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LATEST CD RATINGS, UPDATED 12-1-13:

Absolva - Flames of justice 3.5/5 Absolva Review - CREAG
Age of Taurus - Desperate souls of tortured times 3.5/5 (powerful U.K. doom debut with traditional metal accents, monster riffs, and vocals like Brian Ross) - KIT
Anihilated - Ideviant 4.5/5 (awesome 4th CD that even surpasses their comeback 'Scorched earth policy'; fast, driving, political, and powerful) - MICHAEL
Armory - Empyrean realms 4.5/5 Armory Review - CLINT
Argus - Beyond the martyrs 4.5/5 Argus Review - KIT
Black Desert - The beginning 3.5/5 (catchy female fronted heavy/symphonic/gothic metal debut that took some time to grow on me, but itís recommended) - CLINT
Black Stars Falling - A memory/A melody 3/5 (solid debut thatís a nice symphonic/gothic/power metal blend and it contains 2 female vocalists) - CLINT
Chaos Asylum - Into the black 3.5/5 (British metal debut thatís sturdy and true, with a few modern kinks; like recent Marshall Law with less groove) - CREAG
Cold Sight - A/H1N1 3.5/5 Cold Sight Review - CLINT
Crystal Viper - Crimen excepta 4/5 (Polish metal mastersí 4th CD is lyrically darker, but still highly polished melodic steel) - KIT
Devon - Unreal 3/5 Devon Review - CLINT
Dexter Ward - Neon lights 3.5/5 (strong Greek debut of American-styled 80s anthemic metal a la Jag Panzer) - KIT
Divine Sword - Beyond reality 3/5 (generic but fairly enjoyable power metal debut from Mexico; major fans of the genre might want to check it out) - CLINT
Dreamtale - World changed forever 4.5/5 (6th CD of extra-fun power metal with lots of keys; reminds me of their early stuff, or the best CDs from Sonata Arctica and Stratovarius) - CLINT
Edenís Curse - Symphony of sin 4.5/5 Edenís Curse Review - MICHAEL
Exlibris - Humagination 3/5 Exlibris Review - CREAG
Fates Warning - Darkness in a different light 3.5/5 (while there's much to respect here and it's a solid progressive CD in the lighter range, it's still a far cry from the band's glory days) - CRAIG
Galderia - The universality 3/5 (French power metal debut similar to Freedom Call, Gamma Ray and Stratovarius; shows promise, but lacks a personality and diversity) - SEAN
Hammer Fight - Chug of war 3/5 (Jersey power/thrash metal debut with some rock elements, for fans of Pro-Pain, Zero Down, Headlock, etc.) - MICHAEL
Hammerforce - Access denied 3.5/5 (thoroughly upbeat 2nd CD of keyboard-driven progressive power metal from Russia, but sung in English) - CLINT
Impulse - Dream of the faith 3.5/5 Impulse Review - CLINT
Iron Reagan - Worse than dead 3/5 (speedcore debut with short songs, and little melody; created by members of Municipal Waste, and is similar to Toxic Holocaust) - MICHAEL
Keldian - Outbound 4.5/5 Keldian Review - CLINT
KYPCK - Lower 3.5/5 (2nd CD thatís another ultra-depressing dose of Soviet doom, every bit as bleak and apocalyptic as the debut) - CREAG
Leaves' Eyes - Symphonies of the night 3.5/5 Leavesí Eyes Review - CHRIS
Lycanthia - Oligarchy 3/5 (2nd CD of ďbeauty and the beastĒ style gothic/doom metal; somewhat similar to The Sins of Thy Beloved in spots, with slight hints of Draconian as well) - CLINT
Magion - A different shade of darkness 4/5 Magion Review - CHRIS
Metal - Proving our mettle 3/5 (debut from Australian true power metal band; despite the catchy and cliche tracks, does need improvement in the vocal department) - SEAN
Metal Church - Generation nothing 3.5/5 (fairly good CD of heavy/power/thrash metal, but when I crave their CDs itís always the ones with Mike Howe on vocals - by far) - CLINT
Minded of Heart - Trust in your path 3/5 (female fronted gothic/power metal debut with occasional male ďbeastĒ vocals; quite heavy, with a modern feel) - CLINT
