Archive for the CDs Category

REVIEW: Orden Ogan – Final Days

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 10, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

Three years has passed since ”Gunmen” saw the day. Set in a wild west dystopic setting it is Orden Ogan’s most successful album to date, and the anticipation for the next one has been huge. I can only speak for myself, but as they announced the ”Final Days” and the concept of a dystopic space setting I got even more excited. From swamps to wild west to space and artificial intelligence – let’s do this.

The album starts out pretty straight on – with what seems to be a bit lighter than what we’re used to with the boys, but in no way bad. Already here you can tell arrangement wise of the new concept with the addition of technological filters over the voice. 

It is however, the second song of the album that first caught my attention. Starting off in the same vein as the opener just out of nowhere it escalated from zero to hero and even I found myself going ”whoa” as it approaches more that we know from ”F.E.V.E.R” and ”Gunman”. And that is the recipe for awesome, if you ask me.

The album seems to be a constant swinger of the moods – after heaviness comes the softness in ”Inferno” which is quite different from what we are used to with the boys, but a nice little different setting, and then back to what we are used to in their single ”Let the Fire Rain” is QUITE the throwback to ”Gunman”. 

”Interstellar” is the first song to really catch my attention. Featuring a cameo by Gus G I found myself with a big smile on my face from the playful melodies and the catchiness. It got something, you know? For the next song we see another cameo – this time by no one other than Ylva Eriksson from Brothers of Metal. Being a massive Brothers of Metal and specifically Ylva fan I was leaping around in circles when the collaboration was announced and I was not disappointed! 

It’s a low key beautiful and sentimental ballad called ”Alone in the Dark”, fitting of the theme of fighting artificial intelligence and survival without each other. The way Ylva’s voice compliment Seeb’s is just magical. 

After this little melancholic but beautiful break we are thrown into a series of heavy, very typical Orden Ogan songs making me think of the final showdown as far as timing goes. Starting off with ”Black Hole” and then thrown into ”Absolution for our Final Days” and ”Hollow” before wrapping up with ”It Is Over” which holds a more sentimental tone.

Over all, it’s a pretty decent album. What really sticks out for me is the details – addition of effects to the voice to make it more computerized as well as songs in general more ”popesque” but not in a ”We are abandoning metal” kind of way but to fit the theme itself. While it has some refreshing and new moments, you can still find the typical and core of Orden Ogan as well making it a pretty balanced album although I don’t find anything particularly new. Perhaps in ”Interstellar”, but that is about it. I am excited to see what they’ll do with the tour, once that is a thing again.

AFM Records

// Sara

Wig Wam – Never Say Die

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on February 22, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

So here we go again, as they sing in the title track. It’s been around nine years since they last recorded an album and around eight years since they disbanded. I’ve found myself looking at my tracker on Setlist.fm thinking to myself “I’ll never get to see this band live again” and I’ve found myself avoiding listening to their old stuff, not because I dislike it, but because it’s too painful. But there we were. Reunion show turned into a new single turn into an album that turned into a full-blown reunion. The one band I never thought would come back together are back. They are truly back. 

Receiving the album was the most surreal feeling of it all. Holding an album I never thought would see the light of day brings a certain feeling, and this is why the review has taken so long. But here it is at last, my thoughts and words on Wig Wam’s comeback album “Never Say Die” which was released a month ago on January 22nd. So lets begin, shall we?

The album opens up with a melancholic, almost dystopic kind of tune serving as an intro – painting the picture of a deserted and beaten up path where our heroes are now making their way back to us after a battle well fought which explodes into the first track of the album, being the title track which is nothing short but of a typical Wig Wam as we know them – I’d like to be as cocky to say it’s a fine mixture between ”In My Dreams” and ”Gonna Get You Someday” with a lyrical theme speaking precisely of what happened to the band – those of us who were there – we know. And this song hits right in the feel, both musically and lyrically. 

As it progresses, it continues in the vein of the typical Wig Wam although with a more raw tone. At first thought I think mostly of ”Wall Street” as I hear the rougher tone, yet I can’t help but to hear bits and pieces from the previous albums – ”Hypnotized” bringing thoughts, discreet, but thoughts nonetheless to ”Car-Lyle”, ”Shadow of Eternity” toward ”No More Living on Lies”. 

