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Ravenheart Archives: Archived

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RELAY..'CIRCUIT BREAKER'

(Independent Release) Reviewed 28th Sept 2007

This cd has just drifted my way. And am I glad it did! Relay can trace their beginnings back to 1975, and are from my old hunting ground of Essex. They so happen to be a very good AOR/melodic hard rock band, with the 21st century version of this band fronted by Alison Taffs. If you like no nonsense, no frills melodic hard rock, then Relay is for you. Awesome vocals by the way too. Kicking off with 'Bankrupt Heart' it is obvious what path 'Circuit Breaker' will tread. And I like it! And the ballads on the album, check out the power ballads 'All For You' and 'Love and Desire' as corking examples of this genre. If that is not enough, just listen to the 70's vibe on 'Liar'. Further faves are 'Lost City', 'New Sensation', 'Danger Zone' and 'Free' . This album is another example of fine female fronted rock with an excellent production, which again gets me asking the question I ask of many awsome unsigned bands..why are they not signed? I got into this genre of music years ago because of bands like this. Absolutely essential for lovers of this type of music! 9/10 (Reviewed by Dave).

REMEMBRANCES.. 'CRYSTAL TEARS'

(Self released) Reviewed 17th October 2009

This album has had a long history, recorded in 2006, becoming available in 2008, and has only just been brought to my attention thanks to their new management company, Alkemist Fanatix, who they joined in September this year. There must be loads of bands like them and Ephemeris who exist ‘under the radar’, waiting for the right promotion to make their music widely known. They are fronted by the delectable Haydee, who not only has a rich, sexy voice, but also writes excellent atmospheric lyrics. This is an album of superb symphonic gothic pop metal. Standouts include the ultra groovy ‘Silent Night’, the glorious ‘Blood on the Wall’, full of excellent keys and soaring vocals, and the lovely ballad ‘Memories’. ‘Sweet Madness’ is a suitably atmospheric tale about a creepy old house, which really shows their diversity. They are currently recording a new album, and if they pack it with songs like ‘Silent Night’ then they deserve to have an instant hit this time. Available for only 5.95 euros from their Myspace site www.myspace.com/remembrances and eBay, this is fantastic value for money for fans of Within Temptation. 8.5/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

RENTAP...'SUMMONING THE SUN'

(Self Released) Reviewed 29th January 2014

RENTAP, "Shaker of the world". An ancient Malaysian name, given to a warrior ahead of his time. A perfect name for this new, five-piece rock band from the Netherlands. Indeed, whether it is Symphonic, Gothic or in yer face Hard Rock, The Netherlands always seems to be able to produce the goods. And RENTAP is no exception to that rule. This EP released by the band some weeks ago, throws at the discerning listener 5 tracks of Catchy Melodic Hard Rock that will simply blow ya mind! With the stunning and powerful PhiNix on vocals coupled with some gut wrenching metal riffs from Nick and Yoep, not to forget the rhythm section of Bart on bass and Yuma on drums, this is simply bombastically good! From the moment the EP kicks off with 'Come Through The Fire' to the closing dynamically heavy melodic track of 'Future World Skies', this EP is a delight to the ears. The record, featuring a guest solo by Bart Hennephof from Textures, takes you from anthem-like choruses to relaxing bridge-sections back to bluesy rockriffs, so in summary, anybody that likes their music heavy and melodic, this sure is worth checking out. Their website is at www.rentapband.com/. Check 'em out, you know you should... 8.5/10 (Dave)

The RESCUES..'LET LOOSE THE HORSES'