New Black (The) - III: Cut loose 3/5 (3rd CD thatís a mix of modern metal, modern hard rock and ĎBlackí-album Metallica; sometimes really cool, sometimes frustrating) - KIT
Not Fragile - Shout to the master 4/5 Not Fragile Review - KIT
Rocka Rollas - Metal strikes back 4.5/5 Rocka Rollas Review - KIT
Running Wild - Resilient 3.5/5 (respectable entry with some of their classic pirate charm, but itís not up to the dynamic inspiration of their greatest works; better than ĎShadowmakerí) - CRAIG
Sacred Oath - Fallen 2/5 Sacred Oath Review - TOM
Satanís Host - Virgin sails 3.5/5 Satanís Host Review - MICHAEL
Silver Lake - Every shape and size 3.5/5 (really nice 2nd CD from this Italian progressive power metal band; for fans of Concept, Labyrinth, Vision Divine, Secret Sphere, etc.) - CLINT
Suddenlash - Soulís revenge 3/5 Suddenlash Review - CLINT
Suncrown - Follow your dream 3.5/5 Suncrown Review - CLINT
Tantara - Based on evil 4/5 (fantastic Norwegian thrash metal debut in the Bay Area/early Metallica style; musically superb, but the shouted vocals may grate) - KIT
Under Heaven - Nocturnes for the divine & the damned 3.5/5 (2nd CD of female fronted symphonic/gothic metal with some unique songs that help the band stand out a bit) - CLINT
Until Rain - Anthem to creation 4/5 Until Rain Review - SEAN
Volture - On the edge 4/5 Volture Review - KIT
Voodoo Circle - More than one way home 3/5 (3rd CD from Alex Beyrodt's project, which is more Whitesnake worship than it is Silent Force) - MICHAEL
Wintersun - Time I 4/5 (2nd CD thatís much-lauded ambitious, dense, cinematic symphonic/power metal with extreme and clean vocals; demands and rewards patience) - KIT
Wizard - Trail of death 4/5 Wizard Review - CRAIG
Wolfpakk - Cry wolf 4/5 Wolfpakk Review - SEAN


PREVIOUS CD RATINGS, UPDATED 11-1-13:

Allegro from my Requiem - Chapter I 3.5/5 (promising melodic power metal debut with neo-classical/symphonic elements, and both female and clean male vocals) - CLINT
Apocalypsis - One outcome is possible 3/5 (though nothing amazing, this is a solid Russian-language heavy/power metal debut for die-hard fans of the language/style) - CLINT
Arctic Flame - Shake the earth 3.5/5 Arctic Flame Review - MICHAEL
Artizan - Ancestral energy 4/5 (2nd CD of highly polished, squeaky clean, thoughtful melodic heavy metal, with a Matt Barlow guest appearance) - KIT
ASKA - Fire eater 4.5/5 ASKA Review - CRAIG
Earthcry - Where the road leads 4/5 (fantastic Italian progressive power metal debut with popular guest vocalists; think Labyrinth, Secret Sphere, Vision Divine, No Gravity and DGM) - CLINT
Earthen Grave - s/t 3.5/5 (rockiní twin-guitar doom debut from the Windy City a la Trouble/Pentagram, with electric violin flourishes) - KIT
Epysode - Fantasmagoria 4.5/5 Epysode Review - SEAN
Everglow - Destination 3.5/5 Everglow Review - CLINT
Fenrir - Echoes of the wolf 3.5/5 (very good female fronted folk/power metal debut recommended to fans of Almora, Dystera, Kalevala, Bel o Kan and Asynja) - CLINT
Ghost of War - Only death is real 3.5/5 (pounding power/thrash debut that fuses traditional U.S. metal with angry thrashy parts like post-reunion Death Angel) - KIT
Illusion Suite - The iron cemetery 3.5/5 (fairly strong 2nd CD of melodic/progressive/power metal, and itís a little better than the debut) - CLINT
Karnya - Coveriní thoughts 3/5 (melodic/progressive/power metal debut thatís like a blend of Pathosray and Red Circuit; some parts are a bit too proggy for me) - CLINT
Killers (Fra) - 10:10 4/5 (speed metal legends return with their 12th killer slab of French metal par excellence) - KIT
