Steve Morse – The Sessions (2016)

Being soloist and band member, Steve Morse released so many albums. His works range from progressive rock Dixie Dregs, guitar shredder in his solo albums, up to as part of Deep Purple. With such range of musics, one still can easily distinguished Steve Morse licks, the bluesy chromatic passage that attached to his style. Surprisingly, in this new album, The Sessions, Steve Morse works with many other singers and sing some cover tunes. This album is not Steve Morse's typical instrumental guitar album. Well, a bit disappointing for guitar fans, but the album provide excellent standard hard rock album, that very bluesy, very American in vibes.

The only three tracks of instrumental songs are first, Freedom, This one quite different from the rest of album. Freedom is calm, meditative nuance ballad, kind of new age-ish tune but with Steve Morse surprisingly playing guitar there. Then we have two very jazz tunes, At the Edge of the Middle, featuring Jim Beard (piano), Randy Brecker (trumpet) and Percy Jones (bass). A typical smooth jazz quintet with Steve Morse letting himself being part of world class jazz ensemble. Then the only instrumental track that really sounds like Steve Morse is in Travis Walk. This one featuring Kevin Curry, who probably the pianist that doing solo in there.

Of all the other songs, Steve Morse doing collaboration with world class singer. Notably is Joe Lynn Turner who ex-Deep Purple guy. Also Billy Sherwood of YES in Another Brick in the Wall Pt 1. Which is a Pink Floyd original song. Talking about progressive personality, we got Jordan Rudess inserted in Touch Me. And so are the other popular hard rock / prog rock songs got redo in this album.

The Sessions is session of Steve Morse doing collaboration with other hard rock / prog rock artist. Mostly are music giant from the '60-'70s. This album superbly done, so do not missed this out.

Metal Harem class : *********** nine stars out of ten

Buy it Here - Amazon

Steve Morse – The Sessions (2016)

01. Freedom - instrumental
02. Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 1 (feat. Billy Sherwood)
03. Heartbreaker
04. Here Comes the Sun (feat. Richard Page)
05. Touch Me (feat. Robert Gordon, Jordan Rudess,  Nik Turner)
06. The Logical Song (feat. Mickey Thomas, Tony Kaye)
07. Whipping Post (feat. Jimmy Hall)
08. At the Edge of the Middle (feat. Jim Beard, Randy Brecker, Percy Jones) - instrumental
09. Travis Walk (feat. Kevin Curry) - instrumental
10. Jungle Love (feat. Joe Lynn Turner)
11. New Year's Day

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Top Ten Jazz Rock Instrumental Guitar Albums of the year 2015

Well, as metalhead we are also listen to our paralel world in jazz universe. Here's the compilation of last year most exciting guitar orientated albums. Mostly are pure jazz but some also integrated rock elements in it. The Top Ten order is just for fun.

01. Chuck Loeb, Wolfgang Haffner, Mitchel Forman & WDR Big Band Cologne - Metro 'Big Band Boom' (2015)
A collaboration of guitarist Chuck Loeb with other fellow musicians. Chuck Loeb had done several albums collabs with other in this way. This METRO is not driven by one individual but by a collective: guitarist Chuck Loeb, keyboard player Mitchel Forman, and percussionist Wolfgang Haffner! The new CD falls somewhere in the middle of the stylistic poles of jazz: the rougher East Coast, and the softer West Coast.  Musicians:
Chuck Loeb (Guitar); Mitchel Forman (Keyboard); Wolfgang Haffner (Drums); Percussion – Roland Peil 

02. Pat Metheny - Hommage a Eberhard Weber (2015)
In January 2015 musicians and listeners converged upon Stuttgarts Theaterhaus for two consecutive nights to celebrate the 75th birthday of Eberhard Weber. The concerts centered around a specially commissioned 35-minute suite by Pat Metheny, with whom Weber had played and recorded back in the 1970s. Featuring Metheny, the SWR Big Band conducted by Helge Sunde, Gary Burton, bassist Scott Colley and Danny Gottlieb on drums, the composition was arranged around recordings of solos by Weber. Other performers during the two nights playing selections from Webers vast body of work were Webers longtime companions Jan Garbarek, Paul McCandless, Manfred Schoof and arranger Michael Gibbs, all drawing ovations from the packed house. A truly special event, this. - Michael Tucker, Jazz Journal.
Jan Garbarek (Sax); Pat Metheny (Guitar); Gary Burton (Vibraphone); Scott Colley (Double bass); Danny Gottlieb (Drums); Paul McCandless (Oboe, soprano sax); Eberhard Weber (Bass, from tapes); SWR Big Band (Helge Sunde, Michael Gibbs (conductors)).

