Sunday, 27 September 2015

Praying Mantis' 'Legacy' - Album Review

Despite being a big part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (MWOBHM) movement in the early 1980s, England's Praying Mantis have always sounded different to the titans (and also-rans) of that genre. With feet in both the traditional heavy metal and AOR camps, they are poppier than Iron Maiden but have a harder edge than Foreigner; which makes them a slight anomaly. Their debut album, Time Tells No Lies from 1981, is easily the band's best known work. Brothers guitarist Tino and bassist Chris Troy have always been the cornerstone of the band, co-writing many of the band's songs and being ever-present throughout their history. Members have come and gone, but the Troy brothers have remained faithful to Praying Mantis. Quite a lot of famous faces have graced the band throughout the years. Guitarist Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden) was with the band throughout the whole of the 1990s and played on many of the band's albums, and many singers who have made their names with other bands have also had (often very short) stints in the band. The vocals have always been my biggest problem with Praying Mantis' music. The soaring, melodic nature of their music demands a stellar vocalist and the band have never really been able to find one. Doogie White (Rainbow; Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force; Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock), Gary Barden (Michael Schenker Group), and John Sloman (Uriah Heep) have all had stints in Praying Mantis, but no-one has ever stuck around long enough to really make a mark. None of these singers ever turned in their greatest performances for Praying Mantis either, which did not help! This all changed in 2013 however, when the band announced that the Dutch duo of vocalist John Cuijpers and drummer Hans in t'Zandt were joining the band's ranks. I saw the band at the Cambridge Rock Festival that year, and they blew me away. I so pleased, Praying Mantis had finally found a singer that did their material justice. Since that set two years ago, I have been waiting for new material. Last month Legacy, the band's tenth studio album, was released - and I was not disappointed. Legacy is the Praying Mantis album I have always wanted. Their trademark mix of duel lead guitars, strong vocal harmonies, and keyboard overtones is present here as expected, but the quality is just increased considerably due to Cuijpers' performance. The whole band are on fire here, and all five members deliver strong performances. This is easily my favourite Praying Mantis album (although I've not heard them all as many are hard to get hold of these days) and I hope this will be a big success for the band.

Fight for Your Honour really sets the tone for the album, as the dual lead guitars of Tino Troy and Andy Burgess herald instantly reinforce that Praying Mantis sound. Cuijpers immediately impresses with a strong vocal performance, especially during the infectious chorus. The use of keyboards seems to have increased somewhat on this album, with most of the songs here making use of them somewhere. In this song, they form part of the main riff, and add to the AOR feel of the band. Unsurprisingly, the guitar work is great throughout, and a great solo added near the end that is packed full of melody. Those who are big fans of the AOR side of the band's sound will love The One. The Def Leppard-esque opening guitar melody gives way into smooth verse with a pulsing bassline. Big backing vocal arrangements help to add to the 1980s feel of the song and the understated chorus only gets better with repeated listens. It shows Praying Mantis' knack for creating infectious melodies, and is a standout track on the album. Believable is another slab of prime AOR, and one that hits you right between the eyes from the off. The twin guitar riff is very memorable, and the piano that sits in the background throughout just adds to the overall melody. The chorus is very strong too, with subtle strings and plenty of big backing vocals to add to Cuijpers powerful lead. Tokyo is one of the songs that stood out to me on my first listen to Legacy and, while other songs have overtaken it for me now, it is still a great tune. There are plenty of breaks of spacey lead guitar throughout, which are aided by the keyboard arrangements, and Cuijpers seems to be channelling Dio somewhat with his expressive vocal delivery. Rather unsurprisingly, the band has incorporated some Eastern-sounding elements to this song, but unlike other bands, they are very subtle and add to the overall song than dominate it. Praying Mantis' sound is still intact, and the heavy guitar solo section shows why they were a part of the NWOBHM movement. Better Man moves away from the AOR somewhat, and instead presents us with a slower, heavier song that has a slight dark edge. Big, crunching chords and Cuijpers howling vocals are the dominant factors throughout the song, and it packs a punch because it is different to what has come before. Keyboards still play a part however, and the melody they play during the chorus actually sounds like something that could have been on an early Marillion album. This is another song that has grown on me quite a lot since first hearing it, and it is another really solid song from the band. All I See sees a return to the smoothness of the album's earlier songs, and is a real showcase for Cuijpers' voice. Nothing else really dominates here, and the vocal melodies drive the song and are king. This song proves that Praying Mantis made the right choice in hiring Cuijpers, and that is probably the best vocalist the band have ever had.

