29.7.12

Tourniquet Antiseptic Bloodbath 2012

Tourniquet, an unique thrash metal band from LA who dedicated themselves as Christian metal buddies. Formed since 1990, Tourniquet is already has enough crowds and fans. My last impression was also nice with their 2003 album Where Moth and Dust Destroy, mostly due to their interesting guest guitarist range from Marty Friedman to Bruce Franklin (Trouble). In this year, Tourniquet recorded new materials after almost 10 years of absence. The album titled Antiseptic Bloodbath is released July 2012, good news is the album also featured guest guitarist to fill in the solo for the band. Including in the line up are Marty Friedman, Bruce Franklin, Pat Travers, Karl Sander (Nile), Santiago Dobles (Aghora) and guitarist in residence Aaron Guerra.

The intro to the first song is a raising eyes choice, the worry actually extended as Tourniquet begin with Offspring-like punk loop completed with yel yel by cheerleader. Luckily a couple of second after the thrash metal riff we all waiting for are in. So this song, Chart of the Elements, is bit of experimental in combining interesting punk loop in thrash metal song.  The titled song Antiseptic Bloodbath is quickly gone to the brutal to match with its lyric, but Tourniquet somehow manage to incorporated classic gospel tune in the end. Pat Traver is the guitarist in charge for the solos of this song, awesome. The Maiden Who Slept In The Glass Coffin is another intrigue composition, it’s come with long guitar instrumental intro (Marty Friedman) before developed into full song. Again Tourniquet continue its twist of guitar and tempo chances in this seven minutes composition. Chamunda Temple Stampede finally the straightforward thrash thing, blast with enough shred by the guest guitarist. Lost Languages of the Andamans is another interesting point if you like the unexpected thing, the guitar provided by Santiago Dobles, who also help in track 89 Bullets.

So quiet an unusual album in thrash metal by Tourniquet. All songs are so dominated by guitar shreds, a good interesting point for all shred lover. Good span of materials here, between straightforward song as in Duplicitous Endeavour to unpredictable tunes with violin as in Fed by Raven, Eaten by Vultures or even a cheerleaders yel yel. The lead voice is certainly lends bits to raw sounds as in early Judas Priest thing. Fans of thrash metal and interesting fans in Christian Metal should listen to this album.

Metalharem class: ******** eight stars out of ten

Tourniquet Antiseptic Bloodbath 2012
Buy it here at Amazon

01.Chart of the Elements (Lincchostbllis)
02. Antiseptic Bloodbath
03. The Maiden Who Slept in the Glass Coffin
04. Chamunda Temple Stampede
05. Flowering Cadaver
06. 86 Bullets
07. Duplicitous Endeavor
08. Lost Language of the Andamans
09. Carried Away On Uncertain Wings
10. Fed By Ravens, Eaten By Vultures

Line-up
Luke Easter - vocals
Ted Kirkpatrick - drums
Steve Andino – bass

Pat Travers • lead guitar: Antiseptic Bloodbath
Marty Friedman • lead guitar: The Maiden Who Slept in the Glass Coffin
Bruce Franklin • lead guitar: Chart of the Elements (Lincchostbllis)
Karl Sanders • lead guitar: Chamunda Temple Stampede
Santiago Dobles • lead guitar: 86 Bullets, Lost Language of the Andamans
Adrien Zitoun • cello: The Maiden, Lost Language, Fed by Ravens
Dennis Najoom • trumpet: Antiseptic Bloodbath, The Maiden, Lost Language
Dave Bullock • violin: The Maiden, Lost Language, Fed by Ravens
Neil Kernon • orchestral textures: Duplicitous Endeavor
Hannah Kilburn, Grace Kilburn & Simi • cheerleader vocals: Chart of the Elements (Lincchostbllis)
Pastor Bob Beeman • spoken word vocals: Fed by Ravens, Eaten by Vultures
Rick Muehlbach, Tyler Margritz • spoken word vocals: Duplicitous Endeavor

All bass guitar • Aaron Guerra, except Lost Language of the Andaman’s (00:36-01:50) • Ted Kirkpatrick
Produced, recorded, and mixed by Neil Kernon for Auslander

Gospel and thrash feel artwork


Destination's Calling End of Time 2012

What does it takes to make a great power metal band? A virtuoso guitarist, demon speed drummer,  or keyboard wizards? For me I prefer a charismatic singer as the first and for most requirement to makes a band stand out. Destination’s Calling, quite an unusual name for power metal (it clicks me more as progressive metal band name) give me a good impression in this album on this aspect. As my prologues suggested, the band's singer is kicking, remind me of Michael Kiske’s character. While the band’s background extended back to 1999 and previous full album Invinsible Wall , I can’t be sure of their past achievement prior to this album as their information were lack online. End of Time is the album we are talking right now, released June 2012.

In this album, DC opens with a catchy song Feel The Rain. This is one of my favourite tunes in power metal this year, again the singer is most enjoyable here. The minor and melancholy feel in this song just fit the voice. After this, the second song Soulbound maintained the pace with a song that use the most out of power chord. The album slightly set down the tune quite fast in track four, The Broken Hourglass, a short acoustic ballad and repeated again in Another Day. End Of Time is a moderate tempo power metal song in the light of early James Labrie voice like singing. Need to listed out also Burning Paradise which has a nice verse and chorus connections.

Destination’s Calling serves us in the territory of power metal that faithful sad and dark feel. No keyboard role so far. Christian Grater, the singer is also the guitarist shared with Markus Goller. Big brother Sascha Paeth is doing the mixing here, no surprise. The drum, however, slightly feel too generic, maybe the production sounds, but the drummer surprisingly sounds less power metal than average standard. Four ballads songs, this is a little too many, need us to quickly adjust our mood every two fast songs. Give this album one or two spins, and it’ll quickly enter our comfort listening zone.

Metalharem class: ******* seven stars out of ten

Destination's Calling End of Time 2012
buy it here

1. Feel the Rain 04:50
2. Soulbound 05:13
3. Revolution in Mind 05:41
4. The Broken Hourglass 02:09
5. Dreams Died on the Road 06:13
6. Another Day 04:19
7. End of Time 04:20
8. Burning Paradise 04:35
9. Dark Poem 04:36
10. Walking on Thin Ice 05:11
11. The Way Back Home 05:43

Steffen Singler  Bass
Christian Gräter Vocals, Guitars
Markus Göller  Guitars, Vocals
Christian Frank Drums
Mixed: Sascha Paeth

28.7.12

Testament Dark Roots of Earth 2012

Testament is one of the big names in thrash metal. Coming from California mean Testament right in the epicentrum of 80s thrash scene together with Metallica and Megadeth. This month they released their 10th studio album. The line up was pretty solid with Chuck Billy and Alec Skolnick faithfully guarding the band as well bassist Greg Christian. As a veteran band that produced some of greatest album in thrash, it is their fate to often compared to their past. This time we will try to find  reference of Legacy and Souls of Black album in this newest release.

