Album Review: “Breathing In Colours” by Forever Still

Today I will be talking about another album that just recently came out this month. I’ve already talked about this band back in 2016, but now we have a bran new release and I am so excited to do this review for you! I’m also really happy to finally be able to listen to all of the songs too, since I’ve been trying to save them specifically for this post. 

Forever Still is a female fronted band straight out of Denmark. The group consists of Maja the lead vocalist and her band mates: Mikkel, Rune, and Inuuteg. They make some really fun and exciting hard rock music. You cannot tell that they are an international band, and Maja is true rocker as she has an amazing voice for both singing and screaming! If you’ve never heard of them or want to make your own judgement about Maja’s singing ability then you should check out the rest of their music afterwards. 

This album has a total of 12 tracks and we start it with a song called “Rewind”. It has an eerie introduction that only lasts a few seconds and immediately hear this static-y sound before Maja starts singing. I enjoyed the familiarity in the entire song. I don’t listen to them a lot, much less rock music, as I used to so it was nice to instantly fall back in love with the band again. One thing that I noticed was the range in Maja’s voice. Whenever she went up to do those high notes in the choruses, you could hear the power. It wasn’t forced so it was perfectly done. I really liked this the most I think. Next, there’s “Fight” and you have this hard, head-banging kind of song. It still has these softer notes in it, which I ended up liking a lot more than I thought I would. I also want to say that I think Maja has learned the safer way to conduct her screams, because it did feel a little bit held in parts, it wasn’t as intense as I’m used to hearing it but that doesn’t mean it was bad though. 

Click here to read Forever Still’s “Tied Down” album review now!

Our third track is “Breathe In Colours” and this is much more gritty compared to the first two songs. When it starts, you think it’s going to stay in one lane but it doesn’t, everything changes during the choruses. One giveaway for this, is when Maja suddenly goes quiet and whispers a few words before screaming into the microphone. I like the commanding presence it had, I wanted it to continue on and on just so I could absorb that vibe a little bit more. I think it’s my favorite, but we have to keep going to see what else we have on here. “Is It Gone?” was actually on one of my favorite rock stations, Sirius XM Octane a couple of weeks ago and as much as I was excited for them to be played on there, I forced myself away and I was really sad I did to myself. The song itself is really light, it’s not obnoxious like I thought but I really liked it for what it was, a really hard rock song that is perfect for radio too! 

We move on to, “Survive” and I really hoped for another loud, in your face type of song and that’s exactly what I got! It was strong and made me chill out, which was strange in a way because usually this type of music has the opposite effect. I have to point out though, I wasn’t just swaying side-to-side, whenever the pace increased, I was head-banging right along to her screams! It was a good and interesting mix! Number six was “Do Your Worst” and this is a monster! From the time it starts until the ends, it’s just intense! Maja does a lot of singing in this one, but I actually prefer it, you can feel and the emotions coming out of her in this, and that was what really made me fall in love with it. 

We are almost done, and I am already sad! Next there’s “Pieces” and it’s another light rock song. The screams are not at the forefront of the song, so instead you hear this angelic singing and mysterious choir in the background too. It was really great! We go back to the heavy hitters in the eighth track, “Rising Over You” and it actually gave me “Scars” vibes in various parts of the song. If you don’t know, “Scars” is one of my favorites on their previous album, so the fact that we have a similarity between these two songs kind of made me worried at first, but this is a completely different song, and I’m glad the whole thing a whole new identity. 

We move on to, “Say Your Goodbyes” the song that I forgot to write down on my list before I got started on this post. It happens sometimes, especially with me! Anyways, this has a darker direction but the sound itself is not muddled, meaning the softer and gritty sounds don’t overwhelm each other as they trade off. Our final song, is “Embrace The Tide” ends this journey on a very easy-going note. It’s not in your face, heavy, but it still has a soul with the orchestral elements added onto it. I really liked, even though it isn’t what I would normally like for the end of this album, still it’s really good too! 

