Children Of Bodom Halo Of Blood 2013

Of course I am fans of Children of Bodom in their power metal era. Follow the Reaper was seems like the ultimate blend between the two genres, power and death, which I pretty much favor the first one. As Alexi Laiho leading his band into more extreme / death and lessen much his 'power' elements, I was disappointing. This is not because the music afterward are lesser good, this is just a matter of taste. There just too many extreme death metal bands around that Children of Bodom just lessen his uniqueness. But who to blame, music is all about finding new journey and it is understandable for CoB to get into the direction they wanted. In all, the music after Blooddrunk album still on surface can identified with CoB sounds. Halo of Blood is  our latest package now, released in June 2013, the album is surprisingly tune down most of its 'modern' groove and suddenly sounds like European again.

Waste of Skin is the good way to marriage these two monsters. The intro is dictated by CoB modern riffing, but addition of melodic lick made these closer to earlier power metal concept. Second track is Halo of Blood, after some brutal drum intro this is a fast traditional death metal song. More melodic approach is in Scream For Silence. You want to listen something progressive then there is Bodom Blue Moon. Dead Man's Hand On You break in with slow acoustic music, deeper vocal then delved into heavy mellow ballad mood. All Twisted is a good filler with happy beat and familiar riff. Some words for One Bottle And Knee Deep, this is tasty catchy riff with elements of death metal dominated. Finally a bonus track is Japan's Loudness cover song, Crazy Night. Now this is a good cover for those who into Loudness, the theme and music of Crazy Night fit well to ended this album.

Solid album. Children of Bodom doesn't repeated their last Relentess Reckless Forever sounds, but rather made another turn of point. Halo of Blood can be that left hand crossing road where Blooddrunk is the straight path. It's sounds easier to listen, no neo-classical keyboard and guitar sweep battle for the sake of old times. Keyboards solos that making the third shred guy after the duo world rec-knowledge Laiho + Latvala is still amazing. Another interesting creation from Children of Bodom to listen in summer.

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

Children Of Bodom - Halo Of Blood 2013 
Buy it Here at Amazon 

1. Waste Of Skin
2. Halo Of Blood
3. Scream For Silence
4. Transference
5. Bodom Blue Moon
6. The Days Are Numbered
7. Dead Man’s Hand On You
8. Damaged Beyond Repair
9. All Twisted
10. One Bottle And Knee Deep
11. Crazy Night (Loudness Cover)

Alexi Laiho – Guitars / Vocals
Jaska Raatikainen - Drums
Henkka Blacksmith - Bass
Janne Warman - Keyboards
Roope Latvala - Guitars
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Children of Bodom Halo of Blood album review


Galneryus - The IronHearted Flag Vol. 1: Regeneration Side (2013)

This is a self cover studio album by Japan neo classical power Galneryus. The record is to celebrate their 10th anniversary. After a successful 2012 album Angel of Salvation, Galneryus keep their one album per year productivity by releasing full studio album almost less than a year after, new album called The IronHearted Flag Vol.1: Regeneration Side. As mentioned, this is a compilation of materials from their first singer Yama-B, and current vocalist Masatoshi "Sho" Ono re-take the tracks.

Observed how metal community received Galneryus' J-Power Metal albums, the band seems consistently honored with high ratings. With this an album full of Galneryus best cuts is easily welcome collection. Most songs are great work of their past port folio. From neo classical shred right from opener Braving Flag, go to standard heavy metal numbers such as Shiver, these will give you brief idea how their ten years of works looks alike. Sho's vocal fit Galneryus styles, he is clean and high screamer, melancholy type fit those Asian J-Metal style. Yama-B on other hand is western heavy metal type, heavier and operatic. If you got Galneryus past catalog, just played it side by side. The arrangements not changed a lot and almost notes-by-notes re-cover. Check Fate of The Sadness for a '80 American speed metal flat song combined with Yngwie Malmsteen neo classic licks, or gone epic with The Flag of Reincarnation. My Last Farewell will sounds as one of anime soundtrack you familiar with.

Every songs are tight musical endeavor. Galneryus always a high skilled talented musicians. Their music is not for amateur to learn even though their power metal idea is simple.  As heavy as the music the song always singable with clear notes direction. The IronHearted Flag volume 1 is a collection of 'easy' listening neo-classical metal tunes. Best for re-introducing the band.

Check other review for Galneryus - 2012 Angel of Salvation , 2011 Phoenix Rising.

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

Galneryus - The IronHearted Flag Vol. 1: Regeneration Side 2013
Buy it Here at Amazon

01. Braving Flag (5:28) - from Beyond The End Of Despair...2006
02. Rebel Flag (4:23) - from The Flag Of Punishment 2003
03. Point Of No Return (6:10) - from Beyond The End Of Despair...2006
04. Fate Of The Sadness (6:56) - from Advance To The Fall 2005
05. My Last Farewell (5:06) - from Beyond The End Of Despair...2006
06. Shiver (7:12) - from Beyond The End Of Despair...2006
07. Quiet Wish (5:48) - from Advance To The Fall 2005
08. United Flag (5:50) - from The Flag Of Punishment 2003
09. The Flag Of Reincarnation (9:05) - from Reincarnation 2008
10. Silent Revelation (6:43) - from Advance To The Fall 2005

Junichi Sato, Drums
Syu , Guitars
Yuhki, Keyboards
Taka, Bass
Masatoshi Ono, Vocals (lead)


Magnus Karlsson's Free Fall 2013

Magnus Karlsson is guitarist for heavy metal band Primal Fear. He also can be found in several projects, notably in Allen/Lande and Kiske/Sommerville projects. This album is his debut as lead project with a new band simply called Magnus Karlsson's Free Fall. Taking that so many singers in debt for his help, he seems easy to get his payback. By inviting an eye rising number of good singer, this album surely need to check out.

All materials in this album are equal in term of quality and style. Free Fall as the introduction track make sure the listener that they are listening to a guitarist's solo album. Brief instrumental intro in thick orchestration started this song. The style is power metal and Russell Allen come alive again with this catchy tunes. Not less catchy is Higher, using the over familiar minor power metal riff, this song to feature Ralf Scheepers. Up to this point let's stop reviewing per track as I will use the same wording for every songs that comes in same formula. The other way Magnus ideas are in keyboard orientated melodic metal songs. The group of song fall into this approach are Heading Out and Ready Or Not. These two sung by Magnus himself, along with ballad-metal On Fire, which is actually surprisingly see Magnus' strong vocal as well. We also got super epic symphonic metal tracks, the most powerful is in Fighting. Our Time Has Come, Last Tribe, Dreamers & Hunters also can be described as the same symphonic metal. What else, Stronger is piano ballad, something sounds fit to Avantasia. Not My Saviour and Us Against the World are yet another power metal beat that use melodic keyboard intro instead of guitar.

