Arch Enemy – Will To Power (2017) – Review

RockmusicRaider Review - Arch Enemy - Will To Power - Album CoverI confess. Sometimes I do look into the opinions other reviewers express. Not so much to gain specific word-by-word insight, but more to get a general drift of a record. Usually the sum of all parts gives you a pretty good idea where an album resides. It is a bit like Trip Advisor, where you get the gist of things from the overall rating. But not from the detailed wording of endless badly written and subjective comments.

For any record you will always find the fan boys and girls schmoozing the audience in glowing, sugary colors on the beauty of whatever is being discussed. And – in contrast – you will get the masters of grouch warming up, spewing their usual greenish bile. Yet, almost always the bitter truth sits somewhere in the middle.

Now in Arch Enemy‘s latest Will to Power an abyss just opened up. Black or white, the forces of evil pitched against the mighty powers of good. Where good is hardcore Melodic Death Metal and bad is the cheesy realms of the pop kings and queens. The divide between opinions is tremendous. So, it is with some trepidation that the RMR floor started on this new album from the master croakers from the North. [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Karkaos – Children of the Void (2017) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Karkaos - Children of the Void - Album CoverI just started twirling Children of the Void from the Canadian band Karkaos. Well, hells bells, this beat hitting my sound system from the cold Atlantic shores seemingly delivers some déjà-vu mix of Avantasia and a healthy tot of Sirenia. A much more ballsy version, though, and Avantasia would have to come down from their lofty heights and add some serious friggin’ crunch to match that. The enigma however lies in the supposed weakness of the metal during these first minutes. Because the Canadian metal and rock community usually does have a pretty vicious bite to it. Even if it is relatively small on an international stage given the size of the place.  

And indeed, the somewhat poppy first Avantasia-goes-Sirenia impression very quickly fades away and the album starts to kick ass seriously. Even if the synthie loving style employed by the more symphonically oriented community of the Power Metal universe never fully dies. And continues to raise its ugly head throughout the album, albeit with some serious steel claws attached. Later in the game – to my surprise – their tune takes a darker, much tougher turn, though. And starts to sail down these straits Arch Enemy took some time earlier – even if the choice of the vocal mix differs some.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Dark Portrait – A Harrowing Atrocity (2016) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Dark Portrait - A Harrowing Atrocity - Album CoverWe kind of felt that this may turn out to be the unholy year of Black Metal. And – indeed – it proved black in more ways than one. Like the fucking 50 shades of gray gone very dark and blood-laden all of a sudden. We enjoyed Ritual Black Metal from the likes of Darkend. Loads of Atmospheric stuff coming our way too, which seems to be the new, sometimes almost sanitized blackened style of the day. Played a lot by dudes without corpse paint. And now Greek fire starts to get on our mutual radar screen.

And I kid you not: Dark Portrait joining us from Athens serve us with their début album A Harrowing Atrocity. The band was born to the dark lord towards the end of 2010. After some lineup changes they issued a first EP in 2012 called Fiend Incarnate. The band states a large number of influences, some of them clearly visible. But more to that later. [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!