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CLAIRVOYANCE..'BLACK SUN' (Demos)

(Equalize) Reviewed 26th Sept 2011

The mixture of two friends with different styles and a unique voice resulted in an authentic alternative work. Clairvoyance as a result was formed in late 2009 by Alex Romanov and João Cruz. From Brazil, 'Immature Mind' was the band's first single to be produced in early 2010. 'Fallen Angel' and 'Black Sun' were recorded immediately after the entry of Jessica Populim in April 2010. Assuming the vocals on the songs, she added a special, delicate and pure touch to the band. The above metioned songs are featured amongst the six demo tracks that I am reviewing here. The music offers up an Alternative Rock vibe, and with the dual male/female vocals, reminds me a little of fellow Brazilians Ravenland. There are six tracks here that include two covers...'Enjoy The Silence' and 'Wake Me Up When September Ends'. This band has potential and I understand there is a full album due soon. Check their YouTube. 8/10 (Dave)

CLANDESTINE..'THE INVALID'

(Independent Label Release) Reviewed 6th January 2011

The debut album by this Los Angeles progressive metal band was originally reviewed by us here on the 25th Oct 2009, but will now get a proper label release on the 15th Feb 2011. Mixed by Sylvia Massy, famous for her production work with such luminaries as Tool, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Belladonna, we know we are onto a winner here. The lovely June was born in South Korea, but moved to the USA to further her musical career. The songs alternate between thunderous, technical riffage, and mellower synth passages. Silent Sin, Pretend and Phantom Pain start out more chilled before growing in power, giving the album a nice balance. The last song is outstanding, the funky, syncopated Comatose. The musicianship is superb, thankfully the noodling is limited, the powerful vocals of June given priority. The drumming by Sammy J Watson (ex Apex Theory) is sensational; the guy must need an oxygen tent at the end of a gig. This is a challenging and highly absorbing listen, perfect for fans of Dream Theatre and Tool, but with a melodic sensibility that will appeal to a wide range of metal fans. Available from www.myspace.com/clandestineband 9/10 (Reviewed by Phil/re-posted by Dave)

KELLY CLARKSON..'MY DECEMBER'

(RCA) Reviewed 26th June 2007

Kelly Clarkson has done what Avril Lavigne failed to do with her latest effort. And that is go forward. Whereas our Avril decided to take a backwards step (in my opinion anyway) with 'The Best Damn Thing', Kelly has taken a giant stride foreward, and has turned it up a notch too. Ok, Kelly Clarkson's latest effort may not appeal to the metalheads amongst you, but anybody who is into female fronted modern rock, or the rockier end of the pop spectrum, should check 'My December' out. Mixed by Andy Wallace, with Ms Clarkson involved in the songwriting process throughout, the album is chock full of catchy little numbers that swim around in your head for ages afterwards. And when it comes to ballads, does this girl pull it off. Check out 'Sober' for confirmation of that! And what a voice. Kelly Clarkson is not selling out, she has not gone pop or R&B, she rocks, and when she does slow it down, it is a real pleasure! A certain supermarket chain in the UK has this cd for £7. At this price, it cannot be ignored. So you know what to do...BUY IT!! 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave).

KELLY CLARKSON..'STRONGER' Deluxe Edition

(Sony Music) Reviewed 31st October 2011

I have always had a soft spot for a certain Ms Kelly Clarkson. She is a lass that just remains well out of the limelight and just concentrates on the job at hand. Which is more than can be said about a certain Ms Lohan. Not picking on Lindsay by the way, she just sprang to mind! Back to Kelly, and I have just discovered that the young lass is nearly 30! Anyway, Kelly offers up here a typical selection of catchy pop-rock fare coupled with the occasional ballad, but to be frank if it ain't broken, why the hell fix it?! Her voice is so powerful and this is highlighted on several tracks, more so the power ballad 'Honestly', which is one of the stand out numbers on this album. I must be honest and say that I am not sure about the choice of lead single, as to me 'Mr Know It All' is not one of the standout tracks. This has nonetheless picked up a lot of airplay on mainstream radio, it is not a bad track, it is just that there are a lot better on offer here. This is a very good album (the deluxe version carries 17 tracks) that offers up an impressive mix of up tempo Pop, a good dosage of catchy Rock and the occasional ballad. Stand out tracks a plenty but one of the bonus tracks, 'Don't You Wanna Stay', a duet with Jason Aldean makes purchasing the deluxe version well worth while. The lovely Ms Clarkson keeps churning out some good music and long may it continue. Lovely stuff!..8.75/10 (Dave)