Lies of Smiles - Cross & claw 3.5/5 (fine rockiní bluesy Brit metal debut with a punchy production; in the vein of Saxon, Martin-era Sabbath, rockiní Riot, etc.) - KIT
Lorelei - The sullen waves of the frozen sea 4/5 (extremely well done Russian-language ďbeauty and the beastĒ gothic/doom metal debut that instantly brings Aut Mori to mind) - CLINT
Mirror Morionis - Eternal unforgiveness 3/5 Mirror Morionis Review - CLINT
Mosh-Pit Justice - s/t 3.5/5 (high-quality Bulgarian speed metal debut for fans of Mortillery, Slammer, Tyranex, Vectom, Bulldozer, Torment, etc.) - MICHAEL
Nergard - Memorial for a wish 3.5/5 (really nice melodic metal opera with a variety of female/male vocalists; reminds me of Aina, but also Avantasia in spots) - CLINT
Overdrive (U.K.) - The boring Grantham record years 3.5/5 (killer compilation of the early years from this NWOBHM act who inspired Satan, Hell and Sabbat) - MICHAEL
Pestilence - Obsideo 2/5 (the once excellent act has sided with the Deathcore bands and is more focused on being extreme and brutal than melodic; such a shame!) - MICHAEL
Porridgeface (The) - Human shapes 4.5/5 Porridgeface Review - MICHAEL
Present Danger - Face the truth 3/5 (Dutch Metallica tribute actís debut of original material in a Black-album-meets-modern-metal style) - KIT
Sick Faith - Blinded nation 3.5/5 (Colombian thrash debut comparable to Sadus, Recipients of Death, Razor, Dissection and early Sacrifice) - MICHAEL
Sign of the Jackal - Mark of the beast 4/5 Sign of the Jackal Review - KIT
Skull Branded Pirates - An oath sworn on broken bones 3/5 (2nd CD thatís ridiculously over the top pirate power metal thatís goofier than, and not as good as, the debut) - KIT
Speedboozer - s/t 3/5 (debut thatís a retro-thrash rock and punk mix for fans of Nitrovolt, G.B.H. and The Exploited, with a cool Tank cover like Chrome Division meets Blizzard) - MICHAEL
Stryper - No more hell to pay 3/5 (not as promising of a comeback as we would have hoped, with a terrible Doobie Brothers cover, and less than spectacular songs) - MICHAEL
Sunwalter - SETI evidence 4/5 (fast-paced and totally awesome symphonic power metal debut with ďbeauty and the beastĒ vocals; the ďbeastĒ is of the black metal type) - CLINT
Tarja - Colours in the dark 4/5 Tarja Review - CHRIS
Tezza F - The message 3/5 (fairly promising Italian power metal debut with some keys and itís solid in all areas; reminds me a lot of Sigma - especially their 2nd CD ĎWin or loseí) - CLINT
Thyreos - I donít live to fail 3/5 Thyreos Review - CLINT
Titanium - s/t 4/5 (exciting power metal debut a la Supreme Majesty, Instanzia, Dreamtale, Twilightning, Moonville, Insania, etc.; vocalist sounds a lot like Rob Rock) - CLINT
Toxic Holocaust - Chemistry of consciousness 2.5/5 (whoopee another CD with the same style of songs clocking in at a mere 28 minutes; this band is overrated!) - MICHAEL
Trainwreck Architect - Traits of the sick 3.5/5 (surprisingly good Canadian thrash debut like Armored Saint and Bush-era Anthrax, but with some rock/funk elements a la Mordred) - MICHAEL
Turisas - Turisas2013 2.5/5 Turisas Review - CREAG
Twilight of the Gods - Fire on the mountain 3.5/5 Twilight of the Gods Review - CREAG
Tyr - Valkyrja 4.5/5 Tyr Review - KIT
Untimely Demise - Systematic eradication 3/5 (songs are more structured on this 2nd CD and the production has improved, but there are more melodic death overtones) - MICHAEL
Vandroya - One 3.5/5 (well-executed debut of uptempo female fronted power/progressive metal from Brazil; good stuff, but a few too many keys for my taste) - KIT
Vision Bleak (The) - Witching hour 3.5/5 (5th CD of their signature heavy gothic ďhorrorĒ metal, focusing this time on fast, catchy, epic guitar riffs with only sparse keys) - CHRIS