The first two songs, Rise Up and Native Blood put a promising start as these are thrash metal driven by powerful riff. Chuck Billy voice will remind us to the past glory. These two songs however steps out slightly their Souls of Black sounds, with more punk and faster vocal singing. However titled song, Dark Roots of Earth is close to it, the thrash song that slow a bit, acoustic intro, all resemble the nostalgic moment of their past glory. True American Hate is a hateful heavy throat voice song from Chuck. After this, A Day in the Death is back to the classic sounds. A work of running bass line and guitar shred put the song high in technical specifications.

Cold Embrace then break the mood with it bluesy solo accompanied by acoustic rhythm. This is a ballad similar to Return to Serenity sounds, with a verse followed by guitar lick answering. Man Kills Mankind is standard thrash riff followed by quite predictable verse line. Thorne of Thorns bring us to the darker seven minutes composition. The bridge and drum fill are faithful 80s thrash , bit of remind us to Megadeth fill actually. Last Stand of For Independence again is a left riff vs right riff intro and very classic Testament singing with long howling by Chuck.

Then a three tribute song (Powerslave by Iron Maiden!), Testament completed the task to return into the big arena of thrash. It will play loud this year and this album can cross sword with Overkill earlier release. With Alec Skolnick and Eric Peterson duo, the shred never sort of. The jazz influence, throwing ascending descending licks in the middle of nowhere is the trademark here. Truly not a calm come back and a good continuation to their Damnation album.

Metalharem class: ******** eight stars out of ten

Testament - Dark Roots Of Earth 2012
buy it here at Amazon

01. Rise Up
02. Native Blood
03. Dark Roots Of Earth
04. True American Hate
05. A Day In The Death
06. Cold Embrace
07. Man Kills Mankind
08. Throne Of Thorns
09. Last Stand For Independence

Bonus tracks:
10. Dragon Attack [Queen cover]
11. Animal Magnetism [Scorpions cover]
12. Powerslave [Iron Maiden cover]
13. Throne Of Thornes [extended version]

Line-up
Chuck Billy - vocals
Eric Peterson - guitars
Alex Skolnick - guitars
Greg Christian - bass

Session musicians
Christopher James "Chris" Adler - drums in A Day In The Death
Eugene "Gene" Victor Hoglan II - drums

Album cover artwork in Testament Dark Roots Of Earth

Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Lost in The New Real (2012)

Arjen Anthony Lucassen, composer in progressive metal and rock hailed from Netherland. Owner of Ayreon and Star One progressive metal band, this year, Arjen decided to do his “solo” project. The point is to let himself sing and done most of the work of instrumentation. The album titled Lost in the New Real then released as the result, it’s a double album.

What made different is this project sounds much more Pink Flyod feel, less guitar distortion, less charismatic singing from various singers , compare to Ayreon and Star One project. But then in the blink of eyes you will know this is Arjen music as it is always that sound like space-rock feel. The project also narrated  by actor Rutger Hauer. The tune of the album lyrical is apocalyptic life theme. Parental Procreation Permit speaks about difficulties of raising children in the age. E-Police deal with a theme of cyberspace piracy problem, in the past time flash back. Which is my favourite theme so far with all its enjoyable sarcastic lyric.

Musically, this is all Arjen Lucassen style. There will be no straight blues or Ionian scale here, some are very dissonance as in Yellowstone Memorial Day. The New Real which serves as opening track also didn’t help much in welcoming unfamiliar ear. Lost in the New Real is the last 10 minute composition with interesting cello line there.

Arjen has give the world another fruit of thought in music. Away from his bombastic and epic project as in Ayreon, this album is a smaller scale, and relax environment. The second CD however more or less a tribute album and serves as extended listening hour.

Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Lost In The New Real
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Disc I
01. The New Real
02. Pink Beatles In A Purple Zeppelin
03. Parental Procreation Permit
04. When I'm A Hundred Sixty-Four
05. E-Police
06. Don't Switch Me Off
07. Dr. Slumber's Eternity Home
08. Yellowstone Memorial Day
09. Where Pigs Fly
10. Lost In The New Real
+ Behind The New Real

Disc II
01. Our Imperfect Race
02. Welcome To The Machine [Pink Floyd cover]
03. So Is There No God?
04. Veteran Of The Psychic Wars [Blue Öyster Cult cover]
05. The Social Recluse
06. Battle Of Evermore [Led Zeppelin cover]
07. The Space Hotel
08. Some Other Time [Alan Parsons Project cover]
09. You Have Entered The Reality Zone
10. I'm The Slime [Frank Zappa cover]
+ Behind The Artwork

Arjen A. Lucassen – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass & Keyboards
Ed Warby – Drums
Ben Mathot – Violin
Maaike Peterse – Cello
Rutger Hauer – Spoken Vocals

A complexes and full of easter eggs cover album artwork


26.7.12

Gaia Epicus - Dark Secrets 2012

Join us in the defender of metal is Gaia Epicus. The band mostly motorized by guitarist and singer Thomas Christian Hansen, had been playing various kind of metals since 1993. On 2001 they fix their path and choose power metal as their main menu. Gaia Epicus is hailed from Norway and releasing their fifth studio album this month. The style of this album generally power metal , but without much over drive chorus things,  less keyboards and lend to bits of thrash and progressive. The association is close to Gamma Ray with slightly Symphony X complexity.

Beyond The Universe come as the first track and without warning we are in the double pedal drumming and melodic intro. The song develop to standard power metal tunes. There is interesting interlude of progressive like staccato drumming and rhythm before entering the first guitar solos. Hellfire played with very Helloween-ish riff intro and continue full scale into our comfort power metal zone. Lost Forever starts with catchy guitar works intro, the singing here experiments bit with combination of post production effect vocal and slightly growling voice. The rhythm team also got their chance to showcase in track Mirror of Youth. This has memorable verse and chorus and most well received in my sub consciousness  so far.

The first round ended by Ode To The Past, an instrumental track that combined bits of neoclassical things. We then entered the second part of the album that more mellow melody and acoustic setting as in Farewell and Last Chance. The highlight point here is titled song, Dark Secret that try to get bits of epic feel and a popular setup, duet with female singer.

