Live In Wacken (CD/DVD)

SKU: 0212209EMU
Ear Music
Power Metal
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"It was eight years ago that the ex-Helloween pairing of original guitarist and singer Kai Hansen and the man who relieved him of those vocal duties, Michael Kiske, rekindled their partnership under the banner Unisonic. Paving the way for what has been a flurry of vintage Helloween related activity ever since.

Live In Wacken is the duo's second live offering from 2016's German Open Air Festival, the Hansen & Friends Thank You Wacken CD/DVD package also finding the guitarist's singing mate guesting on a few classic Helloween numbers. Here the pair are together throughout and impressively turning the focus almost fully on their new partnership, with only "A Little Time" coming from their previous band. Kiske is in imperious form as he showcases the impressive range that saw him touted as one of the favourites (and with hindsight, the choice that should have been) to replace Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden all those years ago. Having stepped away from heavy metal for a number of years, it's clear the singer is positively revelling in his return and while his crowd interaction is kept to a minimum, the short, five track DVD disc shows how much he clearly enjoys connecting with the audience. Hansen too is in good voice, but it's his guitar work that drives Unisonic's melodic metal to great heights and backed by the stellar cast of Dennis Ward on bass, Mandy Meyer on guitar and Kosta Zafirou on drums, the quintet never put a foot wrong.
Romping through catchy, memorable numbers such as "For The Kingdom", "Your Time Has Come" and the positivity infused "Exceptional", Unisonic proves to be much more than a project, instead hitting as a cohesive unit having a great time and with a clutch of superb songs to back it all up. Closing out the set with the band's eponymous cut, Live In Wacken quickly becomes one of those live sets that you wished you'd witnessed in person and with the DVD filmed with a multi-camera set up and scintillating sound, the only disappointment is that only five of the band's twelve (eleven and an introduction) song set is presented in this manner. The rest, however, hits hard on the audio only disc and in the process confirms that even after only two studio albums Unisonic have quickly become major players in the European power metal scene." - Sea Of Tranquility

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The full text of the story is included in the release disc, but was unavailable at the time of this review; so many secrets will be awaiting the listener and this very anxious author. As to the album, holy crap is it good. Secret Sphere is classified as symphonic metal, but that term really doesn’t do justice to the sound of this latest release, it is a step beyond. Though symphonic elements are definitely present, they don’t by any means carry the musical timbre of the album, the sound presented here is one step up the evolutionary ladder from most symphonic metal fare.After the six minute overture is X, the track that introduces the story, and it does it in fantastic bard-like fashion. The opening guitar squeals are accompanied by expertly done flourishes from the rhythm and the drums immediately set a breakneck, frantic pace, setting up a suspenseful atmosphere for the coming events. Luppi’s vocals hit right away as emotional, powerful, and stellar across the board, whether he is in scream mode or in the more subdued narrator moments. This track uses its variant musical elements to set the stage, leading perfectly into Wish and Steadiness, which for me is the best track of the album. It opens with classic symphonic keys, and uses them perfectly to transition from the more subtle tension of X to this track, building up before literally exploding in a fiery wall of metal. Notes come fast here, very fast, drawing out the tension and angst of the listener quickly. The hints of the frantic drums in X are joined by all the other instruments, and the panicked despondency of Luppi’s voice can almost be tasted it is so palpable. Highlighting it is a soul wrenching solo by Lonobile, bringing the despair of the song to full front. I don’t say this often, but this song for me is near perfection, everything fits together so well.With the tone set, the album digs into telling the story in full, with a spectrum of styles and paces. It truly is a musical narrative, events and emotions ebb and flow throughout the album.  