Metal Update – 14 August 2018

Hey All, just a quick three-band update today, but it’s an eclectic mix. The news of all three has been around for a few days, but I felt the need to add my voice to the clamour just in case anyone has missed the news about any of these bands…or needs further persuading to check any of them out. Allow me to try to sway you…

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Amaranthe
‘Helix’
Spinefarm Records
Date of Release: 19 October 2018

It is no secret that Amaranthe are something of a guilty pleasure for me. Or at least, they were. They are now just a pleasure. Why feel guilty about enjoying the music of a particular band? I am long past caring what other people think about my music tastes and Amaranthe are a band that give me a great deal of pleasure. Sure, from certain angles the music on offer can seem cheesy, manufactured and perhaps even a touch cynical. However, what cannot be denied is the talent of the band, from both an execution perspective and a song writing point of view. After all, it isn’t easy to write music that is consistently catchy, fresh and vibrant, whilst also sounding heavy and ‘in-your-face’. Listen more carefully and a surprising amount of complexity can become evident. I know you don’t believe me, but just have a listen – the drumming is exceptional at times, as is the guitar work from Olof Morck.

And now we have a new album to look forward to. Entitled ‘Helix’, it is due for release on 19 October 2018. And, judging by the new single, ‘365’, the first to feature new clean male vocalist Nils Molin, there is no stopping the sextet. The triple vocal attack sounds great, as do the heavy guitars…and that chorus is arguably one of my favourite from the band to date.

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Conception
‘TBC’
Date of Release: TBC

I never thought I’d see the day that Roy Khan would return to the world of heavy metal. The ex-Kamelot frontman disappeared suddenly without a trace soon after the release of their ninth album, ‘Poetry for the Poisoned’, back in 2010. I interviewed him in Germany in the lead-up to that album and he was very distant, distracted and not the charismatic, larger-than-life showman that I had expected. Theories were rife at the time as to the reasons behind his departure, but religion was thought to be involved.

But now, in 2018, Mr Khan has returned. But not with Kamelot and not with a brand-new band either. Instead, he is back fronting the band that he was with pre-Kamelot: Conception. Oh the joy. Conception are an underrated and near-forgotten gem of progressive metal from the 90s for all except a small army of followers who had discovered this excellent band in the beginning. And yes, I was one of them. Given how much I like this band and how much I have missed Khan’s vocals of late, it is unsurprising that I simply cannot wait for Conception to return, starting with an EP due out later in 2018 by all accounts.

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Wolfheart
‘Constellation of the Black Light’
Napalm Records
Date of Release: 28 September 2018

It was only in March 2017 that I penned my review for the last Wolfheart album, the elegantly-titled ‘Tyhjyys’. I rather liked my first foray into the world of Tuomas Saukkonen’s latestmusical incarnation having disbanded the excellent Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon for which he was instrumental. I can be quoted as saying of the ‘sneeze’ album as I’ve cheekily called it:

‘‘Tyhjyys’ is the album that many fans of Saukkonen were hoping for. It blends everything for which he is known and rightly lauded into one homogenous product that screams quality…Wolfheart have put everything they have into this recording and for the most part, it is an utter joy, albeit a dark, bleak and savage joy.’

It’s good news then that I can bring you news of a new single (below), entitled ‘Breakwater’ as well as confirmation that just 18 months later we’re in line for Wolfheart’s fourth album. It might be longer, but ‘Constellation of the Black Light’ is easier to pronounce for a start, but more importantly, I hope it takes ‘Tyhjyys’ and raises the bar even further. I like a good dose of dark, bleak metal and I’m really looking forward to this album.

2 Thoughts

  1. Definitely nothing exciting for me. Wolfheart sounds like one note repeated as fast as possible while the vocalist screams at the top of his lungs for the length of a song (pretty much how all super-speed death metal sounds to me, though). Amaranthe sounds like Delain, just much heavier. You said it perfectly, though – why feel guilty about enjoying a particular band? These two aren’t exactly my style, but thanks for the update, regardless.

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