The second half of the album is certainly not as strong as the first, but there is still plenty to enjoy here. Eyes of a Child is another heavier song. The verses are build around some dramatic, staccato guitar stabs, which are backed up by a great keyboard arrangement. The chorus is a powerful one, with some epic melodies; but is the end of the song that is the best. A dual guitar solo showcases the best of Tino Troy and Burgess, before a great riff and drum pattern bring the song to a heavier close. The Runner is an upbeat rocker with plenty of dual guitar moments, jaunty riffs, and catchy moments. The chorus is probably one of the album's best. Keyboards on this song are played by Don Garbutt (whereas on the rest of the album they are handled by the Troy brothers and Burgess), and he lays down a great synth solo mid-way through. This adds something a little different to the song, and helps it to stand out. It makes me wonder why Praying Mantis have never thought to hire a full-time keyboardist and expand this part of their sound more, as this song shows what a great effect keyboards have on their sound. Against the World is an epic track that makes full use of the fact the band poses two great guitarists. The guitars are always doing something interesting here, whether it is laying down a great riff, or launching into another great lead section, the guitars dominate this song. Not to be outdone though, the chorus here is still very memorable, with some excellent vocal melodies that you cannot help but sing along with. The album's last couple of tracks are, unfortunately, probably the two weakest here. This is a shame as the album is so strong up to this point, and it does mean the album ends on a slightly disappointing note (I say slightly as the album leaves a great impression on me either way). Fallen Angel, despite containing some great guitar work, outstays it's welcome somewhat. This is a problem I have with quite a lot of the band's older material. They have often written songs that last a minute or two longer than necessary, and this song has some of that problem. Still, there is still some impressive guitar playing throughout and Cuijpers once again delivers a solid performance. Second Time Around, the album's closing number, just suffers from being a little samey without delivering any standout melodies or ideas of it's own. If this was positioned in the middle of the album, I would probably enjoy it more, but an album closer needs to be more epic and memorable. Something like Eyes of a Child would have suited this position better, and Second Time Around feels a little like filler in comparison. Overall, despite my issues with the final couple of numbers, Legacy is a really great album from Praying Mantis. As I said before, this is my favourite album the band has done (of the ones I have heard anyway), and I am sure I will be enjoying it for a long time. Now all we need is a UK tour!

The album was released on 21st August 2015 via Frontiers Records. Below is the band's promotional video for Fight for Your Honour.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

W.A.S.P. - Nottingham Review

W.A.S.P. were always the grubby older brother of the 1980s hair metal scene. Always noticeably heavier than the majority of the bands that dominated it, they had a foot much deeper in the traditional heavy metal camp than many of their contemporaries. This combined with their penchant for shocking theatrics made them legendary (and in many circles - infamous). Despite only having one original member for most of the band's history, W.A.S.P. have endured and remain a force to be reckoned with. Time has changed bandleader Blackie Lawless (vocals/guitar) however. Thoughtful songwriting has been his modus operandi for well over twenty years now, and the shocking stage sets of their early days are long gone. The band's fifteenth album Golgotha is due out next month, so this current UK tour is a good way to get the word out. To promote it, the band have included three new songs into their live set, which was a very good move in my opinion. W.A.S.P.'s setlist has been stagnating for a few years, and needed a bit of a shake-up. I am glad that the band chose to change up the live set somewhat, as they have been relying on the same old standards for the last couple of UK tours. I had decided that if the set was not at least somewhat different this time around that I would not go and see W.A.S.P. live again, so I am glad things were different this time. This gig also meant a trip up to Nottingham to one of my old haunts at Rock City. It was nearly two years since I was last there, so it was great to get back inside that great rock venue. The place was packed out too, which shows that W.A.S.P. are still a big draw live.

