Metal Release Calendar: January, February, March

1 January

MacAllister Project – Samadhi (Folk Power Metal)

Cygnus Atratus – The Empyrean Heaven (Progressive Power Metal)

Shredistic – Adrift (Progressive Metal)

Oath – Legacy (Heavy Metal)

Miwa – Hell Is Real (Heavy Metal)

Ingott – Na cestě do nebe stavil jsem se v pekle (Heavy Metal)

Tetsuya Mitani – Cry No More ‘Counter Attack’ (Power Metal/Shred) [EP]

Mandrágora – Nocturnal Rites (Heavy Metal) [EP]

4 January

In Victory – Power of the Enlightened (Power Metal) [EP]

Penumbra – Silencio (Progressive Power Metal)

5 January

Forsaken Warriors – Escaping Hell (Heavy Metal)

Hellhoundz – The Battle of the Somme (Heavy Metal)

Landmine – Pioneer’s Destiny (Heavy Power Metal)

Holysword – Knights of Vyria (Power Metal) [EP]

7 January

Amoushbard – Mithra (Progressive Metal)

Dyscordia – Delete / Rewrite (Progressive Metal)

10 January

Brothers of Metal – Emblas Saga (Power Metal)

Arkhanon – Capitulo IV (Astral) (Power Metal)

Hyldia – Valkyrie (Power Metal)

Raging Fate – Bloodstained Gold (Power Metal)

The Mystic Forest – Ancient Woods (Ambient Symphonic Metal)

Haunt – Mind Freeze (Heavy Metal)

Rage – Wings of Rage (Speed Metal)

Ingrimm – Auf Gedeih und Verderb (Folk Metal)

Aereum – Tempest of Time (Folk Metal)

14 January

Raven Heretic – Under the Sign (Heavy Metal)

Draconian Remains – The First Crusade (Heavy Metal)

Vocifer – Boiuna (Heavy Metal)

Андем – Моя игра (Power Metal)

17 January

Sons of Apollo – MMX (Progressive Metal)

Victorius – Space Ninjas from Hell (Power Metal)

Darktribe – Voici l’homme (Power Metal)

Dragonlore – Lucifer’s Descent (Heavy Power Metal)

Helldown – In Deaths Hands (Heavy Metal)

Mindless Sinner – Poltergeist (Heavy Metal)

Windmill – Dance of Fire and Freedom (Progressive Folk Metal)

18 January

Last Drakma – Spiritual War (Power Metal)

Fabula Rasa – Through the Molten Eye (Folk Power Metal) [EP]

24 January

Elegy of Madness – Invisible World (Symphonic Metal)

SWMM – Trail of the Fallen (Symphonic Folk Metal)

Ironsword – Servants of Steel (Heavy Power Metal)

Temperance – Viridian (Melodic Metal)

Thoughts Factory – Elements (Progressive Metal)

Wolfpakk – Nature Strikes Back (Heavy Metal)

29 January

Shadowquest – Gallows of Eden (Power Metal)

Lovebites – Electric Pentagram (Heavy Power Metal)

31 January

Amberian Dawn – Looking for You (Melodic Metal)

Invictus – Eden (Heavy Power Metal)

Serenity – The Last Knight (Progressive Symphonic Metal)

Serious Black – Suite 226 (Power Metal)

5 February

Hauk – Red Tail Rising (Folk Metal)

Nightfear – Apocalypse (Heavy Power Metal)

7 February

Delain – Apocalypse and Chill (Melodic Metal)

Ironflame – Blood Red Victory (Heavy Power Metal)

Operose – Oceans of Starlight (Progressive Symphonic Metal)

Kanseil – Cant del corlo (Folk Metal) [EP]

14 February

Anvil – Legal at Last (Heavy Power Metal)

Seven Spires – Emerald Seas (Symphonic Metal)

Diabulus In Musica – Euphonic Entropy (Symphonic Metal)

21 February

Demons & Wizards – III (Power Metal)

Secret Rule – Against (Melodic Metal)

Throne of Iron – Adventure One (Heavy Metal)

Verikalpa – Tuoppitanssi (Folk Metal)

6 March

Almanac – Rush of Death (Symphonic Power Metal)

Burning Witches – Dance with the Devil (Heavy Power Metal)

20 March

Beneath My Sins – I Decide (Symphonic Metal)

27 March

Aevum – Multiverse (Symphonic Metal)

Scarlet Aura – Stormbreaker (Symphonic Metal)

News This Week (February Week 4)

February was an incredible month. There were tons of quality album releases, which made my Top Ten List very difficult to narrow down. On top of those, a bunch of new singles came out, along with some announcements for upcoming record dates.

