......Toine gives a brief run-down of other CD releases ......

[Update: May 25, 2022]

Spring 2021 - Summer 2022:

LEE AARON - Almost Christmas (Metalville Records)
Lee's Christmas album will make you rock around the Christmas tree. Covers of various artists, like PET SHOP BOYS, LOUIS ARMSTRONG and SLADE among many others, will make you have a good time in these dark December days. (8 points)

AD INFINITUM - Chapter II - Legacy (Napalm Records)
Melissa Bonny is the talented singer in this symphonic metal outfit. "Legacy" will tell the story of Vlad The Impaler and it's a worthy follow up to "Monarchy", which was released in 2020. (7 points)

AEON - God Ends Here (Metal Blade Records)
Tommy Phalström's daughter takes care of the harmony vocals on this epic sounding death metal adventure. (7 points)

AEPHANEMER - A Dream Of Wilderness (Napalm Records)
AEPHANEMER from France are playing melodic, symphonic death metal. The quality of the music is good, but it could use more variation. (7 points)

THE AGONIST - Days Before The World Wept (Napalm Records)
If this is a pre-taste of the new full-length album by this Canadian metal outfit, then we're definitely in for something good. Vicky Psarak and her guys are presenting five melodic death metal tracks here, worthy of twenty-five minutes showing a lot of variation and a dose of brutality, that will shock the world. (8 points)

AMENRA - De Doorn (Relapse Records)
It's difficult to describe the sound of this band. Cato Tanghe is responsible for the female vocals on this mysterious sounding album, which will drive you away from everything in normal life. It will put you in some kind of parallel universe for as long as the album lasts. I think, it will take more than one spin to undergo and feel "De Doorn", before you will be amazed by its beauty and intensity. (8 points)

ANGELWINGS - Primordium (Pride & Joy Music)
ANGELWINGS started their career in Gibraltar, as a NIGHTWISH cover band. Davinia Cano is the female founding member of this symphonic metal band, which released a very impressive second album. (7 points)

Martina Horvath gained experience in NIBURTA and THY CATAFALQUE and together with Jason Köhnen, she also founded this doom outfit, that released its debut album, called "Forlorn". The dark doomy sound is mixed with folk, industrial and gothic sidesteps. (7 points)

AURI - II Those We Don't Speak Of (Nuclear Blast)
Thomas Holopainen's solo project contains the female input of his wife Johanna Kurkela, next to contributions by some of his other NIGHTWISH companions. Folk, rock and Celtic influences are merging together and the result is a good mix of different music styles, which fits AURI very well. (7 points)

BACKWATER HOLYLIGHT - Silence / Motion (Riding Casey Records)
These ladies from Portland, OR may not rock very loud, however they are able to capture a clear sound in some adventurous songs. This is only for real die-hard fans. (6 points)

BIZARREKVLT - Vi Overleude (Petrichor)
Dina is the female singer on the first full-length album of this Russian black metal company. The dark, black and white artwork matches quite well with the sound of this band, that resides in Norway nowadays. (7 points)

BRUUT - Bloodspill (Brutal Insanity Records)
Corinne of ACROSTICHON fame shows once again how brutal and aggressive she really is with her new outfit BRUUT. All references to extreme metal bands like AUTOPSY and BOLT THROWER are here. The "Bloodmoon" EP is a nice bonus on this amazing new album, which will spill a lot of blood in this scene. (8 points)

CATALYST CRIME - Catalyst Crime (Massacre Records)
Zoe Marie Federoff teamed up with XANDRIA drummer Gerit Lamm and formed the symphonic metal company CATALYST CRIME. Jake E (ex-AMARANTHE) is guest vocalist in "Cognitive Dissonance", which might be suitable for fans of EPICA for example. (7 points)

CIRCUS OF ROCK - Come On, Come All (Frontiers Records)
We have announced another project from this label before. This time it's a band formed around Mirka Rantanen (THUNDERSTONE / KING COMPANY) in honor of his 50th birthday. On this melodic hard rock album, he called in the help of Marko Hietala (ex-NIGHTWISH / TAROT), Johnny Gioeli (HARDLINE), Danny Vaughn (TYKETTO) and Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE), who have been invited to play on his circus of rock. What a great way to celebrate your birthday. (7 points)

COLLIBUS - Slaves For The Unknown (independent)
COLLIBUS is hailing from Britain and these three songs are a pre-taste of their new full-length album. Hard music and melodic parts are presented here in the exact right dose, which makes this wait very worthwhile. (7 points)

CORONATUS - Atmosphere (Mascot Records)
CORONATUS is a German symphonic metal band presenting their tenth album here. Moni Francis is the female rock voice here, while Leni Eitrich takes care of the soprano vocals. They may not shine like the bright sun rays from the CD cover, but the music quality is above average for sure. (7 points)

CRADLE OF FILTH - Existence Is Futile (Nuclear Blast)
CRADLE OF FILTH is returning back to their roots here. Behind the keyboards we find new member Anabelle Iratni on this bombastic and aggressive sounding black metal album. (7 points)

MARIUS DANIELSEN - Legend Of Valley Doom Part 3 (Crime Records)
Metal opera part 3 contains seventy minutes of various music styles, that will keep you focused for sure. The female vocals are from Melissa Bonny. Other guest vocalists appearing on this amazing piece of metal opera are Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR), Tim 'Ripper' Owens (ex-JUDAS PRIEST, BEYOND FEAR), Daniel Heima (SIGUR ROS) and Arjen Lucassen (AYREON). (8 points)

DEAR MOTHER - Bulletproof (independent)
When Merel Bechtold left DELAIN, she joined venture with Joey Marin de Boer of PURIST OF PAIN and founded the band DEAR MOTHER. Their alternative rock will please a lot of fans out there for sure. Their sound is absolutely bulletproof, so hopefully they will survive in the jungle of new metal bands out there. (7 points)

DEMON INCARNATE - Leaves Of Zaqqum (Metalville)
DEMON INCARNATE presents a good and solid hard rock album with a thick doomy sauce over it. The band hails from Germany and Lisa Healey is behind the mike. With a bit more feeling and soul in her voice, this could have been a killer album. (7 points)

Udo Dirkschneider has teamed up with his old ACCEPT mates Stefan Kaufmann and Peter Baltes. Next to that, we hear the sweet voiced singer Manuela Bibert in opener "Face Of A Stranger", which sounds very much like.....ACCEPT. (7 points)

DOODSWENS - Lichtvrees (Svart Records)
This two faced all-female black metal band consisting by Inge van der Zon and Fraukje van Burg, will present their debut full-length album here. They may fear the light, however they'e not afraid to generate a whole lot of decibels on this maiden long player. (7 points)

DYING WISH - Fragments Of A Bitter Memory (Sharptone Records)
This American metal core band will make you think of JINJER in a way. Emma Boster is the screamer on this album that presents fragments of a very bitter memory. And she does it in a very convincing way. (7 points)

EDGE OF PARADISE - The Unknown (Frontiers Music)
Margarita Monet is the singer of this band. EDGE OF PARADISE plays heavy metal with classical influences and some very catchy hooks. (7 points)

FALSE MEMORIES - The Last Night Of Fall (Frontiers Music)
FALSE MEMORIES plays a mix of doom and gothic metal. Vocalist Rosella Moscatello didn't just sing the songs, she also wrote all the lyrics to these fantastic compositions. A giant leap forward, if you compare it to their very average debut album. (8 points)

FALSE MEMORIES - Echoes Of A Reflection (Frontiers Music)
This five track EP is the follow up to the band's second album. It contains five cover songs of for example LACUNA COIL, PARADISE LOST and THE GATHERING, however FALSE MEMORIES stays very close to the original songs. There are no surprises here or whatsoever. (7 points)

GWAR - The Disc With No Name (Pit Records)
Four acoustic tracks are on this album by this outfit from the planet of Scumdoggia. They flew Axl Rose in to whistle on one of their songs on this disc, that has got no name. (6 points)

HEMELBESTORMER - Collide & Merge (Van Records)
HEMELBESTORMER is a Belgian ambient rock band, that uses female vocals on their new album. It takes some listening sessions, before you will discover the strength of their music. (7 points)

ESA HOLOPAINEN - Silver Lake (Nuclear Blast)
This is the solo album of AMORPHIS guitar player Esa Holopainen, which sounds quite similar to AMORPHIS. On this album, Esa invited some guest vocalists and Anneke van Giersbergen is one of them. She sings on the song "Fading Moon". (7 points)

INNER STREAM - Stain The Sea (Frontiers Music)
Vocalist Inés Vela Ortiz is behind the mike on this album by Argentinian gothic and symphonic metal band. The album has got a great bombastic vibe, although the vocals are sometimes a bit too poppy. Mind you, her Tarja-type of voice is always of a very high quality. (7 points)

JINJER - Wallflowers (Napalm Records)
Tatiana is on the prowl again and her voice sounds more angry and aggressive than ever before. JINJER's star is rising very fast in the metal scene and they're definitely no wall flower anymore. (8 points)

JOHN 5 - Sinner (Big Machine)
Carla Harvey (BUTCHER BABIES) and Dave Mustaine (MEGADETH) are sharing vocals on this album of MARILYN MANSON and ROB ZOMBIE guitar player JOHN 5. It is mainly instrumental and sounds very adventurous. Peter Criss (ex-KISS drummer) is guesting on the evergreen "Georgia On My Mind" and it's always nice to discover a JOHN 5 make-over of QUEEN'S "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" here, too. (8 points)

KAMBRIUM - Synthetic Era (Reaper Entertainment)
KAMBRIUM presents a mix of many music styles, in which the female vocals received a prominent place in "Nature Error 404". (7 points)

KINGFISHER SKY - Rise (independent)
A new EP with four songs is a pre-taste for all the fans of this Dutch symphonic metal band. The release of a new full-length album will probably see the light of day in 2022. Judith Rijnveld is the shining star here as always. (7 points)

KING WOMAN - Celestial Blues (Relapse Records)
Kris Estandiari is the front lady of KING WOMAN that creates a remarkable sound on this album. It may take some listening sessions to discover its strength. (7 points)

LACUNA COIL - Live From The Apocalypse (Century Media)
This live performance in front of an empty hall is qualitatively well done. It lacks the dynamic of a real live show though. The band performs the complete "Black Axima" album, including "Bad Things". This album tastes like a four star dinner, but the cook forget to add some salt and pepper to it. (7 points)

LAST DAYS OF EDEN - Butterfly (El Puerto Records)
Lady Ami is the vocalist of this Spanish folky, symphonic metal band. NIGHTWISH and WITHIN TEMPTATION are good comparisons here for the sound of the band. We can also hear George Neuhauser (SERENITY) and Henning Basse (MAYAN, BRAINSTORM, FIREWIND, GAMMA RAY) on guest vocals on this new record. (7 points)

LIVING DEAD GIRL - Exorcism (independent)
Molly Rennick is the singer in this Canadian band that sounds like a wannabe BABYMETAL. We hear diverse styles on the album, some groovy guitar parts and a legal dose of exorcism of course. This is all what a decent debut album needs. (6 points)

LORDI - Lordiversity (AFM Records)
Seven new albums have been spread out over seven different music styles and highlighting over seven years. LORDI fans and metal fans in general know what to do. Save your money and buy this interesting box set on CD or LP. (9 points)

LOST IN GREY - Under The Surface (Reaper Entertainment)
Anne Lill Rajal is the singer of this Finnish metal band, which presents a pleasant sound and mixes the best of influences from bands such as THERION and TRISTANIA. Emily Leonne plays the violin and also sings on a few songs. This unique mix of styles lifts their music up to above average. (7 points)

MAIDEN UNITED - DCLXVI (independent)
On this blood red vinyl single, MAIDEN UNITED introduces vocalist Celine Horsten. On the A-side you will hear "The Number Of The Beast" celebrating its fortieth birthday, while on the B-side there are new versions of "Can I Play With Madness" and "Public Enemy Number One". (7 points)

ME AND THAT MAN - New man, New Songs, Same Shit Volume 2 (Napalm Records)
BEHEMOTH's frontman Nergal presents the third album of his side project ME AND THAT MAN. You will discover different music styles, different sounds and a handful of impressive guest vocalists, like for example Myrkur, Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY), Devin Townsend, Oive Abbath, Blaze Bailey, Hank von Hell (TURBONEGRO) , David Vincent (MORBID ANGEL) and Ralf Gylenhammer on this rock and blues album. (7 points)

MEMORY GARDEN - 1349 (No Remorse Records)
On this album "1349", you will be able to enjoy some nice female vocals. This doom metal band from Sweden has delivered a good product, which is great stuff for people who are into bands like TROUBLE, SORCERER and CANDLEMASS. I declare "1349" as the number of the doom beast. (8 points)

THE MURDER OF MY SWEET - A Gentleman's Legacy (Frontiers Music)
The sixth album of this Swedish band sounds a bit more poppy than their previous stuff. Angelica Rylin is the singer on this concept album. (7 points)

NEPHILA - Nephila (The Sign Records)
The seventies relive on the debut album by this Swedish rock band that used some female guest vocals. It is a flashback to ancient times when rock was still pure and simple. (8 points)

OFF THE CROSS - Enjoy It While It Lasts (independent)
This band from Belgium mixes death metal with hardcore. On this album, you will hear some guest vocals by Fabiene Erni from ELUVEITIE in "This Too Shall Pass". It gives the album an extra boost, so enjoy it, while it lasts. (7 points)

ANETTE OLZON - Strong (Frontiers Music)
Anette's second solo album shows a lot of progression. The album received some heavy guitar riffs, catchy melodies and on top of that, the great voice of Anette herself. All in all, it has become a 'strong' album, as the title already suggests. (8 points)

OPERA DIABOLICUS - Death On A Pale Horse (Season Of Mist)
This is the second album of this project after a hiatus of almost ten years. Angelina del Carmen shines here, next to Mats Leven on vocals. Guest appearances are from Michael Denner (DENNER//SHERMAN / ex-MERCYFUL FATE), and you will also hear the return of Snowy Shaw (KING DIAMOND / NOTRE DAME), Andy LaRocque (KING DIAMOND) and Niklas Isfeldt (DREAM EVIL), who contributed on the debut album as well. This may not be a straight forward album, but the high quality music is outstanding and I would highly recommended to have a listen to the complex song structures on "Death On A Pale Horse". (8 points)

THE PICTUREBOOKS - The major Minor Collection (Century Media Records)
It's the vocal guest appearance of Lzzy Hale (HALESTORM) that draws our attention on this bluesy rock album. It also contains vocal appearances by Neil Fallon (CLUTCH) and Chris Robinson (BLACK STONE CHERRY) (7 points)

RED TO GREY - Balance Of Power (El Puerto Records)
RED TO GREY is hailing from Germany, although they sound like a solid Bay area thrash metal band. The voice of Gaby Weihmayer could have been a bit more powerful, yet the intention is definitely good. The balance in her voice should bend a little more over to power metal next time. (7 points)

