Angels Of Mercy Live In Germany (CD/DVD)

"2016 was a very busy year for German metal masters PRIMAL FEAR. Following the release of their latest killer album, “Rulebreaker” in January, the band embarked on a world tour which shattered all the previously held records for shows played in one year by the band.

“We started in Europe with 11 countries and recorded the concert in Stuttgart for the album and video, which is Primal Fear’s first Blu-Ray release. We continued in the USA and Canada, Japan and for the first time, Australia. Then we played some wonderful festivals in the summer, continued touring in 10 countries in South and Latin America and ended the year with more shows in Europe. It was a fantastic experience for the band and we want to thank every single fan who joined us on this great journey!” says bassist and co-founding member Mat Sinner.

Vocalist and co-founding member Ralf Scheepers adds: “With a handy cam in my suitcase, I have recorded on multiple occasions many behind the scenes shots and funny, candid moments. We recorded an entire show right at the beginning of this fantastic world tour and it gives you an insight to the Primal Fear live experience on stage. You will find a lot of bonus material such as video clips and different additional surprises, so we can easily say that we are very proud to deliver this package to you…please enjoy and do us a favor: CRANK IT UP!”

The last tour unleashed the best Primal Fear performances since the band formed in 1998 - a constant great mix between power, ambition and enthusiasm plus of course great the talent of great players! There is undoubtedly magnificent performances on this release, with great sound and video quality. This live album offers a barrage metal anthems in their full glory that will please any headbanger!
If you are a metal fan you, then you must see this in all it’s power and glory!"

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  • 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
    $16.00
  • Fourth album from this outstanding metal band from Tunisia.  Myrath follow the template of old Symphony X but they infuse it with Middle Eastern modalities.  The band has sick chops and a phenomenal vocalist that has dialed himself in perfectly.  There is nothing else out there like Myrath and this one may well be their best one yet.If you were fortunate enough to see the band perform at ProgPower USA you know how incendiary this band can be - they blew the roof off the joint and were the talk of the festival.  BUY OR DIE!
    $12.00
  • 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." - KNAC.com 
    $14.00
  • Limited edition digipak arrives with a bonus CD with piano versions of three tracks from the album.Evergrey are back and better than ever!  I think the general consensus is that as the band became more and more popular the music became a bit more commercial and the production slicker.  Tom Englund has gone back to the basics and its clearly the right move.  Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Henrik Danhage (guitars) have returned to the fold and production has been handed over to Jacob Hansen.  This is a return to the "classic" Evergrey sound - that perfect balance of melody and heaviness with the right amount of "prog" injected when necessary.  COMEBACK ALBUM OF THE YEAR!  BUY OR DIE!"One of the leading names in the power/progressive metal world is the Swedish five-piece, Evergrey. Forming in 1995, the band has released eight full length albums, with number nine releasing this fall. The band has been known for relatively dark lyrics and concept albums since their debut, and because of this fact, it was very difficult for me to get into their music. I can easily count the amount of times I thought “I should listen to Evergrey” on one hand. Though I wasn’t well versed in their discography, what I had heard was moving quite slowly, was downright melancholic, and just couldn’t catch my attention. That was until the Hymns for the Broken album landed in my inbox.First off, the notable changes in the lineup, with the return of Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Henrik Danhage (guitar) grabbed my attention immediately. Though the band briefly spoke about the addition of the two previous members on their Facebook, “What can we say? We missed each other.” I truly believe that this decision, and the amazing mixing by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe, Primal Fear) and production quality are what set this album up for its coming success.The album kicks off with a very eerie intro track, then jumps into the first single and video, “King of Errors”. Even without being an Evergrey fan in particular, I have always known who Tom Englund was, as his voice is so unique and legendary in the industry that I couldn’t ever really escape it. This song is a great display of the power and ability he has as a vocalist to truly bring a wonderfully written song to an entirely new level. The blend of the guitar riffs and keyboard work is perfection