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Other Recent Reviews
Arch Enemy - Burning Bridges
Author: UMUR
Rating: 90

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Arcturus - My Angel
Author: UMUR
Rating: 50

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Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 90

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Arch / Matheos - Sympathetic Resonance
Author: UMUR
Rating: 100

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Allegaeon – Elements of the Infinite
Author: adg211288
Rating: 94

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Arch Enemy - Black Earth
Author: UMUR
Rating: 60

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Arcane - Ashes
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Iron Maiden - A Matter of Life and Death
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 85

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Apocalypse Warhead - Opening the Silos
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Anthrax - Worship Music
Author: UMUR
Rating: 75

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Dead Earth Politics - The Queen of Steel
Author: adg211288
Rating: 80

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Iron Maiden - Dance of Death
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 95

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Deus Otiosus - Rise
Author: adg211288
Rating: 89

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Anvil - Forged in Fire
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Anthrax - Armed and Dangerous
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Iron Maiden - Brave New World
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 100

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Wolves in the Throne Room - Celestite
Author: ColdReverie
Rating: 90

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Antediluvian - Through the Cervix of Hawaah
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Terratomorf - Я - легенда
Author: adg211288
Rating: 42

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Iron Maiden - Virtual XI
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 45

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Welcome
Welcome to Heavy Metal Haven, the open-minded heavy metal forums!

Recent Reviews
AlestormSunset on the Golden Age
Genre: Folk Metal
Release Date: August 1st 2014
Label: Napalm Records
Author: adg211288

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Sunset on the Golden Age (2014) is the fourth full-length album by Scottish pirates Alestorm. For this album the band have extended their line-up to a five piece with the addition of Elliot Vernon (Windrider) on keyboards. Previously that role was held by vocalist Christopher Bowes. The documentation that accompanies my promo copy of the album is unclear if Bowes plays any keyboards on the album or sticks exclusively to vocals now but I presume he does as that was the situation on their Live at the End of the World (2013) release.

Alestorm are well known as one of those bands who aren't meant to be taken 100% serious. They're comedic, gimmicky and a bit bonkers too. That's exactly why they're such a great band. But also one that I had to wonder about the longevity of, back when they released their first album Captain Morgan's Revenge (2008). Just how many songs about pirates and drinking can you write and still do what they do so well? This was a subject that they themselves successfully parodied on their previous album Back Through Time (2011) on the song Scraping the Barrel. And here we are with their fourth voyage Sunset on the Golden Age, an album that brings more drunken pirates and eyebrow raising ideas, not least the decision to cover the song Hangover which was originally by Taio Cruz, complete with Christopher Bowes doing a rap section in that distinctive pirate voice of his. If you're like me and don't stay in touch with mainstream music you may not know who Taio Cruz is...he seems to be some sort of dance/pop/r'n'b artist...not the most obviously compatible artist for a folk/power metal band to cover. But it's Alestorm so that may be why it not only works but ends up being an album highlight.

I think that Sunset on the Golden Age contains two of the funniest songs that Alestorm have ever written. The first of these is the lead promo track Drink. I love the way Christopher Bowes throws in references to the band's older songs like he's retelling the tales of the band's various misadventures on their quest for booze. The chorus is pretty addictive too. I can easily see this one becoming an essential staple of the band's live show for as long as they keep making music, which if Sunset on the Golden Age is anything to go by isn't something they should be stopping any time soon. The other song I want to mention here is Wooden Leg!. At first this one seemed a bit too repetitive but as I took in the story like lyrics I began to appreciate it a whole lot more. Another song I can imagine crowds going absolutely nuts to in the live environment.

I think that Back Through Time started to show a more mature side to Alestorm though in terms of their compositional skills. I think the reason that they've been able to keep going as long as they have is that their music is not as throwaway as one might initially expect. At their core the band usually combines folk metal and power metal ideas but they also have plenty of symphonic elements and even some thrash metal bits as well. But the different elements aren't so important here it's more what they do with them and the album's title track is easily the most adventurous piece that the band has written so far. An all too brief keyboard lead was even downright progressive. Unfortunately at nearly eleven and a half minutes it's just a bit too long so the band doesn't quite pull off what they seem to have been going for. The same is true of the album's other longer track 1741 (The Battle of Cartagena). Death Throes of the Terrorsquid from Back Through Time will serve as the standard for longer songs that they have to live up to now and neither of these is as strong as that one. But the point is they do give more musically than you might expect, even if the songs on Sunset on the Golden Age don't have as high a consistency as either Back Through Time or Captain Morgan's Revenge.