I know I mentioned in the beginning that this had twelve songs on here, but I don’t normally like to talk about acoustic versions of the same song I just listened to. Normally I do say something about it, but honestly I don’t really care for acoustic songs, so I apologize for the false advertisement there. Other than that, this was a really good album. I really actually surprised in a way because I hadn’t seen that much about it online, so I was a bit scared going into this. Second albums are usually a hit or a miss too, so that was my other worry about listening to it, but we’re good! It was a great album with some nice changes too.

Have you heard Forever Still’s new release “Breathing In Colours” yet? If you have, what did think of it?  Do you have any favorites that you’d like to share with us?  

Song Review: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel / God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Upon Wings

Over the summer, I wanted to do something different for my summer Tune Tuesday series and I got the idea to let other artists that not only do I enjoy but everybody would get to know and love too. Anne Erickson of Upon Wings wrote a couple of great pieces back in June and I really appreciated that she took the time out of her life to do something as great as this for all of us. Upon Wings have been working a lot lately to release some new music to their fans and this week, we got a treat with a Christmas song. Well, technically, it’s two songs mashed up into one track, but you get what I’m trying say, right?

So, this starts off with a section of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and I really like the acoustic guitar in the introduction. It has a light vibe going about it but you still get a happy feeling as it goes on. To me Anne’s voice is in a darker tone but I actually like it. They are a rock opera band so it sounds kind of mysterious but it’s gentle and still has that cheerful quality you’d normally hear with a song like this.

Now when the next song starts up, you still have the same elements playing on, but the only subtle additions are the drums and violins in the background. This song is called “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and just for fun, I watched the movie A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey in it and this song is sung by a family group begging for money on the sidewalk. When I saw this, I instantly remember that scene and the fact that I haven’t finished watching it yet. Anyways, the track does pick up pace once we move onto this song. and we get a nice guitar solo and everything sounds really lovely together.

It was a nice little surprise for not only the fans  (myself included) but the actual track was really great. I like different variations of songs, that’s why I enjoy listening to covers and remixes on a daily basis. However I know, when it comes to Christmas music, it can be a little daunting because you’re so used to hearing them in one way and to find them in a completely different singer and most importantly new genre, it can really make you into a critic really quick, but you can’t hate on the artist(s) that do remake these beloved songs because they’re only reinventing them into what they like to listen to on a daily basis, you know? So, I give Upon Wings a lot of credit for putting this together for this holiday!

What do you think Upon Wings’s new take to these traditional Christmas songs? How are you about the various versions of your favorite holiday songs? Have you ever been converted into one or the other before?

Album Review: “Heart Of The Hurricane” by Beyond The Black

34729747_951670208326241_2834433232856940544_nWe’re back with another review! This time I am talking about symphonic metal with a band that I have discussed on here in the past, it was their album “Lost In Forever” that I actually listen to almost every other month now. The band recently released their third album “Heart Of The Hurricane” in late August, and you would be very proud of me, because I have not listened to a single song–even though I really wanted to every time I saw one pop up on my Spotify–so my thoughts on the songs themselves will fresh and I seem to like it better to go about it that way.

Here’s a little background on the band, they are originally from Germany, leading the bunch is Jennifer Haben while Chris Hermsdörfer and Tobias Lodes play guitar and do some backing vocals. Stefan Herkenhoff is on bass, Jonas Roßner plays the keys and finally Kai Tschierschky does the drums. The album consists of 15 songs, which is more than I usually review on here, but I thought what the hell! So, let’s get this party started!

We start off the album with a song called “Hysteria” and this has a nice heavy metal sound with the guitars being at the center of the beginning and I like the balance between the orchestra’s light tone against the harsh guitars together, and Jennifer along with the choir, keep that soft element there throughout despite the fact that the track is about chaos. I thought that was kind of interesting! It was pretty mild to what I kind of expected but I liked it nonetheless though. Second is the title track “Heart Of The Hurricane” and I definitely like how this one starts, it’s heavy but when Jennifer comes on, the guitars die down. I had a hard time keeping myself still while listening to it the first time, which is a really good sign! I was slightly jumping up and down on my bed and whenever it got quiet, I turned to swaying side-to-side and I can’t wait to learn the lyrics to it. Next is “Through The Mirror” and a piano begins the song off which surprised me because you hardly ever hear songs like this towards the start of the album. Of course, the sound explodes into this monstrous ballad. I really like it.