to say the least, but when the awe-inspiring guitar solo hit, I knew this album had me by its teeth.Immediately following is another one of the strongest tracks on the album, “A New Dawn” with a strong and hard-hitting guitar and bass riff that doesn’t ever really let go throughout the song. This song features one of the more beautiful keyboard solos on the album, but yet again that guitar solo just comes out of nowhere and destroys any solo I have ever heard this band release. “Black Undertow” is another perfect example of why Englund is so well-respected in the music world. It begins with his chillingly lower vocal range, but builds back up to where he truly shines. This song not only features another soaring and strong chorus, but the rhythm work between all instruments keeps it dark and eerie, though the keyboard lightly dances above it all.The title track to the record explodes into this phenomenal musical intro, but fades just as quickly as it hits. Boasting some of the strongest, most emotional lyrics on the album, the song hits a chord in many personal ways. “Scream loud, these hymns are for the broken,” are just some of this crowd enticing chorus that Englund sings flawlessly throughout. Bringing the album to a close is the over seven minute song “The Aftermath” which begins in a ballad-like fashion, but builds to a very strong finale. The tempo remains slow, but the flawless movement in the instruments keeps it absolutely enthralling. The last half of the song is entirely instrumental, and the conversations between keyboard, bass, and drums is something that I could listen to on repeat for hours, especially when the haunting lead melody soars above it all.If you can’t tell, I can’t think of a single moment on this album I don’t absolutely love. As someone who could never get hooked by an Evergrey album, I can assure you this is not just ‘fandom’ talking. Hymns for the Broken is a perfect album that even after weeks of constant play, I can not get enough of. Perhaps it is indeed perfection, or perhaps it just hit me at the right time in my life, either way I am in love. Easily a current contender for album of the year, it’s so full of beautiful melodies and amazing arrangements that any fan of power or progressive metal will absolutely love. I don’t doubt that all previous fans of the band will appreciate this album as much as I do, but I sincerely hope that new listeners give this record a fair and objective chance as well.This is definitely their most ambitious release yet, and they absolutely nailed it!" - Metalholic 
    $16.00
  • The final chapter in the Evermore saga has finally arrived. With new vocalist Nils Patrik Johansson on board the band is poised to take their popularity to the next level. Johansson hails from Sweden and was a remarkable discovery. With a strong set of pipes that instantly remind of "Holy Diver"-era Dio, Johansson has been making a bit of noise of late with the bands Astral Doors and Richard Andersson's Space Odyssey. Truth be told....it was his work with Wuthering Heights that got him those gigs and now you will all understand why. Erik Ravn has fine tuned the sound a bit moving slightly away from the progressive sounds of To Travel For Evermore although it's still a solid mix of neoclassical and progressive metal (just a tad less on the prog side this time). There is a definite infusion of folk elements that blends seamlessly. Tommy Hansen once again produced and with the added time the band had in the studio it is by far their best production yet. So what we have here is folk music, neoclassical metal and symphonic rock all blended together to create a unique musical vision that will appeal to fans of Blind Guardian, Symphony X and Yngwie Malmsteen.Oh yeah....we've even tossed in a bonus track not found on any other release in the world.
    $13.00
  • 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!"
    $13.00
  • Fourth album from this Norwegian band is a near perfect blend of power and progressive metal. Each successive album has been better than the previous one - this one tops 'em all. Killer vox, crunch that is off the charts, blasts of synth and stellar production is the best way to sum of this monster. This is the 2 CD limited edition. It comes with 6 bonus tracks, mpeg video, wallpaper and other stuff. Grab it while it's available at a great price.
    $11.00
  • Incredible warehouse find.  Scored a small horde of these and I can pass them on to you at an amazing price."Gamma Ray! Undoubtedly one of the most important names in contemporary, classic Heavy Metal, and thee most respected and influential German band in the genre. Fronted by Kai Hansen, following his departure from Helloween, Gamma Ray has become one of the most prominent bands in European Heavy Metal. "To The Metal" is the 10th studio album in 21 years of worldwide success and a new diamond in their never-ending experimental creativity. The Special Edition contains a bonus DVD in HD with interview, rehearsals, live studio sessions and 3 videoclips."