(Universal Republic) Reviewed 17th August 2010

The Rescues are a union of four singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalists from Los Angeles, the girls Kyler England and Adrianne Gonzalez and the guys Rob Giles and Gabriel Mann. Not surprisingly, there are close similarities to Fleetwood Mac, with their artistic melodic rock and sumptuous four part harmonies and vocal interplay. Their songs have already graced top TV shows like One Tree Hill, Private Practice, and Grey’s Anatomy, and now they let loose their major label debut. Also not surprisingly as there are four songwriters the album is packed with top quality tunes, all beautifully recorded and performed, so it’s tough singling out individual songs. Particular faves include the title track ‘Let Loose the Horses’ (live video on Female Voices Blog), the Mostly Autumn like ‘Start a Riot’ with it’s big drums, the Coldplay ish ‘Before the Fall’, The Shania Twain esque ‘Break Me Out’, and the delightful Supertramp/Beach Boys/Jellyfish whimsy of ‘Can’t Stand the Rain’ and ‘All I Want is You’. Despite being on a major label they are still relatively unknown, I can’t imagine this situation lasting for long. Their Myspace is www.myspace.com/therescues and it’s available from all the usual record stables. This is a perfect case of synergy when the whole is greater that the sum of the parts, 9/10 (Reviewed by Phil)

RESILIENCE...'BIRTH'

(Self Release) Reviewed 31st July 2012

Resilience is a project formed in France in 2004 by guitarist Benjamin Sertelon and gorgeous Adeline Gurtner, who we last met as lead singer of Akin, whose wonderful album 'The Way Things End' I reviewed last year. The title comes from when Adeline left Akin in 2004 in difficult circumstances, and the resilience she showed, it was only recently that the band members reconciled their differences and reformed to produce that album. Their melodic prog rock/metal falls in the same general area as Wedingoth, Delusion Squared, The Gathering, The Reasoning, Pulse of Reason and Touchstone, but there is a distinctive slant, more of which later. Their music is powered along by Ben's driving guitars, laid on beds of bubbling Jean Michel Jarre esque sequencers and synths, and topped by Adeline's superb expressive voice. The introduction 'Introspection' sounds like one of those self hypnosis relaxation tapes.................... sorry, where was I, ah yes, which is followed by a trio of more conventional concise songs that that really rock along. Now things become interesting as they begin to show their prog credentials with their first multi-faceted epic, 'Finally Be Me', then 'The Edge of the Abyss Inside' that really steams along, and the delicate reflective 'Let Him Fly'. The next song ‘The Fall’ has what appears at first to be a real curve ball, as they throw in some Beyoncé style R&B, as you do, and why not, it's bootyliscous. However, there is a catchy pop soul R&B undercurrent that surfaces throughout the album, but here's it's highlighted. 'In The Hurry' really grooves and funks before none other than Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation) takes the mike for 'Introspection 2.0' that heads towards The Foo Fighters mixed with Ayreon. Finally, the pulsating 'Threat' and their second awesome epic 'Rewind' feature all their influences from pop soul r&b to electronica to melodic prog metal. Ben and Adeline have produced a smart, sophisticated and stylish album that can take prog into new trendy territory, far removed from from it's 60's beards and kaftans origins. In fact 'The Fall' (without its electronica second part) and 'In The Hurry' have real single potential. J-set your way to their Facebook, a brilliant, resilient 9/10 (Phil)

RESISTANT ME...'3012' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 21st June 2013

A rockin EP from this San Jose based Pop/Rock/Punk band, with lyrics focusing on heartbreak, the nightlife and sex. They actually released a full length album in 2007, but their new music is moodier and edgier so the band tell me. Fronted by Cyn Acevedo, the EP kicks off with the up tempo 'Tomorrow's Already Gone', reminding me of the punk era of the 70s. A great catchy way to start this little platter. 'Rockstar' is another catchy number with Cyn telling us that "baby I'm a rockstar". The six minute plus 'Goodnight' is a slower number, but equally as good and I do like the psychedelic break half way, which took me back to the 60s. The up tempo 'Heartbreaker' closes this EP. This is not a bad effort from the band, with Cyn's vocals reminding me a little of Ruby Ruin from California's own Saints of Run, but that may be due to the fact that Resistant Me are Californian too. The band can be checked out at their Bandcamp... 8/10 (Dave)

RetConStruct...'DENIZENS OF THE DEPTHS'