The next song, Union, takes on a softer tone, adding an organized edge to the metal. It is catchy as hell, and sets a silent fervor in motion for The Fall, which has epic all over it. All hands are in play in this one, another searing track that leaves the listener breathless.The album carries on in this fashion throughout its entirety. The multitude of musical styles and themes are performed wonderfully by every member of the band. Lonobile is a monster at lead, and Pastarino carries a heavy load on rhythm superbly. The drumming is frantic yet precise, the fills and rolls just fantastic. Bass is a subtle undertone of organized thunder, and the keys carry the heavy weight of the symphonic elements so well. Add to it Luppi’s vocals, which are emotional and powerful throughout, and Secret Sphere delivers all the requisite parts, firing on all the right cylinders. Collectively though, they combine to create a truly special piece of music.From beginning to end, Portrait of a Dying Heart is a musical narrative in every sense of the term, it carries the listener through a slew of emotional states. The album is not only a summation of its talented parts, but also has a touch of ethereal wonder, something uncommon in the genre. There is a hurried sense of desperation, almost akin to that feeling of trying to hang on to the world with a single string that is slipping fast, that is carried throughout the work. Artist strive to transmit emotion to the audience through their chosen medium, Secret Sphere uses this concept to take us on a thrilling ride of spiritual turmoil, and does it very, very well." - Lady Obscure
  • Limited edition digipak with one bonus track."Frequent readers will already know all-too-well about my love for Evergrey. I have no hesitation to say that this band is my favourite band of all-time. Their music has been with me for over 16 years and has been a rock to me through many periods of my life, both good and bad.Evergrey’s early albums, right up to ‘Recreation Day’ accompanied me to my first ‘career’ job, helping to take away the nerves on the journey to work in those early weeks when I could no longer hide within the security of the education system.My increasing admiration for the band took me to my first festival, Bloodstock in 2004. That was back when it was an indoor festival and when maybe three others in the unenlightened UK crowd had even heard of Evergrey. It also led me inexorably to Gothenburg to witness first-hand the appropriately-named and unforgettable ‘A Night To Remember’.And, when my younger brother passed away a few years ago, Evergrey was the first metal band that I listened to after a significant degree of inner turmoil that pushed me away from heavy music for some time.I’ve witnessed Evergrey play to around 50 people in London and in front of thousands in Germany at the 2007 Bang Your Head Festival. And I’ve even shared their tour bus for a night or two during a brief UK tour.Quite simply, Evergrey connect with me on both a musical and an emotional level, continuing to be an important friend to me whilst I still battle day to day with personal demons and insecurities. I love the combination of melody, subtle progressive tendencies and the heaviness of the music, not to mention one of the very best voices in heavy metal in Tom Englund. I also understand the sentiment in much of the lyrical content and it gives me strength to know that I’m not alone. It might sound trite, but it’s true.For all this, I am the first to admit that my fanboy status wavered for a few years, beginning with the release of 2006’s ‘Monday Morning Apocalypse’. It wasn’t a bad album per se; far from it really. It was just that it felt too ordinary, not progressive enough and a little too modern. The follow-up, ‘Torn’ was also good but not up to the normal stratospheric levels of their masterpieces, namely ‘Recreation Day’, ‘Solitude, Dominance, Tragedy’ and ‘In Search Of Truth’. In fact, the latter remains my favourite album of all time.My point is therefore that, whilst I am an unashamed fanboy, I am honest and will admit when I think that the band fall below the standards I expect.Following the release of ‘Monday Morning Apocalypse’ Evergrey seemed to suffer from a bad case of ‘revolving door syndrome’ as members came and went more frequently than they would have liked. So, when in 2014, it was confirmed that two long-term members of the band, guitarist Henrik Danhage and drummer Jonas Ekdahl, were returning to the fold, fans rejoiced. I rejoiced. This newfound sense of optimism and confidence was palpable and it resulted in Evergrey’s strongest release for many years in the form of ‘Hymns For The Broken’. For many it is the best, and for me, it certainly rivals the magnificence of ‘In Search Of Truth’ and ‘Recreation Day’.So, what of the follow-up, Evergrey’s tenth studio album to coincide with the band’s 20th anniversary? With arguably the strongest Evergrey line-up, consisting of the aforementioned as well as guitarist/vocalist Tom Englund, keyboardist Rikard Zander and bassist Johan Niemann, could they build on a new-found sense of unity, hunger, confidence and desire to produce something as good as before? Could they maybe even better it? Or would the euphoria of 2014 dissipate, thus causing a drop in creativity? The answer, I am overjoyed to report, is very much the former.