You not going to disappoint with this project if your name is power metal. With bunch of world class singers, Magnus did not let them wasted. Instead the songs are well deserved to be sung by them. Compare to two multi singer projects we received in this year, Avantasia's Mystery of Time and Timo Tolkki's Land of New Hope, Magnus Karlsson's can go head to head with this different line up. Free Fall is one singer per song as opposed to those two which is gone as opera with multi singer per song. The instrument execution is out of discussion, they are just first class track, both Magnus and his drummer Daniel Flores. The cover artwork is best welcoming visual art to his album. Surprise yourself with this release.

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

Magnus Karlsson's Free Fall 2013
Buy it Here - Amazon

1. Free Fall - feat Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob)
2. Higher - feat Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear)
3. Heading Out
4. Stronger - feat Tony Harnell (Starbreaker, TNT, Westworld)
5. Not My Saviour - feat Rick Altzi (Masterplan, At Vance, Thunderstone, Herman Franck)
6. Us Against The World - feat David Readman (Pink Cream 69, Missa Mercuria, Voodoo Circle)
7. Our Time Has Come - feat Mark Boals (Iron Mask, Yngwie Malmsteen)
8. Ready Or Not
9. Last Tribe - feat Rickard Bengtsson (Last Tribe, Armageddon)
10. Fighting - feat Herman Saming (Last Tribe, Locomotive Breath)
11. Dreamers & Hunters - feat Michael Andersson (Cloudscape , Fullforce)
12. On Fire
13. Stronger (Acoustic) (Japan Bonus)

Magnus Karlsson Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals on "Heading Out", "Ready or Not", "On Fire"
Daniel Flores (Mind's Eye, Full Force) Drums
Magnus Karlsson Producer
Daniel Flores Mixing, Mastering

Magnus Karlsson Free Fall album review


Megadeth - Super Collider (2013)

The generation of '80s metal bands we knew usually already passed their 'experimental' period and survived through our year 2013. For example, Metallica with  Loud - ReLoud - St Anger, Helloween with Chameleon, even Iron Maiden with Virtual IX kind of things. Megadeth, the common understanding is, their 'period' was in Cryptic Writings - Risk and The World Needs A Hero way back ten years ago. Yet, Megadeth looks like going to have their '2nd period' soon. Super Collider is their 2013 album, the 14th studio album so far, and yet another turn of musical changes. Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover are well preserved from the last studio album, and this make a trivia entry in Wikipedia as the "second album not to feature a lineup change from the preceding album, since Cryptic Writings". Oh, do you see the pattern? We need Megadeth to changed to avoid this 'period', gentlemen!

Ok, that first paragraph was actually based on previewed track prior to Super Collider released. After get the full album, there is actually good news around. Well folks, majority of the album still falls into that experimenta' things. Kingmaker is surely one of them, this opener is nowhere intense as the four previous albums opening. Kingmaker is safe and sound riffs with Dave gone melodic singing, rather than murmuring a pretext of war or injustice around the world. Still the song is entirely has Megadeth identity, feel like in the end of Youthanasia era, and actually this potential as hit for another few years in live setting. Super Collider is what we face palm-ing when we got the preview month ago. The song started with bluesy riffs and there Dave Mustaine lead the team performing in hard rock style, right in the second song of the album. Be patience, because the next Burn! is something a relief, after burning guitar licks in the intro we are back on the Megadeth tracks. Burn! is something more fit into 2000s Megadeth sounds. Still, yet still, the song is 50% blues thrash metal! If you manage to get the fourth track, Built For War, then the patience is somewhat paid off. Yes, this is what we, loyal fans, looking for. The thrash metal with Dave singing about war. Built For War see Dave sing with extra screams, things he seem rarely need to with previous Megadeth songs writing. Smile and let's continue. Off The Edge is Risk - influence track. Dance In The Rain is something interesting to be fair. The Dave speaking track is a welcome one, the song developed into nice dark and sad chorus. Then there is the ending improvisation that make the song not so easy to play by amateur. The Beginning Of Sorrow is alternative / grunge feel at the very first few second of intro. This is part of experimental tracks to take cautioned with. As weird as the next follow up, The Blackest Crow all the way with mandolin intro. Forget To Remember is a better melodic intro leading tunes. It is hard rock feel again. And do you hear David Draiman backing voices? One of new feature in this album that rare happened before. Don't Turn Your Back.. is trivial Gary Moore lick blended into double pedals beat. Cold Sweat is Thin Lizzy cover, again Wikipedia noted this as the trivial case where only happened back in So Far So Good era where Megadeth included cover song in main track list of album. In the limited edition, All I Want is one good bonus track with heavier riffs, sounds more fury in the song as what Dave should be. A House Divided on other hand is begin with a strange 'cowboy' minor intro brasses. The verses are done in mid tempo beat but then the chorus is heated up and gone slightly faster then.

For sure this is where Megadeth trying out their new ideas, in official album. To be fair, the album is easy and  memorable for wider hard rock / metal listener. Letting off Megadeth thrash metal label in Super Collider will probably give this album more acceptable to fans, who patiently wait Dave and David to play thrash metal for sure. Not an easy public relationship for the band to his loyal fans for now. Even where the band's keep a good contact with fans via social sites, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, something need to be praise for such great band. Some direct cry out is unavoidable and hopefully the band take a note on this reaction. Super Collider is where Megadeth trying new water, less heavier, but awesome guitar works are still there, interesting songs are exists, Dave Mustaine singing in his trade mark voices are still to be found. Counted this as 'bonus' CD, let's just enjoy it.

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

Megadeth Super Collider 2013

01. Kingmaker
02. Super Collider
03. Burn!
04. Built For War
05. Off The Edge
06. Dance In The Rain
07. The Beginning Of Sorrow
08. The Blackest Crow
09. Forget To Remember
10. Don't Turn Your Back...
11. Cold Sweat (Thin Lizzy cover)

Japanese / Best Buy / other bonus tracks
12. All I Want
13. A House Divided
14. Countdown to Extinction (live)
15. Symphony of Destruction (live)

Dave Mustaine – lead vocals, lead, rhythm, acoustic and slide guitars
Chris Broderick – lead, rhythm, acoustic guitars and backing vocals
David Ellefson – bass guitar and backing vocals
Shawn Drover – drums, percussion

Bob Findley
David Draiman – vocals on "Forget to Remember" and "Dance in the Rain"

Megadeth Super Collider album artwork and review


Christopher Lee - Charlemagne The Omens Of Death (2013)

What is this you asked? Well, legendary actor Christopher Lee already a familiar voices in metal. Together with Rhapsody of Fire and Manowar he told us stories about heroes and dragons as a guest narrator on those band's albums. Seeing this as new outlet for his talent, Sir Christopher pulled off his own creation. In 2010 album Charlemagne By The Sword and the Cross surprised metal fans. Although that absolutely generic symphonic metal copied by the maestro, the album did went quite well in marketing. So who to blame when a 'sequel' is released this year. 2013 Charlemagne The Omens Of Death is the title, marked Sir Christopher 91th anniversary  and is a collaboration with Richie Faulkner, who replaced KK Downing of Judas Priest fame. The guitar idol champion Hedras Ramos was hired to fill in the six string shoe. Unlike the debut, The Omens of Death switch to heavy metal sounds, in lieu to symphonic metal. Although Sir Christopher marketed this as heavy metal the true is this is majority power metal album with significant orchestration.

