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Ravenheart Reviews: Archived

Reviews K cont


(Savage Productions) Reviewed 30th March 2010

Kells come from France, and 'Lueurs' was released in 2009. What we have here is what could be classed as Melodic Gothic Metal, that would appeal to fans of Within Temptation, Evanescence and the like, sung by the way in the band's native tongue. Fronted by Virginie, Kells was formed in 2001 and this I understand is their second release. The quiet and atmospheric instrumental 'Reminiscences' gets the album underway, that then leads into 'Avant que tu...which showcases Virginie's vocal style rather nicely, this track giving us an idea as to what to expect on this cd. La sphere (feat Candice de Eths) features heavier harsh vocals, while Delivre-moi keeps the pace going - awesome techno style synths at the start of this track too. Generally, the album offers a similar mix thro the remaining tracks, heavy guitars, awesome vocals and some Within Temptation style choral backing at times. 'Le ciel', Ailleurs' and 'Sans teint' being three of my favourite tracks, appearing towards the end of the album. By and large, 'Lueurs' rocks, is melodic and rather heavy. I quite like it!...8/10 (Reviewed by Aimee)


(Season of Mist) Reviewed 21st February 2012

Kells are French and this, their third album like their others, is sung mainly in their native tongue. This is a melodic and a somewhat heavy release, a kinda heavier Evanescence if that makes sense. Kells are not Symphonic, but there is a metallic intensity to the music within these 15 tracks. That's right, 15 tracks so you do get your moneys worth and what makes this release just that little bit more interesting, is vocalist Virginie Goncalves ability to enter scream mode at the flick of a coin, like Maria Brink of In This Moment. So we have Evanescence comparisons and In This Moment comparisons all within the space of a few lines, and I think that gives a fair indication as to the direction that Kells are moving along with this release. This is a good album and a fairly consistent one too, although upon repeated listens, favourite tracks do begin to emerge, like the track 'Emmurés' which has a rather powerful but very catchy chorus that sticks in your head. Some punters will no doubt have a good old moan because it is sung in French, but so what, this is heavy melodic music, and this is damn good. I would like to point out however, that the band have included English versions of 'Se taire' (Furytale) and 'L'heure que le temps va figer' (On My Fate). I would recommend this album to anybody that likes something just a little different, great stuff!...8.75/10 (Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 29th April 2015

Keltrix is a new all girl Folk group from the Cambridge area (UK). And they do not do things by half, as this is a double cd featuring 19 tracks. CD 1 concentrates on the rockier side of their folk style, while the 9 tracks of CD 2 have a more electronic roots feel. And not only is the album well packaged, the punchy quirky voice of singer Keri Kel has totally blown me away!! This gal is awesome! And the music ain't half bad either :) As previously said CD 1 offers up 10 tracks of Folk music with a rocky wacky feel - different, original and rather good me thinks. And the titles of some of the tracks have sure made me smile. Track 5 on CD 1 is titled 'You', track 6 is called 'Dick' and track 7 is titled 'Head'. And I do rather like the off-the-wall track 'Dick' actually, LOL!! Another fave track from CD 1 is 'Sea Song' CD 2 is equally as good (I actually prefer CD2 over CD1) and concentrates on the more mellower folkier side of their music, with that aforementioned electronica and at times dance floor feel, which I do rather like. This album is unusual, bizarre, oddball but at the same time damn good! The band's website is at 8.5/10 (Dave)


(Metalodic Records) Reviewed 21st September 2010

This is the second album from the French symphonic speedsters which has the assistance of Fairyland mainman and keyboard maestro Phil Giordana who supplies a wealth of orchestral and choral arrangements. French speedy symphonic metal has a unique lightness of touch, the double peddling is used sparingly and it tends to flutter rather than batter. Added to this is the delicious Flora Spinelli who has a lovely light folky Mary Hopkins type voice that floats above the assemblage, much better than having some hairy bloke shrieking. It has all the ingredients you look for, massed choirs and sing-along anthems, stirring music to wave your sword along to, catchy melodies, excellent musicianship, and loads of variety from folk to classical to rock to headbanging. Every song is a wonderful mix of all these ingredients, but I must mention ‘Angels of the Last Hope’ which contains gorgeous instrumentation and sumptuous melodies and the delightful ‘We Will Go’, both of which have a touch of the Mike Oldfields about them. It is nice to see the guitarists using a variety of sounds, so often the crunch button appears to be superglued down. This music would be difficult enough to play at normal tempos, goodness knows how they manage it at this pace, my fingers would end up in a knot. It must have taken a mind boggling number of hours to write, arrange and record this beautifully and lovingly produced album. This would make an excellent introduction to those of you new to speedy symphonic metal, being lighter, more reasonably paced and melodic than many of their peers. For those, like me, who are used to the pace and are already converted, this is an essential purchase, easily available through their Myspace site , a rousing 9/10 (Reviewed by Phil)