Gaia Epicus deserved his wider audience recognition  as the quality of this album suggest. Beside leading voice by Thomas, the team work chemistry is great. Drummer in service doing great in support of the band’s composition. Voice leading here performed mostly in pressed head voice as similar to Kai Hansen, so expect less epic or fantasy high pitch chorus here, except one shoot screaming in The Raven. The keyboard portion is less than average power metal song but still significantly dictate the atmosphere of many songs. A good works by Gaia Epicus, it is not surprised to see the raise of interest from power fans around the world online, especially from Asia. Their social network has announced a recruit of hundreds of Indonesian fans. We hope this will encourage the team to continued delivered quality metal album.

Gaia Epicus - Dark Secret 2012
buy it here

01. Beyond The Universe
02. Hellfire
03. Lost Forever
04. Mirror Of Truth
05. Bounded By Blood
06. Ode To The Past
07. Farewell
08. The Raven
09. Behind These Walls
10. Falling Into The Abyss
11. Dark Secrets
12. Last Chance

Thomas Chr.Hansen - guitars, vocals, keys

Guest Musicians:
Michael T. Ross - keyboards
Lasse Jensen - guitar solos
Kristian Nergård - bass
Kristoffer Øyen - drums
John Erik Andersen - vocals
Maria Kristin Sørensen - vocals

Cover painting by:
J.P Fournier ( Edguy, Avantasia, Dragonforce )
CD Mastered at:
Jailhouse Studios ( Helloween, Jorn )

Album cover in fantasy artwork



Hartmann Balance 2012

Seems like every maestro of AOR are all out this year for a masterpiece album. This month we received Oliver Hartmann with his newest, Balance. This is pure AOR and Melodic Rock album. Hartmann is ex singer of At Vance and frequent guest singer at many notable project, as in Avantasia, Aina and Daniele Liverani’s Genius. So, expect a top notch voice for this promising album before you even heard it.

The standard arena / on stage feel intro fill All My Life opens our fancy album. This is the standard AOR song, the verse serves well to the explosions of chorus. Hartmann sing in the most inspirational voice here. We also quickly arrived at second song, Like A River which is starts as mellow rock verse then developed into memorable Like A River chorus. You Are The One is the running bass and moderate tempo.
In the middle parts is Save Me, a very 80s guitar melodic intro. Then From A Star started the slow section of the album. The song more fill with variations over rock and AOR theme such as acoustic, country, soul style put in.

Together his band, Oliver Hartmann write most of the songs here. The first section are intended to get heavy and rock. Notable is producer Sascha Paeth. This is more an AOR album with several general style put in as a bonus. If you love strong voice over the rock song, Oliver Hartmann have this kind of magic to let you enjoy this album without much worry.

Hartmann - Balance 2012
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01. All My Life
02. Like a River
03. You are the One
04. Fool for You
05. After the love has Gone
06. Save Me
07. Fall from Grace
08. From a Star
09. Dance on the Wire
10. Shout
11. Time to face the Truth
12. The Best is yet to Come

Dario Ciccioni  Drums
Oliver Hartmann Vocals
Armin Donderer Bass
Jürgen Wüst Keyboards
Mario Reck Guitars

All songs written by Oliver Hartmann except "Like A River" and "From A Star" written by Armin Donderer and "Shout" written by Roland Orzabal & Ian Stanley

Produced by Oliver Hartmann
Mixed by Sascha Paeth
Mastered by Simon Oberender

Additional musicians :
Jürgen Wüst : Keyboards on "Fall From Grace"
Xaver Fischer : Keyboards on "After The Love Is Gone"
Tiffany Kirkland : Backing Vocals

Hartmann Photography composition base cover art album


24.7.12

Ugly Kid Joe - Stairway to Hell (EP) 2012

One of the ugly kids of glam metal has back to recorded a new music. Ugly Kid Joe we all know is responsible for the fantastic one shoot album America's Least Wanted back in 1991. The album is so phenomenon that become the only glam metal band to stand head to head against grunge invasion. The kids then produced two more albums but the story had changes little bit as none were memorable now. This month the old Joe try to recapture their spirit and release a humble EP called Stairway to Hell.

About 20 minutes of music, the band recorded six songs to marked their brave resurrection. The first song is Devil's Paradise. Sure we are not in close contact to America's Least Wanted song writing quality, since this is mostly glam rock with large utilization of wah wah and modern rock singing. You Make Me Sick maybe the closest now to that yesteryear ugly Joe singing. The voice of singer Whitfield Crane is memorable here. No One Survives remind us to the Cats in the Cradle and Busy Bee ballad-rock variation. I'm Alright is more or less filler here. Love Ain't True is a mix with alternative rock and present of Fishbone singers raise the interesting point of this song. Finally the EP close with acoustic country rock song Another Beer.

Ugly Kid Joe is still continue its journey to delivered "answer" to their debut album, since this is more or less a warm up EP for the band. This album is a mature version and for those still like the teenage / ugly Joe, this may need careful consideration.

Ugly Kid Joe - Stairway to Hell 2012
buy it here

1. "Devil's Paradise" (3:37)
2. "You Make Me Sick" (3:42)
3. "No One Survives" (4:02)
4. "I'm Alright" (3:21)
5. "Love Ain't True!" (featuring Angelo Moore and Dirty Walt of Fishbone) (3:28)
6. "Another Beer" (3:33)

    Whitfield Crane – lead vocals
    Klaus Eichstadt – guitars
    Cordell Crockett – bass
    Dave Fortman – guitar
    Shannon Larkin – drums

21.7.12

Lana Lane - El Dorado Hotel 2012

Here is a completely fresh album,  different from any others by Lana Lane. Lana Lane is a diva in rock, spouse of composer Erik Norlander. They are in one roof so it is logic to see something come out from their kitchen. She is a veteran in providing voice for rock and metal, mostly in difficult composition of jazz or in progressive rock band Ayreon. In this solo album, El Dorado Hotel the music span wide, from progressive rock, AOR, jazz to operatic. The duo support by John Payne, Guthrie Govan, Jay Schellen and Bruce Bouillet all from prog band Asia team. Then several interesting names as you can check in the album information below.

