Mercy Isle – Undying Fire (2016) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Mercy Isle - Undying Fire - Album CoverThe Gothic and Symphonic Metal universe out there did not necessarily thrill me in 2016 (or even before, for that matter). After the general salivating on these genres stopped, many of them bands have not quite gone where no man went before and developed their tune further. Instead most like to take the lighted safe road and just produce the same thing in a different robe all over again. Now, some have seen the light (no pun intended) and started to put refreshing energy back into what never was. For instance, Diabulus in Musica and Epica both issued pretty sturdy new records that got my hopes up again.Got hooked? Raid this some more...

Avantasia – Ghostlights (2016) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Avantasia - Ghostlights - Album CoverAfter listening to Ghostlights from Avantasia, we are all going to be encased in a coffin of hard cheddar, covered with yoghurt and buried in the deep abysses of the Mighty Milky Land, where the cheese was born. Never to come back and as the unburied undead, madly chanting away choruses from Tobias Sammet‘s latest mighty project. Because this production will get into your head, replace your windy branches of your brain with Avantasia tracks and make you repeat them all over again. The never-ending, kind of theatrically laden bombast will help to beat these tracks into you like this mighty sledge-hammer this album wants to become.Got hooked? Raid this some more...

Trillium – Alloy (2011) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Trillium - Alloy - Album CoverI have been a fan of Amanda Somerville ever since she appeared on my radar. Mainly perceived as a background singer at first. This when starting to review Epica‘s tribulations in The Phantom Agony. Then her other talents and projects came to light. Such as the Kiske/Somerville records that have brought her some considerable fame. And here she is with her own production and début album Alloy‘of her gig ‘Trillium‘.

So, excitement reigned and I could not wait to listen to this new record. Looking at the excellent album art and some samples found on YouTube – expectations running high. But – hells bells – whilst attempting to place itself in the Gothic Metal arena (without growls, much to my relief..), Alloy really bends towards a rocky version of the Pop Metal universe (I am leaning far out the window here..).Got hooked? Raid this some more...

Epica – Consign to Oblivion (2005) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Epica - Consign to Oblivion - Album CoverBut, where is the metal? This is the question I asked myself since starting with this record. It kind of gets off the ground with some theme seemingly from the Pirates of the Caribbean or something. And then – more symphonic orgasms by the dozen. But the metal? The METAL?

‘Tis a most strange production! Or is the 2nd studio album Consign to Oblivion of the Dutch Symphonic Metal band Epica just an example of playing it safe? But as they like to call their style Gothic Metal – well, this is kind of an important question.

The theme is – of course – again of the sophisticated kind.Got hooked? Raid this some more...

Epica – The Phantom Agony (2003) – Review

RockmusicRaider Review - Epica - The Phantom Agony - Album CoverAh, I am relieved! Just listening to Epica and their June 2003 debut concoction The Phantom Agony. And I am really taken aback by the quality and depth of this production. What a nice surprise. Especially after just having reviewed their 2014 Little Booklet of Night Horrors The Quantum Enigma, which was kind of out of control. A real pity by the way. Frankly, I really feared to find something very similar in this record.  

Usually I am not too fond of operatic productions. Most of the time too much pretentious bombastic bullshit to keep a straight face with. But this one is really, REALLY good! Well, well – it is agony indeed, unknown torment to my metal soul too!Got hooked? Raid this some more...