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Ravenheart Reviews: Archived

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R-GENIUM...'WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WORLD'

(Metalism Records) Reviewed 29th June 2015

R-Genium is a brilliant Russian Symphonic Metal band and this their first full length English language album, is Premier League stuff. Fronted by the operatic and mind blowing vocals of Tat'yana Shevchuk with occcasional deathly growls from keys man Nik Litikov, we will cut straight to the chase and say that if you do not have this album, get it by fair means or foul. It all kicks off with the 8 minute plus 'Blue Sky', heavy, bombastic and totally beautiful all at the same time. Listen to this track in its entirety and you will hear what I mean! And if that has not got you in the mood, the rather catchy, fist pumping and anthemic 'One Day' sure will, cos if not, then you have a medical problem. This track is one of my tracks of the year so far! Two tracks in of the 13 on offer and this is great music, this Russian band has nailed it - Symphonic Metal at its finest! There is no let up as the fine music continues, track after track of music to blow your mind - the thumping and catchy 'Fantastic Story', the equally as good 'I Know Your Lie', the interestingly titled 'Whiskey, Piano and Gentle Lie', the so melodic 'What I Know' and the acoustic flighty based 'Holidays'. But to be honest, I could list every track on this album as they all that good. With their Facebook here, who needs drugs, nicotine or booze when you can get your kicks from music like this. It sure is a wonderful wonderful world when one has a fantastic array of music to listen to from bands like R-Genium, and Tat'yana's vocals are totally magical!!... 9.5/10 (The Nugget)

RabieS..'DROP IN THE INFINITE'

(Fono) Reviewed 28th March 2012

This Russian symphonic formation were first formed by opera singer vivacious Vladislava Soloviev in 2006, initially to do Nightwish covers. They then started developing their own style and songs but many line-up changes and problems halted their progress until they recorded this début album at the Kranets Studios in Ufa last year. Although it has taken years for their endeavours to come to fruition, they have taken the philosophical view that it is just a brief moment in the history of time, hence the album title, 'A Drop in the Infinite'. They take their strange name from the original Latin definition which is 'fury', although this meaning is still rather odd for their style of music, it is certainly better than the modern one, perhaps they are unaware of what it now means, but be careful you don't go into your local record store and say “excuse me, have you got RabieS?”, you might get a punch on the nose! I have done my best to translate the song titles, but had to mangle them through Google translate, so happened anything have could. Their style is light lively romantic symphonic gothic metal with touches of rock and power metal featuring Vladoslava's superb authentic operatic voice with a warm vibrato and rolling R's, it's obvious that she is classically highly trained, which makes them rather unusual as most opera singers are with power metal bands, making them akin to a lighter version of a band like Silent Opera. The excellent sound by Alexander Pstyga is clean and crisp, nice warm fuzzy rhythm guitars, singing leads, super keys, and bouncing drums, with mastering at the world famous Finnvox Studio in Finland. Keys player Edauard Korshunov does a few low Russian style growls, but nothing to worry about. You get eight concise epics with the piano and string quartet instrumental 'Soot (Fog to Dusk)' acting as a delightful coda. Notable features include the dramatic 'The Return' (video on Female Voices), the catchy 'Wings', the anthemic 'The Duel', the romantic swaying ballad 'I'm Leaving', and the rocking bouncing 'Enough' with its super keys/guitar duet. The album is a bit on the short side, but it's quality, not quantity. A most enjoyable and easy to listen to album for anyone who loves light symphonic metal.. 8.5 /10 (Phil)

The RACK DOLL...'HOT CITY'

(O.R.A. Music) Reviewed 7th May 2015

Another great record comes our way! This time from a band called THE RACK DOLL. Their singer, Minna Ora will already be known from her release as The Electric Lady, that album titled 'Black Moon'. Now from being an Electric Lady she is now a Rack Doll, and this album is a 12 track record full of awesome music. It is like taking a trip back to the 80s, a melodic rockin' record chock full of hard rockin' delights. Just take a listen to tracks like the opener 'Hot City', the catchy '100 Miles Away', the instrumental 'Riff Raff Song', the bouncy 'This Road Is Ending' and the closing track, the ballad 'Pain In My Heart'. Two things to add, some of the songs were originally recorded by the band Hurriganes, a Finnish rock band that was formed in the early 1970s and in the career span had released 13 albums. They were very popular in Finland in the 1970s and early 1980s; they were also a popular live act in Sweden during this time. Indeed, Hanoi Rocks guitarist Andy McCoy has said that the 1970 and 1980s has had only two real Finnish rock bands: Hurriganes and Hanoi Rocks. But there are some original compositions on this release too - and awesome they are! And secondly, singer Minna bravely fought cancer during the recording of this album. An album by the way that is well worth checking out - their website is at www.therackdoll.fi/! 9/10 (Dave)