03. John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet - Brooklyn (2015)
This is kind of pure jazz - bass - guitar album, set in minimalistic quartet.
John Patitucci (Bass); Adam Rogers (Guitars); Steve Cardenas (Guitars); Brian Blade (Drums).

04. Steve Smith and Vital Information NYC Edition - Viewpoint (2015)
Solo album of long time drummer Steve Smith.
Steve Smith (Drums); Mark Soskin (Piano, Fender Rhodes); Baron Browne (Bass); Andy Fusco (Alto saxophone); Vinny Valentino (Guitar); Walt Weiskopf (Tenor saxophone 2, 4).

05. Simon Phillips - Protocol III (2015)
Simon Phillips with his 3rd Protocol album, guitarist Andy Timmons in charge.
Ernest Tibbs (Bass); Simon Phillips (Drums); Andy Timmons (Electric Guitar); Steve Weingart (Keyboards).

06. Steve Gadd Band - 70 Strong (2015)
As the title suggest, Steve Gadd in 70 is still very strong and funky.
Steve Gadd (Drums); Mike Landau (Guitar); Larry Goldings (Organ); Jimmy Johnson (Bass); Walt Fowler (Trumpet).

07. Al Di Meola "Elysium"
He came from the Land Of The Midnight Sun, sparkled on the jazz-rock stage as an Elegant Gypsy, came up trumps in the Casino with all the right chords and melodies, and his Splendido Hotel was the number one address for fusion fans around the globe.
Barry Miles - keyboards; Philippe Saisse - keyboards; Mario Parmisano - keyboards; Rhani Krija - percussion; Peter Kaszas - drums ; Al Di Meola - guitars

08. John Scofield - Past Present (2015)
The nine exciting tunes Scofield penned on Past Present also reflects his philosophy on playing jazz music. He stresses the importance of being knowledgeable of the musics deep, complex roots while simultaneously being spontaneous and in the moment while performing it. For an artist with such a multifaceted discography as Scofields, getting to the root of jazz means channeling the blues, as demonstrated on the discs closing, titled-track.

Johns love for R&B and blues tends to inform all of his discs regarding of idiomatic styling. After all, his first guitar hero was the legendary B.B. King, who strummed very vocal-like single-note melodies. Singable melodies and infectious rhythms shine on the soul-jazz opener, Slinky, on which the guitar tickles an instantly catchy riff before Stewart underscores it with a supple 5/4 groove that suggests New Orleans second-line rhythm. Grenadier propels the momentum with a loping blues bass line while Scofield and Lovano trade soulful licks and tasty solos.

Past Present also highlights Scofields love for country music on the whimsical Chap Dance, which evokes both the wide-eyed Americana compositions of Aaron Copeland and the hoedown sophistication of Ornette Colemans harmolodics. Scofield says that the songs exuberant opening melody and spry rhythmic pulse remind him of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammersteins 1943 Broadway musical, Oklahoma!, particularly the scenes with the cowboys dancing in chaps and vests. 

John Scofield (Guitar); Joe Lovano (Tenor sax); Larry Grenadier (Bass); Bill Stewart  (Drums).

