30.3.13

Suicidal Tendencies - 13 (2013)

Remember Suicidal Tendencies? They are one of most energetic metal band that doing cross over genre, between thrash metal and other groove-based genres. They implemented element of punk, funky bass line, rap singing gone far with ska brass and whatever. This cross over thing gone quite mainstream in the middle of '90 and Suicidal Tendencies remains pioneer in this sense. With diverse style found on their music, the band actually pretty flexible in changing and improving their sound to met listener on that genre. With this, Suicidal Tendencies unafraid to give on more new album to carry on their fate. Titled as '13', this is their first output since 13 years ago, their 13th studio album and they won one more element than Megadeth's Th1rt3en for they released this album in year 2013. Founding member and singer Mike Muir is the only member from their earliest 1981.

The album has 13 tracks as well. It started with Shake It Out, as the titled suggested, the everybody-shake-groove metal tunes, full of energetic skate board time feel. With this we were giving a promising start that lead to optimistic continuation. Smash It! is heavier with that intro riff, then the groove come in and Mike Muir continue to impressed us that his energetic singing approach is not yet dim by the time. This Ain't A Celebration captured the bit of Offspring rap singing crossover metal in very fast and nice way. Of course we will need killer bass groove, and new bassist Steve Brunner successful building a background fill for God Only Knows Who I Am. Several good tunes in between, then Show Some Love... Tear It Down is another moshpit shout out in straightforward riffs and song structure. Cyco Style and Slam City are two songs that easily memorize for being a simple catch phrase for the song. And interesting is Till My Last Breath with twisted funky slab bass that really bring the emotion out.

I finished the album with good enjoying time. Song composition integrated nicely between music and the vocalist's singing style.  If you like technical funk bass and some great groove drumming, 13 is rich in this area. Both guitarist build up the melody needed for each songs. They are not over repetitive riff that usually annoy me in this genre, but the band composed good amount of licks and phrases to make the song rich. This is Red Hot Chilli Pappers, Offspring, Biohazard, feels that all come in as one package album to be enjoy. Not a bad comeback for the veteran Suicidal Tendencies run from twenty years ago. They come with excellent cover album artwork that really reflected the music inside.

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

Suicidal Tendencies - 13 (2013)
buy it HERE

01. Shake It Out (3:51)
02. Smash It! (3:46)
03. This Ain't A Celebration (3:32)
04. God Only Knows Who I Am (5:29)
05. Make Your Stand (5:54)
06. Who's Afraid? (4:08)
07. Show Some Love...Tear It Down (3:31)
08. Cyco Style (4:41)
09. Slam City (5:36)
10. Till My Last Breath (4:40)
11. Living The Fight (4:22)
12. Life...(Can't Live With It, Can't Live Without It) (4:36)
13. This World (5:07)

Mike Muir - vocals
Mike Clark - rhythm guitar
Dean Pleasants - lead guitar
Steve Brunner - bass
Eric Moore - drums



Suicidal Tendecies 13 Album Review

28.3.13

DGM - Momentum 2013

It's not quite commercially correct to have a progressive metal band named with acronym. If you either UFO, or DIO, or UDO  then better settled with something more 'progressive' as the flag title. Many reviewers also making fact and fun that DGM, the band's name, is not really necessary  needed any longer, since those were acronym for their founding member, which is none presented now. This is a naughty hypothetically teaser for the band, which is consist of very capable musicians but enjoy less exposure to the metal community. DGM is Italy-based progressive band existed since 1997. Momentum is their eight release, and such maturity is well presented in the album. It is a mix between aggressive European based prog such as Symphony X and Dream Theater groove.