CLEOPATRA ID..'DESOLATE'

(Self Release) Reviewed 25th February 2011

Cleopatra ID are a very unusual Indonesian band for three reasons. Firstly their name, they started as an all female group, but eventually composer, singer and keys player Ryzha Cleopatra (who first joined the band as the drummer) was the only one left, and so she united with the band ID, short for imodium as in medium, not the tummy tablets. Secondly American poet Tc McKinney found the band in 2010, was intrigued by their sound, and sent them some poetry which Ryzha turned into music. This started a partnership with Tc as lyricist, manager, producer and graphic designer, including the cover art for this début album. The third reason is that sound, Ryzha has experimented with many types of metal over the years, the result is that this album is a mix of just about every form of metal and singing style you can think of producing what they describe as nu metal gothic, you can certainly see why Tc was interested. If you start with Lacuna Coil and add in some Delain, Sirenia, Stream of Passion and Evanescence, with brief bursts of anything from death to black to prog to screamo to hardcore, making each song action packed. This is an album that repays repeat listens with fresh nuances bubbling up to the surface. Ryzha certainly has a belting voice, moving from pop to rock to semi operatic to screams, ranging from deep down to siren esque. Highlights include 'Illusion' (on Female Voices blog) with it's tubular bells motif (the instrument not Mike Oldfield), one of two songs in their native language, the soaring anthemic 'Terricolous', 'Who Am I' which starts as a gentle emotional piano ballad before really taking off and the final track, the powerful dynamic 'Rekindled Fire'. It's all well produced with a terrific drum sound allowing Shendy to thrash those skins to within a inch of their lives. At 31 minutes it's a bit on the short size, but it would be churlish to complain. So set sail to the Queen of the Nile by clicking here, whilst I am beguiled to endow her an 8.25/10 (Phil)

COFFEE POT DRIVE...'EDGE OF TOWN'

(Self Released) Reviewed 22nd August 2015

Having toured with the likes of Status Quo, Uriah Heep, Goo Goo Dolls and even REO Speedwagon, Blues/Rock band Coffee Pot Drive are proving that they are a force to be reckoned with. Guitarist Boanecker and front woman Lady Oracle make it perfectly clear, that “all this was perfect preparation for Coffeepot”, and it cannot be denied that the band are ready to hit the big time. And after having listened to the first track on the album after the brief intro, singer Lady Oracle has one helluva bluesy style voice, well showcased in this first track proper 'Fallback'. Further highlights among the 12 infectious tunes include the gospel sounding 'Bayou', the foot tapping 'Hey Suzy' (also a single), the reggae feel of 'Change', the catchy ballad 'I Love You' and the quirky 'Glass In My Mellow'. With over 5 different countries being represented in the band's line up, there is an eclectic mix of different genres and styles that help craft the Coffee Pot Drive sound. The album was produced by Andy Brook (triple nomination by Music Producers Guild for UK Producer of the Year, Breakthrough Producer & Breakthrough Engineer of 2013) and recorded at the legendary ARSIS Studios, owned and lent to the band by Status Quo front man Francis Rossi. This is not metal, it has in fact been labelled "dirty soul", but whatever, this is rather kool! Listen to the single 'Hey Suzy' here.. 8/10 (Dave)

COLD EMBRACE...'THE FALL OF SILENCE'

(Demo Recording) Reviewed 2nd October 2013

In 2011, vocalist Sascha and Keyboards player Jasper met on a site where you can find other musicians. They both wanted to form a band and as a consequence, Cold Embrace was formed. Fast forward to 2013, and it seems the band has the line up it wants and has actively started writing and practising music and dreaming of performances, gigs, tours, debut releases etc. They have even recorded this 9 track demo that turned up in my mail box a few days ago. The nine numbers give the listener a rough idea of the musical route the band wishes to take, which is mainly a Gothic Symphonic Rock/Metal path, with subtle Folk and Progressive tendancies. There are male vocals/grunts provided by guitarist Iwan which are not overly done and compliments the vocals of Sascha rather nicely. I must say that even though this is a demo, this band is showing some potential and I am quite taken by what I hear on the album. Okay, there is nothing here that hasn't been done before, but let us not take anything away from the band. And another plus, they are from Holland, and a fair number of bands from that part of the world have a habit of doing rather well. Fave numbers include the opener 'Silence Of My Heart', the catchy 'Speed Of Life' and the mid tempo 'Circling Shade'. This a reasonable effort from this band - their Facebook is here ... 8/10 (Dave)