(Pavement Records/Sony Red) Reviewed 17th June 2014

Here we have an original sounding Symphonic Horror Metal band from San Jose California fronted by the haunting vocals of Jill Valdes, and this is their album that hit the shops on May 27th. Listening to this pricked my ears up as to me they sound like a rocked up version of UK rockers Vampyre Heart. This becomes immediately apparent in opener 'Gods Among Men'. 'Funeral Dawn' is less commercial but I still cannot help but hear the Vampyre Heart sound within RetConStruct's overall sound. The album continues with the upbeat 'Moskstraumen', while 'Hounds Of Hell' for some reason reminds me somewhat instrumentally of Swedish band ACT III. So far so good! 'The Ravage Of Ages' and 'The End Of Men' take us to midway point, and although not perhaps as accessible as some of the more mainstream stuff of a similar vein that is in the market place at the moment, this so far is not a bad effort. The second half of the album continues with the melodic pounding 'The Devil In The Well', coupled with a dancefloor beat and once again those Vampyre Heart vocal similarities. Further highlights include the rather good 'Animate Beings' and the industrial sounding and catchy closing track 'What Lies Below'. Although there possibly is not a standout track here that jumps out and grabs ya, this is a consistent effort and a grower - the band has the image too. RetConStruct (Retroactive Continuity Construct) brings together Melodic Metal and cinematic soundscapes with lyrics that invite the audience past end of this world and the edge of imagination. I am also informed by a reliable source that they are good live. This is their Facebook link: here. No operatic warblings but a cd worth looking into... 7.75/10 (Rachel Louise Smith)

REVAMP..S/T

(Nuclear Blast) Reviewed 23rd May 2010

Singer Floor Jansen needs no introduction to fans of the genre. After the break up of AFTER FOREVER, she knew in her heart that she wanted to continue making metal!!! And in this, her new band ReVamp, she shows the world she can do even more! From opera to raw screams, from rock to a light and almost whispered sound. The music is heavier than some might expect. Bombastic but with heavy riffing. Complex and pounding drums mixed with melancholic strings. Crazy synth-sounds mixed with beautiful choirs. And 3 special guests make this album extra special! Russell Allen (Symphony X) sings a beautiful duet with Floor on the superb ballad 'Sweet Curse'. Björn ‘Speed’ Strid (Soilwork) brings in power on a different level on the song ‘Disdain’. His raw screams make this song certainly the heaviest on the album, while on opener and powerhouse track 'Here’s My Hell', you’ll hear Dutch master grunter George Oosthoek (ex Orphanage). This is a totally awesome album from one of my favourite singers, and the vocals are unmistakably Floor. Highs on this album include those tracks mentioned above, the totally spellbinding 'Head Up High', featuring wicked chorus and orchestration, the bombastic 'Million' with synths and a choir that adds another dimension to this great song, 'Disgraced' with it's catchy chorus and 'Under My Skin' (showcasing Floor's great vocals). I could go on actually and list basically every song on this album as they all deserve a mention, but this album will appeal to many fans of our beloved genre, and most certainly if you miss Floor and After Forever, then you will want this release. In summary, the 14 tracks (inc the digipack bonus track) presents a new dimension to the female fronted metal scene. A must buy and I already have mine! 9.5/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

REVAMP...'WILD CARD'

(Nuclear Blast) Reviewed 3rd September 2013

Revamp is a band that has Floor Jansen (ex After Forever) as their vocalist, a lass that has gone through quite a bit lately on the personal front. Once her personal issues were sorted, she then she did a spell as a stand in vocalist with the awesome Nightwish. And now, we see the second Revamp album hitting the shelves. Described by Floor herself as "The most aggressive album I have ever made", and within the lyrics, she tells a great deal about her personal experiences of the past years, leading to some heavy stories and some openhearted screams. And on this album, there is nothing stopping the gal, because not only can she sing, including some operatics, she growls too, that is right, she can let rip with those vocal chords! The album is set around a triple header - "The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown". The opening salvo of 'On The Sideline' and 'The Limbic System' are the first two parts of "The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown, and show what the band and Floor has to offer, and they rock with a subtle progressive undercurrent. The title track tones it down just a bit, not much but it is one of the more melodic numbers on the cd complete with choral elements! Mark Jansen of Epica fame puts in an appearance with his customary growls on the rather good 'Misery's No Crime', with Mr Devin Townsend appearing on the third part of "The Anatomy of a Nervous Breakdown" - that track titled 'Neurasthenia'. Other numbers sees Floor doing the operatics on 'Precibus' (as she does on other numbers), whilst 'Distorted Lullabies' starts gently and serene before the bands kicks in like a turbo charged rhino, complete with orchestration and choir. To summarise, let us not forget about the awesome musicianship offered up by the band as a whole, but their singer is unique in many ways, a commanding presence on stage and commanding on record too. The album is more of a grower than an instant fix, it is heavy, it is metal and it has a choir to boot, so what more do you want? - buy it, you will not be disappointed! 8.75/10 (Dave)

