of all fucking time).

Full Review

02. Dream Theater – Distance over Time

Dream Theater are legendary. There’s no question about it. These guys are some of the best musicians metal has to offer, and they’ve given rise to more than a few prog masterpieces. While it’s true that their material has lost a bit of steam over the last decade, Distance over Time recaptures all of their former velocity as their best album since Black Clouds and Silver Linings. There’s a perfect mix of mathematical intricacies, solid melodies, and headbangable grooves, and, despite having a sound that’s closer to their earlier works, this is the freshest they’ve sounded in years.

Full Review

01. Beast in Black – From Hell with Love

Insane solos? Check. The best vocal performance in modern heavy metal? Check. Synthetic fanfares that demand the construction of a training montage? Check. Pack it up, every other band ever. Beast in Black have achieved the pinnacle of music. It’s all downhill from here. Go home. Show’s over. Nothing else will ever excite you as much as this album will.

Just kidding. Well, kind of. From Hell with Love is what every 80s revival album strives to be: catchy, fun, and technically impressive. Between the limitless voice of Yannis Papadopoulos and the songwriting gold of Anton Kabanen, this album holds nothing back. It’s intense. It’s fucking doused in cheese. It’s the pump up record to end all pump up records.

What a year! January is just around the corner, and that means that PowerThorn’s One Year Anniversary is close, too. It was reassuring to watch the viewership increase from a few tens a day all the way up to a few hundred. Between successful weeks of six reviews and desolate weeks of one, it’s been fun so far! Whether this is your first visit or you’re a regular reader, I deeply thank you for your support.

Look forward to more power metal content in 2020!

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Eclipse – Paradigm Review

GenreHard Rock/Heavy Metal
Release Date11 October 2019
Record LabelFrontiers

Paradigm is the seventh album from Swedish rock outfit Eclipse. While it’s primarily a hard rock album, it crosses the line between rock and metal enough that it can’t definitively be considered one or the other. As such, it’s safe to expect a super catchy album that offers both the weight of heavy metal and the fun-loving lifeblood of hard rock.

But the genre crossovers don’t quite stop there. To get a better idea of what Paradigm offers, think something along the lines of pop-punk vocals over contemporary riffs, tame rock drumming, poppy mastering and song structure, all with a metal undertone. I know it doesn’t really sound promising when put like that, but it actually allows for a ton of sick hooks and memorable tracks. Sure, there aren’t a whole lot of flashy performances (although, it’d be impossible not to recognize the fantastic performance of vocalist Erik Martensson), but songs like ‘Viva La Victoria’ and ‘Mary Leigh’ make up for it in charisma and energy.

Anyway, since you’re here, chances are you’re at least kind of a metalhead. So, of course, I’d damn-well better get to the most metal parts Paradigm has to offer! The rhythm guitar lines and tone are mostly responsible for the heavy metal undertones throughout the album, but tracks like ‘Delirious’, ’38 or 44′, and ‘The Masquerade’ unleash a melodic metal massacre, trading the rock riffs and overall sound for an aggressive (albeit still poppy) bite that is undoubtedly metal in every way.

The biggest thing setting Paradigm back is the amount of filler tunes. While there are five tunes which I really dig (all of which I’ve mentioned already), a few songs, namely ‘Never Gonna Be Like You’ and ‘United’, fail to strike any impact beyond offering a few minutes of passable music. If more of the songs were similar in quality to its best, I would consider this album excellent but, you know, that’s not the case.

All in all, Eclipse has made another really good album in Paradigm. Unfortunately, as is the case with 95% of hard rock albums, it falls victim to basic, stock-variety songwriting. That being said, this album is still a lot of fun, and its high points make the entire album worth checking out.