”Kilimanjaro” is another breath of fresh air – following the footsteps of the title track it comes off as a very honest song lyrically about what went down ”back in the days” and at first listen I wasn’t a huge fan of this – however, this song has come to grow quite a bit on me. More in the style of Bon Jovi’s ”Dead or Alive” (but a lot less ballad-y) 

The ballad of the album ”My Kaleidoscope Ark” doesn’t quite reach the level of ”At the End of the Day” although it’s a nice break from the otherwise pretty rough album.

Bernt Jansen makes another appearance as singer on ”Call of the Wild”, something he started doing with ”Flygin High”, a bonus track on the Japanese version of ”Wig Wamania, and it’s nice to see him being back, he brings quite a different flavor. Speaking of solos, we are finally being granted a completely instrumental song again in ”Northbound”, which is a beautiful work but still.. Perhaps I’m too stuck in the past, but it just doesn’t reach the levels of ”The Drop” for me. Although I can appreciate it a lot as a stand alone.

The album wraps up quite nicely, a bit low key as compared to how it started out, but it feels like the perfect ending – slow, low, melancholic but still leaving a taste of wanting more. ”Silver Lining” is int a league of its own.

So. I’ll be honest. As mentioned in the beginning, this is an album I never thought would see the light of day. I’ve stared at my Wig Wam count at setlist.fm many times and whispered to myself how I’d never get to see them live again, I’ve cried at Ammunition shows when Åge decided to whip out old Wig Wam tunes and yet here we are. Nine years later, here it is. The new Wig Wam album.

I must admit that I’m not… 100% sold on it. It’s a well oiled album – it’s great craftsmanship at hand but it just doesn’t go all the way, if this makes sense? Maybe I’ve outgrown the band – or perhaps they just peaked with ”Non Stop Rock n Roll” – its hard to say, but I remember a Wig Wam that used to always improve with every album. This album has taken a heavier approach than previous works, and I’m not sure if I personally feel it fits them.

I am however, grateful that I hold it in my hand. And I’m looking forward to sharing this new era with them, with a lot less drama, hopefully.

// Sara

Dragony – Viribus Unitis

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 14, 2021 by Sara Hammerzmith

Roughly in November 2019 I clicked a link from the Austrian symphonic power metal band Dragony and contributed to the recording of the upcoming album. A lot of things happened since then – In July 2020 they signed with Napalm Records – well deserved! Throughout the campaign they announced a few special guests, such as Alessia Scoletti from Temperance, Georg Neuhauser from Serenity and Michele Guaitoli from Visions of Atlantis.

In November 2020 they finally announced the concept of the album now given the name “Viribus Unitis” – telling the tale of the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, but apparently throwing in a few extra bits here and there with alternate time lines as well as tributes to video games. All in all, the album serves as a concept album something Dragony hasn’t quite dealt with since their debut album “Legends”, making this album coming back to the roots while still keeping the now ever so established Dragony sound. (To read full synopsis of the album, I’ll direct you here) A couple of songs has been written together with Tommy Johansson and Tomas Svedin (“Gods of War”) as well as Michele Guaitoli (“Love You To Death”)

The album starts off with an excerpt from a classical piece known as “The Blue Danube” (on this album referred to ‘On The Blue Danube’) only to explode in a rather aggressive opening song in ”Gods of War”, which serves as an excellent opener and bringing the thoughts immediately back to the first album of theirs, ”Legends” which much like this one is a conceptual rock opera kind of album.

Instantly, it’s followed by yet another epic intro which launches into “Love You to Death”, which directly became my own personal favorite and stayed so throughout the album. The epic intro, the adventorus verses , the massive choruses which makes this song into a pure battlehymn, despite the relatively dark lyrical theme before just casually ending with epicness. Even so, the next song in line falls under what I consider very typical Dragony trademarks musically.

This album is however a bit of a moodswinger as we move from happier cheerful anthems to a tune of a bit more darker nature, “Darkness Within”. While the song itself is actually really good, one of my tops of the album – I can’t help but to think of HammerFall upon hearing the arrangement of the song, more specifically “At The End of the Rainbow” from “Legacy of Kings”, taking some interesting turns in solos and bridges, especially the solos going all over the place, quite literally.

And from the dark place back into the typical Dragony sound of symphonic power metal in the “A.E.I.O.U”, which features Georg Neuhauser from Serenity on vocals, creating quite a harmony together with Siegfried. The song itself is one another of these battle hymns that we’ve come to be quite familiar on this album. Quite easily one of the better tracks on the album.