REVENANT...'TUNDRA' EP

(Self Released) Reviewed 30th July 2014

Revenant fronted by Anna Williams is a Welsh Female fronted Heavy Rock/Metal band, formed in March 2013. The band released a 2 track demo in September 2013, which gained radio play across the UK, Europe and the US, and the band spent the latter half of 2013 gigging across Bristol, South Wales & the South West. 2014 has seen the band up their game supporting high profile acts such as ex-Rainbow legend Graham Bonnet and up and coming metal stars Skreamer, as well as spreading their reach to bigger venues and bigger cities. Now they have unleashed their 3 track EP which is pretty damn good if you want my honest opinion. A great dose of hard rockin' Melodic Metal with some early 90's influences popping up too. 'Second track in, the pulsating 'Defamation' is my fave with this little mini offering closing with the rather good 'Devil'. This band can rock and I bet they are good live! Find out more here - this is a fine effort!!.. 8.75/10 (Dave)

REVONTULET...'HEAR ME'

(Arcus Records) Reviewed 22nd April 2014

Russia has some awesome bands within it's boundaries, and we can now add another one to the list. Looking at the information sheet that came with the release, the band is effectively the tender voice of Alexandra Revontulet and her partner in crime, drummer Sergey Zorg, with a little help along the way from some friends. And not only that, all songs were written, composed and orchestrated by Alexandra Revontulet, who also has a Masters Degree in Sound Production, so she is a very talented young lady by all accounts. This release offers us 8 tracks of some of the finest female fronted Symphonic Rock & Metal you will hear in 2014, coupled with some epic orchestrations. This album had me making full use of Google, as I was totally blown away by the laid back track 'Suomi', great intrumentation here - Suomi meaning "Finland" in Finnish as I established after using Google - what would we do without it?. There are other gems galore on this record including another laid back number, the commercial sounding 'Rainheart', the heavier and epic sounding 'Velvet Night', the cool and bombastic 'The Pianist Of The Darkest Night' (a song driven by the piano) and the epic 15 minute closer and title track 'Hear Me', this closer a track of colossal proportions. Revontulet are certainly no Nightwish clones, and I must say that this is a well written and well produced album that deserves wide recognition, a solid and a very competent recording indeed. Check out the band's website here, and oh, going back to Google, REVONTULET is a Finnish word for "aurora", although it also does mention this on the band's Facebook page. Now you know! ... 8.75/10 (Aimee)

REVOLVING DOOR...'MILK AND HONEY'

(Fastball Music) Reviewed 23rd October 2012

If Paramore or In This Moment (without the screaming) excites you, then check this lot out from Germany. The band was founded in 2004, and since 2006 they have performed over 350 gigs and they play every year around 50 to 70 concerts. So they are not novices by any means, even though I admit I have never heard of them before - shame on me. What this band fronted by Liesa offer up here are 12 up tempo catchy rock numbers, well influenced by the current modern rock and metal scene. This is a no filler all killer album running in at around 43 minutes, and will be well worthy of the purchase price when it gets released on the 26th October. Check the band out here ...this is pretty damn good! 8.75/10 (Dave)

RHEIA..'FORGOTTEN GODS'

