Five Years at Sonic Cathedral – A Retrospective, Part 3: Artists #10 through #6

Finally getting around to the next part of my retrospective! We’re halfway through the countdown of my 20 favorite artists that I’ve covered at Sonic Cathedral over the past 5 years. If you’ve missed the first two installments, now’s a great time to catch up:

Part 1: Artists #20 through #16

Part 2: Artists #15 through #11

Which means that today I’ll reveal the first half of my top 10. 😉 And remember that you can catch the daily version of the countdown at my official Facebook page.

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My Favorite Music of 2012


I hope your New Year has gotten off to a promising start. The end of 2012 was a busy time for me, between various writing projects, the holidays, and other things. However, I made sure to consider which albums from 2012 I considered as some of my favorites.

I always make two lists: a personal one that combines all of the music genres I listen to, and one for Sonic Cathedral that focuses exclusive on female-fronted rock and metal. Now that the Sonic Cathedral Best of 2012 article is online, it’s time for me to share my picks for both lists! And – ready for a shocker? – for the first time in a couple years, my #1 picks for both lists are different albums. Then again, that just goes to show how incredible some of 2012’s albums were.

So, here are the lists!

My Personal Top 10 Albums of 2012

Anathema Weather Systems cover2

1. Anathema – Weather Systems

2. Beyond The Bridge – The Old Man & The Spirit

3. The Mariana Hollow – Velvet Black Sky

4. Xandria – Neverworld’s End

5. Astral Tears – Hypnotic

6. Lyriel – Leverage

7. Kamelot – Silverthorn

8. Ideal Zero – Ideal Zero EP

9. Atoma – Skylight

10. Arjen Lucassen – Lost In The New Real

My Sonic Cathedral Top 10 of 2012
(click here to read the full article by the SC staff)

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1. Beyond The Bridge – The Old Man & The Spirit

2. The Mariana Hollow – Velvet Black Sky

3. Xandria – Neverworld’s End

4. Astral Tears – Hypnotic

5. Lyriel – Leverage

6. Ideal Zero – Ideal Zero EP

7. Leah – Of Earth & Angels

8. Venturia – Dawn Of A New Era

9. Vajra – Pleroma

10. Akoma – The Other Side EP

New CD Reviews: Beyond The Bridge and The Mariana Hollow


After a hectic January, I’m finally catching up with two new reviews at Sonic Cathedral. And after what has been a sour start musically to 2012 (sorry, Nightwish and Lacuna Coil fans, but I don’t like their latest offerings at all), I’m so thrilled to have covered two phenomenal albums – two that I’m sure will battle it out at year’s end for my favorite album of the year!

First up is The Old Man And The Spirit, the debut album by German progressive metal project Beyond The Bridge. This concept album features two very different singers – metal veteran Herbie Langhans, and up-and-coming jazz singer Dilenya Mar – as the title characters. Musically, The Old Man… is, as quoted from my review, “a page out of Arjen Lucassen’s Ayreon book.” Progressive metal combined with various genres, salient melodies, and skillful arrangements galore. However, Beyond The Bridge have accomplished something that Mr. Lucassen – or any other artist whose album(s) I’ve reviewed – has never done before. I could tell you what that is – but that would spoil the end of my review. *wink*

Click here to read my review of Beyond The Bridge’s The Old Man And The Spirit.

The second album is Velvet Black Sky, the upcoming second album by UK alternative metallers The Mariana Hollow. You’ve probably heard that name mentioned numerous times on this blog – to the point that you might be thinking, “Pfffft! She’d never say anything bad about that band!” However, I gave Velvet Black Sky the same thoughtful and honest treatment that I’ve given all of my reviewed albums – and not only is Velvet Black Sky superior to The Mariana Hollow’s debut CD Coma Heart, it’s “the wake-up call that rock and metal fans will be sorry to miss.”

Click here to read my review of The Mariana Hollow’s Velvet Black Sky.

I’ve got much more coming at Sonic Cathedral in the next few months. So, as always, stay tuned!

~ Sara