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Gygax – High Fantasy Review

Original Article By Giannis Tziligkakis ·
GenreHard Rock/Heavy Metal
Release Date21 June 2019
Record LabelCreator-Destructor Records

If I had to pick a couple of words to describe Gygax’s music, they would definitely be “highly energetic”. Others might have used “Thin Lizzy”, and it would still make sense. Why? A quick shuffle through their works and a brief look at the band’s history serves as the best answer to that question.

Gygax formed from the remnants of Gypsyhawk roughly five years ago, and indulge in delivering hard rock in the vein of Thin Lizzy, UFO, and Canada’s Moxy. All of these influences are wrapped in a gimmicky cloak of nerdy themes that draw inspiration from the world of Dungeons & Dragons.

If there’s one thing that Gygax can boast about, it’s the well-crafted guitar themes that dominate High Fantasy from start to finish. Whether we’re talking about harmonized leads or soaring guitar solos, both Bryant Throckmorton and Wes Wilson prove they have the chops to set the fretboard ablaze; songs like Something So Familiar’ and ‘High Fantasy’ serve as great examples of this. Regarding vocals, Eric Harri does a good job singing in a typical rocker/bard fashion and keeps the groove going with his bass at all times. He has improved as a vocalist over the years, however, he doesn’t stem from the beaten path of previous albums. On the other hand, his bass lines sound better than ever, but more on that in a moment.

For the most part, High Fantasy is a balanced album. Songs revolve around mid/fast tempo formulas and cool hooks that keep you engaged, and don’t go past the four-minute mark. With this being their third release, it’s becoming clearer they’re into the “AC/DC way of doing things”, meaning they’re okay with repeating the recipe of 2nd Edition and Critical Hits; don’t expect any surprises whatsoever ’cause you’re not getting any. That said, I’d argue more effort could be put towards songwriting without causing them to miss the target. For example, the instrumental ‘Acquisition, Magnus Canis’. It’s a missed opportunity that could have grown into a really interesting tune instead of merely serving as a two-minute “intermission” in the middle of the record.

When it comes to audio engineering, I’d say the band sounds better than ever and ex-Gygax guitarist Armand John Anthony is probably to credit. Having jammed and recorded with these guys in the past, he seems to understand perfectly what they are after and he just delivered. The sound is bright, and perhaps too clean compared to their earlier stuff, yet it’s warm, organic, and feels authentic. Every instrument gets the space it deserves in the mix, but the work that’s gone into mixing that bass is truly top-notch. It really brings out the best of Eric’s playing.

Overall High Fantasy is a fun and well-crafted album to listen to, and I caught myself grooving to the music a lot. It’s not groundbreaking stuff, but that’s not a bad thing. Set your expectations straight, and you’ll probably enjoy it as well. Roll initiative!

Originally written for Forgotten-Scroll by Giannis Tziligkakis.
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Stevie D Feat Corey Glover – Torn From The Pages Review

GenreHard Soul Rock
Release Date6 September 2019
Record LabelMighty Music

Living Colour is one of the first heavy metal bands I ever listened to. I mean, I had heard a lot in passing, but it was one of the first that I actually, you know, listened to. I was super into jazz at the time (I still am), so I was immediately hooked on the way they combined funk tropes, jazz drumming, and black vocals with a heavy metal sound. It’s unfortunate that the “funk metal” emergence in the 90s was so short-lived, because it was fucking sick. Yeah, Living Colour released a few albums all the way up to 2017, but a lot of the passion and charisma of their earlier days is missing in their newer material.

So you can just imagine my level of excitement when I heard the first single of producer/mixer/guitarist Stevie D’s project, ‘Final Resting Place’, which just so happened to feature Corey Glover (who, if you didn’t know, is Living Colour’s vocalist). That song blew my god damn mind! And, as if that wasn’t enough for me, it wasn’t long before I got the promo package for Torn from the Pages in my email, so I’ve been busting out a listen regularly for the past two months or so. As a result, it’s safe to say I’m well-acquainted with what it’s all about musically.