(iMusician Digital) Reviewed 14th October 2011

Rheia is the creation of Swiss song-writing sound engineer and keyboardist Pascale Peng. Over the course of a couple of years she gradually recorded these songs with a cast of carefully chosen musicians. The band name she has chosen is taken from the Greek goddess Rheia (or Rhea), the daughter of the Earth, who gave birth to the Greek Pantheon of gods, including the rulers of Heaven and Hell, Zeus and Hades. However, this is not an concept album, and the lyrics are about a wide variety of topics. The closest I can get to describing her totally unique but hugely appealing music is try imagining a touch of Within Temptation symphonic metal being propelled along by The Cars' driving rhythms, then add OMD's synths and pop sensibilities, and finally top with Nena on vocals to produce some of the most catchy and enjoyable songs you will hear all year, or any year come to that. The only bands that I can think of that are slightly similar are Weekend on Mars and Chapter II, coincidently both are from Switzerland, so it must be something in the fresh Alpine air. Pascale is not normally a singer and she enlisted the help of vocal coach Patrik Schwitter during the recordings, but she has bags of character and attitude which gives the songs their distinctive punky punch, reminding me of vocalists with personality like Hazel O'Connor, Toyah and Siouxsie Sioux, none of whom would qualify for X Factor, which is why the programme is about disposable pop rubbish and not artistic individuality. After the symphonic intro featuring a real orchestra comes the title track 'Forgotten Gods' sung by Andrea Dätwyler of Lunatica fame, setting the tone for the album - infectious, rocking, groovy, and with more hooks than the Chinese fishing fleet, attaching itself to your brain like a limpet with super-glue. Every song is a cracker, like the awesome synth driven 'Scorpions Revenge', 'Golden Gate' with its Vocoder refrain, the quirky 'Trying' with its amusing lyrics, 'Brothers' with its dramatic string quartet riff featuring a couple of angry barks by guest Raphael Hilfiker, the symphonic romp 'Confirmation' with top opera singer Margo Cadias, etc. etc. etc. Pascale will also soon release a completely orchestral version of the album. Production and sound as you would expect from a sound engineer is exemplary, with the finishing touches done by Simon Oberender who has worked with the likes of Lunatica, Avantasia and Epica. Rheia is one of those anomalies, a little known project that you would expect to be arty and obscure, but it turns out that this is an album that will appeal to anyone who likes intelligent but enormously catchy rock/metal. In fact it has a lot of commercial potential if it was given a good push in the right areas, and there's no reason why these songs cannot be played on mainstream rock radio stations. Her pantheon can be found at here, and it's currently availably digitally at a selection of stores, an unforgeable 9.25/10 (Phil)

RHEVAN..'ONE MORE LAST ATTEMPT' Promotional EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 3rd October 2011

Rhevan is an awesome band from Brazil fronted by the tastefully good looking Dani Navarro. And with Ravenheart Music's links with Brazil, it seems that Rhevan only serve to confirm that they have a fine metal community in that country, as well as a good soccer team :) In the past, the band has released one demo, one full length album, one single and now in my grubby paws is this new promotional EP sent to me by the band. And I like it! Six tracks of well produced Symphonic Metal, you know, the type? The sort of music that would go down so well on mainland Europe. The title track, 'One More Last Attempt' kicks this little platter off in style, a thumping melodic Power Metal number, that sees Dani in operatic mode, which she handles so well. And although I say operatic, she does not over do it. 'Couldn't Read Your Lips' slows it down with totally cool orchestration, a really nice power ballad, while 'Lady Of The Forest' picks it up again, a Symphonic number with some Progressive elements, with Dani mixing her vocal styles between poppy and semi operatic. 'The Dungeon' is a Nightwish style rocker featuring Bassist Aldo on vocals as well as Dani. 'You Said Me' is the "heavy version" of a catchy and very melodic song from the band's 'Perpetually' album, while closer, the ballad and easy listener 'Me De Motivo', is sung in Dani's native tongue. I know I have made mention of Dani's vocals within this review on more than one occasion, but I must say that this album is overall a very good band effort. Visit their myspace and check this band out. This is another record that the team here at Ravenheart would highly recommend to fans of the genre..8.75/10 (Dave)