‘The Storm Within’ is the glorious sound that is created when five musicians come together at the very top of their game. Rikard’s keys permeate the entire album with an abundance of sounds and textures, both familiar and new. Tom and Henrik’s guitar playing is out of the top drawer, both in lead and rhythm guises. Johan’s bass is clear within the muscular mix, allowing his understated dexterity and sense of melody to provide an audible pulse to the music. And Jonas’ drumming is the heartbeat, offering a solid foundation that’s also deceptively complex and ambitious, arguably his most accomplished performance to date.From the first notes of opener ‘Distance’, to the final moments of the closing title track, ‘The Storm Within’ is just about the perfect album for me in the here and now. It is exactly the kind of music that I want to listen to and, more so, that I crave. I have listened to this record more times than I care to admit, probably close to twice a day on average if not more. And the great thing is that it keeps getting better.For those looking for a carbon copy to any of Evergrey’s previous releases, prepare to be disappointed. ‘The Storm Within’ is the sound of Evergrey 2016 and it is another step in their gradual evolution towards what they personally perceive to be the Holy Grail. The closest reference is clearly the predecessor ‘Hymns For The Broken’ but crucially, it is a lot more than that. If you give this record the care and attention it deserves, you will begin to notice many more subtle aspects emerge within Evergrey’s current brand of music. The band themselves refer to the output on this album as ‘cinematic, eerie and desolate’, and that’s not far from the mark at all.Beginning with the lyrical content, in keeping with most other Evergrey albums, the subject matter is based on intensely personal and human emotions. ‘The Storm Within’ is a concept album that deals with a subject that all of us, to a greater or lesser extent can identify with: loving someone, losing them and then dealing with the often tumultuous aftermath. The words act as a compelling partner to the music that surrounds them.Onto the music itself and deliberate or not, there are more than a few nods to previous releases on this album. Be it a riff that calls to mind ‘Monday Morning Apocalypse’, a string embellishment that conjures up nostalgic memories of ‘Solitude…’ or a keyboard sound that recalls the ‘In Search Of Truth’ era, these little gems do exist and they are truly wonderful.‘Distance’ sets things off perfectly, book-ended by simple, lonely piano notes from Rikard Zander that certainly sound eerie, almost forlorn. In between is a crushing riff that kicks in to set the song moving at a modest, bulldozing mid-tempo. The melancholy atmosphere in which this song enshrouds the listener is sensational, topped off by a huge hook-laden chorus, duelling solos and a breath-taking, goose bump-inducing choir-led outro, featuring Englund’s talented daughter Salina amongst the ranks.By contrast, ‘Passing Through’ ups the pace noticeably and with immediate effect, thanks to an explosive opening, an energetic rhythm section and blazing solos that push all my buttons. But again, memorable riffs and a monster chorus all combine to create a stunning opening one-two on the album, one that leaves you gasping for breath but demanding more.‘Someday’ was a bit of a grower if I’m honest, not hitting me hard out of the blocks initially. However, it isn’t long before the relatively simple chorus works its almost insidious magic, surrounded by crushing riffs that are slower in pace, thus allowing the notes to resonate more deeply thus creating a different aural impact to the faster material elsewhere. The bass rumble is irresistible, as is the sudden freefall into a brief yet inspired vocal and keyboard section that breaks the song up brilliantly.Next up is the utterly sublime ‘Astray’, a song that brings Evergrey’s progressive sensibilities much more to the fore. I love the way that this song sounds so simple on a first listen but with time, gently and elegantly blossoms to reveal its true identity. The transitions between the different elements are so smooth, they can almost get missed. Heavy riffs nestle against minimalist moments of introspective atmosphere, the tempo frequently shifts and savagery blends seamlessly with melody. The icing on the cake is the guitar solo from Danhage that screams ‘The Inner Circle’ beautifully.‘The Impossible’ is a stripped down song that features just Englund’s vocals and Zander’s synths throughout, only joined by a rich and powerful string section in the very latter stages. And yet, rather than give listeners a breather from the dark oppressive content, it simply adds to it. There is a palpable urgency and despair that is classic Evergrey and it allows Tom Englund to unleash his powerfully soulful and melodic voice to devastating effect, communicating an almost heart-breaking anguish in the process.If fans are looking for speed from an Evergrey composition, then ‘My Allied Ocean’ delivers in spades. It is aggressive and intense but also has the feel of a power metal song insofar as the whole thing is totally infectious and decidedly up-tempo, dominated by fast, measured drumming from Ekdahl that’s utterly relentless, barely dropping below a quasi-blastbeat gallop at any point.The first of two duets on the record, ‘In Orbit’ is