Mastodon: Emperor Of Sand

I read a review of this album in Metal Hammer and was looking forward to picking it up some day. Then I was in a new record shop that has opened recently and saw the vinyl version so I asked them to get me a copy of the CD but they already had one, so I bought it there and then. Glad I did because it is a great album. I like the Mastodon sound very much and this is their best to date I think.

emperor-of-sand

Arch Enemy: As The Stages Burn

My pre-order arrived on a day I booked off as annual leave. It was perfect timing because I did a school run and got home just as the postman was writing a card out. I was able to watch it that morning and what a great DVD it is. The music is excellent but also the quality of the live footage. Lots of angles and great shots but none of it feels over-edited, there is real respect for the band. It is a great reminder of what the live shows are like. I just hope that the band takes a good long rest after this tour ends, otherwise they will burn out. The whole package is excellent, great photographs in the booklet and an accompanying CD of the show as well. So glad I ordered this.

as-the-stages-burn

The Charm The Fury: Sick, Dumb and Happy

I bought this album from Fopp! in Manchester because I couldn’t wait to receive it by post. I’m glad I did, the album is very good. What stands out is the variety of the songs and the excellent vocals of Caroline Westendorp. Check out the variety between the first two songs, Echoes will be a great live song. The band have released a couple of videos from the album, the first of these was from the first track Down On the Ropes where Westendorp appears in full trailer trash outfit and makeup. Very different to what she is actually like in normal appearance but that was the point. The songs are great head bangers on this album, anyone into heavy songs will enjoy it. I don’t think all the reviews I’ve read do it justice. What everyone seems to agree on is that this is an album that shows a big progression from their first album and the band are developing into a great act. Definitely one to watch. I love the cover art.

sick-dmb-and-happy

Tarja: The Shadow Self

I received this disk in the post today, I ordered it after seeing it was reduced by a few pounds and I thought BARGAIN! I would probably not go for Tarja’s music normally however this album has had pretty good, consistent reviews so I think it’s worth giving it a go. It’s heavier than other Tarja material.

Tarja - The Shadow Self

Arch Enemy live at Wacken 2016: As The Stages Burn

So I mentioned this a few weeks ago when I first found out but yesterday evening I pre-ordered a copy of the CD-DVD Digipack from the Century Media store and I am SO EXCITED! It will be an awesome DVD and what’s even better is that I ordered the CD + DVD digipack version so I can listen to the concert when I’m travelling. I’m really looking forwards to the performance. Wacken is a mecca for metal fans, like Bloodstock and Download are in the UK, but I’ve never been to any of them so to get the DVD is probably the next best thing.

arch-enemy-live

Once Human – Evolution

My pre-order for this record came through the post today. I have been looking forward to listening to the new Once Human record for a while now and it does not disappoint. I watched the video for Eye of Chaos and listening to the song I’m reminded just how much I liked it on first listen. The sticker on the album sleeve said that Lauren Hart was the most devastating female voice in metal. She has a lot of competition in the same field but it’s true that she does stand out with her own brand of growling. The album title means something as there is certainly evolution in the band’s sound with this release. It is more progressive than their previous record although it remains a metal album.

once-human-evolution

Xandria -Theatre of Dimensions

My third purchase this week is this album from the symphonic metal band Xandria. This album is very much in the symphonic metal tradition and Dianne Van Giesbergen’s soprano voice is the closest I’ve heard to Tarja Turunen’s style. This album is epic and reminds me a lot of Tarja-era Nightwish. They don’t have quite as many catchy melodies as the Nightwish but give them time, this album should certainly win the band more fans – nothing more than the band deserves on the strength of this strong album.

Xandria Theatre of Dimensions.PNG