(Metalodic Records) Reviewed 31st October 2012

Kerion were first formed in Nice in 1997, and for their third album they have embarked on an ambitious multi part adventure story about the story of a crew of buccaneering adventurers trying to find a high technology city floating in the sky, reflected by the stunning specially themed artwork by Gonzalo Ordóñez, with more episodes to follow. It reminds me of Walt Disney's Treasure Planet, which was a version of Treasure Island set in outer space, but still with the sailing ships and pirates. Along with the likes of Wildpath, Adrana, Fairyland, Whispering Tales and Auspex, Kerion belong to the elite group of French speedy symphonic metal bands with that distinctive light fluttering style, with a touch folk highlighted by Floras delightful voice which is similar to a young Sharon Den Adel, although they also head towards Amberian Dawn, Ancient Bards and especially Rhapsody at times. It is not surprising then that two members of Fairyland contribute to this album, Willdric Lievin is behind the controls to create the excellent sound, and Philippe Giordana assists with the choirs. After the impressive orchestral intro 'Rider's Theme' featuring the terrific symphonic arrangements by guitarist Remi that are a real feature of the album, they open with two wonderful galloping songs with sword waving sing-along anthems belted out by the massed choirs, 'The Map' and 'Everlasting Flight'. 'Bounty Hunter' which features special guest Raphael Dantes (Carvellus) pushes them towards a mixture of Rhapsody and Therion, counterbalanced by the lovely folky ballad 'The Sky Is My Ocean'. The next song 'Fireblast' is perhaps a surprising choice for the lead song and video (on Female Voices) as it is darker, heavier and features some ferocious growls by a lady called Rachel which has mislead people into thinking the album has growls throughout, but this if her only appearance, and it forms part of the story. 'Tribal Vibes' is a real highlight and is suitably titled with didgeridoo, ethnic drums, tasty flute, and an infectious syncopated beat, followed by the bouncing 'Never More' featuring Adrien Eyraud (Silent Fall), and the gorgeous Celtic ballad 'Celticia's Song' with Flora's piano accompaniment. After another weapon wielder 'Ghost Society' comes the final 2 part epic 'The Fall of Skycity' with some splendid choir, before album ends with the return of the 'Rider's Theme' as an outro. The songs are segued together with sound effects to help you become engrossed in the story. Kerion have produced a cinematic blockbuster that is destined to become a box office smash with fans of epic symphonic metal. Their Skycity can be discovered here, where you can learn more about the story and characters, a buccaneering 9/10 (Phil)


(Island Records) Reviewed 1st August 2008

21 year old Estonian pop princess Kerli Koiv has given us what could be described as a goth pop version of Evanescence. The opening salvo of 'Love Is Dead' and 'Walking On Air' are highlights on a rather interesting but somewhat varied release. Interestingly, the aforemenioned tracks are also the two singles from the album. Kerli has written all the songs on offer here with a couple of co-writes, including 'The Creationist' that was co written with Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams). An interesting record for the more open minded fan out there. It ain't necessarily rock/metal, but give it a chance as it ain't bad! 7.5/10 (Reviewed by Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 20th March 2010

The debut by this French formation of symphonic metallers featuring two babelicious babes, Kenza on vocals, and the most attractive tub thumper I’ve seen in ages, Lucie. I was saying in other reviews that the bands most eye-catching asset, the singer, is far more attractive than pictures of warehouses and trees, well, they should have a look at this artwork, lovely. Kenza has a semi-operatic voice similar in phrasing to Simone Simons, which is eminently appropriate for their early Epica style music, before that bands descent into death metal, without all that blast beating and screaming. They also share early Epica’s rubber band rhythm sound, instead of the normal wall of guitar noise, you get a nice bouncy boing. The rhythm guitar sound can make or break an album, and they have got it just right, in fact the mix is excellent, and without that wall of noise you can hear everything clearly, including Jonathan’s superb keys. I wish some other bands would take note of this, you do not have to make a ruddy racket to be powerful, and it’s lovely to be able to listen to all the instruments and vocals without straining. I also love Lucie’s Bonham’esque bashing crashing drums, she sounds like she’s in my living room (wish she was!). There are some growls from bassist Stephane, but they are quite deep and soft, so I don’t mind, there’s none of Mr. Jansen’s horrid howls. On a couple of numbers he also shows that he has got a descent clean voice as well. Phil’s picks include the rousing ‘Gone Away’, the pounding throbbing ‘The War’, ‘Frozen Gift’ with its impressive motif, and the groovy melodic duet, ‘Bittersweet’. The show ends with the eerie lament ‘Let Me Dream’, one of the most unusual songs I’ve heard in a long while. If, like me, you miss early pre death Epica, and you have found that their later albums have sent you screaming out the door, then you will love this. Easily available from their Myspace site,, so light up your Darkest Hours with this lovely CD. 8.5/10 (Reviewed by Phil)