A Dream Full of Fire is the first song. In this eight minutes progressive rock song, Lana Lane tackle the music  well, dictate them by her falsetto yet powerful voice. The instrumentation also notable with solos by chamber string, mandolin and shred guitar. This is jazzy and prog feel opener with AOR chorus, interesting. A second song, with synth intro to Maybe We'll Met Again put this song into thick keyboard driven prog. Next, El Dorado song turn into percussion and jazz rhythm feel. Darkness Fall is even difficult to categorized, here exist intense rock, but overall a light rock close to jazz and pop. Hotel is a sweet light acoustic song, Lana Lane sings with clean voice, as soft as a silk here. Believe is AOR feel, and Lana Lane sing supported with a voice effect. Finally Life of the Party is a straight rock song. This followed by another rock song in galloping chops, Gone Are The Days. Last two, Moon God is another progressive rock composition with song writing that showcase Lana voice successfully. Last epic, In Exile is a sums up of the whole album with mellow and operatic singing in fully intrigue progressive rock composition.

This is a completely refreshing menu. The songs are well interesting to distribute easily into the memory. Composition wise this is well written song by the team. Guitarists in charge accept the challenge of mostly non standard chord progression and nailed them beautifully. Fantastic album.

Metalharem class: ******** nine stars out of ten

Lana Lane - El Dorado Hotel 2012
buy it here

Tracks:
1. A Dream Full of Fire
2. Maybe We’ll Meet Again
3. El Dorado
4. Darkness Falls
5. Hotels
6. Believe
7. Life Of The Party
8. Gone Are The Days
9. Moon God
10. In Exile

Musicians:
Lana Lane: vocals
Erik Norlander: keyboards/synths, additional guitars, bass
John Payne: harmony and choral vocals, mandolin
Mark McCrite: guitars, bass, choral vocals, programming
Bruce Bouillet: guitars
Neil Citron: guitars
Freddy DeMarco: guitars
Guthrie Govan: guitars
Don Schiff: NS/Stick
Mark Matthews: bass
Jay Schellen: drums

Landscape photography artwork for the cover album:

Hardline Danger Zone 2012

Hardline is the 90s band that mostly famous as the side project of Neil Schon outside the giant Journey and Bad English. Their classic debut, Double Eclipse captured much the spirit of AOR from the era. Twenty year after, Hardline now remain singer Johnny Gioeli as original member. The band also less superstar as any previous formation, instead now support by lesser famous talents from Europe. This new album, called Danger Zone now under the shadow of Axel Rudi Pell because Johnny Gioeli is close association to this band for years.

Hardline try to capture back the spirit of AOR, the two first tracks Fever Dreams and 10000 Reasons really pulled us back to that era. The choruses also remind me of Axel, the different is, in Hardline the present of AOR keyboard are dominant. The next song luckily can escape from this syndrome, Danger Zone and What I'd Like is a showcase on how Johnny sing something different from his Axel job. Much even further is ballad Stronger Than Me, give us a very enjoyable medium to enjoy another dimension of the singer's voice. I also enjoy very much Never Too Late For Love, as well Stay which gives me that nostalgic mellow AOR we missed. We then jump to Show Me Your Love, a high spirit chorus driven song.

The album display no low point on its twelve tracks. Beside the first two songs, Johnny and team delivered an emotional AOR materials that close to our nostalgic '80 era. Guitarist shredder Thorsten Koehne bring each song careful lead and rhythm, although the lead solo sometimes too short, it is mixed with the song nicely. We also have keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio that dictate the overall nuance to become emotional AOR spirit. Drummer Francesco Jovino and female bassist Anna Portalupi completed the formation. This is high point of this year AOR album.

Metalharem class: ******** eight stars out of ten

Hardline Danger Zone 2012
buy it here

1. Fever Dreams
2. 10000 Reasons
3. Danger Zone
4. What I'd Like
5. Stronger Than Me
6. Never Too Late For Love
7. Stay
8. I Don't Wanna Break Away
9. Look At You Now
10. Please Have Faith In Me
11. Show Me Your Love
12. The Only One

Johnny Gioeli - Lead Vocals
Thorsten Koehne - Lead Guitar
Alessandro Del Vecchio -Keyboards
Anna Portalupi -Bass
Francesco Jovino - Drums




Winter's Verge - Beyond Vengeance 2012

Who think on the tropical island of Cyprus come in a power metal band as cool as Winter's Verge? Winter's Verge had entertain the island with power metal since 2004 and now Beyond Vengeance is their fourth studio album. As a quintet the power metal they sung are mostly traditional with balance between keyboard, guitar and chorus. They sound like Manowar but with enough guitar work to raise the level of heaviness and complexity.

We first presented Cunning Lullabies a hymn-like tempo power metal song, thick blanketed by organ sound and very low frequency guitar distortion. Paper is Blank is open with ala Stratovarious minor melody, again with distinguished distortion tune. A female voice variation in Bleeding Heart is very good accent in the middle of the sound. In the middle part, Dying is perhaps most intrigue song with enough twist in the intro, song and chorus. One Last Night is epic ballad even close to Manowar chorus like, repeated again in Semeni. And the album close with orchestral A Dream for A Dream.

There is a balance material of power metal feel in Beyond Vengeance. From riff driven song to orchestra hymn like. Nothing really distract the album and it is focus in their sounds. The positive key point is strong song writing support by talented musicians. The guitar choice of distortion is also distinguished their overall sound. Singer is integrated to the song and able to emotionally performed the song well. Full enjoyment album on power metal. The album produced by R.D. Liapakis of Mystic Prophecy.

Metalharem class: ******* seven stars out of ten

Winter's Verge - Beyond Vengeance 2012
buy it here

01. Cunning Lullabies
02. Paper Is Blank
03. Unto The Darkness
04. Not Without A Fight
05. Bleeding Heart
06. Dying
07. One Last Night
08. Threads Of My Life
09. Angels Of Babylon
10. Semeni
11. A Dream For A Dream

Line-up
 George Charalambous - Vocals
Stefanos Psillides - Keyboards
Harry Pari - Guitars
Miguel Trapezaris - Bass
Chris Ioannides - Drums

Cover artwork

19.7.12

Savage - Sons of Malice 2012

Those who old enough and experienced in NWOBHM scene will remember this band, Savage. But I don't, because I was slightly too young to know the detail of the era. Good news is, this will be a new band for me and without any nostalgic moments to be distraction. Savage is NWOBHM generation, mainly known in their early 80s song Let it Loose, that said, burnt UK metal scenes with New Wave Of British Heavy Metal.  The band then hit and missed the fortunate from early 80 until today. Only the sixth studio album, Sons of Malice still sounds very British and NWOBHM nowdays.

