Insomnium – Winter’s Gate (2016) – Review

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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.Got hooked? Raid this some more...

Phantasma – The Deviant Hearts (2015) – Review

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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, 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.Got hooked? Raid this some more...

Nightwish – Once (2004) – Review

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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.Got hooked? Raid this some more...

Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful (2015) – Review

RockmusicRaider Review - Nightwish - Endless Forms Most Beautiful - Album CoverIt is indeed and undeniably Nightwish as we know it. My fears that this time we would be faced with something entirely different did not materialize. But this very same and familiar style is presented with an added edge to boot.

And it is not more metal. It is darker, more direct, a tad louder than before. There is a distinct or – shall we say – pretty heavy use of symphonic and folk elements that is another hallmark of their 8th full length studio album Endless Forms Most Beautiful. So, this is undeniably Nightwish, but refreshingly different from their last record Imaginaerum. This whole concoction reminds me a bit of Dark Passion Play, but it is different still and for sure faster.Got hooked? Raid this some more...

Tuomas Holopainen – The Life and Times of Scrooge (2014) – Review

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RockmusicRaider - Tuomas Holopainen - Life and Times of Scrooge - Album CoverNo, it is not Metal. And it is not Nightwish – for sure, whereas there are similarities as described further down below. Tuomas Holopainen‘s 2014 solo project The Life and Times of Scrooge is nothing more (and nothing less) than a soundtrack for a story. A graphic novel – that never quite became a film – kind of in waiting for a film project to emerge. And it is a great story, by the way.

When I first learned about The Life and Times of Scrooge way back last year I thought this was just a crazy idea (I am suffering from an attack of diplomacy today). To tell a story is inherently difficult, as The Diary of The Gentle Storm can attest.Got hooked? Raid this some more...