(Self Release) Reviewed 25th March 2015

Khaelys hail from France and they are a Symphonic Metal band with Death Metal influences. With cool female vocals from leading lady Anaïs SIEFFERT and male growls from bassist Stephane Come, the band deliver 12 tracks of Beauty & The Beast style metal. There is some good stuff here with 'Abyss' offering up some clean male backing vocals and this being one of my favourite tracks from the album. Other numbers shine through like the heavy 'Shades of Pain', the balladry of 'The Weight of Time', the bombastic 'Lies', the equally good 'Call From The Darkness' where the vocals of Anaïs (and her operatic style) really do shine through and the closing number 'Order and Chaos'. At times, vocalist Anaïs sounds to my tender ears a little like Sharon from some band we know called Within Temptation, but to put it in a nutshell, we here must highly recommend this release to every Symphonic and Progressive Metal fan out there! 53 minutes of pure metallic heaven - check them out at ... 9/10 (The Nugget)


(Self Released) Reviewed 5th April 2013

Kill For Eden (formerly Rhode Island Red) is a London based rock band fronted by the charismatic Aussie lass Lyla D'Souza. Although I have heard some of these numbers before when they were known as Rhode Island Red and indeed reviewed accordingly back in 2010 and 2011, this is the band's first official full length cd and what a recording we have here, proving how good the quality of unsigned talent is out there. Before I start, Lyla has one helluva set of lungs, as she powers her way through the 14 numbers on this album, and she is ably supported by the band, who give all they have to back her up. The radio mix of the single 'Kerosene' kicks things off and ably demonstrates the power of Lyla's vocal prowess. We have further good melodic rockers like 'Untouchables', the pounding 'Living On Mars', the hard rockin' 'Ned', the melodic and very catchy 'Over & Over' and the rather good 'Alone With My Demons'. Meanwhile, there are the ballads like 'Stalemate' and the awesome 'Fate Insists'. This is a band that plays rock with pop hooks, and as a consequence offers the listener tunes that stick inside your head and refuse to go away...check the band out here. On this showing and without a filler to be seen on this cd, which by the way gets released on May 6th, Kill For Eden surely has to be going places..9/10 (Dave)


(Self Released) Reviewed 14th October 2013

Here is an EP from the awesome London band Kill for Eden fronted by Lyla D'Souza. Basically what we have here are three tracks, 'Living On Mars' being a great rock song from their album that was released earlier this year - this number being remixed and remastered. Then there are a further two new songs, 'The Dome' and 'Shoot Me'. The former being a number that leads you into a false sense of security with it's quiet acoustic intro, before things explode with Lyla and the band screaming out of your speakers like punks on acid - awesome! The latter 'Shoot Me' has a kinda bluesy feel in it's quieter moments, but by and large is a hard rocking melodic number with some awesome musicianship coupled with massive and at roaring vocals from Lyla. This is very good and well produced EP that is a useful addition to their album that picked up a good review on this site back in April (2013)...9/10 (Dave)


(The Laser's Edge/Suburban Records) Reviewed 27th April 2008

Kingfisher Sky is a new Dutch outfit put together by former Within Temptation drummer Ivar De Graaf along with classically trained vocalist Judith Rijnveld. Ivar left Within Temptation to pursue other musical interests. His collaboration with Judith produced this brilliant debut, 'Hallway Of Dreams', that encompasses progressive rock, gothic metal and mystical Celtic themes. Judith's vocals are simply amazing - not too disimilar at times to Sharon Den Adel, without cloning the lass. This cd that we have imported in from the USA, has it's crunch and also it's more subtle moments. Ravenheart Music highly recommended this album. So buy it! 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave).