Warbeast - Destroy 2.5/5 (2nd CD which was highly anticipated, but falls short with Phil Anselmoís over-produced Pantera style) - MICHAEL


PREVIOUS CD RATINGS, UPDATED 10-1-13:

Allos - Spiritual battle 3.5/5 (really good Brazilian melodic/progressive power metal debut with Christian lyrics; surely for fans of Angra, Shaman, Almah, Viper, Aquaria, etc.) - CLINT
Antalgia - Perception of reality 4.5/5 Antalgia Review - CLINT
Arie di Mortte - Rinascere 1.5/5 (Spanish-language gothic/symphonic metal debut with good female operatic vocals, but the music is only okay and itís hurt by an awful production) - CLINT
Arven - Black is the colour 3.5/5 (2nd CD of heavy, crunchy, festive power metal with frequent folksy touches and unusually beautiful and expressive soprano female vocals) - CHRIS
Avalon (Timo Tolkkiís) - The land of new hope 3.5/5 (ex-Stratovarius guitarist has created an Avantasia-styled debut with guest vocalists; a wonderful symphonic power metal CD) - SEAN
Barilari - Barilari 4 3.5/5 (4th CD of song-oriented Spanish-language melodic metal with a slightly commercial vibe in spots; most of the songs are quite catchy) - CLINT
Black Oath - Ov qliphoth and darkness 3.5/5 (impressive melodic Italian doom with towering riffs of leaden despair and superb clear melancholy vocals; their 2nd CD) - KIT
Black Sun - Dance of elders 3.5/5 (2nd CD of anthemic polished European power metal from Ecuador; recorded in Hamburg with help from ďnameĒ guys in the scene) - KIT
Blazon Stone - Return to Port Royal 4/5 (debut from Cedric of Mortyr and Rock Rollas, who understands Running Wild a hell of a lot more than what Rolf now does) - MICHAEL
Candlemass - Psalms for the dead 4.5/5 (a colossal eulogy to the Swedish doom legendsí storied recording career; similar in quality to the other Lowe-era CDs) - KIT
Cardiant - Verge 3.5/5 (3rd CD thatís a blend of their power metal debut and their melodic metal/hard rock 2nd CD, with some additional female vocals this time too) - CLINT
Civil War - The killer angels 4/5 Civil War Review - KIT
Darker Half - Desensitized 4/5 Darker Half Review - KIT
Dezperadoz - Dead manís hand 3/5 (German spaghetti westerners present a Wild Bill Hickok concept album; more cohesive than their last CD, but still a mixed bag) - KIT
Dissension - Of time and chronic disease 4/5 (next to Carcass, these Canadians deliver the best melodic death metal release of the year 2013 with this debut) - MICHAEL
Edvian - 2012 2.5/5 (progressive metal debut with some crunch and flashes of greatness, but itís inconsistent and the modern/aggressive influences that creep in bring it down) - CLINT
Fracture - Dominate and overload 4/5 Fracture Review - CLINT
Gengis Khan - Gengis Khan was a rocker 3/5 (traditional Italian metal debut comparable to Bud Tribe, Midnight Sun, Attentat Rock, etc.) - MICHAEL
Ghost Avenue - s/t 3/5 (fans of Stimulans, Lanzer, Axxis and Skanners will appreciate what the band once known as Ghost now offer) - MICHAEL
Gloryful - The warriorís code 3.5/5 (exciting German true heavy/power metal debut a la Manowar, Virgin Steele and Hammerfall, with thunderous drumming and superb guitar riffs) - SEAN
Gwar - Battle maximus 3/5 (with the tragic death of Cory Smoot, the lustful horror aliens take another step back in originality and talent) - MICHAEL
Hydro - Bright phoenix 3.5/5 (fun Italian power metal debut thatís similar to what came out of the country/style during the late-90s, especially regarding production) - CLINT
Iron Jaws - Guilty of ignorance 3.5/5 (killer Italian speed merchants worship Hallows Eve, Hirax, Krank and early-80s Metal Blade acts; their 2nd CD) - MICHAEL
