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.


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.


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


Venom Prison – Animus

I decided I needed to get this album. It is a killer blast of frantic energy from beginning to end. Interesting themes are explored in these songs, the most attention seems to be focused on the track Perpetrator Emasculation. The cover artwork is apparently based on this track, it features a man (a rapist?) being fed his own genitals. Larissa Stupar delivers a great vocal performance with her growls.

Venom Prison are touring the UK with Suicide Silence in March 2017.


Amaranthe – Maximalism

Amaranthe released this CD in October last year but I have finally got around to purchasing it and it’s good. I’m glad I got it. The combination of a clean male and female vocal plus a male growler is really unusual but it works so well. I also like the combination of metal and synthesisers. It verges on Eurodance in some songs but still has feet firmly in the metal camp.