When you look at the history of most symphonic, female-fronted metal bands, the vocalist is a very important person, who barely parts ways with a successful band. Most of the time the woman behind the mic is an iconic figure, the eye catcher in front of the band. But that’s not really how the German Xandria works, apparently, because they already made it to their fifth vocalist. To showcase Dianne van Giersbergen’s abilities Xandria releases the EP ‘Fire & Ashes’.
Quite a lot of cover bands are given the chance to prove themselves in front of the bigger audiences these days. Even on the grander festivals like the Belgian Graspop Metal Meeting or the Dutch Zwarte Cross entire days or stages are dedicated to allowing these bands to show their talents. It’s a great thing to hear that a cover band decides to go and write their own music. That’s what happened to the ex-Testament cover band System Overthrown and they just released their self-titled debut album.
It’s definitely something if a famous producer, like Iron Maiden’s Kevin Shirley, is willing to produce your second album. Not only have you made your presence known with your debut, but you also aroused the interest of international players in the music business. This is exactly what happened with the Australian three piece Tracer and now they’re back with a third full-length record: ‘Water For Thirsty Dogs’.
Let’s start with a little quiz: Which country do you think the band Russkaja comes from? Exactly, not Russia. With their birthplace marked as Vienna, Austria, this band claims to make polka rock. Yet when I listen to it a couple of times and give it some thought, this band’s product sounds like ska. Why would a rock and metal label like Napalm Records sign a band like this? Maybe their new album ‘Peace, Love & Russian Roll’ gives us the answer.
Before reviewing the new Powerwolf album, I should state that I completely missed the bandwagon when it comes to this band. ‘Blessed & Possessed’ is their sixth album already and I’m ashamed to say that the latest addition is the only one that I’ve listened to. But once I dived into the record I found out that Powerwolf’s music is extremely addictive and absolutely worth your while.
And here we go again! The new album by the Canadian powermetallers of Unleash The Archers is one of the records that I was gradually drilling into the ground, buried under layers of critique. One of the records that, while I was skeptical about almost everything, turned out to be quite entertaining! ‘Time Stands Still’ resulted into being quite the fun record.
Is it possible to fall in love with a voice? Not the physical kind of love, of course, but the sound, coloring and timbre of someone’s vocals? To me the new album by District 97 has definitely made an enormous impression. Some of the female vocals that grace the new record called ‘In Vaults’ are simply electrifying. Will we be able to salvage more than just the vocals from this record?