09. Scott Henderson "Vibe Station" (2015)
Trio in jazz rock instrumental album.
Scott Henderson (Tribal Tech) - guitar; Alan Hertz - drums; Travis Carlton - bass

10. Jeff Richman - Hotwire (2015)
Hotwire is the newest release by jazz guitarist Jeff Richman. The album features some of the best musicians in the world including drummers Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Novak and Gergo Borlai, bassists Jimmy Haslip, Anthony Jackson and Dean Taba, Keyboardists George Whitty, Scott Kinsey, Mitchell Forman, Jeff Lorber and Gary Fukashima, horns by Brandon Fields and Jeff Beal, plus special guest - guitarist Mike Stern. Jeff has written nine original tunes from the funky 'Seven Up' to the fusion number 'Hit Spot' and even a melodic pop tune 'Chloe'.            
Jeff Richman, Mike Stern (Guitar); Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Novak, Gergo Borlai (Drums); Jimmy Haslip, Anthony Jackson, Dean Taba (Bass); George Whitty, Scott Kinsey, Mitchell Forman, Jeff Lorber, Gary Fukashima (Keyboards); Brandon Fields, Jeff Beal (Horns).

11. Eric Alexander - The Real Thing (2015)
Hey, Pat Martino in it!
More than one jazz critic has claimed that listening to tenor saxman Eric Alexander unfettered and at length, is one of the greatest treats in jazz. This imposing improviser is reunited here with his mentor, the veteran pianist Harold Mabern and joined by another hot favorite, the legendary and amazing guitarist Pat Martino on three of the eight tracks. Add in the still stunning engineering of Rudy Van Gelder and the swing engendered by bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth and you have a formula for excellence, if ever there was one. Martino and Alexander perform together often in a variety of venues and their collaborations have produced some of the most inspired playing on disc.
Eric Alexander (tenor saxophone); Harold Mabern (piano); Joe Farnsworth (drums), Pat Martino (Guitar).


Top 10 Recommended Guitar Shred Albums of 2015

Sorry for a very late induction of 2015 Top 10 Recommended Shred Guitar Albums. The year was quite calm, Only few big names releasing their guitar orientated album. Nevertheless, Joe Satriani and Neil Schon did save the year with their release. The two top spots reserved to them as a they are indeed the godfathers of the genre. Here it is the Top 10 Recommended Guitar Shred Instrumental Albums of 2015.

01. Shockwave Supernova - Joe Satriani (2015)
Joe Satriani assembly Marco Minnemann, Bryan Beller, and Mike Keneally to produced Shockwave Supernova. All Satch trademark tunes are available here. Full review

02. Vortex - Neal Schon  (2015)
One of most productive all around rock guitarist, Neal Schon, well traverse into rock, jazz, R/B, funk and fusion. Vortex is a double CD and that always room for his musics.

03. Aerial Visions - Vinnie Moore (2015)
Vinnie Moore come back to his solo work in Aerial Vision, after so many year we miss him in this kind of work. Joinning him is bassist Dave LaRue. As ex-Shrapnel generation, his works include blues and neo-classical metal. This album however provide more wider colors. A must have album. Full Review

04. Concrete Garden - Tony MacAlpine (2015)
The 12th studio album from Tony. Concrete Gardens once again contained all shred guitar instrumentals. On this album, Tony supported by Aquiles Priester on all tracks and three other bassists. Jeff Loomis appeared on one song, "Square Circles". Some of the tracks are being recorded live with video, you can view it on EMG PickUp TV. Also Nili Brosh appeared on the live video. This is also Tony's album before he got struck by illness. Full Review

05. The Human Affliction - Paul Wardingham (2015)
Paul Wardingham, the latest ultra fast shredder from Australia is on his second shred album. This is all about guitar and outer space theme. A brain blower for shred fanatics. Full review

06. Tres Caballeros - The Aristrocrats (2015)
Being success with their first album,  these happy guys in The Aristocrats has pulled out their second studio album called (the) Tres Caballeros. Based on their album cover we may feel that the trio is very happy and enjoy much time jamming together. Not much rock band want to proclaimed their togetherness as solid as Disney's classic trio. As reminder, The Aristocrats is super talented band with Guthrie Govan on guitar, Bryan Beller bass and Marco Minneman drum. The GGBBMM is going to blow everyone's mind with their blazing progressive madness. Full review

07. Protocol 3 - Simon Phillips (2015)
Legendary drummer Simon Phillips pulled out his solo drum shred album in Protocol III. The guitarist in charge is no other than Andy Timmons. This is a  jazz-rock, fusion type of album. Check it out.