(Suburban Records) Reviewed 11th October 2010

Kingfisher Sky caused a bit of a stir here at Ravenheart Music, with their debut release that we reviewed back in April 2008. As a consequence, I have waited for the follow up with interest, and here it is. 'Skin of the Earth' follows on very nicely from 'Hallway of Dreams', while comparisons can still be made with Within Temptation to a certain extent. Judith Rijnveld's vocals however, to my ears sound even better than on the debut, and this record now seems more like a cohesive band effort. The sound of KS still mixes Prog, Metal, Folk and Gothic, with the songs ranging from the quiet and rather tasty 'Two Old Trees' to the bouncy 'Like A Shadow', through to the heavier 'We Love Our Heroes' and onwards to the progressive sounding 'Mushroom Wall'. This is another good release from Ivar De Graaf's band, while I must also mention the presence of cello player Ms Maaike Peterse - awesome stuff. 8.75/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

KISKE SOMERVILLE..'Kiske Somerville'

(Frontiers Records) Reviewed 8th Sept 2010

The idea for a union between ex Helloween frontman Michael Kiske and Amanda Somerville came from Frontiers head honcho Serafino Perugino. Amanda is well known for her work with Epica, Aina and many other projects, including her own pop/rock solo career. The songs have been mainly written by the team of bassist Mat Sinner (Sinner, Primal Fear) and guitarist Magnus Karlsson (Starbreaker, Primal Fear), with former After Forever guitarist Sander Gommans and Amanda contributing a further three. Kiske is of course famous as a screamer, but here he tones it down, and the voices are well matched and complimentary. Most of the songs are top quality, guitar led, catchy, melodic rock/metal tunes with big choruses, ‘If I Had a Wish’ and ‘Don’t Walk Away’ being perfect examples. It is great to hear Amanda given something meaty to sing, but Kiske often takes the lead. The orchestral ‘Silence’ and ‘Arise’, and the metal ‘A Thousand Suns’ and bonus track ‘Set A Fire’, the latter three all Gommans/Somerville compositions, are more impressive to my ears, with greater parity between the singers, these are the songs where the duets really work to their best advantage. As you might expect, this is all most professionally done and very commercial and accessible, but I personally would have liked more Gommans/Somerville compositions. The package includes two videos for ‘Silence’ and ‘If I Had a Wish’. The album with be out on Frontiers records on the 24th Sept.. 8.5/10 (reviewed by Phil)


(Frontiers) Reviewed 16th April 2015

The new chapter of the musical collaboration between vocalists Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Unisonic, Place Vendome) and Amanda Somerville (Trillium, Avantasia) is certainly one of the highlights of the season in Rock music. This new album is indeed a major step forward compared to the debut album, which saw the light of day and garnered glowing reviews in 2010. Kiske’s soaring overtones seem to blend perfectly with the ethereal quality and diverse range of Amanda's voice and this time the results are truly over the top. The opener and what is the title track sets the scene with second track in 'Walk On Water' being a melodic and a very catchy pop/rock masterpiece. There are further flippin' good numbers such as 'Salvation' with its symphonic undercurrent, the ballad 'Ocean Of Tears' and the mid tempo 'After The Night Is Over'. This exciting and glowing album sees Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner) and Magnus Karlsson (Starbreaker, Primal Fear) handling most of the songwriting (with a song contribution 'Breaking Neptune' from Sander Gommans formerly of After Forever and Amanda Somerville herself) and with Sinner also overseeing the production in various recording studios in Europe. Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe, Primal Fear, Pretty Maids, Doro etc.) then took care of the mix of the album ensuring a sonic quality second to none. Well recommended - release date Europe 17th April, USA 21st Apr....9/10 (The Nugget)


(Massacre Records) Reviewed 30th September 2009

After having just reviewed the new Ram-Zet album, it is perhaps becoming apparent that Ravenheart Music is going a little more extreme. Kittie, fronted by Morgan Lander is familiar to me, but I have never really got into their music in the past, despite sales in excess of 1.25 million of their previous four albums. Anyway, their latest, 'In The Black' offers 12 tracks and 40+ mins of true heavy metal with clean and extreme vocals. Some good stuff on here, check out 'Cut Throat', the melodic 'Die My Darling' and the slower 'Sorrow I Know' as examples. As 'Sorrow I know' ends on a quiet note, in kicks 'Forgive and Forget' that will send your Grandma running for cover! 'Falling Down', 'Sleepwalking' and 'Whiskey Love Song' are slower, melodic although still heavy numbers that may see your gran returning from the air raid shelter, until she beats a hasty return when 'Ready Aim Riot' screams out of the speakers. The cd ends with the 6 min + 'The Truth' , which starts with a cool organ intro, and I indeed expected the wrestler known as The Undertaker together with Paul Bearer, to appear in my living room :) Cool ending to this track too. To summarise, this release speaks for itself - if you like your metal screamin' heavy and bloomin' hard, but still melodic, check this one out. It is released on the 23rd October. 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave)


