Kamelot – The Shadow Theory (2018) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Kamelot - The Shadow Theory - Album CoverDo you know why the 2017 Ensiferum record still did not get a review? It is not for lack of trying. The reason is the predictability of their product. This argument leading to ‘I told you so’ on style and execution. This almost divine anticipation that – most of the time – is right on target. And this drives everyone around the RMR officescape nuts. 

And that’s the fault of these bands that grovel to the gods of the music industry and just say and do all the things the label will want to hear. So, whenever these records start turning, I am disgusted. And it is not that Power / Melodic / Gothic Metal cannot be entertaining. Or be outright great, as Gloryhammer demonstrated so aptly. It is this inability to step out of the comfort zone and try new things that really gets on the wrong side of me.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Arrayan Path – Dawn of Aquarius (2017) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Arrayan Path - Dawn of Aquarius - Album CoverMany a metal wizard is already active in the Power Metal arena with many more trying to get a foothold in a very crowded genre. And this breeds uniformity, which – by definition – shuns progression and evolution to anything new. Methinks that the ‘typical’ sound and style now ingrained themselves into the minds of fans and pros alike. So much so that a certain expectancy arose with the fan community as to how Power Metal ought to sound. Known values are good for the soul, are they not?

So to avoid to swim up mainstream creek without a paddle, bands need to make an extra effort to be heard. To the point that some of them drive themselves to extremes to get there. Gloryhammer in space, anyone? Or they Unleash The Archers and play Mad Max in a desert. So in other words, many bands resort to exuberance and flamboyance to stand out from the mean crowd that continues to almost religiously stir the stale brand of pottage Power Metal has often become.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Leprous – Malina (2017) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Leprous - Malina - Album Cover2017 will be a good year for Progressive and Alternative Rock and Metal. And I have a feeling that some of them players will end up on the 2017 Top 10 Records list. Increased sophistication seems to be the game these days too. Away from heavy-handed djent-ism to more refined shores. So much so that some bands lose their metal chops and reinvent themselves in pop and some tastier versions of rock. The last example is the late To The Bone from Steven Wilson. And no, it did not go pop, but sports some sort of Progressive Rock of the poppy kind. Not bad at all.

To change direction like that is like taking leave from your trusty and favorite New York steakhouse and be adventurous. Try some Nouvelle Cuisine. You know, these guys serving you next to nothing on big white plates with a pretty decoration. Dishes served with paired wine in dining rooms decked out in coldly calculated comfort that chill your soul. And then they charge you a gazillion of hard earned dollars for it. Very avant-garde and for food nerds of the wealthy kind.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!