SEEYOUSPACECOWBOY - The Romance Of Afliction (Pure Noise Records)
This hardcore band from San Diego will probably not ring a bell to you. Their sound is energetic, dynamic and powerful and the guest appearance of Keith Buckley of EVERY TIME I DIE puts some variation in there as well. (7 points)

SEVEN SPIRES - Gods Of Debauchery (Frontiers Music)
A very diverse mix of styles unfolds itself on the third album of this American metal company. Black metal attacks and pop come together and vocalist Adrienne Cowan is the shining star here. Roy Khan (KAMELOT) is the male guest vocalist on this true masterpiece. (8 points)

SOJOURNER - Perintal (Napalm Records)
Black metal band SOJOURNER implemented female vocals on their new album. Although she's new in the band, next to a new bass player and a new guitar player, the high quality music of the band remained untouched. (7 points)

SPIRITBOX - Eternal Blue (Rise Records)
SPIRITBOX hails from Canada and you might be familiar with singer Courtney Laplague from IWRESTLEDABEARONCE. They present a mix of various music styles on this album and Courtney's voice lifts it up to far above average. Remember this name, because they might be the next big thing. (8 points)

SUPERNOVA PLASMAJETS - New Or Never (Pride & Joy Music)
Jennifer Crush is the front lady of this German glam rock band that has its roots in the eighties. Even the poppy hit single "Tell It To My Heart" of TAYLOR DAYBE sounds fresh and happy. What a very pleasant surprise to my ears. (8 points)

SWALLOW THE SUN - Moonflowers (Century Media Records)
Connie Gilbert, singer of OCEANS OF SLUMBER, is a guest vocalist on this new album of the Finnish doom death metal band. She is a big asset on "All Hallows Grieve". (7 points)

TEMPERANCE - Diamanti (Napalm Records)
Symphonic, melodic and sometimes a little bit harder, that's what this album is all about. Catchy and perhaps even radio friendly as well. This is like a rough diamond for real connoisseurs of this particular music style. The diamond is just not polished enough to call it pop music though. (7 points)

TIMO TOLKKI'S AVALON - The Enigma Birth (Frontiers Music)
On this new album, Timo received the help of a handful of new guest singers. This time we hear James LaBrie (DREAM THEATER), Jake E. (ex-AMARANTHE). Fabio Lione (ANGRA), Raphael Mendez (ICON OF SIN) and Caterine Nix (CHAOS MAGIC), who helped Timo out to give birth to the enigma. It's still highly enjoyable, but I'm afraid that this album doesn't reach the magic level of the old material anymore. (7 points)

TUPLE - Welcome To Hell. (AOR Heaven)
This AOR band welcomes you to hell. Noora Louhimo of BATTLE BEAST guests in "Survive" on this uncommon title for an AOR outfit. (7 points)

TWELVE FOOT NINJA - Vengeance (Volcanic Music)
Strange sound twists are a normal thing for this band from Australia. Musical surprises and a guest role for JINJER front lady Tatiana Shmayluk are some of the main ingredients on this catchy album, that will probably remind you of FAITH NO MORE . (7 points)

VAN CANTO - To The Power Of Eight (Napalm Records
Self-penned material and cover songs are presented in an a-capella version by this German metal combo. Songs like "Run To The Hills" (IRON MAIDEN), "Thunderstruck" (AC/DC) or 'I Want It All" (QUEEN) really caught my attention this time. However, this a-capella thing is not really my cup of tea. (5 points)

VENUES - Whydah Gally (Arising Empire)
VENUES plays a nice mix of gothic metal and folk and they are hailing from Germany. Unfortunately, they're not able to rise above the average level of the many other bands of the same music style. Daniela 'Lela' Gruber is the singer in the band. (7 points)

VETRAR DRAUGURINN - The Night Sky (Dark Skies Coming)
Their strange name will possibly draw your attention at once. This Dutch band has Marjan Welman (AUTUMN) on vocals. Their music is very diverse and they perform it in their very own way. A new talented band has appeared in the night sky, so keep them in mind. (7 points)

VEXED - Culling Culture (Napalm Records)
Vocalist Megan Targett is the shining star on this album of the British band VEXED. She has a sweet and clear voice and also shouts like a docker after fifteen pints of beer. More of this, please! (7 points)

WALTARI - 3rd Decade, The Anniversary Edition (Metalville Records)
This band from Finland celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary with a re-recording of their thirty years old, second album "Monk-Runk". The guest list is long and has names like LORDI, Marco Hietala (ex-NIGHTWISH, TAROT), Jonne Järvelä (KORPIKLAANI) and Niki (BARBE-Q-BARBIES). Happy birthday and let's have a party, while listening to with this very varied album. (7 points)

W.E.B. - Colosseum (Metal Blade Records)
W.E.B. hails from Greece and their name stands for Where Everything Begins. Their sound contains a lot of influences from CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR, so turn up the volume! (7 points)

WEDNESDAY 13 - Necroplaze-Antidote (Nuclear Blast)
Top notch Horror punk from North Carolina in the USA. This EP contains two cover songs, namely "Devil Inside" of INXS and "Films" of GARY NUMAN. On this last song, you will hear guest vocals by Calico, the daughter of ALICE COOPER. What a pleasant surprise on this snack (8 points)

CHARLOTTE WESSELS - Tales From Six Feet Under (Napalm Records)
This is the first solo album by the former DELAIN singer after almost twenty years. Expect no heavy metal here and this is how Charlotte sounds as a solo artist. Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY) is the guest vocalist in "Lizzy". Musically, it's very well done, if you like indie pop and rock songs. (7 points)

WHYZDOM - Of Wounders And War (Scarlet Records)
The new album of WHYZDOM shows a variety of music styles and the crafmanship of the musicians and the amazing voice of Marie MacLeod are amazing. So do yourself a favor and check out this fifth album of this French band. (8 points)

Summer 2020 - Winter 2021:

THE ACACIA STRAIN - Slow Decay (Rise Records)
THE ACACIA STRAIN plays deathcore and for "One Thousand Painful Stings", they called in the help of Courtney LaPlante of IWRESTLEDABEARONCE. Aaron Heard of JESUS PEACE also guests on this album. (7 points)

AD INFINITUM - Chapter I; Revised (Napalm Records)
AD INFINITUM plays their complete album on acoustic and classical guitar. I really don't get the point of this, to be quite honest. (4 points)

ALESTORM - Tales Of The Crystal Coconut (Napalm Records)
SUBWAY TO SALLY violin player Ally Storcu is the cherry on this tasty new cake of ALESTORM. Vreth of FINNTROLL also added a guest role on this new album of these musical pirates, who tell their stories about crystal coconuts. There's never a dull moment with ALESTORM. (7 points)

ALLEN OLZON - Worlds Apart (Frontiers Music)
Russel Allen and Annette Olzon have teamed up together and provide an album, that will definitely appeal to all the fans of SYMPHONY X out there. The artwork also looks absolutely fabulous. (7 points)

ALMANAC - Rush Of Death (Nuclear Blast)
The role of female singer Jeanette Marchenka is getting smaller and here she does some guest duets with male singer Patrick Stühl (GUN BARREL). There is a leading role for Victor Smolski (ex-RAGE) on this German power metal release. (7 points)

AMAHIRU - Amahiru (earMusic)
KREATOR bass player Frédéric Leclerq teams up with Saki, guitar player of MARY's BLOOD, while Coen Jansen (EPICA) and Mike Heller (RAVEN) play a guest role on this album. This debut album has a good focus on the guitar work of Saki, besides the input of Sean Reinert (ex-CYNIC, R.I.P.) and Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE). Remember this name. (8 points)

AMARANTHE - Manifest (Nuclear Blast)
AMARANTHE has added a third singer to their line-up, but Elize Ryd remains the biggest eye-catcher in this band. If you already liked their previous material, this sixth manifest will be a safe buy. (7 points)

ANGEL - A Woman's Diary Chapter II (Massacre Records)
You probably know Helena Iren Michaelsen from her previous outfits, such as IMPERIA and TRAIL OF TEARS. On this new thirteen track album, she gives another look inside her mind and soul. It's really amazing to hear how diverse she can sound on these songs. (8 points)

ANGEL - A Woman's Diary: The Hidden Chapter (Massacre Records)
Helena Iren Michaelsen pulls the plug with an acoustic album, including the sound of a piano by Oliver Philips. Two own penned compositions and two hands full of cover songs from ANOUK, BARBARA STREISAND, LEONARD COHEN, PRINCE and MOTÖRHEAD is the final result. Who dares? (6 points)

ANI LO PROJEKT - A Time Called Forever (Pride & Joy Music)
Bulgarian singer Ani Lozanova lend her name to this twosome. The bombastic type of music sounds dark yet heavy at times. The choir vocals have a prominent place on this album. (7 points)

ANVISION - Clarity (Empire 18)
This band from Poland mixes progressive influences with melodic metal and poppy sidesteps. In "Good Night", we hear a female guest singer. Not really an essential buy because of this alone. (6 points)

ARION - Vultures Die Alone (AFM Records)
ARION hails from Finland and on their new symphonic power metal album they called in the help of Noora Louhima (BATTLE BEAST) and Susanna Aleksandra (CYAN KICKS) for a duet. (7 points)

AS EVERYTHING UNFOLDS - Within Each Lies The Other (Long Branch Records)
Charlie Rolie is the singer of this band, which balances between the good and bad, but they receive the benefit of the doubt from me. Fans of EVANESCENCE might want to check this one out, because they are a good reference here. (6 points)

ASSIGNMENT - Reflections (Massacre Records)
Inés Vera - Ortiz is a guest singer on the fifth album of this progressive metal band. Singer Diego Valdez (IRON MASK / DREAM CHILD / LORDS OF BLACK) sounds like the twin brother of Ronnie James Dio. The resemblance is that striking. (8 points)

AVALAND - Theatre Of Sorcery (Rock Shot Records)
Adrie C Gzagg is the writer of this symphonic metal opera. The rock level is high and as main influence we can possibly mention AYREON. Female vocalist is Heli Andrea (MOBIUS / OLANE). Maddie (NIGHTMARE / FAITH IN AGONY) also takes care of some serious input here. Fans of this genre should check out this metal opera. (7 points)

AYREON - Transitus (Music Theories Recordings)
On this new album of progressive rock and metal mastermind Arjen Lucassen, we hear a more gothic type of sound. Many female singers contributed to this fantastic album, such as Cammie Gilbert (OCEANS OF SLUMBER), Simone Simons (EPICA), Amanda Sommerville (HDK / TRILLIUM / KISKE-SOMMERVILLE), Diane van Giersbergen (EX LIBRIS, ex-XANDRIA), Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION) and Candice Westendorp (THE CHARM, THE FURY). On guitar Arjen received the help of string wizards, like JOE SATRIANI and MARTY FRIEDMAN. This album will also be released on red vinyl with a comic book, which explains the story of "Transitus". (10 points)

AYREON - Electric Castle Live And Other Tales (Massacre Records)
This ultimate live registration of AYREON at the 013 in Tilburg is available on CD, DVD and blu-ray. These last two formats also features behind the scenes footage and interviews. These must-have recordings will go down in history as memorable gigs. A full score is appropriate here. (10 points)

AZUSA - Loop Of Everything (Indie Recordings) Eleni Zalfiriadou is the female screamer of AZUSA. They play an eccentric mix of thrash metal and hardcore, which feels like a loop of everything. (6 points)

BALA - Maleza (Century Media Records)
BALA is a grunge rock twosome from Spain, that plays as loud as hell. This album of the two ladies V (drums) and Anx (guitar) contains nine songs and is worthy of almost twenty-five minutes. After a whole lot of decibels, you will be positively surprised of this Spanish whirlwind, that calls themselves BALA. (7 points)

BENEATH MY SINS - I Decide (Pride & Joy Music)
This French symphonic metal outfit likes to flirt with folky elements here and there. Emma Evaston is the female singer of the band and they've been assisted by guest vocalists Matteo Sisti, Melissa Bonny and Michele Guaitoli on this album. (7 points)

BEYOND THE BLACK - Horizons (Napalm Records)
BEYOND THE BLACK is hailing from Germany and they bring you a mix of AOR and melodic metal with a touch of symphonic metal. Jennifer Halben is the shining star here and she lifts the band up to a higher level and makes sure that this release will be noticed among the huge pile of other releases. (7 points)

BLACK BRIAR - The Cause Of Shipwreck (independent)
After releasing three EP's so far, it's time for a full-length album for this Dutch symphonic gothic metal band. Zora Cock is behind the mike and her voice comes close to Sharon den Adel. They are definitely a promising newcomer in the Dutch metal scene. (7 points)

BLACK ROSE MAZE - Black Rose Maze (Frontiers Music)
Rosa Laricchiuta is the front lady of this Canadian metal outfit. She is also the singer of the TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA and it's not a surprise at all, that Jeff Scott Soto is a guest singer on this amazing album. (8 points)

BLOODY HAMMERS - Songs Of Unspeakable Terror (Napalm Records)
This twosome from North Carolina has released their seventh album, called "Songs Of Unspeakable Terror". Devailla plays the keyboards and synths and their music is a mixture of dark, gothic metal and slow rock. Mix psychedelic rock with seventies horror and add THE MISFITS as one of their biggest influences. The artwork of the CD cover looks really splendid. (7 points)

BODY COUNT - Carnivore (Century Media Records)
Amy Lee of EVANESCENCE does a very surprising guest role on this new album by this energetic hardcore outfit, that pay honor to Lemmy of MOTORHEAD by means of "Ace Of Spades". The album is only meant for carnivores for sure. (8 points)

BRING ME THE HORIZON - Post Human: Survival Horror (Sony Records)
BRING ME THE HORIZON teams up with BABY METAL on this new album in a song, called "Kingslayer". It's one of the highlights on this album, which goes far away from the band's deathcore roots. (6 points)

TYLER BRYANT AND THE SHAKEDOWN - Pressure (Spinefarm Records)
On this raw sounding blues album with old school rock influences, we hear Rebecca Bryant, the wife of Tyler in "Crazy Days". (8 points)

CALYCES - Impulse To Soar (independent)
CALYCES are hailing from Greece and they deliver metal with a progressive sauce over it at times. Chrisa Tsaltampasi (BELLA FUZZ / SPINELESS) is a guest vocalist on this album, next to Jørgen Munkeby (SHINING) on saxophone. A good reference here would be BARONESS. Just have a look at the artwork of this new album. (7 points)

CELESTIAL SEASON - The Secret Teaching (Burning World Records)
CELESTIAL SEASON is back in business again after a too long absence. This is Dutch doom in the best ANATHEMA, PARADISE LOST, MY DYING BRIDE tradition, including some violins and cellos. The cover on this album is of TYPE O NEGATIVE's "Red Black". (8 points)