The first song strike in with signature riff of NWOBHM, panning left and right then we enter song The Rage Between. It is now clear Savage play a heavy metal that just slightly light than Saxon and early Iron Maiden, instead more thick in blues rock feel. This is clear in second song Black N Blue. It even tune down the metal feel and lending more to rock in the third title song Sons of Malice. The Hanging Tree is typical country feel song and so does it. Monkey On My Back has it nice "on stage" drumming intro. So does it with song Waking the Dead that provide solo drumming and development into rather minor metal riff. Of the one hour long album, all song composition writing over a catchy and crunchy guitar riff, before scream out the lyric by bassist and singer Chris Bradley.

This is an album for 80s UK tube guitar amp lover. A fantastic tunes recorded by duo of Savage guitarist. The songs mostly never become too heavy. An acceptable release by the veteran of this genre. With a cover album that still use the classic artwork feel, Savage still maintained their identity of early NWOBHM act in this album.

Savage Sons of Malice 2012
buy it here

01. The Rage Within
02. Black N Blue
03. Sons Of Malice
04. The Hanging Tree
05. Monkey On My Back
06. Junkyard Dogs
07. Blow
08. Waking The Dead
09. Choose Revolution
10. Now
11. Look At Yourself
12. Master Of War
13. Fallen Idols

Chris Bradley - Vocals, Bass
Kristian Bradley - Guitars
Andy Dawson - Guitars
Mark Nelson - Drums

18.7.12

Clocks - The Dividing Line 2012

Clocks is young band coming from central IL, they are now on the path seeking fortune to attracted wider attention to their music. Clocks played in the progressive and technical deathcore area. They are loud and optimistic in music, as quickly evidence in their newest release, The Dividing Line. On this half hours package we presented tight and powerful progressive metal with killer growling vocal all over it.

The album warns us with a minutes and fifty second intro. Then the song Aeon of Horus catch the spirit with its intense riff, and sliding riff, ushered in the first verse of the album. This is an intense technical music with enough changes of tempo and riff , will not let easily fall to your comfort zone. The second song, Progress has some nice drumming phrase in the beginning. The title track, The Dividing Line played something with the staccato drumming. There is no sign of slowdown and the band still burning in track Arbiters, the song still play in complex variation of heavy and slow tempo. Transit of Man is something transitional to the last song, Invisible A Conscious Disconnect

So this is a nice progressive deathcore album from the quintet talents. It is the nature of their music that this album required several listening. Guitars and rhythm section team works in good vibes, but need more idea to fit in a straightforward guitar solos, as this is rather hard to found. Singer sounds great although the sign of less polished is listenable. As a DIY album, this one has a quality. For enthusiast of the genre do not missed this young band and it's good idea to bookmark their social network for upcoming news.

CLOCKS - The Dividing Line 2012
visit the social network to obtain the album
1. Flying Undiscovered (1:49)
2. Aeon of Horus (5:03)
3. Progress (6:28)
4. The Dividing Line (4:18)
5. Arbiters (3:51)
6. Transit of Man (5:04)
7. Invisible; A Conscious Disconnect (5:03)

Ian Sheridan - Drums
Alex Poole - Guitar
Dakota Roberts - Guitar
Nick Mullins - Vocals
Dustin Mathews - Bass


Steve Harris - British Lion Announced

It's a breaking news from Iron Maiden social network site. Founder and bassist Steve Harris will release his debut side project. The nature of style and formation yet to disclosed. So far the information had been successfully kept secret over the year. It's to be release September 24th, 2012

Here EMI official announced as paste from Iron Maiden social site:

EMI Music are proud to announce the release of Iron Maiden founder Steve Harris’ debut solo/side project album. Entitled ‘British Lion’ and comprising ten songs that Steve and his collaborators have been working on for the past few years between Iron Maiden tours and releases, it is an album that will surprise and delight music fans the world over.

With a decidedly heavy rock-vibe this roaring debut paints with a full palette of sounds; brooding, melancholic, righteously indignant and exuberantly heavy. With Kevin Shirley at the mixing helm – whose credits include Iron Maiden as well as Led Zeppelin, Journey and Rush among many others – this is an album to sink your teeth into.

From the growling riffage of opening salvo This Is My God to the heavy forlorn balladry of follow-up Lost Worlds which showcases Richard Taylor’s soaring vocals, it’s clear that ‘British Lion’ is an altogether different beast from Maiden.

Karma Killer, with its dirge-like muscularity, and Us Against The World, with its massive chorus, demonstrates just how far ‘British Lion’ has flexed Steve Harris’ considerable musical muscle. Dovetailed with guitarist David Hawkins’ positively gargantuan lyrical guitar melodies, it’s a mere hors d'oeuvre ahead of the epic, riffing-feast of The Chosen Ones, with its swaggering bravado.

A World Without Heaven, at a breathtaking seven minutes and infused with progressive elements without ever teetering into self-indulgence illustrates perfectly these songsmiths’ colossal abilities to create a mood and stay there. Supercharged by Steve Harris’ inimitable style, there’s an un-cynical vibe here that’s as refreshing as it is out of place in today’s all-too-categorised music industry.

And as far as the name ‘British Lion’; “I’ve always been proud to be British,” explains Steve, “I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be. It’s a massive part of being me. It’s not like I’m flag-waving or trying to preach, this is not a political statement at all. It’s like supporting your football team, where you come from. I just think it lends itself to some really strong imagery too, and to me it fits in with the sound.”

With Iron Maiden, Steve Harris has become one of the most recognised and successful ambassadors for British music on the world stage. Having released 15 studio albums, sold over 85 million records worldwide and played more than two thousand gigs in 58 countries in the band’s thirty-five year career, his appeal is truly global.

And now with ‘British Lion’, Steve steps out from Iron Maiden’s illustrious shadow to present a different side of his musical visions.

The tracklisting for ‘British Lion’ is as follows:


1.This Is My God
2.Lost Worlds
3.Karma Killer
4.Us Against The World
5.The Chosen Ones
6.A World Without Heaven
7.Judas
8.Eyes Of The Young
9.These Are The Hands
10.The Lesson

Excellent cover art:

17.7.12

Robert Rodrigo - Wrath 2012

This is a really high quality shred album from lesser known guitarist. Robert Rodrigo is a guitarist of Spain heavy metal band, Airless. They are Lion Record line up and already releases about two albums. For Rodrigo, he spent a time to record a full instrumental guitar album and release recently as Wrath.

