Insomnium – Winter’s Gate (2016) – Review

Apple Music Badge Buy with Amazon!

RockmusicRaider Review - Insomnium - Winter's Gate - Album CoverIt was one of those #metal moments! Winter’s Gate, Insomnium‘s 7th full length release finally arrived at my doorstep. And what do I find? One 40 minute monster track. Come again, they did what? What on earth are they noodling about? With trepidation we think back to similar attempts made by the likes of Pink Floyd and others way back in time when monstrous, rambling concoctions were fashionable.

And not many protagonists – with some  laudable exceptions – pulled these offerings off well enough to really impress the audience ever since. Let’s be honest. So, here I sat wondering what disaster loomed ahead in this new record. And what this would do to the reputation of Insomnium, who just proved their worth in their latest album Shadows of the Dying Sun. But fear not, the album turned out to be much different than what I initially thought. [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Phantasma – The Deviant Hearts (2015) – Review

Apple Music Badge  Buy with Amazon!

RockmusicRaider Review - Phantasma - The Deviant Hearts - Album CoverTo ease my Death Metal injured ears somewhat, I started listening to some loftier and softer stuff. And stumbled across a band called Phantasma belting out a seemingly Nightwish-esque tune on an album called The Deviant Hearts. The fact that the ever cute Charlotte Wessels (Delain) is the female front on this project really piqued my interest right away. Not because she is cute of course. But because she can sing and is one of the most respected professionals in the genre.

Interestingly, the project actually features three core band members. The remaining two: Georg Neuhauser (Serenity) and Oliver Philipps (Everon) – and they harmonize really well. Which immediately shows in the quality they deliver. Added to that come a felt gazillion of guest singers, rounding this all up some more. But it is the free-wheeling, refreshing spirit of the album itself that finally got to me. A sort of overarching freedom of creation – finally discovered and exploited – that permeates the whole album.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!

Nightwish – Once (2004) – Review

Apple Music BadgeBuy with Amazon!

RockmusicRaider Review - Nightwish - Once - Album CoverYes, it is! The 2004 release Once of Finnish metallers Nightwish really is … typical Nightwish fare after all. But with a real hard-edge Heavy Metal twist that I have not seen displayed yet by this band; before and after this record. ‘Cause the ones that came before – for instance Oceanborn and to a lesser extent Century Child – ended up being some sort of a uniform amalgam of stuff. Power Metal and Gothic Metal – yes to an extent – but nothing really knocking the socks off my feet. And the albums following this here release are of a different style in a sense.

Once already exudes a certain transformational look and feel.

The band secured the use of a full orchestra for the first time – the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Ghost Love Score already features some characteristics that could be found much later, notably to a large extent in Imaginaerum. Much to the dislike of the purist addicts of their former style of course, bemoaning the fate that got them cold.  [...]  Got hooked? Raid on...!