RAGE OF ROMANCE...S/T

(Steel Gallery Records) July 1st 2015

Why oh why are we being bombarded with new music? But nevermind, we like it :) Again another review that is sitting on our 'catch up' pile, Rage Of Romance is Greek based fronted by Vicky Psarakis (currently vocalist with The Aghonist). This Symphonic/Gothic Metal band has given us a very good eight track album in the vein of Nightwish and Within Temptation. This overall is a good debut effort, with the track 'Holy Serenade' being a fave of mine, rather catchy and melodic this one. I wonder though, how many more bands this style of music can take - the bus must be nearly full surely, but I like it, and so do many others! A video to the track 'Let Me Breathe Again' can be viewed here...8.5/10 (The Nugget)

RAINOVER...'TRANSCENDING THE BLUE AND DRIFTING INTO REBIRTH'

(WormholeDeath Records) Reviewed 24th September 2013 (Re issued)

Rainover used to be known as Remembrances, and indeed, an album by that very band was reviewed here at Ravenheart Music back in October 2009. Now in 2013, WormholeDeath has so kindly sent us here a link to the debut and wonderfully titled album by Rainover fronted by the Pop vocal style of Andrea Casanova, and what a gracious dose of Gothic Metal this is. The Agharti album released on the same label reviewed by myself some weeks ago blew my head away, and this offering of 11 tracks has done exactly the same. This is Melodic Gothic Pop/Metal at its very best, and I think that this will I am sure be one of my fave releases of 2013. The band lay down the bench mark of the highest quality with the opener 'Rebirth', a pumping Melodic Gothic Rocker of the greatest calibre. And rest assured it does not let up, other awesome numbers include second up 'Despair' reminding me of Lacuna Coil, the ultra tuneful and pounding 'Cycles', and oh what the heck! They are all awesome and I at the moment cannot stop playing this cd. This kinda music is so catchy, so inoffensive, and will appeal to many female fronted rock and metal fans who do not like their music overly heavy. Release date is due during 2014, still to be scheduled. Here is their FaceBook .. 9.75/10 (Dave)

RAM-ZET..'NEUTRALIZED'

(Ascendance Records) Reviewed 27th September 2009

Lock up your children folks, send Grandma away for a few days, and lets get it together with Norwegian metallers Ram-Zet. Ram-Zet's music is very diverse ranging from black metal to thrash metal. It has industrial sounds, progressive structures, and traditional instruments forming a style which some people, including band mastermind Zet, have called "schizo-metal". Anyway, how about the music on this their 4th offering. Well, 'Infamia' kicks things off with the music coming out of the speakers like a turbo charged express train doing 225 mph through an atomic explosion. Just getting over that and then 'I Am Dirt' hits us. The album thunders along keeping the listener wondering as to what is to come steamrollering out of the speakers next. One of my faves on this album is fourth track up, the 10 minute + 'Addict' with an atmospheric and rather cool ending that then leads into the violin intro of 'God Don't Forgive' before the guitars kick in. 'Beautiful Pain' is another good un. and while generally very avante-garde this release, if you are open minded regards your music, it is worth checking out. I like it! 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

CAMILLA RAVEN..'COMING ALIVE' EP Digital Release

(Self Release/Ravenheart Music) Reviewed 20th April 2011

Camilla Raven is best known for her role as lead female singer in the Brazilian Gothic Rock/Metal Band Ravenland. However, things have not gone quite according to plan. Camilla has now left the band and has not hung around in recording her debut solo EP. And not only that, the male vox on this EP are provided by Sérgio Mazul from the band Semblant. Kicking off with the piano led Ramones cover 'Pet Sematary', Camilla has laid her cards on the table for all to see. Second up is the rockier 'Living A Lie', that could be a track lifted from any Ravenland session, with third track 'Coming Alive' starting slow and solemn before the guitars kick in. The fourth track is a radio edit of 'Coming Alive'. I admire hard working musicians that put their life into making music, and Camilla is one of these musicians. If you wanna know more, contact myself here at Ravenheart Music, but these songs will soon be available on the Ravenheart Music website. 8.25/10 (Dave)

MARION RAVEN..'SET ME FREE'

(Eleven Seven Music) Reviewed 29th June 2007

With names like Niki Sixx (Motley Crue), Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace) and Art Alexakis (Everclear) amonsgt others involved with this recording, it becomes blatantly obvious that this Cd has to be worthy of a listen. And yep it is. Norwegian lass Marion Raven has produced an interesting slab of modern melodic rock here. The title track 'Set Me Free' gets the cd away in rockin' fashion, quickly followed by 'Falling Away'. And basically, the album rarely let's up. And seventh track in 'Break You', is the sort of tune Avril Lavigne should have recorded for her latest effort. 'Set Me Free' tapers away a wee bit towards the end, but this is a very good recording nonetheless. 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave).