ERIC CLAYTON AND THE NINE - A Thousand Scars (independent)
On the solo album of the SAVIOUR MACHINE singer Eric Clayton, we will also hear some female vocal parts. THE NINE are studio musicians, that take care of the instrumental input on this BOWIE-type of album (vocal wise), which shows the thousand scars of Eric Clayton. (7 points)

CODE ORANGE - Underneath (Roadrunner Records)
Reha Meyers is the guitar player of this alternative hardcore band, which flirts with horror themes and industrial influences. If you’re not open-minded to this, then this band might be a code red for you. Just check out their videos and you will know why this is weird shit at times. (7 points)

CONCEPTION - State Of Deception (Conception Sound Factory)
After a hiatus of about twenty years CONCEPTION calls in for duty again. First the EP "My Dark Symphony" in 2018 and now they present their full length-album "State Of Deception". Elize Ryd of AMARANTHE does the guest vocals on this album. The band sounds like they were never really gone. (8 points)

CONFLICT - Decision Code (independent)
Anna 'Hell' Milyanenko is the front lady of this Russian industrial metal combo. Next to her very impressive screams and grunts, she called in the help of fellow vocalists, like Burton C. Bell (FEAR FACTORY), Dave Lowmüller (A DARK HALO), Karsten 'Jagger' Jager (DISBELIEF) and Alex Blake (DEADHEAVEN) on this album. CONFLICT will definitely please all the fans of FEAR FACTORY and OTEP, to name but a few. (7 points)

ALICE COOPER - Detroit Stories (earMusic)
This is a tribute to Detroit from the master of shock rock, ALICE COOPER. The CD includes guest appearances of JOE BONAMASSA, Wayne Kramer (MC5), Larry Mullen (U2), Mark Farner (GRAND FUNK RAILROAD) and SISTER SLEDGE. Next to old classic songs, an appearance of the old ALICE COOPER BAND and covers of "Rock And Roll" (THE VELVET UNDERGROUND / THE RUNAWAYS and "Sister Anne" (BOB SEGER AND THE SILVER BULLET BAND), we are also treated to some brand new material. This is top notch material and Alice proves once and for all that age is just a number. (10 points)

CREMATORY - Unbroken (Napalm Records)
Even after thirty years, there's a new gothic metal album of this German band. True fans know what to expect, even with a new singer behind the mike. (7 points)

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX - Ellengaest (Season Of Mist)
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX is helped out by some interesting guest vocalists here, since Daniel Änghede decided to leave the band. There's a role for Kristian 'Gaahl' Espedahl (GAAHLS WYRD), Vincent Cavanagh (ANATHEMA), Jonathan Hultén (TRIBULATION) and Suzie Stapleton, next to Belinda Kordic. They also cover BAUHAUS with a stunning version of 'She's In Parties". (8 points)

DARK HORSE / WHITE HORSE - Dark Horse / White Horse (independent) Mix the sound of VUUR with THE GATHERING, add the voice of Marcela Bovio and you will get DAR HORSE / WHITE HORSE. This is a very sparkling debut album for all the fans of these bands. (8 points) DARK SARAH - Grim (Napalm Records)
After the three concept CD releases of "The Chronicles", it's time for "Grim" by DARK SARAH from Finland. It's more metal and contains less symphonic fairytale type of songs. Former AMBERIAN DAWN singer Heidi Parvainen is the shining star behind the mike. (8 points)

DORO - Magic Diamonds: Best of Rock, Ballads And Rare Treasure (Rare Diamonds Productions)
Three CD's and fifty-six songs have been compiled by the fans and for the fans, that are being considered as her family by miss Pesch herself. This compilation of rare tracks will look good in every rock and metal CD collection, as far as I'm concerned. (9 points)

DRACONIAN - Under A Godless Veil (Napalm Records)
Heike Langhans takes it slow and much slower than ever before. That's the strength of the new DRACONIAN songs on their seventh album. Heike sounds like Sharon den Adel in her early days in a doom metal band. And she can take that as a compliment. (8 points)

DVNE - Etemen AEnka (Metal Blade Records)
Lissa Robertson is the female guest singer on this progressive metal album by British rock band DVNE. (7 points) This is the second 'best of' double CD, which consists of twenty-six songs chosen by the fans of the band, It has become another good overview of the fifth until the tenth album of this band from Austria. (7 points)

ELEFSON - No Cover (V2 Records)
MEGADETH bass player recorded a cover album with the help of some of the most amazing musicians like Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX), Dave Lombardo (SLAYER) Jason McMaster (WATCHTOWER), Al Jourgensen (MINISTRY) and Doro Pesch (DORO). The originals come from super stars like PRIEST, AC/DC, KISS, MOTÖRHEAD and TWISTED SISTER. The artwork on the CD looks very similar to the first DEF LEPPARD album. All the more reason to check this one out as well. This is some great nostalgic stuff. (9 points)

ELEGY OF MADNESS - Live At Fusco Theater (Pride & Joy Music)
Just before the Italian lockdown, ELEGY OF MADNESS recorded this live show with a symphony orchestra. Seventeen songs, worthy of seventy-five minutes are the final result on this DVD. The outfit of Anja Irullo is breathtaking and so is her singing capacity. THE GIOVANE ORCHESTRA gives their show an even more symphonic twist. (7 points)

ELEINE - Dancing In Hell (Black Lodge Records)
This is the third album by this Swedish symphonic dark metal combo. Madeleine Liljestam is the front lady who knows exactly how to sound right in each song. She's a shining star in the low voiced region, but also stands proud in the high voiced region. If she's a good dancer in hell, remains to be seen though. (8 points)

EXOCRINE - Maelstrom (Unique Leader Records)
Litha Anthony is the guest singer on this fourth album by the French technical death metal band EXOCRINE. Julien Truchan (BENIGHTED) screams his lungs out and they even hired trumpet player Chris Gendron to make their complex, progressive sound even more complex. (7 points)

EVANESCENCE - The Bitter Truth (Sony Music)
The music of this American band, fronted by Amy lee, leans a bit more towards stadium rock and classic rock here, whereas their debut album sounded more like gothic rock. Lzzy Hale (HALESTORM) and Sharon den Adel (WITHIN TEMPTATION) teamed up for guest vocals. The quality is quite high again on this album. (8 points)

EVIL DRIVE - Demon's Within (Reaper Entertainment)
Viktoria Vilen sounds like she’s the twin sister of Alissa White-Gluz of ARCH ENEMY. So if you like this band, including some dirty IRON MAIDEN type of guitar work, then you can face your demons quite easily. (8 points)

FALLEN ARISE is a melodic symphonic rock band from Greece with musical sidesteps to the folk and pop. Fiona Creaby is the female singer, who sometimes goes into battle with Vlassis K. (7 points)

FEUERSCHWANZ - Das Elfte Gebot (Napalm Records)
Folk metal band FEUERSCHWANZ from Germany could be compared to SUBWAY TO SALLY and IN EXTREMO. Johanna von der Vögelweide plays the violin on this album. (6 points)

FLEETBURNER - Fleetburner (Butler Records)
On this debut album of Kevin Storm's band FLEETBURNER, you will hear guest vocals by Agneta M. Kirkevaag (MADDER MORTEM), next to Christopher Amott (DARK TRANQUILITY, ex-ARCH ENEMY). All styles you can think of are presented here. It turns this first album into a surprising nice album, which feels like a rollercoaster ride through many different styles. (7 points)

ACE FREHLEY - Origins Volume 2 (e One)
The second cover album by former KISS guitar player Ace Frehley is a fact. This time he called in the help of Robin Zander (CHEAP TRICK) and LITA FORD ("Jumpin' Jack Flash" - THE ROLLING STONES). Space Ace did it again, we love these old classics. (9 points)

FROZEN CROWN - Winterbane (Scarlet Records)
This is the third album by this Italian company already. FROZEN CROWN has got Giada 'Jade' Etro behind the mike. With a bit more emotion in her voice, she could steal the show and make the difference on their next album, I hope. (7 points)

HAMMERFALL - Live Against The World (Napalm Records)
In "Second To None", we hear Noora Louhino of BATTLE BEAST on vocals, next to Joachim Cans on this live album. It's an honest reflection of what goes on onstage during a HAMMERFALL gig, captured live on DVD. (9 points)

HEART HEALER - The Metal Opera By Magnus Karlsson. (Frontiers Music)
A metal opera with seven female singers, that's what we like. In a full hour we will hear the contributions of Adrienne Cowan (SEVEN SPIRES ), Netta Laurenne (SMACK BOUND), Youmna Ireissati (OSTURA), Ailyn (ex-SIRENIA), Noora Louhimo (BATTLE BEAST), Margarita Monet (EDGE OF PARADISE) and Anette Olzon (THE DARK ELEMENT / ex-NIGHTWISH), which is quite a line-up. The performance of these ladies is brilliant, we want more!! (8 points)

HANK VON HELL - Dead (Sony Music)
Hank von Hell, who we also know as Hank von Helvete, the frontman of TURBONEGRO, presents his new solo album here. Guernica Mancini (THUNDERMOTHER) is the female guest vocalist on this catchy rock album. (7 points)

HER CHARIOT AWAITS - Her Chariot Awaits (Frontiers Music)
And the next combo is a fact, when Ailyn Giménez (ex-SIRENIA) teams up with Mike Orlando (ADRENALINE MOB). This time the final result doesn't reach the high expectations unfortunately, but the guitar work makes sure that they still score above average. (7 points)

IMPERIA - The Last Horizon (Massacre Records)
IMPERIA sounds very impressive on this new double CD. The mix of styles, ranging from folk to metal takes care of a high level of variation. Helena Iren Michaelsen is the shining star behind the mike again. Powerful songs and piano ballads stand tall together on two CD's. There's a lot to enjoy here for the fans of this magnificent band. (8 points)

INFINITE & DIVINE - Silver Lining (Frontiers Music)
Teresse 'Tezzi' Persson and Jan Åkesson make this AOR twosome, that composed some catchy AOR songs on this album. (7 points)

IN HEARTS WAKE - Kaliyuga (Rise Records)
Georgia Flood is the female singer on this album by the Australian band In HEARTS WAKE, which balances on the border of what we like to hear. This time they receive the benefit of the doubt, as far as we are concerned. (6 points)

INNO - The Rain Under (Time To Kill Records)
The Italian band INNO mixes heavy pull outs with serene and much softer parts. On vocals they have Elisabette Marchetti, who brings their sound to for example a band like THE GATHERING. A bit more extremity in their sound and more pull outs could make the fans of the band levitate, just like the lady on the cover of their album does. (7 points)

IN THIS MOMENT - Mother (Road Runner Records)
This is a musical tribute to the most important woman in your life, your mother, presented by Maria Brink and IN THIS MOMENT. The new album has got the regular recognizable elements and contains three covers, namely STEVE MILLER's "Fly Like An Eagle", "Into Dust" of MAZZY STAR and QUEEN's "We Will Rock You". The QUEEN cover received a real IN THIS MOMENT makeover and they even called in the help of Lzzy Hale (HALESTORM) and Taylor Momsen (THE PRETTY RECKLESS) to turn this song into something really special. (8 points)

INTO THE OPEN - Destination Eternity (Ro Music)
Maria Catharina (ROBBY VALENTINE / ANYDAY) sings a duet on this Dutch symphonic/ progressive album. The keyboards received a more prominent place instead of the guitars, which makes the symphonic aspect grow bigger on this new album. (7 points)

JUDICATOR - Let There Be Nothing.... (Prosthetic Records)
We spotted some female vocals on the album of this American melodic power metal band, which could be compared to a band like BLIND GUARDIAN and/or ICED EARTH. (8 points)

KAMELOT - I Am The Empire, Live From The 013 (Napalm Records)
KAMELOT recorded their amazing live show for a CD/DVD/blu-ray release. A lot of (musical) firework and many guest vocalists, such as Angela White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY), Lauren Hart (ONCE HUMAN) and Elize Ryd (AMARANTHE) are part of this show. Next to that, you are also able to enjoy the female group EKLIPSE, who performed the string arrangements on this live CD. (9 points)

KING WITCH - Body Of Light (Listenable Records)
Laura Donelly is the amazing singer in KING WITCH, which hails from Scotland. Their traditional metal has some doom influences, in which is the perfect match and also has a lot of variation. (8 points)

KÖRGULL THE EXTERMINATOR - Sharpen Your Spikes (Xtreem Music)
The music of this Spanish thrash metal band sounds very similar to the good old VENOM. For this album the band sharpened their spikes a bit more to make a good impression. And it worked out very well, in my opinion. (8 points)

LEAVES EYES - The Last Viking (AFM Records)
For a full hour LEAVES EYES tells you the story about the last Viking. The new album contains their EP "Black Butterfly", which has some guest vocals by Clémentine Delauney. However, the beautiful sound of Elina Siira rules on this album, that works itself to an amazing climax in the title track "The Last Viking". (8 points)

LESOIR - Mosaic (Glassville Records)
Maartje Meessen and Eleen Bartholomeus are the two female vocalists in this Dutch melodic rock band, which could use a bit more power at times. THE GATHERING would be a good reference here. (7 points)

LIZZARD - Eroded (Pelagic Records)
LIZZARD hails from France and Katy Elwell is the female drummer of the band. Their spacey rock anthems stand with both feet in the new millennium. (6 points)

MAKE THEM SUFFER - How To Survive A Funeral (Rise Records)
This deathcore band hails from Australia and female singer Booka Nile has a very clean voice. With a bit more power, they could simply survive another funeral or two, as far as I'm concerned. (7 points)

ME AND THAT MAN - New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Volume 1 (Napalm Records)
Adam Danski (BEHEMOTH) is the creator of this new outfit. He said goodbye to his partner in crime John Porter and teamed up with guest singers Sivert Høyem (MADRUGADA), Ihsahn (EMPEROR), Johanna Sadonis (LUCIFER), Matt Heafy (TRIVIUM), Corey Taylor SLIPKNOT) and Niklas Kvarforth (SHINING), which makes this album even more interesting to check out. Despite all the great names, it didn't get the monster release you hoped it would. (7 points)

MESLAMTAEA - Beketend In De Schaduw Van Het Leven (AFM Records)
Men is destroying the earth is the topic of this black metal CD released by Dutch underground metallers MESLAMTAEA. Fraukje van Burg (DOODSWENS) and Kevin Kentie (IBEX ANGEL ORDER) are guest vocalist on the album by this Dutch dark metal company. (7 points)

METALITE - A Virtual World (AFM Records)
Erica Ohlsson is the singer of this Swedish melodic rock band. If catchy sing along songs are your thing, then I suggest to step into the virtual world, that METALITE has created for you on this album. (7 points)