First, let us congratulate Sir Christo for his blessed, prosperous, adventurous 91st birthday. More over for this album since he again has a nice fun jamming with personalities of heavy metal world. For a quick start, the album comes with good music. The review is obvious, those tracks narrated by Sir Christo, and less sung by him, are the best one. We got the introduction The Portent, where narration is good and instrumental take the song afterward. The first half of album need listener to deal with Sir Christo's invented 'genre', since he brave himself singing baritone in all these tracks. Mostly are operatic story driven power metal song. Intro, riffs and musics are good, the vocal is in his own 'genre'. Just like what in a movie, the intense and excitement only grow more from each track to the end. Started from The Betrayal , the music actually turns good now. The best track is The Devil's Advocate. We can heard how the backing musicians works hard to cover Sir Christopher. The last two tracks, The Ultimate Sacrifice and Judgement Day do close the album with good metal tunes. The Ultimate Sacrifice is sung by guest vocalist and of course the last one is instrumental track!

One luckiest dude in the project is surely guitarist Hedras Ramos. This album almost like a solo for him, and actually his guitar works is what keep the album stay interesting. If you like history then The Omens of Death can be followed as the story gone almost too historical. With power metal as backing music, this album did better than the debut. The cheesiness of symphonic metal can be trimmed 40-50% by the music set in this album. Well, let's take this as a tribute for the great actor, Christopher Lee. The fame of Lord of the Ring, Star War and Dracula sure can bring metal music closer to mainstream. For now let's hope Sir to remains as narrator for more metal project.

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

Christopher Lee - Charlemagne The Omens Of Death (2013)
Buy it Here

01. The Portent (4:29)
02. Charles The Great (6:23)
03. The Siege (7:09)
04. Massacre Of The Saxons (5:41)
05. Dawning Of A New Age (4:40)
06. Let Legend Mark Me As The King (5:45)
07. The Betrayal (5:02)
08. The Devil's Advocate (4:54)
09. The Ultimate Sacrifice (5:09)
10. Judgement Day (3:41)

Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, CStJ - vocals
Hedras Ramos Jr - guitars
Hedras Ramos Sr - bass
Ollie Usiskin - drums
Richie Faulkner - arranger

Christopher Lee Charlemagne The Omens of Death album review


Dark Tranquility - Construct (2013)

Not really a Dark Tranquility listener here, but I found the album a good one with a blend of doom-ish feel into good death metal vocals. Construct is the new Dark Tranquility album, bringing this as the band's album number ten. They are called as Gothenburg metal also but quite versatile in doing the music it's between thin line to defined. For Broken Words is a nice opener, bringing us to darker mood for today. Works of instrumentation to company the vocals are done in creative ways. This is better in the second song, The Science of Noise, now comes with 'faster' beat. The running riffs can keep the interest alive and put curiosity to what happen in the next song's sections. Uniformity is more complex. The background piano motives and vocal's style changing make this a good gothic-doom-death metal tracks. The Silence in Between also has a good Paradise Lost feel intro. Not a bad song to call this the hit of the album.  Aphathetic finally comes with strong riffs and fastest drum works. Endtime Hearts is interesting tracks with slighly bits of industrial sounds. The album ended with overlong instrumentation None Becoming, that close the chapter with dark mood.

Best cuts for me are The Science of Noise and The Silence in Between. Love the guitar overdrive / distortion sounds that versatile bringing the doom feel. Singer pulled his growl and clean voices with good shape. Atmospheric background string layered provided by keyboardist Martin Brändström also gives Dark Tranquility their unique sounds. Enjoyable album with a smooth blend in between doom and death metal style.

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

Dark Tranquility - Construct (2013)
Buy it Here at Amazon

1. "For Broken Words" 4:34
2. "The Science of Noise" 3:50
3. "Uniformity" 5:31
4. "The Silence in Between" 3:32
5. "Apathetic" 3:29
6. "What Only You Know" 4:01
7. "Endtime Hearts" 3:59
8. "State of Trust" 4:06
9. "Weight of the End" 4:56
10. "None Becoming" 4:31

 US bonus tracks
11. "Immemorial" 5:06
12. "Photon Dreams" 2:04

Mikael Stanne – vocals
Martin Henriksson – bass guitar, rhythm guitar
Niklas Sundin – lead guitar, album artwork
Anders Jivarp – drums
Martin Brändström – keyboards

Dark Tranquility Construct album review


Anvil - Hope in Hell (2013)

There a couple of bands that you no need to afraid they will suddenly play a music not exactly what you expected. Anvil is one of them and perhaps one of extreme. They are consistent, playing well inside the Anvil 'sounds' and will not surprised you much. Even tough Anvil now won back their success and glory, they are still the same Anvil we once know back in '80 and '90. My favorite Anvil album is still Worth the Weight of the '90s, the new 2013 album just like newer version of it only without the '90s over extending guitar trails. Hope in Hell is their new works, together with new family member Sal Italiano the bassist, the eleven tracks is, surprisingly, the same Anvil music we knew for most of the time. Whether this is a compliment or criticism I think we leave it to the fans to judge.

Hope in Hell is the tradition album title for opener song. The Metallica's 'Puppet' riff is what heard for once. Of course Anvil riff is no where sounds similar to that and in fact leads to our Anvillian metal song. The song structure as we know are simpler compared to when they were young back then. Still the chorus '...Hope in Hell!" is too creative for Anvil fans (slightly sarcasm intended). Eat the Words is a good one, this rock n' roll metal light up the mood with energetic drums and deep voices singing. Through with You is a prove that Lips trying to battle each popular riff into this hand. As trivial as Smoke in the Water, the riff again, Anvilized into their sounds without problems. Lots of drum fill to enjoy, intro in Flying for example. Badass Rock n Roll is another stand out song, something should remind to Whitesnake / Rainbow now. Time Shows no Mercy again display the drum and bass creativity. Mankind Machine is heavier song with interesting un-Anvillian singing style. Hard Wired is so much fun hard rock song.

