Amorphis – Queen of Time (2018) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Amorphis - Queen of Time - Album CoverAye! Guilty! The first listen of Queen of Time – Amorphis‘ 2018 concoction – originated from a relatively lo-fi streaming platform. And – unsurprisingly – this first glimpse left yours truly wondering where Amorphis was headed these days. Terrible visions of Amaranthe-esque disasters, misguided Power Metal et al. But the Finns usually have been a stable brand. At least until now. So, confusion reigned for a while at the RockmusicRaider offices.

Just think back to the outstanding ’96 album Elegy or the 2015 piece Under The Red Cloud, perhaps with the exception of Circle that earned less brownie points. In this sense, the puzzle did not fit at all. The supreme powers that be @ RMR thus decreed a forced waiting time until such time that a better copy would become available. And – lo and behold – the moment hi-fi amps started to flow from the music machine, things started to change.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

The Gentle Storm – The Diary (2015) – Review

[Originally posted on 30 August 2015]
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RockmusicRaider Review Gentle Storm The Diary - Album CoverHere I am going to hunt for once well outside my usual haunts and dark forests of yonder badlands, lost at sea – feeling like Jack Sparrow with his compass pointing nowhere. Landing back in spice trade nirvana, creaking planks and salted beef for supper. This new endeavour all started when I heard about a double-concept album called ‘The Diary’ coming out under the name of The Gentle Storm, featuring Anneke Van Giersbergen (long time ago with The Gathering, Townsend project and solo) as THE VOICE (okay, the vocalist…LOL) and Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Stream of Passion). And I got very excited. 

With the bottomless creative reservoir of Arjen Lucassen at work for song writing and a very capable vocalist like Anneke in charge of lyrics, ’tis just gotta be good. Right? RIGHT?? And in truth, The Diary is a delight to listen to, with some slight similarities to the album Embrace the Storm of Stream of Passion 10 years earlier – but only just. Looks like they like stormy names for their productions. [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

2015 Top 10 Records

RockmusicRaider Review - Amalie Bruun - GuitarThe first full year for RockmusicRaider went by and a great many records were reviewed. A wild ride it was and still is, with challenges galore, some overcome and some still lurking nearby. This list covers records that got released in 2015. And who would have thought that the black section of #metal would be getting such attention during this year. Certainly not me. I am looking forward to a even more eventful 2016 and the pipeline does look pretty much filled already – but this is only the beginning.

So, let’s step right in:

RockmusicRaider Review - Finsterforst - Mach dich Frei - Album Cover#10 – Finsterforst – Mach Dich Frei

Talk about crunch, this is very powerful stuff. The boys from the Black Forest (the modern denomination of Finsterforst) in Germany just hit you over the head with some sort of Forest Death Metal of the folksy kind. Mach Dich Frei is probably the best record they released so far and the title song is just captivating. I really enjoyed the record as a whole – crystal clear, brutal and just good. The lyrics are all in German, but they enjoy communicating in English. Go figure. Whatever the language you speak, however, this record should be worth at least a listen. As I said above, powerful stuff. [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!