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New Finds – LIV

I’ll start another awfully rushed post in this series with an actual new find, The Erinyes, which seems to be something of a supergroup… And includes Nicoletta Rosellini, who was the vocalist of Kalidia, which I included in another one of these posts but which has since disbanded, and who still is the vocalist of Walk in Darkness, which I included in another such post and which continues to release new material. In fact, I now saw that she’s in yet another band as well, but they just released their first song and I didn’t even listen to it, so let me finally get to the band that this paragraph should actually be about and say that the album was released over a year ago, but since they’re an actual new find that I only stumbled into last night, I don’t really have a problem with that. And the clear pick is Death By a Broken Heart, which is just a great song. The other songs that I listened to have some elements that I’m not exactly fond of, but it’s a matter of taste, not an objective lack of quality or skill, and the confidence and experience are obvious. Either way, let’s say that I’ll go with My Kiss Goodbye as the second pick.

Another artist who was in a band that I included in another one of these posts is Dianne van Giersbergen, as in the former vocalist of Xandria, and last month she released her second song as a solo artist, Unleash the Siren, so I can include her here. I do prefer After the Storm, which pretty much sounds like Xandria at their best, but any complaints about Unleash the Siren can be filed under nitpicking and very high expectations. And those high expectations also apply to what she’ll release next.

And, since I went down this path, this would be a good time to also mention Charlotte Wessels, as in the former vocalist of Delain, which I also mentioned in another one of the very first posts from this series. She has been a solo artist for some time by now, and she regularly releases new songs, but they’re mostly on her Patreon, so I’ll stick to what’s public for my picks and go with Against All Odds and, obviously, Soft Revolution. Other songs can be very different, and I’m not fond of the sound of some of them, but these are lovely, and Soft Revolution in particular is exactly what I expected from her in every way, also in terms of the lyrics and message.

Written by Cavalary on October 28, 2023 at 9:58 PM in Music | 0 Comments

New Finds – LIII

What I was saying in the previous post from this series that I’d have looked into if I wouldn’t have been in such a hurry, and the reason why I said that the potential of Aresea may be realized elsewhere, is the fact that their vocalist is the new vocalist of Elegy of Madness, and they released a song from their upcoming album, Broken Soul, so that will be my first pick. There are some growls as well, unfortunately, but they’re manageable and the song is otherwise quite nice, so I’d say that, with this sound and this vocalist, they went up a level. Not that they were bad before either, and even some of their old songs may be interesting, so I’ll go with one of those, No Names, as the second pick. But I want to get back to their recent improvement and point out that there’s actually one song, Lunacy, that has both old and new versions that can illustrate that directly.

The second band, Lost Dawning, is an actual new find, and it seems to be another project of some of the members of the band that I initially wanted to include in this post but realized that I couldn’t do so, at least at this time. They only have three songs, not counting a bad live recording of another, so I’ll just pick two, Burning Stars and Fire Alone. It’s not much, and the vocals are somewhat weak, but that album description indicates that they’re not particularly serious about this project and I’m not sure in what form or even if it will continue, seeing as the other band is about to release their first actual album, so it may end up marking a certain moment in their development. And, according to what I heard from the other band, they really are developing.

As for the third band, since I started with an Italian one, I decided to look for another one from Italy that released recent material, so I guess I’ll go with Sinheresy. I remember when I first stumbled into them and I think that I wondered whether to include them in such a post once or twice before, but the sound isn’t one that I’m exactly fond of and the male vocals really bother me, so the fact that they’re barely noticeable in one of their recent songs, The Life You Left Behind, being almost completely covered by the female ones, pretty much made this a moment of now or never in terms of including them. And this is just another rushed post, after all, so I decided to just go ahead… Even if finding a second song to pick was more of a problem. But in the end I decided to go with Out of Connection, where the male vocals are only used briefly.