    $3.00
  • Austrian progressive power metal band Serenity has been a bit overlooked in the past but it appears as though their star is in ascendancy.  Ex-Whyzdom vocalist Clementine Delauney complements lead vocalist Georg Neuhauser quite well.  Perhaps she nudges him out of the spotlight a bit but all for the greater good.  The music has a large scale symphonic element that will draw comparisons to Kamelot.  Since they have toured with Youngblood & Co its not that surprising.  So the formula seems to be in place - two great vocalists married to melodic, bombastic metal.  Their best album.  Who's in? 
    $12.00
  • 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
    $14.00
  • Evergrey are back and better than ever!  I think the general consensus is that as the band became more and more popular the music became a bit more commercial and the production slicker.  Tom Englund has gone back to the basics and its clearly the right move.  Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Henrik Danhage (guitars) have returned to the fold and production has been handed over to Jacob Hansen.  This is a return to the "classic" Evergrey sound - that perfect balance of melody and heaviness with the right amount of "prog" injected when necessary.  COMEBACK ALBUM OF THE YEAR!  BUY OR DIE!"One of the leading names in the power/progressive metal world is the Swedish five-piece, Evergrey. Forming in 1995, the band has released eight full length albums, with number nine releasing this fall. The band has been known for relatively dark lyrics and concept albums since their debut, and because of this fact, it was very difficult for me to get into their music. I can easily count the amount of times I thought “I should listen to Evergrey” on one hand. Though I wasn’t well versed in their discography, what I had heard was moving quite slowly, was downright melancholic, and just couldn’t catch my attention. That was until the Hymns for the Broken album landed in my inbox.First off, the notable changes in the lineup, with the return of Jonas Ekdahl (drums) and Henrik Danhage (guitar) grabbed my attention immediately. Though the band briefly spoke about the addition of the two previous members on their Facebook, “What can we say? We missed each other.” I truly believe that this decision, and the amazing mixing by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe, Primal Fear) and production quality are what set this album up for its coming success.The album kicks off with a very eerie intro track, then jumps into the first single and video, “King of Errors”. Even without being an Evergrey fan in particular, I have always known who Tom Englund was, as his voice is so unique and legendary in the industry that I couldn’t ever really escape it. This song is a great display of the power and ability he has as a vocalist to truly bring a wonderfully written song to an entirely new level. The blend of the guitar riffs and keyboard work is perfection to say the least, but when the awe-inspiring guitar solo hit, I knew this album had me by its teeth.Immediately following is another one of the strongest tracks on the album, “A New Dawn” with a strong and hard-hitting guitar and bass riff that doesn’t ever really let go throughout the song. This song features one of the more beautiful keyboard solos on the album, but yet again that guitar solo just comes out of nowhere and destroys any solo I have ever heard this band release. “Black Undertow” is another perfect example of why Englund is so well-respected in the music world. It begins with his chillingly lower vocal range, but builds back up to where he truly shines. This song not only features another soaring and strong chorus, but the rhythm work between all instruments keeps it dark and eerie, though the keyboard lightly dances above it all.The title track to the record explodes into this phenomenal musical intro, but fades just as quickly as it hits. Boasting some of the strongest, most emotional lyrics on the album, the song hits a chord in many personal ways. “Scream loud, these hymns are for the broken,” are just some of this crowd enticing chorus that Englund sings flawlessly throughout. Bringing the album to a close is the over seven minute song “The Aftermath” which begins in a ballad-like fashion, but builds to a very strong finale. The tempo remains slow, but the flawless movement in the instruments keeps it absolutely enthralling. The last half of the song is entirely instrumental, and the conversations between keyboard, bass, and drums is something that I could listen to on repeat for hours, especially when the haunting lead melody soars above it all.If