Iron Knights - New sound of war 3/5 (rebranded Stuka Squadron plays straight-up Brit metal with this debut, but the songs and vocals do not fully convince) - KIT
Locus Titanic Funus - Castus lacrima 2.5/5 (Russian-language ďbeauty and the beastĒ style gothic/doom metal thatís too slow and isnít very memorable) - CLINT
Lucid Dreaming - The chronicles pt. I 3.5/5 Lucid Dreaming Review - MICHAEL
Majesty - Thunder rider 3.5/5 (though thereís nothing unexpected, this is a well done CD of German true/tradional metal, and itís really consistent too) - CLINT
Maleficium Arungquilta - Trance for sister 4/5 Maleficium Arungquilta Review - CHRIS
Metalhead - s/t 4/5 (fantastic debut thatís a mix of Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate; like a catchier German incarnation of A Tortured Soul) - KIT
Mortyr - Rise of the tyrant 3.5/5 Mortyr Review - MICHAEL
Newsted - Heavy metal music 4/5 (ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted makes a brilliant return to the limelight with this excellent debut, and he has both bass and vocal duties) - SEAN
Northern Lights - Return to Loganís end 3.5/5 (obscure neo-classical/melodic power metal debut from Turkey; some songs are just okay, but there are a bunch of highlights) - CLINT
Project: Roenwolfe - Neverwhere dreamscape 3.5/5 Project: Roenwolfe Review - SEAN
Revamp - Wild card 3.5/5 (2nd CD of mostly traditional metal with Floor Jansen singing mainly in a hard rock style, but it has stronger and more varied songwriting than the debut) - CHRIS
Sceptor - Take command! 3.5/5 (stripped down song-oriented German traditional metal debut that borrows from the American 80s template; Jag Panzer must be an influence) - KIT
Sinner - Touch of sin 2 3/5 (an unnecessary attempt to redo the '85 classic with 3 guitarists, but the new songs and Thin Lizzy cover make it worthwhile) - MICHAEL
Soul of Steel - Journey to infinity 4/5 Soul of Steel Review - CLINT
Speedtrap - Powerdose 3/5 (superfast speed metal debut for fans of Nitrovolt, Black Tide and Speedwolf; picture Motorhead meets early Exciter and Metallica) - MICHAEL
Still Alive - Kyo 3/5 (Brazilian progressive heavy/power metal debut thatís a good start, but itís a decent distance from the best CDs out of the country/style) - CLINT
Suprema - Traumatic scenes 2.5/5 (Brazilian power metal debut with generic yet fairly solid music, but Iím not a fan of the vocalist at all) - CLINT
Tajny Zatmeniya - We are in the sky 3.5/5 (great 3rd CD of Russian-language heavy/power metal, with an impressive vocalist and plenty of catchy songs) - CLINT
Trail of Murder - Shades of art 3.5/5 (vocalist Urban Breedís new band; a head turning debut thatís a nice heavy/power metal blend like Bloodbound, Brainstorm and Tad Morose) - SEAN
Unshine - Dark half rising 4/5 Unshine Review - CLINT
Veda - Secret roads forgotten tracks 3.5/5 (Russian-language ďbeauty and the beastĒ style folk metal recommended to fans of Tverd, Alkonost, Fearlight, Hildr Valkyrie, etc.) - CLINT
Voltax - Hiding into flames 3.5/5 Voltax Review - KIT
Warlord - The holy empire 3.5/5 (welcomed return from this U.S. epic/heavy metal band; thankfully contains a lot of familiar guitar work and their signature style) - CLINT
White Wizzard - The devilís cut 3/5 White Wizzard Review - CREAG


PREVIOUS CD RATINGS, UPDATED 9-1-13:

A Hero for the World - s/t 3/5 (generic yet fairly catchy power metal debut; one negative is occasionally the vocalist tries to stretch his range and comes off as really strained) - CLINT
Alexandria - Ice and fire 3/5 (good female fronted Russian-language symphonic/gothic metal, but it's too long with 16 songs that are very similar) - CLINT