(Massacre Records) Reviewed 19th August 2011

Kittie is a Canadian heavy metal band formed in London, Ontario in 1996. A quartet of women, the group rose to success in 1999 when the track 'Brackish' from their debut album 'Spit' became a hit single. The band has toured with famous acts in the past, including Slipknot during the early 2000s on their UK tour. While their earlier works have been primarily in an alternative and nu-metal style, their sound has evolved over the last decade into a curious amalgam of alternative, thrash and groove metal, offering a brutal barrage of music, with the harsh lead vocals of Morgan Lander, reminding me of black metal. There are eleven tracks here that follow the above musical style very nicely, although they do offer up an equal dose of melody and brutality. Indeed, we do find clean vocals at times, listen to 'What Have I Done', 'Never Come Home' and 'Time Never Heals' as examples, and there is some accoustic stuff too on the instrumental 'Empires (Part I)', before 'Empires (Part II) then blows your speakers apart. Despite the band having been around for 12 years, this is actually my first real foray into Kittie territory. This offering is not bad and is definitely one for you metalheads out there....8.5/10 (Dave)


(Century Media) Reviewed 1st November 2008

From an imaginative Northern forest, full of large stone blocks and surrounded by high mountains comes Kivimetsän Druidi, a young and determined metal band from Finland, destined to become the next sensation in symphonic metal. Leeni-Maria’s beautiful female vocals are perfectly contrasted with Joni’s brutal growls from six feet under. An interesting record this, with lyrics dealing with the everlasting battle between good and evil, hatred and forgiveness, jealousy and willpower. Crunching guitars, pounding drums, swirling keys, epic tunes and even a ballad (Tiarnach - Verinummi), it is all here. I like it! And on the digi-pak version, you will even get a cover of The Gathering's 'Leaves'. Another great treat from Finland - so get it now! 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave)


(Self Release) Reviewed 13th Feb 2015

There are not many bands that I know from Minsk in Belarus, but we have one here that to be perfectly honest is totally awesome. They are Kliodna and are fronted by a lass by the name of Helena Wild (not her real name I have been informed). They have been composing and touring the bar scene in Belarus and some places in Ukraine and Russia. They have released an EP of 4 songs which we are reviewing here, and they are presently working on a full length album to be released in the fall (perhaps sooner!). Back to the music in question and the EP is absolutely magical, the opener 'I'll Do The Haunting', immediately showcasing the absolutely awesome vocal prowess of Helena. Next up 'Blood In The Sea' takes on a more Symphonic style, great musicianship, and I am having to recover my senses before the next number 'Night Symphony', which maintains the sheer quality that this EP has to offer - a slower track but keeping the heaviness that shines through on this EP. The closing track is the title track and with quality like this, I cannot wait until a full album becomes available. Furthermore, I have been given two extra tracks to preview that may well feature on the full release. 'Northern Wolf' and 'Road To Anywhere' maintain the quality of the EP and will certainly give us something to look forward to in due course. Being influenced by bands like Nightwish, Epica, Xandria and the like, this is cracking stuff. The video to the aforementioned 'I'll Do The Haunting' can be viewed here... well recommended.. 9.5/10 (Dave)