Sticking to the shorter humorous songs is clearly Alestorm's strength on Sunset on the Golden Age and as I've stated, they've made some of their best and funniest songs on this one. Likewise they maintain a great energy with their music and have some great folk melodies in there too. There may come a day when Alestorm release something that sounds stale and uninspired but despite the title of the album I don't think the band's golden age is anywhere near over yet. This one is well worth a plunder. 4 Stars. 83/100

:star: :star: :star: :star:


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Arch EnemyAnthems of Rebellion
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Release Date: August 25th 2003
Label: Century Media Records
Author: UMUR

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"Anthems of Rebellion" is the 5th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Arch Enemy. The album was released through Century Media Records in August 2003. The album features the same lineup that recorded the preceding album "Wages of Sin (2001)" but introduces producer Andy Sneap.

If you are familiar with Andy Sneap´s professional metallic sound productions, it´s no surprise how "Anthems of Rebellion" sound. But actually the sound on this album doesn´t differ much from the sound production on the Fredrik Nordström produced "Wages of Sin (2001)". And it´s the same with the songwriting and general sound and style of the music. The band still play melodic verse/chorus structured death metal. There´s an emphasis on melodic guitar leads and themes, a solid rhythm section and the processed growling vocals by frontwoman Angela Gossow.

Out of the 13 tracks on the 43:26 minutes long album, only very few tracks stand out, so even though the songwriting is professional and streamlined, the tracks lack variation between them. The album is in dire need of more tracks like the "hit" "Dead Eyes See No Future", that I´m actually able to remember after the album ends. Also why make an album that sounds almost exactly like a carbon copy of the last album? If you´re gonna do that at least make damn sure that the carbon copy is either fully on par with the original or preferably better, which "Anthems of Rebellion" isn´t.

Overall there´s no denying that "Anthems of Rebellion" is a very professional sounding melodic death metal album and I´m sure fans of the genre will enjoy the album with fewer reservations than I have, but compared to the band´s preceding releases this one simply lacks bite and an original sound. It sounds uninspired and calculated. And to top it off I have to endure almost 45 minutes of the soulless growling by Angela Gossow. She is not able to convince me of her vocal qualities on this album either.

"Anthems of Rebellion" comes off as a very "safe" album release by Arch Enemy, but as the sound production is professional, the songwriting ditto and as the musicianship are strong (except for the monotone vocals), I would probably be out of line calling this a bad album. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is therefore warranted. 65/100

:star: :star: :star: :halfstar:


Comment.

ArcaneChronicles Of The Waking Dream
Genre: Progressive Metal
Release Date: September 21st 2009
Label: Arcane Australia
Author: UMUR

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"Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Australian progressive metal act Arcane. The album was released through Arcane Australia in September 2009.

The band released a promising debut album in 2007 titled "Ashes", and the dark and melancholic progressive metal style featured on that album is continued and further developed on "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream". While the debut album featured a 24:15 minutes long title track, which was divided into five parts, "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" takes that concept a little further as all tracks on the album segue into each other to form a regular concept album. Arcane play a layered and keyboard heavy type of progressive metal with both really heavy moments but also mellower emotional sections too. While the instrumental part of the music is impressive enough, it´s the vocals by Jim Grey that really set Arcane apart from most other progressive metal acts. He has a very distinct sounding voice and a convincing emotional delivery.

The tracks are structurally challenging, dynamic and it´s hard to pinpoint just one influence. I think I hear influences from both "classic" progressive metal in the vein of Dream Theater, but also influences from the more alternative part of the progressive metal scene. Acts like Riverside and A Perfect Circle probably aren´t strangers to these guys either.

"Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is not an easy listen and it´s taken me quite a few listens to grasp the full 59:15 minutes long album. There´s simply a lot to take in, but in a positive way. So if you enjoy your progressive metal challenging (not necessarily focused on constant technical playing though) and delivered with great emotional impact "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is definitely a recommended listen. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved. 85/100

:star: :star: :star: :star: :halfstar:


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ImmortalDiabolical Fullmoon Mysticism
Genre: Black Metal
Release Date: July 1st 1992
Label: Osmose Productions
Author: 666Sharon666

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Norway's Immortal are, in my opinion, among the country's best black metal exports and Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism is their debut album from 1992. The band were a three piece consisting of Abbath (vocals, bass), Demonaz (guitars) and Armagedda (drums) at this point.