The title track, “Viribus Unitis” itself probably holds one of the biggest epic elements of the album, as far as beginning of the song and verses goes, and perhaps even more so in the chorus. I also adore the Alice in Wonderland references in the lyrics. It’s the perfect title track, if you ask me.

Another interesting song comes along as we start off with bag pipes – because why not at this point? We just had a song about turning a castle into a flying one. And then, as if it wasn’t odd enough, we are now throwing in a typical 80’s heartthrob in “Made of Metal (Cyberpunk Joseph)”. I’ll admit that these songs falls a bit flat for me in comparison to the other songs.

After these little… interesting sidetracks, we find ourselves back in the battle hymns as “Battle Royale” takes place with pretty much the big culmination of the album. It is a fine mix of everything that has already gone down on this album, an album that got more and more spaced out as the album went on – this is not a bad thing though. It’s made me smile quite a lot throughout the listen. Lastly, we are finding ourselves with “Legends Never Die” which gives us a bit of everything – quite a bit of techno blended with some well-crafted metal inbetween.

Something that has been very clear on this album and something I personally appreciate a lot and keep the album interesting is in all the details. There hasn’t been a single song that, despite being more or less a personal favorite of mine, hasn’t had at least some kind of effect that has made me go hah? What? Be it lyrical absurdum – Rooted in the history of what went down in the Habsburg monarchy, but with the imagination of Siegfried to take it a few steps further makes for another interesting and to say the least, entertaining and hilarious side of the album – to surprise additions such as bagpipes, techno fillers and straight down 80’s sounds in the midst of epic symphonic melodies.

All I can say is YES. I’ve waited a relatively long time for this album, and every single second spent waiting was well worth it. This is easily the best work to date from Dragony and I urge EVERYONE to pick this one up. I don’t often recommend people to buy a specific album, but with this one.. I will. It’s worth every cent. Link is under the cover.

// Sara

Napalm Records

REVIEW: Brothers of Metal – Emblas Saga

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on January 3, 2020 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, the time has come. The Falu-based eight-piece band Brothers of Metal is finally, after some long-awaited time, releasing their sophomore album. For me personally, this has been a long time coming, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. With songs like “Yggdrasil” and “Fire, Blood and Steel” they spellbound the audience, and managed to grow themselves a following. And now, it’s time for “Emblas Saga”.

The album opens up with a simple yet intriguing spoken intro which tells us the tales of a brother who was so upset with his own kind that he initiated the “Ragnarök” and are directly thrown into “Powersnake” which is a slower, more doomy kind of epic anthem which is a relatively epic, yet not as bombastic as the song following, “Hel” which on the other hand takes it all to a whole new level as far as epicness and speed goes, and not to mention the harmonies in the chorus.

“Chainbreaker” serves as a party tune which has a very interesting build up in the chorus bringing the thoughts back to the 80’s almost in a way, with a more dramatic take on the song rather than epic, with a rock-out chorus.

Ylva’s enchanting voice opens up the next song, which is more of a hymn in the vein “Defenders of Valhalla” which is pretty nice, even though it’s relatively lowkey.

In “Theft of the Hammer” we finally see their sense of humor with, especially in the line “Or else I’ll tell my dad!”. I’m pretty sure most of us who are in them have at some level fallen for their humours approaches at certain stuff, such as “Loki is my brother, he has no sex appeal” from “Son of Odin”.

The mood is slowed down a bit in “Weaver of Fate” which is a beautiful power-ballad that grows more and more epis as the song proceeds, and then straight into probably one of the more epic tracks on this album – “Njord”. It has everything. I guess it was chosen as a single for a reason, am I right? It’s Brothers of Metal just as we know them, just a bit turned up.

The most epic of tales of the album though, we find in the seven-minute-long track “Emblas Saga”. Telling the tale about what went down in a dramatic and epic setting making it the ultimate thrown down – like the whole album has been building up to this exact moment.

The hymn coming after slows down the tempo a bit, as well as the epicness about standing uniting, before it was time for another one of the major songs of the album – “One”, which comes the closest to compete with “Yggdrasil” as far as massiveness goes (And if we are really gonna compare). But letting every one of the vocalists shine the way it does, and not to mentions Ylva’s little moment weaved together in an epic breathing arrangement makes it the most epic post-battle hymns.

The album then wraps up with another few party songs that carry the vibes from songs as “Siblings of Metal” and “The Mead Song”, at least music-wise.

So.. What do we make of this?

