Helloween is primarily known for their Keeper of the Seven Keys albums, which many define as the two most influential albums in the history of power metal. That being said, there is much dilution in their discography, especially in the years immediately following their magna opera. Recently, they’ve come out strong with The Dark Ride, Gambling With the Devil, and 7 Sinners. So in conclusion, there’s no way to predict the quality of a Helloween album nowadays.
Bloodbound released their latest album on March 18. It was done so through AFM records and is named Unholy Cross. I have formerly stated in other reviews that bands of the heavy-power metal genre often fall into the trap of conformity; Unholy Cross is no exception. Fortunately for the band, the music is at a higher level than the average heavy-power metal record.
On May 10, heavy metallers Portrait released their sophomore album through Metal Blade Records. It is entitled Crimen Laesae Majestatis Divinae and features the new vocalist, Per Karlsson. For fans of the more classic style of heavy metal, this is a release to watch out for. I mean, look at the album art: very old-school. Despite the lack of spotlight garnered by Portrait, they are most certainly able to put out material that warrants more publicity.
Saxon has been around for quite some time now, I’m sure we can all agree on that. On June 3, they released their latest album entitled Call to Arms. Now what we may disagree on is how good this release actually is. Personally, I think it is quite average.
On (Friday) May 13, a band arose from the ashes after being dead for almost thirty years! And although coming out of retirement is always iffy, in this case it is as impressive as the time the band took to do so. In fact, if someone had told me that this album has thirty years of work put into it, I sure as Hell would believe them. The band is Hell and the album is Human Remains (Nuclear Blast Records), and it is a killer comeback!
HammerFall released their latest album entitled Infected on May 20 through Nuclear Blast. Personally, I quite like the heavy-power metal genre. But I find that many bands have trouble escaping standardization within the genre – Infected is no exception.
Rev-Raptor is the title of the upcoming release by U.D.O. due to be released on May 20 through AFM records. I really wish I could say more about this album, but in all honesty I know little about the band and did not know what to expect going into it. Coming out of it, I was neither pleased nor displeased; neither impressed nor unimpressed; neither happy nor unhappy. This album is neither good nor bad: it is very average.
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