Category Archives: Reviews

REVIEW: AS ANGELS BLEED – “As Angels Bleed”

The gates of Hell are open and As Angels Bleed are storming out taking no prisoners with their superb Vampiric/Gothic metal! To tell you I am impressed would honestly be an understatement. I am in awe. Sydney (AUS) based duo Von Lehmann and Avelina De Moray is the haunted force behind As Angels Bleed. Make sure you remember that name as they will definitely be on the frontline of all things Vampire/Gothic metal in the future.

As Angels Bleed Cd CoverTwo years in production and As Angels Bleed released their self-titled debut album in early 2013. People who are already familiar with the works of Vampire-inspired, Gothic artist Avelina De Moray can imagine the sounds of As Angels Bleed. For all newcomers, get ready to be very pleasantly surprised. To make a long story short, just think of temptation and seduction dressed in a pompous, theatrical atmosphere with thousands of hellions luring you into sonorous vice.

That’s exactly what stays in mind with As Angels Bleed as a whole, the predominant sinfully atmosphere under the veils of darkness and nocturnal ecstasy. It’s not just the heavy-duty guitar riffs, the prodigious vocals and charming keyboards but the way all of the above blend together and create clairvoyant and marvelous compositions. The subsistence of church bells, choir psalms and whispers throughout the record abet the band in establishing a cryptic, occult-like sensation which is strongly amplified by the Vampiric martyr Avelina De Moray herself.

The opener “Sinfully Yours” will captivate your soul, thanks to the sacrilegious voices of The Choir of the Dammed and Von Lehmann’s tight guitar riffs in combination with Avelina’s irresistible voice which is a perfect intro to “Desire“, one of the highlights of the album. “Let me show you what death tastes like” says Avelina in a bare, lascivious way disarming your senses in the blink of an eye leaving you helpless but to adore her dazzling vocal hymns. The melodies in As Angels Bleed are immense, endless and stay in memory for what it seems eternal. Exceptional Gothic harmonies and Vampiric themes are the trademarks of this band and something that I am sure many will try to clone in the future.

I Drown” follows next with church bells opening this Gothic metal anthem which is the first power ballad of the record and one the best songs on the album. This song has a definite radio-friendly vibe without compromising or being mainstream for the masses. It feels as if it has been carefully chosen to lure the listener into the Vampiric world of As Angels Bleed. “Driven To Flames” speeds up the tempo, featuring some very nice growl male vocals in barter with Avelina’s lead voice. “Lumiere” slow things down again and make for a very emotional track of one pursuing love. The Choir of the Dammed still present to devise the nebulous atmosphere we have been listening all along.

A Love Worth Dying For” is next, a song that questions what would we sacrifice for love. Avelina’s stunning vocals once again steal the show in combination with more of the growl male voices in the background. My personal favorite follows next, “Carfax Abbey” – just an amazing tune. Avelina’s vocal melodies in this one are exceptionally melancholic, nostalgic and eerie while at the same time The Hells Gate Symphonic Orchestra forges a delicate and graceful atmosphere. “Bloody Kisses” kicks in and it sounds as if the band specifically wrote this song to be performed in big arenas by thousands of screaming fans. Still in Gothic paths but with an almost Doom-like grief and affection.

The last song on the record is called “Beautifully Decayed” and it’s a little over 10 minutes long, perhaps a bit too much for my taste but nevertheless a solid composition. Avelina De Moray shines once again and the entire track has a Tristania/Draconian remorse. In general As Angels Bleed awaken memories of bands such as Lacuna Coil, The 69 Eyes and Within Temptation, even HolyHell in times, but without being a mime. In fact, for a self-released debut album As Angels Bleed manage to develop their own sound and that’s quite admirable.

Overall As Angels Bleed is an original and well produced album, which makes for an exquisite first introduction of the band. Von Lehmann and Avelina De Moray possess genuine talent which are capable of transforming into magnificent compositions. Most definitely one of the best Gothic metal albums of the year and by far superior of what many new bands release nowadays. Avelina delivers a vocal performance that many well known singers would wish to execute and that alone is a reason to buy As Angels Bleed. I hope they get signed by a major record label soon and get the support and recognition they deserve.

RATING: 8.5 / 10

“As Angels Bleed” – Track list:

01. Sinfully Yours
02. Desire
03. I Drown
04. Driven To Flames
05. Lumiere
06. A Love Worth Dying For
07. Carfax Abbey
08. Bloody Kisses
09. Beautifully Decayed

As Angels Bleed is:

Avelina De Moray – Vocals
Von Lehmann – Guitars
Frank Macri – Drums
Jack Savage – Bass

Website: http://www.asangelsbleed.com
Website: http://www.avelinademoray.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/asangelsbleed

REVIEW: CADAVERIA – “The Shadows’ Madame”

Cadaveria was formed in 2001 by lead singer Cadaveria and drummer Marçelo Santos following their departure from Opera IX. The band quickly signed by Scarlet Records released it’s debut album entitled “The Shadows’ Madame” in 2002, receiving very positive feedback worldwide. Being sold out for a very long time, this cult album is now reprinted by Black Tears, after having been completely remastered in May 2013.