What I make of this, is that they simply made it again. While it may not reach the entire level as the first one – and to be honest, I have yet to see a band that does, and it may as well be my “Nostalgia” kicking it, but it is a MORE than amazing follow-up. I love the fact there is more dramatic elements in the songs, making the whole album quite a trip to go through. Highs and lows, fast and slow, and lyrics digging more deeper than done before in the Norse mythology.

Well done, Brothers of Metal.

Favorite song:  “Hel” or “Njord”. A bit torn.
Least Favorite: Real hard to pick one. But I’ll put “Powersnake” here.

CDON I Amazon I Ginza I Label: AFM Records

// Sara

 

 

 

Crashdïet – Rust

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on September 25, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

Very well. Here we are. At a point that I guess not a lot of us were entirely sure we’d see. After Simon Cruz’s odd departure some years ago, we were left wondering. What happens now? But we needed not worry it seems – From the ashes into the fire, Crashdïet announces new singer Gabe, and an album is in the production. And now, we hold it in our hands.

So, what do we expect? What will we get? Singles like “Legion” and “Reptile” gave us a taste, but will it live up to the expectations?

A big fat YES is what I’ll ring out to that. At first when you put on on the album, you are greeted with the titletrack and last single of the album “Rust” which is a song that sends you straight back to 1989 with its “Dr Feelgood” vibes, which has everything! The heaviness, the melodies and the lyrics – it is the perfect start of an album.

The album itself continues in the same great vein – it’s all very typical Crashdïet, although I feel the most similarities to “Generation Wild” which I personally consider being one of the best albums in the genre all in all, but we can easily consider this album being the rebirth of a band that has struggled in ways most bands never have had to do.

The start being heavy and aggressive, the album merges out in more melodic stuff with great rhythms and angry lyrics that we’re all used to – it got the typical more partylike tunes such as “Idiots” before mellowing down into “In The Maze” which directly brings the thoughts back to closing song “Beautiul Pain” from aforementioned album.

But, my personal favorite of the album has to be “Crazy”. An upbeat party tune about an insane girl, to put it mildly. I don’t know if it’s because I relate – or if the song is just that great, but to be honest it is. It’s all in the chorus – I could listen to this to the end of times.

Loving the fact it’s followed straight by a song like “Parasite”, about unwanted people in your life. Exactly what we all feel right? The album continues in the same vein – the anger, the heaviness and attitude. The thing I’d dare to say we are kind of used to with this band.

Gabe needs to get some recognition as well. He’s doing a phenomenal performance on the album, and he has the attitude and the voice to fit the sound perfectly. I hope, and believe, he is the answer. That this time it’s for good. I’m looking forward to see him more in action besides what I already saw. He’s a gem.

So all in all. This is the rebirth of the Crashdïet we know, and they came crashing through the doors in a way we could never imagine.

// Sara

Twilight Force – Dawn of the Dragonstar

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on September 16, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

After a long journey of three years the stars has aligned once more and granted us with a Twilight Force collection – The tale of the  “Dawn of the Dragonstar”. Changes to the fellowship of the Force has been made since, as Chrileon has wandered off on different endavours, having Allyon now coming along for the adventures.

So, with the new tale along the road, shall we perhaps take a deeper look into the new lore?

The new tales of enchantments opens up with a rather epic and bombastic tune, much similarly to as it opens on the previous adventures, yet not in the near the same. “Dawn of the Dragonstar” serves us with just about the premonitions needed to excel further on this mission.

The adventures and tales continues on in the same vein as the opening – epic fanfares telling you of the adventures of the “Thundersword” coming up ahead, a tune which brings the thoughts back to elder scrolls such as “Powerwind” – yet without the similarity. What really brings my attention is the end of the tune – with its heavier and yet epic, last chorus. And the banjo? Loving it. 

From one adventure to another – cheerful melodies telling us of the crowning of a king, giving us butterflies in our tummies as we hear the jumpy and happy verses accompanied by the large choruses. A song that again, in the arrangements, brings the thoughts back in time. If you hear it, you hear it. 

We continue on our journey with the tale of another journey, just as epic as the ones before before heading straight into Lord of the rings with “Winds of Wisdom” – which opens with an intro like sapphire, and a nice lowkey verse and building up in the chorus instead. Feeling it being a bit of an extension of “Enchanted Dragon of Wisdom”. 

