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PiercingMetal’s “Best Of” 2007: Music, Video and Concerts

Well it’s that time of the year again and that means it’s time to share with you all what I felt were my very favorites from all of the stuff that was reviewed here on PiercingMetal for the musical year of 2007. I will keep this introduction short and instead let these highlights shine a little brighter. Here we go.

Logo - The Best Of

Best CD’s of 2007:

Let’s just consider this a sampling of some of the music that we found ourselves listening to on more than one occasion be it on the stereo loud enough to wake the neighbors or on our music players. We review hundreds of discs each year and this batch are among the best and most enjoyed by our editorial offices.

Epica “The Divine Conspiracy” (Nuclear Blast Records) – So the singer you have heard on some Kamelot stuff and her band have delivered their third release, a magnum opus that is meatier than beef stew when it comes to satisfying content.

Kamelot “Ghost Opera” (SPV Records) – If you wondered how the guys could top “The Black Halo”, then pick up a copy of this one.

After Forever “After Forever” (Nuclear Blast Records) – You’ve heard her in Ayreon stuff for years now the larger populace can enjoy

Daath “The Hinderers” (Roadrunner Records) – Crushing, thunderous, topical. Interesting lyrical premise as well.

Nightwish “Dark Passion Play” (Roadrunner Records) – Tarja who? The band is back and on fire with new singer Annette Olzon, “Bye Bye Beautiful” indeed, “Hello Beautiful” as well…..

Dream Theater “Systematic Chaos” (Roadrunner Records) – New DT was quite satisfying. I’ve been a fan for years and this album reminded me of why that is the case.

Opeth “The Roundhouse Tapes” – An Opeth live concert recording that finds them on tour supporting their newest album and yet making time to fit in their classics. Stunning.

Within Temptation “The Heart Of Everything” (Roadrunner Records) – a long awaited US debut from Dutch Gothic Metal superstars is loaded with catchy numbers and sure to make them more of a household name.
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“Victory Songs” by Ensiferum

Artist: Ensiferum
Title: “Victory Songs”
Label: Candlelight Records
Release Date: 4/24/2007
Genre: Viking Metal
Rating: 4/5

I’m beginning to think that there’s nothing better than a little Viking Metal when you are looking for music to get the blood pumping and the energy level raised. This belief was affirmed when I began to play the album “Victory Songs”, the US debut by Finland’s own Ensiferum. As the album begins you immediately hear that Ensiferum approaches the Viking Metal genre with a slightly different twist and this is perhaps based on the band being Finnish as opposed to being Norwegians. They blend many elements of Finnish Folk Metal into the Viking side and as result have some similarity to bands like Korpiklaani and Finntroll. Of course they don’t sound exactly like them since Korpiklaani is quite festive and vibrant and brings dancing to mine while Finntroll makes you want to pillage a town and maybe even drink quite a bit. With “Victory Songs”, Ensiferum are presenting you with a call to arms and as the album opens with “Ad Victoriam” , I felt as though I was riding a proud stallion up a mountain with armies behind me until we overlooked a region that was to be ours for the taking. The orchestrations end and the band attack commences with as “Blood Is The Price Of Glory” which is a thunderous number where you can really envision a terrible battle taking place as it plays through. It is right then that you realize this is going to be an exciting album. There is straight ahead Metal found on “Deathbringer From The Sky” with its crushing guitar riffs and bombastic double bass drumming and with the song “Ahti” the guys sound quite a lot like Children Of Bodom based on the structure used in the tune and in the way that singer Petri Lindroos is handling the vocal lines. The band is also comprised of founder Markus Toivonen (guitar), Sami Hinkka (bass), Meiju Enho (keyboards) and Janne Parviainen (drums). The keyboards on the album however were the work of Finntroll’s own “Trollhorn” Henri Sorvali who uses his vast talents to bring different worlds of sound to the release. The guys also make strong use of the traditional Finnish Folk instruments such as the kantele, bagpipe, nyckelharpa and bodhrans which really help to make this album sound all the more interesting.
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