We’ll start off with some bits of news before we get into the singles.

(And, if you missed them, click the ‘News’ tab in the top menu and check out the previous February articles.)

Folk metal masters Elvenking announced that their new album will be released some time in September, so, if you’re into them even half as much as I am, that information is both helpful (in the sense that now we have a date to look forward to) and disasterous (because September can’t come fast enough!). However, Equilibrium’s new album has yet to have a number stuck on it.

Also in the group of bands with pending 2019 albums but no release dates are DragonForce, Sabaton, Blazon Stone, and I’ve heard rumors that POSSIBLY Gloryhammer, Sonata Arctica, Hammerfall, and Triosphere will have new material soon.

Female-fronted power metal outfit Seven Kingdoms has begun recording their next record, and has hopes of an early 2020 release.

And, before we get to the singles, there’s one more thing to add. Sabaton History’s fourth weekly episode covers small-but-legendary WWII soldier Audie Murphey, whose story is touched upon in ‘To Hell and Back’ from the album Heroes.

Sabaton History 004 – To Hell and Back

Singles (And One EP)

This Week

Grimgotts – The Last Dragon Warriors

This album just keeps on getting better. ‘The Last Dragon Warriors’ has all of the fantastical, uplifting glory typical of Grimgotts, including stellar guest performances by Hector Clark, Nick Thurtell, and Julia Zelg. The vocals aren’t the only great thing about this track; David Hills’ and Fabio Garau’s the guitar and key solos are just killer. No date has yet been confirmed for the new album.

Manegarm – Sveablotet

‘Sveablotet’ sets the stage for Fornaldsargor (out 26 April) to be as harsh as ever. There isn’t much as far as black metal in this single, which is fine by me, but the viking elements are strong and the chanting chorus gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it. There is a fair amount of variety in its five minutes, which is a good indication that the album will be exciting at the very least.

Manegarm – Svaeblotet (Napalm)

Bloodbound – Rise of the Dragon Empire

Let me first say that ‘Rise of the Dragon Empire’ is way better than Bloodbounds other new single. It’s more pulled back, but the song actually goes somewhere rather than sticking to the same power beat the entire fucking time(there’s even a bridge!). The guitar solo is pretty good and the chorus is catchy, and, all things considered, I am once again very excited for their album on 20 March.

Bloodbound – Rise of the Dragon Empire (AFM)

Battle Beast – Eden

I like Battle Beast’s second single far more than ‘No More Hollywood Endings’. The orchestrations are cool and it’s an upbeat song with a decent guitar solo. That being said, though, I think it’s decent at best, which is truly disappointing from a band which we all know can kick serious ass. Even after losing Anton Kabanen they still managed to punch out Bringer of Pain a couple years ago, which was fucking awesome.

No More Hollywood Endings is set to come out 22 March, and you can catch my review here.

Battle Beast – Eden (Nuclear Blast)

Queensryche – Blood Of The Levant

Queensryche’s The Verdict came out yesterday (1 March), but this single came out last week so I’ll throw it in anyway. It’s a pretty average piece of metal, with nothing really standing out. It’s mid-tempo and the melody is pretty lazy, but the drumbeats are tasteful, so there’s that.

Queensryche – Blood of the Levant (Century Media)

Myrath – No Holding Back

Tunisian proggers Myrath are back with a new single containing their usual Middle Eastern strings parts and grooves, which adds a unique and intriguing flavour. Complete with a feel-good chorus and a tasty guitar solo, ‘No Holding Back’ is but an appetizer to what will likely be a fantastic album come 3 May.

Myrath – No Holding Back (earMUSIC)

Gatekeeper – Grey Maiden EP

Epic heavy metallers hailing from Canada, Gatekeeper, have unleashed another EP after their well recieved debut record last year. The dual guitars are prominent, the vocals are powerful, and the music is (as it should be) epic, but it’s nothing exceptional by any stretch. Nonetheless, if you’re into the old school stuff, especially Iron Maiden, you’ll love these guys.

Gatekeeper – Grey Maiden EP (Cruz del sur Music)

Singles I Missed

As much as I try to stay as up to date as possible, some things certainly fall under my radar. So, in case you missed them too, here are a couple more singles for upcoming albums!

Haeredium – Merchant of Lies

French folkers Haeredium’s ‘Merchant of Lies’ has a sassy piano line in the intro and under the verses that are simply wonderful. There’s nothing astounding about this track (or Haeredium in general), but it’s catchy, fun, and good enough for me. Ascension is set to release on 15 March.