 “Million Lightyears” is the fourth song and I’m not going to lie, I kept picturing Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story when I first read the title of it. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it! This has a different start, as it was a male singer, and it kind of threw me off because I couldn’t see a featured artist, so it could either be Chris, Stefan, or Tobias. However, I do like the deeper tone of his voice against Jen’s soaring vocals. It gives the song an extra edge so it’s good! We move on to “Song For The Godless” and once I saw this title, I was really intrigued; I just knew I was going to like the suspense of not exactly knowing what was going to happen with this song. The introduction in this one is so good! It has this exotic element but fierce drumming coming together, everything that I wanted was in this song! The only thing that would have made it better was if that drumming was as loud as it was throughout the choruses. I think that would have been interesting, but the song is really good otherwise!

Next there’s “Escape From The Earth” which is another song that grabbed my attention right away and it has a somber undertone that you hear immediately. I liked the fact that it was softer, but it had some interesting edges to it with the fast strumming in the mist of the second verse, so it sort of changed the tempo and direction of the “normal” ballad. I also enjoyed the very loud slap of the drums, unfortunately I don’t know anything but drums but I still liked that little surprise because it made that song even better. Now, we have “Beneath A Blackened Sky” and I’m happy to say that this is another heavy epic track. The haunted sounds of the orchestra, with the choir singing in the introduction really excited me, but those elements kind of took a back step whenever Jennifer would start singing. They would start up again towards the choruses so I wasn’t that disappointed with it! It’s actually a really good track.

The eighth song is “Fairytale Of Doom” which made me really curious, because the first thing that popped into my head was a darker turn of Alice In Wonderland, although I had clue to what I would actually hear when the song played. I think this has a bit of a thrash-y sound to it, as the symphonic part of it isn’t as powerful, but I thought it was okay to go that route. Honestly, I would have been mad if they had went a sweeter and angelic sound with this, so instead they went with a hardier vibe that still told a good story. This one sort of threw me off, it’s called “My God Is Dead” and I’m always worried with these types of songs, but knowing the genre itself, they’re not talking about their lives, rather than a character made for the album itself. The track is a nice ballad again, but I really enjoyed whoever does the harsh vocals in the choruses, it was different but not enough to  divert the sound as a whole a lot.

We have “Dear Death” next and here was another title that got me wondering, I really enjoy doing that, I rarely expect how it’s going to sound but I try to guess the story behind it. I think it’s the storyteller in me! Anyways, I’m glad that it has a hefty sound in the beginning but honestly that really dies down as it continues to the point where I kind of grew to not like it. I can’t really explain it. So, let’s move on to the other song, “Scream For Me” and I really like it! The introduction made me slightly worried because they have a lot of mellow songs and I thought this was just another one, but they gave us a big surprise as the choruses are explosive! Everything is heightened and for once, I liked the guitar solo! I hardly ever like the solos anymore.

The last four songs, and we start with “Freedom” and it definitely has more of a power metal vibe going on, if you like to headbang, you can really do it with this one. I like the creepy and slow notes of the piano in the background with all of the chaos being center stage. I’m happy that Jennifer was able to control her voice in that type of environment . My voice would have been all over the place and that’s the truth! Next there’s “Breeze” which sounds sweet when you first read it, and then when it starts to play and you Jen’s voice basically stripped down with only a piano, strings and a choir gave it a classy tone and it’s the perfect calm down after the previous song! It’s really pretty!

“Echo From The Past” is the fourteenth song of the album. It seems like we go back to the mild soundings, as the it has a mysterious introduction with what sounds like church bells ringing in the background leading to some of the rough guitars. It wasn’t what I was expecting but I like that about it. And finally, the last song is “Parade” and I was utterly surprised with this because if I didn’t know any better, I’d say this had some electronic elements in it! I don’t really know what to say about it, other than it’s interesting but it’s not my favorite off the album.

I am officially done! I have to say, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into with this album mostly because I’ve only listened to one album all the way through and I kind of liked it, whereas this one was slightly boring. It didn’t keep me interested and they all just blended together in a bad way unfortunately. It’s a nice effort in my opinion.