you can’t tell, I can’t think of a single moment on this album I don’t absolutely love. As someone who could never get hooked by an Evergrey album, I can assure you this is not just ‘fandom’ talking. Hymns for the Broken is a perfect album that even after weeks of constant play, I can not get enough of. Perhaps it is indeed perfection, or perhaps it just hit me at the right time in my life, either way I am in love. Easily a current contender for album of the year, it’s so full of beautiful melodies and amazing arrangements that any fan of power or progressive metal will absolutely love. I don’t doubt that all previous fans of the band will appreciate this album as much as I do, but I sincerely hope that new listeners give this record a fair and objective chance as well.This is definitely their most ambitious release yet, and they absolutely nailed it!" - Metalholic 
    $15.00
  • I can't remember a buzz on a band's debut since Circus Maximus.  Perhaps due to the album being released in Japan a year ago and its unavailability elsewhere, maybe because they are lined up to play ProgPowerUSA.  Whatever the reason the album finally gets a wide debut and it was worth the wait.  Damnation Angels is a British symphonic metal band fronted by a Norwegian singer.  He goes by the name PelleK and was a contestant on Norway's version of X Factor.  The band's stock in trade is epic sounding metal that pays a huge debt to Kamelot.  The instrumental passages take on the grandeur and scope of Nightwish.  PelleK does a sold job out front - he's obviously listened to a Khan quite a bit.  Highly recommended.
    $14.00
  • The Journey Continues!"To Travel For Evermore," the second album from the Danish metal band Wuthering Heights, is the sequel to their celebrated debut "Within". This second part of a projected musical trilogy finds the band with a new and stronger lineup. Main composer/guitarist Erik Ravn is reunited with ex-Tad Morose vocalist Kristen Andren but the lineup now also includes Time Machine bassist Lorenzo Deho and guitarist Henrik Flymann of Zool. With twin lead guitars the band has expanded their musical vision to encompass neoclassical metal as well as symphonic speed metal. Wuthering Heights will appeal to fans of Blind Guardian, Rhapsody, Angra and Yngwie Malmsteen. The album was produced by Tommy Hansen who cut his teeth producing Helloween, Pretty Maids, and Iron Fire.
    $5.00
  • "Four years in the making, Norway's Triosphere returns with their third album, The Heart of the Matter. It was worth the wait. While reviewed previously on this site by another reviewer, this is my first experience with the band.There's many things to like about Triosphere. Not the least of which, for a female-fronted band, is that vocalist and bassist Ida Haukland is a pure melodic metal singer, not swaying to the extremes of operatic or death vocals. Another significant element is simply their superb sense of songwriting. They have an arsenal of weapons to draw from whether an abundance of catchy riffs, a strong melody, vocal harmony, notable rock groove, or sizzling leads. I think, more than anything, the guitar structure, riffs and leads, are rather immense and attractive, propelling the album. You can't avoid the swell of riffs and leads within songs such as Steal Away The Light or As I Call, melodic and inspiring. But Triosphere wraps all these elements up in imaginative and entertaining arrangements, nearing progressive metal, that make for essential melodic metal listening.While the entire album is a rich tapestry of melodic metal, a few songs deserve some attention thanks to some interesting passages within. One is Breathless, a steady sturdy number that has this interesting breakdown after the half way point. The riffs collapse for this light guitar work, almost fusion, over equally slight drums. Another terrific song follows in Departure. It has its share of riffs and some staccato drums, but once more, it's the latter guitar segue that grabs you. More emotive and lighter leads over subtle bass and drums. A third song of interest is the later Remedy with a smooth melody and enormous vocal harmony. But the kicker, once more, is the guitar breakdown in the latter half. Different than the previous songs, it's sharper and heavier, riff based yet fiery, and propelled by some intricate drumming. Finally, the entire swail of riffage is abandoned at the end of the album for the acoustic and gentle ballad Virgin Ground. A respite perhaps? All in all, Triosphere, with The Heart of the Matter, has turned out a rather terrific and enjoyable album of melodic heavy metal. Easily recommended." - Dangerdog
    $16.00