RHODE ISLAND RED..S/T

(Independent Release) Reviewed 17th August 2010

Let's take a trip back to the late 70's and put some hard rock onto our menu. Fronted by Lyla D'Souza, London based Rhode Island Red, formed in late 2009 by Lyla and guitarist/songwriter Dave Garfield, has produced what can best be described as a very good album, and this band should go places. The opening salvo of 'Kerosene' and 'Beige' put us into the mood as to what to expect, with Lyla's vocals taking centre stage. I am a sucker for power ballads, so third track in 'Stalemate', basically knocked me off my feet. Great stuff, and Lyla's vocals are so awesome, with a kinda no nonsense bluesy edge. And it seems this girl has a pedigree, being herself a rock/soul singer and songwriter, who has performed across the UK, Europe and Australasia for the past 8 years or so. And even Dave Garfield has recorded for EMI Germany and BMG Germany, as well as supporting major acts like Joe Cocker and Rammstein. Back to this release, there is a lot of good stuff on this album including 'Hollow Man', 'Too Far Gone', 'Living On Mars' and 'Fate Insists' (one of my faves). I can normally tell when I put a cd into my cd player and hear the first track or two, whether it is going to be good or not. The 11 tracks on this record are damn good, and I do particularly like the ballads, sung so well by Lyla. So check the band out at www.myspace.com/rhodeislandredband! 9/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

RHODE ISLAND RED..'KEROSENE' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 28th July 2011

Here we have the next voice in British Rock...her name? Lyla D'Souza. In-fact, she is originally from Australia, is now based in London (as are the rest of the band) and she has a voice that will knock you back so far it will take you months to recover. I did actually review some tracks (presumably demos) from this band last August, but now this is the official EP that is now available on iTunes, Amazon etc. Three tracks of hard rock, that Dave Garfield from the band cites as being "Pop Music in a Hard Rock Jacket". I cannot really fault the effort that the band has put into this ep, but the standout track to me and it raises the hairs on the back of my neck is 'Stalemate'. Amazing!! This is good, their website is www.rhodeislandred.co.uk and I highly recommend this band...8.75/10 (Dave)

RHOMBUS..'OPEN THE SKY'

(AF Music / Resurrection Records) Reviewed 6th May 2010

Rhombus mine the same rich vein of British gothic rock as The Mission and The Fields of Nephilm, and with the former now defunct, and the later dormant, the field is wide open. Rhombus make their pitch with their third album, where they have really upped the ante, bigger band, bigger songs and bigger sound, with Stephen Carey from The Eden House providing the mixing. What makes them stand out is the dual vocal attack, featuring Edward Grassby’s rich tenor tones perfectly suiting the music, counterpointed with soaring vocals of the bewitching Mya, giving a touch of the Mostly Autumns (the artwork also reminds me of that bands Heart Full of Sky). The album is packed out with cracking tunes, full of glorious melodies, great hooks, chiming flanged guitars and rumbling base, all on a bed of lush synths and pianos. ‘Lightening Strikes Twice’, ‘Almost Everything’ and ‘Open the Sky’ in particular demand attention, together with the Roman Jugg era Damned like ‘Anywhere’, which will be released as a single; you can see the video on our blog, http://thefemalevoices.blogspot.com/. Sitting at the heart of the album, physically and metaphorically, is the immense Celtic ballad ‘Denial’, a real show stopper that showcases Mya’s superb voice, and it ends with the suitably melancholic epic ‘Into The Rain’. If you’re a fan of 80’s gothic rock then this a must, filling the gaping hole in your collection. However, its modern sheen and glorious cavernous sound will appeal to a new generation of fans, those who like guile over grind. This is the definitive sound of gothic rock. 9/10 (reviewed by Phil)

RIFF-X..'Bruises' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 5th August 2011

Riff-X hail from Newcastle and is fronted by Brigitta Balogh who originally comes from Budapest. This Ep offers up 5 tracks of Melodic Hard Rock, with the raunchy vocal style of Brigitta suiting this style of music very well indeed. Kicking off with the rocky title track, this leads into the live fave 'Don't Lie'. 'New Beginnings' and 'Cannot Escape' are slower numbers, while 'Castaway' ups the ante. Having caught this band live recently, they sure do rock and this EP is a very good introduction to the style of music Riff-X has to offer. Have a look at them here. This is good....8.5/10 (Dave)