For fans of old school riff and shred guitar, this is your album. Very enjoyable, full of energy and shred. Rodrigo start the album with In A Dream, show his dexterity through a phrase of tapping, the song went lyrical as well. Same thing to second track, Carved in Rock, it is the most natural guitar rock shred should performed. The style much remind us to Paul Gilbert, Andy Timmons, with enough blues in it also. Song They Call It Stage Renting is blend between heavier riff , synth layering and memorable melody. For this one an earlier Joe Satriani is a good reference. Murderer of Souls is heaviest in the last part. Remembering Julen, A Song for Michael (R.I.P) are ballads, and Lost Guitar is acoustic tang.

Pretty solid material in this album. Not only the guitar is easy listening, memorable phrase and riff, the bass also support with excellent thumbing here and there. Robert Rodrigo has successfully delivered his second studio instrumental album to very enjoyable level. Many shred albums by lesser known  guitarist released each week but this one will save your time and resources.

Metalharem class: ******* eight stars out of ten

Robert Rodrigo - Wrath 2012
buy it here

01. IN A DREAM
02. CARVED IN ROCK
03. THEY CALL IT STAGE RENTING
04. THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS
05. KILIMANJARO
06. REMEMBERING JULEN
07. AN EYE FOR AN EYE
08. DOUBLE DAWN
09. MURDERERS OF SOULS
10. MY UNUSUAL WOMAN
11. A SONG FOR MICHAEL (R.I.P.)
12. THE LOST GUITAR

Label quotes:
Awesome 2nd studio disc by this phenomenal instrumental axemaster from Spain who takes guitar rock to new levels of six string insanity on the amazing "Wrath" disc. Includes 12 tracks of mind-blowing, over-the-top, incredible, powerful heavy guitar riffage that will rock your world. Combining serious shred technique with "old-school" guitar hero retro-blues-based feel, Robert Rodrigo is the REAL deal on the guitar. An outstanding, bad-ass riff-monster of world-class proportions that is Highly recommended to fans of Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Zakk Wylde, Dimebag Darrell, Paul Gilbert, Richie Kotzen, Al Estrada & Andy James. 



16.7.12

Jon Lord Passed Away 16th July 2012

Sad news coming from the maestro behind Deep Purple keyboard / hammond organ, Jon Lord passing away on Monday 16th July 2012. The maestro suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism and long pancreatic cancer.

If the math done correctly, sadly we shall entering that critical era of our 70s metal heroes. Rest In Peace Jon, whenever an organ solo we shall remembering you.

Compilation of Twitter reactions from metal communities:

Adam Wakeman OZZY OSBOURNE/HEADSPACE Keyboardist: JON LORD 'Was One Of My Biggest Influences And Idols'

Rudy Sarzo: JON LORD Was 'A Part Of The Soundtrack Of My Life'

David Coverdale: 'It Was An Absolute Joy And Pleasure' To Know And Work With JON LORD

Accept ‏@accepttheband
just like Ronnie was the Master on Vocals Jon Lord was the King on the Hammond Organ...R.I.P. Jon Lord I grew up.

Krist Novoselic Deep Purple’s Jon Lord Dies -- King of Heavy Hammond Sound

Dee Snider ‏@deesnider
I just found out that Jon Lord from Deep Purple passed away. What an amazing musician and a true gentleman. We lost a great one...RIP

Slash ‏@Slash
Sad day in Rock & Roll; Jon Lord has passed on. One of the biggest, baddest, heaviest sounds in Heavy Metal. One if a kind. RIP.

Jordan Rudess ‏@Jcrudess
I'm very sad to hear about the passing of Jon Lord. He was an inspiration to me!

Geezer Buttler
Very sad to hear of Jon’s death, following his battle with the demon cancer. One of the great musicians of my generation. Tony Iommi recently worked with Jon, and said what a lovely bloke he was. I met him a few times, but never got to work with him. Blessings.

matt sorum ‏@mattsorum
Rip Jon Lord of Deep Purple The greatest rock keyboardist ever

Michael Amott ‏@Michael_Amott
R.I.P. Jon Lord. What a legend, the "Hammond Lord"! Thanks for all the music with Deep Purple, WhiteSnake and beyond!Tom Morello ‏@tmorello

Tom Morello
RIP the great Jon Lord, Deep Purple's cornerstone/keyboardist. So many great great songs and that incredible SOUND of his! Thankyou

Steve Lukather ‏@stevelukather
My heartfelt RIP to Jon Lord.. A massive influence of all musicians of my generation and beyond...

DAVID DRAIMAN ‏@DAVIDMDRAIMAN
BLACK SABBATH Bassist: JON LORD Was 'One Of The Great Musicians Of My Generation'

TRACII GUNS: JON LORD Was 'A Real Legend And A Real Star'

14.7.12

Dawn Of Destiny - Praying to the World 2012

Something good left from May 2012, we have Dawn of Destiny's 4th releases called Praying to the World. Although the band main style has been categorized as power metal, but they do gothic, death metal and thrash elements also. The new singer is Jeanette Scherff who delivered the clean soprano voice. Songs are mostly aggressive in guitar and then ushered in by Jeanette singing.

My Life Lies in  Ruins is the first song, no fancy symphonic intro here but a blistering riff with great combination of female and male singing. The Right Path set by chorus phrase intro that dictate the song, this is rather medium tempo power metal chorus with element of gothic. Miracles then followed as the piano epic, with its great song writing , its chorus "I believe in miracles..." powerfully delivered by Jeanette duet with clean male voice. Place of Mercy also a good song composition with singing verse timely attached to the  rhythm section. The bass prelude to guitar solo is something special here.

The middle section of album started with gospel like a capella chorus in Misunderstood. Promised Land then turn out an interesting song musically. Beast Human again show the bassist didn't just sit there but put a thrash and dark scale bass intro. The keyboard as key melody also performed found in One Last Word.

Only in the thirteen track, the titled album song Praying to the World presented. It's a six minutes epic with now the male voice take the rule. Two other worldwide bonus song and we finish the 70 minutes of excellent delivered album.

What we got here in Praying to the World is a combination of creative band member creating above standard album. There are actually many to hear from this quintet. Not only guitar works, but keyboard and bass also practice the key element to the many songs. All of this multiply by great combination of female and male voice. I must say this is the most perfect chemistry and contrast of this kind, combining female and male singing. In many band, Dawn Of Destiny done the best job in this area. Grab the album for a new idea in power metal.

