Reviews roundup – Burning Point vs. AFM: Metal Addiction vs. False Coda vs. Redeem vs. Batalion D’Amour

81ibdhsijzl-_sl1200_BURNING POINT
The Blaze
AFM

Finlandia!  And we’re starting off the day with some power metal, courtesy of Burning Point.  This is their sixth studio album but it’s the first new material to feature vocalist Nitte Valo (Ex- Battle Beast).

Now it’s a good album, although you do have to remember that Nitte Valo has a very distinctive style that won’t be to everyones taste but musically a lot of the material is bang on.  There are some cracking riffs on the likes of “Master Them All” and “Chaos Rising”, both of which are as good as you’re likely to hear on any power metal album this year.

However, not all the songs are as strong as those and numbers such as “Things That Drag Me Down” aren’t strong enough to make their mark in a very crowded power metal world.  But the pluses do outweigh the minuses by a long way, with the guitars really making their mark.  It’s not essential but if you’re looking for half a dozen powerful tunes, then give this a listen.

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711ttqqp2tl-_sl1200_VARIOUS ARTISTS
20 Years – Metal Addiction
AFM

Blimey!  It’s been twenty years since AFM started on their All For Metal journey.  And they’ve put out a lot of great albums in that time.  A fair amount of shite as well, but that’s what happens when you run a record label.  To celebrate that they’ve bunged out a triple album to commemorate their birthday.

As you would expect with 52 tracks across a 3 CD set you won’t like everything but it really is a good example of the sterling work AFM have done over the years.  There are only a couple of unreleased songs here (one from Iron Mask and one from Eden’s Curse), so it’s not really an essential purchase but it’s at a mid-price and a good way of finding yourself some new bands to like.

The big names are well represented with Doro, U.D.O., Evergrey, Avantasia, Rhapsody Of Fire, Danzig, Leaves’ Eyes, Edguy, Destruction and many more classic names of metal.  For a tenner you can’t really lose.

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51pxclsrfcl-_ss500FALSE CODA
Secrets and Sins
independent

We’re off to Athens, Greece now and the second offering from prog metal band False Coda.  They were formed in 2009 by brothers Andreas Milios and Vasilis Milios on drums and guitars, respectively, and after the requisite lineup changes are currently joined by vocalist Stefanos Zafeiropolous, bassist Nick Pogkas and keyboardist Lefteris Kapetanios.

And they certainly show a great deal of promise.  The synth driven opening track “Throne Of Blood” is a real treat, with aggressive guitars and a strong vocal.  Generally, they err on the harder side of prog metal which certainly suits me and the whole band seem immensely confident in the work they’re producing.

They’re not afraid to stretch out and experiment as the lengthy title track will attest and even if there are a couple of moments of math metal which set my teeth on edge, there is always a song like “New Paradigm” which is just sensational.  It’s not the finished work quite yet but prog metal fans will be fools to miss out on the early days of False Coda.

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81xzavgelgl-_sl1417_REDEEM
Awake
Fastball

To Switzerland for some eighties influenced alternative rock now and the third album from Redeem.

Now the aforementioned eighties influenced alternative rock isn’t my chosen domicile as I had to suffer through the Echo & The Bunnymen years without even a telethon to ease my pain, but Redeem do what they do well.

They’re very good at conjuring up a melancholy mood where boys in long raincoats can gaze mournfully at the pale girl in the corner, knowing that they’ll never be brave enough to talk to her.  So if you are one of those fellas then you’ll enjoy, if that’s the right word, tunes like “Chanson D’amour” and “The Last Goodbye”.

It’s well produced and has a commercial sheen that should get some radio play for them, and if one of the poppier tracks ends up in the right hands, then a hit isn’t out of the question.

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51hrz590-alBATALION D’AMOUR
Fenix
Echozone

It’s been eleven years since the fifth album from the Polish female fronted band with the French name, but here there are with album number six.  At least they’ve managed to keep the same lineup together for this one.

At it’s heart, it’s old fashioned goth rock but with some heavy riffs.  And it sounds really good, so well played the production team.  Singer Karolina Andrzejewska certainly has the right voice for the material which according to the band symbolises rebirth, magic and creativity.  So know you know.

It’s just as well as most of the songs are in Polish, so good like singing along to “Miedzy Slowami” and “Ktos Calkiem Obcy”.  But what you can do is enjoy the doomy bass and bleak synth lines.  Not to mention the fact that they’ve got some excellent melodies in there as well.  There are a couple of English songs.  A delightful ballad called “The Lost Diary”, a duet with John Porter and one of the five versions of “Charlotte” is also in English.  Don’t worry, four of them are bonus tracks at the end of what is a delight of a record.

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