(Artist Station/EMI) Reviewed 5th January 2011

Kontrust are a nutty alt-metal band from Austria, fronted by the beautiful Agata and her sidekick Stefan. Stefan's vocal style is a curious mix of rap, toasting, growling and singing, a sort of cross between Andrea Ferra and Shaggy, whilst Agata has a superb Cristina Scabbia/Annie Lennox type voice. They throw in anything and everything from Latin to world to tribal to swing rhythms, the result being a bonkers Lacuna Coil or alt-metal's answer to the Diablo Swing Orchestra. This is summed up by the video for the barmy 'Bomba', a Sound of Music/Heidi spoof with the band in stereotypical Tyrolean fancy dress and sporting silly moustaches (apart from Agata of course, that really would be silly) that's incredibly had over one and a half million views, showing that they have also crossed over into the mainstream (on Female Voices blog). However, beneath the zany exterior beats the heart of a bona fide top class metal band, this is no novelty act, this bunch can groove like a rampant beast on ecstasy. The name by the way translates as the Dutch for bum rest, urmm yes, I'm baffled too. The album is packed with 13 ridiculously catchy tunes (plus 3 interludes) with massive choruses, humongous hooks and loads of clever bits and pieces. Faves come thick and fast, amongst them 'Dancer in the Sun' with it's touch of samba, the swinging 'Play With Fire', the smashing 'The Smash Song' (also on blog), the infectious 'Clown Parade' with it's hint of La Bamba, the new single 'Zero' and the angry eastern inflected 'Face and Filter' with a BOOM BOOM that nearly shattered my windows. The lovely atmospheric emotional 'Sin' shows they can do serious as well. The production not surprisingly for a major label release is premier league, but I have one very serious complaint, there's no tango! Not only is this a sure fire winner for alt-metal fans but you can also take it to your next rave up. Should be widely available, so dear friends it's time to tango to their website, a smashing 8.75/10 (Phil)


(Napalm Records) Reviewed 6th April 2012

Napalm Records sure know how to release some damn fine music! I must admit that although I had heard of Austrian Rockers Kontrust, this is really my first foray into their style of music. They are fronted by the zany and occasionally rap style male vox of Stefan, and the female vocals of Agata, who both take center stage to deliver their fiery vocal interactions. Describing their music? Well let's call it crazy metal! This their latest album delivers yet another explosive mix of playful and innovative songs. Indeed, with breathtaking speed, appealing grooves meet catchy choruses and heavy guitars cavort with sweeping melody lines. There is absolutely no way that one can keep still listening to this music. It is so appealing, zany and hideously catchy all at the same time. I know this may seem a little strange, but if the Pop Band Sparks went metal without the falsetto vocals, this is maybe what they could kinda sound like, with the addition of female vocals of course. Those who believe that innovation has ceased to exist, they should allow themselves to be pleasantly surprised by KONTRUST. This is highly original, highly innovative and I love every moment of it!!! Buy it from April 27th and slam it on the cd deck at your next party!! 9/10 (Dave)


(Napalm Records) Reviewed 29th October 2014

Vienna’s blood is cooking and brewing, bringing the muscles to twitch and the nerve pathways to explode across the universe. The Kontrust debut I am reliably informed was released in 2005 and three records later, this world we live in knows from which European country the hottest Crossover of the present day is coming from! This record is the fourth album by these explosive Austrians and has everything that this style of music needs: rapid rhythms, catchy slogans, brutal guitars and angular riffs. Fronted by Agata and Stefan, the opener 'Dance' lays down the gauntlet and from then on there is no let up - this album is so so catchy with tracks like 'Why', 'Shut Up' and 'Bulldozer' being just three numbers from this eleven track album chock full of mind blowing awesomeness. EXPLOSITIVE gets released in the early part of November - it is rather good so bulldozer your way to the shop and get it!... 8.75/10 (Natalie Gold)


(Self Release) Reviewed 4th Feb 2014

Kowai from Holland is very proud to announce the release of their long awaited debut album. The album will be released on Feb 7th and has been produced by Dutch top producers Joost van den Broek (Epica, Stream of Passion, ReVamp and Nemesea) and Jeffrey Revet (Stream of Passion/Milkmark). And I will tell you something - we have another awesome release from The Netherlands and this should be absolutely massive! The band give us 9 tracks of bombastic Gothic Metal that has totally taken my breath away. Fronted by Laura van Nes with occasional subtle grunts from Bertran Zwijnenburg this release is from the top drawer, and could well propel the band immediately into the Premier League of Female fronted Metal. Every track here is an intense bombastic monster waiting to pierce your ear drums and this is one helluva debut from this band. All nine numbers here are magical highlights and I suggest that anybody who is into Within Temptation, Sirenia, Stream Of Passion, Delain and the like, gets this one immediately... 9.25/10 (Dave)