While Torn from the Pages isn’t quite a heavy metal album, it sits somewhere on its border between hard rock. It’s actually pretty close in style to classic Living Colour, where it treads the line between the two, except this walks closer to the soul/hard rock side, whereas Living Colour walks closer to the heavy metal side. This stylistic similarity is largely because of Glover’s unmistakably juicy vocals, but the arrangements and delivery in some of the songs are also similar, the best examples being ‘Soul of Stone’ and ‘Your Time Has Run Out’.

Regardless of where it stands style-wise, Torn from the Pages has a ton of variety behind it. ‘Outta My Head’ delivers a southern shuffle, ‘Alone Again’ is slow-and-steady dixie/swing, and we even get a killer instrumental shred piece in the closer, ‘Faceplant’. Then there’s the obligatory ballad in ‘Haunted’, and ‘Final Resting Place’ has more of a gospel influence. Every track offers something very different to what else is on the album, so, despite a consistent feel to tie everything together, there’s a lot here for both the casual listener and music critic alike.

At a glance, I would think the best part of the album is the vocals, but that’s not true in the slightest. The vocals are definitely one of my favourites, but I like a lot of stuff about this record. Stevie D’s tasty guitarwork is as black as the vocals, and he lays down some really great riffs and solos in every track. Another thing I love is the fact that Stevie D actually enlisted real horn players to play the horn parts in all of the tracks, which adds a lot of richness to the whole thing. There’s a trombone lick that I especially love in the shuffle, ‘Outta My Head’, and the jack-off-all-trades ‘Now or Never’ has its fair share of sick guitars, tight horns, and powerful vocals.

The biggest reason that I don’t listen to much hard rock is the fact that there just seems to be something missing compared to heavy metal. For the most part, it’s watered down to me, and I always find myself wanting more. However, Stevie D and Corey Glover have solved this problem by dumping a bucket full of soulful passion all over Torn from the Pages, allowing it to be energetic, entertaining, and memorable. Fans of southern rock, hard rock, funk metal, blues, and everything in between will get a lot out of this album.

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Crow’s Flight Sign Record Deal

The melodic metal outfit Crow’s Flight have signed a record deal with Ram It Down Records ahead of the release of their second album, which is set to be released on 20 September.

The band released their debut, The Calm Before, under Scandal Music in 2011. So, after eight years of no new material, hopefully a fresh label will be just what the band needs to hit the scene with a fresh take on heavy metal.

The aptly named Storm is set to be released on 20 September.
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New Music Video From Crystal Ball

Ahead of their upcoming compilation album, heavy metal heavyweights Crystal Ball have released a music video for ‘HELLvetia’, from their upcoming album, 2020.

2020 will commemorate the band’s 20th anniversary with ten songs from their first decade and ten songs from their most recent decade, complete with rerecordings, new additions, new interpretations, and new arrangements!

This is one compilation album you won’t want to miss; like many heavy metal bands, Crystal Ball have only gotten better with time, so a new take on old material is a very welcome project!

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Releases This Week (April Week 3)

On this Easter I have for you some worthwhile releases that are worth checking out (as usual, but this is special because it’s fucking Easter). Anyway, just scroll on past this and listen to some of the stuff below!


Brothers of Metal – Fire, Blood and Steel

We’ll start of with a music video for a song that’s been out for a few years from the much-beloved Brothers of Metal, who seem to have signed onto AFM from Nuclear Blast. I must’ve missed that. ‘Fire, Blood and Steel’ marks one of Brothers of Metal’s more epic tracks, which is pretty easy to tell from the title alone.

From my own speculation alone, I think it’s safe to say that we can expect a new album from these guys within a year, what with the recent label activity.

Brothers of Metal – Fire, Blood and Steel (AFM)

Constantine – Bushido

With Constantine’s second album on its way, the band have unleashed ‘Bushido’. The track will be well-received by any fan of shred in the vein of Steve Vai or Nita Strauss.

Aftermath will feature many guest musicians and will be available for your listening pleasure on 31 May.