one to get the hardcore fans debating feverishly thanks to a guest vocal appearance from Nightwish’s current femme fatale Floor Jansen. It goes without saying that Floor delivers her role in the track expertly and with power and passion. However, to fixate or obsess positively or negatively about Jansen’s inclusion would be to miss the power of the song itself. Expertly crafted, it once again features an enormous chorus that borders on mainstream territory initially. However, I love the bass work from Johan Niemann in the opening verses, whilst the second half of the track cleverly and surreptitiously reverts more to a ‘Recreation Day’ Evergrey vibe, complete with bruising riffs and arguably one of the most evocative and poignant guitar solos on the entire record.As much as I love the first half of ‘The Storm Within’, it is the final four tracks where I personally believe that these five sickeningly talented Swedes really excel themselves. ‘The Lonely Monarch’ begins this impressive quadruple and is initially striking thanks to Rikard Zander’s more modern choice of keyboard sounds. As previously mentioned, Zander’s eloquent stamp is all over this album but here he comes even more to the fore. Another huge chorus never fails to raise a smile on this wizened visage, neither does the duelling solos from Danhage and Englund that are simply killer and hark back to earlier times.Led in by more beautiful piano work from Zander, ‘The Paradox Of The Flame’ is a ballad to end all ballads. The combination of the piano, the string section and Tom’s captivating voice is stunning. And then Evergrey release their secret weapon: Carina Englund. How this beautiful vocalist is not a successful artist in her own right baffles me because she has one of the richest and emotional voices I’ve heard. And the combination of husband and wife, when accented by some simple and effective rhythm instrumentation as well as wailing, melodic solos brings a tear to my eye. So when the lone violin enters the fray, to create echoes to the days of ‘Solitude, Dominance, Tragedy’, I’m struggling to put the beauty of this composition into words.It would be easy for Evergrey to lift the foot off the pedal at this point but unbelievably, the quality remains as high as ever for the final two tracks on the album. ‘Disconnect’ is one of those songs that came from nowhere to completely floor me. It begins in heavy, confrontational fashion before offering one of the most diverse listening experiences on the album. It is progressive in structure, delivers yet another fantastic chorus and underlines beyond doubt the ‘cinematic’ tag that has been applied to this record. Zander’s keys are huge on this song, creating depth, atmosphere and a truly epic quality that I love.It is then up to the title track to close out ‘The Storm Within’ and it does so in majestic fashion. Those cinematic credentials are pushed to the limit one last time as I’m vaguely reminded of ‘Visions’ from ‘Recreation Day’ through the overall vibe and feel of the song. Quietly considered one of his favourite compositions to date, it isn’t hard to see why as the album ends on a note of vague positivity amongst the pervasive gloom and melancholy that precedes it.You might dismiss the preceding 2000 or so words as the inane ramblings of an obsessed Evergrey fanboy. To an extent, you might be right. And I can live with that if that’s your conclusion. However, whatever you do, don’t dismiss ‘The Storm Within’ in the same way. Give it your full, undivided attention and maybe you too will consider this album to be Evergrey’s finest hour. Will it even replace ‘In Search Of Truth’ as my all-time favourite album? Watch this space. What is certain however is that Evergrey’s majestic blend of heaviness, melody and emotion means that ‘The Storm Within’ is nothing short of a bona fide masterpiece. All hail Evergrey." - Man Of Much Metal Blog
  • Please note that we are offering the 2CD import Mediabook edition which is not available in normal retail outlets.  This is a much nicer version than the standard digipak version that will be available through normal distribution channels....but at the same price.  The bonus second disc features instrumental and orchestral versions of Haven tracks."Opener ‘Fallen Star’ has a couple of elements that are comparable to ‘Silverthorn’. Mostly the intro, but something in the refrain also reminds me of the previous record. However the riffs are more aggressive, Karevik is giving it his everything in his very own way. It’s a unique feeling to listen to the opener like this.There are two ballads on the record and first up is ‘Under Grey Skies’. It’s somewhat of a typical Kamelot ballad, combined with the pipes of Troy Donockley (Nightwish) and an amazing appearance of Delain’s Charlotte Wessels graces this track.But on the other hand there is ‘Here’s To The Fall’, the other slow song. It could easily be one of the best refrains I’ve ever heard in a ballad. Everything on the track is gentle, the vocals are brilliantly executed and the refrain is only a little bit more bombastic than the rest of