RAVENIA...'WINGLESS' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 28th January 2014

I suppose reviewing an EP by a band called Ravenia is rather appropriate for Ravenheart Music - Raven and all that. This is just a two tracker from a band that was only formed last month (Dec 2013). And I must say that this is rather good from these new kids on the block. This is prime time Symphonic Metal and okay, we all know it has been done before, but when it is this good, who cares really! The two tracks here are 'Neverending' and 'Wingless' and if this is a showcase as to what is to come, bring it on! The vocals from Armi Päivinen are angelic and operatic, but the operatics are not over done. I must say that this band are well worth checking out - their SoundCloud is at www.soundcloud.com/ravenia-official. An album with tunes like this would be worthy of at least 8.75/10 (Dave)

RAVENLAND... 'AND A CROW BRINGS ME BACK'

(Independent Release/Ravenheart Music)

Brazil’s Ravenland was formed by Dewindson Wolfheart way back in 1997, but sadly their 2001 debut album never saw the light of day due to their record company going bust. After a break of a number of years Wolfheart met Camilla Raven, and the band was reborn in 2006 (perhaps the origin of the CD’s title?). Like Fright Night, Wolfheart has a deep baritone voice rather than a growl, a most welcome and effective alternative to the cookie monsters that clog up gothic music, while Ravishing Raven’s rich tones soar over the top, creating a delightful blend. Their music is broadly a mix of Paradise Lost, Fields of the Nephilim, gothic era Damned, The Stranglers and The Mission. The songs rattle along at a groovy pace with Albanes Gonçalves providing a variety of guitar sounds from the flanged to the crunchy (plus a special guest appearance by ex Theatre of Tragedy guitarist Tommy Lindal), João Cruz’s grunting JJ Burnel esque bass, and Raven’s superb keyboards creating melody, atmosphere and texture. You certainly get your money’s worth, 14 killers and not a filler in sight (plus a slightly different version of ‘Soulmoon’ and a video). I was particularly taken with the rocking ‘End of Light’, the melodic ‘Burning For You’, the powerful ‘The Crow’, the dramatic ‘Velvet Dreams’, and the lovely piano ballad ‘Regret’. Production by is by top tub thumper Ricardo Confessori of Angra and Shaman fame (he also performs the drum parts), and mixing is by Waldemar Sorychta, who has worked with such luminaries as Lacuna Coil, Tiamat, Moonspell, and Therion, so it is no surprise that the sound is so crisp, clear and powerful. Similar attention to detail has been shown with the excellent artwork by Gustavo Sazes whose distinctive style has graced sleeves by bands like Arch Enemy, Echoes of Eternity and Stream of Passion. With the likes of Paradise Lost riding high in the European charts there is obviously a ravenous demand for Ravenland’s brand of top quality gothic rock/metal. Their Myspace lies as the crow flies at www.myspace.com/ravenland. Ravenphil heartily recommends this for all fans of the genre, and Ravenland will soon see distribution by Ravenheart, how more appropriate can you get! 9/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

RAVENLAND..'MEMORIES' EP

(Ravenheart Music - digital release) Reviewed 24th July 2011

It is always difficult to review an album that appears on your own label, but it has to be done and here it is. Ravenland hail from Brazil, their last album 'And A Crow Brings Me Back' was a very good effort picking up a cool review from Phil here at Ravenheart Towers. Since that release, they have had a change of female vocalist, Tatiana Berke replacing Camilla Raven as their leading lady, she now teaming up with male vocalist Dewindson Wolfheart in their new twin strike partnership. Well, what have we on this EP for us to get all excited about? - we have 'Regret' that is a 2011 rocked up version of a track that appeared on the last album, we have the stomping title track that pounds along quite nicely thankyou, and if this track is a sign of what is to come in the future, then please bring it on! 'Fire In The Sky' is an interesting Ozzy cover, while last but not least there is an accoustic version of 'Memories'. The EP can be heard in full on this very website, and I do feel this band has potential in and outside of their native Brazil, and I do look forward to their next full length offering. A cool 8.5/10 (Dave)

RAVENLAND...'NEVERMORE'

(Self Released) Reviewed 16th October 2012

This little EP has two new tracks from the awesome Brazilian band Ravenland. And upon listening to what I have here, I detect that this band is certainly moving forward leaps and bounds from their previous full length offering, which in itself was damn good! Ravenland keep the dual vocal attack of Dewindson Wolfheart together with new vocalist Juliana Rossi, and I like what I hear. The title track and single is a good un, with Dewindson's vocals making an immediate impression, but it is the second track 'Sad Afternoon' that screams airplay and has a certain shall we say commercial appeal about it - I like it. It is difficult to score a two track EP, but a full length album based on what I have heard here, I am sure will be awesome! Check the band's music out including these two tracks here. (Dave)

RAVENSCRY..EP

(Independent Release) Reviewed 26th June 2010

Italian Alternative Metal Band Ravenscry is a band that until now has kinda slipped underneath my radar. I then received an email from their management, and this has now led me into reviewing their debut EP. And what a pleasant surprise it is too. Kicking off with 'Nobody', this track alone will give you a small idea into what direction this awesome band are heading. The opener offers heavy riffing, subtle touches of Electonica, all this coupled with the awesome vocals of Giulia. Next one in 'Calliope' maintains the pace set by the opener, while 'Redemption I - Rainy' is a rather cool and beautiful piano led ballad- love it! This track showcases Giulia's mind blowing vocals extremely well. 'Redemption II - Reflection' is a lovely orchestral piece which then leads us to final track 'Redemption III - Far Away'. This particular track echoes shades of Tarja era Nightwish, and is a fitting finale to this EP. This band and their EP has to be worth checking out for fans of the genre. Their myspace site is at www.myspace.com/ravenscryband. And I will say no more except that this is worthy of a place in anyone's collection, and I cannot wait for a full length cd, if there is any chance that one is forthcoming. 9/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