Constantine – Bushido (Rockshots)

Accept – Life’s a Bitch

German heavy/power metal pioneers Accept have released a new track: ‘Life’s a Bitch’. It’s not great, and is closer to old school hard rock/heavy metal, but it deserve’s a place here solely because of the artist. Check it out; you might get more out of it than I did.

Accept – Life’s a Bitch (Nuclear Blast)

Majesty – Burn the Bridges

German heavy metallers (or, should I say, pop-power metallers) have released a new single to accompany the news of their upcoming ninth album, which will be released under Napalm Records. The album’s concept will be built around the setting of mankind striving for a better life in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Original, right?

As is their style, we can expect heavy, chorus-driven cheese when Legends arrives on 28 June!

Majesty – Burn the Bridges (Napalm)

Visionatica – The Pharaoh

Along with the announcement of their second album, symphonic metallers Visionatica have released ‘The Pharaoh’. Like the rest of the album is promised to be, the track is more vibrant than their older material.

Fans of Within Temptation’s old stuff and the symphonic/melodic/gothic realm of metal will surely get a kick out of Visionatica. Make sure to check out Enigma Fire when it comes out on 12 July!

Visionatica – The Pharaoh (Frontiers)

Albums and EPs

Atlas Pain – Tales of a Pathfinder

Set a course for fantastical, over-the-top brilliance, because Italian folk metallers Atlas Pain have prepared a world-capturing journey in their sophomore record, Tales of a Pathfinder. Like their first record, it contains a combination of folk melodies and themes on top of relentlessly energetic power metal beats. Additionally, the quartet remains unchanged from What the Oak Left, which allows for a more refined sound.

There is one word that describes this album perfectly: epic. It’s flooded with strings, synths, choirs, and sickeningly upbeat choruses. Topped off with chugging riffs and rough vocals, it’s quite the blood rusher. It is very straightforward, but if you’re looking for wondrous motivation, this is definitely for you.

If you want to see where I plagiarized this description, check out my review!

Atlas Pain – The Moving Empire (Scarlet)

Tillian – Lotus Graveyard

Ho. Ly. Fuck. This debut album from the female-fronted Tillian is nothing short of spectacular. Lotus Graveyard is a passionate, dramatic, and fluid piece of prog rock/metal, and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’ll amaze you.

Go read about all the other great things I had to say about it here!

Tillian – Black Holes

And don’t forget to see this week’s Sabaton History!

Sabaton History 011 – Saboteurs

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Paul Raymond of UFO Passes At 73

Original Article By Giannis Tziligkakis ·

Paul Raymond, the keyboardist and guitarist from rock legends UFOpassed away earlier today at the age of 73. UFO recently concluded their tour in UK and Ireland.

The news broke out this morning (April 13, 2019) his partner Sandra with a Facebook post, saying:

Hi to all the fans and people who knew Paul! This is Sandra, Paul’s life partner speaking: With a desperate and broken heart, fully in tears and pains that feel like they will kill me I have to tell you that my most beautiful and beloved darling Paul Raymond has passed away today. The doctors we’re trying to reanimate him and with success at first but then his system shot down again and there was nothing more they could do for him, he died of a heart attack.

He absolutely enjoyed the last couple of weeks touring with UFO in the UK & Ireland and he was looking forward to the rest of this year’s tour.

This photo was taken last Wednesday when we checked out of our last hotel before coming back to Germany!

I will always love him and I hope he will rest in piece until I’ll see him again on the other side!!!

I love you so much Paul 💔😪 Sandra

The English rock band began in 1968 and helped fuel the transition of hard rock into heavy metal. Paul Raymond joined the group in 1976 and remained with them (with a short break in the middle) until the time of his death.

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Originally written for Forgotten-Scroll by Giannis Tziligkakis.
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John Diva & The Rockets Of Love Release New Video

Hard rock band John Diva & The Rockets of Love have released a third single and music video, ‘Blinded’, for their debut album: Mama Said Rock Is Dead, out now via Steamhammer (get it here).

