Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Ravenheart Archives: Archived

Reviews A Cont (4)


(ValentineMusic) Reviewed 13th August 2014

Dutch band ANIDAY is storming the music scene like a deranged tornado. Featuring the lovely and talented Maria Catharina on lead vocals, Paul Coenradie brings his absolutely astonishing guitar riffs to the mix, holding down the rhythm section are Alex Mol (bass guitar) and Danny Simons (drums) and wrapping it all up into a nice package, is none other than writer, producer and multi-instrumental marvel, Robby Valentine. Anybody who knows the music of Robby Valentine, will know that he is an icon in his own right! This is Aniday's debut and contains twelve tantalizing tracks. We have tracks that feature the modern upbeat sounds of 'Buscando la Vida' to the intense rock balladry of 'When Loving You Is Wrong', leaving listeners in awe of the solid compositions and impressive vocals of Maria Catharina, who herself compares to the likes of Bonnie Tyler, Stevie Nicks, and Pat Benatar, but with a fresh and modern twist. AOR influences shine through on this record too, the opener 'Can't Take No More' and second up 'Hole In My Heart' are solid proof of this - the latter showing Mr Valentine's influences! We must also mention the hard rocking 'Born Yesterday' and the Robby Valentine influenced and hideously catchy 'Don't Fool With Me' - massive! There is very little to fault here to be honest and although the Netherlands is a small country, it is home to many great bands. There are plenty of reasons for this new band to join their peers: Within Temptation, Epica, Stream of Passion, Floor Jansen as examples. All I can say to the band is go for it, this is magical stuff and well worth every penny of one's money - their Facebook is here... 9/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 7th April 2014

Anilah is the solo project of vocalist and composer Dréa Drury, a musician based in the Selkirk Mountains of Western Canada. Her inspirations draw from traditional shamanic sound practices, sacred chant, dark tribal, and Indian Classical. She has studied the art of using the voice as a healing modality with sound healers and shamans from across North America. This has led to her own exploration of the esoteric application of sound, which she now weaves into the tapestry of her musical expression. As a consequence of all this, what the album offers are 4 tracks of haunting and relaxing music to literally soothe the senses and ease away the aches and pains of modern day living. The title track is totally awesome, which midway sees some awesome guitars kicking in to propel the track onto another plane. And the remainder of the album that runs in total at around 36 minutes is downright good. Okay, this is different, but that is what we here at Ravenheart is all about, variety is the spice of life. For fans of Lisa Gerrard, Dead Can Dance, Wardruna, and Tool... 8.5/10 (Aimee)


(Dust on the Tracks) Reviewed 4th May 2011

Ravishing Ani Lozanova is quite a lady, a Bulgarian pop star and fitness guru who has represented her country at Eurovision and even appeared on the front cover of the Bulgarian Playboy. Then in 2009 she met world famous metal singer Ian Parry (Infinity Overture, Elegy, Consortium, Crystal Tears, etc. etc.) and this signalled a whole new departure into the world of metal. Ian has simultaneously produced this album and the new all star Consortium V release featuring Ani on backing vocals. If Cher made a symphonic melodic metal album with Arjen Lucassen, Tuomas Holopainen, and Tobias Sammet then this is what is would probably sound like, mighty, melodic, anthemic, catchy, groovy, hard rocking and sexy with a touch of prog. The first thing that strikes you the first time you give this album a spin is the musicianship and the sheer quality of the songs, many of them taken from Ian's Consortium and solo albums, so often these sort of projects suffer from formulaic songwriting and going through the motions performances, but certainly not here, on songs like 'What You Is What You Reap' the lads really rip it up. Added to that her slogan is “no singer is greater than the song”, something many singers today should listen to as they mercilessly murder some poor guy's composition with over singing, like Christina Aguilera's performance of the 'Star-Spangled Banner' at the Super Bowl, where she sang anything but the actual tune, and not even the right words! In contrast Ani has a deep rich sensuous voice that perfectly compliments the music with a soaring range and plenty of controlled power. Favourites come thick and fast, the awesome opener 'Miracle Is All We Need' with Kalin Zhechev really rippling those ivories, the stomping anthem 'Angels', the dramatic power metal 'Ark of the Covenant' (live video on Female Voices blog), the strutting steamy 'Cannot Fall Asleep', the funky 'Cry Over', their incredible symphonic metal version of Michael Jackson's 'Give In To Me' that's more Nightwish than Neverland, the melodious elegant 'Slip Away', etc. etc. etc. All the attention so far this year has been on the front runners like Within Temptation, Krypteria and Leaves Eyes, but given the right push this could sneak up on the rails and give them quite a fright. A miraculous 9/10 (Phil)