RAVENSCRY...'ACOUSTIC PARENTHIS OF A DREAM STATE' EP

(Self Released) Reviewed 25th May 2012

Italian Band Ravenscry have given us an EP of 4 acoustic workings of numbers that appeared on their debut 'One Way Out' album, that picked up a 9/10 review last May (doesn't time fly?). The main feature with this cd, as with their debut full length offering is the vocals of leading lady Angela Fagiuoli, that are simply awesome, and take this music onto another level. Anybody who has 'One Way Out' in their cd collection, will be familiar with the songs here, anybody who is just curious, well maybe I would advise to go all out and purchase the band's debut cd. Having said that, this EP is a very useful acoustic introduction to the band. Pop to their Myspace here..8/10 (Dave)

RAVENSCRY...'THE ATTRACTION OF OPPOSITES'

(AudioGlobe.it - Revalve Records) Reviewed 15th May 2014

Ravenscry was born in 2008, near Milan, from the encounter between guitarist Paul Raimondi (Hyperion ex-drummer), Fagio on bass and Simon Carminati behind the drums, joined shortly thereafter by guitarist Mauro Paganelli and singer Giulia Stefani. This album, their latest offering will be released on the 27th May and contains 13 tracks of Melodic Modern Rock & Metal with subtle Electronica influences and some slightly more laid back moments, all spanning close on 55 minutes - so you do get your monies worth. I may well have said this before, but I do hear Jennifer Rush influences within Giulia's impressive vocal style. The album meanwhile, is consistently good from start to finish, although there are standout tracks like the mid tempo 'Alive' (great sax), the catchy and pulsating 'The Big Trick', the rather good 'Cynic', the riff tastic and Metal sounding 'Noir Desire' and the Melodic closer 'Real Lies'. Check their website out here, where you can also view a video to the track 'Missing Words'. There is some rather good music coming my way at present to upset one's bank balance, and this is another goodie to sink your teeth into... 8.75/10 (Dave)

RAVEN TIDE..'EVER RAIN' (EP)

(Alkemist Fanatix) Reviewed 15th July 2010

Italian Band Raven Tide was born in early 2009, as the natural evolution of the original idea of the vocalist Cheryl and the guitaist Shark. The style of the band is characterized by the fusion of various influences of past musical experiences of each member, creating a perfect mix between the classic atmosphere of Symphonic Metal and the captivating colours of Dark & Gothic culture, with the aggressive rhythm of Power and Heavy Metal, also offering touches of Electronica and completed of course with a female voice. Instrumental 'Stillness' gets things going, and I am sure I hear the sound of bag pipes. This then leads us into the almighty 'Alfrin Alagos'. This 5 track EP is good, and we are only two tracks in! 'Doom Reveil' that follows is a totally awesome track...heavy riffs with a chorus to die for, and showcasing Cheryl's angelic vocals. This track is gonna be a fave of mine, no doubt about it - right up my alleyway! I am now totally spellbound by this Italian combo. And before I can catch my breath, we have 'End To The Flame' - great piano/synths led ballad, and I am afraid that I am a sucker for a good ballad. The rocky and very catchy 'Lucifer Bliss' featuring the addition of male vocals closes the EP. Every track on the record to my ears is a winner, with the songs banging around in my head long after the cd has finished. Check Raven Tide out at www.myspace.com/raventide and then buy the EP - enough said! 9.5/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

RAVEN TIDE..'ECHOES OF WONDER'

(Alkemist Fanatix Europe) Reviewed 12th December 2011

'Echoes of Wonder' is an awesome Melodic Gothic Album that so happens to be right up my alleyway. And the band responsible for this little epic is Raven Tide and they hail from Italy. It seems for sure that Italy is becoming very much the hot bed of Female Fronted Rock and Metal. The melodic and angelic vocals of Carlotta "Cheryl" Cimeli so happen to be the jewels on this cd, that really do make it plain to me as to why I like this genre of music so much. Ten tracks of music that for anybody that seeks a catchy chorus, they will just love this release - just listen to 'Doom Reviel' and you may well get my meaning. I love this album from opener 'Oblivion' to closer 'End To The Flame', and this will certainly appeal to the Dama, Evanescence and Elysion fans out there amongst many others no doubt. And we have a ballad and a cover, 'Frail' is a massive piano led ballad, while 'Frozen' is the Madonna song with some lush orchestration. I whole heartedly recommend this release to anyone out there into Female Fronted music that is melodic, catchy and offers up some pretty cool orchestration. Try it for yourself, why not check them out here first, I am sure you won't be disappointed ...9/10 (Dave)