After more than fifteen studio albums, the trio seems enjoy the formula 'don't fix something unbroken' very well. There are some new energetic ideas in Hope in Hell, so it's not overly follow the template. In fact, the album is best released after their 'comeback' with many diverse tricks inside, compared to This is Thirteen and Juggernaut of Justice. The drum groove is one of thing to enjoy, Robb Reiner surely one that talented drummer, expert in drum fill that it hard to believe he rarely in top drummer list. Lips, as usual need only to get the riffs and the song flows naturally, he is the real master of riffs. Interestingly is the third man. Sol taking good care to maximum his extra space left by Lips in creative way. He is playing important rule by giving meaningful lower pitch rhythm for each song.  Good package for Anvil Pounder Union, their legion of fans club worldwide. This album will not 'offend' any die hard fans as well as easy to enjoy by newer enthusiast.

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

Anvil - Hope in Hell (2013)
Buy it Here at Amazon

1. Hope in Hell
2. Eat your Words
3. Through with You
4. The Fight Is Never Won
5. Pay the Toll
6. Flying
7. Call of Duty
8. Badass Rock n Roll
9. Time Shows no Mercy
10. Mankind Machine
11. Shut the Fuck Up

Hard Wired
Fire At Will

Robb Reiner - Drums
Lips aka Steve Kudlow- Lead Vocals / Lead Guitars
Sal Italiano - Bass
Bob Marlette - Producer
Record Label: SPV / SteamHammer Records

Anvil 2013 Hope in Hell album review


U.D.O. Steelhammer 2013

The present of U.D.O. had long been part of Germany heavy metal scenes. The band was deviation of Accept fame since U.D.O., in case you living under wet blanket, was ex Accept proud singer solo band. The relation of Accept and UDO almost something similar to Black Sabbath - Ozzy or Dio situation. Last year, Accept released their Stalingrad album and then guitarist Herman Frank added his solo album, both can very pleased to Accept fans. Our luck have not yet finish as today, Udo Dirkschneider present us his latest works, Steelhammer. The album is a mix of majority very Accept-ish metal tunes as well several more modern experiment.

As we started, Steelhammer is the proud opener. Distinguish Udo's vocals is the clear favorite element on this song. The short one hammering word chorus 'Steelhammer' is the most easiest thing to fit his vocal. The new duo guitar Kasperi Heikkinen and Andrey Smirnov come in and out, they are seems to want to give Udo the best spot yet able to stand by the spotlight when got their turn. The second song got a very nice metal beat with mid tempo headbanging riff and drums, A Cry of A Nation is one of highlight in the album. Metal Machine is going into  '80s sounding and Udo's vocal come even darker and deeper. We also threat with foreign language in Basta Ya, the song itself is generic minor feel riff. And there come the piano ballad Heavy Rain, oh this remind a lot to Ozzy strange melodious ballad with that heavy metal voice singing soft and tender song. Devil's Bite is yet another strong point, interesting keyboard intro come as mental check point on this 14 tracks album. Reaching this point, except for a bass driven tune in When Loves Becomes a Lie and experimental symphonic progressive in Book of Faith, all the rest all just Udo having fun with his boys in riff, riff, riff and stormy drum attacks.

The album composed of good balance between preserving old Udo sounds and yet able to bring new interesting idea. So there not much over repeated headbanging stuffs. For the frontman who roam the jungle of heavy metal in near thirty years, is a good surprise to see this album still as stellar as ever. The album title Steelhammer is not an over boast and this album is true a heavy one, hand downs.

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

U.D.O. Steelhammer 2013
Buy it Here at Amazon

1. Steelhammer
2. A Cry Of a Nation
3. Metal Machine
4. Basta Ya
5. Heavy Rain
6. Devil's Bite
7. Death Ride
8. King Of Mean
9. Time Keeper
10. Never Cross My Way
11. Take My Medicine
12. Stay True
13. When Loves Becomes a Lie
14. Book of Faith

Udo Dirkschneider – Vocals
Kasperi Heikkinen – Guitar
Francesco Jovino – Drums
Fitty Wienhold – Bass
Andrey Smimov – Guitar
Record Label: AFM Records

U.D.O. Steelhammer album review

U.D.O. Steelhammer artworks alternative


Asgard - Outworld (2013)

This is yet another heavy / power metal talent from Italy. They formed in 2003 in Ferrara, near the Unesco Capital Bologna. They ever since released two album in 2011 and in 2013 called Outworld. The album sounds heavier than ever, the styles is in between old style heavy metal and power metal riff.

Forty minutes of intense riffs, the highlights in this album are not few. Spirits, their opener track, go straightforward with heavy mighty sounds whether the guitar riffs, drum or vocals will pleased first time listener and raise curiosity about the rest of the album. The Interceptor not fall much behind the opener song, thundering notes flow without compromised and thus ended with four minutes run time. Sound of Shadows follows up, this darker theme licks shows the duo guitarist capability to raise the in tension to even more heavier and darker. Then Outworld settled the moment with its acoustic intro, before storming again with full force. We then passed several songs with pretty much similar vibes. Cyber Control near the end is short track but with interesting drum intro. Then we done after Marry the Widow close this album, this time with bass intro to give another heavy effect to the song.

Maybe there already thousand of bands with similar styles, but Asgard seems locked this album with great dignity. The sounds engineering is superb, all drums sounds like it's kicking in front of your ears. We also welcomed one more metal singer with powerful voices, Federica "Mace" Mazza delivered every songs in great shape. The Penoncini brothers and bassist Renato are just excellent in their duties. I won't be surprised to find their name in the future, in fact very much they can catch the popularity they deserved.

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

Asgard - Outworld (2013)
Buy it HERE At Amazon

 1. Spirits 04:32
 2. The Interceptor 04:05
 3. Sound of Shadows 06:04
 4. Outworld 04:40
 5. Wall of Lies 04:27
 6. Riot Angels 04:11
 7. The Night Hawk 04:26
 8. Cyber Control 02:56
 9. Marry the Widow 05:39

Renato "Reno" Chiccoli Bass
Rudy Mariani Drums
Davide "Dave" Penoncini Guitars
Alberto "Ably" Penoncini Guitars
Federico "Mace" Mazza Vocals

Italian Power Metal Asgard in Outworld album review


Timo Tolkki's Avalon - The Land of New Hope (2013)

Indeed it bring new hope when such an impressive array of power metal musicians gathered in one band. Timo Tolkki has regroup himself and create yet another power metal project. Challenged by a guy from his label company, he admit to want to do another "...fully orchestrated and sound big project". Surely but this is larger than any of his previous attempts, such as Revolution Renaissance and Symfonia, ever since he left Stratovarius. FYI, Timo Tolkki last news was in 2012, where he put a Classical Variations 2:Credo project in Pledge Music. Soon he cancelled this project but promised "...  there is no reason to be disappointed, you will hear and see very soon (probably in the first quarter of 2013) the outcome of what is happening behind the curtain." (source)

In the band member, this is almost the answer to Tobias Sammet's Avantasia. The band's name in fact just almost hit the same letter, Timo Tolkki's Avalon but please, there are 17 bands project with Avalon as the word! We quickly amazed in keyboards sections, we got three big names here, yet they share different style of music. Derek is progressive metal of course, Jens is old school power metal shred and Mikko is Luca Turilli's Rhapsody keyboard player that must be having the best idea in symphonic metal type of orchestration. Then the drummer is Alex of Rhapsody of Fire. Timo handle solely the guitar and bass, sorry no invited guest guitar player. In vocal department, Michael Kiske is busy man as he is the only person doubling at Avantasia and Avalon. I am glad Rob Rock is there. Tony of Sonata must be busy with the band but came along, as well Symphony's Russel Allen. The corset singers are Elize of Amaranthe and Sharon of Within Temptation. So that quite qualified them self as a supergroup enough to do a Metal Opera.

