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To me, everything about this release screams metal clichés. From the CD title, the wall of Marshalls on the front cover, the way the lady is dressed, to the logo. And on the back it is much of the same. Only this time the musicians in black leather posing with what I guess are their angry faces…. Must admit that does not impress me much. Must be me, or maybe I am not getting it. Because let´s face it, in many cases image is as important as the music, and as this blog is about the music, so let´s move on to that.
Little surprise this is melodic metal, with some guys already known for other ventures. And while there is no denying there are some cute tracks on the CD like We Run or Search For Truth, overall I got the feeling the band is aiming at a specific target audience. Making it sound a little too consciously written to meet certain demands. I mean, the band can play, songs are carried by melodies to sing along to, everything is where it should be. But I find myself not challenged. If it were a pop band, I would think they were a product of a marketing department, instead of some guys coming together to rock the world.
Little doubt there are a lot of people who want this. And if you feel the music has stopped after the eighties, maybe you are one of them. I think I need a little more adventure… Oh, and again a Frontiers release without a direct link to the band´s website. Wake up, it is 2012! (or 2009, but you get the point)
It must sure be of help to have names like Robin McCauley, Tony Franklin or Gregg Bissonette in one’s address-book. Not only adding their talent to the recordings, but the first co-writing as well. To the band 4 persons are credited, 3 are on the photo and only 2 perform. Dave Bates on guitar and Margarita Monet on vocals. Oh well, never mind, as Edge Of Paradise deliver a 9 track album that lasts, ehhrr 30 minutes…. Okay, quality over quantity? Lets find out.
First track Falling Down has a very modern and aggressive sound to it. Margarita screams a lot on the top of her lungs it seems. To my ears her voice gets pretty thin in the higher regions. But that may be a matter of taste. It is a fact that a lot of people really dig this full on metal. Next tracks are of equal style. And it may be me, but I kept thinking the sound sometimes is a bit out of balance. Vocals are high up in the mix, drums and bass are fairly low. It is evident though that Bates is one hell of a guitar player. Shredding like the best of them. Further proof of that comes with the last three tracks, as they are instrumental. And to be honest, those are the ones I liked best.
So all in all I have mixed feelings about this album. Little doubt that there will be a lot of people wanting this for breakfast. And if you like your metal full throttle and aggressive, you will like this too. I hope they reconsider their strengths and try to balance the overall sound. Promising nonetheless, as the talent is surely there.
It has been quite a while since I last heard Megadeth. Somehow my interest faded a little over time. Presumably somewhere around the Risk album, dunno. But after hearing so much good things about this album, I felt the time was right to pick things up again. And as it turns out, time is right indeed. The band, with, beside usual suspect Dave Mustaine, “new” recruits Chris Broderick on guitar and Shawn Drover on drums, welcomed David Ellefson back on the bass.
First runs through the album confirmed the gossip, the band sounds very inspired. Which for me says impossible guitar parts and solos, Dave growling his way through the songs and spitting out thoughts about all the wrongs in the world as he sees it. And massive grooves to boot. And you know what, I missed it. Great to hear Megadeth return with a vengeance (sorry about missing releases in between, I promise I will catch up on those later), they are still able to kick ass big time.
Also noticed my player labels this as thrash metal. Never been good as tagging music. To me it is just metal. From the kind I like (the other kind being that I don´t like ). So if you, like me, lost touch, this release is definitely worth picking up. And if you never grabbed a taste, it is about time you give them a try. Mustaine´s voice is a taste you have to get used to, but truth be told, this is far more melodic than a lot of people give them credit for. Now where´s that play button…
Okay, the quartet of Fabien Madeleine (vocals), Mark Stewartson (guitars), Tom Bokicki (bass) and Dan Russell (Drums) serve us a metal album that even borders into progressive territories. And produced by Richard Chycki, whose name (a.o. Rush) is of course pretty well known by know. The band play with dynamics in a manner that reveals a creative ear.
Opener Far Cry is a showcase; powerful riffs are coupled with much lighter parts. Madeleine´s voice sometimes reminds of a young Geoff Tate (Queensryche) and I would not be surprised if that band is an influence. Endless Night again combines again combines several moods. And it is beginning to show how good a bass player Bokicki is. His playing really brings something fresh to the table and the band chose wise to let that come to the fore. Blinded then continues in a much more forward metal manner. Nothing wrong with that. And then comes my highlight of the album, the eternal Dead Of Winter. Opening with clean / acoustic like sounding guitars, the band kick it back a few notches and lead us into this beautiful song. And did I mention the bass playing is good? Here it is stunning in the instrumental break. Bass and guitar play off on each other and create an excellent piece of music that compliments the already beautiful vocal parts. A must have! Goose bumps every time I hear it. Makes we wanna hit repeat over and over.
To round this off, the rest of the album is worth the effort to track this down also, but Dead Of Winter is THE reason to own this CD.
It was fun reading in the booklet where the title of this album came from. Sure something I recognize, being in a band myself. And to not spoil the mystery, get the album yourself if you want to find out
So on to the music. Silent Victory play a mix of hard rock and NWOBHM, with keyboards throwing in the occasional progressive influences as well. In all honesty, it took some effort getting into the album and I have been wondering why that is. Part it may be due to the voice of Tony Rimmer, whose voice is not bad, but is not 100% on key and sounds like he sings on the top of his lungs a lot. But after some time you get used to that.
Another factor might be the sound. Heavy emphasis on vocals and guitars, with the bass providing the foundations. Drums and keyboards are fairly low in the mix. Overall this results in a Cd with little sonic variation. But as always, maybe you think different, just my opinion.