I tend draw a line between Immortal's albums, the rawer sound of the first four albums and the better produced and thrashy later albums. Since it's their debut Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism is one of the least polished in their catalogue, staying true to the conventions held by the earliest second wave black metal bands. It's because of this that I don't think it stands out in any way the way later releases from both sides of the line to. It's a good album for those than enjoy this sort of black metal sound but I can't help but think that Immortal were still finding their feet here. I consider the most accomplished track to be A Perfect Vision of the Rising Northland as it contains more ideas and moods than most songs on the album do, but at nine minutes long overstays its welcome. In short Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism is worth picking up if you're a major fan of the band to hear where they started from but otherwise this one is actually pretty skippable. 65/100

:star: :star: :star: :halfstar:


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Album of the Month
Arch EnemyWar Eternal
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Release Date: June 8th 2014
Label: Century Media

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War Eternal (2014) is the tenth full-length studio album Swedish melodic death metal act Arch Enemy. It is their first album in three years, following on from Khaos Legions (2011) and it brings with it a couple of significant line-up changes to the group. The one everyone is talking about is of course that Angela Gossow, the band's vocalist since fourth album Wages of Sin (2001), has stepped down from the band and been replaced by Alissa White-Gluz, formerly of The Agonist, apparently on Gossow's recommendation. But in my mind the more major change is that War Eternal is the first Arch Enemy album to not feature both of the Amott brothers, Michael and Christopher due to the latter's departure in 2012. Christopher Amott actually left the band once before but returned before the band recorded new material. He is replaced here by Nick Cordle, who was previously with Arsis.

Even with the line-up changes and both new members sharing song-writing duties with Michael Amott the music on War Eternal is by and large what you should expect from an Arch Enemy release if you've heard even one of them before. The new line-up has certainly seemed to revitalise the band though; except for the addition of some symphonic elements on the songs You Will Know My Name, Time is Black, and Avalanche (an element they used in a much smaller amount on Cruelty Without Beauty from Khaos Legions) the music is Arch Enemy by numbers but done with a much higher level of consistency than I've ever heard from them. This is some really furious and epic sounding melodic death metal here, a real step up from Khaos Legions which I found disappointing. That album just sounds positively tame by comparison. Aside from the typical Arch Enemy intro/interlude/outro type tracks the band just deliver melodic death anthem after melodic death anthem. Tracks like On and One and Down to Nothing took a little longer to click than the well chosen promo tracks of War Eternal, No More Regrets and You Will Know My Name but the album has reached a point for me that it's just kept on giving in such a way that I can't honestly say any song here is particularly lesser or better than another. The symphonic elements are definitely a nice touch too, adding another dimension to the Arch Enemy sound. They're definitely seasoning rather than the flavour of the dish here so those who haven't been overly enthralled by the current wave of symphonic death metal acts don't need worry too much, though I personally would like to hear Arch Enemy explore this territory even further.

Alissa White-Gluz proves a more than worthy replacement for Angela Gossow, though there is an undeniable interchangeability factor between vocalists when the music is entirely growled (although that's not quite fully the case here as there is a tiny use of Alissa's clean singing during Avalanche). It's quite hard to say which vocalist I prefer (original vocalist Johan Liiva doesn't really get a look in for me) but with Alissa the band do have the option to further expand their sound with more clean vocals should they ever wish to, as she's also a really good clean singer, as is made evident with her work with The Agonist. I'm not necessarily saying that adding clean singing would be the right thing for Arch Enemy to do to follow War Eternal up, but I've always found the band's discography to be quite patchy, so it's actually comforting to know that they have options to follow-up what has to be the first Arch Enemy album that's shown true growth as a band.

War Eternal is a rare thing for me; a melodic death metal record hasn't hooked me in this much in seven years, the last time was in fact Arch Enemy's own Rise of the Tyrant (2007), which was the Arch Enemy album I would have dubbed their best (while admitting to having not heard either Black Earth (1996) or Burning Bridges (1999)) up until this point. The band's albums in my experience tend to have a lot of initial wow factor, only to find that my opinion of them declines as I become more familiar with them. That was certainly the case with the albums I actually discovered the group through, Anthems of Rebellion (2003) and Doomsday Machine (2005). It hasn't been the same story with War Eternal at all, quite the opposite in fact. What first appeared to be one of the more solid Arch Enemy releases worked its way up to second favourite regard, and then proceeded to even surpass Rise of the Tyrant due to it's frankly addictive qualities. It's only been out a couple of weeks at the time of writing, and I think I already must have spun this one more in that time than I have any of their other albums. For the time since I started listening to them I feel inclined to hand out a 5 star rating. A very unexpected 5 Star rating at that. 98/100

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star:




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