Emerald Shine – Misty Tales

Here at Velvet Thunder, we’re always on the look-out for “The Next Big Thing” – so here’s introducing Emerald Shine, a band from Northern Moravia in the Czech Republic who fuse the power of metal music with the distinctive sound of a harp, violin, recorders and tin whistles! Whether you call it Metal Folk or..

STOMB – From Nihil

It's a new decade, and French Modern Progressive Metal band STÖMB are keen to enter it with a fresh sense of purpose...and a new studio album to be released on 31 January. The quartet have also been tagged as being an instrumental post-djent quartet. For the uninitiated, post-djent is a heavy metal subgenre that recently..

Mindless Sinner – Poltergeist (Pure Steel Records)

Mindless Sinner is a Swedish heavy rock band with a history that goes back to the '80s and they released three albums before disbanding in 1990. They briefly reformed between the years of 2001 to 2004 and then they got back together again in 2014, playing the 2015 Keep It True XVIII festival which was..

Hot Breath – Hot Breath

What do you call a new release that's halfway between a CD and an EP? This is the debut production from Hot Breath, another hard-hitting foursome from Gothenburg, Sweden. Six tracks long, giving you a shade under 24 minutes, so it'll be interesting to see how its priced. But that apart, it's great rock and..

Grand Royale – Take It Easy (The Sign Records)

Now then, a new Scando Rock album with a difference! You could be forgiven from several recent reviews and interviews that virtually the entire rock scene in Scandanavia, and certainly in the hotspots of Stockholm, Goteborg and Jonkoping in Sweden, was sort of "newer wave Power Pop". These guys in Grande Royale stand out from..

Märvel – Guilty Pleasures (The Sign Records)

A name new to me but Märvel is a Swedish high-energy rock band and they seem to have a slightly warped view of the Universe and a definite liking for enjoying themselves. They have a very American vibe to them too which can probably be ascribing to soaking up far too much American culture when..

War Dogs – Die By My Sword (Fighter Records)

Formed in Alicante in 2015, this is the accomplished debut album by the Spanish heavy metal band War Dogs. They line-up with Alberto Rodríguez on vocals which he supplies in English but with a rather delightful Spanish inflection with the hard working and riff hungry twin guitarists of Eduardo Antón and Enrique Mas and the..

MARIANA SEMKINA – Sleepwalking (Kscope)

Mariana Semkina is one half of Russian duo Iamthemorning, alongside virtuoso keyboard man Gleb Kolyakin. They’ve been variously described as being either Neo-Folk or Chamber Prog. You pays your money, etc etc .. but whilst they’re still a relatively unknown quantity in the UK with many Prog fans, nonetheless several publications have given their music..

Dragonfly – Zeitgeist (Art Gates Records)

Dragonfly is a power metal band that formed in Argentina in 2000 and then re-located to Spain in 2001 so they have plenty of experience behind them and they also have the confidence to back their sound by singing in Spanish - and I always find it refreshing when a band offers their music in..