(Self Released) Reviewed 10th July 2013

Seems Australia has a Grunge Queen. Going by the name of Danielle Whalebone (I am sure I have heard of this lass before), she founded and fronts the rather cool band Animal Hands. They have offered to me their 4 track EP and I am glad they did. I must admit to not being a total fan of Grunge, although Alice In Chains and one or two others did hit the spot with me. Although this could be classed as Grunge, it to me has a commercial appeal that would catch the ear of many a music fan. Cool vocals, gritty guitars and somewhat catchy choruses, the music here gives you a very good idea as to what direction this band is moving in. And I would like to add that listening to this is a welcome change from the norm. Check out the music for yourself at their SoundCloud, as this is rather good! 8.5/10 (Dave)


(STF Records) Reviewed 11th November 2011

Ankor fronted by the angelic vocals of Rosa De La Cruz hail from Spain, and provide the listener with a mega dose of Melodic Metal, which I suppose reminds me of what In This Moment may sound like with dual male and female vocals. Ankor was formed in May 2003, when some fourteen-year-old friends decided to get together to enjoy, create and let their imagination run wild with music. Their first album ‘Al Fin Descansar’ (sung in Spanish), was released by the Spanish label ‘Santo Grial Producciones’ in January 2008. The band received wide acceptation by the public, as well as good reviews by the rock music press, especially considering that the average age of the members at the time was only 19. Various Japanese distributors acquired the album, and it sold out in Japan within only a few weeks. With a much more mature, personal and evolved style, the band now present their new album to the World and it is jolly good too I might add! As I say, In This Moment springs to mind, so you have no Gothic or Operatic warblings going on here. In-fact, I observe that only the keys player and the drummer are not credited with doing any vocals, so it seems most of this six member band chip in with the vocals at sometime during this release, with the main focus being on Rosa of course. We do get occasional screams, compliments of Bassist Julio, but for those who do not like screamo vocals, they are not overdone. The title track slows the album down, this track screaming radio airplay! If I had one criticism, I suppose the songs do start to sound a little samey towards the end, but having said that, for a band who are so young, this release is an awesome effort. Check the band out at their Facebook. Great stuff guys and gal! 8.25/10 (Dave)


(Winner Horse Productions) Reviewed 7th March 2014

Ankor hail from Tarragona in Spain and is a band to me that has sure given the Spanish Metal scene a boot up the backside. And they are so young! We have clean angelic female vocals courtesy of Rosa de la Cruz, insane vocals (the band's words) from Fito Martínez, screams from bassist Julio and clean vocals from David Romeu. And then we must not forget the two remaining band members who contribute to this band's massive sound, Rubio on keys and Jordi on drums. There are 12 tracks here of melodic metal to destroy your senses, similar I suppose to In This Moment amongst others of that style. And damn good it is too. And they can even throw at us a couple of rather nice ballads, the title track being one such song and 'Moonlight' being the other. Indeed, the closer 'The Unreachable Cherry Tree Of Dreams', is a neat acoustic number. This overall is a good album and recommended by the Ravenheart team. The band's website is here... 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Smash Fabric Records) Reviewed 14th July 2014

I am continually astonished by the amount of quality music that comes my way. Another act that has dropped into Ravenheart Music is a Hungarian band by the name of Ann My Guard. Fronted by the innocent dolcet tones of Eszter Anna Baumann-Tóth, what we have here is a rather good selection of tunes - 13 lush, melodic and haunting songs showcasing Eszter’s stunning vocal performance brilliantly. From the super-catchy, pogoing Pop/Rock 'Crush Honey' to the much darker and heavier 'Fallen', every song reeks of the quality you’d expect from an album that took 6 years to write. And there are many other numbers on this record to sink your teeth into, including the heavy, pounding and melodic 'Ivory Ballad', the rather cool 'My Lullaby', the Metallic Punk Rock of 'HKA BITCH', the catchy 'Gone' and the epic 7+ minute closer 'Circles'. I am not quite sure if there is actually anything much wrong with what is on offer on this record. 'Innocence Descent' is rather good stuff and with production by the most renowned producer in their native Hungary, Gábor Vári, I would suggest checking this album out. For more info on Ann My Guard, pop along to their Facebook here... 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 9th September 2010

