Invictus – Burst The Curse

Invictus

Invictus – Burst The Curse
Self-Released
Release Date: 15/03/2019
Running Time: 11:09
Review by Mark Pritchard
10/10

I was recently asked to review an EP called “Burst The Curse” by German Heavy/Speed/Power Metal Band Invictus. I have actually heard of these guys but not much of their material and that is definitely something I regret. ‘Burst The Curse’ is only three songs but what a three songs they are. Being somewhat of a ‘newcomer’ to their music I am awestruck. For a first introduction they have made one hell of an impression on me. These three tracks, personally, sound completely different to each other which I really enjoy.

The first thing that pops out to me when listening is that you don’t just hear their passion but feel that passion. Their intensity and playing skill as well as the awesome vocals makes this band and my ears a ‘match made in heaven’. With the EP being short, it has allowed me to listen to them more times than I can count, most would say that I have been listening too thoroughly which isn’t the case, I just really enjoy this EP and It is one of those releases, for me, that is a hidden gem. Most fans of music look as hard as they can to find an album or EP that satisfies their craving for music from a band that they might not have had the chance to listen to before but I was lucky enough to be asked to review it and I am definitely grateful that I agreed!

Dave on Drums, Fabi on Bass Guitar, Both Andi and Fabio on Guitar and capped off with Nico with Vocals makes for an amazing combination and for a band that have been together since 2010 shows that they know what they are doing and where they want to go. To be in the game for nine years shows the dedication they have for not just making music but to push themselves onwards and upwards which is awesome and to be able to review this EP has been out of this world.

Now for the part of the review that is the toughest and that is its rating. Well I say toughest but deciding a rating for this was not close to being tough. I have listened to this EP numerous times, actually for the last three days straight it’s the only thing I have listened to and I couldn’t rate it anything but a 10/10, this EP is absolutely magnificent to listen to and I also have a favourite song out of the three which is the second song called ‘Gaia’, this song is more slow paced but I love it a lot and I rate that song a 10/10 on its own, an absolutely amazing EP.

I would like to thank Markus at METALMESSAGE PR for giving me the chance to review this awesome band and EP as well as the band members Nico, Fabi, Fabio, Andi and David for the hard work they put into this and I would suggest for any fans of metal to go and check these guys out!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Burst The Curse
02. Gaia
03. Someone Out There

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/InvictusHeavyMetal/
https://www.instagram.com/invictus_metal_official/
https://invictusheavymetal.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMvNHGJU8lZJvZ6UzHCWSaA?

 

Invictus Promo Pic

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Ragenheart – The Last King

RAGENHEART CD BOOKLET-CURVES-DARKER.cdr

Ragenheart – The Last King
Independent / Distribution Steel Gallery Records
Release Date: 30/03/2018
Running Time: 48:42
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

After not having reviewed anything for a while due to personal circumstances, I needed something with a bang to come back to. I let Rick decide what to give me and boy does that guy know my taste in music. Enter Ragenheart and their new album The Last King!

Ragenheart are a Greek power metal band, forming in 2003 and composing their name by combining the phrase Rage In Heart. Founding members were Angel Priest on guitars and John Koronaios on vocals and they soon enlisted “Speedy” Nick on drums. The addition of Nikos Michalakalos on bass in 2004 and Stavros Papazoglou on keyboards in 2006 completed the line up and they soon released a five track demo.

Kostas Athanasoglou (Steel Gallery Records) and Greg Varsamis (Eat Metal Records) listened to the demo and decided to help the band, offering them the chance to open a gig for the legendary Hair Apparent. With their continued assistance, the band had several support shows for bands like Cloven Hoof and Leatherwolf.

2010 saw the release of their successful debut, Ragenheart and now in 2018, they release their second full length album The Last King.

So what can I say about this album? Well, a few words spring to mind….fantastic, great, awesome to name some but the best I can come up with is that this is a true power metal album in every sense of the word.

This is a stunning album with songs combining influences from the whole range of power metal from early Queensryche, to Dio, Riot, Savatage and Warlord. The vocals from John Koronaios are superb, the melodies and composition are fantastic and the production is bright, clear and powerful.

The tracks are full of crunching, heavy guitars and harsh drums, but with the obligatory power ballad or two. There are no bad songs on the album and none that could be considered fillers.

I had this in my car for weeks and didn’t want to take it out again. Stand out songs for me were, amongst others, title track The Last King, Fear and Metal Rules The Night (The 80’s Outcast), which really does sound like it came straight from the 1980’s.

In my opinion, no one does power metal better than the Europeans and I absolutely adore the little twang that appears in European singers vocals at times. Koronaios is an awesome vocalist and he sings English almost perfectly but the little accent that appear every now and then just gives him, in my opinion, that little bit of an edge.