Alpha Tiger - Beneath the surface 4.5/5 Alpha Tiger Review - KIT
Amaranthe - The nexus 3/5 (2nd CD from metalcore/power metal group led by Elize Ryd; travels the same path as the debut, with not much improvement or evolvement) - SEAN
Ares - Not playing this game 3.5/5 (well done 2nd CD from this French heavy metal band; a small step above the debut and should please fans of the genre) - CLINT
Ashes of Ares - s/t 3.5/5 Ashes of Ares Review - MICHAEL
Astaroth - The end of silence 3.5/5 (high quality Italian old-school traditional metal debut like classic Armored Saint, Leatherwolf, etc.) - KIT
Axiom - Truths denied 3/5 Axiom Review - CLINT
Carcass - Surgical steel 4/5 (triumphant return with just Bill & Jeff forging more artful symphonies of sickness straight from their twisted hearts) - MICHAEL
Do Not Dream - Eiszeit 4/5 (surprising change of style to hard, energetic, rocking modern gothic metal with excellent female, death and black vocals; their 4th CD) - CHRIS
Dokken - Broken bones 2.5/5 (average attempt to recapture their faded glory; ĎTooth and nailí was much more promising with all but Don himself performing) - MICHAEL
Dragonsclaw - Judgement day 4/5 Dragonsclaw Review - SEAN
Dublin Death Patrol - Death sentence 3/5 (pretty cool side-project with killer vocals from Billy and Souza, but not as thrashy or good as one might hope; their 2nd CD) - KIT
Eliminator - Krieg thrash 3/5 (monotonous one-dimensional German thrash debut with a dirty production; in the vein of early Kreator/Sodom/Bathory) - KIT
Fallen Angels (U.S.) - Engines of oppression 3.5/5 (2nd CD thatís well done rethrash and a big improvement from the debut; Vindicator fans should love this) - KIT
Freedoms Reign - s/t 4.5/5 Freedoms Reign Review - SEAN
Heralds of the Sword - Chronicles of Tyrinthia: Sword sworn 3.5/5 Heralds of the Sword Review - CLINT
Hideweaver - Silver bullet 3.5/5 (debut of Italian heavy metal thatís good with strong songwriting and catchy songs, but with a few small flaws and inconsistencies) - SEAN
Insinnerator - Stalagmite of ice 3.5/5 (near excellent debut from a Texas thrash trio; comparable to Exumer, Merciless Death, Protector and Invocator) - MICHAEL
Kaira - Not for angels 2.5/5 (Russian chickís 6th CD thatís musically strong gothic/heavy metal with some speed and a modern edge, but the added extreme male vocals hurt it) - CLINT
Lancer - s/t 4/5 (top-shelf European melodic power metal debut with a battle ostrich mascot; think Gammaween, early Edguy, Hammerfall, Iron Maiden, etc.) - KIT
Lingua Mortis Orchestra - LMO 3.5/5 (debut thatís basically all Rage members playing old/new songs with the same orchestra as previously performed on several past CDs) - MICHAEL
Liv Moon - The end of the beginning 3.5/5 (great 4th CD of female fronted Japanese-language symphonic metal thatís recommended to fans of Nightwish and Leavesí Eyes) - CLINT
Lyken21 - Konceptus 3.5/5 Lyken21 Review - MICHAEL
Memory Garden - Doomain 4/5 Memory Garden Review - KIT
Nuclear Aggressor - Condemned to rot 3/5 (debut thatís total Sodom worship with some catchy songs; for fans of bands like Minotaur, Necronomicon, etc.) - MICHAEL
Orphaned Land - All is one 4.5/5 (extremely emotive symphonic/choral movie-score metal with festive Middle Eastern folk passages and nearly all clean vocals; their 5th CD) - CHRIS
Powerworld - Cybersteria 3/5 (3rd CD of melodic metal with some moments of power metal and some songs that dip into hard rock; overall too light and itís missing highlights) - CLINT
Pretty Maids - Motherland 3/5 (another CD from the melodic metal veterans thatís a mixed bag, but while the quality is slightly inconsistent, overall itís solid) - SEAN