What do you think about Beyond The Black’s new album “Heart Of The Hurricane”? Did you like it or were you not pleased with it at all?

snowflake

Tune Tuesday | Where Does The Name ‘Upon Wings’ Come From? by Anne Erickson

guestpost2018

Howdy!

We’re back with the second Tune Tuesday post featuring Upon Wings lead vocalist Anne Erickson!

Are you loving these pieces so far? Everybody seems to love them, which is really great for the band as the more we do this, people who have never heard of them will grow more curious about their music and eventually want to check them out, which is something that I strive for on a daily basis. That’s what every music blogger wants to do, inspire people to look into this artist or group, so that maybe they’ll start to love them and become a steady fan, if that’s an actual term for musical purposes!

Today, Anne will be discussing how the name Upon Wings came about and I think it’s a very touching story on how different things, like verses or words in general can touch and help us create something entirely new! So I hope you all will enjoy it!


When I was thinking of different band names, I wanted something simple and something that somehow felt right with the band’s sound. I was looking at different places for inspiration, and I looked through the Bible for some inspiration and ideas and I read Isaiah 40:31:

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

The phrase “Upon Wings” stood out to me. To me, that phrase implies depending on something outside of yourself in times of need. It could be God, a friend or family member or something else to help you in some way. There are times in life when all of us will need to rest “Upon Wings” of Eagles to soar.


How is that for an answer?! I really loved hearing about this, because I remember the afternoon I found Upon Wings and literally I thought how the band name came about, honestly for most bands with out of the box names, this is usually the first thing that pops into my head!

How to follow Anne and Upon Wings?

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

 

Tune Tuesday | What Inspired You To Create “Upon Wings” by Anne Erickson

guestpost2018

Howdy!

If you’re new to my blog, you may not know that summer is like a big season for Got Meghan’s Blog. I usually do a series talking about music from all over the world. I really enjoy searching for new artists and bands and write the posts afterwards. I have found tons of incredible musicians since I started this back in 2014, but I’m literally running out of music in some places that I figured would be an never-ending supply. Once I made this assessment, I realized that if I wanted to continue with the Tune Tuesday series as a whole, I would need more time so I thought it would be cool to call in some reinforcements!

What I have in store for you are a few pieces by an artist that I’ve been looking up to in the last few years. This person is a lead singer of the rock opera band called Upon Wings. Her name is Anne, and she has been freaking awesome about doing this, but honestly I’m doing this for her as well. I’m giving her free promotion on here. This is who I am as both a music blogger and a friend, I don’t want anything else besides that and I know she’d appreciate it just as much, so without further do, I really hope you enjoy these articles she’s gladly written up for us!


Music has always been a part of my life since I was four years old. My parents took me to musical theater productions when I was super young, and I fell in love. That was my introduction to music!

Pretty soon, I got into opera and studied voice, and then later, I discovered rock and metal. I started writing music for Upon Wings, and actually recorded some songs but kept it to myself. A few years later, an incident in my life nudged me to release one of those songs, “The Dream.” I made my own music video to go with the song and posted it on YouTube. I was so touched and floored by the positive response I got from people who were discovering my music from that video. Those people inspired me to push further and release a debut EP “Afterlife” from Upon Wings.


How to follow Anne and Upon Wings?

Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

EP Review: “The Solace System” by Epica

21192247_10154558066352924_6742503111489932212_nI love Epica. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re a symphonic metal band hailing from The Netherlands, one of my favorite places to find great music especially in this subgenre! There’s six members of the band: Coen on keys, Ariën on drums, Rob plays bass, Issac plays rhythm guitar while Mark plays lead and does the harsh vocals and Simone is the main vocalist of the band.

They are one of those bands that I have a really hard time getting interested into after so long. I loved their 2014 album The Quantum Enigma and I will even go onto saying that it’s one of my favorite albums of all time! However, this was the only album I’ve managed to like from start to finish. When their recent record The Holographic Principle came out in 2016, I wasn’t able to use my Spotify so there were a lot of albums that came out in that timeline that I never got to listen to.