CoverAtrwork-TheShadows'Madame-CADAVERIACadaveria’sThe Shadows’ Madame” will be available on July 16th, 2013 featuring a different artwork, edited by Cadaveria herself, for all the fans who missed the debut release, for collectors and for all new Cadaveria fans.

Cadaveria has exhibited Black, Death and Horror metal sounds that seem sharp connected most of the time and “The Shadows’ Madame” is no different. A collection of nicely composed riffs and Cadaverias‘ vocal performance make for a good album, capturing your interest from early on. From the deep growls to the more clean and aggressive vocal attitude, Cadaveria restore faith in extreme female metal vocalists.

The Shadows’ Madame” is filled with an ancient and mystical atmosphere taking the listener to occult places and filling them with a variety of emotions, mostly dark. Production has notably increased in quality this time around, thanks to the new mastering but what makes “The Shadows’ Madame” stand out is that it never loses its primal identity of a “dark” metal album.

Innovation does not cardinally mean coming up with something completely new; the fusion of the dexterity to take advantage of various influences, the courage of personality that averts these influences from dominating the artist and a load of craft and creativity always has a good result. And in this case the result confirms the renaissance of extreme metal.

As to the best moments of the listening experience, there are several sprinkled throughout. Like “Black Glory” and “Circle Of Eternal Becoming“, just to name a couple. In conclusion, “The Shadows’ Madame” is a decorous and noticeable album that will be warmly accepted by fans of the genre. Definitely a cult release that belongs among the best and if you like “scary” music then you are in for an enjoyable ride.

RATING: 7 / 10

The Shadows’ Madame” – Track list:

01. Spell
02. Declaration of Spiritual Independence
03. In Memory of Shadows’ Madame
04. Circle of Eternal Becoming
05. The Magic Rebirth
06. Black Glory
07. Absolute Vacuum

Cadaveria is:

Cadaveria – Vocals
Frank Booth – Guitars
Dick Laurent – Guitars
Killer Bob – Bass
Marçelo Santos – Drums

http://www.facebook.com/cadaveria

REVIEW: SIRENIA – “Perils of the Deep Blue”

I am sure when it comes to gothic metal everybody will recognize Morten Veland’s name. His talent is already known through his former band, Tristania, but in 2001 he formed Sirenia the band in which his legacy continues up to this day. “Perils of the Deep Blue” is Sirenia’s sixth full length release and one of the best in the band’s career so far.

SireniaSirenia is one of the acts that successfully fused symphonic and gothic metal together with death metal components in their sound. This becomes very clear quite early in their latest album “Perils of the Deep Blue“. The sound is far more aggressive than “The Enigma of Life” and their attitude more intrusive and daring. Fans of their older releases will be very happy to read this, no doubt. In spite of a few songs, the general direction of the new album is most dynamic and forceful.

The guitars have the main role in the compositions, revealing a rapacious tone and you can tell everything is really build around them. No need to worry though, there are plenty of keyboards on the record — however they adapt a different etiquette and their job is to create a symphonic atmosphere throughout “Perils of the Deep Blue” and to be honest, they exceeded my expectations.

The structure of the songs is much more complex and the arrangements full of energy and enthusiasm. Morten’s growl vocals are refined and really prominent in the entire album, while at the same time Ailyn is exceptional and the way these two integrate and marry their voices is pure euphoria. Although for me the show-stealer is definitely the song “Ditt Endelikt” with Joakim Næss‘ superb clean vocals and first-class performance. The melodies in this one are just sensational. A definite album highlight!

Perils of the Deep Blue” was produced by Morten Veland himself while the mastering and mixing was done by Endre Kirkesola in Dub Studios in Norway. This album is a true testament as to why musicians should produce their own albums. There’s no way anyone else could deliver Morten’s vision in such expert and unmitigated fashion. This album elevates the band to the next level and shows many new sides of Sirenia to the world.

Everything seems to work just right in this album, from the song-writing to the performances, to the production and the entire atmosphere contained in “Perils of the Deep Blue“. Just like puzzle pieces fitting perfectly with each other. Fans of symphonic/gothic metal will enjoy and appreciate one of the best releases in recent years and fans of Sirenia will absolutely love it. The bands attributes and temper is very noticeable and the creativity fits perfectly Sirenia’s concept.

Overall, Sirenia’s new album “Perils of the Deep Blue” is very satisfying and worthy of the “one of the best symphonic/gothic metal albums ever” title. The wonderfully diverse synthesis, morose ambience and robust choirs could be a testimony to that. Album highlights include “Stille Kom Døden“, “The Funeral March“, “My Destiny Coming To Pass“, “Darkling“, “A Blizzard Is Storming” and my personal favorite “Ditt Endelikt“. I know I will be listening to this album a lot and you should as well!

RATING: 8.5 / 10

Perils of the Deep Blue” – Track list:

01. Ducere Me In Lucem
02. Seven Widows Weep
03. My Destiny Coming To Pass
04. Ditt Endelikt
05. Cold Caress
06. Darkling
07. Decadence
08. Stille Kom Døden
09. The Funeral March
10. Profound Scars
11. A Blizzard Is Storming

Bonus tracks:

12. Chains
13. Blue Colleen

Sirenia is:

Ailyn – Vocals
Morten Veland – Guitars & Growl vocals
Jan Erik Soltvedt – Guitars
Jonathan A. Perez – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/sirenia