RAVING SEASON...'AMNIO'

(My Kingdom Music) Reviewed 8th August 2013

Amnio: the element that surrounds the birth of a child, what gives rise to a new "season". Well, it is Beauty & The Beast time again folks, except the beastie vocals are provided by a beauty, I hope that makes sense. Raving Season come from Rome, they play awesome Gothic Doom Metal, with heavy harsh vocals given to us by Federica, with the clean vocals offered up by Judith. And as is typical with this style of music, it can be brutally harsh one moment, and amazingly beautiful the next. And the opener 'Turandot' bears testimony to the statement. Seven minutes of dazzling bliss! 'Dusk Dance' is another rather classy track, an angelic melancholic start to this song before the beautifully brutal vocals kick in - melodic laid back doom at its finest! The atmospheric doom/ gothic format continues through songs like 'My Last Murderer', 'Restless Rain (il rumore della pioggia)' - I love the bells on this :) and 'My Darkest Season (Pt 2)'. This runs in at over an hour and is a disc with an excellent quality of recording, that gives everything a fresh and powerful sound, well-kept in detail, full of emotions that want to carry the listener through a journey that alternates between melancholy and anger. This is for fans of Draconian, early Anathema, My Dying Bride, Isis etc.... 8.5/10 (Dave)

RAWKFIST..’GARDENS OF ELYSIA’

(Danse Macabre) Reviewed 20th February 2010

I was surprised to learn that this is the second album by the fantastically named German symphonic metallers Rawkfist, where have they been all my life? The leading lady is the blonde bombshell, Sabine, with her unique tremulous Belinda Carlisle style vocals. Here they present a premier league collection of symphonic gothic metal masterpieces, halfway between Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil. It is a magical experience when you unearth buried treasure like this. My favourites? Ummm, the whole flippin lot! My only quibble is the dull cover art with its total lack of info, this band have the look, they should use it! Somebody should take this bunch and plaster them all over every rock and metal mag in Europe and the World. This is an easy review to write, in short, buy it from http://www.rawkfistmusic.de/pages/englisch/home.php 9.5/10 (Reviewed by Phil Wooldridge)

RAWKFIST..'CHRYSEUS'

(Black Bards) Reviewed 21st March 2011

One of my very favourite bands are back with their third album of Within Temptation esque symphonic metal. Once again they are lead by the divine Sabine with her wondrous tremulous voice, one of the most distinctive in music. This new opus is more adventurous, more ambitious, more epic, with more orchestrations, more choirs, more diversity, more everything. They have also added some Lunatica, Elane, Rick Wakeman, Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean to create their own unique Rawkfist sound. Every one of the songs is stupendous, from the intricate epic title track 'Chryseus' (golden in Latin) to the ridiculously catchy 'My Heart Untamed' to the grooving romping electro 'They Made Me Walk The Plank' to the mighty galloping 'Invincible' to the glorious duet 'White Rose'. There are so many fantastic bits, pieces, ingredients and infectious hooks I could eulogise for a month and it's all immaculately produced with superb performances from all the guys. As Sabine so succinctly sings on 'Minstrel', “Deeper within the music, I will never be, Sweetly once more, This moment sets me free”, I could not put it better myself, an hour of musical heaven. Rawkfist must be the world's greatest band that nobody has ever heard of, they should be up their with the elite dining on the top table, and yet for some mystifying reason their profile is invisible. Although not as immediate as their last, which scored 9.5, this reveals more and more of its treasures with every listen, so it has to have a golden 10/10 (Phil)

SUZY RAWN..'NAKED

(Sony/BMG Import) Reviewed 2nd March 2007

Thisis a great little modern pop/rock release for anyone who fancieshearing the AOR/Melodic Rock Band Harem Scarem with a female vocalist(Scarem boys Pete Lesperance and Harry Hess are involved with thisrelease). The vocals of Suzi Rawn (Canadian Idol finalist) are verywelcome, and she works the material on offer here very well. She evencovers two Harem Scarem tracks – 'Don't Come Easy' and 'UnderstandYou'. A good listen for lovers of female pop/rock. 7.5/10 (Reviewed by Laura).

RAZORBLADEKISSES..'TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE SCAR'

(Independent Release) Reviewed 17th September 2009

Here we have an album full of eastern promise. Although now residing in Southhampton, vocalists Layla and Azadeh draw from their distant Persian/Iranian roots, to conjure up their ideas for this album. 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Scar' takes the listener on a magical journey, mixing rock, goth and even a little opera along the way. Kicking off with the rather sedate and atmospheric 'Alice', second track, the rockier 'New Nightmare' ups the ante somewhat, and comes blasting out of your speakers like an express train. A good start. And it continues through the remainder of the album, mixing quiter more atmospheric haunting tracks ('No Strings Attached') with the occasional heavier anthemic rocker ('Teddy'). And I like the violin that pops up on some of the tracks and adds to the atmosphere of proceedings. The awesome 'The Butterfly' was inspired by "This Bird Is Going To Die", a poem by the famous Iranian poet Forough Farrokhzad. Great "innocent little girl lost" vocals that add to the seductive feel of this record aswell. It gets released on the 26th October and will also be available from all major download sites! Meanwhile, check them out at www.myspace.com/razorbladekisses. 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

