Since I wrote these two reviews one right after the other, I decided to wait until both were online at Sonic Cathedral before posting them here. So, here they are!
First is my review of MindMaze’s debut album, Mask of Lies. This traditional heavy metal quartet from Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA spices up their classic sound with progressive and power metal influences, relying on creative songwriting and soaring refrains to heighten the excitement. Listeners may be surprised by MindMaze’s use of acoustic guitars on Mask of Lies as well as the clean, theatrical vocals of frontwoman Sarah Teets. I certainly was. And those surprises were some of the reasons why I called Mask of Lies “a thrill ride through the many sides of classic heavy metal.”
Next is my review of Serenity’s fourth album, War Of Ages. Anyone who’s familiar with this Austrian symphonic power metal band may be wondering, “Why is she covering a male-fronted band?” Well, Georg Neuhauser isn’t Serenity’s only vocalist anymore. He now shares the forward charge with Clémentine Delauney, former Whyzdom frontwoman and Serenity’s touring backup singer since 2011. And the band’s evolution doesn’t end there. War Of Ages features an improved balance of symphonics and metal and an overall darker edge musically and lyrically. Serenity’s greatest asset, however, is their entertainment factor. As I said in my review of War Of Ages, “you’ll find yourself immersed in its majesty and enjoying the journey each time.”