Personal bias is a bitch, and it can be difficult to be objective when a band changes membership. For anyone new to this blog or its associated podcast, I absolutely love Liv Kristine’s voice and am completely unapologetic about it. When she and Alexander Krull divorced, she left (or was ousted, depending on who you ask) Leaves’ Eyes. Couple that with some less-than-stellar recent releases, and I wasn’t sure if I would even check this album out or not. After seeing the band live on their recent U.S. tour with Sabaton and Battle Beast, I figured it was in my best interest to try and give Sign of the Dragonhead an objective listen.
As we approach the solstice, the days are getting shorter, and my free time appears to be following suit. Here are some brief thoughts on some newer releases.
Van Canto have always challenged the classification of "metal." For those not familiar with them, Van Canto are a (mostly) a cappella ensemble who mimick all the instrumentation through their voices, with the only non-vocal component being a drummer (because beatboxing would sound ridiculous, frankly). The Germans break from their usual formula on their newest album, Voices of Fire.
As the year is winding down, holiday celebrations get underway, my second half of 2015 best-of list is being prepared, and I’m finding myself woefully behind on reviews, so here are several short ones to tide everyone over until life settles down.