On the other hand, I am quite sure this is a fun outfit to watch live, as their songs are easy to identify with, lots of hooks and adequate musicianship. Choruses get a lot of repetition. I like the songs where they expand into the more progressive side of things best. Those are sounding fresh, closer to a band like Magnum. Guitar solos and interplay are well done also.
So good job, yet they deserve to improve on production level.
The now sadly defunct Galactic Cowboy were a somewhat strange band. What is this style they play? Is it progressive metal, alternative, rock ´n roll with a twist? I am just not sure. But what I am sure of is that they created music that attracted me big time. Not only for their sense of humour (just check all the Ranch On Mars songs on their various albums, or the interludes on the Space In Your Face CD, the artwork, or CD titles), but also for their sense of melody and harmonies (reminiscent of that other alt rock band King´s X, and I am quite confident they also like The Beatles). Not to forget the quirkiness involved in their song writing. You just never know what will happen in a song!
From their back catalogue I choose their first album, the self titled Galactic Cowboys. First track I´m Not Amused showcases everything I said before. Lush melodies and harmonies, and still some parts that put you on the wrong foot. The same applies to My School, a beautiful melancholic chorus is followed by some heavy accented rhythmic work out. And with songs of about 6 minutes (not all, they range from 1 to 11 minutes) it is a good thing too they are so unpredictable. Makes it easy listening to this time and again. I could go on about this band, but I will leave something for your imagination.
If you have a broad taste and never heard them, I recommend you correct that as soon as possible and pick up some of their stuff. Don´t be surprised if you end up buying it all. This is addictive music!
Another discovery thanks to Progstreaming. And funny they reside not that far away from me either. Still, my first encounter with the band with the beautiful name 21 Eyes Of Ruby with what I guess is their fifth album in their pursuit of world dominance…
The style they play is probably in general called alternative rock or metal. 21EOR are a trio in the classic mould of drums, bass and guitar and are also pretty self supporting. Writing, playing, recording, mixing, mastering, artwork, the whole lot. For that alone they deserve credit.
But on to the music, what can you expect from this album? Well one thing is for sure, this is no light weighted affair. With songs lasting between 2 and 9 minutes, you know this takes time to get into. Still I feel the guys manage to deliver songs with attitude, groove and they are able to spice things up with attractive arrangements of guitar and vocals. Sometimes even giving the songs an eastern flavour that is hard to resist. A lot of dynamics in the music, and sometimes a theme is repeated until you are hooked to it. And rest assured, drums and bass know quite well what they are doing as well. I really dug the drum sound on this, very natural sounding. No standard lyrics either, which is a good thing in my book. If all this tingles your curiosity, go check them out before they come a knocking on your door
Alas this is the only full length album of Nme Within I am aware of. From the day I heard it, this has always been an album I present as an example of how metal can be mixed with other styles (industrial, techno, progressive, trash) and still work.
Yes you read it right, the type of genres I mention may seem at odds, but this is a nifty little thing that grabs your attention from the first few seconds. I think for the most part the attraction originates from 2 things: the grooves and the melodies. The grooves because every track is a monster in its own right. Heavy maybe, but filled to the brim with energy. And the melodies attract big time. Every chorus is a winner. And all this without becoming cheesy or delivering something you have already heard a million times before.
A special mention must go to the song titles (all in consequent wrong spelling, as in the CD title, for example Illushuns Of Grandeur) and especially all the humour involved. Be it in the interludes (squeal like a pig boy) or in the hilarious texts in the booklet, the boys leave no stone unturned to prove they don`t take themselves all too seriously. Gotta love them for that alone.
So if you like a little adventure in your music and don’t own this already, try to lay your hands on it, it is so much worth the effort! At least listen to tracks like Retaliation, Dining with Theotokos, Bellikose Hamlet or I-con if you get the chance. Timeless and still relevant!
After the sad passing of rock icon Ronnie James Dio, it was sure we could expect many a tribute. To me, one of the most fitting would have to come from Jorn. Regular site visitors will know I really like his vocal style and music, and of course it is widely known Jorn is a real Dio fan as well.
Opening with Song For Ronnie James Dio, Jorn fires a lot of song titles from the Dio songbook at us in the lyrics. And over 8 minutes he shows why he is the perfect guy to pull something like this off with admirable ease. Great track!
All other twelve tracks on the disk have Dio writing credits to them. Happily Jorn chose wisely and avoided the all too obvious route, except for a few. So grab your chance at listening to the Jorn editions of Invisible, Shame On the Night or Push. Or if you are more into the better known tracks: Kill the King, Stand Up And Shout or Don`t Talk to Strangers are also present.
In my humble opinion a Jorn album is always spot on, and this is no exception. One of the best singers in recent decades paying homage to one of the best voices of some 40 plus years. Melodic metal at it´s finest, grab your copy pronto!
In my review of the first Powerworld CD I mentioned I thought they had delivered a quality record, but needed more identity of their own. Well I doubt I initiated this, but on this album they secured the services of the mighty Andrew “Mac” McDermott, who sadly passed away a few months ago. And if this powerhouse singer proves one thing, it must be he lifts the level of any band he contributes to. What a voice!
So the good thing is, the power metal with progressive influences from this band, while already having staying power, now gets a serious kick in the *ss. Now sounding like a cross between 2 previous Mac lead bands Threshold (progressive) and Sargant Fury (metal), the band deliver big time. I am tempted to write the cooperation really paid off. All 12 songs are killer, so any fan of the genre can buy this on sight. So sad we will have to do without Mac in the future, he is sorely missed.
So while the disk gets another spin, I am off reminiscing a singer’s heritage…