Holland certainly seems to be producing some awesome bands at the moment, while at the same time, the Ravenheart Music website is receiving hits galore from that part of the world. I am always looking for new music, or new music comes looking for me. In this case, this two track EP by Annatar has fallen into my hands. Front-woman Liesbeth Cordia, whose beautiful vocals and catchy melodies lead Annatar, is accompanied by the solid guitar work of Bart Limburg and Johan van Heusden. The atmospheric sounds of keyboardist Wietse Braam make the music colorful, and the inspirational rhythm section of drummer Daniel Zonneveld and Jeroen Gahrmann on the bass completes it. 'Reflection' is the first of the two tracks on offer, and what becomes apparent, is the awesome vocals of Liesbeth, reminding me vocally of Sharon Den Adel at times. Second track in, the slightly heavier 'Out Of My Hands' is equally as good as the opener, and despite me hearing influences from other Dutch bands in the music this band has to offer, Annatar still have a sound of their own, mixing rough metal with dreamy melodies and catchy choruses. This 2 tracker is a teaser for a full length album to come and to be honest, I cannot wait. Check this Dutch band out at and decide for yourselves, but this is worthy of an 8.5/10 (Reviewed by Dave)


(PIAS Holland) Reviewed 25th January 2012

Do I file this review in the 'A' section, the 'V' section or the 'G' section? Oh what the heck. Anyway, I saw Anneke live when she supported Within Temptation. Her set was only 30 mins, not a lot of time really to showcase any new material, but what I did hear, I liked. It came across to me as rather commercial and accessible, and you will not hear me complain about that. But there again, I like anything that Anneke pushes out, having been a fan since her The Gathering days. What we have here is 12 tracks of commercial and rather catchy Pop/Rock, with enormous cross over potential. I am not sure here where to start as this album is very good to my ears. It has catchy tunes, 'Feel Alive', 'My Boy' and 'Hope, Pray, Dance, Play' as just three examples, the record has ballads, 'Circles' showcasing what an awesome voice this lass has, and to my ears, there is not a filler in sight. 'Too Late' even flirts with Metal, while '1000 Miles From You' is heavily orchestrated and is an epic tune to close the album! I know there are people that will cry sell out, and that Anneke is not the same since she left The Gathering. But no doubt it is those very same people that scream about Nightwish being a crap band without Tarja, and Within Temptation moving more towards the Rock genre. But we all have to move on and this record quite simply is very good. If you like your music catchy and melodic with an awesome female voice, buy it!! 9.25/10 (Dave)


(InsideOut Music) Reviewed 2nd Sepetember 2013

Having proven her credentials and immense vocal talent for 13 years as front woman of The Gathering, in 2007 Anneke felt it was time to begin her own solo career. Along with her new band Agua de Annique the charismatic singer quickly established herself as a solo artist, releasing several albums to critical and popular acclaim. On this, her new album, Anneke offers up ten cool tracks and all are well worthy of a listen. 'We Live On' and 'Treat Me Like A Lady' kicks things off like a real treat - great rockin tunes with a real sense of melody and sure heading to be live faves, and that is just the first two numbers. Third track in 'She', maintains the awesome momentum of the opening two tracks, taking a slighly more poppier stance, as does the title track. 'My Mother Said' is a rather nice ballad, while 'Forgive Me' picks up the tempo again. 'You Will Never Change' is a bouncy rocker with a rather catchy chorus, like many of the others on this record actually. 'Mental Jungle' has a Middle Eastern feel at the start and is a duet with Anneke's dear friend, Turkish superstar Hayko Cepkin! And next up 'Shooting For The Stars' is a melodic monster of a tune with Closer 'The Best Is Yet To Come' being another classic tune. I am wondering whether the best is yet to come from this lass, as this album is really good. Indeed, the new album shows Anneke to be on top form and more multifaceted than ever, with songs ranging from her signature intimate ballads to euphoric stadium rock anthems – and as always, her ethereally beautiful voice is the jewel of the package. This is well recommended to the punters out there when it gets released September 23rd, so start saving those pennies rather quickly! 9/10 (Dave)