Support came from Cambridge rockers The Treatment who I have seen a few times over the years. The first time was at the Cambridge Rock Festival in 2010, before they had released any albums, and they blew me away. The most recent was supporting Slash at Nottingham's Capital FM Arena in 2013, which was still with their original line-up. Since then their second album Running with the Dogs has been released and they have undergone some line-up changes. Mitchel Emms (vocals) and Tao Grey (guitar/vocals) joined the band earlier this year, and this tour is the first major live outing of the new line-up. With all the changes I had lost interest in the band somewhat, but this set reaffirmed my love for them completely. I was captivated throughout the whole of their half an hour on stage, and cannot wait to hear recordings of the new songs they played. Opener Let it Begin is easily the best tune the band have ever written, and Emms did justice to the older songs. I Bleed Rock + Roll came across particularly strongly, as did the set closer; oldie Shake the Mountain. Tagore Grey (guitar/vocals) also impressed throughout with some excellent soloing. Overall, The Treatment are back with a bang and I cannot wait to see them again. The setlist was:

Let it Begin
The Doctor
I Bleed Rock + Roll
We are Beautiful
Shake the Mountain

A lesser band might have had troubling following The Treatment's high-energy set, but W.A.S.P. stepped up to the plate in fine form and delivered an evening of top quality heavy metal. The ever-present set-opener On Your Knees got the evening off to a great start, and Lawless proves that he still has that unique voice. The band generally are great vocally however, and both Doug Blair (guitar/vocals) and Mike Duda (bass guitar/vocals) helped him out on occasion. A great treat was the inclusion of Inside the Electric Circus in the set. It is one of my favourite W.A.S.P. tunes, and one I had not heard them do live before. Other early highlights were the classics L.O.V.E. Machine and Bruce Springsteen-esque Last Runaway which is the first single from the band's new album. The material from Golgotha came across really well live. The power ballad Miss You, which was originally written for The Crimson Idol, contained a great solo from Blair and some really expressive vocals form Lawless - something he has been perfecting for years. The middle of the set had a few more classics too, including the heavy Arena of Pleasure, and the anthemic Hellion from the band's self-titled debut album. By the point, the crowd were absolutely loving it, and their reaction to every song was huge. At this point I must give special mention to session drummer Randy Black (of Annihilator and Primal Fear fame) who did a great job behind the kit. The main set came to an end with the title track of the band's upcoming album, and it blew me away. It is an epic to end all W.A.S.P. epics of the past, and contained another excellent Blair solo. The chorus was very memorable too, and has made me excited to hear it again when the album comes out in October. There were three more songs to come in an encore, and Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue) stood out the most as usual. It is probably my favourite W.A.S.P. songs, and it is always great to hear it live. Wild Child and I Wanna be Somebody followed and made for a rousing end to the set. The setlist was:

On Your Knees
Inside the Electric Circus 
The Real Me [The Who cover]
L.O.V.E. Machine
Last Runaway
The Titanic Overture
Arena of Pleasure
Miss You
I Don't Need no Doctor [Ray Charles cover]
Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)
Wild Child
I Wanna be Somebody

Overall, this was a great set from one of the greatest heavy metal bands of the 1980s. With what sounds like it will be a great new album in Golgotha on the way, 2015 seems like it will be a good year for W.A.S.P.. I am glad Lawless is still out there rocking and sounding as good as ever, as it is people like him that keep traditional heavy metal alive and well in the 21st Century.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Bullet for my Valentine's 'Venom' - Album Review

As I said in my review for 2013's Temper Temper (you can read the full thing here): '...time has left Bullet for my Valentine as an uncool throw back to one's angst-filled youth'. In 2015, this statement still seems to ring true. They are also a band that I believe are victims of their own success. Their 2005 debut album The Poison made the band instant stars, and they were elevated to this position quicker than most bands. I always feel that bands that get too big too quickly often suffer in the long run. The hype that is built up around their second album is often hard to meet, and the disappointment that this can cause shows just how many casual 'hanger on'-type fans the band had amassed. While I'm not certain this situation 100% describes Bullet for my Valentine's particular career trajectory, I feel that a certain element of this has been present throughout. Each of the band's album's has been criticised for 'not being as good as The Poison' (or, more accurately, 'not being The Poison') and the lack of lots of 'screams' (clearly the only thing that makes a song worth hearing..). While the band remained very popular, it was very rare to see good reviews of their albums. I was always confused by this. I have always enjoyed the band's first three releases a lot. The Poison, 2008's Scream Aim Fire, and 2010's Fever are all solid albums in my opinion, full of powerful metalcore anthems and some enjoyable guitar riffs. Temper Temper is definitely weaker, but even that contains a few decent songs. It is undeniably uninspired, but it is far from awful. Given all of this, you can understand why I was shocked when I started reading reviews of the band's fifth album Venom. Coverage was almost universally positive, and critics and fans were falling over themselves to proclaim how good this new album is. I was excited to hear Venom, as I assumed it would be something like the band's first three albums, so you can imagine my disappointment when I played the album and it sounded exactly like Temper Temper. Now, Venom is not a bad album, but I really do not understand the hype of the universal love this album is receiving. It is just as bland and generic as Temper Temper, and actually has a very similar sound and production quality - despite some enjoyable songs. Hype and public opinion can be a totally unpredictable entity. I am not sure if there is something I am missing here, but repeated listens have not revealed anything special about this album. It is certainly no Fever