If you are a power metal fan, like me, you will love this album. Even the cover has that typical power metal feel! But, even if you are not a power metal fan, this album has element of lots of genres of metal thrown in, so there should be something for everyone!

I had never heard of Ragenheart before I had reviewed this album, but I will definitely go back and check out there previous album and also will be keeping an eye and an ear out for any new stuff they release in the future.

TRACK LISTING:
1. A Thousand Years Empire
2. The Last King
3. Fear
4. Echo
5. Mirror
6. Metal Rules the Night (The 80s Outcast)
7. Dreamer
8. Blind Alley
9. Forever Rain
10. The End
11. Our Mighty Past

SOCIAL MEDIA:
http://www.ragenheart.net/
https://www.facebook.com/Ragenheart-162745123756811/
https://myspace.com/ragenheart
All alone

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Shadowkeep – Shadowkeep

Shadowkeep Cover

SHADOWKEEP – SHADOWKEEP
Pure Steel Records
Release Date: 30/03/2018
Running Time: 55:01
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
6.5/10

I got excited when the latest album by Shadowkeep dropped into my inbox and, as it had also landed in the Ever Metal inbox, Rick said I might as well be the one to review it.

But, let me tell you a bit about the history of the band before we get to the album.

Shadowkeep are an English heavy metal band from Guildford in Surrey and were formed in 1999 by guitarists Chris Allen (ex-Intense and Sire) and Nikki Robson (also ex-Sire) and Belgian vocalist, Rogue Marechal (ex-Halcyon). They recorded their debut six-track EP at Thin Ice Studios in Surrey, England, in October 1999, an EP that was produced by fellow English rocker, Threshold’s guitarist and producer, Karl Groom, and a couple of albums followed.

Despite the longevity of the band, there have been numerous line up changes over the years and 2012 saw the appearance of the band’s TENTH incarnation! But now, 2018, sees them striking back with a new album, their 4th studio album and the first for ten years, and a new singer (this is the bit I got excited about!!)

None other than James Rivera, formerly of Seven Witches and currently of Helstar, has joined the quintet after they approached him to sing on their new album. But, with the addition of the 58-year-old Texan, comes a few changes to the band’s sound and dynamics. Previously compared to the more progressive bands, such as Queensryche and Crimson Glory, the new album takes them more in the direction of classic 80’s US metal, with James and his distinctive voice putting their stamp on the 11 new tracks.

So, what of the new album? I have listened to it numerous times and I still can’t make my mind up about it.

Musically, the guys are on top form. The duel guitar harmonies and riff based rhythmic work give the album an obvious aggression that all good metal albums should have, and Rivera’s voice is just as good as it has always been.

BUT……….

Having not really heard much of the band’s past music, I have nothing to compare this to, but what I have read while researching them, is that the previous offering was a lot more subdued than this. Now, I don’t know whether that is due to the introduction of Rivera, or whether the guys have just decided to do things differently this time round, but what it does mean, is that this album is dangerously close to sounding just like “any other Helstar album”.

Speed and power metal aspects are greatly emphasized is this album, the whole theme being Greek mythology and stories of other Mediterranean cultures (typical in the power metal scene). All, that is, except “Never Forgotten” which is a homage to the British soldiers of World War 1.

I have seen reviews of this album state that Rivera dominates while others say that he is nearly obliterated, (how interesting it is to see how differently reviewers see things), but my two pennies worth would be that Rivera has obviously had an influence over the album, although I am not entirely convinced that this is a good thing.

I like variety in metal, but this album sounds just like any other epic power/speed metal album. Although the songs are good, there is nothing on it that stands out from the rest and really grabs you by the balls. I couldn’t tell you my favourite song on it because I don’t really have one. I like and dislike them all just as much as each other.

If you like riff-laden, meaty, speed metal then this album will be right for you, but for those of you who are looking for that little bit extra…..well, you are not going to find it here!

But, I am just one of many and you might have a different opinion to me! Check it out. It’s not one of the best albums out there but it’s still a worthy addition to any metalhead’s collection.

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Atlantis
  • 2. Guardian of The Sea
  • 3. Flight Across the Sand
  • 4. Horse of War
  • 5. Little Lion
  • 6. Angels and Omens
  • 7. Isolation
  • 8. Never Forgotten
  • 9. The Sword of Damocles
  • 10. Immortal Drifter
  • 11. Minotaur

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.shadowkeepmetal.co.uk/
  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/Shadowkeepmetal/
  • https://www.deezer.com/en/artist/62727?autoplay=true
  • https://myspace.com/shadowkeepuk
  • www.twitter.com/shadowkeepmetal

 

Promo Pic1 (1)

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

ÖBLIVÏON – RESILIENCE

Resilience Cover

Öblivїon – Resilience
Running Time: 51:42
Rock of Angels Records / Rock N Growl Promotions
Release Date: 23/02/2018
9/10

As much as I don’t like to make comparisons between bands, it’s kind of hard not to when three fifths of the French band Öblivïon originate from power metal band of the 2000’s, Nightmare.

