Another month has been and gone, it’s time for our team members to reveal what albums have made their month.
Stefan: Epica – Ωmega
Ωmega … What a way to make this year’s music releases Epic!
EPICA, one of the Symphonic Metal world’s finest and best bands released their highly anticipated eigth studio album Ωmega earlier this year. This is an album that I was looking forward to hearing, I’ll add, since EPICA are a band that I love listening to since my discovery of them a few years back. I feel that the Dutch sextet have more than delivered on an album here packed full of sublime symphonic songs. If EPICA weren’t already in the Pantheon of Symphonic Metal Greats (alongside the likes of KAMELOT, NIGHTWISH and WITHIN TEMPTATION), this album surely cemented that that are.
This album hooks you with symphonic brilliance all the way from the fantastically engrossing album opener, Alpha – Anteludium to the superb album closer, Omega – Sovereign Of The Sun Spheres. There are also some great special guests lending their vocals to a couple of songs too. THE AGONIST’s Vicky Psarakis and MYRATH’s Zaher Zorgati features on the fantastic Twilight Reverie – The Hypnagogic State and the Arabic infused Code Of Life respectively. Simone Simmon’s stunning vocals shines through so well on the album’s impactful solo ballad Rivers. As well as being accompanied by Mark Jansen’s harsh vocals on stand out singles Abyss Of Time – Countdown To Singularity and The Skeleton Key. The lyrics you’ll also find stand out so much on these songs and others too, such as the thought provoking ones on The Skeleton Key, “Can we find the lightning that shines inside our mind? Can we fight the dark side, we’ve all been trying to hide? The many sleepless nights, the panic that rewinds. Waiting for the sunrise as paradise arrives.”
It’s rare that I use this word but Ωmega is a masterpiece in it’s own right, and that I would highly recommend a listen to!
Find EPICA on Facebook.
Lotty: Winterage – The Inheritance Of Beauty
WINTERAGE’s latest album The Inheritance Of Beauty has been on my radar for the past few months since it’s release in January but I hadn’t really sat down to listen until recently. I was blown away by this record. I can’t get enough of it, so much so that I am even considering it for album of the year already.
It’s rare for me to find an album where I love every single track and that’s exactly what I found with The Inheritance Of Beauty. On their website, WINTERAGE describe themselves as Symphonic Power Metal band with strong influences from classical, Irish and medieval music. Each song on this album matches this description perfectly. I do love Irish and Medieval folk music as well as classical; probably contributing to my love for this album. I have also mentioned I am attracted to great melodies and this album is full of them. Below are a just a few examples of these tracks.
The opener Ouverture wouldn’t be out of place in an epic fantasy film, Lord Of The Rings and Stardust came to mind when listening to this. The mighty sounds from Of Heroes And Wonders and the swashbuckling brilliance from The Mutineers are tracks that make you feel you can conquer anything. Edward Scissorhands comes to mind when I hear the choirs in La Morte di Venere, it is a delicate ballad that allows time for reflection. To get an idea of what epic closer The Amazing Toymaker sounds like, think The Nightmare Before Christmas if it was fused with NIGHTWISH song Scaretale. Let’s just say you won’t be listening to Tchaikovsky’s Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy the same way again. You need to listen to the album to find out why that is.
This album is a Symphonic, Power Metal gem that needs to be heard. It is also lead me to check out the rest of their discography, which also lead me to some wonders. Recommended if you like ELVENKING, NIGHTWISH, THERION and WIND ROSE.
Find WINTERAGE on Facebook.
Martin: Therion – Leviathan
This is the latest and 17th album from Sweden’s symphonic masters, THERION.
This is an incredibly catchy album and works much like a best of in a way that it encapsulates all of the techniques and craft that have generated such memorable tracks throughout the bands career to date.
Included on this album is the song Tuonela with former NIGHTWISH member Marko Hietala on guest vocals and it makes you realise just how much of an amazing fit this is!
My absolute favourite from the album is the song Psalm of Retribution which instantly ingrains itself in your psyche. If you have not yet gotten round to listening to this masterpiece then you really do need to make it the next album you listen to!
You can read Lotty’s review and interview with Thomas Vickstrom by clicking the links.
Find THERION on Facebook.
Jacob: Cân Bardd – Nature Stays Silent
Once upon a blue moon, there is a special kind of album. Not one of great beauty or legendary status but one of an endearing, familiar atmosphere. The kind of album to dress the act of staring into the far distance and watch while the world falls in on itself. For me, that album is CÂN BARDD’s Nature Stays Silent. Other albums may encapsulate a specific feeling but this one in particular captures the spirits of wildlife, great vistas and slipping into a long dream.
The gentle ripples of melodies play on top of stony streams painted by raw black metal, and fantasy and naturalism are wed in this sublime album.
Find CÂN BARDD on Facebook.
Jack: Tenacious D – Tenacious D
This month’s top pick for me is TENACIOUS D’s self-titled debut album. JB and KG proved, and continue to prove, that a great act doesn’t always take itself too seriously!
Just shy of an hour of hilarity, filled with rude jokes and innuendos, but there is something much more to this record – great musicianship! Although admittedly most of the great musicianship comes from the ‘quiet’ KG (Kyle Gass), the vocals from JB (Jack Black) are astonishing. This is abundantly clear in the track Wonderboy, which is probably the tamest track on the album.
Being two acoustic guitar players, they enlisted the help of many other musicians to help record the album, including mega star Dave Grohl!
This record truly has me in side-splitting fits of laughter throughout the entire track list.
Find TENACIOUS D on Facebook.
Steph: Muse – Black Holes & Revelations
Released in 2006, this album is one of the more modern pieces in my collection. As you my have noticed from my previous posts, I love music with harmonic or melodic tones. The vocals and guitars by Matt Bellamy backed up by Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenholme creates music that makes me tingle. I love to listen to this album, especially Knights of Cydonia, laying on flood and feeling my mind unwind and the kinks work themselves out. I achieve a zen that usually takes at least thirty minutes of meditation.
Find MUSE on Facebook.
That’s it for this edition of album of the month. What has been yours? Let us know in the comments.