So, let's go to the songs.
Avalance Anthem, this is quite like a character introduction. Epic intro begin this song. In a minutes it seems Timo had successfully hybrid Stratovarius melodism with Rhapsody of Fire elements. Rob Rock, Russell Allen sing this together with Elize Ryd. The trio continue again in A World Without Us, which is begin with a rather Ritchie Blackmore-ian Rainbow riff. The orchestra layered still thick, Elize Ryd begin to introduce us to signature Timo Tolkki's song writing, where he like to sustain a full notes per each syllable. Enshrined in My Memory is also released with Youtube video. This is rather modern symphonic / gothic metal song, which when Elize Ryd sing just like home as her Amaranthe band likeliness. The song resembling Revolution Renaissance (RR) feel. In the Name of Rose come early for a ballad. Everyone should aware Timo tendency to put too soft ballad in metal project, so this is half the case (..there will be another ballad later). As half of the song later, we not hear only piano and flute anymore but a full band accompaniment, ushering Russell Allen in. At this point we should stress the guitar works is complimented all the songs in best manner. The solos and chops are very personal to each songs. Next is We Will Find A Way, those who familiar with RR works should quickly went back to the song Glorious And Divine as they shared similar riff and feel. We then met the only song sung by Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica, duet with Rob Rock. The chorus is typical Stratovarius and one of memorable point in this album. The chorus finished with a closing sentence just like another RR song, Last Night on Earth.

Shine, is like a new section on the album. Introducing Sharon den Adel to the board, this yet another power gothic to bear. Elize is join. For trivia, this album perhaps the second official Timo Tolkki full scale works with female singers, just before it he done it in Saana project. Two songs, The Magic of the Night and To The Edge of the Earth sung by Rob Rock resembling close each other. A Revolutions Renaissance's trace in both songs, but Rob Rock powerful voices also deviated the songs to others feel. The later song is heaviest in the album with vengeance drumming all the way, same thing to the keyboards solos there. Then we stop again for another last ballad, I'll Sing You Home, the sweetest and softest with both girls singing.
The Land of New Hope will remind you of Helloween's Keeper of Seven Keys with Kiske singing in full new hope by himself. In fact he is the Keeper to the Land of New Hope! Looks like Timo's long sustained notes is best in the throat of Kiske. The eight minutes long song close this part 1 of Avalon trilogy.

Based on the line up himself this should be rated at least nine stars, and yet it duly are. Avalon TLoNH is not same as Timo previous works in Revolution Renaissance and Symfonia. This is surprisingly a rather modern sounds of symphonic power metal works yet come completed with all elements of Stratovarius, Rhapsody of Fire, even Helloween and Within Temptation shared a bit of each. A Metal Opera itself, is not too heavy in term of strict opera concept album. The song writing in TLoNH has hit Timo's best works for some times now. Musicianship are all fantastic, dedicated enough effort to support Timo's idea. Vocal section, no doubt, Elize's character is the most 'aired' and she was good at that. So this distance Avalon to Tobias Sammet's Avantasia as well. With all mean, this is recommended album to all power metal fans.

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

Timo Tolkki's Avalon - A Metal Opera - The Land of New Hope (2013)
Buy from AMAZON

1. "Avalanche Anthem" Russell Allen, Rob Rock, Elize Ryd - 4:52
2. "A World Without Us" Elize Ryd, Russell Allen, Rob Rock - 5:42
3. "Enshrined in My Memory" Elize Ryd - 4:05
4. "In the Name of the Rose" Elize Ryd, Russell Allen - 4:26
5. "We Will Find a Way" Rob Rock, Tony Kakko - 4:24
6. "Shine" Elize Ryd, Sharon den Adel - 3:36
7. "The Magic of the Night" Rob Rock - 4:42
8. "To the Edge of the Earth" Rob Rock - 5:01
9. "I’ll Sing You Home" Elize Ryd, Sharon den Adel - 5:01
10. "The Land of New Hope" Michael Kiske - 8:53

Timo Tolkki - Guitar, Bass Guitar & Producer
Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody Of Fire) - Drums
Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater) - Keyboards
Jens Johansson (Stratovarius) - Keyboards
Mikko Härkin (Luca Turilli's Rhapsody) - Keyboards

Guests Singers
Elize Ryd (Amaranthe)
Michael Kiske (Unisonic, ex-Helloween)
Russell Allen (Symphony X, Allen-Lande, Adrenaline Mob)
Rob Rock (Impellitteri, ex-Axel Rudi Pell)
Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation)
Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica)

Additional cast
Orchestrations: Sami Boman
Opera vocals: Magdalena Lee

Timo Tolkki's Avalon, power metal supergroup The Land of New Hope review


My Dying Bride - The Manuscript EP 2013

UK Doom metal throws in several songs for us in their latest EP. My Dying Bride is more than welcome to present several new, or unused ideas, in this new EP called The Manuscript. The songs are not much deviated from last year released A Map of Our Failures.

First song of The Manuscript is strong. This song is a nice introduction to the genre altogether. Doom singing is perfect, all instrumentals do their best, due to the slow pace of the song, the instruments are needed to fill in the space correctly. And that exactly what make the genre interesting. Guitar melody keep playing, the drum fills are note to note in our ear, and the addition of violin fill is just clear. Vår Gud Över Er or translated Our God Over Your (Sweden), comes with contrast. Aaron rendered this song with harsh death metal vocal. Duo guitars guided the song with melodies, making this yet another enjoyable doom metal song. A Pale Shroud Of Longing is like want to bring you to the lowest point in your life. The extended instrumentation in the beginning  from guitar's melody, violin theme, acoustic guitars are all enjoyable. Only Tears To Replace Her With starts with narration, oh wait are they inspired by our dearest Metallica's Lulu? Perhaps the least interesting song on this four tracker, but then the song is focus on lyrics and make some sense to continue.

The Manuscript is good. Strong songs , well three songs, is enough to bring back several life to the band. Fans will accept this without pressures, it's all relax listening and the songs are damn acceptable. If My Dying Bride just keep writing music as these ones, they surely will continue their claw over the genre. Little EP need to keep for Doom / Gothic fans.