MIRACLE FLAIR - Synchronism (Massacre Records)
MIRACLE FLAIR is from Switzerland and they call themselves a melodic, symphonic band. The industrial riffs and beats that pop up at times take care of some exciting variation. Nicole Hartmann is the singer of the band. (7 points)

MOONLIGHT HAZE - Lunaris (Scarlet Records)
On this second release you will hear a lot of progression of this power symphonic metal band. The vocal parts by Chiara Tricarico have gained in power and quality and take their music to a much higher level. MOONLIGHT HAZE mixes the best of NIGHTWISH with WITHIN TEMPTATION and EPICA in their sound. (7 points)

MUSHROOMHEAD - A Wonderful Life (Napalm Records)
Miss Jackie Laponza is the new singer in MUSHROOMHEAD. Their SLIPKNOT type of music remained the same though. This is perfect music for an outdoors festival and features a lot of influences of nu metal bands. (7 points)

MY DYING BRIDE - The Ghost Of Orion (Nuclear Blast)
This doom death combo from Britain is back on track after some tragic family circumstances. Linday Fay Hella (WADRUNA) has a guest vocal appearance in the folky track “The Solace”. (7 points)

MY DYING BRIDE - Macabre Cabaret (Nuclear Blast)
Three songs and twenty-plus minutes of death doom metal of the highest category. The band are still masters in creating a melancholic sound that only a band of their caliber can provide their fans. (8 points)

NIGHTFALL - At Night We Prey (Season Of Mist)
NIGHTFALL from Greece returns to the scene after an absence of eight long years. Eleni and Souzana Vougliokil take care of some guest vocals on this heavy album. (7 points)

NIGHTMARE - Aeternum (AFM Records)
Madie took over the vocal position of Magali Luyten in NIGHTMARE. The song remains the same though. And so this French thrash power metal band came up with a great new album. LEATHER and CHASTAIN fans will definitely like it. (8 points)

: NODFYR - Eigenheid (Van Records)
Tineke Roseboom is the female guest vocalist of this Dutch black metal combo, that shows some comparison with BATHORY and is completed with some synth sounds. (7 points)

OCEANS - We Are Not Okay (Nuclear Blast)
OCEANS are hailing from Germany and Austria and they release their second EP. In the title track they called in the help of CALIBAN singer Andy Derner, while Lena Scissorhands of INFECTED RAIN appears in "Voices". OCEANS is fine. (7 points)

OCEANS OF SLUMBER - Oceans Of Slumber (Century Media Records)
Cammie Gilbert takes the lead vocals on this fourth album by Texas metal band OCEANS OF SLUMBER. Their sound is darker than ever. They replaced half the band, but despite that they created a great new album that will certainly please all the fans, because of the high quality in music. (7 points)

ODD DIMENSION - The Blue Dawn (Scarlet Records)
After a hiatus of seven years, we see the return of ODD DIMENSION from Italy. On this concept album they receive the help of female singers Aileen and Eliana Parodi. (7 points)

ORIANTHI - O (Frontiers Records)
Next to playing guitar on albums of MICHAEL JACKSON and MICHAEL BOLTON, RICHIE SAMBORA and HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES, and in the band of ALICE COOPER, Orianthi is also a very successful solo artist. A variation in styles can be heard on this third solo album "O". This beauty is a real beast on the guitar. (8 points)

PERENNIAL ISOLATION - Portraits (Non Serviam Records)
Only for die-hard fans, because the female voices are only in the background on this third album of the Spanish black metal band. (7 points)

PHANTOM ELITE - Titanium (Frontiers Music)
Marina La Torraca stands behind the mike in this symphonic, progressive metal band. In "Silver Lining", she teams up with Amanda Sommerville, which leads to the highlight on this album, which is made of pure titanium, strong and forceful. (7 points)

THE PRETTY RECKLESS - Death By Rock And Roll (Century Media Records)
Taylor Momsen mourns about the death of Chris Cornel (SOUNDGARDEN) and producer Kato Khandila. Her new album shows a lot of variation and goes from heavy rock songs to country rock. Tom Morello (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE) plays a solo on "And So it Went" and on "Only Love Can Save Me", you will hear SOUNDGARDEN's Matt Camerone and Kim Thayil. Taylor's band supported SOUNDGARDEN just before Cornel's death. (8 points)

PRIMAL FEAR - I Will Be Gone (Nuclear Blast)
Tarja Turunen (TARJA, ex-NIGHTWISH) is the guest singer on the acoustic title track here. The remaining tracks are also on the digipack of "Metal Commando" and the bonus track has that pure JUDAS PRIEST touch again. This is just for the die-hard fans of this German power metal band. (7 points)

PURE REASON REVOLUTION - Eupuea (Inside Out Music)
Chloë Alper (vocals, bass, keyboards) and Jon Courtney (vocals, guitar, keyboards) form PURE REASON REVOLUTION, which sounds a bit like STEVE WILSON's solo material. The cover art of the album is also very tasteful and eccentric. (7 points)

RAVEN LIGHT - Project Genesis (Novus Records)
This is an Irish symphonic metal band, which presents seven new tracks and the four tracks that got on the EP "The End Of The World". Rebecca Feeney is the front lady, who could perhaps show some more power in her performance. On the other hand, her voice sounds crystal clear on this album. (7 points)

RAZEND - Let's Goat! (independent)
This is the third effort of this band from Tilburg, before they go for world domination. Their speed and thrash metal blend together very well. There is more variation in speed now and you can even enjoy an instrumental track here. (7 points)

SABIENDAS - Repulsive Transgression (Massacre Records)
SABIENDAS is the bringer of some good old fashioned death metal. The lyrics have been influenced by well-known serial killers, so you'd better watch out for some blood flowing here. Listen to this at your own risk. (7 points)

SABREWULF - Mala Suerte (Petrichor)
This is the second release of this hardcore death metal outfit hailing from El Paso in Texas. On "Final Prayer", you will hear some guest vocals by Sabrina James. (7 points)

JOE SATRIANI - Shapeshifting (Sony Music)
There is a guest role for former PRINCE band member Lisa Coleman on this eighteenth album of Joe 'Satch' Satriani. All the more reason to mention them here. (9 points)

SCARDUST - Strangers (M Theory Audio)
Noa Gruman is the vocalist of this progressive symphonic metal band SCARDUST from Israel. Her vocals definitely lift their music up to a higher level. She sings a-capella, barks out filthy words, shouts like a mad man and also has an operatic voice, but she always sounds very impressive, just like the rest of the band on this second album. (8 points)

SECRET RULE - Against (Pride & Joy Music)
This is the fifth album by this Italian melodic power metal band. Their music refers to DELAIN and WITHIN TEMPTATION in their sound. Angela de Vicenzo is the female vocalist of the band. (7 points)

SEMBLANT - Obscura (Frontiers Music)
The music of this Brazilian band has got a lot of various influences, but their sound is very different than you would expect from a band on Frontiers Records. Mizuho Lin is the female vocalist in the band that rocks firmly on this third album release. (7 points)

SEVEN SPIRES - Emerald Seas (Frontiers Music)
The melodic rock music of SEVEN SPIRES flirts with some musical music, jazz, folk and Latin influences, but here and there things can get real heavy as well on this second album. Adrienne Conan is the female singer, that easily handles all these styles and her vocals lifts their music up to a much higher level, as far as I'm concerned. (7 points)

SHORES OF NULL - Beyond The Shores (On Death And Dying) (Spikerot Records)
This Italian doom metal outfit flirts with death grunts, gothic and black metal. The female guest vocals on this album are a very welcome addition. MY DYING BRIDE fans could easily add this release to their collection. (7 points)

SILVERA - Edge Of The World (Mighty Music)
Kobra Karevik (KOBRA AND THE LOTUS) is a guest singer on this album by SILVERA from Denmark, that tries to step in the footsteps of bands like NICKELBACK and their fellow countrymen VOLBEAT. (7 points)

SIRENIA - Riddles, Ruins & Revelations (Napalm Records)
Morten Veland surprises us once again with a mix of bombastic metal, choir vocals, heavy riffs, techno beats and nice mood changes. Emmanuella Zoldan is a powerful singer, who can also sing very fragile, where this is needed. DESIRE's "Voyage, Voyage" was covered on this tenth SIRENIA album. (7 points)

SMACKBOUND - 20/20 (Frontiers Music)
Netta Laurence is the experienced front lady of this Finnish melodic metal band. This ten track debut album contains a lot of variation in styles and settings, which makes it easy to listen to. (8 points)

SOJOURNER - Premonitions (Napalm Records)
The band members hail from different countries and musically, they play many different styles, like black metal, folk and gothic metal. Chloe Bray is the female singer of this band that throws a lot of variety in their sound. (7 points)

SUMO CYCO - Initiation (Napalm Records)
Canadian rock band SUMO CYCO balances on the thin line between rock and pop. I hope that they do better on a follow up to this one, because this album doesn’t sound hopeful for the future, to be honest. (6 points)

TERRA ATLANTICA - Age Of Stream (Pride & Joy Music)
Power metal band TERRA ATLANTICA presents some female vocals in their sound. This second album tells the story of Atlantis. We hope this band will survive the struggle with their many colleagues in the scene. (7 points)

THEM - Return To Remmersmoor (Steamhammer Records)
THEM was the new KING DIAMOND for me during their first two albums. It's strange to hear them take a bit more distance from the music style that actually fitted like a glove to them. The female vocals on the new album simply can't be missed and they are unbearable to make the story told sound well. (8 points)

THERION - Leviathan (Nuclear Blast)
Bombastic metal, choirs, orchestration, THERION returns back to their roots on their seventeenth album "Leviathan". The female vocals are from Lori Lewis and in "Thonela", you will hear some guest vocals of Marko Hietala (ex-NIGHTWISH / TAROT). Fans will definitely embrace this new album, if they like their old stuff. (7 points)

DEVIN TOWNSEND - Order Of A Magnitude Empath Live Volume I (Inside Out Music)
Hear the wonder child from Canada live in action on DVD with a great band that knows how to combine humor with music. Ché Aimee Duval is the metal maiden here. She plays guitar and sings on this fantastic live registration of the metal equivalent to FRANK ZAPPA. (8 points)

TROLLFEST - Happy Heroes (Napalm Records)
These happy heroes present one new song, the title track, and three cover songs. However, I don't know if true rockers want to hear "Happy" by Pharell, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" of Bobby McFerrin or "Cartoon Heroes" by AQUA? On this last track we hear the guest vocals of Miriam Remvåg Müller (Sfinx). TROLLFEST gets the benefit of the doubt and they score just above average. (6 points)

TWO AND A HALF GIRL - Disconnected (independent)
This punk/hardcore rock band from the Netherlands shows us how former students of the Rock Academy in Utrecht sound like. They are able to connect with the top of the rock scene of today here in my opinion. (7 points)

UNLEASH THE ARCHERS - Abyss (Napalm Records)
This traditional heavy metal band from Canada says goodbye to the extreme edges in music and decide to concentrate on what they do the best, which is playing heavy metal. Brittney Slayes makes the difference with her powerful voice and she is back with some amazing musicians. The artwork of the CD will already make you curious about their music, I guess. (8 points)

UNRULY CHILD - In Our Glass House (Frontiers Records)
Marcie Free has recruited former BLUE MURDER bass player Tony Franklin in his glass house. Their sound remains a cool mix between AOR and hard rock on this new album. Two reworked versions of songs from the debut have been added on this release. Check it out! (8 points)

VARG - Zeichen (Napalm Records)
This German black/death metal band maintains their old style and the clean female choir vocals are a welcome addition on this album. (7 points)

VEIL OF SECRETS - Dead Poetry (Crime Records)
Vibeke Stene is the front lady of this doom metal outfit. This interesting combination will hopefully develop into a solid band in the future and impress all the dark doom metal heads out there. (7 points)

VIRTUAL SYMETRY - Exoverse (independent)
This is an exciting progressive metal band with Jennifer Vargas performing as a guest singer, next to other guests such as Jordan Rudess (DREAM THEATER) and Tom S. Englund (EVERGREY/ REDEMPTION). Their impressive concept album is recorded in the studio of Peter Gabriël. (8 points)

This live registration of VISIONS OF ATLANTIS was recorded at Bang Your Head in 2019. Clémentine Delauney is behind the mike and they travel through seventeen tracks in ninety minutes, including a beautiful backdrop and the input of a complete orchestra. Shortly, they simply perform a great show here. (8 points)

VOLTURIAN - Crimson (Scarlet Records)
Federica Latta (SLEEPING ROMANCE) has teamed up with Federico Mondelli (FROZEN CROWN) on this album. Their sound is comparable to AMARANTHE and they cover "Fading Like A Flower" by Swedish pop icon ROXETTE. (7 points)

VUUR & ZIJDE / IMPAVIDA - Vuur & Zijde / Impavida (Lupus Lounge)
The Dutch input on this split EP comes from VUUR & ZIJDE and contains female vocals on a fast beating black metal beat. The songs were exclusively recorded for this release. (7 points)

WARKINGS - Revenge (Napalm Records)
WARKINGS are true warriors of steel and we hear some guest vocals by Melissa Bonny (AD INFINITUM) on "Odin's Sons". Her gruesome grunts turn this song into an even more brutal song than it already was. This album is a safe buy for every Die-hard power metal fan. (8 points)

RICKY WARWICK - Where Life Was Hard And Fast (Nuclear Blast)
On this solo album by RICKY WARWICH, he was helped out by Joe Elliot (DEF LEPPARD), Andy Taylor (DURAN DURAN), Luke Morley (THUNDER) and Dizzy Reed (GUNS 'N' ROSES). In "Time Don't Seem To Matter", we hear a duet with his daughter Pepper. It never really gets heavy, but the album shows that Ricky is a great song writer for sure(7 points)

THE WAYMAKER - The Waymaker (Melodic Passion Records)
White metal band from Swede & Finland THE WAYMAKER presents their self-titled debut album. The fact that they play white metal makes a comparison to STRYPER rather obvious. When they cover "Soldiers Under Command", they only make this feeling stronger. Katja Stefanovic is the woman behind the mike here. (7 points)

WITHERING SURFACE - Meet Your Maker (Mighty Music)
WITHERING SURFACE is a Danish melodic death metal band. The daughter of singer Michael Andersen sings on the ballad "I'll Soon Be Gone", which is the odd one out on this album. (7 points)

Spring 2019 - Winter 2020:

AMBERIAN DAWN - Looking For You (Napalm Records)
If you ever wondered how ABBA would sound with heavy beats and riffs, then AMBERIAN DAWN is 'Looking For You". They even recorded the ABBA cover "Lay All Your Love On Me" on this new album. Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY) added some guest vocals to this surprisingly good album. (8 points)

