Epica – The Holographic Principle (2016) – Review

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Epica are known for their penchant for super-epic, somewhat overstuffed, and choir-heavy productions. Starting as a Symphonic and Gothic Metal outfit with the astonishing The Phantom Agony, the band slowly evolved towards an orchestral-laden, bombastic style that left many of their earlier fans confused in their wake.

Over the last years, we have seen many of the major players in this genre move into a similar – if not the same – direction. Which means that what should be innovation turns out to be the new mainstream of sorts. It is a little like this drive to political correctness, [...] Click to raid more!

RockmusicRaider’s Intermittent Best of… – Tome II

Caladan Brood - RockmusicRaider Music Reviews It for sure feels like a gazillion of months since I first wrote the Tome I Best of earlier in 2015. But we are only a few months down the road and already a new one is due.

Eventful was the time: From flamers attacking us with comments displaying a level of stupidity I never thought possible, to full-blown hacker attacks on the site, one total breakdown of the site with subsequent reloading and salvaging the server contents. This last one was quite heavy, barely avoiding losing months of writing.

Wondrous things were happening, too!

For example Anneke van [...] Click to raid more!

Stream of Passion – Embrace the Storm (2005) – Review

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You gotta love Progressive Rock and Metal. If well cooked, adequately spiced, and served hot, these albums play metal magic on ye. And Stream of Passion‘s debut album Embrace the Storm does exactly that.

The record gorges almost irresistibly on Gothic and Symphonic Metal elements. Not to forget that Embrace the Storm features a double female front. Well, not exactly. Marcela Bovio is the official vocalist, of course. Yet for live shows, her sister Diana joins her. A true dream team.

The record saw the light of day under the direction of Arjen Lucassen. And as we all know, pretty … [...] Click to raid more!

Stream of Passion – The Flame Within (2009) – Review

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Here is a band that improves with the past? Or should we say they decline as they move forward into the future?

Well, first I reviewed Stream of Passion‘s newest album A War of Our Own – newest meaning 2014 – and it didn’t impress me too much. So in desperation, I turned to some older stuff this band produced.

And … BINGO!

The band’s second studio album The Flame Within really delivers a much better brand of Progressive Metal. And it exceeds expectations on that scale. The band recovered nicely, after having been treated somewhat shabbily by Arjen Lucassen[...] Click to raid more!