Xaon – The Drift (2017) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Xaon - The Drift - Album CoverThe RockmusicRaider officescape likes drama. Especially a loud drama with a lot of boom and bang. And we have remarkable drama queens around the Gothic and Symphonic Metal universe, blackened ones included. Just think about Dimmu Borgir or Fleshgod Apocalypse to name just two of them.

Now, here we can add another one: The Swiss outfit Xaon rumbles onto the scene like Mad Max on a bad day. They already gave us a first broadside of what they can do in 2016 with their EP Face of Balaam. And they are back with a hammer blow of a record disguised beneath a simple and almost nihilistic art cover in blue and gray shades.Got hooked? Raid this some more...

Xandria – Theater of Dimensions (2017) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Xandria - Theater of Dimensions - Album CoverThey did it. They finally dit it. Xandria managed to keep one of their female fronts a bit longer than for a felt stretch of one album only. So, here they again feature the classically trained Dutch singer Dianne Van Giersbergen on their second album in a row. And rightly so. Talented girl that she is, she can easily match a range from Tarja Turunen, over Floor Jansen and back to Simone Simons. And that means something.

As the band’s progression goes, already their last contribution Sacrificium was a step up the star-studded ladder of operatic glory. This makes you wonder where their latest and seventh full length record Theater of Dimensions will take us.Got hooked? Raid this some more...

Newsflash: AfterTime bemoan a lost world!

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RockmusicRaider Newsflash - Aftertime - World We've Lost - Album CoverHa! Looks like 2017 got off to a juicier symphonic start than I expected. A few watery sunrays hit us already late last year with a couple of Symphonic Metal players turning in some pretty sturdy material. Even some of the ‘established’ bands, have seen the light and kicked it up a couple of notches. But of course not nearly enough to counter the same-same, but different legion that likes to dominate the genre. So, luckily we have some exceptions.

Now, these guys state their influences to be Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica and Leaves’ Eyes – amongst others. And you know what? Well, yes – and yes, spot on.Got hooked? Raid this some more...

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...

Ghost of Mary – Oblivaeon (2016) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Ghost of Mary - Oblivaeon - Album CoverAh, the Italian #metal scene just never ceases to amaze me. From the mountainous foothills of the upper North to the very bottom of the heel you will find a plethora of #metal bands. Their styles are as diverse as the geographical spread they cover. From deep, dark Black Metal over airy Symphonic to Pagan Metal – you have them all. To top it, many of them are of international renown, I would like to add. Then you got the new and upcoming bands like Ghost of Mary with their début Oblivaeon.

In many ways the style of Ghost of Mary reminds me of Fleshgod ApocalypseGot hooked? Raid this some more...