Haeredium – Merchant of Lies (Art Gates)

The Raven Age – The Day The World Stood Still

I’m usually not into groove/borderline-alternative metal, but I really like these guys. Their upcoming album, Conspiracy, is set for release on 8 March. If this single is anything to go by, it’ll be an impressive display of angsty hooks and bittersweet riffs.

The Raven Age – The Day the World Stood Still

Waylander – Autumnal Blaze

I really wish these guys released music more regularly because they’re so fucking good at what they do. The folk instrumentals are rich, the rough vocals are intense, and the rhythm section is seldom boring. Their pagan sound is thoroughly enjoyable and I’m certain that their next album (22 March) will contain as much energy as they can muster.

Waylander – Autumnal Blaze (Listenable)

There were tons of quality album releases this month. Check out the other links at the top for more February metal.

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Stay Metal \m/

Top Ten Metal Albums Of February

What a fucking month! We got a slew of new singles and tons of great albums, including some from big names in metal. I covered what I could, and I think I covered most of the worthwhile releases, but I’m bound to have missed some. Nonetheless, enough of them really stuck out to make me struggle at least a little bit with this list.

Also, for the full reviews of these (which I did for all but two of them), click the album title in the heading!

Anyway, here’re my top ten metal albums of February!

10. Herman Frank – Fight the Fear

Now, I know I only gave this album a 6.5, but I had to include it for the guitar solos. There’s no shortage of facemelting fire on this list, but Herman Frank’s heavy metal meltdowns are simply exceptional. Seriously. If you’re in the mood for some straightforward, tried-and-true classic heavy metal, this record is definitely for you. The drums are hard, the vocals are hard, the bass is cranked up, and the riffs and solos are furious.

Herman Frank – Sinners (AFM)

9. Avantasia – Moonglow

Tobias Sammet’s eighth installment of his rock opera/collaberation project is a definite hit. It isn’t his best, but it’s up there for sure. The whole lineup (or should I say “cast”) performs absolutely wonderfully to produce a massive and powerful delivery, including the fantastic guest vocalists, including Michael Kiske (Helloween), Candice Night, and Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids). The arrangements are full and lively and there aren’t many moments when it feels like there isn’t enough going on.

Avantasia – The Raven Child (Nuclear Blast)

8. Vanir – Allfather

I don’t often listen to anything close to death metal unless it’s very melodic. Examples of these exceptions would be Exmortus and Brymir, where the power elements are strong enough that I don’t mind the more extreme sound. In Vanir’s case, not only does it fall under a similar category as those for me, but it has managed to raid its way into my heart. It’s harsh and rough, but it’s never too messy. It’s viking metal done extremely well.

Vanir – Shield Wall (Mighty Music)

7. Against Myself – Unity

Spanish outfit Against Myself’s new record is very impressive. The musicians are all top-tier and the prog underbelly of the album’s symphonic atmosphere makes for a refined and dynamic experience. Irene Villegas’ vocals create a beautiful focal point over the creative rhythm parts.


There’s a surprising amount of variety in Unity, especially when compared to other bands and albums in the same space. All in all, despite its clear musical influences such as Nightwish, Unity is entirely unique.

Against Myself – Hero’s Soul (On Fire)

6. Sylvania – Testigos de las Estrellas

Sylvania’s Spanish roots are impossible to miss in Testigos de las Estrellas. The dual vocals (and many guest vocals) are extremely passionate and add an almost mariachi sound to its uplifting power metal. Despite its less-than-perfect mixing, this album is stellar and earns a clear place at number six.

Sylvania – Espiritu de Fuego (Rock-CD)

5. Mortanius – Till Death Do Us Part

Mortanius’ debut album is wonderful. Its lively symphonic foundation and exuberant tenor vocals make it a very interesting listen. To describe it in a few words, it’s symphonic power metal with a medium-heavy prog influence, as well vocal harmonies and harpsichord that give it a vampirey feel. Make sense? Probably not. Go check out the review and listen to it yourself. You’ll get it.

Mortanius – Facing The Truth (Rockshots)

Let’s take a minute or two to prepare ourselves for what’s to come. Stretch your legs, give your eyes a little break, go get some junk food to stuff your face with (as if you haven’t been doing that already, unless that’s just me). There’ve been some great records on the list so far, but the next four are in a whole other league.

Ok, got your shit together? Great. We’re about to unleash the dragons and enter the glorious hellfury that awaits.

