SHORT REVIEWS

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

[Update: March 26, 2020]

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)

JEN MAJURA - InZENity (SAOL/Bertus)
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)

SLEEPING ROMANCE - Alba (Napalm/PIAS)
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)

SPACE ELEVATOR - II (Steamhammer/SPV)
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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