So let’s start on this…

The first song is the title track “The Solace System” and they have a very interesting music video for this song on their YouTube channel. I was glad that I checked it out because I didn’t even know they were even releasing an EP! I was expecting the songs to be in the same themes as their previous album, they seem a bit outlandish but it’s really not bad. I love the shared parts between Mark and his growl-y voice to the choir in the background in the verses. Simone’s voice seems very tamed in this song but I kind of like it though. It’s very heavy though, you hear the guitars and metal aspect of it a lot stronger than the more symphonic sounds. For any skeptics out there, you could actually convert using this song! Next is “Fight Your Demons” and anytime you have this kind of title, I’m always hoping for a heavier type of track and thankfully you get that, the introduction was enough for me! You know that I don’t always follow the lyrics in the beginning but I really like the meaning in this song.

Third is “Architect Of Light” and I’ve seen a lot of praise for this track. The symphonic metal community is basically in love with it, which makes things more interesting! I really love the title so we’re getting there! I absolutely love the intro, those horns sound so cool! I am a bit speechless. The other songs were metal based whereas this one allows the orchestra to shine. It’s powerful but it still has those gritty moments brought by Mark’s voice. It’s glorious! It’s definitely a favorite but now we have to move on to “Wheel Of Destiny” and we have another very fast paced song, which in a way goes with the title well! I like Simone’s low voice in the verses. I really like it a lot. So there’s another favorite in the making!

The last two songs start with “Immortal Melancholy” and have I said how much I love these titles? They’re so mysterious and I really like not knowing how each song may sound until it actually plays.  It makes things interesting! I’m glad they put a slower song on this, I think their music is pretty brutal but I do love their softer ones just the same because it’s a nice balance to have, plus Simone always does a fantastic job of controlling her voice in the ballads. It’s very beautiful and not what you’d really except from a heavy metal band. Last one is “Decoded Poetry” and once again, brilliant title! We’re back to the normal sound of Epica, and it seems that it’s only Simone on vocals but thankfully towards the end Mark does make an appearance which made me really happy! There’s a small section that is just beautiful, The band stops playing and all you hear is a choir and the orchestra and it’s a beautiful piece and then all of a sudden, the guitars come in harder than ever and I really love these songs! They’re always so fun for the listener because it’s so many elements at once. It’s great!

I really liked this considering I’ve only heard about three songs of their previous album. Now the real question is, am I inspired enough to go back and listen to it? Not yet, but I’ll never really put off my radar forever because I know one day I’ll be in a big Epica mood and will want to discover new songs from their rooster.

What do you think of Epica’s new EP? Have you heard of any new symphonic metal bands lately? Let me know please!

snowflake

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Bloglovin

Album Review: “Rhapsodies In Black” by Exit Eden

18951120_415097612216750_3197680066864352688_nSo I have a new band for you, they’re called Exit Eden! If you are into the symphonic metal scene then you might know some of the ladies in the group. Oh yeah, all four singers are WOMEN! You know, there are a lot of female fronted bands that don’t like their bands called “female fronted” but I think it’s awesome! And I love the fact that these four powerhouses that have either fronted or were background singers for other well-known bands is amazing!

American singer Amanda Somerville and Brazilian vocalist Marina La Torraca have both worked with the Dutch heavy metal band Avantasia, while French soprano Clémentine Delauney has previously fronted Serenity but is now working with Visions of Atlantis. The last member of the group is German singer Anna Brunner is also the newcomer too, although I have yet to find if she’s worked with any bands yet or released her own material, she definitely has a strong voice to lend to the ensemble.

The album consists of 11 songs, but they are not singing their own songs. They’re actually covering a very interesting and unique blend of songs. I found it odd that they are covering more songs from the early 2000’s than maybe the 1980’s, but maybe there is copyright issues and were only allowed to do so many, but I still think the setlist is good though. I will say there were a few that I had to look up and see who they were originally by, but I’m hoping who the real artist is won’t cloud my judgement!