4. Rhapsody of Fire – The Eighth Mountain

After five years of letdown after unholy letdown, Rhapsody of Fire has produced a redeeming and glorious symphonic beauty in The Eighth Mountain. It’s back to its former epic, dragonslaying glory, and the band displays the skill of true warriors.

It seemed like all was lost for Rhapsody after Luca Turilli’s departure. He kept producing quality music, and they kept producing, well, hot, steaming, brimstoney shit. However, The Eighth Mountain has turned all of that around with this fantastic display of orchestra-backed metal. With a runtime of more than an hour and the entire band giving excellent performances, I was left more than satisfied and with my faith in Rhapsody restored.

Rhapsody of Fire – Rain of Fury (AFM)

3. Thornbridge – Theatrical Masterpiece

This might seem like a strange pick (especially when it beats Rhapsody of Fire for number three), but Theatrical Masterpiece is so awesomely epic that it has earned its place. Thornbridge has surfaced with a second album that takes everything great about their first record and tags it with a newer, more original feel. The choruses are still fairly Orden Ogany but the overall sound is heavier, more sincere, and more badass than their debut, making for a blast of an album.

Thornbridge – Ember in the Winter Grove (Massacre)

2. Dream Theater – Distance over Time

Holy balls, is this ever an incredible record. Distance over Time is the best Dream Theater record since 2009 as well as one of the best overall. They’ve returned to their earlier sound, but it’s hardly derivative. There are a few more unique songs, notably the bluesy ‘Viper King’ (below), and the songwriting strikes a perfect balance between proggy timechanges and more conventional beats, with phenomenal instrumentation that lifts the album to great heights.

Dream Theater – Pale Blue Dot (InsideOut)

1. Beast in Black – From Hell With Love

Intense keyboard melodies? Check. Intricate quintuplet-based guitar solos? Check. Synthetic fanfares that’ll make you want to do a training montage? Check. Pack it up, every other band ever. From Hell With Love is the pinnacle of modern 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, mostly. The Beast’s sophomore album stands far above anything that Anton Kabanen has produced thus far and easily catapults its fucking way into my top three albums of all time. It’s melodic to the max. It’s absolutely doused in cheese. It’s the pump up record to end all pump up records.

I could go on but, alas, I don’t want to take any more of your time when you could be listening to this (and all of the other albums).

Beast In Black – Sweet True Lies (Nuclear Blast)

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Thanks for stopping by! If you haven’t already, go check out these phenomenal records!

Until Tomorrow! Stay Metal \m/

Norvhar – Kauna Review

Score6.5/10
GenreFolk Metal
CountrySwitzerland
Runtime39:32
Release Date16 Feb 2019
Record LabelIndependent

Rising from the ashes of the long-stagnant band Harmoniks, Norvhar’s first EP, Kauna, is a promising beginning. It’s vibrant, epic, and folk to the core. Norvhar’s sound is in the same realm as bands like Equilibrium and Ensiferum. The vocals are rough but the instruments deliver a bright and uplifting sound. There’s no shortage of tankard-raising tunes and the band is relatively tight for this kind of music.

There aren’t many guitar solos in Kauna, but the bouncy guitar melodies and lively traditional instrumentals make up for that. It’s honestly better that way, because guitar solos don’t always have a place in folk metal, and it’s great that these guys recognize that. The few on the release are short and sweet, and don’t steal the show too much, which makes for a greater appreciation of the band as a whole.

I’m not crazy about the spoken parts of the record, which encompass short parts throughout as well as the entirety of the introductory and final tracks. They just don’t contribute much to the album and seem to be used mainly for filler. But, maybe I’m missing something.

There aren’t a ton of wow moments, but there are a few sections that stick out to me. ‘Goblins’ Outpost’ hits hard and heavy, and the contrast with the bells throughout is a really nice touch. The ten minute ‘Fields of Fate’ has a lot of variety packed into it, beginning soft and light but also pounding out some of the heaviest parts on the whole damn album (especially around the halfway point).

If you’re looking for some more epic folk metal to add to your collection, Norvhar should definitely be on that list. There’s a fair amount of dynamism in its short runtime (less than half an hour if you don’t include the spoken songs), but I found myself slightly unsatisfied. Nonetheless, this is a pretty good EP and is worth checking out!

Norvhar – Fest In Midgard

Stay Tuned for More Reviews!

Stay Metal \m/

News This Week (February Week 3)

Tons of new metal surfaced this week, including albums by two huge names and a full load of new singles and EPs. There were already a lot of contenders for the top albums of the month, but Jesus Christ did this week ever make my job a hell of a lot harder.