After a short instrumental intro called V, the album gets underway with the song No Way Out. This is one of the better songs on the album and definitely contains all the hallmarks of the band when they were at their best. Matt Tuck's vocal performance is strong here, mixing strong screams with melodic clean vocals well, something which is somewhat a trademark of Bullet for my Valentine's sound. Tuck and Michael Paget's guitar riffs here have quite a large thrash influence, and roar along at a good pace. The song also possesses a great, memorable chorus which helps to make the song so strong. Army of Noise follows and continues on the pacey strength that was established by No Way Out. Despite some rather strange lyrics, this is a very enjoyable song, and one of the better ones here. The choruses are particularly strong, with some galloping riffing and some tight vocal harmonies. There is a pretty good guitar solo too, that is extremely fast which suits the urgency of the rest of the song. Worthless is next, and slows the pace down somewhat, and presents itself as a heavy, mid-paced crunchy number. The verses have quite a sinister feel to them, with some loud whispered vocals in places and some staccato riffing. There is another enjoyable chorus too, that has just enough melody to make it memorable and interesting. After two faster songs, Worthless does well to change the pace up a bit and keep things varied. With You Want a Battle? (Here's a War) the album starts to take a downward turn. The vacuous, angsty lyrics that are shouted by a gang vocal choir from the outset, should be enough to warn you that this is not going to be a good track, and the band does nothing to prove you otherwise throughout it's duration. The verses are sung above some moody clean guitar lines that pale in comparison to things they have done in the past, and the choruses have no energy at all thanks to the slow gang vocal sections. Songs like this show Bullet for my Valentine at their most uncreative, and probably sum up what non-fans do not like about their music. Broken gets things back on track somewhat with a tasty fast riff. Tuck's vocal delivery in the verses do not seem quite right however, and I cannot put my finger on why. Things pick up however just before the chorus. A heavier screamed section contains a lot of power and discordant guitar lines that lead nicely into the memorable chorus. Tuck's singing is much better here, and the melodies are strong. There is another good guitar solo, that is helped along by Michael Thomas' fast drumming.

The album's title track is up next, and it is another song that I really enjoy. It is quite understated, which I feel actually works in the band's favour. The verses are quite quiet, with some trippy clean guitars and prominent bass guitar (which, I believe, is played by Tuck despite new bassist Jamie Mathias being credited with bass guitar in the sleeve notes along with Tuck). It is an easy song to like, with a strong chorus and interesting guitar patterns. It just adds something to the album with some good variety and a strong mood. The Harder the Heart (The Harder it Breaks) is a song that, once again, takes the album on a downward turn - one that lasts for three songs. There is just nothing interesting about this song at all, and it just seems to me as if the band were trying a little too hard with this one. The chorus lacks any standout melodies, and the verses have no bite at all to them, making them just pass you by without requiring you to actually take any notice. This continues on with Skin. Despite a good intro riff and a strong verse, the song never really seems to go anywhere. I was expecting a really strong chorus to explode from this song, but instead what we get is a short, weak offering that kills all expectations after the pacey verse. There are plenty of good things about this song, but the lack of a powerful chorus really disappoints. In my book, that is one of the cardinal sins that a song can commit, and Skin has committed it big time. It is a shame as, with some work, this song could be great. Hell or High Water is quite similar too, but the other way around. In this song, the chorus is quite good, but it is the only interesting thing about the song. The riffing is bland and the verses have no bite to them at all. Again, it just never seems to get going, and sits at the some boring pace throughout. It is a rather unremarkable song, and again passes by without grabbing your attention. After three weaker songs, it is a good thing that Pariah comes along and ensures that the album ends on a positive note. This is a really enjoyable song with some powerful bass guitar riffing and a really catchy verse melody. When Bullet for my Valentine write fast songs that mix clean and screamed vocals well, they usually produce good songs, and this is another one. I like the chorus too, which has some great loose drumming from Thomas and some strong vocal harmonies. It is a very enjoyable tune, and one that brings the album back around after a fairly poor second half. Overall, Venom is a decent enough album, but one that fails to live up to the hype that surrounded it. I doubt that Bullet for my Valentine will ever produce another essential album, but this is enjoyable enough for the most part and contains a handful of really strong songs.

