DangerAngel: All The Kings Horses (Melodic Rock Records)
Danger Angel are a melodic rock band from Athens, their sound leans heavily on the terrific keys of Ahas who is the major element to the bands sound in the same way the Alessio Del Vecchio, he is a certified keyboards, piano and jazz theory professor and has performed in various bands of numerous styles throughout Greece, with the excellent keyboard playing throughout the bands third record it would be easy to ignore the remaining members of the band who are all great musicians in their own right. Tony V and Rudy Rallis lay down a foundation or ancient marble, rough ready and consistently present.
Founder member guitarist Ethan Snow, plays the swaggering riffs as he duels with Ahas' keys. All The King's Horses is the band's third studio album and it's a tough rock record with the melodic touches from the huge keys and simmering synths. At the front of the band are the passionate vocals of Brazilian singer BJ, who is probably better known as the keyboardist/guitarist of Jeff Scott Soto's solo project SOTO and also plays keys in the reactivated Talisman, still with his major contribution being instruments his vocals are great clearly he has been studying Soto's style as BJ brings a similar delivery to DangerAngel. If you like your riffs muscular, your choruses big and your keys very impressive then DangerAngel will be one melodic rock release to snap up this year. 8/10
Hail Spirit Noir: Mayhem In Blue (Dark Essence Records)
Here comes some experimental/progressive/psychedelic/black metal from Thessaloniki from the trio of J.Demian (bass/acoustic) Theoharis (guitar/vocals) and Haris (keys/synth drums). Mayhem In Blue is a six track album that clocks in at over 40 minutes of difficult music and sees the band take on numerous concepts including the human psyche in songs where the lyrical complexity is a close second to the musical complexity. These songs are very much like the band and the album title it self, a contradiction, there are periods of intense violent black metal but these give way to swathes crushing depressive themes and psychedelic mind-bending.
As you progress there are actually very little that's actually on the black metal side other than the scratchy vocals, these are use liberally on I Mean You No Harm which pairs the BM screaming with spooky gonzoid Wurlitzer driven surf rock. Hail Spirit Noir are kind of like Immortal jamming with King Crimson as there are periods of outright weirdness that mix with more of the traditional extreme metal approach. It's interesting but could be a little jarring for some. 7/10
Wardrum: Awakening (Steel Galley Records)
Yet more Greek power metal, this time from Thessaloniki. The band all come from other bands on the Greek scene guitarist Kosta Vreto is also in Jaded Star and Horizon's End along with Kostas Scandalis (bass) and Stergios Kourou (drums). Meanwhile J. Demian (guitar) is in both the Dol Theeta/Dol Ammad projects and plays bass in Hail Spirit Noir (see above). Awakening is their third record and it opens with The Unrepentant Classical guitars move into the super speed drumming and shredding galore, like The Silent Rage and Mystic Prophecy this opening song is in the heavy power metal category with the guitars crunchier than certain power metal bands.
That said from Right Within Your Heart the album takes a lighter edge, but the double kick drum comes back on Virtues Of Humanity. The record is a bit generic if I'm honest more so than a lot of other bands, everything is a bit lack lustre there are some stand out songs with Medusa being one that catches the ear immediately there are some big misses too especially the saccharine On Skies Of Grey. Awakening is not a bad record but with such a glut of power metal coming just from Greece never mind anywhere else. Wardrum sit in the second tier of power metal bands they are listenable enough but they do nothing not heard before. 6/10
Void Droid: Terrestrial (Self Released)