(Self Released) Reviewed 17th October 2012

Welcome to the Symphonic World of Kristalida and it is with the greatest of pleasure that I get to review this awesome 5 track maxi single. Very well packaged and with awesome artwork, the music is rather good too. The opener and promotional single 'Life or Death' actually starts with the sound of one of those heart monitors, that then goes into a continual beep when a life may have ended. The number is indeed about the dramatic moment in which a woman decides between the life represented by white roses, and the death represented by black roses. Dark lyrics too as one may expect - "two roses, two ways, it's life or death". 'The Phoenix Song' is an uptempo Symphonic number, taking on a more Power Metal feel to it, as the magical Phoenix returns bringing back our hearts from the ashes. The next two numbers are instrumentals of the opening two songs, closing with the piano led 'Fading Nature' an added bonus track. Kristalida is an up and coming band from the USA, and I will be interested to hear more as and when. Their Facebook is here and although I will not give this maxi single a score, an album based on the material here should be pretty damn good! (Dave)


(Napalm Records) Reviewed 4th August 2010

The remarkable voice of Leaves' Eyes hits us with her third album, and she again looks set to captivate the listener with a record full of finely crafted pop/rock music. I will not hide the fact that I am an out & out fan of Leaves' Eyes, and of course Liv Kristine too. The title track (a downloadable single) gets the record underway, and is a very catchy little number that screams mainstream radio airplay. 'Twofold' slows things down a little, with Liv's voice sending shivers down my spine, while 'Train To Somewhere' has an acoustic intro, before the rest of the band kicks in offering another upbeat and catchy pop/rock number. 'Love In Grey', 'Lifeline' and 'Wonders' are slow acoustic tracks, and are so enthralling to listen to. 'Emotional Catastrophies' and 'Boys at the Window' ups the ante a touch, and are so infectious that you would need a dose of medication to avoid catching anything :) The awesome 'Versified Harmonies' and the beautiful 'The Rarest Flower' round things off. Most the songs here run at around the three to four minute mark, and the whole package was produced by hubby Alexander Krull (who else) at Mastersound Studio. As always he has done a grand job. Super stuff! 9/10 (Reviewed by Dave)


(Napalm Records) Reviewed 13th August 2012

LIV KRISTINE's career as a full-time composer and performing artist began in Norway in the mid nineties, being the first angelic voice in the Gothic Music revolutionary scene worldwide. The greatest inspiration for her compositions and lyrics has always been the supernatural, dark romanticism and the beauty of nature and poetry. Indeed, she should really need no introduction to fans of the female fronted rock and metal scene. Not only has she a solo singing career that seems to be doing well, she was also once the singer with the now defunct Theatre of Tragedy, has had collaborations with Cradle of Filth and Atrocity, and is also the leading lady in mega band Leaves' Eyes. So what about her latest release, her fourth in her solo quest for stardom. Well 'Interlude', a short intro kicks things off before the upbeat, rather catchy and poppy 'Solve Me' puts the album into overdrive. The awesome 'Silence' slows it down, and this is the pattern 'Libertine' develops - slower numbers alternating with rather more up tempo ones. 'Vanilla Skin Delight' is not bad, but to be honest, Liv could have sung this on her own without the help of Tobias Regner, winner of ‘Deutschland sucht den Superstar’, which I understand is the German version of ‘Pop Idol’. Anyway, other numbers that appeal to me are the slow 'Panic', the up tempo and radio friendly 'Paris Paris' and the heavier title track, this quite possibly the heaviest number on the record. 'LIBERTINE' is truly a milestone in Liv's career; it sums up her most important artistic experiences in her life-long creative journey. Her own lyrics and melodies are exceptional, and with production from the capable hands of Alexander Krull at his own Mastersound Studio, this we all know is going to be good. Recommended whan it gets released on Sept 7th.. 8.75/10 (Dave)


(Napalm Records) Reviewed 15th October 2014

When Dave offered me the chance to review this album, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands, so here goes. One of my favourite bands is in-fact Leaves' Eyes and their vocalist Liv Kristine is an icon, so what about this masterpiece, which so happens to be her fifth solo album? Well it unfolds as a dark rock gem assembling terrific melodies, enthralling song structures and a world class voice from this top class vocalist. Everything within the 10 tracks is from the top drawer - the opener 'My Wilderness' is a classic Gothic Metal track to kick the album off, like a cross between Liv Kristine and Leaves' Eyes :) And the next track 'Love Decay', a duet with Michelle Darkness is Gothic Rock/Metal at its finest. And there is more, a helluva lot more in tracks like the title track, the power ballad feat Doro, 'Stronghold Of Angels', the synth sounding and pounding tracks 'Hunters' and 'Elucidation' and the closer 'Oblivious'. Everything on this release is a classic - 'VERVAIN' being a true gift for myriads of Liv's followers, who have been following her career since her golden times with Theatre of Tragedy! Truly magical and a must buy... 9.5/10 (Aimee)