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

My Dying Bride - The Manuscript EP 2013
buy it HERE

01. The Manuscript
02. Vår Gud Över Er
03. A Pale Shroud Of Longing
04. Only Tears To Replace Her With

Aaron Stainthorpe - vocals
Shaun MacGowan - keyboards, violin
Andrew Craighan - guitars
Hamish Hamilton Glencross - guitars
Lena Abé - bass

My Dying Bride the Manuscript album review

R.I.P. Jeff Hanemann 


Joe Satriani - Unstoppable Momentum 2013

Joe Satriani has been giving us consistent music ever since. We got the guarantee of guitar playing with the same vibes, same feel and same high quality in every albums. Most especially in newer albums,as started from Crystal Planet up to Black Swans. This flow only interrupted by his two 'specific' albums as in "Joe Satriani" (blues) and "Engines of Creation  / Recreation" (electronic). 2013's Unstoppable Momentum is in the same league as any previous Joe Satriani album. If any else to speak, this album perhaps Joe's most minimalist and straightforward album, after the more ambitious Super Collosal (trying to capture live spirit) and Professor Satchafunkilus (complex composition), with the last Black Swans....  maybe the closest in similarity with our 2013 album, Unstoppable Momentum.

The album started with song titled Unstoppable Momentum, which is immediately got that out-of-space licks kicks in. Joe speaks that they used the six or seven take for this song, so it definitely one tunes where worked out in the studio with the thematic riff composed earlier. Can't Go Back is more upbeat song, the standard Joe Satriani one pedal rhythm and a strict pentatonic scale in. The song is associated with Chickenfoot producer Carter that passed away and thus Joe called the song Can't Go Back. Lies And Truths is more experimental, Joe said the song reflect the two side of Lies and Truth so the music something like a Yin and Yang thing. Three Sheets To The Wind is easy hummable melody, with a piano backing and have the "Texas" moments. I'll Put A Stone On Your Cairn is a slow, requiem like tunes, which Joe himself found difficulty to find the right title for the song. In A Door Into Summer, although the intro started mysteriously with church organ but the song is upbeat, typical Joe Satriani melody. The trivia for this song is the other Satriani hit, Summer Song was actually titled as A Door Into Summer. Shine On American Dreamer is a happy, American downstrokes riff, very minimalist and developed nicely. Jumpin' In is a good song if it make it into Chickenfoot catalog,  same to Jumpin' Out. Both got that Sacth Boogie thing. The Weight Of The World is yet another simple chord riff get into developed song. A Celebration is the last perfect closing tunes, Joe speaks that the movie Lincoln, Vampire Killer as one of the inspiration.

So that's all, here the Joe Satriani album that free of 'vocal' song. Quite consistent from the start until finish. The guitar sounds also consistent, that Ibanez JS2400, Big Bad Wah and some other Satriani signature effect. The album easy to listen, perhaps a little bit too easy, but hey, that's is Satriani. Supporting team make up the best behind the scenes team, with Campitelli and Mke Keneally being the co-composer in charge. Bassist Allen Whitman is new member to Satriani I guess, he added the bass line which never overwhelming Satriani's simple melody, yet giving each song a soul. My favortite tunes, Can't Go Back and I'll Put AStone.... Grab this fast.

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

Joe Satriani - Unstoppable Momentum 2013
Buy it HERE 

01. Unstoppable Momentum
02. Can't Go Back
03. Lies And Truths
04. Three Sheets To The Wind
05. I'll Put A Stone On Your Cairn
06. A Door Into Summer
07. Shine On American Dreamer
08. Jumpin' In
09. Jumpin' Out
10. The Weight Of The World
11. A Celebration

Mike Keneally - keyboards
Joe "Satch" Satriani - guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, percussion
Jeff Campitelli - drums, percussion
Allen Whitman - bass

Session musicians
John Cuniberti - percussion

Joe Satriani Unstoppable Momentum album review


List of 2013 METAL Live - Compilation - Cover Albums

There are so many fucking live albums from our favorite metal band in 2013. Then they are so many damn cover album as well, for a sake of god lastly, the compilation album goes mad as well. So, I just going to listed them out instead of full review (well, except for Iron Maiden's Maiden England) because they were from big names and it will be awkward to not mentioned their album on my blog ;)

List of 2013 Metal Live albums - Cover and Compilations

Deep Purple - The Official Deep Purple (Overseas) Live Series: Paris 1975 [Live]
28 January 2013 BUY

Disc I
01. Burn
02. Stormbringer
03. The Gypsy
04. Lady Double Dealer
05. Mistreated
06. Smoke On the Water
07. You Fool No One

Disc II
01. Space Truckin'
02. Going Down
03. Highway Star
04. 1975 Interview With Coverdale, Hughes & Paice

Neal Morse - Live Momentum [Live]
18 February 2013 BUY

Disc I [DVD]
01. Momentum
02. Weathering Sky
03. Author Of Confusion
04. The Distance To The Sun
05. Testimony Suite (Sleeping Jesus, Prince Of The Power Of The Air, The Promise, Wasted Life)
06. Thoughts Part 5
07. The Conflict
+ and about five discs more

Adrenaline Mob - Covertá [EP]
12 March 2013 BUY

01. High Wire [Badlands cover]
02. Stand Up And Shout [Dio cover]
03. Break On Through [The Doors cover]
04. Romeo Delight [Van Halen cover]
05. Barracuda [Heart cover]
06. Kill The King [Rainbow cover]
07. The Lemon Song [Led Zeppelin cover]
08. The Mob Rules [Black Sabbath cover]

Gamma Ray - Master Of Confusion [Live - Cover]
15 March 2013 BUY

[A side]
01. Empire Of The Undead
02. Master Of Confusion

[B side]
03. Death Or Glory [Holocaust cover] [studio cover version]
04. Lost Angels [Sweet cover] [studio cover version]

[C side] [Live in Bochum]
05. The Spirit
06. Wings Of Destiny
07. Gamma Ray
08. Farewell
09. Time To Break Free
10. Insurrection

Anthrax - Anthems [Cover]
19 March 2013 BUY

01. Anthem [Rush cover]
02. Jailbreak [Thin Lizzy cover]
03. TNT [AC/DC cover]
04. Smokin' [Boston cover]
05. Big Eyes [Cheap Trick cover]
06. Keep On Runnin [Journey cover]
07. Crawl
08. Crawl [special remix version]

Axel Rudi Pell - Live On Fire [LIVE]
22 March 2013 BUY

Disc I [Live At The Essigfabrik, Cologne, Germany, October 18th, 2012]
01. The Guillotine Suite (Intro)
02. Ghost in the Black
03. Strong as a Rock
04. Before I Die
05. The Masquerade Ball / Casbah / Dreaming Dead / Whole Lotta Love / Dreaming Dead
06. Drum Solo
07. Mystica / Mistreated / Mystica
08. Oceans of Time
09. Circle of the Oath
10. Fool Fool
11. Keyboard Solo / Carousel / Jam / Carousel
12. Tear Down the Walls / Nasty Reputation
13. Rock The Natiom