COLD SIGHT...'A/H1N1'

(Self Release/Ravenheart Music) Reviewed 24th September 2013

Russia is sure becoming a country to look out for when it comes to some decent female fronted music. And we can add to that list the band Cold Sight who hail from St.Petersburg. Fronted by the awesome voice of 18 year old Natalia Zolotova and singing in her native tongue, this release is damn good stuff. There are very occasional male vocals too, some clean some harsh, but this further compliments the striking music offered up by the band. There is a lot of variety within the nine tracks and I love every moment of it, the album primarily dealing with social and political problems. The title track is an instrumental affair, but a very good one to boot and even though it runs in at almost 11 minutes, it maintains the listener's interest throughout. I am desperately trying to pick highlights from the record but damn it, I can't, the whole thing is Symphonic Rock/Metal brilliance! So brilliant in-fact, that I have shelled out some of my hard earned cash to import some copies of this album from Russia. Some of our political leaders seem to want to cold shoulder the Russians, but I want to embrace them! So dip your hands into your pockets and treat yourselves from our store, you will not be disappointed for the 10 GB pounds spent! Here is the band's website nonetheless - www.coldsight.net/.. 9.75/10 (Dave)

COLLIDE..'THESE EYES BEFORE'

(Noiseplus Music) Reviewed 1st May 2010.

Collide is a music duo founded in 1992 in Los Angeles, that has incorporated elements of trip hop, darkwave, techno and music from the Middle East into their sound. 'These Eyes Before' is an album of cover versions, given the Collide treatment, and it is damn good too. I have always found KaRIN's vocals rather seductive to say the least, and this release is no exception. With songs like 'Nights in White Satin' (Moody Blues), 'Creep' (Radiohead), 'Space Oddity' (David Bowie) and 'Comfortably Numb' (Pink Floyd) being featured, Collide could be on a hiding to nothing by covering these classics. But KaRIN and Statik quite simply pull it off with ease. The 10 tracks are all faves of mine in their own right, and I have to be honest and say that before I listened to this album, I was a little wary. Not anymore...excellent stuff. 8.5/10 (Reviewed by Dave).

COLLIDE..'COUNTING TO ZERO'

(Noiseplus) Reviewed 4th November 2011

This duo comprising vocalist kaRIN and musician Static hail from the the City of Angels. In 1992 they began their exploration into electronic rock, electronic body music, Eastern mysticism and synth pop, and this is their fifth studio album, following on from 2008's 'Two Headed Monster' (discounting the 2009 covers album 'These Eyes Before'). Their music is seductive, sensuous, slinking, stalking and seriously groovy, like a slow rhythmic rumba of love with a sultry femme fatal. Lying somewhere between Goldfrapp and Muse at their most moody, it is packed with amazing sounds, hip grinding guitars, and swaying beats that make you want to get down and dirty and flirty. Captivating kaRin's delicious delectable whisper blows sexily into your ear, breaking what's left of you resistance, you have to surrender to the orgasmic ecstasy. This is the perfect soundtrack for putting your parter into the mood for love, or simply want to chill out and unwind, as kaRIN breaths softly “concentrate, gather your defences, slow down” ('Slow Down'). It appropriately starts with 'Bending and Floating' with sounds like the music to a James Bond love scene. After that you are taken on a slow burning, spell binding journey into the sublime, particular highlights being the 'Lucky 13' waltz, the catchy string laced title track 'Counting to Zero' and it climaxes with the suitably titled eastern infused 'Letting Go'. The only song that breaks the mood is the more urgent 'Further From Anything', which erupts out of the speakers after the atmospheric 'Tears Like Rain', catching you unawares. Everything is self financed and released on their own label Noiseplus, and you can sashay your way to www.collide.net/news/ for more low down. A mesmeric record that is perfect for late night relaxation and recreation, dim the lights and feel the rapture, a seductive 8.75/10 (Phil)