Metalharem class: ******* eight stars out of ten

Dawn of Destiny - Praying to the World 2012
buy it here

1. My Life Lies In Ruins
2. The Right Path
3. Miracles
4. Place Of Mercy
5. Misunderstood
6. Promised Land
7. Another Pain
8. My Four Walls
9. Beast Human
10. Bleeding Me
11. One Last Word
12. This Aching Heart
13. Praying To The World
14. In Another Time
15. Different World

Jeanette Scherff - Vocals
Veith Offenbächer - Guitar
Jens Faber - Bass & Backing Vocals
Dirk Raczkiewicz - Keyboards
Matt Bauer - Drums and Percussion

13.7.12

Titans Eve - Life Apocalypse (2012)

Titans Eve join the range of thrash metal scene in Canada. This is Vancouver-based young act that play traditional thrash metal in the light of Annihilator, Exciter and early Anvil. They are quartet that only riff the guitar and scream the lyric out.  In this second album release on July 2012, Life Apocalypse, Titans Eve secured much fame needed in this music scene.


There is a minute waiting time before entering the first thrash music, Overcast is acting as a long intro to the song Destined to Die. After the rushing intro riff Destined to Die quickly remind us to faithful early thrash metal scene where less ornamental added just like today. The bass interlude in the middle is the only fancy thing and the rest are vocal scream and solos. Road to Ruin is enjoyable with its apocalyptic scale intro riff. The song melody however, the first sign that Titans Even maybe write too similar melody for each song, making its somehow too repetition. The third song The Abyss is a rather slow start, again with its doom style slow intro. Instrumental Descension is the edgy opening to titled track Life Apocalypse, a galloping thrash song with interesting progressive guitar solos throw in.


And then we entered a three and half minutes break with A Wound That Never Heals, this is an acoustic instrumental with lyrical melody line and percussion. Ending the experience are four other thrash songs. Titans Eve's second album is a promising continuation on their musical output. All songs already have interesting song structure, memorable intro. The guitar brothers several times done a dual phrase that catchy. Again the song melody line sounds bit of repetition, if this area can be improved Titans Eve will have little problem become thrash metal Titan from Canada. Cover album art is also a catching eye piece of art, showing an apocalyptic scenes where coffin, tsunami and man photography. One of my favorite cover art in metal.

Metalharem class: ******* seven stars out of ten

Titans Eve - Life Apocalypse 2012
buy it here now

01. Overcast
02. Destined To Die
03. Road To Ruin
04. The Abyss
05. Descension
06. Life Apocalypse
07. A Wound That Never Heals
08. Hollow Gods
09. Divided We Fall
10. Frozen In Time
11. The Void


Line-up
Brian Gamblin - guitar, vocals
Kyle Gamblin - guitar, vocals
Casey Ory - drums
Jesse Hord - bass














Detail cover art of Titans Eve, Apocalyptic art and photography, great Photoshop effect.

P.O.D. Murdered Love 2012

From the other side of metal, where mainstream popularity and dollars exist, here something to enjoy,  P.O.D. Murdered Love. It is the band's 8th album release. The album marked the come back of guitarist Marcos Curiel and also producer Howard Benson. This is also the band hard effort to return their root of rap-metal and nu-metal back in the 2000s as in album Satellite.

We quickly enter track Eyez, a straightforward opener. This is a signature P.O.D. rap and headbanging  metal song. Same thing to second song, Murdered Love which is thick in layered raps. Together with song West Coast Rock Steady, these three tracks are really the highlight of the album. P.O.D. collaboration with guest singers is great in these tracks. Beautiful is a break in the flow as a rather mellow tempo song. It is a modern rock song that display singer Sonny Sandoval in this area. Bad Boy has excellent ska-metal in it. Similar to Panic & Run except this one for a second almost sounds like the old school rock riff intro, that blend easily with ska rhythm in the verse.

As a Christian-base band, the lyrics are discussion about the faith. It's pretty extreme in some case, I Am where wording are explicit. Guitar works, nice to listen as in On Fire with the whammy bluesy feel. Production wise is top notch, Hollywood standard. If you like Red Hot Chili Peppers, skater rock, this is the perfect addition to your shelves. P.O.D. , aka Payable On Death, has complete the task to fill in for this year Nu Metal with awesome rap line in it.

Metalharem class: ******** seven stars out of ten

P.O.D. Murdered Love
buy it here

1. Eyez (featuring Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed)
2. Murdered Love (featuring Sick Jacken of Psycho Realm)
3. Higher
4. Lost in Forever (Scream)
5. West Coast Rock Steady (featuring Sen Dog of Cypress Hill)
6. Beautiful
7. Babylon the Murderer
8. On Fire
9. Bad Boy
10.Panic & Run
11.I Am

12. Find A Way (Japan Bonus)
12. Burn Down Rome (European Bonus)

Sonny Sandoval − lead vocals
Wuv Bernardo − drums, percussion, rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Traa Daniels − bass guitar, backing vocals
Marcos Curiel − lead guitar, glockenspiel, programming, backing vocals






10.7.12

Wardrum Desolation 2012

How about some good news from Greece. What we rarely know is the country slowly emerge as dark horse in metal scenes. Famously as the land of underground music, there now a band called Wardrum. Wardrum had released debut album (Spadework) and just a year improved their fortune with second album, Desolation released in April 2012. I haven't listen to Spadework but good testimony around told the improvement is positive from the already promising debut.

Desolation mostly labelled as power metal album. Not very accurate but in the positive good words, mean the album cross over between power metal and heavy metal. Many fresh riff and powerful drumming. Guitarist Kosta Vreto (also ex Horizon's End) is a fresh shredder giving many "out of context" solo that spices up the things very much. Notable are bassist and drummer here play their part proportionally and never act as third layered accompanying music. The bass sounds been correctly engineered and played big role. Last of course the contribution of excellent vocal works, not the type of high pitches screamer but fit the each song characters. Note that Yannis Papadopoulos, the singer is the new recruit and the band do excellent job scouting.

The first song Unforgiven actually a humble start, notable for its intrique verse song composition, which is have bits of Yngwie Malmsteen thing. Things more noticeable started from here, Sign Of Treason started with excellent riff and drum intro. Parental, Higher Sky, F.A.I.T.H and Abound in Nothing all started with that classic power riff intro which followed by memorable song line too. While, Urban Storm put in more technical music. The moments hold tight until the last part as in Sailing Away, that again demonstrated how Wardrum able to compose nice metal song that very tight between verse, bridge and chorus.