08. Invent Your Future - Bunny Brunel (2015)
Well, Bunny Brunel is session bassist mostly play in jazz. His fame was in Chick Corea and other jazz legends.  In this album, believe it or not, mr Bunny gathered top dogs in metal guitarist to help him. Listed is Tony MacAlpine, Julia Kosterova, Frank Gambale, and others. While in drum section, Virgil Donati is on the list as well. If you like bass , here is the ultimate album for you.

09. From the Wilderness - Thobbe Englund (2015)
From the metal world, the entry is defended by Thobbe Englund. The Sabaton guitarist inaugurated his first solo instrumental guitar album in From the Wilderness. Totally shred album.

10. Life of Dante - Alexius September  (2015)
And from the indie guitarist community, Life of Dante is work of Italian guitarist Alexius September. Some of the song featured well known drummer, Marco Minnemann. The works is totally in shred guitar style.

Notable mentioned :

Six String Renegade - Martin J. Andersen (2015)
This is a semi instrumental hard rock album done by guitarist Martin J. Andersen. Six String Renegade is the debut album for Martin, who is the guitarist of Blindstone, hardrock / blues band from Danish. If you haven't heard about his name, google him now. The style has been around American blues and hard rock. Full review

Enjoy other Top Ten lists:

Guitar Jazz Rock Album of the Year 2015 (new)
Guitar Albums of the Year 2014
Metal Albums of the Year 2013
Guitar Albums of the Year 2013
Metal Albums of the Year 2012
Guitar Albums of the Year 2012
Metal Albums of the Year 2011
Guitar Albums of the Year 2011


Before the Storm - Thobbe Englund (2016)

Thobbe Englund, also spelled as Thorbjörn Englund, is Sabaton forefront guitarist. Thobbe coming to the band in 2012 when Sabaton undergo massive lineup chances. While on his duty in Sabaton, Thobbe manage to release two solo albums under his own name. The first one is "From the Wilderness" in 2015 and happened to be guitar instrumental album that will pleased many shred guitar fans. A year has passed and Thobbe back to his latest studio album called "Before the Storm". This album contained massive songs, about 20 tracks of them. Unlike From the Wilderness, in Before the Storm Thobbe embarked into semi-conceptual album with full featured singer to voice this album. As expected, From the Wilderness is very well composed in my listening. The album ranged from heavy tunes, all the way to epic ballad. All these songs interlude with many instrumental tracks that fall into symphonic metal and shred guitar in combination.

The album started with heavy, low tune singing, opener called "The End of Oil". We got to taste a classic power metal guitar riff through the song. In describing the song we need to referred to the element of Judas Priest and imagine putting them into power metal spirit! The second following track is "The Eye of the Storm", very much Sabaton in style and this one is the first instrumental overture we got. This then followed up with devilish tune on the third track "Our $oil" , which continued the storyline. "Waitng for the Water" is a rest for our ear as it is the first ballad to come.  "Mons Spiritus" is neo-classical instrumental, decorated with classical instrumental such as pizzicato violin voices and choirs. The real guitar teaser comes in "The Great White Open", which is very Yngwie Malmsteening in vibes.

There are bunch of songs coming next. At this point the style of the songs begin to diversed. "San Francisco" and even stronger is "Ain't It Grand" are songs that very Americanized, alternative rock in some weird form. "The Freak at the Sideshow" is featured with female singer. Other instrumental tracks to mentioned is "Saturday Night in Hell" , a theatrical movie score in style. As well the last two tracks.

Overall, Before the Storm is album with big range of music style, but mostly can put in the symphonic metal umbrella. The insertion of voice songs are not bad for fans that expected Thobbe to release a full instrumental album. Though the style quite differed from Sabaton, this album can stand its own uniqueness, evidence of Thobbe individual creative power outside the band. Very enjoyable album in the end, although a bit of exhausting with over 80 minutes of "exploration".

Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of ten

Before the Storm - Thorbjörn Englund (2016)
Buy it Here - Amazon

1. The End of Oil
2. The Eye of the Storm (instrumental)
3. Our $oil
4. Waiting for the Water   
5. Mons Spiritus (instrumental)
6. The Great White Open  (instrumental)
7. Sixteen
8. Broken Dreams
9. Inspiration Well   (instrumental)  
10. San Francisco
11. I Know You Don't Mind
12. Ain't It Grand
13. The Ghost of Maria
14. As Time Goes By  (instrumental)
15. The Freak at the Sideshow
16. Why the Rum Is Always Gone   (instrumental)
17. Home to a Pirate
18. Saturday Night in Hell  (instrumental)
19. She Brings the Horizon  (instrumental)
20. Obrigado  (instrumental)

Thorbjorn / Thobbe Englund - all instruments

album review


Megadeth - Dystopia (2016)

The day is always better when we have good new Megadeth album. Yes, this is our lucky year, Megadeth is on top of their wheel of fortune. Dystopia is their 15th studio album, and it is the better one. Indeed, perhaps the best one after a long long while. There are two ultimate questions for Megadeth cyber army, and fans worldwide, to expect from this album. First is how the two new guys doing on in helping Dave Mustaine maintained Megadeth. While Kiko Loureiro acquisition is highly celebrated, can this aging thrash metal band benefit from this younger gun? Kiko's background, mainly in Angra, seem a bit out of Megadeth sound. The former Chris Broderick himself at least played in thrash band Nevermore, and he declared conflict in creative idea with the band after only several years. On Chris Adler side, the situation a bit easier. On paper, Chris is likely the most qualified drummer for Megadeth in any situation. We curiously want to listen this new line up to fire up indeed. Secondly, how Megadeth will sounds and survive after their weird, less-thrash, previous release, Super Collider?

Well, Megadeth also highly like to address these issues a.s.a.p. Three songs had been published online prior to the full album release. The Threat Is Real, Dystopia and Fatal Illusion all hastily released in Youtube by the band. These three songs are in positive acceptance by fans. They demonstrated the band eagerly return to old days. Trademark riffs, unique Dave thrash voice, blazing solos and drum are present there. The nightmare of Super Collider to be past now. The rest of album is also very promising. The highlights are: Post American World, which is almost a revision to Cryptic Writing's era, sounds like Trust but with real thrash guitar added to them.Then, Poisonous Shadows is poisonous track on the album where additional orchestra and choir inserted. A symphonic thrash metal maybe, what this song is. Kiko Loureiro had done impressive jobs so far, covered almost every bars with solos. He got even high time in Conquer Or Die with acoustic guitar intro and full instrumental song, highly in his favorite Latin minor scale. Even the traditional Megadeth "melodic speech" song got its upgrade in Last Dying Wish.

Dystopia is going to be everyone favorite album because the materials are surprisingly kick ass. Songs are strong with many awesome riffs we can expected from Megadeth. It is positively my favorite album after Youthanasia. Kiko as we just listen, is superb in this album. He just nailed all the required solos, fills in, riffs with easiness at the same time quite tense also. Chris Adler is without question throwing all his power, for this maybe his one shot opportunity as Megadeth member. Furious double pedal fills is now part of Megadeth sounds. The two Dave and David stayed on top of their game. David Jr didn't lost any idea as he just doing his Metal Allegiance project and has enough groove to give. Dave Mustaine himself find his best signature vocals in this album. Forget all our rage after the previous album, Megadeth is back with Dystopia.

Metal Harem class: ********** nine stars out of ten

Buy it Here - Amazon

Megadeth - Dystopia (2016)

01. The Threat Is Real
02. Dystopia
03. Fatal Illusion
04. Death From Within
05. Bullet To The Brain
06. Post American World
07. Poisonous Shadows
08. Look Who's Talking [Best Buy/iTunes bonus]
09. Conquer Or Die - instrumental
10. Lying In State
11. The Emperor
12. Last Dying Wish [Best Buy/iTunes bonus]
13. Foreign Policy [Fear cover]
14. Me Hate You [Japanese bonus]
15. Melt The Ice Way [Budgie cover] [digital bonus]

Dave Mustaine - guitars, vocals
Kiko Loureiro - guitars
David Warren Ellefson - bass, backing vocals
Chris Adler - drums

Megadeth Dystopia album review

Album Megadeth terbaru bersama gitarist Kiko Loureiro.