ARDOURS - Last Place On Earth (Frontiers)
Mariangela Demurias (TRISTANIA) teams up with Kris Laurent in a new outfit, called ARDOURS, which was founded in 2015. Fans of TRISTANIA can add this band to their list of favorites without a doubt. (7 points)

ARKONA - Age Of Capricorn (Delemur Morti Productions)
The black metal of this Russian outfit sounds more extreme on each album. This is the seventh album already, so clearly these six songs take care of a big earthquake, when you play it at a high volume. (7 points)

ATLANTEAN KODEX - The Course Of Empire (Van Records)
ATLANTEAN KODEX is an epic metal band from Germany that presents us a new album and a new band member in Coralie Baier on guitar. The soul of Mark Shelton (MANILLA ROAD) wanders around on this epic masterpiece. (8 points)

TIMO TOLKKI'S AVALON - Return To Eden (Frontiers/PIAS)
Anneke van Giersbergen and Mariangela Demurias (TRISTANIA) are the female guest vocalists on the new solo album by this former STRATOVARIUS guitar player. They operate next to other guest singers, like Zachary Stevens (CIRCLE//CIRCLE, SAVATAGE) and Todd Michael Hall (RIOT V). (7 points)

BABYMETAL - Metal Galaxy (earMusic)
The metal riffs on this album lost some space and time and the electronic beeps and beats received more attention on this new album. The catchy songs remained and the fans will still love this new CD of this Japanese metal outfit. There are guest performances of Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY) and Joakim Broden (SABATON) , who both join this Japanese metal galaxy with some vocal input. (8 points)

BARONESS - Gold & Grey (Abraxan Hymns)
Gina Gleason is the new addition to the line-up of BARONESS. These songs are a mix of the band's well-known sound and spiced up with the adventurous guitar playing and the great vocal sounds of Gina. (7 points)

BLACK STAR RIDERS - Another State Of Grace (Nuclear Blast Records)
Pearl Aday, the daughter of Marvin Lee Aday (MEAT LOAF) is a guest singer on "What Will It Take" on the fourth album of BLACK STAR RIDERS. The ghost of THIN LIZZY and Phil Lynott are never far away on this album. (8 points)

THE BLACK WIZARDS - Reflections (Kozmik Artifactz)
These Portuguese wizards like to try out their psychedelic seventies rock and metal spells on you. Joana Brito is their female vocalist, who actually also plays guitar on this great debut album, that will definitely appeal to fans of ROYAL THUNDER (8 points)

GRAHAM BONNET BAND - Live In Tokyo 2017 (Frontiers)
Graham Bonnet gives a good overview of his career with RAINBOW, IMPELLITERI and MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP. His girlfriend Beth Ami (HEAVENSTONE) and also Jimmy Waldo (ALCATRAZ) can be heard on this amazing live registration, that left out the ALCATRAZ songs this time, but it was a night filled with classic rock anthems after all (9 points)

BROTHERS OF METAL - Emblas Saga (AFM Records)
Ylva Eriksson is the female vocalist in BROTHERS OF METAL, which makes her the only metal sister in the band. This Swedish power metal band receives both horns up for their second album and a third horn (if such would exist) for the magnificent artwork. (7 points)

CARNIFEX - World War X (Nuclear Blast Records)
Alissa White-Gluz (ARCH ENEMY) plays an important guest role on the new album of this symphonic black metal company. She’s also to be seen in the video they shot for "No Light Shall Save Us". CRADLE OF FILTH and DIMMU BORGIR fans will definitely like this. (7 points)

CHAOS MAGIC - Furyborn (Frontiers/PIAS)
Caterina Nix is the front lady of this Chilean symphonic rock and metal band. Her sparring partner Timo Tolkki (ex-STRATOVARIUS) has been replaced by Nasson, a good multi-instrumentalist and vocalist that makes this band sound like they're reborn again. (7 points)

CORONATUS - The Eminence Of Nature (Massacre Records)
Katharina C. Mann is the new singer in this German symphonic metal band, which put a bit more rock and metal in their new songs. This is the ninth album in their career. Mareike Makosch is still singing on this album, by the way. (7 points)

CURSED DEATH - The Deathbed Sessions (UNFD Central)
Larissa Stupar of VENOM PRISON sings on this EP of CURSED DEATH, which hails from Australia. It contains dirty, groovy aggressive rock and metal with a crusty bite. Be warned, this is not for the faint hearted. (7 points)

THE DARK ELEMENT - Songs The Night Sings (Frontiers Music)
Anette Olzon teams up with Jan Lamatainen and it would be too easy to make a link to NIGHTWISH right away. The symphonic rock and metal is very catchy and Anette is still a good singer, who brings you songs the night sings, loved by many fans of this particular music style. (7 points)

DIABULUS IN MUSICA - Euphonic Entropy (Napalm Records)
This Spanish outfit consists around the married couple Zuberoa Aznáres (vocals) and Gorka Elso (keys). The band plays symphonic metal at a very high level. The adventurous variation within the songs is sometimes really amazing. (8 points)

DICTATED - Phobos (Independent)
Death metal band DICTATED comes with a concept album about phobia. The line-up contains two guitar players in Sonja Schuringa and Jessica Otten. They both form the foundation of the brutal sound of this band. (7 points)

DREAMSLAVE - Rest In Phantasy (Massacre/Suburban)
Elegy Emma is the female singer of DREAMSLAVE from France, which once was an instrumental band. Their music contains influences of EPICA in the louder and rocking parts, and NIGHTWISH in the more bombastic and instrumental parts. (7 points)

EDGE OF PARADISE - Universe (Frontiers Music)
Margarita Monet is the vocalist of this symphonic metal band that adds some industrial sounds to their music, which sounds surprisingly well. (7 points)

ELEGY OF MADNESS - Invisible World (Pride & Joy Music)
This Italian symphonic metal band tries to become visible in this overcrowded scene and they succeed remarkably well on this new album. Anja Irullo stands proud behind the mike and she perfectly puts the band next to DELAIN and XANDRIA. (7 points)

ELEINE - All Shall Burn (Black Lodge)
Madeleine Lillestrom is the front lady of this Swedish symphonic metal outfit that will make everything burn. They will even make your heart burn in the RAMMSTEIN cover "Mein Herz Brennt" (7 points)

ELUVEITIE - Live At Masters Of Rock (Nuclear Blast Records)
Fantastic live album of this folk metal band from Switzerland, recorded at the Masters Of Rock Festival in Czechia. Fabienne Erni takes care of the female vocal parts again on this great live CD. (8 points)

EMPLOYED TO SERVE - Eternal Forward Motion (Spinefarm/Caroline)
Justine Jones is the front lady of this British band that plays hardcore with a metal sauce. Their star is rising fast and according to the progression they have made on this album, this is very well-deserved. (7 points)

EQUILIBRIUM - Renegades (Nuclear Blast Records)
The folky side slowly disappeared in the sound of EQUILIBRIUM. It has made room for a more metal type of sound now. Julie Eleven plays a guest role on "Renegades". (6 points)

EX LIBRIS - Ann Chapter 3 (independent)
After they paid tribute to Ann Boleyn and Anastacia Romanova, this Dutch outfit pays homage to Anne Frank in this third chapter of "Ann". Dianne van Giersbergen (ex-XANDRIA) has got a leading role on the album that deals with a rather touchy subject this time, but it's done with style. (7 points)

GRZLY - Grzly (# GrzlyRocks)
Peggy Meeussen (BLIKSEM) is to be heard on this five track CD. In the meantime, she has become the front lady of this Belgian metal band. (7 points)

KOEN HERFST - Leo (KoVa Records)
Koen is the drummer of EPICA, DEW SENTENCED, GENTLE STORM and ARMIN VAN BUREN. "Leo" is a tribute to Koens's father. On this progressive metal CD, Koen's parents are played by Merijn van Haren and Anneke van Giersbergen and he received some help by people like Jordan Rudess (DREAM THEATER) and Paul Quinn (SAXON), to name but a few. Koen is also the new drummer of VANDENBERG 2.0. (8 points)

RICHARD HENSHALL - The Cocoon (independent)
Richard is the guitar and keyboard player of HAKEN and his solo work is not sounding too much different from HAKEN or his other outfit NOVA COLLECTIVE. Jessica Klein (BENT KNOT) adds some vocal lines here as a guest player, next to Jordan Rudess (DREAM THEATER), Matt Lynch (CYNIC) and a few of Richards band mates from HAKEN. (7 points)

HIGH FIGHTER - Champain (Argonauta)
The level of aggression is rather high in the German band HIGH FIGHTER. Mona Miluski sounds like she has been bitten by a mad chimpanzee, but she can also sound grungy and alternative, if she wants to. (7 points)

INFECTED RAIN - Endorphin (Napalm Records)
Metal band INFECTED RAIN hails from Moldavia and sounds a bit like JINJER with front lady Lena screaming her lungs out. (7 points)

JINJER - Macro (Napalm Records)
The groove in JINJER has made room for reggae type of soundscapes at times. It makes their music suitable for an even bigger public. Tatiana still surprises with her great voice, which ranges from fragile parts to brutal grunts and everything in between. (8 points)

LACUNA COIL - Black Anima (Century Media)
"Black Anima" is the heaviest album of LACUNA COIL ever. The band is slowly transforming from gothic symphonic rock to hard rock and heavy metal with a crusty bite. The limited edition package contains three bonus tracks. (8 points)

LEAVES EYES - Black Butterfly (AFM Records)
"Black Butterfly" is the new single of LEAVES EYES, which is completed with two new songs. Alexander Krull takes care of the brutal grunts again here. The German version of the Christmas song "Silent Night" might be a bit too much for some of us. (7 points)

LIFE OF AGONY - The Sound Of Scars (Napalm Records)
On their sixth album, LIFE OF AGONY contains two female members. Next to vocalist and front lady Mina Caputo, they recruited Veronica Bellino on drums. The music didn't change a bit though. The story of the songs are a continuation of "Rivers Run Red", an album they released twenty-six years ago. (7 points)

MAGIC - O - METAL - Enter The Metal Realm (Graviton)
Sander Gommans (AFTER FOREVER) is the main man behind this metal project, which is meant to learn the youngsters what heavy metal is all about. It is also linked to some interactive initiatives, based on heavy metal. Marina La Torraca is one of the female vocalists on this album. (6 points)

THE MURDER OF MY SWEET - Brave Tin World (Frontiers)
T.M.O.M.S. released a melodic album, which shows that Angelica Rylin is a great front lady behind the mike. Because of this, the Swedish outfit knows to score just above average. (7 points)

NEMESEA - White Flag (Napalm Records)
Sanne Mielo is the new singer in NEMESEA and with this new album, the band is about to return to their roots. Melodic rock with gothic and some doomy sidesteps, performed in the best possible way, is what you will get here. (7 points)

OFFICIUM TRISTE - The Death Of Gaia (Transcending Obscure)
Next to death metal grunts, you will also hear some female guest vocals on this new album by this death doom metal outfit, that takes it real slow in their songs. (8 points)

REFUSED - War Music (Spinefarm Music)
REFUSED plays a mix of hardcore and punk and Mariam The Believer is a guest singer on their new album "War Music". (7 points)

REISM - Dysthinia (Independent)
'Do It Yourself' seems to be a trademark of REISM from Norway. With Kirsten Jørgensen behind the mike, their sound reminds me of THE GATHERING on this third album. (7 points)

REXORIA - Ice Breaker (Pride & Joy Music)
Do you want to break the ice? Then you'd better turn into REXORIA, that plays a mix of old school metal with some folk elements. Frida Ohlin is the front lady of this Swedish band. (8 points)

SAINT ASONIA - Flawed Design (Spinefarm Records)
Our very own Sharon den Adel (WITHIN TEMPTATION) has a guest role in the song "Sirens" on the second album by this American hard rock band. (7 points)

SEPULTURA - Quadro (Nuclear Blast Records)
There is some pretty experimental, progressive and and also venomous stuff on this new SEPULTURA album. They even used some female vocals on here. It's Emmily Barreton behind the mike, that does the guest vocals here. Their thrash sound remained, so they won't disappoint their fans with this. (8 points)

SINHERESY - Out Of Connection (Scarlet)
Cecilia Petrini and Stefano Sain are the two vocalists in this Italian metal band, that will directly lead you to the music of LACUNA COIL after hearing this. Adepts will exactly know what to do now. (7 points)

SINNER - Santa Muerte (AFM Records)
SINNER is now fronted by Giorgia Colleluori (ETERNAL IDOL), who shares the vocal parts with Matt Sinner. This fantastic new album has got some guest appearances by Ricky Warwick (THIN LIZZY, BLACK STAR RIDERS, THE ALMIGHTY), Ronnie Romero (RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW, VANDENBERG 2.0) and guitar player Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR, ALLEN-LANDE). (8 points)

SONUS CORONA - Time Is Not On Your Side (Inverse Records)
Some female guest vocals are to be heard on the last track by this Finnish progressive outfit. The name of the band will probably catch the most attention with the Corona virus dominating in all the news, but the music of the band is well-worth checking out too, in my opinion. (7 points)

UNRULY CHILD - Big Blue World (Frontiers)
Marcie Free and her band are changing their music style to a rather catchy and seventies rock sound. The A.O.R. elements are still there though. Old school fans of UNRULY CHILD will have to get used to this, I guess. (7 points)

VALIS ABLAZE - Render (Long Branch)
VALIS ABLAZE hails from the UK and they might appeal to those people who like the metal and rock sound of today. White Dove is the female guest singer on the second album of this band. (6 points)

VERWOED - De Val (Sentient Ruin)
This is the debut album of this Dutch psychedelic sounding black metal band. It's no wonder that Ryanne van Dorst (DOOL) shows up to do some guest vocals on this surprising album. (7 points)

VINTERSEA - Illuminated (M - Theory Audio)
Avienne is the dynamic sounding front lady of this American band that blends death, black and progressive metal to a powerful mix that will give the listener more impressions than they can possibly handle. (7 points)

VISIONATICA - Enigma Fire (Frontiers)
VISIONATICA is a German symphonic metal band, that presents a good mix of songs, influenced by for example NIGHTWISH and WITHIN TEMPTATION on this second album. Tamara Amedova is the lead singer of this promising band. (7 points)

WEDNESDAY 13 - Necrophaze (Nuclear Blast Records)
Punk and metal have proved to go together really well. Add to this a horror type of feeling and you will have the main ingredients of the sound of WEDNESDAY 13. On this new album they have guest appearances of Alex Laiha (ex-CHILDREN OF BODOM), Roy Mayorga (STONE SOUR, HELL YEAH) and Christina Scabbia (LACUNA COIL). If music in the style of ROB ZOMBIE and ALICE COOPER is your thing, then you can dig in real safe. (8 points)

