WHILE HEAVEN WEPT: Suspended At Aphelion: CD

While Heaven Wept has existed in various forms since 1989 (though the actual moniker wasn’t settled upon until 1991), and co-founding guitarist / composer Tom Phillips has been the one constant for the past 25 years. Despite countless line-up changes in the early years, the core of the band, featuring bassist Jim Hunter, guitarist Scott Loose, and his sister Michelle on keyboards essentially came together in 1998 and has remained intact ever since, though her husband and Brave band mate Trevor came on board in 2004 after a series of drummers came and went.

Starting out playing doom metal, they have expanded into progressive, and symphonic metal on this far-reaching release. With a prologue “Introspectus,” and epilogue “Retrospectus,” both instrumentals at each end of the disc, they really show off the technical skills that are present in this band. “Icarus And I,” features a huge chorus, a catchy melody, and includes harsh, growled vocals. “Heartburst” is slow and soulful, and features a fantastic guitar solo from founder Tom Phillips. “Indifference Turned Paralysis,” is another instrumental, but it’s faster and brings a progressive feel to the track. “The Memory of Bleeding” and “Souls in Permafrost,” are powerful songs with the latter featuring an amazing chorus. “Reminiscence of Strangers,” has blinding guitar work from Phillips and guest guitarist Victor Arduini. You need to listen to the album as a whole, because it is a dynamic and richly textured experience.

Grab the headphones, turn the lights down, and drink in the sweet sounds that are on display here. Not everyone can pull off such a feat, but this is one experience that is worth having over and over again.

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http://whileheavenwept.com/

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LUNA AD NOCTUM: Hypnotic Inferno: CD

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This is the fourth album by the Polish symphonic black metal quartet LUNA AD NOCTUM that was founded in 1998. This is a concept album about abnormal human behavior, hallucinations and madness caused by psychoactive medication, which is used to reduce or eliminate the suffering caused by psychological conditions, such as insomnia, and is a heavy album.

Opening track “In Hypnosis” has creepy, evil sounding vocals that add to the heaviness of the song, the pummeling drumming has some blast beats thrown in, while the bass is bringing a thick bottom end to the song and the tough guitar riffs are not overdone, but suit the harsh song perfectly. “Fear Technique” has blast beats that hit you like a ton of bricks and the guitar playing is exemplary, “You Are What You Are” is a blisteringly fast track that would tear up a pit, and “Abnormal Pain” has intense drumming and the evil vocals are so pissed off sounding that the bitterness is palpable. These four guys, AN6 on bass and vocals, T.Infamous and Blasphemo on guitars, and Dragor on drums play with abandon and power that makes for a ride that you don’t want to stop. “Fleshless,” “Martyrium,” and my favorite song “Total Sleep Disorder” were others that stood out of the pack.

For fans of symphonic black metal, this is one to pick up as soon as you can, and play the hell out of it. A great album with no tracks that were filler, just a great listen all of the way through.

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https://www.facebook.com/massacrerecordseurope  http://www.massacre-records.de/index_e.asp

ETERNAL TEARS OF SORROW: Saivon Lapsi: CD

ETOS_SaivonLapsi_Cover

ETERNAL TEARS OF SORROW was formed in 1994 and this is the new and seventh album by this Finnish melodic death metal band that incorporates symphonic metal into the mix.

The album starts with “Saivo”, an instrumental of synthesizers and it flows perfectly into “Dark Alliance”. The song starts off with heavy guitars and epic keyboards, heavy guitars, and clean and growled vocals. “Legion of Beast” raises the stakes in  tense melodic death metal and passionately rasped vocals from longtime growler and bassist Altti Veteläinen. “Kuura” is an acoustic instrumental that meshes well with “Dance of December”, a track with gothic overtones and plenty of dramatic vocals and fantastic guitar playing by both Jarmo Puolakanaho and Mika Lammassaar. On this album you also have clean vocalist Jarmo Kylmänen whose vocals are powerful when they are present either in the pre-chorus or the chorus itself, keyboardist Janne Tolsa brings out the epic nature of the music, and drummer Juho Raappana who does a great job being the backbone of this album with his intense drumming. “The Day”, “Sound of Silence” has great dual vocals by Kylmänen and Miriam Renvåg, “Swan Saivo”, and “Blood Stained Sea” were all songs that got repeat plays on this album.

Excellent musicianship, and the captivating solo/lead work will make this a great purchase for those into this genre of metal. The contrasting vocals also added a nice change of sound within the album and within the tracks themselves. This is a solid symphonic metal effort.

https://www.facebook.com/etosofficial  http://www.eternaltears.fi/  https://www.facebook.com/massacrerecordseurope  http://www.massacre-records.com/

EDGE OF ATTACK: Self-titled: CD

Those crazy Canucks have got another killer metal band on their hands with this band out the province of Alberta. Some really powerful female vocals that are a real treat to hear instead of the operatic vocals from most female fronted metal bands.

There is a ton of melody on these ten catchy songs that are thrash, power metal and a touch of symphonic metal tinged. This band has a great sound and the production is really good, nice and clear, but not so polished that it takes away from the energy and power of this album. The song “Forever” features an upbeat group choir, and great guitar solo. The band is really tight, the  haunting vocals by Roxanne Gordey are powerful, rhythm guitarist Dallas Dyck and lead guitarist and vocalist Jurekk Whipple have great shredding guitar playing, driving and complex bass by Denver Whipple and some furious drumming by Trevor Swain made this a real pleasure to listen to. Produced by EDGE OF ATTACK guitarist/vocalist Jurekk Whipple, the debut features guests solo artist Ivan Gianinni, Ryan Boivard from HALLOWS DIE and Pellek from DAMNATION ANGELS.

This album was a total surprise to me, I really can’t think of a negative thing to say about it, this band really did an awesome job with this release and I really hope that they stick around for a long time.

http://spreadthemetalrecords.bandcamp.com/releases  http://www.spreadthemetal.com/  https://www.facebook.com/spreadthemetalrecords     http://www.edgeofattack.com/   https://www.facebook.com/edgeofattackofficial