R.D.S.K..'APOCALYPSE OF MIND' ALBUM/'GO AWAY' EP

(Cauldron Soundwerx) Reviewed 19th October 2011

Proving that, in JJ Burnel's immortal words, it's so nice in Nice comes this new band led by guitarist Demetrius and fronted by singer and pianist Pris. K, which, I cunningly deduce, is where they get their name, the 'S' being bassist Philippe Sovieri. They concoct in their cauldron a heady brew of melodic gothic rock/metal which is flavoured with melodic prog and classic rock, at times you will hear echoes of bands like The Reasoning, The Gathering, The Mission, The Stranglers, Paradise Lost and gothic era The Damned (that's a lot of the's!). They have a very British sound, which is unusual for a French band, perhaps its roots go back to the infamous riot by Stranglers fans at Nice University in 1980. Pris has a breathy voice that floats and soars hauntingly, giving an air of mystery to music that unites the rocking and the atmospheric, bridging the gap between rock and metal, combining chiming flanged gothic, crunchy rhythm and rock lead guitars. Excellent examples of this core style are 'Apocalypse of Mind','No Time Left' and 'Opus of Decadence' which glide elegantly from moody verses to powerful choruses. 'Lost Soul', sung by Demetrius, and 'Maze of Life' are more classic gothic rock, and 'Creatures' even heads towards early U2. The three more classic/prog melodic rock songs are the catchy 'Knights of Devotion' with it's Moog motif, the superb ballad 'Eyes Wide Open' and the piano infused symphonic 'Dark Angels'. Pris and Demetrius star in two instrumentals each, on the dramatic Damned like 'Priscum Demetrium Delirium' and 'Chiara la Napoletana' Pris's florid piano playing is like a cross between Matthew Bellamy's classical and Roman Jugg's gothic. Demetrius's dynamic violin features in the emotive 'Danse Macabre' and the album ends with his guitar shredding 'Demetrius March' which sounds like Kashmir being played by Metallica. Production is good and clear but the drum sound perhaps needs more oomph. Turning to their new EP, this has semi-acoustic Mostly Autumn esque classic rock versions four of these songs plus the title track 'Go Away'. Featuring the whole band, they bring out the beautiful melodies and highlight Pris's superb rippling piano playing and lovely voice. Highlights are the glorious version of 'Eyes Wide Open' (video on Female Voices blog) and the fantastic America 'ish' 'Go Away', please, please, let us have a full albums worth of these gorgeous songs. Two excellent releases from this French band that will appeal to both gothic and melodic rock fans alike, so march to their batcave and to their record company's site here. These decadent opuses deserve 8.75/10 for Apocalypse of Mind full length, and 9/10 for the 'Go Away' EP (Phil)

REACTIVE BLACK..'A NEW DAWN'

(Echozone) Reviewed 15th July 2010

Zikes! Three corking cds that I have reviewed on the bounce today. Must be my lucky day. This little humdinger by German Band Reactive Black, is another record that has quite simply taken my breath away. Fronted by the lovely named Sassy Skeleton, what we have here is 11 tracks of Electonic Gothic Rock & Metal. The vocal style of Ms Skeleton is possibly more akin to Mandragora Scream's Morgan Lacroix, rather than perhaps the more operatic or poppy vocal style of some acts within this genre. Driving but consciously simple guitars and thumping drums drive this album along, while Sassy's voice fascinates and transports the listener into another sphere, with its dark style of eroticism. Check this band out at www.myspace.com/reactiveblack. A great record and worthy of a 9/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

The REASONING..'ADVERSE CAMBER'

(Comet Music) Reviewed 15th August 2010

The Reasoning are back with a new line-up, coming on board are drummer Jake Bradford-Sharp, backing vocalist Maria Owen, and keyboardist Tony Turrell. This album sees a marked shift towards the gothic rock/metal of the title track of their last album, ‘Dark Angel’; the ballads have gone along with ex keys player/vocalist Gareth Jones. On the track ‘14’, they sing “take me in a new direction”, I couldn’t agree more. Although still described by the media as prog, they are only prog in terms of musicianship and song structure/length (averaging around the 7 minute mark). Last time, metal guitarist Owain Roberts was the new boy, now he’s combined with Dylan Thompson’s rock to far greater effect. The result is their own unique sound, gothic rock/metal done in a melodic rock style. The other major difference is that the Rachel Cohen with her distinctive floating voice is now very much the lead vocalist, unlike the last one where duties were shared. It is mixed by Joe Gibb, who has worked with the likes of Leftfield, Catatonia, and Massive Attack, for a crisp clear contemporary sound. The songs swirl from powerful riffage, to catchy/soaring melodic rock, to periods of atmospheric calm, with seamless changes in tempo and dynamics. They are full of glorious harmonies and vocal interplay, ripping guitar solos, and all sorts of superb instrumental segments. This is a band that should be marketed far beyond their Welsh prog roots, to the European gothic rock/metal scene and to American melodic/alt rock/metal fans. Available from their website http://www.thereasoning.com/main.html and other fine purveyors, this earns a highly deserved 9/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