YEAR OF THE COBRA - Ash And Dust (Prophecy Productions)
Amy Tang and Jon Barrysmith are the names of this twosome from Seattle, that play a groovy mix of stoner doom metal and fast punk rock. ELECTRIC WIZARD and CASTLE would be a good reference of this band, that drowns their sound in ash and dust. (8 points)

Autumn 2018 - Winter 2019:

ABNORMALITY - Sociopathic Construct (Metal Blade /PIAS)
Technical death metal band with brutal edges, hailing from the USA. Their biggest eye-catcher is vocalist Mallika Sundaramurthy. (7 points)

ALLEGAEON - Apopiopis (Metal Blade/PIAS)
Christina Sandengen is the guest guitar player on this album of the USA melodic progressive death metal outfit ALLEGAEON. The band is flirting with acoustics in a duel with Greg Burgess. (7 points)

ALTAREGO - The Exorcism Of Jesus Christ (independent)
Marcel Verdurmen (ex-MYSTO DYSTO / MANDATOR) has teamed up with brutal female grunter Janneke de Rooij. The four tracks, which include an ALTAR oldie, show that ALTAREGO sounds less brutal in a way, but definitely have more quality. Be ready to be blown away. (8 points)

AMARANTHE - Helix (Spinefarm/Caroline)
There is so much more power here, than on the previous albums. AMARANTHE has seen the light with their new singer. Elize Ryd still takes care of the female vocal parts on "Helix". (7 points)

ANCIENT BARDS - Origin (The Black Crystal Sword Saga Part 2) (Limb/Suburban)
This Italian symphonic power metal band is fronted by Sara Squadrani. With this new album they make a big step forward showing their own musical identity. The old school artwork is beautiful, too. (7 points)

ANTIMATTER - Black Market Enlightment (Music In Stone)
There are some female background vocals on the new album of ANTIMATTER. This is the only reason to mention the album in this section. If you already liked the music of ANATHEMA bass player Duncan Patterson, you'll know enough by now, I guess. (7 points)

ANTROPOMORPHIA - Merciless Savagery (Metal Blade/PIAS)
Farida Lemouchi (THE DEVIL'S BLOOD) is a guest singer on this merciless death metal release from Holland (7 points)

ASYLUM PYRE - No 4 (M&O Music)
This is a power metal band from France with a new female vocalist in their ranks. She covers a wide range of variation in her singing. Onbeline 'Oxy', Duprat gets some help by Yannis Papadopoulos (BEAST IN BLACK) in an exciting duet on this new album. (7 points)

AUTUMN - Stacking Smoke (Painted Bass/Sonic Rendezvous)
After seven years, AUTUMN is back and they sound better and stronger than ever. Marjan Welman's vocals are outstanding and the band has grown a lot. The fans will be very pleased with this smoking hot new album that contains a lot of musical secrets and surprises. (8 points)

AVANTASIA - Moonglow (Nuclear Blast/ADA)
There are a lot of guests on this new AVANTASIA album, which turns it again into something special. Next to singers like Ronnie Atkins (PRETTY MAIDS), Michael Kiske (HELLOWEEN), Geoff Tate (ex-QUEENSRYCHE / OPERATION MINDCRIME), Jorn Lande (ex-MASTERPLAN, JORN), Eric Martin (MR. BIG), Bob Catley (MAGNUM), Mille (KREATOR), Hansi Kürsch (BLIND GUARDIAN), we also hear the beautiful vocal input of Candice Night (BLACKMORE'S NIGHT) on this great new release. (8 points)

AZUSA - Heavy Yoke (Independent / Suburban)
Former EXTOL members are teaming up again in AZUSA, where thrashy hardcore soundscapes are topped by female vocals, as far as melody and power concerns. All in all, there's a lot of variation on this album. (7 points)

BEYOND THE BLACK - Heart Of The Hurricane (Napalm/PIAS)
This is symphonic metal from the book. The fifteen brand new songs are being presented by Jennifer Haben and her new band members. WITHIN TEMPTATION fans sure know what to do now. They will only miss the opera type of vocals, which are left behind in the heart of the hurricane. (7 points)

BLACK MIRRORS - Look Into The Black Mirror (Napalm/PIAS)
This is the debut album by this Belgian retro rock band, which contains rock, blues and psychedelic influences. Singer Marcella di Troia is the cherry on the 'mirror glazed retro' cake here, as far as I'm concerned. (8 points)

AARON BUCHANAN - The Man With Stars On His Knees (Listenable/Suburban)
Aaron and his sister Laurig recorded ten new tracks, that sound like a mix of FOO FIGHTERS with Chris Cornel on vocals. Think of this surprising combination, and check it out. (7 points)

CELLAR DARLING - The Spell (Nuclear Blast/ADA)
Anna Murphy is the biggest eye-catcher on the new album of this Swiss gothic doom threesome. The album contains some beautiful artwork, by the way. (7 points)

CHTONIC - Battleride Of Asura (Ciong Zo Idea/Bertus)
After a long absence they are back with their ninth album. It sounds a bit more melodic, but if you like their DIMMU BORGIR kind of approach, you can't go wrong with "Battleride Of Asura". (7 points)

ALICE COOPER - A Paranormal Evening At The Olympia, Paris (Ear Music/V2)
Nita Strauss is the amazing guitar player on this musical paranormal event, captured live in Paris. It's an awesome show, in which you can hear all the hits and two brand new tracks (10 points)

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX - Great Escape (Season Of Mist/Bertus)
All songs contain different elements and styles, that's what makes them interesting for fans of hard rock, progressive rock and psychedelic rock. Vocalist Belinda Kordic is the female factor here, amongst other instruments. She's a real musical centipede. (8 points)

DARK SARAH - The Golden Moth (Inner Wound/Bertus)
This third album of DARK SARAH need a bit more balls to really convince me. Now they are just above average and there is nothing that the input of guests Marco Hietala (TAROT / NIGHTWISH) and Zuberoa Aznarez (SKEPTICAL MINDS) can do about it. (6 points)

DEEP SUN - Das Erben Der Welt (Massacre/Suburban)
The music of DEEP SUN from Switzerland contains many elements from bombastic song structures to trance and from techno to powerful and heavy. Debora Lavagnolo is the front lady of this remarkable outfit. (7 points)

DIVINE ASCENSION - The Uncovering (Vicisolum/Suburban)
DIVINE ASCENSION is a bombastic progressive rock band, that surprises in a positive way with their new album "The Uncovering". Jennifer Borg is the female vocalist of the band and one of the songs here is a duet with Tom S. Englund (EVERGREY / REDEMPTION). (7 points)

DRAGONLORD - Entrance (Century Media/Sony Music)
The other band of Eric Peterson (TESTAMENT) sounds more melodic and has some female vocals, next to his own clear vocals. There is all kinds of everything here and this album definitely sounds louder than the previous one. (7 points)

DYING GORGEOUS LIES - The Human And The Prey (Massacre/Suburban)
This is a power metal band from Germany. Lisa Minet is the loud screaming front lady of this band. (7 points)

ELUVEITIE - Ategnatos (Nuclear Blast/ADA)
The Swiss folk metal outfit ELUVEITIE presents their new album that represents the comeback of their folky roots, after they did some acoustic sidesteps. Fabienne Erni is the sweet voiced female vocalist, who stands proud against the wild and firm screaming of Chrigel Glanzmann. (7 points)

ENEMY INSIDE - Phoenix (Rock Of Angels/Bertus)
Debut album from this German metal outfit, fronted by Natassja Giullia. Catchy, heavy and melodic songs take care of variety of styles on this new release. (7 points)

EPICA VS. METROPOLE ORKEST - Beyond The Matrix, The Battle (Nuclear Blast/ADA)
You should say that the bombastic metal of EPICA would match very well with an orchestra. On this release though the magic is missing, but for the fans it will be a nice snack, until the new EPICA album will be released. (6 points)

EVANESCENCE - Synthesis Live (Eagle Vision/Universal)
Amy Lee is the driving force behind EVANESCENCE. On this live DVD, the band calls in the help of an orchestra, but Amy also impresses a lot when she sings alone behind her piano. This is EVANESCENCE in its full glory, recorded live on tour. (8 points)

ELYSIUM - Labyrinth Of Fallen Angels (Lion Music/Bertus)
The melodic rock band ELYSIUM from Italy presents their debut album six year after they founded the band. Daphne Nisi is the front lady, who puts some soul in her voice and also adds some folky elements (violin) to the sound of this very promising band. (7 points)

EX LIBRIS - Ann Chapter 2 - Anastacia Romanova (independent)
Part two of the trilogy of this Dutch symphonic metal band with Dianne van Giersbergen on vocals. Choir vocals give this demo a rock operatic taste with some metallic edges. (7 points)

FROZEN CROWN - Crowned In Frost (Scarlet/Bertus)
FROZEN CROWN hails from Italy and their power metal contains some exciting gothic sidesteps. Giada Etho is the female vocalist on the second release of this average band. (7 points)

ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN - Symphonized (Inside Out/Sony Music)
Anneke teams up with the Residentie Orkest on this live CD, which is recorded in Tilburg and Den Haag. On the set list are songs from her solo albums, THE GATHERING, VUUR and THE GENTLE STORM. (8 points)

GOTTHARD - Defrosted 2 (Nuclear Blast/ADA)
There are female background vocals on this acoustic, second part of "Defrosted". Francis Rossi (STATUS QUO) also is a guest star on this nice GOTTHARD compilation. (7 points)

HEART - Live In Atlantic City (ear Music/V2)
This live DVD is recorded in 2006 and it contains a lot of guest appearances of Dave Navarro (JANE'S ADDICTION / RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS), Rufus Wainwright, Carrie Underwood and Gretchen Wilson. They actually don't really need them, because Ann and Nancy Wilson are both still top of the bill. Prove is given on this great DVD. (10 points)

HOLTER - Vlad The Impaler (Frontiers/PIAS)
Trond Holter (ex-WIG WAM) teamed up with Nils K. Rue (PAGAN'S MIND) and female singer Eva Iselin Erichsen. The final result is this second rock opera about Vlad The Impaler. (7 points)

IMPERIA - Flames Of Eternity (Massacre/Suburban)
It's been too long, since we heard something of IMPERIA, the band of Norwegian front lady Helena Iren Michaelsen. Her voice is stil amazing and she easily keeps the flame of eternity burning on this new release. (7 points)

INTO ETERNITY - The Sirens (M-Theory/Bertus)
Amanda Kiernan replaced Stu Block, who went to ICED EARTH and she really does a good job here. The sound could have been better, but the complexity of the songs remained. It's a good comeback album after an absence of about ten long years. (7 points)

JINJER - Micro (Napalm/PIAS)
This is a new five tracker from this metal band from Ukraine. The title track of this EP is an instrumental track. Tatiana Shmaylyuk is an impressive front lady, who shouts her lungs out and makes you wish for the next full-length album. (7 points)

KAMPFAR - Oidians Manifest (Indie Recordings/Suburban)
There are two guest singers on this album of the Norwegian black metal band. In "Dominans", we hear Agnete Kjølsrud (ANIMAL ALPHA / DJERV), and in "Der Sorte", there's Marianne Maria Moen on vocals. (7 points)

LACUNA COIL - The 119 Show (Century Media/Sony Music)
Twenty-seven songs of this Italian band are captured on CD and DVD. Especially the DVD is breathtaking, because of the special setting they used, including circus artists. Christina Scabbia and Adrea Ferro are in great shape during this show in London. You don't want to miss out on this. (8 points)

ROB LAMOTHE - And The River Reveals Itself (independent)
This is another solo album of the RIVERDOGS frontman. His daughter Rose has got a big role on it. The music on this eight solo album covers many styles and there is something for everyone here. (7 points)

LAST UNION - Twelve (Rock Of Angels/Bertus)
This Italian melodic progressive rock band was formerly known as BLAZING ICE. They have been influenced by EVERGREY and DREAM THEATER. The latter is because James LaBrie plays a big guest role on three songs here, next to other guest appearances by Mike LePond (MIKE LEPOND'S SILENT ASSASSINS / SYMPHONY X) and Uli Kusch (ex-MASTERPLAN, ex-HELLOWEEN). Elisa Scarpeccio is the female singer in this marvelous new outfit. (8 points)

LEMURIA - The Mysterical Hunt (Massacre/Suburban)
This Belgian symphonic black metal band operates with a female guest singer in their ranks. Their music sounds very exciting and the symphonic parts are from the orchestral and instrumental intermezzos. (7 points)

MANDRAH - The Other Side (Record Jet)
This is the new band of Waldemar Sorychta. Cornelia Schmitt is the female vocalist of this new outfit. (7 points)

MAYAN - Dhyana (Nuclear Blast/ADA)
This is the third release of MAYAN with Laura Macri and Marcela Bovio performing the female vocal parts. (7 points)

METAL ALLEGIANCE - Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty (Nuclear Blast/ADA)
The female input on this second METAL ALLEGIANCE album comes from Floor Jansen (NIGHTWISH). This release is so much better (read: heavier) than their debut album. Cheers to the power drunk majesty. (8 points)

MARK MORTON - Anesthetic (Spinefarm/Caroline)
This is the solo album of the guitar player of LAMB OF GOD that used a lot of guest vocalists on this new album. Next to the late Chester Bennington (LINKIN PARK), there's Jacoby Shaddix (PAPA ROACH), Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT), Myles Kennedy (ALTER BRIDGE, SLASH), Mark Morales (SONS OF TEXAS), Josh Todd (BUCKCHERRY) and Alissa White Gluz (ARCH ENEMY). It's a star parade of singers that take care of a big variation in music styles. (7 points)

THE MOTH GATHERER - Esoteric Oppression (Agonia/Bertus)
Messy Mathi (BARST) is the female guest vocalist on the new album of this rock band. (7 points)

NEW YEAR'S DAY - Unbreakable (Century Media/Sony Music)
Ash Costello is the front lady on this poppy rock album with heavy and groovy guitar parts. The band has a very catchy sound and the vocals will astound you. (7 points)

9 ELECTRIC - Megalith (Pavement/Bertus)
Carla Harvey of BUTCHER BABIES sings a duet with lead singer Ron Underwood on the new album by this electronic metal band. (6 points)

OFF THE CROSS - E.R.A. (independent)
Marcela Bovio is the guest vocalist on the four tracker of this Belgian metal band. The use of a big choir and cellos take care of a melodic and bombastic feeling on these four songs. (7 points)

OFF VIRTUE - What Defines You (Sharptone/PIAS)
There is a guest appearance of Kalie Wolfe in "Picture Of You" on this average nu-metal album by this outfit from Michigan. (6 points)

ONCE - After Earth (Pride & Joy/Bertus)
German symphonic, melodic metal band ONCE presents us their debut album. Alina Lesnik sounds like Simone Simons and their music is heavily influenced by EPICA, WITHIN TEMPTATION and XANDRIA. (7 points)

