|StaffReviews 113Soundoffs 443News Articles 72Band Edits + Tags 438Album Edits 446Album Ratings 3582Objectivity 77%Last Active 07-21-18 4:25 pmJoined 09-04-12Forum Posts 77Review Comments 11,101
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| ||Avantasia The Metal Opera||4.0|
| ||Toledo Steel No Quarter|
Encouraging debut LP containing healthy doses of energetic traditional british metal with influences from bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Satan and even Mercyful Fate. The twin guitar assault is the highlight of No Quarter as these guys know how to write memorable riffs that keep listeners interested. As far as modern NWOBHM is concerned, this is one of the more solid releases.
| ||Gatekeeper (CAN) East of Sun|
Gatekeeper is one of the hottest epic metal bands at the moment and, despite their great influences which range from Manilla Road and Omen to Cirith Ungol and Atlantean Kodex, I just can't place them next to bands like Visigoth and Eternal Champion or even upcomers like Dream Troll. The main reason is their songwriting which lacks catchiness and makes their album feel longer than it actually is. However, they do emit a genuine epic feeling and if they work on creating some more memorable moments, they may make some noise in the future.
| ||Ancient Empire Eternal Soldier|
Solid US heavy/power metal which has its roots somewhere in-between Iced Earth, Iron Maiden ("I, Alone") and Jag Panzer among others, but Ancient Empire have their own unique style. The songwriting is interesting with plenty of hooks and catchy melodies and the vocalist has a nice gruff and tone. The music is quite bare-bones but energetic and quite refreshing if you want to listen to some modern power metal.
| ||Michael Schinkel's Eternal Flame Smoke on the Mountain|
Melodic neoclassical metal with some AOR and bluesy elements. The songwriting brings to mind Yngwie Malmsteen (Mark Boals and Goran Edman do guest vocals on four tracks), but the guitar playing is more reminiscent of Ritchie Blackmore. Overall, a really good LP but Axel Rudi Pell has done this thing much better so I'm not so sure I'll be jamming this again in the future. However, it feels really nice seeing such stuff getting released nowadays.
| ||Running Wild Wild Animal|
Solid EP that contains four tracks recorded during the Death or Glory sessions. The quality of the songs, with only "Tear Down The Walls" being quite average, shows the band's level of inspiration at the time. The audible bass gives a tasty extra layer to the songs. A must-listen for Running Wild fans.
| ||REO Speedwagon Ridin' the Storm Out|
An enjoyable listen but uneven with the t/t being the standout, this is far from the REO Speedwagon that is being played on the radio as it has a more bluesy/americana sound that brings to mind bands like Eagles or The Doobie Brothers.
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