This is something like modern Yngwie Malmsteen song combined with Gamma Ray riffing driven metal. The cover art give a strong power metal feel but actually they offer bits of standard heavy metal too. Thumb up for this Greek youngster that keep the metal world up high. Definitely a band with many talent combined together, need to watch in the future. Recommended.

Metalharem class: ******** eight stars out of ten

Wardrum Desolation 2012
buy this album now

1. Unforgiving
2. Sign of Treason
3. Parental
4. Common Ground
5. Tide Lakes
6. Higher Sky
7. F.A.I.T.H.
8. Urban Storm
9. No Retreat
10. Abound in Nothing
11. Sailing Away
12. Rainy Day

Kostas Skandalis Bass
(Horizon's End, ex-Final Answer, ex-Mindloss)
Stergios Kourou Drums
(Horizon's End, Kosta Vreto, ex-Escape, ex-Death from Above)
Kosta Vreto Guitars
(Horizon's End, Kosta Vreto)
Yannis Papadopoulos Vocals
(Crosswind, Until Rain)

Wardrum very power metal cover art with ala Keeper of Seven Keys "monk"

9.7.12

Asia XXX 2012

Supergroup and veteran melodic rock band, Asia is now joins us for the 80s band resurrection wave. Asia released an emotional commemorate album titled XXX. XXX is an album to marked their debut album, thirty years ago. Beating all the odds, its hard to believe we still having the same music from Asia as it is from the 80s.

To get more background story, this is a production from the original Asia line up, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton. This is their third reunion album. There is another band with a gimmick Asia Featuring John Payne with Guthrie Govan and then Bruce Bouillet as guitarist on board. Asia is one of the band that crossing road with so many musicians and guitarist, understandably that will need two bands to continue their legacy.

The album itself contents many original tunes from expected Asia. Tomorrow The World is enjoyable opening immediately raise the nostalgic Asia memories in its melancholy minor song. Bury Me in Willow demonstrated rock tune with very less distortion guitar, only galloping bass and drumming. No Religion is the classic V#-VI#-I riff. Then Faithful is best in progressive and groove, captured many memories 80s sounds. Face in the Bridge try to be that radio friendly AOR song. The catchy last tune is Judas followed by Reno (Silver and Gold).

Songs put in this album is very consistent in unity of sounds and styles. Singer John Wetton carried each songs in his most comfortable range of voice. Rarely went into too high pitches as in 80s sopranic voice, but stay strong mostly in middle and bass range. Guitarist Howe and keyboardist Downess play in parallel and performed dueling solos most of time without overdone the job. The bass and drums creatively create intrigue grooves and bass line. This is a very enjoyable rock with light progressive and melodious song line. Come get this album for all melodic rock fans.

Metalharem class: ******** eight stars out of ten

Asia XXX - 2012

1. Tomorrow The World (6:47)
2. Bury Me In Willow (6:01)
3. No Religion (6:36)
4. Faithful (5:37)
5. I Know How You Feel (4:53)
6. Face On The Bridge (5:59)
7. Al Gatto Nero (4:36)
8. Judas (4:43)
9. Ghost Of A Chance (4:21)

Total Time 49:23
- John Wetton / vocals and bass
- Geoff Downes / keyboards
- Steve Howe / guitars
- Carl Palmer / drums
Release date: June 29th in Europe and July 3rd in North America
Label: Frontiers Records

The special edition have 2 bonus tracks:
- Reno (Silver And Gold)
- I Know How You Feel (Midnight Mix)

Asia's Cover Art that celebrate the debut album and year of dragon
 

7.7.12

Whitechapel - Whitechapel 2012

Very talented band from Tennesse, Whitechapel is also distinguish for their three axemen formation. With this setup, the band not only more brutal but also melodic. This fourth album of them, with no title, is somehow improvement to their previous sounds. They are more groovy while still maintained the leading guitar riff. Song like Section 8 actually demonstrated how three guitarist is an ideal for deathcore band, with layers of guitar blade strike in continuously. While song (Cult)uralist is the song that have changing tempo with ultra fast drumming. The Night Remains is one of the song that showcase of the fine singers they have, in the same time    bit of dj trick on the vocal track. After Devoid that close the album with the same gothic piano nuance with the intro, Possibilities of the Impossible is the last song in the spirit of Pantera layered screaming.

Whitechapel is fantastic deathcore album for intermediate fans of the genre. It has multiple listening value. The three guitarist lead and rhythm keep you awake. Drumming played in its ideal tempo for deathcore and singer has great tune in this genre. For fans of growling metal, this is a potential competition to Dying Fetus' Reign Supreme and Ihsahn's Eremita this month.

Metalharem class: ******* seven stars out of ten

Whitechapel 2012
buy it here

01. Make It Bleed
02. Hate Creation
03. (Cult)uralist
04. I, Dementia
05. Section 8
06. Faces
07. Dead Silence
08. The Night Remains
09. Devoid
10. Possibilities Of An Impossible Existence

Whitechapel Album Cover Art 2012

5.7.12

Kiko Loureiro Sounds of Innocence 2012

When Kiko released his debut solo (No Gravity) in 2005, he quickly become one of favorite guitarist to get covered by mainstream media.Kiko Loureiro together with Angra then accompanied by the kind of Alexi Laiho, Gus G, Christopher Amott, Herman Li etc. marked the new waves of young guitarist from metal band background to have their own fame as a virtuoso musicians. Along all this generation, Kiko Loureiro is quite outstanding for being productive in term of producing instrumental.

For now, Kiko team up with Virgil Donati and Felipe Andreoli (Angra) to produced Sounds of Innocence, his fourth album. The album plays diverse tune almost in every song. Gray Stones Gateway is a shred-metal song. Conflicted is diverse new age and jazz elements combined into shredding guitar. Latin influences still around, El Guajiro. Ray of Life is light fusion jazz and rock. Twisted Horizon is back to shred rock.

 In short, this album put in diverse style to enjoy. Technically more demanding, the drumming of Virgil Donati can quickly visualized just by hearing his fill, his traditional grip just dance all around. Production wise also clear and matching the mood. A nice album which allow listener to explore many kind of music.

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

Kiko Loureiro Sounds of Innocence 2012
buy it here

1. Awakening Prelude
2. Gray Stone Gateway
3. Conflited
4. Reflective
5. El Guajiro
6. Ray of Life
7. The Hymn
8. Mae D'Agua
9. Twisted Horizon
10. A Perfect Rhyme
11. Conflicted (Playback Version)

Kiko Loureiro / guitars
Felipe Andreoli / bass
Virgil Donati / drums

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