ONCE HUMAN - Stage Of Evolution (ear Music / Edel /V2)
KAMELOT guest singer Lauren Hart presents a live album, recorded with her band on tour with DRAGONFORCE. Logan Mader of MACHINE HEAD and SOULFLY is a member of the band as well. Clearly, they also crank out the MACHINE HEAD classic "Davidian" here, next to their own material. It's now a duet with Fréderic Leclerq (SINSAENUM / DRAGONFORCE). (7 points)

PHARLEE - Pharlee (Tee Pee Records)
Psychedelic seventies rock with the amazing female vocal parts of Macarena Revera as main focus. San Diego can be proud of this jamming psycheledic and bluesy outfit, that sounds like they have stepped back from the roaring seventies. (8 points)

PHLEBOTOMIZED - Deformation Of Humanity (Hammerheart/Bertus)
This Dutch band uses female guest vocals in their death doom metal sound. This release is only interesting for all the omnivores among the Metal Maiden readers. (7 points)

THE PROJECT HATE MCMXCIX - Death Ritual Covenant (independent)
Bombastic death metal band, that alternates the female vocals of Ellinar Asp with male grunts. If you don’t like their vocal skills, you can also enjoy their music on the deluxe version of this CD, which also contains an instrumental version of this album. (7 points)

PYTHIA - The Solace Of Ancient Earth (Golden Axe)
Sophie Dorman is the new singer in this British symphonic metal band. Old school WITHIN TEMPTATION fans might dig the sound of PYTHIA. Just try it. (7 points)

RAGE OF LIGHT - Imploder (Napalm/PIAS)
The debut album of this Swiss threesome contains a lot of variation in styles ranging from brutal death metal like grunts to trance like sounding stuff. Melissa Bonny (EVENMORE / SERENITY) is the female front lady of this band, that also covers "Twilight Of The Thunder Gods" of AMON AMARTH here. (7 points)

SAINT AGNES - Welcome In Silvertown (Death Or Glory Gang)
Raw rock is what you will get from this foursome from London. Kitty Arabella and het guys will show you how to do it, including flashing organ parts and punky edges where this is needed. (8 points)

SIRENIA - Arcane Astral Aeons (Napalm/PIAS)
Morten Veland and Emmanuelle Zoldan make a great team together and their catchy metal songs contain elements of bands like NIGHTWISH and EPICA. (7 points)

SISTER SHOTGUN - Fragments (Pavement/Bertus)
SISTER SHOTGUN hails from Great Britain and their debut album is filled with metal with a melodic edge to it. Chloe Ozwell is the metal maiden in this very promising band. (7 points)

SNAKE BITE LOVE - Back To The Pub (independent)
Five musicians, including one female singer and seven acoustic MOTÖRHEAD covers is exactly what you are going to get from this Dutch band. They will make you discover the music of MOTÖRHEAD from a different angle on this EP. Who dares?? (7 points)

SUN O))) - Life Metal (Southern Lord/Konkurrent)
Hildur Gudnadottir is the female exponent in this dark black metal orchestra. She doesn't only surprise us with her vocal parts but she also adds some cello parts to this new album of SUN O))) (7 points)

DEVIN TOWNSEND - Empath (Heavy Devy / Inside Out/Sony Music)
The role of Anneke van Giersbergen may not be that big, but she fulfills her guest role with style, like we are used to of her. Chad Kroeger (NICKELBACK) is also to be heard with distorted vocal parts. (7 points)

MIKE TRAMP - Stray From The Flock (Mighty/Suburban)
The only reason why we read about this album here is that there are female background vocals on this eleventh solo album of this former WHITE LION / FREAK OF NATURE front man. The album is a cool mix of country, rock and pop songs. (6 points)

VENOM PRISON - Samsara (Prosthetic/Suburban)
Larissa Stupar is the front lady of VENOM PRISON, that hails from Wales. This death metal band has improved their sound a lot, comparing to their debut album "Antimus" from 2016. (7 points)

VETRAR DRAUGURINN - Hinterlands (Painted Bass)
From the name of the band you wouldn’t expect that they come from our own country, The Netherlands. The band contains members of STREAM OF PASSION (Erik Hazebroek) and AUTUMN (Marjan Welman), and if you think in that direction musically, you can’t go wrong with this debut album, which sounds very promising for the future. (7 points)

VISIONS OF ATLANTIS - The Deep & The Dark Live @ Symphonic Metal Nights (Napalm/PIAS)
This is a live CD of this well-talented Austrian band, which was recorded live at the symphonic metal night gigs in Vienna and Bratislava. Clémentine Delauney is the star of the evening making this CD a real must for all the fans of the band. (8 points)

WINDHAND - Eternal Return (Relapse/PIAS)
What do you get when you mix NIRVANA's vocal lines with the riffs of BLACK SABBATH? Dorthia Cottrell is the female voice of this very promising band from Richmond, Virginia. (8 points)

ZAUM - Divination (Listenable/Suburban)
There are some exotic Eastern sounding instruments added to the doomy sound of ZAUM. Add to this the vocals of the Egyptian singer Nawal Docette and you will get a melting pot of doomy sounds. (7 points)

Spring 2018 - Summer 2018:

AETERNITAS - Tales Of The Grotesque (Massacre/Suburban)
This German metal band switched from gothic metal to melodic metal in the way that bands like NIGHTWISH, XANDRIA and EPICA tend to sound. (7 points)

AGRIMONIA - Awaken (Southern Lord/Konkurrent)
Swedish death metal band that presents their fourth album. You will wake up with a smile, when you hear the dynamic vocal parts of Christina on this album. (7 points)

ALCYONA - Trailblazer (Pride & Joy/Bertus)
ALCYONA is the Russian equivalent of NIGHTWISH. With female singer Olga Terentyeva and keyboard player Natalia Malei, they have two female band members. I love the artwork of their debut album very much! (7 points)

ALMANAC - Kingslayer (Nuclear Blast/PIAS)
Jeanette Marchenka is the female voice on this second album by former RAGE guitar player Victor Smolski. He also received help of David Readman (PINK CREAM 69) and Andy B. Franck (BRAINSTORM) on this power metal album. (7 points)

ALWAID - The Machine And The Beast (Valkyrie Rising/Sonic Rendezvous)
The second album by this French metal band shows that the band has made quite some progress. Marie Perrier sounds like Sharon den Adel (WITHIN TEMPTATION) at times, but there are some wild grunts here as well. A very pleasant surprise. (7 points)

AMBERIAN DAWN - Darkness To Eternity (Napalm/PIAS)
Capri is the front lady of this Finish metal band and she really makes the difference on this new release by AMBERIAN DAWN. Their music is of good quality, but her great vocals bring it to a much higher level. (7 points)

AMORPHIS - Queen Of Time (Nuclear Blast/ADA)
Anneke van Giersbergen is the guest vocalist on the new album of AMORPHIS. Her recognizable vocals are a welcome addition to their sound. (7 points)

ANGEL NATION - Aeon (Inner Wound/Sonic Rendezvous)
ENKELIANTION changed their name to ANGEL NATION. Elina Siirala became the new singer of LEAVES EYES, but before she made that move, she recorded "Aeon" with her old band. Especially because of the great vocals of Siirala, this has become a real strong album, which is very much worth checking out. (7 points)

ANGRA - OMNI (Ear Music/Edel/V2)
Alissa White Gluz is a guest vocalist on the new album of this amazing Brazilian power metal band, that features Fabio Lione (ex-RHAPSODY) on vocals. (8 points)

ARKONA - Khram (Napalm/PIAS)
The pagan metal band ARKONA has pushed away the rock level a bit and sounds much more heavy each album. The vocals of Masha have become louder on this fifth release by this Russian band. (7 points)

ATROCITY - Okkult II (Massacre/Suburban)
ATROCITY mixes raw death metal with melodic gothic metal parts for many years now. The groove is still there. This time they called in the help of Marc Grewe (MORGOTH) and L.G. Petrov (ENTMBED A.D.). Katie Halliday takes care of the slightly occult sounding atmosphere here. (7 points)

AURI - Auri (Nuclear Blast/PIAS)
Tuomas Holopainen and Troy Donockley of NIGHTWISH join forces with Johanna Kurkela (Tuomas wife) on this debut album. These rock songs could be the ultimate soundtrack for your fantasy dreams. (7 points)

AXEGRINDER - Satori (Rise Above/Suburban)
There are female vocals on this crust thrash release. This is AXEGRINDER's first album in twenty-eight years. Welcome back. (7 points)

ROBIN BECK - Love Is Coming (Frontiers/PIAS)
Pop and rock come together on the follow up of "Underneath". The songs contain more guitar and in combination with the great vocal qualities of Robin, this results in another great album. James Christian (HOUSE OF LORDS) added a helping hand on this album as well. (7 points)

BEYOND GOD - Dying To Feel Alive (Painted Bass)
This is a Dutch band, that stays true to their roots. This is their second album with female front lady Meryl Foreman. If you like a good mix of THE GATHERING and EVANESCENCE, you can't go wrong here. (7 points)

BLACK MOTH - Anatomical Venus (Candlelight/Caroline)
Frederica Gialanta is the new guitar player in BLACK MOTH, that rocks so much harder now. Harriet Hyde's vocals are the cherry on this tasteful cake. (8 points)

BLEEDING GODS - Dodekathlon (Nuclear Blast/PIAS)
Dutch thrash death metal outfit that sounds very promising on their second full-length album. Gea Mulder takes care of the all destroying bass parts, so you have been warned! (7 points)

DANIEL CAVANAGH - Monochrome (KScope/Bertus)
ANATHEMA member Daniel Cavanagh presents his solo CD, on which he called in the help of Anneke van Giersbergen on vocals and Anna Phoebe on violin. When you're in the right (read: romantic) mood, you will definitely have a good time with this one. (7 points)

CHRCH - Light Will Consume Us All (Tribes Of Neurot/Konkurrent)
CHRCH plays lengthy and complex doomy songs, topped by the beautiful vocals of Eva Rose. You'd better be warned upfront for the light, because it will consume us all. (7 points)

COLLIBUS - Trusting The Illusion (No Dust/Suburban)
This is a surprising good album with the outstanding vocals of Gemma Fox. If you never trusted illusions, you definitely will after listening to this album. (8 points)

CORONATUS - Secrets Of Nature (Massacre /Suburban)
Mareike Makoscu is one of the guest vocalists on this concept album about nature. If you like the symphonic, gothic and bombastic sound of a band like for example THERION, you are about to discover the secrets of nature with this new releases. (7 points)

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX - Horrific Honorifics (Season Of Mist/Bertus)
There are six covers on this EP. They pay tribute to bands like ARBOURETUM, SWANS, MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC Co, NOMEANSNO, THE GOD MACHINE and THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND. (8 points)

CRITICAL MESS - Human Praey (Metalville/PIAS)
Don't get into the claws of Britta, vocalist of CRITICAL MESS, because you will soon be her "Human Praey". The extreme brutal death metal debut album of the band sounds really vicious, so you have been warned! (7 points)

CREMATORY - Oblivion (Steamhammer/SPV/Suburban)
This is the fourth album by CREMATORY and they’re still going strong. Long term fans can buy the album blindfolded. The band has recruited two new guitarists but they didn’t change the sound of this German band in any way. (7 points)

DIAMANTE - Coming In Hot (Eleven Seven/ADA)
This precious little diamond is coming in hot with some nice pop rock tunes on her debut album. HALESTORM fans might want to check this out. She also covers HEART's "Crazy On You", which shows that she doesn't only look fancy and pretty, but she also knows her classics very well. (7 points)

DOWN 'N' OUTZ - My Regeneration, The Further Adventures Of... (Frontiers/PIAS)
Joe Elliot (DEF LEPPARD) relives the MOTT THE HOOPLE material even more on this second album by his solo project, which includes Share Ross (VIXEN) on bass guitar. The HOOPLE's legacy is brought back to life again. (7 points)

DREAM OCEAN - Lost Love Symphony (Painted bass)
This German/Turkish symphonic metal outfit, fronted by Basak Yiva, created a nice debut album. Mark Jansen (MAYAN/EPICA) and Jake E (CYHRA/ex-AMARANTHE) put some extra power on this album with their guest appearances. (7 points)

ELECTRIC WIZARD - Wizard Bloody Wizard (Spinefarm/Universal)
We don't have to tell you in which direction this album goes. If you don't know The Wizard right now, it's no use reading these lines. A safe buy for every ELECTRIC WIZARD and SABBATH adept. (8 points)

ELVENSTORM - The Conjuring (Massacre/Suburban)
Power metal band from France ELVENSTORM presents their new album, including a new drummer and bass player. Lauren Lombard is still behind the mike. On this album, the band shows a more melodic sound here and there. It feels like a new, fresh start. (7 points)

ENTHEOS - Dark Future (Spinefar /Caroline)
Chaney Grabb is the singer in this Californian metal band that puts a lot of variation in their experimental music. Sometimes less is more, but everything is performed very well. This is not just easy background music and it just represents the dark future. (7 points)

FOLLOW THE CIPHER - Follow The Cipher (Nuclear Blast/PIAS)
Swedish metal band that has a wonderful siren in their ranks, called Linda Toni Grahn. At the end of this first release from Nuclear Blast, there's a very cool tribute song of "Carolus Rex" (SABATON). (8 points)

FROZEN CROWN - The Fallen King (Scarlet/Bertus)
This melodic power metal band from Italy presents their debut album. Ten songs, worthy of forty-five minutes with some special attention for the seventeen year old guitar player Talia Bellazecca. (7 points)

GRAVESHADOW - Ambitions Price (M-Theory/Bertus)
The second album of this American band is less surprising than their debut. Heather still knows to convince though and the artwork of the CD is really beautiful. (7 points)

GRUESOME - Twisted Prayers (Relapse/PIAS)
GRUESOME released another album based on a DEATH album to pay respect to the heritage of Chuck Schuldiner. "Twisted Prayers" contains a guest appearance of James Murphy and closes with two cover songs: "Legions of Doom" (MANTAS) and "The Exorcist" (POSSESSED). A true must have for all fans of DEATH and people who like twisted prayers. (8 points)

HAEMORRHAGE - We Are The Gore (Relapse/PIAS)
Spanish gore grind formation HAEMORRHAGE present their seventh album. It contains a lot of guest appearances and with guitarist Ana Belén de López, they will spread a lot of sick goriness over Madrid. And they are damn proud of that, because they are the gore. (7 points)

HALLATOR - No Stars Upon The Bridge (Svart/Bertus)
This album is a tribute to Juka Raivin's wife Aleah Starbridge, who died of cancer at the age of thirty-nine. She's to be heard on this dark tribute. Other female vocal parts on this album are performed by Heike Langhans (DRACONIAN). (7 points)

