Koburg – Position Of Power

Koburg – Position Of Power
Release Date: 01/01/2020
Running Time: 55:27
Review by Paul Monkhouse

It sounds like a fairy tale but, at the stroke of midnight, as the old year passed into the next decade, a new Queen was crowned. Now, America has Amy Lee, Holland has Floor Jansen, Sweden has Anette Olson, Italy has Cristina Scabbia and Finland has Tarja Turunen but the UK’s new Queen of Symphonic rock is London based Anastasia Koburg. Released on the 1st of January, her new album, “Position Of Power” may well be the best thing you hear all year.

From the opening salvo of ‘The Descent: I and II’, Koburg, the band, set their claim for the big league with a pairing of tracks that brings all the drama and vision of the best of the genre. Vocals soar, guitars slash, keys swell and the drums and bass crush as you are swept away by the overwhelming grandeur. Koburg’s vocals are superb, and, whilst not touched with the grit of some of her contemporaries, are certainly full of beauty and character, bringing her own unique style throughout. Make no mistake, this isn’t some ethereal, featherlight album, it genuinely does rock and tracks like ‘Forbidden Realms’ and ‘Spirit Call’ are full of adrenaline, traditional metal with huge ambition as it mixes Nightwish with the sort of guitar work reminiscent of Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow at his finest.

There are moments of industrial heaviness too with the stunning ‘Choose Your Poison’ a pounding, Gary Numan-like grinder that really brings the hammer down. Elsewhere, ‘Love, Let it Rain Down on Me’ has an otherworldly, Blade Runner, feel that brings to mind that dystopian neon lit landscape before it launches into its upbeat chorus and ‘All that is Hidden’ turns the clock back to 19th Century Russia grandeur or a vampire ball as strings swell and guitars soar.

The album peaks with the truly epic ‘We Could Be Angels’. A truly breathtaking track, it starts with a chilling and haunting piano that leads to a gorgeous verse and chorus that will both seduce you and break your heart. It’s the sort of track that you would sell your soul to as you’re enveloped in its black waters and will be stuck in your head for the next year or so, constantly coming back to pull you back in. ‘Karma is a Bitch’ is all hardcore riffing and danger, whilst closing track ‘As Darkness Falls’ seems to be both brutal and blood spattered but also tender and shimmering with a pure incandescence. It is this tightrope balance that is a major factor to the album’s success as Koburg captures that eternal struggle between light and darkness, the writing bother utterly compelling and intelligent. Remixes of both ‘We Could Be Angels’ and ‘The Descent’ are added on as bonus tracks and both the different takes are well worth listening to, the former in particular adding an additionally lush tone to the recording!

The co-production by Koburg and Robert L Smith brings such a broad palette of tones and textures that it couldn’t have been bettered and, with all these elements working together, you have the best of album of its kind since Evanescence unleashed their debut, ‘Fallen’, in 2003. Not just a great symphonic rock album, but one of the most stunning releases of the past ten years. The gloves are off, Koburg and ‘Positions of Power’ are ready to take on all comers.


01. The Descent – Part I
02. The Descent – Part II
03. Forbidden Realms
04. Love, Let It Rain Down On Me
05. Spirit Call
06. We Could Be Angels
07. Choose Your Poison
08. All That Is Hidden
09. Karma Is A Bitch
10. As Darkness Falls
11. We Could Be Angels (Transcendent Mix)
12. The Descent (Full Surrender Version)


Koburg – Vocals and all instruments.


Koburg – Vocals, piano, lead guitar
Mark Spencer – Bass
Dean Baker – Synth, keytar
Bryony Brewin – Backing vocals

Clint Henderson – Drums



Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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.

Edenveil, Melodic Metal Night – The Portland Arms, Cambridge, UK – 30/04/2019


Melodic Metal Night
The Portland Arms, Cambridge, UK
Review by Paul Monkhouse

Edenveil are the brainchild of singers Vera and Onyx, two classically trained vocalists who, after touring the circuit as an acoustic duo decided to go over to the dark side and unleash their full symphonic rock side. Whilst the two are incredibly polished and their soaring voices mesh perfectly with the material, the real surprise was the quality of the whole ensemble considering this was their debut gig as a full band. There was a real nervous energy and excitement onstage that translated across through the music and filled the room with a lush soundscape that truly befitted the genre.

Opening with ‘Seen Not Heard’, Edenveil soon stamped their mark on proceedings and staked their claim as ones to watch. Filled with a great sense of dynamics and with Vera and Onyx’s angelic and passionate voices diving in, out and over of the heavy guitar, drum and bass attack it was the perfect introduction to the new project. There was a real mix of influences from some of the giants of the genre but it was still very much their own creation, the twist and icing on the cake being two equally outstanding female vocals as opposed to the usual sole female or female/male vocal combinations that are established. There was a real freshness in that both voices are classical and the contrast this brought to the fire of the band. Having performed together for five years there was a real connection between Vera and Onyx, and this was enhanced by the carefully selected musicians, all the members gelling into a perfect storm.

Elements of folk music tinged ‘Weightless’, a haunting number that was a brave shifting down of gears after the opening barrage but built up the drama as it headed into a soaring chorus. As Vera delicately picked at her acoustic guitar, Onyx swayed, lost in the moment with the two coming fully to life as the song lifted and lifted. With the transition from acoustic to hard rocking there is obviously a period of adjustment going on behind the scenes as originally stripped back and naked songs are beefed up bit by bit, the songs slowly morphing from one thing to another. It will be interesting to see how the writing changes as the new six-piece band develop more and more material that stretches it beyond the original two voices and a guitar set-up.

This was always going to be a short set, squeezed as they were in an evening with three other bands; the Viking Metal of headliners Atorc, melodic thrashers Akilla and the incendiary Far From Refuge, but they were determined to be remembered. Third song ‘Wicked’ was another good indication of the direction they are heading towards with its galloping riff played over a piano melody, mirroring the perfectly balanced contrast of the symphonic rock style. Whilst it was obviously a joyful tribute and a well-known song, their set closing cover of Nightwish’s ‘Amaranth’ seemed a bit of a two-edged sword. It highlighted their musicianship and ability to make a classic their own but also may have indicated a lack of their own heavier material presently and the need for a filler. It would have been better to finish with another epic Edenveil original to be the lasting memory of their set but that will come in time. As for now though you can’t but help to be impressed with this fledgling outfit and more gigs and studio work will see them really grow.





Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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.