REASONS BEHIND...'OUVERTURE' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 8th May 2012

Born from the ashes of a gothic metal cover band (After Forever, Within Temptation, Nightwish), Reasons Behind is a power - prog - symphonic metal band from Italy, fronted by the lovely Elisa. I suppose to be honest, for anybody that misses Tarja era Nightwish, Reasons Behind could be the band to satisfy your appetite. Indeed, anyone who likes the bands mentioned above, this should be right up your alleyway, although the Nightwish influences shine through the strongest. Opener 'The End Of Our Chapter' certainly has that Nightwish feel with the operatic vocals of Ely from the top drawer of Operatic Metal. Great instrumentation and musicianship coming to the fore on this opener. 'My Last Act' carries on where the opener left off, and the strong Nightwish theme continues with '1000 Fading Lives', a great thumping Symphonic rocker with a further awesome vocal contribution from Ely. 'Choices' has a great instrumental intro and is possibly one of my fave tracks on this EP, while the slower and emotional 'The Last Night Of Ilion' finishes of this mighty EP. To finalise, if this band were to record a full length album of the quality we have here, it would be mightily good. Okay, they will be compared to Nightwish, but so what! Check them out here - recommended!! ...8.75/10 (Dave)

REASONS BEHIND...'THE ALPHA MEMORY'

(Maple Metal Records) Reviewed October 24th 2014

This is flippin' good. This band come from Bologna in Italy, and Dave reviewed the five track 'Ouverture' EP from this band in 2012. Now towards the end of 2014 (doesn't time fly?), they are about to unleash onto the unsuspecting music buying public, this their debut full length effort. There are ten tracks here although track one and ten are brief intro/outros. 'Under The Surface' is the first track proper and delivers a wow factor of 10! Melodic Power Metal I would call it, with some awesome use of electro elements to add to the wow factor. Next up 'The Chemical Theater' is equally as good and I do like the haunting synths intro to this track. Let's have more and boy we get it! Other totally magical and bombastic tracks include everything that is on this record to be honest! Tracks like the near 7 minute 'With Your Light' and 'Starlight in the Shades' just blow my little Essex Girl mind. The vocals of Elisa are so angelic at times, and the remainder of the band deserves an Oscar, particularly their keys/synths guy Dige. I myself and Ravenheart Dave do like this album very much. It is available from December 1st we are told. The band's website can be found here - the key to a good record is if times flies by while you are listening to it, then it is orgasmatronically good - this is orgasmatronically good!... 9.5/10 (Natalie Gold)

CELINA REE..'KORTSLUTNING'

(Copenhagen Records) Reviewed 4th August 2010

A few years ago Carlsberg Lager ran a series of adverts where the Danes love the beer so much they would go to any lengths to stop it leaving their country, well, the same thing seems to be happening to their music! The Storm have only just signed to Spinefarm after years of being a Danish secret, Cryoshell is currently only released in Denmark, and now my Danish spy has discovered Celina Ree. All three are premier league acts, professionally recorded, with expensive videos, tailor made for the international market, but they don’t want anyone else to know! Sadly my spy succumbed to temptation and was bribed by bacon sandwiches to reveal nothing, so all I know about her is that she is a young singer songwriter, and this her debut album sung in her native tongue. Her style is the sort of Evanescence esque gothic alt rock that will go down a storm in America, with looks that can stop a beer wagon. She sets out her stall with three prime cuts of alt rock, including the single and title track ‘Kortslutning’. ‘Se Dig Selv I Mig’ is a lovely gentler number, followed by the awesome ‘Mørkeræd’, which starts out with exotic groovy sequencers before soaring into the stratosphere. After the Porcupine Tree ‘ish’ ‘Savner Dig Sindssygt’ comes the anthemic ‘Når Du Rør Ved Mig’, and the moody ‘I Sort’. The stomping ‘Tænd Et Lys’ with it’s wonderful synths reminds me of My Chemical Romance and Green Day. Another excellent alt rocker and the gentle piano ballad ‘Evighed’ wraps the record up nicely. Celina’s website is http://celinaree.dk/ and you can download the album from iTunes. If Carlsberg did alt rock albums, this is what they would sound like, another Danish artist who deserves an international audience, 8.5/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

REGARDLESS OF ME..'THE WORLD WITHIN'