CONSORTIUM PROJECT V..'SPECIES'

(Lion Music) Reviewed 16th June 2011

A short while ago when I reviewed the wonderful Ani Lo Projekt album I mentioned that producer Ian Parry (Elegy, Crystal Tears) was also creating his new Consortium album in conjunction, well, voilà. In this fifth instalment, Earth is under attack from aliens and it is up to the women to save the world, so it is fitting that it features Ani Lozanova as well as Lene Petersen who was a member of Infinity Overture with Ian for a short while, so bringing it into the sphere of female fronted. Joining them are a veritable who's who of European prog and power metal talent, those that will be familiar to readers of these illustrious pages include including Jens Faber and Veith Offenbaecher from Dawn of Destiny, Niels Vejylt from Infinity Overture, and Kalin Jechev from Ani Lo. The outcome not surprisingly, especially as Ian has been a guest of Arjen Lucassen, is a more melodic power metal version of Ayreon. The immense colossal songs are fuelled by Stephan Lill's (Vanden Plas) turbo charged guitar and enriched with Kalin's orchestral keyboards. Ian's mighty leather lungs naturally dominate the show, with Ani and Lene providing admirable support. Everything is cranked up to 11 and rarely turned down so it can get a bit relentless, lacking the diversity of Ayreon and Ani Lo, a couple of quieter songs with one of the ladies would have given your ears a rest and given the heavier ones more impact. This also means it is difficult to single out particular tracks, they're all big, brash, bombastic, battering and brilliant but rather similar,so an Armageddon of a 8.75/10 (Phil)

CONSPIRACY OF SEVEN...'THE LEGACY' EP

(Self Released) Reviewed 2nd July 2014

Conspiracy of Seven hail from...you've guessed it, Holland! The band play extremely accessible Melodic Power Metal, being fronted by a male (clean) and female vocals...James alias "The Dragonslayer" and Wilma sharing vocal duties. Inspired by a story called "De Zevensprong", the band has created their first project "The Legacy" which is being reviewed here. Five tracks of rather cool music I must say. There to be honest is not a lot to fault on this 5 track EP, with the band showing loadsa promise. And with tracks like 'Dragonslayer' and 'Madman's Riddle' the titles alone will give you an idea the path Conspiracy of Seven are travelling. Worth checking out, their dragon slaying Facebook site can be found here...8.25/10 (Aimee)

CONSTRAINT…’ENLIGHTENED BY DARKNESS’

(Atomic Stuff Promotion) Reviewed 25th March 2016

Constraint is an Italian symphonic metal band born in 2011. They started playing Nightwish, Epica and Evanescence covers (at the tender ages of 15-16), then they began writing their own music and developing their own style. Their first demo, called 'Illusion of a Dream', was published in 2012. After some line-up changes, the band worked on its first album, and that is what is being reviewed here. Highlighted by the opera-style vocals of singer Beatrice Bini, Constraint show great care and attention to detail, excellent arrangements and fantastic melodies, sharpened by guitars and keyboards that create a heavy but at the same time in-your-face sound. And for a debut from such a young band, this is rather good. Some belters here on this album including the opening salvo of ’Behind The Scenes’ and the intriguingly titled and catchy ‘Talking Dumbs’, the power ballad ‘Illusion of a Dream‘, the pounding ‘The Birth’, the rather nice ‘Breathing Infinity’ and the piano/string led ballad ‘Autumn Hymn‘ . In summary, I would say this young band has a little way to go before they will find themselves knocking on the door of the Premier League of Femme Metal, but nonetheless, this is a good start. Their Facebook is here.. 8/10 (Dave)

CONSUELA…’BREAK ME DOWN’

(Self Release) Reviewed 2nd January 2016

Consuela is fronted by Sara Grundström and they come from a place called Örnsköldsvik in central Sweden. The band give the listener a tsunami of synth driven melodic metal featuring the vocals of Sara together with the mostly clean male vocals of Jocke Grundström. Comparisons to Amaranthe spring to mind across the nine tracks on offer on the cd, and as a result, this is rather good. Without going into any explicit detail, every track here hit’s the spot so my advice…buy! Check their Facebook out first if you so wish, find that here…8.75/10 (The Nugget)

CONTROL THE STORM...'BEAST INSIDE'

(Self Release) Reviewed 5th Feb 2015

Control The Storm fronted by new vocalist Kate Norris, are Bristol's finest and to be totally honest, this band has already got what it takes to bounce straight into the Premier League of Melodic Metal with this their debut. There are ten melodic and powerful tracks here including three tracks from their original demo disk, that they have re recorded with Kate at the helm. This is hideously bouncy stuff and this is proven with the opening salvo of 'Days Of Days' and Hysteric Silence', what a way to kick off an album! And there is more! 'Believe' has an atmospheric and haunting intro before it steamrollers its way out of the speakers and pummels you against the wall. 'No Chance At All' is magical, while both 'Falling' and 'Stronger' are lovely power ballads. 'False Eternity' is a pounding melodic number. The whole album I must say is awesome, every track is a jewel to cherish. What I like about this release is the use of keys and synths that liberally appear throughout, something the band (and other European acts) does really well within the heaviness of the music. The album was recorded and produced at the home of keyboardist Raedon Mac in Swindon and mixed by Chuck Creese of CC Productions in Bristol and is due March 2nd. This is damn good and is well worth checking out. Signed copes of the album can be pre ordered at www.controlthestorm.bigcartel.com/, go on, unleash the beast inside and be a devil!.. 9.5/10 (Dave)

CORNERSTONE..'HEAD OVER HEELS'

(Atom Records) Reviewed 31st October 2008

Cornerstone hail from Austria, and 'Head Over Heels' is basically a re issue of 'Whatever', that was released by Renaissance Records in the early part of the summer. And if you already own 'Whatever', there is very little to tempt you to part with your hard earnt cash, in buying this! Apart from the album title, that is obviously different, the track listing is basically the same as the debut, although 'Breathing For You' from the first cd has been left of this release, while there are two extra radio edits included instead. It seems there has been issues with Renaissance Records that Cornserstone had/have which I know about, but I will not go into here. But like I said when I reviewed the Renaissance Release, this record serves up a good dose of pop/rock, which I find quite catchy and addictive. Some good tracks here, and I feel that given the right backing, that it seems their new label are doing, Cornerstone may well be going places. Check it out and buy it! 7.5/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

CORNERSTONE..'SOMEWHERE IN AMERICA'

(Atom Records) Reviewed 25th September 2011

Austria's Cornerstone, well what can I say? A band that I have been following for some while, and a band that recently performed at the very first Ravenheart Music Festival in July 2011. And a band that would appeal to Fleetwood Mac and Journey fans amongst many others of that genre of music. They even add subtle hints of new country as well, listen to 'Follow You, Follow Me' as an example. Cornerstone has seen changes in the vocalist department in the past, but now seem to have settled with the awesome Patricia Hillinger at the helm. This album offers 10 tracks of easy listening rock music in a style that would make many a Melodic Rock Fan very happy indeed. Chocked full of catchy numbers, with hit single potential to boot, this album has got to be a must buy for fans of the genre, and the type of album zines like Fireworks here in the UK would just love to get their grubby little paws on. The fave track for me however, has to be the lighter waving ballad 'Right Or Wrong', but there again, I am a sucker for the odd ballad, but there is no harm in that, surely :) This is a very good record and our friends in the USA in particular will just love it (and interestingly it is on an American label). Certainly a worthy 9/10 (Dave)

CORONATUS..'LUX NOCTIS'

(Massacre Records) Reviewed 6th November 2007

Female fronted metal, but the lucky lads in this band have not one, but two female lasses fronting the band (Carmen R Schafer and Ada Flechtner). And if that isn't enough, they sing in three languages too - English, German and Latin. This offering is similar to Nightwish, Epica and even After Forever, with the two girls offering us a mix of operatic and pop/gothic vocals. 'Lux Noctis' is a fine melodic and at times bombastic release, and it is mixed at Finnvox studios too. And at the moment, it seems that everything coming from Finnvox, seems to be able to hit the spot one way or another! My particular faves on this cd are 'Hot and Cold' and 'Volles Leben'. This is a strong release, and being on one of the bigger indie metal labels, should be fairly easy to pick up. 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave).