Written by Cavalary on September 23, 2023 at 6:52 PM in Music | 0 Comments

New Finds – LII

I guess it’s time for another really rushed post in this series, and I’ll move on straight to the bands, starting with Imaginature, which I recall considering to include in such a post before but putting it off until their album was no longer a recent release, so I’m going to get to it now, just a week under a year since the release of their latest single… Even if that single actually just contains new versions of two of the songs from the album. But the improvement is significant in case of Edge, so that’s my first pick, while the second one is their very first release, Through the Cellar Door. Their songs are otherwise quite a mixed bag, but they started well enough and can release good material in their current form as well, so there are reasons to also expect good songs in the future.

Next comes SideQuest, which is another act that’s better described as a project rather than an actual band. I’m not sure if I’d have included them in such a post at this time if I wouldn’t have been rushing like this, but their most recent releases are also a little less than a year old, so I’ll get right to it and say that my first pick is Matter, while for the second I’ll go with Stargazer. As expected for such projects, the songs are once again a mixed bag, but there are a few other interesting ones, plus that those from the first album have the sort of structure and vocals that I’d be more interested in, the problem being that the quality of the recording leaves much to be desired and the lack of experience definitely shows, so I just skipped through them this time around.

The third band, Aresea, just released one EP, in early 2018, and doesn’t seem to be active anymore, but in that case they fall into the category of former bands that I don’t want to skip over and the two picks are Lightning Lullaby and Beyond the End of Time. The lack of confidence and experience are quite noticeable, but there’s great potential, which may be realized elsewhere, since checking the band’s fate led me to something that I’d have looked into if I wouldn’t have been in such a hurry to post something this evening. For the moment, however, I’ll just say that, despite the lack of recent activity and probable disbanding, and being such a small and, probably, short-lived project, they’re the band from this post that I have the least doubts about including.

Written by Cavalary on September 9, 2023 at 9:24 PM in Music | 0 Comments

New Finds – LI

An actual new find made me want to add another post in this series, especially since it’s another Ukrainian band that seems to have existed for quite a number of years but which was only getting ready to actually release something when the war changed everything, yet now they’re somehow getting back to it. And, after checking the first part of the list once again some time ago, I had marked another band that I wanted to include in the next such post, since I saw that they released a good song this year. But the third proved to be a problem, especially since I wanted to make it easy for myself and only look for bands that had recent releases but not too many songs posted officially, and that led to skipping over some and in the end wasting a lot of time because I went through several dozen entries, from both versions of the list, and couldn’t really find anything suitable, before finally settling on something when I felt that I was running out of time… And since I made that selection, I will include that band, but just when I was starting to write this post, I randomly clicked on a recommendation and ended up with another actual new find that I wanted to include, which took me to four bands, and I don’t want to have four bands in a post. However, another recommendation came to the rescue, and it’s even connected to the second band, so it works out even better. And this means that, just under two and a half years since the last time this happened, I’m finally adding another “New Finds” post that includes five bands.

That first band is Mistyfica, and they only posted two songs so far, Dance of Time and Scarlet Reign, though their first album should be released next month. At the moment I have no idea what else will be included on that album, but if these songs are any indication, it should be really good, so this is by no means a case of being more lenient because they’re from Ukraine. In fact, if the other songs will be similar to these, they may even be the best band included in this post, at least from my point of view.

However, Anaria is an example of a band whose songs differ significantly, and while I find their ballads quite lovely, I’m not exactly fond of how their other songs sound. So the fact that their more recent release, Our Time Will Come, is a ballad is why I wanted to finally include them in such a post, but listening to most of their other songs also reminded me why I kept skipping over them before. Still, while my first instinct would have been to pick another ballad as the second song as well, since these picks are just meant to point out what I like, after all, without necessarily being representative of the majority of the band’s songs, I did find another song that I also liked, Invocation, so I’ll go with it.

Avaland is the sort of act that may be better described as a project than an actual band, listing themselves as “metal opera”, with the songs having a common theme and featuring quite a number of artists that aren’t actual members of the band. And it’s not just the style, but also the quality of the vocals that varies significantly as a result, including a fair number of moments that made me wince, which is why I said that I settled on them. Plus that they mostly have male vocals and the style is more power or even heavy metal than symphonic, so it’s something that I can and sometimes do listen to, but not exactly what I prefer or typically include in these posts. Still, to pick a song from each of their albums, I’ll go with To Be the King and Holy Kingdom of Fools.