(Locomotive Records) Reviewed 13th March 2010

From the pen of Italian maestro Emiliano Sicilja comes this eclectic opus featuring the flawless pop/rock voice of the sultry Pamela Manzo. It kicks off with the big, gothic metal, Lacuna Coil’ish rocker ‘City of Glass’, followed by two outstanding numbers that alternate between symphonic trip hop verses and immense soaring, rousing choruses, ‘No One Cares’ and ‘Regardless’. The album then breaks into Dream Theatre prog metal with ‘Wounded’ with another massive chorus, followed by the slow moody industrial bossa nova instrumental ‘The Counterfeiter’ built on jazzy piano chords and massive synths, and the haunting trip hop of ‘For Eternity’ with it’s mighty emotionally charged refrain. We change again with the gorgeous symphonic piano ballad ‘The Morning Light’ with Pamela and the band sounding like they come from Nashville, not Milan. ‘So Cold’ is another huge gothic rocker and the penultimate tune is the spooky, brooding, trip hop ‘Thy Nature’. The last song is the epic ‘The World Within’ which just about sums this album up. Prog’ish, yes’ish; gothic, almost certainly; rock, probably; metal, maybe; trip hop, possibly; symphonic, perhaps; catchy and melodic, affirmatively; a darn good listen, absolutely and positively. Available from most purveyors of fine music, this will appeal to a broad church of music aficionados, Muse, Ayreon, Lacuna Coil, Porcupine Tree, Portishead, Massive Attack and other bands who inhabit the twilight world between rock, metal, prog, electronic and gothic. You’ll love it, regardless of me. 9/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

REIGN OF THOUGHT...'BEGINNING OF THE END'

(Self Release) Reviewed 28th June 2012

Reign of Thought are a new prog metal band for Albany, in the Big Apple, founded by guitarists Matt Becker and Aeron Yerdon, with Shanna Becker on vocals who also supplies the keys and violin. Their music is in the same Central Park as a less technical Akribi, Tool and To Mera, with some alt-metal thrown into the mix à la Edenial, with Shanna's vocals veering towards the more European semi-operatic style away from typical American alt-metal wailers. They present on their début a set of consistent numbers based around jagged staccato riffing, with Shanna's expressive voice carrying the melody. I particularly like the more symphonic power metal 'Reality and the Dream', the Spanish jazzy flavoured 'When Daylight Ends', and the tasty guitar in the subtler 'In My Head'. American bands seem reluctant to use keys, an important ingredient in prog, perhaps it's not considered 'cool' and 'metal', the interlude and her occasional embellishments show that Shanna is a talented keyboardist, I wish they had used them more to add variety and richness to the well produced sound, and her violin only features very briefly, which seems a shame. A good solid prog metal album from a band that has tremendous untapped potential. Their throne can be found here, a thoughtful 8.25/10 (Phil)

REISM..'LIFESTYLE PRODUCT'

(Independent Release) Reviewed 7th August 2007

REISM are a Liverpool based band fronted by a Norwegian Lass called Kirsten. I have seen a review of some Reism material in an English Rock Zine, but it seems the review referred to a 12 minute EP by this band. I actually have the full length CD, This is a another independent band worthy of one's attention, and this is a good effort. I read the Powerplay review as suggesting that Reism sound like Evanescence. Cannot quite see it myself, but it seems all female fronted bands pick up these Evanescence comparisons. That puzzles me a wee bit. Back to the cd in question. 'Lifestyle Product' is gothic rock/metal with electronic elements. The cd plods along with 'Nothing to Lose' being a good un, with a heavy guitar 'bit' in the middle. I also enjoyed 'Burn Brighter', which reminds me a little in places of Avril Lavigne, 'Waiting' and 'Any Other Way. In-fact I find Kirsten's voice quite captivating throughout. Reism is another good gothic indie band worthy of your support. It's an 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave).

REISM..'SOMETHING DARKER'

(Self Release) Reviewed 24th January 2011

The music of Reism is a fusion of gothic, industrial and electronic rock. The combination of heavy guitar riffs, live electronic drums, dirty synths, and the soaring vocals of Kirsten Jørgensen, make for an interesting and complex musical experience. After releasing their debut album 'Lifestyle Product' in 2005, this once Liverpool based band have been working tirelessly to produce and perform their music, and now in 2011, the latest offering has come Ravenheart Music's way. I liked their debut release, and now 'Something Darker' sees the band having re located to Norway, but still maintaining the Industrial sound of the debut, and indeed improving on it! The album soars of the starting blocks with 'Give In', while the more conventional rocker 'Let Me Go' maintains the momentum. I rather like this track, great vocals by Kirsten aswell. 'Sink In Deep (Dark Water)' is an atmospheric ballad with great use of synths and a fave track of mine, as is 'Words', which has a cool intro before Kirsten's vocals kick out of the speakers, great catchy chorus too. 'Broken' is a haunting piano led ballad with 'Make Me Feel' increasing the tempo again, being an awesome mid paced rocker. 'Pieces' and 'Lullaby' do not disappoint and close this little opus. To summarise, they blend influences as diverse as Nine Inch Nails, Nightwish, Lacuna Coil and Soilwork, while I feel that Kirsten's vocals are perhaps not as angst sounding on this release, and that to me is not such a bad thing. Check the band out at www.myspace.com/reism...this is a good release and this hard working band deserve to do well! 8.75/10 (Dave)