Fallen Arise – Enigma Review

Score4/10
GenreGothic Symphonic Metal
CountryGreece
Runtime46:36
Release Date10 April 2020
Record LabelRock of Angels (ROAR!)

Winning the award for the dullest album I’ve heard in 2020 is Fallen Arise in their latest album, Enigma. While it doesn’t quite make the cut as bad (and fans of really boring gothic metal might actually like it), Enigma managed to make me yawn more than 90% of the chick flicks I’ve seen.

Fallen Arise are foremost plagued with an bland frontwoman; the vocals are boring at the best of times, and annoying at the worst. It goes without saying that this is really a crucial aspect in a modern symphonic band, and, well, any band, but generic vocals are what send symphonic metal bands to get shot on the outskirts of town, naked and alone. Not good naked, but, like, gross naked. Anyway, that isn’t to say that the album would be great if the vocals are better, because everything is pretty uninspired, but it would definitely be better.

Enigma‘s greatest downfall is its simplicity. The band has based their music around whiney melodies, clumsy grooves, and repetition, repetition, repetition. Seriously, I fail to see how dragging a shitty chorus out five times makes it any less shitty but, hey, it’s not my album.

There’s really nothing substantial I like in Enigma. As I said before, it isn’t necessarily bad, but it annoys me and I’m glad I don’t have to listen to it a fourth time.

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Power Metal: New Single From Mystic Prophecy

Mystic Prophecy’s eleventh album, Metal Division, is less than a month away. The album’s latest single is ‘Eye to Eye’, which delivers even more powerful riffage to heighten your expectations.

Metal Division is set to be released on 10 January under Rock of Angels Records.

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Aerodyne – Damnation Review

Score9/10
GenreHeavy Metal
CountrySweden
Runtime46:08
Release Date18 October 2019
Record LabelROAR! Rock of Angels

Against my lack of any expectations whatsoever, I was fucking blown away by this album. Smithed by the mighty Aerodyne, Damnation (which is my first taste of this band) is, in short, one hell of a sophomore album. It’s energetic, anthemic, charismatic heavy metal with a blatant Ozzy undertone. Sound kickass? Of course it does! It’s true metal to the core, no doubt about it.

The driving force behind Aerodyne’s success is the phenomenal riffing that ensues as soon as the album lifts off. Between the chugging drive of songs like ‘Murder in the Rye’ and the lower, meaner riffage heard in ‘The Nihilist’, there’s not only a good mix but there’s also a strong sense of sincerity displayed. The soloing is just as sick and the bass is juicy but, at the end of the day, the riffs are what heavy metal is all about, and these guys excel in axemanship.

Now, while the guitars may be what make Damnation as killer as it is, it’s the vocals that make the album truly distinct from so many of the metal bands today. As I mentioned earlier, this album bleeds Ozzy Osbourne (mid- and late-Ozzy, to be more precise). Sure, the overall sound and rhythm guitarwork are partially responsible, but Marcus Heinonen‘s voice is the biggest reason for this relation. This becomes especially apparent in ‘Kill or Be Killed’ and ‘March Davai’ (which seriously belongs on Black Rain), where the similarities are not only in your face but shoved down your throat.

Alongside catchy melodies and dynamic songs, Aerodyne prove themselves as a terrifying metal force. Damnation is a hellbeast of an album that offers all the aggression, power, and headbangability you could want from a heavy metal album. These Swedes have slammed their way onto my radar and I’ll be sitting on the edge of my seat until they unleash another album.

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Mystic Prophecy Announce Eleventh Album

German heavy metal titans have a new album on the way. The album is entitled Metal Division and will be the band’s first album release under their new label, ROAR!. Mystic Prophecy were previously signed with Massacre Records, under which they released seven albums.

From the ROAR! press release:
Metal Division is definitely the band’s heaviest and best work to date and will elevate Mystic Prophecy where they belong: to the HEAVY METAL pantheon!

Metal Division will be released on 10 January of 2020.

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TraumeR – History Review

Score7/10
GenrePower Metal
CountryBrazil
Runtime1:06:13
Release Date5 July 2019
Record LabelRock of Angels

Even though it’s already been out in Japan for just over a year, TraumeR’s third record, History, is finally ready to be heard by the international power metal community. While it doesn’t venture too far from the power metal norm, History will still be a hit for any fan of the genre. Soaring vocal lines, tight rhythm section, fast-paced double kicks; at the end of the day, these are the things that are looked for in a power metal album, and on this front, TraumeR deliver.

One thing that does separate it from the likes of Victorius and Freedom Call is the mixing. It’s typical to have a clean tone in the genre, but, more often than not, the bass is entirely absent from the mix. Thankfully, History‘s bass is beefed up and there’s a pretty drastic separation between each individual part so, as far as instrumental separation goes, this album is excellent.

Moving along to the actual music of the album, everything is cohesive and energetic, but there’s nothing truly impressive happening. The drums, rhythm guitar, melodies, and keyboard lines are pretty straightforward, and the song structure follows in like suit. There are great solos by both keyboards and guitars, but, again, none of it blew my mind.

There’s a good enough amount of variety that you can actually listen to the entire album without feeling like you wasted an hour listening to the same song over and over, so that’s definitely a good thing. Seriously, it seems like half of the power metal (and symphonic metal) albums I’ve listened to in the past few months have been the same fucking thing over and over and over. So, when a band like this (despite not delivering anything new) manages to create an actual album’s worth of variable music, it’s a breath of fresh air.

It’s not revolutionary by any stretch, but History is a great power metal album. I can definitely see why TraumeR have been relatively successful in Japan, and I think that the rest of the world will dig this album just as much.

TraumeR – Guardians of Time (Rock of Angels)

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