The album was released on 14th August 2015 via RCA Records. Below is the band's promotional video for Army of Noise.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Symphony X's 'Underworld' - Album Review

Apart from Dream Theater, there is probably not another band out there flying the flag for 'traditional' progressive metal more than Symphony X (I am aware that 'traditional progressive metal' is probably an oxymoron, but just go with it!). Since forming in 1994, the band have eight albums of melodic progressive metal, that owes a lot of the greats of both the progressive rock and metal genres, while creating a sound that is recognisable as their own. 2015 sees the release of Underworld, the band's ninth album and first since 2011's double album Iconoclast (I know technically Iconoclast is a single album but, like Marillion's Marbles, anyone who only owns the single disc edition is missing out on hearing the 'full' album in my opinion). Since the touring cycle finished for Iconoclast, Symphony X have been fairly quiet. Singer Russell Allen has been busy with his other band Adrenaline Mob (and various projects for Frontiers Records), and bassist Michael LePond released his first solo album. Drummer Jason Rullo, who had to pull out of many dates on the Iconoclast tour because of heart failure, was busy recovering from his illness; so the combination of these factors led to some downtime for the band. Iconoclast was, and still is, a monster album from Symphony X. While I still feel there are many layers of that album that I have not yet discovered, there are many stand-out songs on that release. It was always going to be hard for the band to top it, at least in a spectacle point of view, so instead the band decided to 'return to their roots' somewhat. Iconoclast introduced a more modern themes to the band's lyrics, and Underworld sees more of a return to the fantasy themes of their past. When I say fantasy, I do not mean the Dungeons and Dragons stylings of Rhapsody of Fire, but songs inspired by mythology and classic literature. Dante's Inferno served as inspiration for some of the songs here, and that epic basis shines through. While Underworld is not as heavy and sprawling as Iconoclast, or as epic and symphonic as 2000's V: The New Mythology Suite or 2002's The Odyssey; it has a real class to it. The melodies are pushed right to the front, and you can tell that a lot of thought has been put into the songwriting and song arrangements. In that respect, Underworld feels to me like a cross between 1998's Twilight in Olympus and 2007's Paradise Lost. Both of those albums are easy to like and are good 'gateway' albums to get into the band's music. I feel that Underworld would also be a good album to show to someone unfamiliar with Symphony X's music, and it is a great album to return the band to the sound that made them famous after the excellent, but slight, detour that was Iconoclast.

