A country famed for its butter cookies and mass consumption of pork, Denmark has never been renowned for churning out commercially successful rock/metal bands. As far as that genre goes, former tennis protégé and Metallica bucket banger, Lars Ulrich, remains their most famous export. But back in the 90’s, a progressive minded bunch of Danes called Royal Hunt; a band founded by ivory tickler Andre Andersen, achieved a generous amount of success with the Moving Target and Paradox albums. After a conveyor belt of changes in personal, notably in the vocal department, a welcome stability has returned to the band with singer DC Cooper flexing his tonsils on new album Devil’s Dozen, their thirteenth and his third since his return in 2011.
or many years now Tad Morose is a band many of my friends have told me to check out countless times, but minus a song or two here and there I really haven’t delved deeply into their stuff. I’m not sure why, as the people suggesting them were usually pretty straight up about music, but when there are so many bands, and myself being someone that listens to so many different styles, sometimes bands fall between the cracks.
It is rare that a metal band from Northern Ireland produces something with such aggression and heartfelt passion that is more than capable of competing against its European counterparts. The straight ahead metal bands have always seemed to have an inherent fear of being just that – Metal. Ironheart have risen from nowhere and delivered a killer punch with this debut release.
Around two and a half years ago I discovered American prog band District 97, and was immediately impressed by their overall sound and their ability to mix very complex music with accessible, at times pop-ish sounding vocal melodies.
Deadlock NCHC hails from the rural county of Rutherford in NC. The band has been around for a long time now. I remember seeing them live in the late 90’s. Mostly dormant the last couple years, they have returned to the scene and are stronger than ever. I have many fond memories of watching Deadlock play to their adoring fans.
One thing’s for sure: Powerwolf knows what their fans want, and they’re certainly willing and able to deliver it time and time again. Ever since their incredible third album Bible of the Beast, these Germans have stuck to a specific formula, using elements of classic German power metal as their base, and adding their own unique flavor with the use of church organs and the epic vocals of Attila Dorn, to go with their always fun lyrics, which mix together werewolves, vampires and religion in imaginative ways. Over the course of three albums the band has perfected this formula, with each album making minor refinements to the same basic template.
Despite being a very major band in their country, and really melodic metal in general, Brazilian group Angra has never been one of my favorites. I’ve always enjoyed their music, but aside from their masterpiece Temple of Shadows, I tend to like them but not love them.
Every time I see or hear Helloween, I always come over with a massive feeling of regret. For a band who more or less founded the subgenre of power metal, and released two of the most innovative and iconic metal albums in history, Keeper Of The Seven Keys 1 & 2, they never truly reached the heights of success that those records promised.
UK melodic rockers Ten return with their follow up to the fantastic Albion with their latest release Isla De Muerta. Gary Hughes, an undisputed warlock of songwriting, and the lads deliver a masterclass with this themed epic that flutters effortlessly between the melodic and the metal.