(Synergy/EMI) Reviewed 23rd June 2007

This is certainly a year for female fronted music. And German based Krypteria's second album sure keeps the bandwagon rolling. Fronted by the angelic sounding Korean lass Ji-In Cho, this band rock, with anthemic choruses helped along marvellously well by a Gregorian choir that crops up on many of the tracks. I suppose you could class the album as a mix of power metal, gothic metal and melodic metal. The ballads surpass themselves, with my favourite track being 'The Night All Angels Cry'. This is 6+ minutes of musical splendour that had me near to tears (and I am no angel!). Another track that I fell for on first listen was 'Somebody Save Me', 'Dream Yourself Far Away' being another good un! Parts of this album may need another listen for the whole cd to jump out and grab you, but rest assured it will. This is a very pleasant disk, and it deserves your attention. 8/10 (Reviewed by Dave).


(Roadrunner Import) Reviewed 10th July 2010

I have had to move Heaven and Earth to get a copy of this album. It is certainly not readily available here in the UK (even on iTunes), and if you can get a copy, be prepared to mortgage your house to raise the money. But the trials and tribulations in getting this album has been worth it. This newest piece of work from Krypteria (released in 2009) offers a trend towards a more straight forward approach regards the melodies, although the guitar riffs are as melodic as usual. Gregorian choir chants and progressive instrumental parts still remain in place, and that guarantees the dramatic soundscape that is in line with the lovely Ji-In’s bright, poppy and at times almost classical vocals. Therefore, you will listen to what is overall a very good and rather pleasing package. However, this album may not be quite as heavy and technical as the equally as awesome 'Bloodangels Cry', and indeed, one will often hear a strong affinity to Pop melodies on this release - the title track, 'For You I'll Bring The Devil Down' and 'Never Say Die' as good examples of this. Kinda mainstream radio stuff with pop/metal sensibilities! You know what though, this is good stuff. Love it! 9/10 (Reviewed by Dave)


(Liberatio Music) Reviewed 27th April 2011

This German band's origins go back to 2001 and a musical theatre project called Krypteria, then in 2004 stunning Korean singer Jo-In Cho was invited to sing on the charity single 'Liberatio' for the Indian tsunami and they became a fully fledged band, this being their 4th album in this incarnation. With their ancestry they have a more commercial ear that most metal bands and have never been afraid of the tag 'pop-metal', and why should they be, there's nothing wrong with trying to appeal to as many people as possible. Their sound lies somewhere between Lacuna Coil at their most catchy, Nightwish at their most groovy and HB at their most anthemic, with massed choirs helping Jo-Lin to belt out immense, colossal, humongous choruses that have a touch of musical theatre about them, just listen to the thumping refrain of 'Fly Away With Me'. This is like the soundtrack to the next James Bond film, dramatic, theatrical and with song titles like 'You Killed Me', 'Live to Fight Another Day' and 'Turn The World Around', I half expected Daniel Craig to suddenly crash through the window. They belt through ten thrillers ranging from the more emotive alt-metal 'As I Slowly Bleed' to the almost sword waving power metal polka 'Thanks For Nothing' at the other end of the spectrum, and the Queen of Metal Doro Petch makes a guest appearance on the symphonic stomper 'Victoria'. Then you get the classic lighter waving ballad 'Hurt So Bad' and finally the pièce de résistance, the creepy eleven minute 'Eye Collector', which throws anything and everything including Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata into the pot. Jo-Lin deliciously sings “Hello, lovely, follow me, Step into my parlour please, Take a slice, I must insist, Come inside now, don't resist”, well, how can I turn down such an invitation? Jo-Lin is also a talented classical pianist and this is the first album where time all the band members get a turn at the mike. The three bonus tracks are well worth the extra admission, they include two new versions of songs dating back to their musical theatre days, the totally awesome 'Get The Hell Out of My Way' and a piano version of 'Liberatio', plus 'Come Hell or High Water' which is set to the tune of Elgar's 'Land of Hope and Glory' made famous by the British annual classical music concert The Last Night of the Proms, I was waving my Union Jack and blowing my party poppers with gusto. Krypteria have really ramped everything up on this one and you will be dying to get you hands on this beauty, their website is here, a theatrical 9/10 (Phil)