Having parted ways with the latter band, vocalist Jo Amore, brother David Amore and keyboardist (although now guitarist) Steff Rabilloud, form the basis of Öblivïon, along with 6-string bassist Markus Fortunato (Fortunato, ex-MZ) and new guitar hero from the extreme metal scene, Flo Lagoutte (Forsaken World), and they have already established themselves in France and Europe with a series of concert and festival appearances.

Recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by Pat ‘Magician’ Liotard (Nightmare. Now or Never) at Peek Studios in the South of France, Resilience is their anticipated and promising debut album and was released by Rock of Angels Records on 23rd February 2018.

Promising that this album will “blow the minds of melodic, modern power metal lovers”, Öblivïon are proud to fly the flag for melodic metal through solid, lyrical and powerful melodic songs using twin guitars and hooks, along with an unrestrained speedy pace with some progressive and symphonic elements thrown in and topped off with some great lyrics.

The album opens with ‘Spectral Warrior’, an epic opening to a classic power metal album, with drum rolls and angelic, choral vocals, before the unmistakable sound of Nightmare kicks in on track number two, ‘Honor And Glory’, evident even from the opening notes.

Now, I am not saying this is a blatant rip-off of the Nightmare sound as Öblivïon have brought their own ideas to the table too. They are a more hard-rock band, inspired more by traditional heavy metal, and they focus more on epic choruses than Nightmare did, a fact Öblivïon have never shied away from, but with the singer, keyboardist and drummer from said previous band, its hard not to have some hints of the previous sound.

Amore delivers some of his most striking melody lines to date, his voice traditionally heavy metal with just enough gravel thrown in to be powerful and strong but one which also has the ability to throw in some elements of the symphonic.

One of the things that does set Öblivïon apart from Nightmare is the use of twin-guitars with an abundance of powerful solos, and the galloping riffs that thunder through all the tracks are one of my favourite parts of the album. Rumbling drums and adept bass playing make for a fantastic rhythm section and nothing can fault the quality of musicianship and lyrical content.

Personally, I think this album gets better the further into it you get. The tracks develop more structure and there appears to be separation of the tracks. The first few songs sound too similar but after these each track has its own personality and identity. I don’t think there is a single “filler” on this album and ending with the powerful ‘Dreamer Believer’ was a great finish to a great album.

This album will, indeed, blow the minds of modern power metal lovers. It has all the hallmarks of traditional power metal but has been brought right up to date. I can’t wait for these guys to tour over here in England as I will be right there in the front row!!

A ‘must listen to’ album!

The bonus disk is a DVD recording of their live performance at Leym’Fest in France on September 2nd, 2017. The DVD features the full show, including seven brand new heavy metal tracks and three previous Nightmare songs, a bonus section featuring interviews with all members of the band and a trailer section.

The venue was the Ancien Casernement, Leyment, France, which from the DVD looks quite a small-ish venue making it quite an “intimate gig” but what a gig?! I would have loved to have been in the front row!

Amore’s voice, apart from a few crackles and dropped notes, sounds much the same as it does on the recorded CD, and the band, obviously a more mature band (I didn’t quite know how to say that without sounding offensive!) fill the stage with as much passion and energy as a band half their age.

If this DVD is anything to go by, then these guys need to get their arses over to England and do a few performances here.

I, for one, will be there and I’m sure a lot of other power metal and traditional metal heads will be too!

 

CD TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Spectral Warrior
  • 2. Honor And Glory
  • 3. In The Arms Of A Queen
  • 4. Bells From Babylon
  • 5. Shine In My Galaxy
  • 6. I Throught I Was A King
  • 7. Evil Spell
  • 8. Punished By The Crowd
  • 9. Facing The Enemies
  • 10. Race Is On
  • 11. Dreamers Believers

 

DVD TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Spectral Warrior
  • 2. Evil Spell
  • 3. In The Arms Of A Queen
  • 4. Shine In My Galaxy
  • 5. Eternal Winter
  • 6. Cosmovision
  • 7. I Thought I Was A King
  • 8. Honor And Glory
  • 9. Bells From Babylon
  • 10. Lord Of The Sky
  • 11. Dreamers, Believers

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.facebook.com/Oblivionband/
  • https://www.oblivion-metal.com/
  • https://www.instagram.com/oblivion_metal/

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities