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FLAMES OF FURY...S/T EP

(Self Released) Reviewed 18th February 2013

FLAMES OF FURY is a NYC based Female Fronted Melodic Metal act formed in 2009 by guitarist Jason Perez & vocalist Angelica Vargas. Their goal being to create the most intense and exciting metal songs possible. 2009 saw the pair writing & recording the songs that would become the foundation for the band's campaign, and in the fall of 2010, FoF became an active live act. By quickly building a strong reputation in the tri-state area as an explosive live band, FoF were steadily growing a solid fan base and audience on a regional, national and international level. I have here an EP of explosive Melodic Power Metal from this band, with opener 'Take It To The Limit' confirming the word "explosive", as does the number 'No Mercy'. 'Save Yourself','I Burn' and 'End Of The Road' are anthemic melodic thumpers, with the whole EP giving the listener a good excuse for a headbanging sesh. Their website is HERE, which also includes a link to the video for 'No Mercy'. This is headbangingly good!! 8.5/10 (Dave)

FLIGHT OF FIRE...'SHATTER THE SKY'

(Self Release) Reviewed 1st October 2014

Four rather vivacious and skilled women explore the combinations of upbeat hard rock, emotional folk rock, and complex symphonic rock that is Flight of Fire. With influences ranging from acts such as Led Zeppelin, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, Rush, Dream Theater, Journey and Heart amongst many others, this is a rather good release. The vocals of Maverick are totally spellbinding, and this is showcased no better than on the powerhouse of a bluesy belter, the 6 minute 'Diary Of A Broken Heart'. The band can also go Progressive Metal with the number 'Illusion', while the atmospheric ballad 'Always' is rather good, Then we have the folky camp fire acoustic feel to 'I'm Lost Without You', again another rather cool vocal performance from Maverick on this track, who together with the rest of the band shines throughout, also adding that Tanya Dmuchowski is one damn good guitarist. The members of Flight of Fire feel passionate about influencing the music industry away from music that demeans women. They hope to follow in the footsteps of their idols – Joan Jett, Janis Joplin, Ann & Nancy Wilson and Stevie Nicks, and to make their own impact, inspiring girls not only to take up instruments and rock in a male-dominated field, but to live more emboldened, intrepid lives. And that is what Ravenheart Music is all about! Their website is here - this release is rather pleasing to my ear, offering a nice mix of music from heavier tracks to rather more lighter moments ... 8.75/10 (Natalie Gold)

FLOWING TEARS..'INVANITY - LIVE IN BERLIN'

(Ascendance Records) Reviewed 19th November 2007

I like Flowing Tears, and this cd is a semi accoustic offering recorded at Passionskirche in Berlin, on March 3rd 2004, in front of a live audience. And thanks to the newly formed UK label Ascendance Records, this recording now sees the light of day. I am not a religious person by any means, but while listening to 'Invanity', one can get very easily wrapped up in the atmosphere of the church this cd was recorded in. As a consequence, this is certainly an album to relax and chill out to - not one for you all out headbangers. 'Invanity' will certainly be appreciated by the Flowing Tears fan base, although any fan of female fronted music should give it a listen. The studio recording of Nick Cave's 'The Weeping Song' featuring Johan Edlund from Tiamat, is a good listen too. This album is highly relaxing, enjoyable and fully recommended! 8/10 (Reviewed by Aimee)

FLOWING TEARS..'THY KINGDOM GONE'

(Ascendance Records) Reviewed 13th December 2008

I have all of Flowing Tears releases, and I think we have a winner here, and indeed one of their best too. The voice of Helen Vogt I find very enchanting, and she has this distinctive vocal style that I like. Flowing Tears has always produced some pretty decent catchy gothy metal, more so with their previous studio release, 'Razorbliss'. 'Thy Kingdom Gone' nonetheless, sorta harks back to their earlier days, being heavier than their previous effort, but still with the rather catchy vibe that runs through their songs. This is a very good record, well produced (by guitarist Benjamin Buss), with competent musicianship and some decent songs to boot. Check out the opening salvo of 'Orchidfire' and 'Pain Has Taken Over' for proof. Further faves are the catchy up tempo 'Grey', 'Words Before You Leave' (awesome track), the doomier sounding 'Colossal Shaped Despair' and the atmospheric 'Kismet'. Overall however, the songs throughout this cd are very good, and well worth parting with your hard earnt cash. Ascendance Records are a fairly new UK label, and this release sure has to be a winner for the genre, and surely for the label too. Great stuff..buy!! 8.5/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

FLUXIOUS..'WHY SO SERIOUS'

(M & O Music) Reviewed 30th April 2011

Fluxious is based in Geneva, and they bring to the surface an intense blending of rock and metal coupled with jazz elements, overhung by the furious soul like voice of front lady Joana Desfosses. Indeed the voice of Joana almost spills over into mainstream pop territory at times, and it sure suits this music well. 12 foot tapping tracks of what can suitably be described as Jazz/Rock/Metal. The record may need repeated listens, but upon each listen, further layers of musical magic are revealed, until the melodies bounce around in your head and won't go away. One of my fave tracks being 'Huging', an at times heavy thumping metallic track, coupled with lighter progressive jazz like influences. Indeed, the Progressive influences do surface at times, more so on closer 'It Belongs To You'. Their Facebook can be reached here, while for fans Jazz/Rock/Metal, I whole heartedly recommend this release, 8.5/10 (Dave)

FLYING KANGAROO ALLIANCE...'HIT THE WALL/WASTED'

(Punk Fox) Reviewed 22nd August 2013

Punk Fox is a label that does not have a money grabbing website, they are not on Facebook and they do not tweet. But what they do have is FLYING KANGAROO ALLIANCE fronted by Meri Everitt, an awesome band based in central England - a band producing music for the modern day, but with a 1970s in yer face Punk/Grunge attitude. Although this two track single (that was recorded "just down the road" in Leamington Spa), has been released primarily as a vinyl offering, it is also available from the band in all modern download formats. If you like music that has been compared to The Pixies and Hole, with undeniable pop hooks that will set you bouncing off around the room in no time at all, may I suggest you check this bunch out here. It is difficult to score just the two tracks that were in-fact recorded "live in the studio", but this is good and well recommended!

FLYLEAF..'MEMENTO MORI'

(A&M/Octone) Reviewed 18th December 2009

Christian Rocker's Flyleaf's self titled debut was released in 2005 and was a dose of Paramore style rock that I totally adored, especially the track 'I'm So Sick'. Now we have been graced with 'Memento Mori' which carries on the good work of singer Lacey and her band. This may not appeal to the gothic metal heads out there, but I am open minded regards my music, and this is another awesome dose of pop/rock, continuing in the style of Paramore et al. And the lyrics mention amongst other things someone's daughter, this crops up in 2 or 3 of the songs on offer, and it seems she is missed (I have 2 daughters myself). Anyway, 14 tracks of hard hitting pop/rock, with the emphasis on rock. And when you have the names of Howard Benson (Production) and Chris Lord-Alge (Mixing), then I know we are onto a winner. Get it! 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

FLYNN EFFECT…’SKIN’

(Self Release) Reviewed 22nd July 2015

Fronted by Tomina Vincent, Flynn Effect is an alternative metal band from Brisbane, Australia. The brainchild of a video game composer, they draw influences from artists like HIM, Rammstein and Lacuna Coil to create a bold but catchy and accessible sound. This 13 track album was released a few months back and has been held up in the reviews pile due to Dave being unwell, but better late than never. Putting into the blender electronic, symphonic and heavy rock elements, these Australians have pulled it off rather well. There are some blistering nuggets on this album including the opener ‘Whispers’, second up ‘Flourescence’, the powerful sounding ballads ‘Petrichor’ and ‘The Runaway’, the Middle Eastern influenced and totally magical ‘Comatose’ and the heavy and symphonic ‘Pretender’. Other sources have described the album as "impressive” and “a wonderful electronica influenced symphonic alternative album that grows with every time you listen to it." We can second that! The band’s facebook is here... 8.75/10 (The Nugget)

FOOLS FOR ROWAN..'TWISTED, TIED UP, TANGLED'

(Lava Lamp Records) Reviewed 11th June 2011

Fools for Rowan was formed by delectable Erin Mullins after she moved to Nashville to pursue her career in music. She gathered a band together which includes lead guitarist Rachel Brandsness who has a degree in music business from Belmont University, so they are more than well equipped to take on the fickle music business. Their first single was released in October 2009, with this debut album following in November, but they have only just been discovered by our elite top secret undercover American agent, code named Burning Desire, a man who spends his life hiding in hedges and rummaging through trash cans. Their style is Material esque alt-rock with Paramore attitude, Evanescence melodrama and Kings of Leon's knack for rousing refrains, but with a dirty hard rock edge instead of the normal jingle jangle indie sound, what Erin calls 'Lipstick Rock'. Added to that Erin has a bluesier, rockier, deeper and more restrained voice than your average alt-rock high pitched wailer. You can also tell that they're from Nashville, although certainly not overtly country, there is a certain indefinable vibe. The album contains an equal measure of belting driving rockers and suped up string laced power ballads. Rocking highlights include first single 'Burnt Around the Edges', title track 'Tangled and the bouncy 'It's Alright, whilst outstanding ballads include 'Light Me Up', 'No' and the awesome 'Dead' (video on Female Voices blog). It is a little brief at 35 minutes, perhaps an intro and a closing epic with the band stretching their legs, Rachel can really shred that fretboard, would have rounded out the album a little better. If you like not just alternative but also classic rock,disentangle yourself to their website, a burning 8.75/10 (Phil)

FOOLS FOR ROWAN...'WHO KILLED AMANDA DAY?'

(Lava Lamp Records) Reviewed 22nd August 2012

What can I say about the rather fantastic Fools For Rowan? Formed and fronted by the lovely Erin Mullins and with another lady in the band - Rachel Brandsness who takes on lead guitar duties, this band sure know how to knock out a catchy tune or two. Phil reviewed their debut offering in June 2011, and this EP follows along rather nicely from where 'TWISTED, TIED UP, TANGLED' left off. What we have here are six tracks of some of the most awesome Pop/Rock that you will hear this year, and there are more hooks offered up on this release than the whole of the Scottish fishing fleet. There is no let up from the bouncy opener 'Killed A Man Today', to the closer 'Leave' that has a Snow Patrol feel about it, with the vocals of Erin coming across rather seductively on this number. On their Facebook page that can be found HERE, they list their influences as Evanescence, Kings of Leon, Paramore, Nickelback, Heart, Pat Benatar and Halestorm. Musically, that could sum Fools For Rowan up quite nicely, but if you like your music melodic and hideously bouncy & catchy, then check them out now! By the way, I am still not sure who killed Amanda Day, but I do know that this band should be hitting the big time! 9/10 (Dave)

LITA FORD...'LIVING LIKE A RUNAWAY'

(SPV) Reviewed 13th July 2012

Let us rock! Lita Ford should be pretty well known to the more mature punters out there. She was once a member of The Runaways, who were an American all-girl rock band that recorded and performed in the second half of the 1970s. Okay, I am showing my age perhaps, but they were pretty good!! Lita was born in London and moved to the USA at the age of 4. She settled in the Los Angeles area while in second grade and began playing the guitar at the age of 11. She has never looked back, has gained quite a recording pedigree, and 2012's groove laden 'Living Like A Runaway' continues that momentum. Kicking off with the riff tastic 'Branded', Lita stamps her authority, while 'Hate' is a punchy but catchy number that brings back memories of the Melodic Hard Rock scene of the 80s. 'Mask' is another pounding hard rocker, like many of the other numbers on the LP. I am even reminded a little of Def Leppard on some of the tracks - the chorus on 'Living Like A Runaway' and 'Relentless' being such tracks. 'Mother' is a slow and rather personal number, while the groove kicks back in on the thumping 'Devil In My Head'. 'Asylum' has a near Gothy type intro with great use of keys before the guitars kick in, and this is another song that I assume is very personal to Lita as are many of the other numbers. The closing duo of the catchy 'Luv 2 Hate U' and Industrial sounding 'A Song To Slit Your Wrists By' (a Nikki Sixx co-write) end this album. I do have the benefit however of 2 bonus cuts, 'Bad Neighborhood' and 'The Bitch Is Back' (The Elton cover). A great way to finish the album by the way. This is a good release from Lita, lyrically rather personal at times, but well worth the spend! 8.75/10 (Dave)

FOREVER SLAVE..'TALES FOR BAD GIRLS'

(Wacken Records/SPV) Reviewed 25th April 2008

This Spanish band fronted by the lovely Lady Angellyca released 'Alice's Inferno' a couple of years or so ago. That was a good release that reminded me of Leaves'Eyes. Their latest release, 'Tales For Bad Girls' carries on the excellent work, reminding me of both Leaves' Eyes and Evanescence. The growly vocals are nowhere near as prominent (if at all) on 'Tales For Bad Girls' and indeed, I think in this case makes for a better listening experience. This cd is chockful of catchy gothic metal, even with subtle touches of electronica on most of the tracks. And you will have to be a real miserable so and so not to be singing along and tapping your feet to most if not all of the songs on this album. I like this album, every track is a winner, even the slower and quite haunting and somewhat beautiful ' The Lovers'. It is sure worth checking out and certainly worth parting with your hard earnt cash, whether you are a bad girl or not! Buy it! 9/10 (Reviewed by Dave).

FOREVER STILL...'BREAKING FREE' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 1st July 2013

Rising fast from the Copenhagen underground, Forever Still is ready to conquer the hearts of those craving original rock with a twist. Fronted by charismatic singer Maja Schønning, the band demands everyone’s attention and with their convincing sound, they are more than ready to cross the borders and mesmerize the rest of the world. Four tracks here kicking off with 'The Key', that starts with a brief cool synth before the rest of the band kicks in coupled with the melodic vocals of Maja who also lets rip with the odd scream too at the end of this number. 'The Last Day' is next up, following a similar format to 'The Key', rockin' and melodic while 'Towards The Edge' is a well balanced tune and indeed is turning out to be a fave of mine from this record. Closing with a live acoustic version of 'The Last Day', with this their debut EP, Forever Still is quickly cementing their place in modern music and the combination of gritty guitars, electronic elements and catchy songs, should appeal to the inner rocker in everyone. Check out their website at www.foreverstill.dk/.. 8.75/10 (Dave)

FOREVER STILL...'SCARS' Single/EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 19th November 2014

Forever Still hail from Denmark and their rather good 'Breaking Free' EP was reviewed by us here in July 2013 (doesn't time fly?) Now it is time for a little three track goodie called 'Scars' from this very good young Danish band fronted by Maja Schønning. And you know what?, this band is knocking on the door of the premier league. If you like bands like Firefly, Paramore and Evanescence, then this should be right up your alleyway. The opener 'Scars' is by far the heaviest track here but is loaded with melody. 'Once Upon A Nightmare' follows and is a heavy melodic offering, the kinda song that would have Evanescence/Paramore fans in music heaven. Closer 'Miss Madness' is an awesome power ballad to end this awesome EP. The EP in-fact is the first of three digital EPs that will eventually end up as one physical full length album in the spring of 2015. It can be downloaded directly from the bands website: www.foreverstill.dk, where the band let their fans pay what they want for it. Well worth it I think!... 9/10 (Dave)

FOREVER STILL...'SAVE ME' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 1st May 2015

Save Me is part II of Forever Still's concept album. Their 'Scars EP' was the dark and dreary beginning and now the main character is moving on to the next stage. There are three tracks here, all of which are rather awesome. Fronted by vocal powerhouse Maja Schønning, 'Awake The Fire' opens the EP in bombastic fashion and immediately tells me that this band is heading places. Next up 'Breathe In' shows no let up, being a heavier number but coupled with the band's trademark melodies, while closer 'Save Me' is just simply magical! This EP is the second of three digital EPs that will eventually end up as one physical full length album later in 2015 and we here cannot wait. This Danish Band who I am sure would quite easily set the USA on fire with their music, could and should be the next best thing, so keep your eyes and ears peeled. Their bandcamp is here - support independent music, as this EP has bowled me over!!!... 9/10 (Dave)

FOREVER STILL…’TIED DOWN’

(Self Release) Reviewed 14th November 2015

I have been following Danish band Forever Still for some while now. I would like to say a big thank you to Maja Schønning, their front lady who has been keeping me posted regards proceedings, and for all the music that she has so kindly been sending my way. Not only is she an awesome vocal presence within the band, it seems she more or less runs the show as well, the driving force within the band set up. This to be perfectly frank, is a damn fine album with those vocals of Maja, well she sure has some power within those lungs of hers! The first six tracks from this record will be familiar to anybody who has the ‘Save Me’ and ‘Scars’ EPs, and no matter how many times I hear these numbers, I am just simply blown away by the music that I hear! Tracks 7-10 do not feature on any earlier EPs to my knowledge and therefore, are unfamiliar to me. But they are equally as awesome as anything else I have heard from the band. This is powerful in yer face alternative Rock/Metal and not a filler to be found and as a consequence, is well recommended from us here. Forever Still’s website can be found at www.foreverstill.dk/ and the album gets released Jan 15th 2016.. 9/10 (Dave)

FORGOTTEN TALES..'WE SHALL SEE THE LIGHT'

(Self Release) Reviewed 26th November 2010

These Canadian power metallers have been around for over 10 ten years and this is their third opus coming 6 years after their last, All the Sinners. Good grief, can I tell you some tales, ummm, sorry, but I've forgotten, where was I, oh yes, their style is around Sonata Arctica, Rhapsody and Nightwish, pacey, powerful, galloping and with loads of anthems for you to wave your mighty weapon of choice around to. Leading the troops into the fray is the enthralling warrior maiden Sonia Pineault and her lungs of steel, strewth, she can really belt it. The bursts of double peddling of of the skipping variety rather than pounding, following the light French style but with extra British muscle, Canada is after all half French and English. You get exactly what you want, 9 slabs of mighty metal, all splendidly produced, mixed and performed. Surprisingly there isn't a gentler folky number in the middle, this a full tilt charge without a pause for breath, perhaps not an album for the faint hearted. Before you forget head for the light at http://forgottentales.com/, a thrusting 8.5/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

FOR SELENA AND SIN..'OVERDOSED ON YOU'

(Mascot Records) Reviewed 7th November 2007

For Selena and Sin are from Finland, and this band are a new one on me. 'Overdosed On You' is an awesome platter and yet another release, that has been mixed at Finnvox Studios. The album kicks off with the melodic 'Who's Behind The Door', being followed by the strong 'Lost Like Dreamers Are'. The slower ballad 'Heal' maintains some form of heaviness, on a cd that proves that the female fronted scene is well and truly alive and kicking! Other highlights on 'Overdosed On You' are 'Ghost In The Family', 'Jubileum Of My Sorrow'...and, well, maybe I should stop there as the whole album is a highlight. I do not know how easy it is to track this down, but try, as it will be worth parting with your hard earnt cash. 8.5/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

FOR SELENA AND SIN.. 'PRIMROSE PATH',

(Mascot Records) Reviewed November 2009

The second album by the Finish gothic rockers, following the excellent Overdosed on You, released back in 2007. They have a highly successful formula of laid back verses full of atmospheric keyboards, with the guitars kicking in for the soaring choruses. It certainly suits Annika Jalkanen's pure, emotional voice. It kicks off with 'Countdown to the Stars' with a super catchy chorus, the wonderfully titled 'Rusty Rails of Yesterday' is highly anthemic, 'Horst' and 'Colour My World' are more symphonic, while 'Broken Mirror' and 'Touch the Sky' have powerful male vocals in the chorus that provides a nice contrast. Fans of Kylie Minogue and Angtoria will recognise their excellent version of 'Confide With Me'. This is highly recommended for gothic and melodic rockers who like band such as Katra, Lacuna Coil, Paramore, and Delain, 8.5/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

FORTALEZA OCULTA...'DISCOS Y CINTAS'

(Denver) Reviewed 31st October 2012

The foundations of Fortaleza (Castle) were set down in 2004, and since then have safely stashed 3 terrific albums in their vaults. A slight change in style has been heralded the addition of Oculta to their name, also the title of this brand new album, as they move away from their light gothic rock/metal style to a more epic up-tempo symphonic sound that knocks on the gatehouse of power metal without pushing the door down as they retain their lightness of touch and distinctive Latin flavour. Part of this is down to new keys man Pablo who adds orchestral sounds into the mix as well as some decorative Moog machicolations, and he joined by their gorgeous new singer Ariana, who has a voice that's not too dissimilar to Sy Armonight. There are very occasional what I would call croaky vocals rather than growls, so nothing for anti growlers to worry about. They throw down the gauntlet with the scene setting theatrical instrumental intro 'La Fortaleza Oculta', and many of their other songs also feature sound effects to introduce the story behind the song. Then 'La Llegada', lead song 'Ninguna Eternidad Como La Mia' (video on Female Voices) and 'Dulce Agonia', after it's gentle intro, really motor along in great style (all lyrics are in Spanish). 'El Cisne Negro' (The Black Swan) is suitably brooding and dramatic, 'Juegos De Guerra' (War Games) is signalled by eerie sirens and really rocks menacingly, and 'Mia Moon' waxes and wanes between mellow and rocking. The next two are super catchy rockers, 'El Enemigo Silencioso' and 'Un Dia Mas', then they round things off nicely with the Latin piano torch song, 'Arrancame la Vida'. Fortaleza have produced another hugely enjoyable album, but this time with an added punch that will bring them a legion of new fans. Sally forth across their drawbridge to their citadel here, a fortifying 8.75/10 (Phil)

FORWARD SHAPES...'LEGACY'

(Self Released) Reviewed 21st June 2012

A unique blend of rockin' piano, female lead vocals, electric guitar and beautiful vocal harmonies. With special guest Marco Minnemann on drums, Legacy is an atmospheric Prog Rock album that will take you on a melodic journey of epic proportion. Far from being a traditional band, all the musicians who played on this, Forward Shape's debut album have never been in the same room, and have never played a single song together. Indeed, each instrument was recorded in various home studios owned by the musicians on this album. The band was founded in late 2005 by Brian Andrews (Keyboards) and Andrei Kryssov (Guitars), freshmen at Chapman University in Orange County California. Their vision was simple: write, record and release a full-length Progressive Rock album with female lead vocals. And this is it! There is actually some awesome music here, kicking off with the progressive rocker 'I Live On', with vocalist Alison Vance reminding me of Charlotte from Dutch rockers Delain. A great keys and guitar intro greets the slower 7 minute + and one of my faves 'Never Forget', reminding me of the band Asia - I can imagine John Wetton singing this one. 'Mirrors of You' is another number that just continues the excellent start to this album. The remainder of the record continues in a similar vein, with some excellent progressive but yet commercial rock - imagine a mix of Delain and Asia/Yes (with female vox) then maybe that will give the listener a rough idea where this band is at musically. 'Holding On' is a belting ballad, absolutely beautiful, but the climax of the whole record is the 11 + minute closer and title track, which is an absolute Progressive Rock epic in it's own right. Furthermore, I understand that guitarist Andrei is a fan of The Birthday Massacre - the guy is a cool dude. Check this band out here where you can listen to a couple of the tracks and then consider buying this album - well recommended, 8.75/10 (Dave)

FORTALEZA..'EL OJO DE LA TORMENTA'

(Discos Denver) Reviewed 4th October 2010

While down Mexico way on the trail of Nostra Morte, I took the opportunity to visit the Fortaleza (Castle in English) with their towering new 3rd CD. Their 2009 creation Una Luz Entre Las Sombras had proved to be well worth the excursion, so I was looking forward to exploring their brand new edifice. They are fronted not by Sally Port but by the delectable damsel Helena who has an utterly delightful semi operatic voice and a lovely purity of tone, with lyrics in Spanish. Their architecture is a mix of Streams of Passion ethereal gothic and Wildpath light, delicate, up-tempo power metal (but not speedy), with the occasional bursts of double peddling following the fluttering French style, a quiver of arrows rather than a volley of cannons. This is a band that is more interested in gorgeous melodies, decorative machicolations and a driving groove than smashing in your drawbridge with a trebuchet, although they can ramp it up when they want to. The very occasional growls are innocuous, nothing for the anti growler brigade to worry about. Production is immaculate and the performances from the whole band are of the highest professional standards. This is about a whole album of consistent quality rather than individual highlights with filler in between. This donjon of delights is available at their Myspace citadel, www.myspace.com/fortalezaoculta, a chivalric 8.75/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

FERN FOX-PALMER...3 track Promo/demo

(Self Release) Reviewed 5th August 2011

Here at Ravenheart Music, we receive promos and demos from musicians representing all genres of music. Okay, lets look at one of these - Ms Fox-Palmer hails from the Birmingham area, and here we have a lass whose vocals are awesome. Her three track solo cd of laid back/mid tempo rock has taken my breath away and I honestly feel that the UK has a hidden talent here. This is just a brief introduction to this young lady for those of you out there who are curious. I had the pleasure of meeting Fern the other day, and the enthusiasm ouses from this gal. Check her out here..8/10 (Dave)

FRACTAL..'SET ME ON FIRE'

(Metalysm) Reviewed 10th March 2011

Fractal are new Russian bunch fronted by the ravishing Ulyana Mikhailova who has an incredible belting voice that goes from soul to rock to metal to a snarl to a shriek to operatic, supported by sporadic growls that sound like the Cookie Monsters being attacked by a Rottweiler. The gentle symphonic intro gives no warning of the onslaught to come, thundering terrifying gothic metal that's the aural equivalent of being run over by a stampeding mammoth, with bursts of power and death metal to make sure that you are thoroughly flattened. If you're still standing after being shredded by monsters like 'While Your Heart is Beating' (just about!), 'He Remembers Forgotten Beauty', 'The Stolen Child' and being blasted by 'Storm Wind', then the mind blowing 'Devil's Bed' will polish you off, with the epic 'Set Me On Fire' incinerating what's left. The only slight respite from the carnage is 'Sweeter Than Honey', mind you, even that is not that sweet. For those stout of heart their Myspace is here... Fractal Myspace and it's available from their record labels eBay store. Must dash, I hear a rumble in the distance, a stampeding 8.25/10 (Phil)

FRAGMENTS OF FAITH..'MASK' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 22nd August 2011

Fragments of Faith is a five-piece band based in London, fronted by Valentina. This EP offers up six tracks of Melodic Metal with an Electonic edge, and by and large, I do have a soft spot for this style of music. Opener 'Break Me Down' charges it's way out of the speakers like a demented Rhino, and we can hear right away that this band means business - an awesome opener. 'Insignificant' slows it down a touch, but still with the heaviness and melody so apparent in the previous number. Lovely stuff! Great vocals from Valentina too. 'Force Myself' ups the pace again and yet maintains the melodic sensibility that is apparent throughout the six tracks on this record. Not a filler in sight and this band deserves to be heard. And with new songs being written as I write this, the future surely must be looking good! Check them out here....8.75/10 (Dave)

FRAGMENT OF SYMMETRY..'BEYOND THE DREAMS'

(Self Release) Reviewed 25th November 2010

Here we have another fine entrant into the Ravenheart annuls from Switzerland. They are obviously inspired by that most illustrious of bands from across the border, Edenbridge, but with more prog and less symphonic. Out front is the enticing Janine Hulliger who has a light angelic voice. The album contains some real belters including the superb 'Tear Their Shadows Down', the dramatic 'Inmate' and the delightful ballad 'In Your Eyes'. Production is good, but the mix is a touch guitar heavy, it would be nice to hear Steff's splendid keyboards a bit better as well the rest of the band, coincidently it is a problem that afflicted Edenbridge's early albums as well. However, Thony can certainly spank that plank, so to your ears it may make no difference. If you like Edenbridge and highly melodic rather than technical prog metal then you can find them at www.myspace.com/fragmentofsymmetry, a highly promising 8.5/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

FRAM...'KEEP CALM AND BLOW YOUR BAGPIPE'

(Self Released) Reviewed 10th August 2015

FRAM come from Ukaraine and this is a rather good album of covers given the Folk Rock treatment. There are 9 tracks on our copy of catchy little numbers raging from Leonard Cohen's 'HALLELUJAH', the Beatle's 'LET IT BE' and closing with 'OHNE DICH' originally recorded by Rammstein. I must say that this is very catchy and very good, and I also love the title! Check it out if you can and here is their website: www.framband.com/, so get your bagpipes out and light up your camp fire!..8.5/10 (The Nugget)

FREQUENCY DRIFT..'GHOSTS'

(ProgRock Records) Reviewed 2nd October 2011

Here is a German band who were so inspired by the Norwegians that they named themselves after one of their songs. Led by keys player Andreas Hack, they began their careers with the two part Personal Effects albums, based on a story set in a dark futuristic urban setting inspired by films like Blade Runner. This third album sees a change in personnel, a new sound, a new record company and a new theme. The idea behind their cinematic prog rock is for you to conjure up in your own imagination the story, meaning and characters, just like when you read a book or hear a radio play you have your own vision and interpretation, which is why when you see the film it is often a massive disappointment because it does not match your own creation. For this reason they deliberately keep everything vague, there is no right and wrong way to interpret the songs, just your own way. The theme on this album is about the intangible phenomena that effect our lives, be they current or from our past, apart from that it is up to you to decide what they are about and how they relate to you, we all have different life stories. After a most unusual choice of opener, the reflective piano piece 'Crows', the first full song 'Dreams' shows their style, if you start with someone like Pink Floyd or Porcupine Tree and then add a spot of melodic rock and Clannad Celtic, with an odd dash of avant garde, then you might get some idea. The songs grow organically, there is always a natural flow as they shift seamlessly from ambient and atmospheric to powerful and soaring, although you do get a some unexpected curve balls like the Ian Anderson esque flute solo in 'Dreams'. Like Pink Floyd or Karnataka they are never in a hurry to get anywhere, but just went you're getting all chilled out, WHOOMPH they take off, 'Tempest' being a perfect example as the song builds like a gathering storm. Antje Auer has a truly superb rock voice that sounds like a female Bob Catley when she applies power, or Enya when singing soft, and she also contributes some stunning and very dramatic violin work, a real highlight in many of the songs. The most singular track is the bluesy funky catchy 'Sadness', which would not sound out of place in Dirty Harry movie, while the gorgeous 'Mermaid' reminds me of the Mostly Autumn song 'Find the Sun' and Antje really lets rip with her fiddle at one point. If you are a person with a vivid imagination and an adventurous spirit then this hour of melodic, mellifluous and mesmerising music will be just the cinema ticket, their movie theatre can be found at www.frequencydrift.com/, a wide-screen 8.75/10 (Phil)

FRIGHT NIGHT...'LIFE ETERNAL'

(Self Release) Reviewed 6th August 2014

The standard of music that comes our way continues to keep us here at Ravenheart Towers happy but busy. The only issue we have is poor old beleaguered Ravenheart Dave trying to keep up with it all, hence myself popping into HQ and doing this review myself. Anyway, the latest addition to the reviews rosta here is Frightnight from Moscow. Having already released the rather good 'The Play Of Pain', they now have entered the fray again with this little 9 track epic called 'Life Eternal'. This is Gothic by the true sense of the words, featuring dual male/female vocals - Gothy, dark but clean male vox are delivered by Alexey Ovsiyenko and female vocals by Marianna Lukyanova, just as they did on 'The Play Of Pain'. These two interacted really well then, and the good interplay work continues here. Some great tracks on this recording including the opener 'Cherry Blossom', the mid paced pounding 'Infernity', the brooding 'Fatality' and the impressive near 7 minute 'Galatea'. Do yourselves a favour and check the band out at their Facebook here. Rather good throughout me thinks! 8.5/10 (Rachel Louise Smith)

FROM LIGHT ROSE THE ANGELS...'FROM LIGHT ROSE THE ANGELS' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 8th September 2014

This band fronted by VK Lynne immediately grabbed my attention. This lass is well established within the scene, and when a band lists their 'genre' as Electro-Symphonic Pop Rock, then I become very interested. We have 7 tracks running in at just around the 30 minute mark. This may not seem a lot, but I must say that this is an all killer no filler record, and is continually being played here at the Towers. VK has an awesome powerful voice and this is well showcased here, just listen to opener 'The Grey Returns' as an example. The final track by the way being an acoustic version of this number. And I must say that the sound of FLRTA is very European indeed, and you will not hear any complaints about that here. 'Selfish' is an awesome pounding rocker, while 'BloodRoses' is rather cool melodic power ballad. Overall, this release is damn good and I find little to fault, so check out their website here: www.fromlightrosetheangels.com/ - totally awesome! 10/10 (Dave)

FRUIT n BEEF...'INTO THE LIGHT' EP

(Self Released) Reviewed 17th January 2014

The interestingly monikered Fruit n Beef fronted by Henrieta Stepanovsky hail from Santa Barbara CA. They are a four piece rock band in which the "fruit" represents the juicy, soulful, rockin' female vocals and the "beef" part, the heavy riffs and sound of guitars and blood pumping drums. After 5 years of performing and recording in their home country Slovakia, they hungered for a better life and relocated to the United Kingdom and two years later to the state of Texas, where they re-established the band and started to work on new music. 4 Years later, the band moves to California and continues to play LIVE and evolves into what`s now known as "Fruit n Beef". There is some hard rockin' stuff on this 4 track EP taking on influences from the 70s to the current day, and we even get a little reggae in the opening number 'In My Head'. Henrieta's at times raw vocals are totally awesome and she sure does have a set of pipes that suit this rocking style really well, these vocals shining throughout. Some good music here fusing Retro Metal with Classic Metal and dragging it by the short and curlies into the 21st Century. Check the band out here..8.25/10
(Dave)

FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH..S/T

(Self Release) Reviewed 23rd January 2011

What I like about reviewing albums is that one moment I can be reviewing a Symphonic Metal album, and the next an Alternative Rock record. Further From The Truth from Leeds, fall into the latter category and offer on this EP 5 tracks of hard rock with a fair dose of punk type attitude. The band was formed in 2008 by Nick and James, both take on lead guitar duties in this set up, while vocals are performed by Kat. The opening duo of 'Drifter' and 'Back Stabbing Bitch' kicks things off, the latter by way of it's title possibly giving an indication as to the style of music on offer :) The other numbers tread a similar path - rock with attitude, no atmospheric keys or synths on this release, just pure in yer face rock n roll. Further From The Truth seem to be building up quite a following on their Facebook site (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Further-From-The-Truth/72882527440), while their Myspace site can be found at www.myspace.com/furtherfromthetruthuk. I like a band with attitude, while I also wish to add that the EP will be available on Itunes soon. Cool!! 8.25/10 (Dave)