The clocks are ticking as we head into the probably only more aggressive tunes of the album, in “Queen of Eternity”, which isn’t necessarily speaking of an enemy, but still got a complete different mood as the rest of the album. The song has an amazing arrangement – dark opening, more melodic throughout the song and some incredible off scaled choirs. 

After getting through this, we are back on the yellow path again – but only for the music. The story tells the tale of guarding your gold against cunning men, and doing it so in again one epic way.

One of my personal favorites of the album comes up in ”Hydra”, telling the tale of an old monster from the sea – with interesting arrangements. One more song shows its way before it’s time for one of the most epic endings I’ve yet to hear from an album.

It opens up with a serene piano only to head straight into pure epicness. The shifts in tempos as well as style – going through a bit of an Asian inspired style before getting back into the verse makes it a very pleasant song to listen to, although arrangementwise it sometimes brings the thoughts back to earlier material.

Overall, I think it’s a generally good album. I enjoy Allyon’s vocals a lot, and it’s a very typical Twilight Force album, if you ask me. A lot of the arrangements brings the thoughts back to the backcatalouge, but there are not distincitve repeats, which I like a lot. Well done!

Favorite song:  A tie between “Thundersword” and “Hydra”.
Least Favorite: “Night of Winterlight”
Dance-friendliness:  4/10
Headbang-friendliness:  10/ 10
Crowd-friendliness: 9/10

// Sara

Sabaton – The Great War

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on September 6, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

So here it is people. The long awaited, tenth studioalbum from Sabaton. I do realize my review is way overdue, but better late than never right?

So, on November 11th, exactly 100 years after World War I broke out, they started the songwriting process and no less, the subject of the album is selfexplanatory – World War I. The Great War, a war so grime that it was said to end all wars. Previously in the library, Sabaton hasn’t touched this subject all too much, making it very interesting, to say the least.

So lets move on to the album?

The album opens up with a lowkey kind of intro, with distant bombs and other mechanical songs before exploding in an epic chant which sets off the album with a melody line and arrangements which brings the thoughts back to “Stalingrad” off “Primo Victoria”, dealing with the subject of the future of warfare. And with that, you can say the mood for the album had been set. If it had only stayed that way.

Already in the next song the mood is picked up with “Seven Pillars of Widsom” which carries a lot of resemblance to “White Death” off “Coat of Arms”. The song is a nice addition though, and if we weren’t getting the mood up here, it sure will bring us up in the next song, as we continue on these anthem-like songs in “82nd All The Way” which, just like the previous one, carries a resemblance, but this one to “Shiroyama” off the last album. However, I really like this one.  An incredible anthem to pay tribute to Sgt. Alvin York and what he achieved during the war.

In the next moment, we are taking a step or three down from the anthem’s, and are instead greeted with an unsettling intro of gas before being launched into a marching rhythm with accessories setting a certain mood to it. As the verse starts, I’m delighted to hear that this is actually something relatively new for being Sabaton. And I really like what I hear.

However, this break didn’t stay long until the album headed for another anthem, that is walking in some more traces of times passed. “Devil Dogs”, about the US Marines gives us an extremely powerful and cheerful anthem, bringing the thoughts slightly back to “Smoking Snakes”, but still enjoyable.

And then.. it arrives. The eerie, circus and carnival-like intro which its funny melody, giving you a funny feeling inside before setting off in a hysteric song that chugs on and on, still with the eerie organ in the background – making this song one of the top of the album. While still nodding back, still something new – like “Blood of Bannockburn” was on the preeceeder. While it may not be the most technical or difficult, this is also the guitarsolo I enjoy the most. This song as a whole – is just so god damn great.

Speaking of great, the great anthem of this album is just around the corner. The Titletrack is, not to my surprise, is a large and epic anthem, just like on many of the albums before this – and this has very quickly made its way to my personal favorite. With the quiet first verse, epic and bombastic choruses, the aggressive second verse and almost hopeful bridge, this song is the shit. And the lyrics, talking about the lyrics. This is some of the best lyrics I’ve seen from the band. While the lyrics of “Red Baron” has its charms and twists, it doesn’t come near this soldier perspective song dealing with the duality of feelings about the conflict as a whole. Yes. YES.

Two filler songs come after this – and I do want to give “A Ghost In the Trenches” A little heads up for that ending – that was real good.