the track.'My Therapy’ is a brilliant showcase of Kamelot songwriting. It has the well-known romantic touch that is ever present on the records. “You’re the antidote for solitude, injected in my vains. Let the touch of your hand forever be, my therapy.” The rest of the song is slightly heavier than we are used to hear, but very well played and mixed as well.At the end of the record we find what is probably the most heavy song that Kamelot has ever recorded: ‘Revolution’. The grunts of Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy) are very well integrated, way better than on ‘Sacrimony (Angel Of Afterlife)’ from the last record. It’s heavy, fast and aggressive, yet it never loses its symphonic sound. ‘Revolution’ is the last official track and it fits perfectly. With the melancholic ‘Here’s To The Fall’ before it and the two minutes of the somewhat triumphant instrumental closer ‘Haven’.What an album! I couldn’t have wished for anything better than ‘Haven’. Kamelot have reinvented themselves, without losing their very essence. The sound has become somewhat more modern, while the vocal work of Tommy Karevik is spot-on the entire time. When the tunes of the short closing track ‘Haven’ fade away, all that’s left is a triumphant feeling. They nailed it again, but in an entirely different way. Kamelot has taken the next step and it has been in the best direction possible!" - Overall Loudness
  • Michael Romeo doesn't work quickly.  The man takes his time and a new Symphony X album is ready when its been honed to perfection.  Underworld is the first new album in four years.  To get to the point its ridiculously great.  Up through V, the band were the modern agents of neoclassical/symphonic metal.  With The Odyssey the band took a left turn with Russell Allen's vocals being more agressive and a pervasive overall crunchiness, heaviness to the sound.  Perhaps a bit less symphonic sounding.  With Underworld fans of the "old style" will smile once again.  The band has found a way to balance both sides of their sound.  Its heavy but extremely melodic.  Russell's vocals are spot on and Mr. Romeo's solos have an organic flow that will sweep you through the tune.  Its a beautiful marriage of styles - not too much of either direction that the band has exhibited in the past.  Toss in a theme built around Dante's Inferno and you've totally sucked me back in to the fold.  BUY OR DIE!"A lot has happened with New Jersey-based progressive metal band SYMPHONY X since the Iconoclast album was released four years ago. Singer ‘Sir’ Russell Allen recorded and toured behind several releases with ADRENALINE MOB, toured with TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and recorded the album The Great Divide with ALLEN-LANDE. Bassist Mike Lepond toured with HELSTAR and released his excellent solo album under the name SILENT ASSASSINS. Keyboardist Michael Pinnella released a solo album and guitarist Michael Romeo made guest appearances on some albums. Drummer Jason Rullo battled and successfully recovered from heart failure in 2013.Four years later, SYMPHONY X delivers another fantastic album, the band sounding just as powerful as Iconoclast, and amazingly never missing a beat. Titled Underworld, it is sort of a concept album, loosely based on Dante’s epic poem Inferno. Dante’s Inferno is not a totally original topic in the metal world; ICED EARTH featured an epic song based on it on their 1995 album Burnt Offerings and SEPULTURA wrote a concept album based on it with 2006’s Dante XXI, while SYMPHONY X themselves included references to it on their 1997 album The Divine Wings Of Tragedy. Several other metal bands have also been influenced by the poem.SYMPHONY X do not follow the tale word for word, but use it more as an inspiration. Michael Romeo is quoted as saying that the album has a theme of “going to hell and back for something or someone you care about.” He also said that this album is more about “the song” instead of the album as a whole, allowing it to flow better from song to song. This doesn’t mean every song is an attempt at a single. Romeo’s intent when writing songs for Underworld was for people to be able to take in the whole album in one listening. (The total album length is just over an hour, compared to Iconoclast’s two discs that were around 83 minutes).To be honest, the last two SYMPHONY X albums, 2007’s Paradise Lost and 2011’s Iconoclast were my favorite albums released by the band so far. I refer to them as the “angry” SYMPHONY X, mainly due to Russell Allen’s vocal delivery and the aggressive music on those particular albums. So, I waited to see if we would get a third album in this same vein from SYMPHONY X. The songs on Underworld seem to alternate between prog and aggression, but for the most part, the album is not as “angry” as Iconoclast. The album strikes a perfect balance between prog and power. Some songs are aggressive without being “angry”. There are definitely more classic SYMPHONY X elements here than on recent releases.The album is much more accessible than previous albums. The songs overall are shorter (most