HEXED - Netherworld (ViciSolum/Suburban)
Married couple Tina and Stellan Gunnarsson present their debut album here. The Swedish rockers called in the help of Thomas Vikstrom (THERION) for some vocal support. Let's get rocked to the sound of this very promising debut album. (7 points)

ISSA - Run With The Pack (Frontiers/PIAS)
The two biggest eye-catchers on this beautiful album are singer Issa and guitarist Simone Mularoni. The highlight here is a duet with Dean Castronovo ("Sacrifice Me"). AOR and melodic rock fans can dig in here with eyes closed. (8 points)

IZEGRIM - Beheaded By Thrust (independent)
On this four track EP. IZEGRIM proves that they really belong to one of the leading death thrash metal bands in Holland. Don't lose your head when banging to the brutal sound of these four tracks. (8 points)

KAMELOT - The Shadow Theory (Napalm/PIAS)
The last few records of KAMELOT have some female vocals. This time you can hear the vocal skills of Jennifer Haben (BEYOND THE BLACK) and Lauren Hart (ONCE HUMAN) on their brand new masterpiece "The Shadow Theory". (8 points)

KILLING GANDHI - Aspirations Of Failure (Massacre/Suburban)
There are some female vocals on the second album by this Danish melodic death metal band. Only interesting for those who want to have everything with female vocals on it. (7 points)

KINGFISHER SKY - Technicolor Eyes (KFS/Suburban)
Variation is the keyword on this new album and the vocals of Judith Rijnveld is the cherry on this tasteful cake, which has got many flavors to offer. Her mother took care of the colorful artwork on this album. (8 points)

KISSIN'DYNAMITE - Ecstacy (Metal Blade/PIAS)
Anna Brunner of EXIT EDEN plays a guest role on the title track of this southern German melodic metal outfit. (7 points)

LAST DAYS OF EDEN - Chrysalis (Pride & Joy/Bertus)
This Spanish band has NIGHTWISH as their main influence. Ladi Ani is a good singer but the band should focus more on songwriting as they lack a bit of creativity. (7 points)

LENORE S. FINGERS - All Things Lost On Earth (My Kingdom/Sonic Rendezvous)
The new album of this gothic, doom outfit sounds a bit heavier than their debut release. Thumbs up for Frederica Lenore Catalano and her guys! (7 points)

LESOIR - IV Latitude (Gentle Art Of Music/Sonic Rendezvous)
Sit down, relax and enjoy the beauty of this Dutch progressive rock outfit. The female vocals are from Maartje Meessen and Eleen Bartholomeus. Great music for a lazy Sunday afternoon. (7 points)

LIZZARD - Shift (Metalville/PIAS)
Katy Elwell is the female drummer of LIZZARD, that hails from France and present their third album here. Be prepared for an art rock experience with some soft spots and not too much musical explosions. ( 6 points)

MADAME MAYHEM - Ready For Me (Metalville/PIAS)
Hard rock band MADAME MAYHEM is fronted by Madame Mayhem herself. The impressive guest list is left behind this time and we can only write down the name of Clint Lowery (SEVENDUST) on guitar, Corey Lowery (STUCK MOJO) on bass and Troy McLawhorn (EVANESCENCE) on guitar on this solid hard rock album that has some brilliant artwork. (7 points)

MAJOR DENIAL - Duchess Of Sufferings (No Dust/Suburban)
Nektarios Ntagkas is the leading man behind this melodic metal outfit. Lisette van de Berg (AYREON) is a guest singer on this nice, melodic band. (7 points)

Female guitarist Jen Majura replaced Terry Balsamo in EVANESCENCE in 2015, but she also played on the albums of BLIND GUARDIAN and RAGE, to name but a few. On this second solo album, she plays most guitar solos and also handles the lead vocals. She also invited a few guests, namely Jeff Waters (ANNIHILATOR), Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT) and Mattias IA Eklundh (FREAK KITCHEN). Definitely worth checking out! (7 points)

MARMOZETS - Knowing What You Know Now (Roadrunner/Warner Music)
MARMOZETS sounds less energetic and dynamic on this second brand new album. There is still a lot to enjoy though. 'Becca' Macintyre is the leading lady of this English rock band with some punky sidesteps. (7 points)

MELTED SPACE - Darkening Light (Sensory/Bertus)
On this third rock and metal opera album, we hear female guest vocals of Clementine Delauney (VISIONS OF ATLANTIS and EXIT EDEN) and Ailyn Giménez Garcia (SIRENIA). (7 points)

METALITE - Heroes In Time (Inner Wound/Sonic Rendezvous)
Emma Bensing is the front lady of this Swedish power metal band. Their energetic sound also contains electronic and pop elements at times for the variation in their sound. (7 points)

METAPRISM - Catalyst To Awakening (Graviton/PIAS)
Wild, loud riffs go very well together with the heavy grunts, while normal powerful vocals go together with some melodic hooks and power ballads. In fact, you have got all kinds of everything with METAPRISM. Theresa Snmith is the female vocalist here. (7 points)

MIDNATTSOL - The Aftermath (Napalm/PIAS)
Carmen Eline Espwnaes and Liv Kristine Espenaes are the two blonde nymphs, who share the vocal duties on 'The Aftermath". Their gothic metal is mixed with folk and if you like a more modest approach, you will surely enjoy the lovely sounds by this German based outfit. (7 points)

MISSION IN BLACK - Anthems Of A Dying Breed (El Puerto/Suburban)
Becky Gaber is the front lady of this German speed metal band , that consists of three ex-members of SPELLBOUND and one of MYSTIC PROPHECY. The Anthems of a dying breed they present here are high enjoyable. (7 points)

MY INDIGO - My Indigo (BMG)
This is the solo album of Sharon den Adel, the singer of WITHIN TEMPTATION. Don't expect any WT related tunes, because this is a very catchy album with pop songs, but still of a very high quality. (7 points)

NE OBLIVISICARIS - Uru (Season Of Mist/Bertus)
The progressive sound of this Australian band contains female vocals as well. It’s only meant for die hard collectors, that want everything with female vocals. Some real extreme stuff!! (6 points)

NIGHTWISH - Decades (Nuclear Blast/PIAS)
This is a twenty-two song double disc 'best of' CD of NIGHTWISH ranging all singers and the complete career of this Finish melodic metal band. It's a shame, that there are no interesting bonus tracks added on this good overview. (8 points)

PHANTOM ELITE - Wasteland (Painted Bass)
Sander Gommans (AFTER FOREVER and TRILLIUM) teamed up with Brazilian singer Marina La Torraca, which resulted in "Wasteland". Sander played some instrumental parts on guitar and bass on this interesting debut album. (7 points)

POWER QUEST - Sixth Dimension (Inner Wound/Sonic Rendezvous)
Anette Olzon is the guest vocalist on this new album of this English power metal band. (7 points)

PRIMAL FEAR - Best Of Fear (Frontiers/PIAS)
On this 'best of' album of PRIMAL FEAR, we hear the female input of guest singers Simone Simons (EPICA) and Liv Kristine (ex-LEAVES EYES, MIDNATTSOL). There are also three new songs here and one of them is the HEART cover "If Looks Could Kill". (8 points)

PSYCHEDELIC WITCHCRAFT - Sound Of The Wind (Listenable Records)
An Italian throwback in time is what "Sound Of The Wind" is all about. Virginia Monti is the front lady of this band, that knows to mix all these retro rock songs in a very exciting way. You won’t be disappointed. (8 points)

PUREST OF PAIN - Solipsis (independent)
This is the solo album of DELAIN, MAYAN, THE GENTLE STORM guitar player Merel Bechtold. She can be really proud of "Solipsis", which contains some melodic metal. Let it grow on you and it will take you by surprise for sure. (8 points)

QFT - Live In Space (Despotz/Suburban)
Linnea Vikstrom's band is called QFT, which stands for Quantum Field Theory. She sounds very different than with THERION. It's up to you which you like best. (7 points)

REXORIA - Queen Of Light (Pride & Joy/Bertus)
REXORIA presents a nice melodic metal album. Frida Ohlin is the female front lady of this Swedish metal outfit. (7 points)

ROLO TOMASSI - Time Will Die & Love Will Bury It (Holy Roar Music/Bertus)
It's almost impossible to categorize the music by this British outfit. So if you're looking for adventure and excitement, variation in styles, topped by the great vocal abilities of Eva Spence, then you have come to the right place. (8 points)

RSO - Radio Free America (BMG)
RSO stands for Ritchie Sambora & Orianthi), ex-guitarplayers of BON JOVI and ALICE COOPER. There is love in the air and here they like to express their emotion through poppy tunes. The cover of Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" isn't a real hard rock classic either, as you would expect from these guitar wizards. (6 points)

SARKE - Viige Urh (Indie Recordings)
Doom metal band, that uses female vocals to create the right atmosphere. CELTIC FROST fans may find this an interesting release. (7 points)

SECRET RULE - The Key To The World (Pride & Joy/Bertus)
Angela Di Vincenzo is the frontlady of this DELAIN type of band. Hopefully, the band will show more of their own sound in the upcoming releases. Only then they can hold the real key to the world in their hands. (7 points)

SERENITY - Lionheart (Napalm/PIAS)
Natasja Koch takes care of the female vocal parts on a few songs of the sixth album by this metal band. (7 points)

SHADOWRISE - Shadowrise (Painted Bass)
Laura Guldermond and Jack Streat are the two vocalists of SHADOWRISE. Their melodic bombastic heavy metal sound on this album is a natural follow-up to their "Escape From Shadow Island" EP release. Nothing more and noething less. (7 points)

SINISTRO - Sague Cassia (Season Of Mist/Bertus)
Patricia Andrade is the female vocalist of this Portuguese doom metal band, that knows to build up some dark doomy atmospheres on their new album. (7 points)

Federica Lanna is the front lady of this gothic metal band, that surprised us with this nice new album. A very good second album by this Italian band. (7 points)

SOUL DRINKER - War Is Coming (El Puerto/Soulfood)
This is the debut album of MYSTIC PROPHECY guitar player Markus Pohl. Iris Boanta is the female singer of this new band, that sounds very progressive at times. Fans of MYSTIC PROPHECY can easily become SOULDRINKERS as well. (7 points)

The Duchess is the front lady of this British pop band that never gets really loud or exciting. The music is not bad at all, but just not interesting enough for Metal Maidens. (6 points)

SPIDERS - Killer Machine (Spinefarm/Caroline)
The Spiders stand with eight legs in the seventies. Ann-Sofie Hoyles is the front lady and the biggest eye-catcher of this British retro rock outfit. Old school hard rockers with a love for bluesy sidesteps will really dig this album. (8 points)

SPOTLIGHTS - Seismic (Ipecac Records/PIAS)
Sarah and Mario Quinterro from SPOTLIGHTS are hailing from Brooklyn, NY and this second album is filled with stoner rock with some exciting sidesteps. It sounds modest at times but heavy as hell on the other hand. Just try it. (7 points)

SUPERCHARGER - Real Machine (Gain/Sony Music)
Clare Cunningham (ex-THUNDERMOTHER vocalist) is a guest singer on the fourth album of this Danish hard rock outfit. Because of the powerful production this band doesn't actually sound like a real machine but more like a dynamic, well-oiled machine. (7 points)

TEMPERANCE - Of Jupiter And Moons (Scarlet/Bertus)
WITHIN TEMPTATION and NIGHTWISH can be seen as the main influences of this Italian melodic metal band. Alessia Scolletti is the new singer of the band and she really makes the difference here. (7 points)

TEMPLE - Design In Creation (Off The record Label/Clearspot)
Dutch death metal band, that presents the successor of the 2012 released "Structures In Chaos". Jessica Otten (DICTATED) is the female member of this furious death metal outfit, that likes to blast away in anger. Sometimes less is more. (7 points)

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA - Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough (Nuclear Blast/ADA)
This band, including some female background singers and synths, takes back to the eighties and mixes disco, wave, punk and rock to a natural retro rock sound. (7 points)

THERION - Beloved Antichrist (Nuclear Blast/PIAS)
New magnum opus by Christofer Johnsson, who presents us a triple CD rock opera here. The story was based upon the book of Vladimir Solovyov, called "A Short Tale Of The Antichrist". We wish you a very pleasant three hour musical journey. (7 points)

THY CATAFALQUE - Geometria (Season Of Mist/Bertus)
Martina Horvath (NIBURTA) is once again the female guest vocalist on this new album of THY CATAFALQUE. On "Geometria", many music styles blend together very well. (7 points)

TRILLIUM - Tectonic (Frontiers/PIAS)
"Tectonic" sound a lot more heavy than Amanda Sommerville’s previous work. The album was recorded while she was pregnant. Both thumbs up for Amada and her husband Sander Gommans (ex-AFTER FOREVER). (7 points)

TURNSTILE- Time And Space (Roadrunner/Warner Music)
This is a hardcore band from Baltimore USA, presenting their second album, which contains many exciting sidesteps. Tina Halladay of SHEER MAGS performs some guest vocals in the song "Moon". (7 points)

TWO OF A KIND - Rise (Frontiers/PIAS)
This Dutch A.O.R. band has got two female vocalists in their ranks. This second album comes eleven years after their debut album "Two Of A Kind". Anita Craenmehr and Esther Brouns will make your thoughts go out to the magic sound of ROBIN BECK and HEART. We're glad that TWO OF A KIND has risen again. (8 points)

UNRULY CHILD - Unhinged Live From Milan (Frontiers/PIAS)
We really expected a much better live album by UNRULY CHILD. Marcie Free just hasn't got the perfect rock voice anymore and it's guitar player Bruce Gowdy that lifts this album up to an enjoyable height, as far as I'm concerned. The live show is also being captured on an enhanced DVD. (7 points)

VALENTINE - The Alliance (Valentine Music)
Robby Valentine is one of the most gifted musicians in the Dutch music scene. On his new album he presents a new mix of QUEEN, MUSE and TOTO influenced music. Maria Catharina (Schuitemaker) does the 'Ghost Of The Opera' voice on "Masters Of Our Minds". (7 points)

VAN CANTO - Trust in Rust (Nuclear Blast)
The covers "Ride The Sky" of HALLOWEEN and "Hells Bells" of AC/DC are two points of recognition, but this is still not enough to convince me of their strength. (5 points)

VENUES - Aspire (Arising Empire/ADA)
Nyves Krithindinou is the female vocalist of VENUES, who shares her skills with Robin Baumann on this new album. VENUES hails from the southern part of Germany. (7 points)

WINDS OF PLAGUE - Blood Of My Enemy (e One/SPV/Suburban)
There are some female guest vocals on this fifth album of WINDS OF PLAGUE. We only mention this one to be as complete as possible. (6 points)

WHYZDOM - As Time Turns To Dust (Scarlet/Bertus)
French symphonic metal band that puts a lot of variation in their songs. Marie MacLeod is the front lady here, who impresses very much with her vocal skills. (7 points)

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