As with many of the band's albums, Underworld opens with a gothic instrumental simply called Overture. The orchestral and choral arrangements set the tone for the album, and lead nicely into the first 'proper' song Nevermore. Nevermore is a very typical song for Symphony X, featuring a pacy riff from guitarist Michael Romeo and subtle keyboard arrangements from Michael Pinnella. From the outset, Allen reaffirms himself as one of metal's greatest modern singers. The mix of gruffer vocals with more melodic sections have always been one of his strengths, and this song's chorus is probably one of his most melodic, vocally speaking. He seemed to have focused more on his gruffer delivery on Iconoclast and with Adrenaline Mob, so it is great to hear him back at his melodic best. Romeo's penchant for Yngwie Malmsteen shines through in the song's solo, and overall Nevermore gets the album off to a solid start. The album's title track is up next, and Romeo's simple riff is augmented by a nifty keyboard melody that really harks back to the band's mid-period work. Allen's vocal melodies here are very catchy, and the mythological lyrics create a great mental image to accompany the heavy musical backing. He reaches some rather high notes during the song's mid-section as Rullo's drums speed away behind him, and the contrast as the song moves into a slower, more keyboard-dominated section is powerful as a result. Old school fans of the band should definitely check this one out! Without You is up next, and the pace is reduced somewhat. It is a quasi-ballad, with simple acoustic verses and some really lovely vocals from Allen. It is a deceiving song however, as there is still plenty going on musically to make it an interesting listen for any prog fan. The orchestrations during the choruses are really well done, and give the song a real class. The song gets heavier as it goes through, and is an early highlight on the album. After the relative calm of Without You, Kiss of Fire comes crashing in. This is possibly the heaviest song the band have ever recorded, and there are even slight traces of black metal in some of the riffs and drum patterns. Stabs of gothic strings and blast beat drumming are all over this song, and Allen's gruff but melodic vocals have a slight hint of Ronnie James Dio about them. He hits a great note in the chorus that catches you slightly off-guard, and is the cherry on top of the cake. Any fans of Iconoclast will love this song, and it is one of the most memorable songs on the album for me. Charon kicks off with a seriously groovy riff, and reminds me quite a bit of the material found on Paradise Lost. Romeo's riffs are the star of this song, although a very melodic chorus does attempt to steal their thunder at times. Romeo is one of the modern riff masters, and this song is packed full of great ones. Middle Eastern keyboard melodies cut through the mix at times too, which add other flavours to the song, before Romeo takes off with a great guitar solo that goes through many different movements. This is one of the more immediate songs the band have written, and would be good for new fans to hear.

To Hell and Back is the album's epic song and, while not as epic or powerful as The Odyssey, it still packs a punch. The cinematic, keyboard-driven opening section is fantastic and shows the band's skill for creating something epic, before the crunching verse kicks in which sees Allen sing over a slower riff to good effect. The chorus here shines too, with some delicate vocals and big melodies. Being the album's longest song, it naturally has many sections to it, but strangely it all seems to stick with you fairly quickly. Longer songs always take me longer to get into, but from my first listen to Underworld I loved this song. Symphony X always seem to make their longer, more progressive songs some of the most easy to enjoy of their whole catalogue, which shows their skills in marrying their progressive sound element with their more accessible sound. After the more complex stylings of To Hell and Back, the band then delivers a great simple rocker in In My Darkest Hour, which has some great bass guitar melodies and a soaring chorus. There is nothing complicated about this tune, but it has an infectious nature about it that cannot be ignored. Again, there is plenty of groove throughout, and this helps the song to stay memorable. Run With the Devil is another fairly simple song, but this one does not have the same impact as the rest of the album. It is not without merits however, as the song's main riff has a cool techy quality to it that stands out, but the rest of the song is a little flat. The melodies are just not as strong as on the album's other songs, and this makes it standout somewhat from the pack. It is the only song on the album that feels flat though, which shows the quality of the rest of the material here. The album's closing two songs are a great pair of classic Symphony X tunes. Swan Song mixes guitar and piano together throughout which brings back memories of album's past, and Allen really owns it with an impassioned performance throughout. The downbeat chorus is excellent, and he uses the quieter end of his voice to emphasise the gentler music. There is a piano-led mid-section where he actually sounds quite a lot like Roy Khan, and it makes me wonder whether or not the band are fans of Kamelot. The song's solo is quite bluesy too, which is unusual for the band, and makes it memorable and interesting for that reason. It shows what a flexible and dynamic player Romeo is too. Legend closes out the album in the band's classic style, and they pull out all the stops with this one. Romeo has written another handful of classic riffs for this song, including a speedy opening one that mixes guitar and keyboard well together. There is even a guitar/bass mash-up that sounds like something from David Lee Roth's Eat 'Em And Smile! This is Symphony X song for all seasons, and it ensures the album ends well, and showcases all of the band's hallmarks. Overall, Underworld is another excellent album from Symphony X. I like the fact that the band have returned to their roots somewhat after a couple of heavier albums, and fans of the band who might not have liked their newer style should definitely be drawn back in with this. It is a quality piece of work.

The album was released on 24th July 2015 via Nuclear Blast Records. Below is the band's promotional lyric video for Nevermore.