(Self Released) Reviewed 4th Sept 2015

Fronted by the awesome vocals of a dark fairy from the dark forest who goes by the name of Demontia, Annysia come from Spain and this is their debut release, featuring 13 tracks of prime time Symphonic Metal. The album is based on a fantasy: Similar to a sound track for Lord of the Rings, it's based on a world named "Nephilim", which is inhabited by mystical creatures and humans. The Annysia are the watchers and the most powerful beings in the realm. They want complete balance and harmony in the world. Overall, this is another album that one who just loves this type of music will have to shell out the cash for if they want it. Overall the record offers up great vocals and some great tunes performed by a great bunch of musicians. There is even a female guitarist – Valna, a Nordic Princess kept by the Royal Court against her will and forced to marry – now you know! And the band has even acquired the services of Mike Le Pond (Symphony X) for the song ‘Nivek’. Released on the 30th August, this is a consistent and impressive release – the band’s website is here… 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Self Release - FREE digital download) Reviewed 30th October 2013

Another Destiny Project is basically the musical brainwave of Peter Pahor, and it is a new experimental music project of creating, listening, sharing and distribution of music. It effectively is an isle of musical creativity free from copyrights and greed. There are ten awesome tracks here that cover a wide range of sub genres within the main genre of Metal which include Electronic, Cinematic, Industrial, Gothic, Prog, Acoustic and Ambient amongst possible others. The tracks of interest here to lovers of female fronted rock & metal music would be 'Frozen In Time' featuring Susana C. Marquez, 'So Close To Heaven' feat Ana Axe and 'Others' - Spanish version featuring the vocals again of Susana C. Marquez. This music is completely FREE and by and large it rocks hard, so check it out HERE and tell your mates...8.5/10 (Dave)


(Vic Anselmo Management/Avasonic/Rough Trade/Irond, etc) Reviewed 29th June 2010

Vic, short for Victoria, is a Latvian gothic lovely who gets her stage name Anselmo from Pantera’s vocalist, Phil Anselmo; apparently she was such a big fan, her friends christened her Vic Anselmo! However, there are no musical similarities to that American monolith of metal on this her debut album of self written songs. Rather, her style both musically and vocally is a mix of Bat For Lashes, Florence and the Machine, Kate Bush, Bjork, Divine Madness, Stream of Passion and original line up Karnataka. She really has a beautiful and very versatile voice. Every song is fascinating, emotive and evocative, with touches of electronica and psychedelia, delightful keys and guitars, with a wide palette of sounds and dynamics, from gentle acoustics to powerful electrics. Songs like ‘Who?’ and ‘World From Here’ are wonderfully melodic, ‘The Flight’ and ‘Put Your Spell On Me’ are more powerful, and ‘Beverley and ‘Bus Top’ are quirky bordering on bonkers, so you get plenty of variety. ‘I Cried’ is an extraordinary and very moving Celtic voice and piano tribute to Dimebag Darrell, the Pantera guitarist who was murdered on stage in Ohio by a crazed gunman, who also killed and injured several other people in the same incident. The start of the next song then frightens the life out you, the ripping, gripping tale of Jack the Ripper,‘Deadman Walks’, complete with manic pipe organ. Special mention should also go to the immaculate production and performances by guitarist Herman Rigmant and keys player George Kadolchik (bizarrely, they are both members of Latvian progressive death metal band Neglected Fields, what a contrast in styles!), as well as the Lewis Carroll surrealist world created by Arthur Berzinsh’s superb artwork. The only negative point is its comparative brevity, at just 34 minutes, it leaves you hungry for more. This is incredibly intelligent and imaginative music that will appeal to bat cavers, pop hipsters, indie ravers and melodic prog beard strokers alike, and you can’t say that about many albums. Vic is one of first artists to escape Latvia, and she has the sound to a long, long way. Her Myspace is and the album is available at a range of emporiums, a highly deserving 9/10 (Reviewed by Phil).