Dream Theater - The Astonishing (2016)

Here comes the thirteen studio album from Dream Theater. As with all the buzz we known so far, yes this is a concept album, a double CD it would be. Since Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes From a Memory, there hadn't any "proper" concept album from the prog giant. So, this will be some short of reboot to their collections, after half dozen of stand alone prog album that to some fans, almost a variation to each others. The Astonishing is their new title. It will be a concept album totally sketches out from John Petrucci's visions, he is the main creator of the ideas. Set in future timeline, the good news is the premise of the storyline is quite awesome. In short, we got to familiar with the story idea in their song "The Gift of Music" :

Far in the distant future,
Beyond the pages of our time.
Cold blooded wicked tyrants,
Threaten the freedom of mankind.
While their secluded leader thrives
We are living day to day
Forced to bear the lion’s share
People just don’t have the time for music any more.
And no one seems to care
My brother Gabriel, is all the hope we need.
Music is the gift he brings,
The songbird stops to listen when he sings.

This is the story about in the future-where, music no longer served by human but by machine. The only hope is a rebel musicians, supposedly metal band,  trying to bring back the good old days of music. To think about it, this is an explosive storyline.

The Astonishing is also fully set in their official website , where you can check characters and maps of the land. There will be eight characters, Gabriel, Emperor Nafaryus, Arhys, Faythe, Daryus, Empress Arabelle, Evangeline and Xander. Guys, this is the Game of Throne of progressive metal.

Musical itself, the album is total astonishing. From the opening scene of "Descent of the NOMACS", the band introduce the machine-like sounds to accommodate the music side of the machine. "Dystopian Overture" is their first officially overture song form after so many lightyears since Overture 1928. The combination of melodic (human) music vs industrial (machine) "organized sounds" is the main theme of this instrumental track. From this point, we are set into a more than two hours of music journey. The notable aspect of The Astonishing is their usage of more orchestra sounds. Jordan Rudess has a busy days composing all sort of keyboards parts. He is utilizing larger voices from trumpet to strings to disc screeching sounds. The album credit listed David Campbell as arranger for orchestra and choir.  Mike Mangini happened to admit the album blew his mind, indeed he need to added another 34 composition into his drumming memories. Luckily, the album do not required Mike M to put drums in more forefront, as with the last album. Indeed the album highlighted in the song itself and to the story line. With this, James LaBrie got to imposing himself into eight different characters. A bit out of our luck, Dream Theater do not have the tradition of inviting guest vocalist. Since it will be a cool idea if The Astonishing followed some mainstream trend by inviting guest singers to perform their characters. John Myung, as always, stayed in background. I wondered when Dream Theater going to use their "secret weapon", I guess we must wait for the next album where we can hear John Myung even more. John Petrucci himself creating many more Dream Theater riffs that we should remember. The Astonishing comprise many John's new idea, so do not worry about listening the same dear riffs.

The highlight of the albums are : Dystopian Overture, The Gift of Music, The Answer, A Life Left Behind, A New Beginning on CD 1. 2285 Entr'acte, Our New World, Astonishing on CD 2. The rest of the songs many acted as platform for the story telling, so it must be listen with context and in continuation. The Astonishing is Scene of Memory meet Operation Mindcrime meet Game of Throne meet Final Fantasy-RPG-things and at some point meet some other power metal concept albums such as Avantasia. As far as I listen, this is the best Dream Theater album since their good old days, their music ambition fully transferred into this double album in astonishing awesome way.

