Tag Archives: Symphonic Metal

Epica – Symphonic Christmas

More proof, compadres, that Google is your buddy.

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Epica are only playing Corporation in Sheffield just before Christmassymphonic metal festive season frenzy ahoy!

They released their latest record, “Requiem For The Indifferent”, earlier this spring and I fully intend to get around to listening to it in due course – with the prospect of seeing their live show now acting as a strong motivator for me to dig back into the Epica catalogue and test the structural integrity of my already bowing CD shelves by acquiring their stuff (downloading from iTunes isn’t quite the same, to be honest – there’s not the same romance to browsing a PDF of the liner notes that you get from even a cursory glance at the CD booklet).

Think big riffs, soaring female vocals, gruff male singing and a sound composed of equal parts prog noodling, very melodic metal and even some approachable classical influence chucked in for the music students.  Yes, they’re very much a part of the ‘corset metal’ movement recently decried by the Metal Hammer podcast (somebody play them some Machine Head to distract them – stat!), but that’s my favourite style of rock, so I don’t see a problem with the designation.

Wednesday December 12th can’t get here quickly enough…

 

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Delain “We Are The Others” track-by-track…

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Another week, another excuse to foist my dubious musical taste on you.  Or, in this case, a chance for you to hear Delain lead singer and cheery person Charlotte Wessels talk a bit about the band’s new record, “We Are The Others” before it comes out in June.

I reviewed their recent Sheffield gig and was very enamoured of the new stuff – it’s polished, catchy and a real step onward from April Rain“, the band’s sophomore release.

You can watch the first part of this track-by-track over at YouTube…

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Make Mine Metal…

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Diabulus In Musica - a most unexpected treat...

Sometimes, a record just sneaks up on you.  Such is the case with Spanish symphonic metallurgists, Diabulus In Musica, whose latest album “The Wanderer” made it into my hyper-nerdy collection of European Metal Bands fronted by three-octave wielding neo-divas after checking out samples on Amazon and iTunes.

It’s a rare band who can win you over via ninety seconds of streamed thrashing and wailing  but this band managed to do it – they’re at the heavier end of the spectrum for this kind of band.  Less akin to the more recently radio-friendly tunes of Within Temptation, more akin to the full-on, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink theatrics of your blissfully unfashionable Euro bands like Xandria or Edenbridge.

Hmm...a symphonic metal band you could happily take home to meet your parents...

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that Diabulus In Musica could comfortably slot into a True Metal summer festival like the UK’s Bloodstock or Belgium’s Graspop without too many of your self-appointed taste police questioning their credentials.

You can check out the first single from the album, “Sceneries of Hope”, at YouTube and marvel at the parp-tastic keyboard intro (see if you can beat my record of waiting five seconds before yelling ‘prog!’ at nobody in particular).

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04/21/2012 · 1:35 pm

Delain’s “We Are The Others” gets a release date, finally.

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After being embroiled in that old chestnut, record company politics, Dutch Symphonic Rockmeisters Delain are set to release their third album, “We Are The Others” on June 4th in the UK, with a release in Benelux and Germany slated for 1st June.  The first single, “Get The Devil Out Of Me”, is out in April (live versions are around on YouTube if you care to take a look…).

This is clearly good news if you’re a fan – symphonic metal of all stripes is pretty much my nerdy brand of catnip – and the story behind it is supremely frustrating as it illustrates why so many people won’t be sad to see the major record companies chomp the dismal dust – record company A buys smaller record company B and fires people, restructures the business and bands get caught in the middle, with their record ready to go and no ability to release it until wholly irrelevant business stuff is resolved.

Still, it appears that Delain can get on with releasing their record – frustratingly after their UK tour (which I’m going to) has finished.  Not knowing the songs didn’t make seeing Lacuna Coil any less enjoyable, so I’ll just have to do some YouTube detective work…

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Delain – new album chat online…

Delain. Dutch as a very Dutch thing. Which is high praise in my book.

Dutch symphonic metallurgists Delain have a new album – “We Are The Others” – waiting in the wings for release later this year and have a UK tour lined up in the spring, with a Sheffield date pencilled in to boot.

It’s almost as if they want me to go, isn’t it?

Delain’s front woman Charlotte Wessels has chatted with Metal Hammer’s website about the album and about the part that the late Sophie Lancaster played in inspiring the record’s subject matter.

Sophie Lancaster, killed because she dressed differently.

If you’re not familiar with Sophie’s name, you should probably check out the Sophie Lancaster Foundation’s website and get a sense of why her name and the tragic events which took her life are such an emotional subject for fans of metal, alternative and rock music.  I’m not sure that the anti-chav sentiment which enters any conversation about the late Ms Lancaster helps much, but I can appreciate why people feel that way.

Back to Delain, then – surprisingly, there’s no evidence whatsoever that this cheery band of Dutch symphonic melodicists have added a Blackened Metal aspect to their sound, nor are there any Dubstep-inspired bass drops to be heard anywhere –  funny, that.

From the snippets heard in the video, the chunky riffs are still there, everything’s reassuringly unfashionable and European and that’s more than good enough for me.

 

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Behold – Symphonic Metal!

Remember how I told you that I was reading the Motley Crue autobiography (as dictated to a no doubt increasingly bemused and horrified Neil Strauss), “The Dirt”? Yep, it’s every bit as eye-rolling, mind-boggling and stomach-churning as I predicted it would be. And, of course, it’s utterly compelling reading from first page to last. Funny how that happens.

I don’t know that it has given me any more appreciation for the Crue (Especially when Nikki Sixx essentially admits that a number of albums were so compromised by the band’s various addictions that they were basically ‘phoned-in’ efforts) but it does make me boggle that Amy Winehouse can depart the planet at such a young age when these guys are still merrily touring away despite having ingested enough chemicals and adult beverages to convincingly fell a herd of elephants.

All of which preamble, whilst delightful, buffers us from the purpose of this news post – Dutch symphonic metallurgists, Epica, have gone into the studio in Germany to record their next long-player, as reported today on the Roadrunner Records-affiliated Blabbermouth blog.

If you’re into the likes of Within Temptation and Delain, you’ll possibly have given Epica’s symphonic metal a listen. If this is your first encounter with the band, why not give “Never Enough” a try. Go on, I’ll wait.

If you waited thirty seconds before coughing “Evanescence”, then you’re a better person than I. Whilst you’ve got to wonder if Within Temptation, Leave’s Eyes and Epica would have careers without Amy Lee and co blowing up the spot with “Bring Me To Life”, there’s something distinctly European and pleasingly eccentric/old-fashioned about these bands and their slightly overwrought take on rocking your socks off.

It’s a bizarre thing, really. Who would have thought that record companies, in their infinite wisdom, would collectively reach the belief that what rock fans REALLY want is a less threatening Papa Roach fronted by Sarah McLachlan? Funny old world.

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