clocking in at around the 5-6 minute mark), and more to the point than on previous albums. For example, “Kiss Of Fire” is one of the best tracks I’ve ever heard by SYMPHONY X. It immediately became a favorite of mine on this album, with the verse, “Bring down the hammer, with serious anger – It’s me against the world!” section and the chorus becoming some of my favorite moments. This song probably represents the album to me more than any other, but the album is filled with classics, such as opener “Nevermore”, a ferocious track that is aggressive in the verses, while the chorus is more melody-driven. The title track follows, with many twists, turns and speed sections. “Without You” is a standout track. With its guarded delivery by Allen and acoustic guitar flowing in the background, it is probably the mellowest moment on Underworld, but that’s not a bad thing. The chorus is the focus of the track, with Allen performing some of his best work. The song probably has the most potential as a single. Another solid track, “Charon”, named for the ferry boatman of the underworld, follows. This track has a middle-eastern flavor to it.The longest track on the album (9:24 in length) follows, the excellent “To Hell And Back”. This song has so many great parts, it’s hard to pick a particular favorite, possibly Allen’s soaring vocal on the chorus or the “on and on and on / no quarter asked, no quarter given” section. “In My Darkest Hour” follows and is another favorite of mine, featuring speed riffing parts, mixed with a melodic chorus. Allen really shines on this song. “Run With The Devil” is even more up-tempo and another one of the more accessible songs due to the chorus. “Swan Song” finds keyboardist Pinnella taking the bulk of the spotlight with his piano flourishes. The album closes with the excellent “Legend”. Allen’s aggressive pre-chorus vocals and melodic chorus vocals make this an instant classic.I believe the playing on Underworld is at another level for the band. Lepond’s bass work is spectacular throughout and Jason Rullo makes a real statement with his drum performance. Fantastic work from keyboardist Michael Pinnella and of course guitarist Michael Romeo’s amazing riffs and solos are worth the price alone. But you get more, don’t you? You get one of the best singers in metal, Sir Russell Allen, making yet another classic album even better with his voice.The album’s exquisite cover artwork (once again by illustrator Warren Flanagan) features the return of the SYMPHONY X masks, around which are eight symbols that represent the circles of hell: limbo, lust, gluttony, greed, anger, heresy, violence, and fraud. The symbol for treachery, the ninth circle, is underneath the masks, and hopefully will be revealed in full inside the album packaging.Underworld is a great album, which grew on me the more I listened to it. SYMPHONY X are masters of American prog metal, and have been for quite some time. Underworld further cements that reputation, and will undoubtedly please fans of all eras of the band." - 
  • This is the limited special edition that is not being released in North America.  It features two bonus tracks and is housed in a gatefold CD wallet.AMARANTHE, the fast-rising modern metal sextet, will release their sophomore album, 'The Nexus', on March 26th via Spinefarm Records.Produced by Jacob Hansen (whose credits include Volbeat, Dreamshade & Ginger Wildheart, and who worked on Amaranthe's 2011 self-titled debut), 'The Nexus' sees the Swedish/Danish outfit further honing a musical style that blends cutting-edge melodic metal with soaring pop melodies, the whole thing topped off by a unique three-vocal attack.Says guitarist and band co-founder Olof Morck: "The moment has come to let loose 'The Nexus' on an unsuspecting world! This time we went all the way with our futuristic dream-nightmare - a no-compromise vision steeped in deep contrast between the mechanically ultra-heavy and shimmering serene melody. 'The Nexus' is everything we dreamed about doing with our debut album; we laboured to make this offering as diverse as it is direct and catchy. and remember, no-one can be told what 'The Nexus' is - you have to hear it for yourself!"
  • Long awaited second album from this progressive power metal band from Spain. Considering everything this band went through its a wonder they are still together. Originally the band was signed to Transmission Records, the former home of After Forever and Epica. The label went bankrupt just before they were able to release a reworked version of Decoder - their debut that only saw the light of day in Japan. They have now found a home on Ascendance Records out of the UK. OK - enough back history - what's the music about? Ebony Ark is led by vocalist Beatriz Albert. She has a strong forceful voice that fits their crunchy power metal style perfectly. This is not gothic metal. These guys (and girl) take a more progressive slant. The music has an immediate in-your-face mix that really showcases her voice. Its a non-stop riff-fest with more than enough crunch and melody to satisfy. Highest recommendation.