Metal Harem class: 9.5 out of 10 stars

Dream Theater - The Astonishing (2016)
Buy it Here - Amazon

Disc 1 - Act I
1. Descent of the NOMACS 01:10 instrumental
2. Dystopian Overture 04:50 instrumental
3. The Gift of Music 04:08
4. The Answer 01:52
5. A Better Life 04:39
6. Lord Nafaryus 03:28
7. A Savior in the Square 04:13
8. When Your Time Has Come 04:19
9. Act of Faythe 05:00
10. Three Days 03:44
11. The Hovering Sojourn 00:27 instrumental 
12. Brother, Can You Hear Me? 05:11
13. A Life Left Behind 05:49
14. Ravenskill 06:01
15. Chosen 04:31
16. A Tempting Offer 04:19
17. Digital Discord 00:47 instrumental 
18. The X Aspect 04:13
19. A New Beginning 07:41
20. The Road to Revolution 03:35

 Disc 2 - Act II
1. 2285 Entr'acte 02:20
2. Moment of Betrayal 06:11
3. Heaven's Cove 04:19
4. Begin Again 03:54
5. The Path That Divides 05:09
6. Machine Chatter 01:03 instrumental 
7. The Walking Shadow 02:58
8. My Last Farewell 03:44
9. Losing Faythe 04:13
10. Whispers on the Wind 01:37
11. Hymn of a Thousand Voices 03:38
12. Our New World 04:12
13. Power Down 01:25 instrumental 
14. Astonishing 05:51

Dream Theater:
John Petrucci - guitars
John Myung - bass
Jordan Rudess - keyboards
James LaBrie - vocals
Mika Mangini - drums

    Eric Rigler - bagpipes on "The X Aspect"
    City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

    Richard Chycki – engineering and mixing
    Jie Ma - cover art
    David Campbell - orchestral and choir arrangements


Beorn - Time to Dare (2015)

Beorn is newborn Russian band. They are labelled as "modern symphonic / power metal band from Russia. The band's music Beorn - it's heavy guitar riffs; beautiful...". Well prepared by the descriptions, I got to listen and fully agree. Time to Dare is the title of their debut album, consisted of eleven tracks of modern symphonic and power metal stuffs.

The first song they ever had is From Here To Eternity, well, the title surely inspired by their old metal folks from UK. The track is instrumental and it's not a light appetizer as there are tons of orchestrations to win your attention. Coming through that promising prelude is Riders Of The Sky. With such catching ears song title, nothing can surprised us when the song kick off as blazing double pedal beat. Melodic synth licks accompanied by trademark guitar riffs is a warm welcome present from the band. Through its three minutes of glory, amazingly the song bring all the a-b-c of power metal tricks. The second song is having much more the so-called 'originality'. Star Ocean is kind of cross over between power metal, Ibiza house beat and funky bass line. Official lyric video released on this song is a sign that the song also champion by the band themselves. Next is In Quest For Planet Eden, also a plot twist for listener, as the song turned out as sweet piano-based ballad in beginning and only delved into power ballad in the second part. The Chest Of Deadman is following some of classic power metal such as '80s Helloween sound. This basic ingredients are mixed with high energy solos and amazing instrument improvisation to give the song an epic status. Another song with very generic title is Space Invaders, which is the second instrumental track in the album. The band proved that they enjoy very much this setting and the outcome is a highly aesthetic instrumental composition. The rest of the album are typical power metal tracks with outer space theme. The band does not hesitate to bring in lot of keyboards and symphonic tricks to each song. Which bring us to the last song is ,Coming Home,  recently had been released as instrumental on their Youtube channel.

Time to Dare can be described as very interesting album. Beorn prove the genre still have so much corner to exploit. In between their blazing drum kicks and guitar riffs, there inserted many excellence solos. Much of those details rely on their individual skills, which is beyond adequate. Time To Dare is blend of generic power metal with innovative sounds without ruined the main character. This idea actually already known by several bandsm but Beorn stick to this anyway. With such promising debut, Beorn has conquered the first step to become part of power metal storm, especially coming from Eastern side of the scenes.

Metal Harem class: ********* eight stars out of ten

Buy it Here - Amazon

Beorn - Time to Dare (2015) 

01. From Here To Eternity (instrumental)
02. Riders Of The Sky
03. Star Ocean
04. In Quest For Planet Eden
05. The Chest Of Deadman
06. Space Invaders (instrumental)
07. Galaxy In flames
08. Phantom Ship
09. Ray Of Hope (Incubus Ex Abyssus)
10. The Beast
11. Coming Home

Gregory Kryukov - Vocal
Andrey Zvonaryov - Guitars
Alexey Zvonaryov - Bass
Pavel Salikov - Guitars

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