Anyway, here’s your metal update for the week.

Singles and EPs

Mötley Crüe – The Dirt (Est. 1981) (feat. Machine Gun Kelly)

These metal legends have been around for a long fucking time and their lineup has been mostly consistent since their founding. From the upcoming biopic The Dirt (22 March), ‘The Dirt’ is classic Crüe.

Iron Savior – Kill Or Get Killed

My anticipation for this album only grows with each new single we get. It’s fast, heavy, and the solo is absolutely killer. Plus, that dramatic reading in the middle had me just as uneasy as the band!

Iron Savior – Kill Or Get Killed (AFM)

Darkwater – In Front Of You

As I’ve already heard Darkwater’s Human (it’s out 1 March, but you can see the review here), I almost didn’t catch this one. It’s a great prog track (not the best on the album, though) that sums up the album as a whole quite nicely.

Darkwater – In Front Of You (Ulterium)

Frozen Crown – Neverending

Power outfit Frozen Crown’s second record Crowned in Fost (great name, isn’t it?) is set to come out 22 March. Judging by this new single, it’ll contain a similar sound as their debut album, which is fine by me. This is a great new group and you should definitely check out their material if you haven’t before!

Frozen Crown – Neverending (Scarlet)

Norvhar – Kauna EP

Relatively new as far as real releases go, folk metal group Norvhar’s first EP is exceptional. The vocals are rough but the instrumentals are fairly lighthearted and the overall sound is far from being gloomy, with the exception of the ten minute ‘Fields of Fate’, which varies quite a bit.

The musicianship and songwriting are very good, and there’s a lot of variety packed into its seven tracks.

Norvhar – Fest In Midgard

Delain – Hunter’s Moon EP

Delain came out with a new EP on Friday, which features four new tracks, as well as ten live songs and (if you got the physical copy), some Blu-Ray content as well.

I only cared to listen to the new ones, because I’ve heard the other songs already. They’re pretty good; they’re poppy, with some symphonic epicness sprinkled throughout, and Charlotte Wessels’ chops are as beautiful as ever.

Delain – Masters Of Destiny (Napalm)

Albums

Rhapsody of Fire – The Eighth Mountain

Rhapsody is back with an album that makes up for their last few colossal disappointments in The Eighth Mountain. It’s back to its former epic, uplifting glory, and the band displays nothing but skill.

You can read more about the medieval madness here!

Rhapsody – The Legend Goes On (AFM)

Mortanius – Till Death Do Us Part

Mortanius’ debut album is wonderful. Its lively symphonic foundation and exuberant tenor vocals make it a very interesting listen. To describe it in a few words, it’s symphonic power metal with a medium-heavy prog influence, as well vocal harmonies and harpsichord that give it a vampirey feel. Make sense? Probably not. Go check out the review and listen to it yourself. You’ll get it.

Mortanius – Facing The Truth (Rockshots)

Vanir – Allfather

I don’t often listen to music that comes close to melodic death metal unless I really like it. Examples of exceptions would be Exmortus and Brymir, where the power elements are strong enough that I don’t mind the more extreme sound. Vanir falls under a similar category for me. It’s harsh and rough, but it’s relatively melodic and never too messy. It’s viking metal done extremely well.

Vanir – Fejd (Mighty Music)

Dream Theater – Distance over Time

Distance over Time is the beast Dream Theater record since 2009 as well as one of the best overall. It’s got a few more unique songs, such as ‘Viper King’ (below), and the songwriting strikes a perfect balance between proggy timechanges and more conventional beats, with phenomenal instrumentation that lifts the album to great heights.

Read more about it here.

Dream Theater – Viper King (InsideOut)

Sylvania – Testigos de las Estrellas

Sylvania’s Spanish roots are impossible to miss in Testigos de las Estrellas. The dual vocals (and many guest vocals) add a unique sound to its already impressive power metal prowess. Despite its less-than-perfect mixing, this album is stellar and should be given a listen.

Check out the full review.

Sylvania – Sangre Sudor y Lagrimas (Rock-CD)

Other News

A handful of good heavy and classic metal albums also came out this week, but I don’t want to make this article much longer, so there’ll be a separate post for that.

We’ll finish off with Sabaton History Channel’s newest video, for ‘Panzerkampf’, based on one of the largest tank battles of all time, between the Soviets and the Germans.

Sabaton History 003 – Panzerkampf

Want to know what’s coming up? Go check out the Upcoming Albums List.

Thanks for stopping by! Come back tomorrow for another article!

Stay Metal \m/