John Diva & The Rockets of Love (Steamhammer)

As the self-proclaimed “rightful heirs” of bands like Van Halen, Bon Jovi, Scorpions, and Guns ‘N’ Roses, they produce the same head-banging, party-and-sex-driven rock that we all can’t get enough of (and is all but absent in music today), and they do a damn good job at it.

John Diva & The Rockets of Love is currently in the final days of their European tour with Kissin’ Dynamite, and I’m sure we can expect some more rockin’ hairmetal soon!

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Battle Beast – No More Hollywood Endings Review

GenreHard Rock/Heavy Metal
Release Date22 Mar 2019
Record LabelNuclear Blast

Battle Beast has all but completely reinvented its sound this time around, abandoning its unique brand of melodic heavy/power metal for a shinier, late 90s/early 00s pop sound. If Bringer of Pain was a step in a new direction, No More Hollywood Endings is a trip to the next city over. If it weren’t for a couple individual tracks and Noora Louhimo’s iconic, raspy vocals, it’d be unrecognizable as a Beast album.

As a longtime fan, I’ll come clean and admit that I’m more than a little upset at this change, but I get it; it’d be foolish to carry on your past sound when your lead songwriter has been kicked out of the band only to take the entire essence of the music with him and to do his damn best at making sure he overshadows your every effort (which he did anyway with the masterpiece that is From Hell With Love). There had to be a change because the core of the band has changed.

However, it’s beyond me as to why Battle Beast would choose the fucking dark ages of pop culture to draw inspiration from: circa year 2000. Many of the tracks, such as ‘Endless Summer’ and the emotional ‘Bent And Broken’ sound like one of those bittersweet songs they’d run during the credits of a shitty early 2000s romantic comedy. And in others, like ‘Unfairy Tales’, the melody sounds like it belongs in a nu country song.

But, it’s unfair for me to judge this album by nostalgia, so I’ll get on with it. Despite my feelings, this a good record. Not fantastic, mind you, because I think every musician in the band is capable of far more, but good. The pop songs are incredibly poppy, but there are a couple of heavier tracks and there is a lot of variety.

There are three tracks that I really like. ‘Raise Your Fists’ has some heavy instrumentals, a driving 6/8 beat, and a ridiculously good guitar solo. Probably the most organically-Beast song on the record is ‘World On Fire’, which is pretty straightforward but has some small trademark keyboard parts that pay homage to their older material.

My favourite on the album, however, is ‘The Golden Horde’, which begins with a cool techno intro before kicking off into thudding baddassery. Its undoubtable epicness will make you want to ride into battle on horseback to conquer whoeverthefuck stands in your way. The whole song is super fun, and the solos are in like fashion. On a side note, I think that this song could have made an amazing baseline for a new Beast sound, as it’s different enough from old Beast but still maintains a true, metal feel, but I digress.

The aforementioned ‘The Golden Horde’ has the most power metally lyrics on the entire album. The rest of the content has almost entirely shifted away from machine uprisings, Berserk, and general fantastical battle themes and replaced them with more slice-of-life relatability. It adds a bit more substance to the music but, honestly, this is heavy metal and I think I speak for most when I say, “Give me more over-the-top heroism and nonsensical lyrics!”.

Now, I have to judge this album on its quality as a metal album. Not on the past, not on my feelings, and not as a pop album (otherwise it’d easily be an 11/10. Move the fuck over, Biebs.). No More Hollywood Endings is widely dynamic, but a lot of the songs are very one-dimensional. Epic orchestras and keyboards run rampant throughout, which does add some depth to the music, and the guitar solos are excellent (though they rarely get a chance to shine). All things considered, I think this iis a fair score. But, be sure to check it out. It’s definitely worth listening to.

Battle Beast – No More Hollywood Endings (Nuclear Blast)

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