The second actual new find is Aeronwen, and it’s a really good thing that Ghostlight and Flame is the song that was recommended, because it’s just a lovely piece that made me feel that I just had to include them right away, even if this changed my plans for this post and made it take even longer. Things would have been very different if I’d have stumbled into one of their songs that have growls, and in fact it’s not impossible that I have done so before and dismissed them as a result, even if their first releases came only last year. Still, another song that has no growls is Conjure, though there are moments when the drums show that they’d otherwise lean towards a more brutal sound. So they’re another example of a band with songs that differ quite significantly, and that even applies to the songs that have growls, since I heard one that had softer and more acceptable ones and another that just hit me with the brutal sort that made me immediately stop listening. So, unless you like that sort of thing, take that as a warning.

And then there’s Knightfall, which is the last actual new find and quite clearly a project rather than an actual band, its founder seeming to want to work with various guest artists. But that founder used to be a member of what later became Anaria, apparently leaving when that early version of the band, at the time called Evince Ethos, disbanded, and yet he seems to be on good terms with Anaria’s current members, since some appear on Starfall and the site lists them as also featuring on other songs, which will probably be released in the near future. But my second pick, Waiting for You, features different artists, so it’ll probably be another case where both the style and the quality will vary.

Written by Cavalary on August 20, 2023 at 8:31 PM in Music | 0 Comments

New Finds – L

Yes, this is yet another post in this series that will seem awfully rushed, and it is when it comes to the actual writing, but I’ve spent a few hours over the past couple of days working on it, the problem being that most of that time was spent trying to decide on a second pick for one of the bands, since I didn’t make it easy for myself. But at least I finally did pick, so I can get on it and actually write something instead of just listening. And I’ll start by pointing out that, once again, none of the bands are actual new finds, but all of them do have new material.

I’ll start with Blackbriar, and with Arms of the Ocean, which is that song that I finally settled on after taking far too long to decide. It was obviously much easier with the newer song, My Soul’s Demise, but I then ended up going through everything else and finding that I had a similar pretty good opinion about several songs, but something also bothered me about pretty much all of them as well and nothing really stood out as great. But, while thinking about it when I was no longer at the computer, I gradually realized that Arms of the Ocean stuck better in my mind, and in the end it may be the better song overall. Either way, the vocals do seem too weak for the genre, and this may be what kept making me skip over them so far, despite knowing the band for quite a number of years and having thought about including them in such a post before, probably on at least a few different occasions. But that’s weak in the sense of not powerful, not in the sense of poor, in fact quite the opposite, and their sound is adapted to these vocals, resulting in a package that doesn’t only work quite well, but also stands out, is memorable. And now that they also signed with Nuclear Blast, they may even finally get an entry on Metal Archives, where they have apparently been blacklisted, whitelisted, and then blacklisted again. I wonder how much that weakness of the vocals has to do with that as well. But, again, far from being a flaw, if you listen to them for a while, those vocals become their defining trait and what will stick in your mind.

The second band is Autumn Bride, and the two picks are H.EART.H and The Path. The sound may be a little angrier than I’d like, but at least in case of H.EART.H that’s entirely understandable, considering the all too current and necessary message, and the particularly notable, powerful vocals fit this sort of sound. This is a solid, confident, powerful performance, so I hope they’ll keep doing what they do well.

As for the third band, that’s Beyond God, and Memories is probably what made me put them on the list in the first place. The other songs that I listened to aren’t at that level, and this also applies to the second pick, Coronation, which I only selected because I want to at least stick to my own rules and also pick a recent song, and at least this one doesn’t have growls and angry drums, though the meaning that I gather from the lyrics would otherwise make me really want to avoid promoting that sort of mindset. But I do remember Memories, and in fact it seemed so familiar when I listened to it again that I checked to see whether it’s not a cover, because I doubt that I had listened to it very recently, so it means that it left a good impression and I kept waiting for them to return to this level before including them in such a post… And now I guess that I decided to stop waiting and do it anyway.

Written by Cavalary on June 10, 2023 at 9:40 PM in Music | 0 Comments