(ROCKFELD RECORDS) Reviewed 28th October 2010

Dave did a review of the pre-mix of the Dutch/German combo’s debut album a few months ago, but with the album about to go global and a copy of the final version safely stashed in the Ravenheart Towers Vault, he has asked fellow consultant Doctor Phil for second opinion. The prognosis is, ‘it’s dead Jim’….....only kidding! After the mighty orchestral intro, ‘Endless Sacrifice’ reveals a hybrid of Within Temptation’s ‘What Have You Done’, Nightwish’s ‘The Poet and the Pendulum’ and Lacuna Coil’s ‘I Like It’, mega powerful symphonic alt metal, with the divine Carie Van Heden’s combining Sharon, Cristina and Anette into one very attractive all purpose portable package. This opus is then packed with 11 more almighty slabs of prime quality metal. You get the raging more Nightwish’ish ‘Heaven Burns’, ‘Faces (On Fire)’ and ‘Open The Gates’, symphonic metal anthems like ‘Our Time’, ‘Tears of a Clown’ and ‘Weight of the World’ (which sounds like ‘Like A Prayer’ gone metal), while the title track ‘Rise’ and ‘Willing to Believe’ start off gently before really taking off. Returning to Within Temptation, ‘Open Your Eyes’ is a massive ‘Frozen’ esque ballad and ‘In Silence’ reminds me of ‘Hand of Sorrow’. Awesome lead song ‘I’m Alive’ has a touch of the Streams of Passion about it, its video (available for your viewing pleasure on the Female Voices Blog) begs the question, are the forests of Europe packed full of gothic babes running around in basques? I will have to find out, purely in the pursuit of science of course. The thundering production is premier league with enough bottom end to disintegrate mountains, while the musicianship is simply second to none. It can get a little OTT at times, less can be more, a simple gentle piece in the middle to give your ears a rest would have been nice. This is a band that ticks all the right boxes, they have the looks, sound, songs and commercial potential to appeal to all fans of Within Temptation, Nightwish and Lacuna Coil, if they don’t break big there’s no justice in the world. It will be unleashed on the 5th of November, so expect fireworks, this album should go like a rocket. Their Myspace for all the low down and updates is All I can say Doctor Dave is that it more than merits a mighty 9.5/10 (Reviewed by Phil)


(Self Release) Reviewed 16th July 2012

Antalgia started out doing covers of notable prog and metal bands like Dream Theater and Sonata Arctica, but in 2009 they began writing their own material, however problems recruiting dedicated musicians slowed progress, until they finally found beautiful Bella Dianez and began recording this album in 2011. Stylistically, they are progressive gothic metal with some symphonic flourishes, somewhere between Delain, Lacuna Coil, Anthropia and Akribi, with that fantastic million dollar professional studio sound courtesy of guitarist Igna Jover's home studio, which shows what an independent band with limited resources can really achieve if they have the talent. What set them apart is that there is a real funk and groove, bump and grind to their music, with Bella Dianez superb seductive sultry voice, between Ailyn and Charlotte Wessells in style, set against Igna's fast and furious riffage aided by a superb guitar sound, Xavi Sanchez's cinematic keyboards and Carlos and Alberts grooving rhythm section, good grief can these guys play. In short, this is sexy catchy melodic prog metal that rocks like a hurricane. They tear their way through eight concise, consistent but expansive tracks that never let up in quality, all except the closing epic around the five to six minutes mark, with a perfect balance between their strong song writing and the instrumental flourishes. The lads never outstaying their welcome as they blitz their way through their carefully constructed solos, and a nice variety in sonic dynamics within each song, from delicate lighter sections to full on rocking, makes the 47 minutes fly by in a flash. If push comes to shove, I'd have to pick the soaring opener 'The Invisible Mechanism' and the terrific 'Lines of Life' with it's wonderful melody as the stand out tracks, but it's a tough call, with the final track 'Memories' starting out as a powerful ballad before they cut loose in fine style. An ultra professional album with a tremendous sound that's got enormous commercial potential for the gothic, melodic prog and symphonic metal markets. In reality their Facebook can be found here, a perceptive 9/10 (Phil)