Disc II [Live At The Rock Of Ages Festival, July 28th, 2012]
01. The Guilolotine Suite (Intro)
02. Ghost in the Black
03. Strong as a Rock
04. Before I Die
05. Masquerade Ball / Casbah / Dreaming Dead / Whole Lotta Love / Dreaming Dead
06. Drum Solo
07. Mystica / Mistreated / Mystica
08. Oceans of Time
09. Circle of the Oath
10. Tear Down the Walls / Nasty Reputation
11. Rock the Nation

+ Interview With Axel Rudi Pell
+ Homestory - Axel Rudi Pell
+ Hallelujah [video]

Sebastian Bach - ABachalypse Now [Live]
26 March 2013 BUY

Disc I [DVD]
01. Live at Hellfest, France
02. Live at Nokia, Los Angeles
03. Live at Graspop, Belgium
04. Bonus Music Videos: "Kicking & Screaming", "TunnelVision", "I'm Alive"

Disc II [Live at Hellfest, France — June 16, 2012]
01. Slave To The Grind
02. Kicking & Screaming
03. Here I Am
04. Big Guns
05. Piece of Me
06. 18 & Life
07. American Metalhead
08. Monkey Business
09. I Remember You
10. Youth Gone Wild
+ and two more discs

Mystic Prophecy - Best Of Prophecy Years [Compilation]
12 April 2013 BUY

01. Ravenlord
02. Hollow
03. Eyes Of The Devil
04. We Kill, You Die
05. To The Devil I Pray
06. Across The Gates Of Hell
07. Demons Blood
08. Dark Forces
09. Satanic Curses
10. Evil Empires
11. Savage Souls
12. Master Of Sins

Iced Earth - Live In Ancient Kourion [Live]
15 April 2013 BUY at AMAZON

Disc I
01. Intro
02. Dystopia
03. Burning Times
04. Angel's Holocaust
05. Slave To The Dark
06. V
07. When The Night Falls
08. I Died For You
09. Invasion
10. Motivation Of Man
11. Setian Massacre
12. Stormrider
13. Pure Evil
14. Wolf
15. Dark City
16. Dracula
17. Ten Thousand Strong

Disc II
01. Anthem
02. Declaration Day
03. Days Of Rage
04. Melancholy
05. Encore Intro
06. In Sacred Flames
07. Boiling Point
08. Damien
09. Watching Over Me
10. Dante's Inferno
11. Iced Earth
12. The Hunter

Freedom Call - Ages Of Light [Compilation]
29 April 2013 - BUY

Disc I [Ages Of Light]
01. We Are One
02. Tears Falling
03. Freedom Call
04. Farewell
05. Metal Invasion [live]
06. Warriors
07. Land Of Light
08. Hunting High And Low
09. Mr. Evil
10. Far Away
11. Blackened Sun
12. Thunder God
13. Tears Of Babylon
14. A Perfect Day [live]
15. Hero On Video
16. Power & Glory
17. Rockstars
18. Back Into The Land Of Light

[disc II: Masqueraded]
19. Metal Invasion [folk metal version]
20. Mr. Evil [melodic reggae version]
21. Hero On Video [speed ska version]
22. Rockin' Radio [killerbilly version]
23. Freedom Call [camp fire strumming version]
24. Age Of The Phoenix [power swing version]

Jorn - Symphonic [Compilation]
25 January 2013  BUY

This is a re-arranged Jorn's songs into an orchestra setting.

01. I Came To Rock
02. Rock And Roll Children [Dio cover]
03. The World I See
04. Burn Your Flame
05. Man Of The Dark
06. My Road
07. Time To Be King [Masterplan cover]
08. Black Morning
09. Like Stone In Water
10. Vision Eyes
11. War Of The World
12. Behind The Clown
13. A Thousand Cuts
14. The Mob Rules [Black Sabbath cover]

Delain - Interlude [Compilation]
1 May 2013 - BUY 

[disc 1]
01. Breathe On Me
02. Collars And Suits
03. Are You Done With Me [new single mix version]
04. Such A Shame
05. Cordell
06. Smalltown Boy
07. We Are The Others [new ballad version]
08. Mother Machine [live]
09. Get The Devil Out Of Me [live]
10. Milk And Honey [live]
11. Invidia [live]
12. Electricity [live]
13. Not Enough [live]

[Disc 2: Bonus DVD]
14. Invidia [Live @ Metal Female Voices Fest]
15. Electricity [Live @ Metal Female Voices Fest]
16. We Are The Others [Live @ Metal Female Voices Fest]
17. Milk and Honey [Live @ Metal Female Voices Fest]
18. Not Enough [Live @ Metal Female Voices Fest]
19. Backstage Footage
20. Get The Devil Out Of Me [video]
21. We Are The Others [video]
22. April Rain[video]
23. Frozen [video]

Rhapsody Of Fire - Live - From Chaos To Eternity [Live]
3 May 2013  BUY

Disc I
01. Dark Mystic Vision
02. Ad Infinitum
03. From Chaos To Eternity
04. Triumph Or Agony
05. I Belong To The Stars
06. The Dark Secret
07. Unholy Warcry
08. Lost In Cold Dreams
09. Land Of Immortals
10. Aeons Of Raging Darkness
11. Dark Reign Of Fire
12. Drum Solo

Disc II
01. The March Of The Swordmaster
02. Dawn Of Victory
03. Toccata On Bass
04. The Village Of Dwarves
05. The Magic Of The Wizard's Dream
06. Holy Thunderforce
07. Reign Of Terror
08. Knightrider Of Doom
09. Epicus Furor
10. Emerald Sword
11. Erian's Lost Secrets
12. The Splendour Of Angels' Glory (A Final Revelation)

Within Temptation - The Q-Music Sessions [Cover]
19 April 2013

01. Grenade [Bruno Mars cover]
02. Titanium [David Guetta ft. Sia cover]
03. Let Her Go [Passenger cover]
04. Summertime Sadness [Lana Del Rey cover]
05. Radioactive [Imagine Dragons cover]
06. Crazy [Gnarls Barkley cover]
07. Dirty Dancer [Enrique Iglesias cover]
08. Don't You Worry Child [Swedish House Mafia cover]
09. Behind Blue Eyes [The Who cover]
10. The Power Of Love [Frankie Goes To Hollywood cover]
11. Apologize [One Republic cover]