Razormaze - Annihilatia 3/5 (2nd CD thatís a step back in speed and form, assuming a more metalcore Boston stance similar to Devil Driver and Unearth) - MICHAEL
Rebellion - Armenius: Furor Teutonicus 4/5 (6th CD thatís outstanding traditional German metal in the Grave Digger style; a revamped line-up and Germanic historical lyrics) - KIT
Revoltons - 386 high street north: Come back to eternity 3/5 (this power metal bandís first 3 CDs are well below average, but this 4th CD improves in all areas and is solid) - CLINT
Rising Storm - Tempest 3/5 (lengthy modernish guitar-oriented power/progressive debut from Germany with crunch; this styleís not really my cup of tea) - KIT
Saxon - Sacrifice 4/5 Saxon Review - CRAIG
Sense of Creation - Forsaken era 4/5 Sense of Creation Review - CHRIS
Shallow Ground - The end of everything 3.5/5 Shallow Ground Review - KIT
Silver Fist - Lagrimes de sangre 3/5 (good Spanish heavy metal that doesnít really stand out from the crowd; their 2nd CD) - KIT
Sirenia - Perils of the deep blue 3.5/5 (6th CD of ďbeauty and the beastĒ styled symphonic/gothic metal thatís nothing amazing, but better than the previous ĎThe enigma of lifeí) - CLINT
Skiltron - Into the battleground 4/5 Skiltron Review - CREAG
Valkyrie - Holy fire 3.5/5 (quality female fronted Russian-language symphonic/gothic/power metal from the band formerly known as Uncreated Light) - CLINT
Vendetta (U.K.) - World under fire 3.5/5 (strong 3rd CD of melodic heavy metal from the U.K.; like heavier Dokken perhaps) - KIT


PREVIOUS CD RATINGS, UPDATED 8-1-13:

A Sound of Thunder - Time's arrow 4/5 A Sound of Thunder Review - KIT
Alkonost - Tales of wandering 4/5 Alkonost Review - CHRIS
Artlantica - Across the seven seas 3.5/5 (great neo-classical power metal debut with an all-star line-up, including popular vocalist John West and members of Angel of Eden) - CLINT
Battlecross - War of will 3/5 (well executed deathrash for fans of Revocation, Skeletonwitch, Demolition Hammer and Lazarus A.D.; their 3rd CD) - MICHAEL
Bloodshed Walhalla - The battle will never end 4/5 (Quorthon is dead, but the spirit of viking-era Bathory lives on in this stirring homage; their 2nd CD) - KIT
Dark Moor - Ars musica 3.5/5 (Spanish power metal bandís 9th CD thatís kinda lacking their usual amount of catchy songs, but itís still recommended to fans of the band) - CLINT
Dark Tranquillity - Construct 4/5 (another awesome CD from this long-running melodic death metal band; their last 5 or so CDs have simply clicked with me) - CLINT
Divinity Compromised - A world torn 4.5/5 Divinity Compromised Review - SEAN
Dust Bolt - Violent demolition 3/5 (savage, unrelenting thrash metal debut from Germany with a slight but noticeable death metal influence) - KIT
Edenbridge - The bonding 4/5 (fantastic 8th CD of female fronted melodic/symphonic/power metal with crisp songwriting; my favorite since ĎShineí, and Sabine sounds wonderful) - CLINT
Frank, Herman - Right in the guts 4.5/5 (masterful 2nd CD of German power metal from the Paragon/U.D.O. school with Rick Altzi's best vocal performance ever) - KIT
Godyva - Alien heart 3.5/5 (though some songs are too pop oriented, this is still a very good 3rd CD of female fronted gothic metal with slight darkwave elements) - CLINT
Grind, Joel - The yellowgoat sessions 3.5/5 Grind, Joel Review - CREAG
Huntress - Starbound beast 3/5 (sophomore CD that shows some improvement, but the singer is more like Maria Brink from In This Moment than Ann Boelyn of Hellion) - MICHAEL
Illusoria - Illusory world 3.5/5 Illusoria Review - CLINT
Infinita Symphonia - s/t 3.5/5 (nicely done 2nd CD from this Italian melodic/power metal band with symphonic/progressive influences; debut is just a bit more memorable though) - CLINT