RIFF X...'SEARCH FOR A BETTER DAY' EP

(Self Released - digital) Reviewed 11th April 2012

Let's get ready to rock and punch the air! Riff X hail from Newcastle, and I can say for a fact that this band rock, not only on cd but live too. This EP is their second EP release to my knowledge, and offers up three tracks of riff tastic rockin' tunes. The chorus on opener 'Search For A Better Day' will stick in your head and not go away, while 'Yesterday Is Dead' is a live favourite with another deadly fist thumping chorus. 'Don't Lie' is a 2012 rendition of a track that first appeared on their 'Bruises' EP from last year, and I know for a fact that this is also a live fave! A band like Riff X cannot and must not be allowed to go un-noticed. Their Facebook page is here, and the EP can be purchased from iTunes - recommended...8.5/10 (Dave)

RISE OF AVERNUS...S'T EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 23rd August 2012

RISE OF AVERNUS is a progressive doom metal five piece from Sydney, Australia. The brainchild of guitarist / vocalist Ben Vanvollenhoven (Ex-STODOWA) and vocalist / keyboardist, Catherine Guirguis (KATABASIS, Ex-BLACK HORIZON), the music is based around the incongruent, yet complimentary combination of Guirguis’ classically inspired piano melodies and Vanvollenhoven’s monolithic riffs. Through their duelling vocal personas, Catherine and Ben explore dark poignant themes, with impassioned arrangements and a unique down tempo theatricality. There are three tracks on this rather good EP that will sweep you on an atmospheric journey of enchanting sombre beauty and crushing metal crescendos. It is a kinda mish mash of Paradise Lost meets Draconian meets Lacuna Coil, although I am sure listeners will conceive their own ideas. The epic and awesome 8 minute plus number 'Beneath the Frozen Hand of Time', also features vocal contributions from Marc Grewe, front man of the legendary German death metal group MORGOTH, and his contribution compliments the track very well. RISE OF AVERNUS weave an atmospheric journey that sweeps the listener into a rapture of enchanting sombre beauty and crushing metal crescendos and they are well worth checking out HERE...8.5/10 (Dave)

RISE OF AVERNUS...'APPEL DU VIDE'

(Aural Music/Code666) Reviewed 29th November 2013

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, RISE OF AVERNUS is quickly becoming a well known entity throughout the Australian metal scene, performing a unique style of music stemming for many different genres. The band can best be described as “Orchestral, Progressive Doom Metal “ and this styling is very evident throughout this, their 2014 debut album. Through the 8 tracks on offer on this cd, the band are surely knocking on the door of the Premier League and will give the big guns like Draconian a good run for their money. Well produced, atmospheric and explosive sums it all up in a tasty little package of Gothic beauty that will surely please the fans of the genre. I also quite like the Saxophone ending to 'Embrace The Mayhem' - rather cool. Cat Guirguis is the female vocalist here with male vocals provided by guitarist Ben Vanvollenhoven and bassist Daniel Warrington. Overall, we have dark and poignant themes being explored through the lyrics, and the extremity of beauty refracting against a dark aural environment with elements of Symphonic Doom and Death Metal. This is very good and I whole heartedly recommend this - released January 20th 2014.. 9/10 (Dave)

RISE OF AVERNUS...'Dramatis Personæ' EP

(Code666/Aural Music) Reviewed 20th Feb 2015

Since their inception in 2011, Sydney’s RISE OF AVERNUS quickly became a well-known entity throughout the metal scene, with two critically acclaimed releases under their belts and a third currently on its way. The 5 track 'Dramatis Personæ' EP, their latest focuses on the heavier aspects of their music, while still maintaining the core doom and strong orchestral elements that the band has become renown for. Featuring a guest appearance by Grutle Kjellson, the vocalist of the legendary Norwegian band ENSLAVED, who lends his vocals to the track 'Acta Est Fabula', this is a good effort for fans of epic Orchestral Gothic Doom and Gloom. Vocal duties are shared between Ben vanVollenhoven who is also responsible for guitar and orchestrations and Mares Refalaeda who also takes care of keys. To my delicate ears however, it seems that the main vocals are taken care of by Ben, unless Mares is a damn good female growler :) But what I do know is that Mares does put in an appearance on the closing Draconian sounding track, 'In Hope We Drown' (Draconian in the Australian bush). This little epic gets released 30th March so check it out - rather good I do think, and I do like the way the tracks segue into one another... 8.75/10 (The Nugget)