Upon my first hearing of this album I hadn’t done a song count, so when this low, slow musical intro started, I assumed in my head that this was “In Flanders Fields”, and I started to slowly drift of to the serene tunes… as the song then went completely bonkers. “The End of the War to End All Wars”, starts off nicely and then launches into attack mode. I guess a bit like war. The song itself talks about the war that was supposed to be the end of all wars, and this song is an emotional rollercoaster. The verses are uneasy and hysteric, and the choruses are beautiful, epic and heartbreaking.

“In Flanders Fields” is the perfect ending to this album, mesmerizing arrangement and I’ve found myself putting this on repeat. Is there some hypnosis in this? Who knows.

So.. That’s a walkthrough. What are my feelings about the album then?

In general I think this is a pretty good album. While it may contain a little too many nod-backs that I can’t completely ignore, the gems of the album – “Red Baron” for instance – makes completely up for it. Overall, it’s a slick production that holds water, no matter what.

Favorite song: “The Great War”, followed tight by “Red Baron”. But please ask me again in six months.
Least Favorite: “Fields of Verdun”
Dance-friendliness:  4/11
Headbang-friendliness:  8/ 11
Crowd-friendliness: 7/11

// Sara

Unboxing – Sabaton: The Great Box

Posted in CDs, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 4, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

At last it arrived! Pre ordered some time in March or April, and delayed for a month and a half for whatever excuse they gave, it’s here at last. I am a bit unhappy with the delay – when the Tank from the Tank Edition was late, Nuclear Blast DID in fact ship out the rest of the content before it was done, and I feel they could have done that here as well. I do not understand nor know the obessession they have with always keeping everything until the last missing item is there, causing a huge dissatisfaction amongst their clients. We can only know, huh? They say production was late, but why didn’t they start already before they put it up for sale?

So on to the box. The box is a lot smaller than the prototype insisted originally – Originally it looked more like the History Version CD, and although we know that wasn’t the final box on the image, it still.. Is a little weird, don’t you think? That it differs that much. The box on the image was a full big box, and we got a pizza box size item.

I will however gice them cred for the details. I liked the fact that the recipients country is stamped on the box, as well as the metal hooks holding it together.

And when you open it, it looks like this

So, lets move onto the contents?

All in all, this is the content of the box, and my box more specifically. Three vinyls – regular vinyl, History Edition with a lot of blabber between every song and an instrumental “soundtrack” edition.

Earbook containing the same things as mentioned above, but on CD. With large artwork!

Five different photographs of the members of the band, not signed, but they look cool.

The poem “In Flanders Fields” together with a poppy+ Sabaton Logo pin. The Poppies are a memorial symbol for the people who lost their lives in the World War I.

And last but not least, one of the propaganda posters. Sabaton has since this tour started to spit out propaganda flyers about every song on their shows – and here we randomly get a poster depicting one of the flyers. My poster represent the song “The End of the War to End All Wars”

I must admit – something that makes me really unhappy with these posters is the need to slap the Sabaton + The Great War logo onto them. I have looked up what the others look like, and they all would really look so much better without the logo slapped everywhere, and just the quote.

So.. What can I say. I’m all in all pretty happy. At the end of the day, I knew, all of us, knew what we were getting. I guess I personally perhaps wish we could have gotten all the posters. Because why not?

As a bonus, I’ll throw in the propaganda flyers – so you can see what they all look like. Although, I suspect this is a misprint since the poppy has the quote from The Great War, and the Great War has the Flanders Fields quote.

These however, you collect during the gigs!

So, that was my few coins about that. In a few days, my review of the album shall be up as well.

// Sara

 

REVIEW: Rise of the Dragon Empire – Bloodbound

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 20, 2019 by Sara Hammerzmith

So the time has come. The time has come for Bloodbound to present to us their eight studioalbum, which so also happens to be the continuation of the saga started on the previous two albums, “Stormborn” (2014) and “War of Dragons” (2017). Now, they hand us a newely forged album straight from the blacksmith. And I couldn’t be more stoked.

The album starts off pretty intense in fact. It heads straight into an uptempo song, which also happens to the title track of the album. The song is full of cheerful and interesting melody lines, and it continues like this throughout the album with a few stick-off’s – second song of the album “Slayer of Kings”offers us some heavier battle tunes with an extremely headbang friendly chorus and fast shredding verses, before launching into an epic story about “Skyriders and Stormbringers”. A more magical and mystic approach is being served in “Magical Eyes” which tells the tale of exactly that.