Judicator - Sleepy plessow 4/5 Judicator Review - CLINT
Lawless - Rock Savage 4/5 (debut from ex-members of Demon and Persian Risk, who have created a total 80s vibe a la early Dokken, Twisted Sister, etc.) - MICHAEL
Legacy (Col) - Metallic assault 3/5 (simplistic, primitive but oddly endearing underproduced thrash/speed metal debut from Colombia; a bit like early Exciter) - KIT
M-16 - Locked and reloaded 3/5 (straight-up 80s-style heavy metal compilation thatís similar to Fifth Angel, Liege Lord, Hittman, Lizzy Borden, Leatherwolf, etc.) - MICHAEL
Marchenbilder - Flickering truth 3/5 Marchenbilder Review - CLINT
Martyrd - The mortal coil 3.5/5 (technical, challenging melodic metal rooted in thrash, but with modern overtones, proggy arrangements, and clean vocals; their 2nd CD) - KIT
Masterplan - Novum Initium 4/5 (safe but terrific 5th CD of German melodic power metal that grew on me; their first with well-known vocalist Rick Altzi, who fits in well) - CLINT
Megadeth - Super collider 2/5 (this popular band is still going, but the overall lightness and blend of styles makes for a CD that I find to be average and fairly boring) - CLINT
Mesmerize - Paintropy 3/5 (Italian power metal band returns with a solid 5th CD that has a heavier, more modern, and slightly more aggressive feel than their previous CDs) - CLINT
Midnight Messiah - The root of all evil 3.5/5 (debut of pure NWOBHM formed from the ashes of Elixir, featuring strong songs and performances a la Saxon) - KIT
Nota Profana - The devilís playground 3/5 (2nd CD of fast epic bombastic symphonic/choral ďbeauty and the beastĒ metal like Haggard; more cohesive than their debut) - CHRIS
Omega Reign - Arise 4/5 Omega Reign Review - CRAIG
Porridgeface (The) - s/t 4.5/5 Porridgeface Review - MICHAEL
Potential Threat - Civilization under threat 2.5/5 (average thrash with Bay Area influences but little appeal, and itís too much like Nevermore and Machine Head; their 2nd CD) - MICHAEL
Sanktuary - Something fierce 3.5/5 Sanktuary Review - KIT
Shadows Past - Perfect chapter 3.5/5 (though I donít like the extreme vocals that are thrown in, this is a strong power metal debut with vocalist Ola Halen of ex-Insania) - CLINT
Thy Symphony - A new beginning 2.5/5 (2nd CD of symphonic power metal with okay female vocals and awful male vocals; kinda messy as a whole, and too long at 75 minutes) - CLINT
Tray of Gift - The Tray of Gift 3/5 Tray of Gift Review - CREAG
Tristania - Darkest white 3/5 (though I still greatly miss their early years, this gothic metal band with a variety of vocalists, has provided a CD with a fair amount of catchy songs) - CLINT
Tyranny of Hours - s/t 4/5 Tyranny of Hours Review - CLINT
Unlucky Morpheus - Parallelism-a 3.5/5 (fun and exciting 6th CD of female fronted Japanese-language power metal; seems to be an extremely unknown band, which is a shame) - CLINT
Valor (Grc) - The yonder answer 3.5/5 (2nd CD from this Greek epic/heavy/power metal band; has a nice balance of tempo and the vocals have improved since the debut) - CLINT
Vindictiv - Cage of infinity 3.5/5 (quality 3rd CD of melodic metal with progressive/power metal influences; their first with vocalist Marco Sandron from Pathosray) - CLINT
Winterstorm - Kings will fall 4/5 (classic turn-of-the-millennium style melodic power metal from Germany with big choirs galore; well done 2nd CD) - KIT
Witches Mark - Witching metal ritual 3.5/5 (killer blackened power metal debut for fans of Portrait, Infernal Majesty, Hobbsí Angel of Death and Crimson Glory) - MICHAEL



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