We start with Depeche Mode’s single “A Question of Time” and I didn’t know what to expect, but I sure liked it! I imagine the original version is very heavy, so the fact they is somewhat soft is fun. The song itself is very commanding so it works with the slight change of adding more symphony sounds and the male choir in the background. All of the ladies have different tones, but I really like Marina’s fierce vocals in the choruses. I apologize in advance if I get one wrong here and there. I’ve only figured out Anna and Clementine’ voices so far. The second is Rihanna’s hit “Unfaithful” that came out before she went bad. I liked the original a lot, but I’m not going to lie when I heard this one, I was shocked and happy all at the same time! I liked the raw string introduction and I really love Anna’s voice on this track. She has a strong, 80’s power-metal type of voice. It’s gorgeous! Majority of the heavy metal singers do not write personal songs so it’s a little strange to hear something that may not exactly be about them or their struggles, because half the time the music they do is more fantasy, folklore kind of stuff.

Third is another shocker and one that I really tried to keep an open mind about because they went and covered a Backstreet Boys song. Thankfully, not one of their bigger 90’s or 00’s hits, but still it’s a boy band song! However, it’s not bad! I liked the fact they kept the same slow tempo and didn’t destroy the essence of the song itself. I will say I do prefer the BSB version but this is a good effort! Next is Shontelle’s “Impossible” and I thought this was a different one. I remember it was a big hit in 2011 I think but didn’t think I’d ever see it on here. The melody’s not bad and I do like the addition of the guitar solo, but it is a hard song for me to listen to in any version so unfortunately I don’t like it as much as I wish I could and it has nothing to do with Exit Eden!

I wonder if it’s hard to do a Madonna cover? I mean, think about it. If you have listened to a song for years, know all of the words to it. How does one decide they want to not only cover it, but instead of keeping the pop sound, you change it to metal? I feel that would be difficult, but again I like the effort. This is Madonna’s “Frozen” and it’s hauntingly beautiful! Honestly, it could have been better without the beginning part of the guitar solo but that’s my opinion! Now we’re going to talk about a song that when I first heard it, I thought the original artist had covered it. No joke! It was Bryan Adams’s “Heaven” everybody has heard some version of this song at one point in their life! I have to say this is the one that I didn’t care for as much. I think there is too much and it’s mostly in the sound itself, I think the ladies were amazing but it lacked the same flair.

Keeping with the pop theme, we have Katy Perry’s “Firework” and even though Amanda Somerville is the only American singer in the group, and she seems to do most of the vocals, I think they managed to make it sound more Americana. Between Amanda and Anna’s voices, the vibe is unreal. It sounds so simple too! I don’t know how they did it! And then we have a shocker, it’s Adele’s “Skyfall” but it has become another song that has become a real hit as far as covering. The Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation also covered it in 2013. I liked the sound, it still has that powerful sound but I think it would have been better if it was only Clementine and Marina’s voices on the track.

This next one is one that everyone has heard, maybe in the right way. Several of us have only heard the crazy version on the snack commercials, like moi! It’s a good thing my mom doesn’t read my reviews! The song is Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” and it does sound roughly the same, the duo vocals between a male and female, but I have no idea who the guy’s voice is. It could be another singer of a band or their guitarist voice. I’m not really sure! I think the song itself is very good though! And then we have Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” and I love the playful mobile sound at the beginning before switching to this sharp metal sound. I love Anna’s disornated voice during the bridge. I love the high vocals in the choruses – they’re going to be a bitch trying to hit once I figure out the melody again! It’s one of my favorites on here! The last song is Visage’s “Fade To Grey” and this was another song that I did not know at all. For the last song of the album, it definitely had the vibe “let’s go out with a bang” and I definitely approved of that! However, it does go a bit quiet once the verses start but it’s still very interesting though!

I was really surprised when I listened to this. I had been looking forward to it because I follow both Amanda and Clementine on Facebook, so finally I got to hear it officially was very satifasying! I almost got worried because it released in Europe first and I kept seeing on the band’s Facebook page that it was on Spotify and I kept having to check like every other day before I released we’d be second in line! I felt like an ass afterwards!

Have you heard of Exit Eden yet? Did you listen to the album too? What are your favorite(s)?

snowflake

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Bloglovin