CORONATUS..'PORTA OBSCURA'

(Massacre Records) Reviewed 11th November 2008

Here is a good un for fans of the old Nightwish, and with two female vocalists to boot. Can't be bad eh, and it aint!! This is the somophore release from Germany's Coronatus (which in Latin means Crowned). Following a similar pattern to their debut 2007 release (Lux Noctis), 'Porta Obscura' is what I would class as a good dose of catchy symphonic power metal metal, and as I say, this is one for fans of Tarja era Nightwish if nothing else. Carmen R. Schafer gives us the operatics, while co vocalist Ada Flechtner gives us a less operatic feel to proceedings - more melodic rock I would say. Like they did with their debut, the band use three languages, German, Latin and English, so you get variety for your money too. Favourite tracks to my ears are 'Fallen', the catchy 'In Silence', the equally catcy 'Cast My Spell', 'Mein Herz' and 'Strahlendster Erster'. The cd gets released on November 28th here in Europe, so check it out. This is an enjoyable record with good all round musicianship and production! 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

CORONATUS..'FABULA MAGNA'

(Massacre Records) Reviewed 17th December 2009

German band Coronatus seem to be moving along in leaps and bounds, and now provide us with their 3rd release of dual female fronted Gothic Metal, only a little over 12 months after their past release 'Porta Obscura'. Lisa Lasch, 19 years young, is now in the fold having replaced Ada Flechtner, and she now forms the singing partership beside the operatic Carmen R. Lorch (formerly Schäfer). Like their past two releases, 'Fabula Magna' moves along at a steady pace, speeding things up on occasion, and this should not disappoint fans of the genre. Coronatus to me seem a band that plod along, and I suppose you could say that the formula does not vary much from release to release. This is nonetheless, cool, bombastic, catchy Gothic Metal with keys, crunching guitars, and with vocals sung in both English and German (I think). No doubt certain reviewers will slag this off claiming it is yet just another female fronted release. However, good luck to the band with this, their latest. It gets released in Europe tomorrow (18th Dec). 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

CORONATUS..'TERRA INCOGNITA'

(Massacre Records) Reviewed 20th October 2011

I was just a little confused when I received the files for this album, as they downloaded in a different order to how they are going to appear on the cd when it gets released. Therefore, I have programmed the tracks before listening, to how they should appear when the album does get released (18th November). I have twelve tracks here although there will be limited edition digipack with 14 tracks (2 additional live numbers). This double female fronted band offers up a good old dose of rather catchy Gothic Metal on this, sung in German and English. Rock-brat Mareike Makosch and soprano lady Ada Flechtner share the job being the new front-ladies of the coronauts since early 2011. However, I do believe that Ada has been in the band before, although she was replaced for the previous album ('Fabula Magna') by Lisa Lasch. With this their new album, a new phase of the band's history has been started and it takes the willing listener along a unique musical journey! On this their 4th longplayer, 12 awesome new songs are exibited, symphonic, epic and sensitive. We have complex compositions with choirs, folk elements and orchestral arrangements alternating with catchy melodies, straight forward guitar riffing and a lot of drumming! 2nd track 'Fernes Land' is one of the catchier and more commercial numbers on offer, while 'Das zweite Gesicht' is one of the folkier numbers, although still exibiting some strong guitar riffs and powerful drumming. This is good and I would say one of their better efforts. A recommended release...8.5/10 (Dave)

CORONATUS...'RECREATIO CARMINIS'

(Massacre Records) Reviewed 4th October 2013

CORONATUS is a double or indeed now a triple female fronted symphonic metal combo from Germany. The girls are original vocalist Carmen Lorch (who was the Soprano voice on the first three albums having returned for this release), with Ada Flechtner and Mareike Makosch. The unusual combination of three very talented singers with different singing styles on this their 5th album, has added new dimensions to the Gothic Metal genre. The genius of interplay between the girls is the basis for hard, but catchy melodies, duets, and compositions. Vocals are sung both in english and German, with additional latin elements, and when you add in the choral parts too, this makes for a very good release. Needless to say, they do not stray too far from their chosen formula of catchy Gothic Metal and why not when it is this good. There are 13 tracks on offer here including the numbers 'Fernes Land' and 'Sie Stehen am Weg', both featuring Carmen in this instant, these tracks in their original format appearing on their last album 'Terra Incognita'. No faves or highlights here as the album is consistently good throughout - released 25th October and well recommended...8.75/10 (Dave)