(Self Release) Reviewed 31st March 2015 we have a stunning offering of Symphonic Metal from this six piece band who come from Slovakia. Dave has known about Anthology for a little while now, but what we have are 11 tracks of bombastic Symphonic Power Metal. Fronted by a young lady who goes by the name of Raylyn Shade, and whose vocals take on a more poppy vocal style as opposed to the operatic style that one can get used to with this type of music, this is bloomin' good. The opening salvo of 'The River of Mystery' and the title track set the scene for the album, and what a scene it becomes. It is plainly obvious that this is a no filler all killer release, with plenty to savor here. Check out further numbers like the grandoise 'Lost Dreams' that hammers along like a Japanese bullet train, the formidable and commercial sounding 'Rise Up', the epic 7+ minute 'Scream Into The Darkness' and the power ballad 'No Sorrow', but those are just brief mentions from an album full of golden nuggets!! The band's website is at, and you would be a fool not to check it out. To put it simply, the record is damn good and I like it.... 9.5/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Release) Reviewed 2nd May 2016

Russia at the moment seems to be spawning some rather good metal bands, and we can add Antillia to that list. They are a Symphonic Metal band and have very kindly given us this 14 track album to review. They use clean female vocals compliments of Elena Belova, coupled with clean male vocals from Alexander Kolesov, whose vocal presence takes on a baritone style that is very well suited to the music on offer. The songs are sung in Russian so I do not have any clue what the lyrics are about, but musically the whole package is rather good. I cannot go into any of the individual songs in detail due to the Russian lyrics, but for fans of female fronted Symphonic Metal, this is certainly very well worth checking out with its awesome set of songs, coupled with a very strong production and orchestral arrangements. Check out the band's website here, you know you should – recommended from the Ravenheart team... 9/10 (Dave)


(Independent Release) Reviewed 11th May 2008

Anti-M are from California, and that is where the sun is always supposed to shine. And while I was reviewing this cd, the sun was shining here in the UK, with temperatures into the mid 20's Celcius. This is not the Beach Boys, but sure is good music to chill out too on a nice summer's evening with a glass of wine or two. If I was to make comparisons, let's mix The Gathering and Pink Floyd, throw in a little Within Temptation and mix it up a bit. Then add a little electronica, and away we go. The vocals are shared between Barbara Mosely, Ruston Slager and John Wardlaw. This is not metal, but it is pretty well produced atmospheric rock. I like most of the tracks on offer here, with 'Deep' possibly one of my faves, while 'Beautiful Babe' sounded a little like David Bowie. As I say, don't expect a full on aural assault, but nonetheless, it is well produced by the band and I like this offering. One gripe, it does go on a little too long. 17 tracks and 73 minutes - I did find my concentration wandering a bit after an hour! Nonetheless, these are hardworking musicians that deserve your support. And you do get your moneys worth - buy it from cdbaby. 7.5/10 (Reviewed by Dave)


(Self Released) Reviewed 17th April 2012

Anti-M is an ever evolving collection of musicians with a vast assortment of musical influences. Each project concept is spearheaded by Anti-M Co-founder John "Wedge" Wardlaw. Wedge then surrounds himself with a collection of musicians whose talents fit the needs of the music. From electronica to metal and female fronted gothic rock, Anti-M continue to expand their musical horizon. 'Damaged Little Things' is a collection of demos, remixes & unreleased tracks from the history of this US band. The album opens with the opening music to the film 'THE BOLT WHO SCREWED CHRISTMAS'. This was a reworking of the Anti-M song 'God's Revenge' from the 'NO WAVES IN HELL' album. Most of the tracks are from the Damage recording sessions, and are in-fact pretty damn good too. The female vocals are handled by Barbara Moseley, and as I said in the review of their album 'Damage' that I did back in 2008, Pink Floyd is a band that springs to mind in the more mellow atmospheric moments, although to be frank, it is interesting listening to different mixes of numbers, that also in-fact include the track 'The Void', a studio outtake from 'NO WAVES IN HELL' , that was left off that album due to the limitations of CDs at the time the album was recorded. For the rather more curious out there, this is worth checking out. Anti-M's website is here..8/10 (Dave)