'Beneath The Silent Shades / Empyreal Form'
So between the two demo's by Finnish Dark Metallers Reveries End, a guitarist has left the band, but none the less, none of the essence has dissipated. Starting with their premier demo 'Beneath The Silent Shade' which instantaneously brings in the Doom Metal atmosphere and almost Nightwish operatic vocals with a slither of Melodic Death Metal style drums. With the heavenly vocals bound for the Finnish choir and the musicians giving a wall of sound as a barrier, this is a decent first attempt. 'Beneath The Silent Shade' is for fans of Apocalyptica, Vanguard and all around dark music.
'Empyreal Form' sees the departure of guitarist Mikko Pylkko and the quintet becomes a quartet, but the sound does not change, it ironically has improved. The second demo of 2012 brings out a greater production and more power behind the sound. With the first track 'Descent' being similar to that of Nightwish's 'Tutankhamen' and the average song by Arkona. With a greater and darker atmosphere shedding itself all over 'Empyreal Form', this is the sound that would best suit Reveries End, but by adding some symphonies here and there, it could be one notch better, still a very good demo and is sure to aid them into becoming a promising band.
 + [7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Inside My Head'
There is a common feeling amongst bands who use Thrash Metal in Brazil, it seems to be always fast, complex and sensationally brutal, there again Sepultura laid down that guideline, but it's bands like Amnesia who go one step further, the Brazilian quintet incorporate Death Metal in with their music to produce a trippy, brutal slab of pure menacing metal. This comes in their 2012 debut EP 'Inside My Head', spitting out the trash and injecting the new modern sound of Brazilian Death/Thrash Metal. With three tracks spear-heading a complimentary promo video, Amnesia's Inside My Head has set the tone for the band to achieve great things and they fully deserve it.
 RHYS STEVENSON
EMBASSY OF SILENCE
Once in a while you come across a band who totally blows wide open the guidelines and runs riot in the studio, such a band is Embassy Of Silence whose 2012 sophomore album delivers a non-apologetic smacking of Progressive Gothic Metal. The Finnish sextet conjures up a cosmic sound of darkened verses and erotic music to indulge anyone's tastes. The second major out 'Antler Velvet' delivers the essential 'Gothic femme' vocals and heavy music together in just under an hour, but all of it is worth it, with songs sounding similar to that of Delain, Lacuna Coil, and Echoes of Eternity, this is just the beginning.
 RHYS STEVENSON
Returning once again is Romania's Prog Metallers Highlight Kenosis, who are now based in Germany. Following their highly successful debut album 'Glowing', the quartet delivers their next offering 'Change'. With the sounds of traditional progressive metal being mixed with the influential sounds of Krypteria, Guano Apes and Goldfrapp, this is the next step in great success for one of Romania's upcoming finest bands. From the sensational solo on 'There Is No Secret' to the pop rock feel on 'I Wish You Felt The Same', Highlight Kenosis are powering their way to further achievements and with this album under their belts, there is nothing to stop them.
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Your Angels Cry'
2012 sees the first EP by Italian quintet Maledia come to life, the Symphonic Gothic Metal band unleash the sounds of 'Your Angels Cry' with comparisons of Tarja era Nightwish and the use of female operatic vocals and the beastly vocals of guitarist Daniele. In a way they have also got comparisons with Within Temptation in that the supremacy of the high notes and the music come together to deliver a classic epic. Brimming with excellence and powerful creativity, Maledia is duly a force to be reckoned with, move aside Within Temptation and Nightwish, there's a new band on the block and they won't be budged easily.
 RHYS STEVENSON