CORONATUS...'CANTUS LUCIDUS'

(Massacre Records) Reviewed 4th December 2014

Coronatus need no introduction to fans of the female fronted rock & metal scene. They hail from Germany and I believe this is their 6th release, which all started back in 2007 with the release of 'Lux Noctis'. Fronted by two female singers, Carmen R.Lorch (2004–2010, 2013–present) and new kid on the block Anny Maleyes, this record offers up some pretty decent Rock & Metal, with a dash of Folk thrown into the pot. After the rather impressive opener 'Schnee & Rosen' (translated to Snow & Roses), next up 'Deborah' and 'No Holy Wars' are pounding melodic numbers, the latter having a quirky violin melody and an interesting lyrical theme. The flute pops up in the catchy 'The Elvenwell (I Can Give You...)', while the progressive tinged 'Freundschaft' and 'Cathy's Floor' pound along rather nicely, again with our friend the flute popping up on the former, to add substance to the melody. 'Unsterblich' is another quirky and quite heavy tune, and although obviously rather good, is possibly one of the weaker songs on the album - too much going on for my tender ears LOL! 'Autumn Child (In My Dreams)' puts the album back on track and is one of the better songs, while final track 'Ihr Habt Die Schuld' is a Powerful, Progressively Syphonically tinged number. To sum up: I must be honest and say that Coronatus is a good band, but they have never quite hit the spot with me for some reason that I am unable to explain (sorry Dave!), but this nine track release does, a good effort! - 8.5/10 (Natalie Gold)

CORONATUS…’RABEN IM HERZ’

(Massacre Records) Reviewed 12th November 2015

Formed as a project in 1999 by Mats Kurth and Georgios G., CORONATUS released its single 'Von Engeln Nur' in 2001 and debuted in 2003 as a complete band. First gigs as a double female-fronted band followed in 2004. The band started recording its debut in 2006, signed with Massacre Records in 2007 and released the debut 'Lux Noctis' in the same year. The albums 'Porta Obscura' (2008), 'Fabula Magna' (2009), 'Terra Incognita' (2011), 'Recreatio Carminis' (2013) and 'Cantus Lucidus' (2014) followed. Well, that project is still going strong and in 2015, less than a year after their previous album, ‘Raben Im Herz’ (roughly translated means "ravens in my heart") is about to hit the shelves. The compositions feature a lot of instrumental parts, which not only intensifies the joy of playing for all musicians, but also benefits the listening pleasure due to even more musical variety. The varied vocals are once again delivered by the female duo of Carmen Lorch (soprano) and Anny Maleyes (rock voice). Both singers once again show their exceptional talent in an even broader context than before - from operatic passages to dark growls! ‘Lady Of The Wall’ opens proceedings and is a mid tempo catchy number showcasing the vocal talent of both ladies - awesome! Next up, the quirky up tempo ‘König Der Nebel’ introduces Folk elements into the mix. The title track is a Symphonic masterpiece, wth pipes coming into play on the bouncy and addictive ‘Carpe Noctem’, while there is a brass sounding backing on the Symphonic bombastic ‘Hoffnung Stirbt Niemals’. The awesome momentum is continued through to the closing laid back acoustic based track ‘Frozen Swan‘, with a sniff of extreme vocals at the commencement of the track ‘Anderswelt’, one of my fave numbers from the CD as is the slow to mid tempo Folk infused ‘Canan Nan Gaidhael’. Overall, this album is a good un, with Coronatus continuing to produce the goods and consistently too. Recommended when released 4th Dec… 8.75/10 (Dave)

COTOS...'За тобой'

(Self Release) Reviewed 8th July 2015

The strange thing about this release is we have forgotten who the hell sent this to us for review. We seem to have lost the email, but what I can say is that this band is from Russia featuring female/mainly clean male vocals, and the album was released on May 24th. The eight tracks here sung in the band's native tongue, consist primarily of Symphonic Rock/Metal with a little bit of Folk thrown in, something the Russians currently seem to be rather good at, and this cd as a consequence is rather good. I have been trying to do some digging around, but my source of information to be honest is very limited regards this album, but if you enjoy Symphonic Metal no matter what language it is sung in, then try and track this down. Not bad, not bad at all...8.25/10 (The Nugget)