Judas Priest - Epitaph [DVD LIVE]
June 2013 - BUY IT HERE

01 Battle Hymn/Rapid Fire
02 Metal Gods
03 Heading Out to the Highway
04 Judas Rising
05 Starbreaker
06 Victim of Changes
07 Never Satisfied
08 Diamonds and Rust
09 Prophecy
10 Night Crawler
11 Turbo Lover
12 Beyond the Realms of Death
13 The Sentinel
14 Blood Red Skies
15 The Green Manalishi (With the Two-Pronged Crown)
16 Breaking the Law
17 Painkiller
18 The Hellion/Electric Eye
19 Hell Bent for Leather
20 You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
21 Living After Midnight

Firewind - Apotheosis LIVE 2012 [LIVE]
Buy It Here

01. Head Up High
02. Wall Of Sound
03. Allegiance
04. Few Against Many
05. The Departure
06. Heading For The Dawn
07. Losing My Mind
08. World On Fire
09. Guitar Solo 2012
10. SKG
11. Between Heaven And Hell
12. Piano Solo
13. Edge Of A Dream
14. Mercenary Man
15. Glorious
16. Maniac
17. Falling To Pieces
18. Cold As Ice (Bonus)
19. Tyranny (Bonus)

Amberian Dawn - Re-Evolution 2013 [Compilation]

A compilation with new singer re-take of the band's selection of songs.

01. Valkyries
02. Incubus
03. Kokko - Eagle Of Fire
04. Lily Of The Moon
05. Come Now Follow
06. Crimson Flower
07. Circus Black
08. Lost Soul
09. Cold Kiss
10. River Of Tuoni
11. Charnel's Ball

Whitesnake Made In Britain 2013 [LIVE]
Buy it HERE   - Made In Japan

CD 1- Made In Britain:
01.Best Years
02.Give Me All Your Love
03.Love Ain´t No Stranger
04.Is This Love
05.Steal Your Heart Away
07.Love Will Set You Free
08.My Evil Ways
09.Fare Thee Well
10. Ain´t No Love In The Heart Of The City
11. Fool For Your Loving
12. Here I Go Again
13. Still Of The Night

CD 2 – The World Record:
01.Bad Boys
02.Slide It ln
03.Lay Down Your Love
04.Pistols At Dawn
05.Snake Dance
06.Can You Hear The Wind Blow
07.Fare Thee Well
08.One Of These Days
09.The Badger
10.Deeper The Love
11.Soldier Of Fortune

The bands planned to released Live Album are:

Dream Theater - Live At Luna Park [DVD Live]
Rush - Clockwork Angels Live [DVD Live]
Metallica - Metallica Through the Never [DVD Live]
Guns 'N Roses - Appetite for Democracy [DVD Live]
Alestorm - Live At The End of The World [DVD Live]
Stormwarrior - If It's Not In Your Bloode... You Will Never Understande! [DVD]


Vicious Rumors - Electric Punishment 2013

'80s Bay Area metaller, Vicious Rumors come back with their newest torture, the Electric Punishment 2013. Nothing much to say about this veteran band, except their chops and riffs seems getting heavier and heavier each time. Electric Punishment is nothing sort of heavy metal full of riffs and badass vocals works in this century.

The good tunes build from riff madness are  I Am The Gun, Electric Punishment, Dime Store Prophet, and Thirst for a Kill. The second approach of the material is thrash metal sounds as in Black X List and D-Block. Put in other feel as in Escape (From Hell) with a slow ballad intro build up, my favorite track on this album. Or bizzare melody lead in Together We Unite lead to punk metal like unison singing song. The album close with Strange Ways cover of KISS, which concluded what the album actually went through.

Not that we can found anything to criticized. Most enjoyable are their classy guitar riffs along with hitting the edge singing voices. It sure needed more memorable moments to make this not just another album from Vicious Rumors. Overall the album sounds like a combination of several styles, from Metal Church to Slayer (RIP Jeff Hanneman as for today...). Honestly, a great kicking ass album!

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

Vicious Rumors - Electric Punishment 2013
Buy it HERE

1. I Am The Gun
2. Black X List
3. Electric Punishment
4. D-Block
5. Escape (From Hell)
6. Dime Store Prophet
7. Together We Unite
8. Eternally
9. Thirst for a Kill
10. Strange Ways (KISS cover)

Geoff Thorpe – Guitars / Vocals
Larry Howe - Drums
Stephen Goodwin - Bass
Brian Allen – Vocals
Thaen Rasumussen - Guitars
Record Label: SPV / Steamhammer Records

Vicious Rumors Electric Punishment album review


Airless - Changes 2013

Airless is a melodic rock act where members are from Spain and their music went as far as USA. They are not well known, yet, but it is time to come where their high musical talent will soon gain a reputation. My first contact to them was by last year's instrumental guitar album, by their own guitarist, Robert Rodrigo. With a guitarist as versatile as Robert, Airless proves a promising band to watch, they are also has so many surprises to dig. Changes is their 3rd studio album. It is so well crafted that I think this is one of the best AOR / Melodic Rock album I encountered for a long time, perhaps since Brother Firetribe's Heart Full of Fire.

Start Again is the first song, it is an AOR tunes something like old Journey. The vocals quickly make me fall in love for this band, the song got a good choruses to give a promising start for the rest of the tracks. I Don't Care showcase the keyboards / piano elements in this mid tempo tunes. The next song come in more attractive hard rock energy, Upstream is a classy '80 glam metal tunes. Guitar works is excellent especially the very technical solos Robert put in there. Dead Inside is again a tasty song with another direction, which is now more modern sounds, but still maintained that glam metal riff and the hard rock style vocal screaming. Changes is coming with very interesting guitar works, a perfect blend between instrumentation and the song writing. A classic feel in Rescue Me remind you a bit of early Bon Jovi's Runaway. Gone Too Far comes with darker lyric theme about humanity and its problems. We again been treated by a shredding guitar solos. The last tune is Latest Prophecy, which is the fastest double pedal tunes to close this excellent album.

The chemistry between all band members is the band's best asset. Not only the guitar works are very enjoyable, but the drums, bass and keyboards all giving their best to make this album shine. Changes gives a late '80s AOR and hard rock feel with highly creative song writing in each tracks. The album also got a good mix of song variation, from fast tunes, mid anthem, to a slow ballad. The singer has a good voice character and fit into the style very well. This is an AOR / Melodic Rock album that able to overcome every possible musical issues in the best way. Surprisingly underrated album from Airless, the band from Spain.

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

Airless Changes 2013

01. Start Again
02. I Don't Care
03. Upstream
04. Dead Inside
05. Changes
06. Till The End Of Time
07. Rescue Me
08. Gone Too Far
09. Reach For You
10. Come Back Home
11. Latest Prophecy

Iñaki Lazcano: Vocals
Robert Rodrigo: Guitars
Miguel Manjon: Bass
Pako Marinez de Musitu: Drums

Diego Rois: Keyboards
Danny Vaughn : Vocals on track 4.

Spain / USA Hard Rock band, Airless Changes album review

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