And then, my friends, a new metal anthem and hymn has found the light of day “Blackwater Bay” is nothing short of a massive anthem – the way it’s been arranged musically and the crowd like constant chanting. I could absolutely see this being played with the whole crowd coming along with the song itself. This is one of the highlights most definitely on the album for me.

The album is picked up in “Giants of Heaven” and the rest of the album serves that same sort of purpose – heavy beats with cheerfull melody lines, with “Warlock’s Trail” being the only song to really stand out for me in the end – bringing the thoughts back to “To Hell and Back” with Sabaton, I can see this song being something extremely appreciated by the crowd. It’s a new “Silver Wings”, if you like.

The album is at last round off with a power ballad, giving a more mellow ending to an otherwise very powerful album. The band has had a very strong influence of Nordic folk elements this time around, something I appreciate a lot, as well as an added amount of keyboard accessories, creating hymns and hits that will stick in your brain. But sadly, none of it’s particularly new.

I mentioned “To Hell and Back” above when talking about one song, but I found myself many times thinking the lyrics to various songs by various bands (Sabaton, Alestorm, Serenity and HammerFall to mention a few bands) and while it’s hard these days to write something completely new, I’m not sure how fond I am of the fact that I found myself singing the lyrics to “1741 (The Battle of Cartagena)” when listening to “Slayer of Kings”.

That aside, the band has created yet another solid album which really does follow the line of its preceders. I guess you can tell I have pretty mixed feelings about it. I really enjoy a lot of the tracks, but damn. If the similarities weren’t so obvious…

Favorite song: “Blackwater Bay” I think.
Least Favorite: “Balerion”
Dance-friendliness:  5/11
Headbang-friendliness:  9/ 11
Crowd-friendliness: 7/11


(Label: AFM Records)

CDON I Ginza I Amazon

// Sara

REVIEW: Dynazty – Firesign

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 25, 2018 by Sara Hammerzmith

Finally. You guys know that Dynazty is one of my all-time favorite bands these days, and every time there is a little shed of news about them it makes my heart pop. So ever since I heard of them getting to work on their third album I was beyond stoked. And finally, it is here!

The album starts off great with a heavy, melodic and rather big arrangement in “Breathe With Me” which serves well as an opening track. The only disappointing thing to find here – is the chorus falling a little flat as compared to the rest of the song, but it can’t all be perfect huh?

The album continues with the dramatic yet powerful “The Grey” which got one of those amazing melody lines that I just love, before launching into heavier tones with “In the Arms of the Devil” which got a little different lyrical theme as to what we have become used to when it comes to Dynazty – a love-related song for the first time in like forever.

And it’s after this the first highlight of the album comes for me – “My Darkest Hour”. It is one of those epic, big and heavy tunes that creates a thin line between epicness and melancholy, together with that kind of lyrics. And here, the chorus is what really makes it, in the veins of symphonic metal. I can’t really describe the ultimate feeling, although I try my best.

The album moves on to “Ascension” which is a pretty good tune – it’s a lot less than the previous mentioned, perhaps more raw if you like, with fewer things happening around it.

However, what is coming next is the biggest highlight of the entire album. The title track itself. With electronic elements that bring thoughts more toward Rammstein than Amaranthe, and the melodies we have gotten used to with Dynazty they deliver what is most certainly the best track of the album. The chorus will make ANYONE get out of their seats and jump around, seriously.

“Closing Doors” are following up, but sadly falling a bit flat. For me, this is more of a filler track, especially when it’s being followed up by “Follow Me” which is probably one of the heavier tracks on the album – the chorus is almost like a punch in the gut. Or at least whiplash damages in your neck material. Going back into the electronic elements, we get “Let me Dream Forever” which is a rather sweet song actually. It’s got a very nice and sweet melody to it and a very nice chorus.

The album is wrapped up with the heavy tune “Starfall” and later on the movie-esque epic kind of “The Light inside the Tunnel” which serves as a pretty decent wrap-up. It might fall a little flat compared to the rest of the album, but it feels like a nice ending you know?

Overall, I think this album is really, really good. I can’t get enough of it. Unlike “Titanic Mass”, this album is becoming a very strong contender in the competition to “Renatus”, which I still consider being one of those perfect albums made by a band.

Favorite song: “Firesign”
Least Favorite: Hard to choose, but I have to say “Starfall” in that case.
Dance-friendliness:  6/11
Headbang-friendliness:  10/ 11
Crowd-friendliness: 6/11


(Label: AFM Records)

CDON I Amazon I Ginza

// Sara