For the first track, Reason we presented aggressive riff attack as the starter. Singer from Symphony X mr Russel Allen join in the singing session, making this even Symphony X alike. Trust is the following track with stormy intro, the melody line and chorus is quite sing-able. They are sure the progressive band that didn't bother with overly done solos and music, Universe is one of complicated song they have. Comes complete with orchestration and ultra fast double pedal drumming, make us understand why progressive metal is a genre either you love being blown away or just press the 'next' button. Numb is fortunately a slow down tunes. This time it is a glam metal, '90s feel. If not for the yet again overly done drumming, this may a universal like-d track. Pages for a second sounds like an Yngwie neo-classical tunes done in berserk mode. Now, I like the piano ballad in Repay, which contained beautiful string orchestration and chorus line, well done by singer Mark Basile. Next. So you think the in house guitarist Simone Mularoni and keyboard wizard Emanuele Casali had enough to fill the song? Not really because they feel in need to hired Pagan's Mind axeman to join the battle of notes. Viggo Lofstad surely take the guts to fills as guest guitarist in Chaos. Remembrance is semi ballad that gone from slow to desperate and dark climax. Overload is standard progressive metal riff, and again a blasting music to overload every prog fans. Void is a standard blend between prog and power metal, especially the high spirit double pedal in the chorus. The last track Blame comes with mysterious keyboard intro, then comes up with tom tom drumming to accompanying the song.

DGM's Momentum surely an album you need to blast your non prog friend out the window. It's also a secret weapon to convince prog friend that the world is not just Dream Theater, and Symphony X. Every second is a full speed shred. They are traditional prog band that believe in technical assault. So, if you can't stand overly done solos, drums and keyboards then Momentum will just a passing away experience. In opposite if you enjoy technically precised instrumentation, help yourself with this release.

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

DGM Momentum (2013)
buy it from Amazon

1. Reason (featuring Russell Allen)
2. Trust
3. Universe
4. Numb
5. Pages
6. Repay
7. Chaos (featuring Viggo Lofstad)
8. Remembrance
9. Overload
10. Void
11. Blame

- Mark Basile / Vocals
- Simone Mularoni / Guitars
- Andrea Arcangeli / Bass
- Fabio Costantino / Drums
- Emanuele Casali / Keyboards



DGM Momentum album review

27.3.13

Iron Maiden - Maiden England '88 2013 Edition

Iron Maiden is one of the most well documented heavy metal act in history. In this millennium era where Iron Maiden is in the other part of their career, one more release from their past era is most welcome. Maiden England is very special live captured moment. Not only that Iron Maiden was in their most high career in 1988, this is the last moment where Adrian Smith still being in the band, before being interrupted for another ten years. Maiden was released the Seventh Son album, arguably their last NWOBHM era sounds and they really finished conquered the world of heavy metal. Maiden England should be part of their official live album from the 1980s, following 1982 Hammersmith, and 1985 Live After Death.

So what is the gimmicks and importants feature in Maiden England that make it special?

Moonchild is now the rare official live recording ever. In the solos part, you can heard the missed notes in the very last part of the first round of solo. As well as Infinite Dreams, these two songs was only hidden in the Eddie's Archieve Boxset CD no.6Still Life is also very rare song that got recorded live, taken from Piece of Mind not found elsewhere in Iron Maiden discography. Same to Seventh Son of the Seventh Son. Although Die with Your Boots On is popular Iron Maiden song, I think it is also rarely recorded, only previously heard in Live After Death CD2. In The Evil That Men Do you got to heard rare situation where Bruce Dickinson losing his stamina in the near end of the song. Something special in Heaven Can Wait, where the distortion guitar come in duet with Steve Harris solo intro there.

It's a great capture of their energy in their most high time. Sounds quality is fine with both guitarist Adrian and Dave splitting voice in left and right speaker. Harris bass sound is aggressively put front. The audience is something lack the effect, compared to newer recording in Rock in Rio and En Vivo, but it is there to uplift the atmosphere. Bruce Dickinson did not improved much his on stage speech, but he were started it well in A Real Live One session. Nine stars album as always from the Maidens.

Iron Maiden : Maiden England '88 2013 Edition
LIVE - buy it here from Amazon

CD 1
01. Moonchild [6:23]
02. The Evil That Men Do 0[4:18]
03. The Prisoner [06:00]
04. Still Life [04:32]
05. Die With Your Boots On [05:19]
06. Infinite Dreams [05:53]
07. Killers [04:57]
08. Can I Play With Madness [03:25]
09. Heaven Can Wait [07:43]
10. Wasted Years [05:06]

CD 2
01. The Clairvoyant [04:30]
02. Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son [10:09]
03. The Number Of The Beast [04:47]
04. Hallowed Be Thy Name [07:22]
05. Iron Maiden [05:12]
06. Run To The Hills [04:02]
07. Running Free [05:34]
08. Sanctuary [05:25]


    Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals
    Dave Murray – lead & rhythm guitars,
    Adrian Smith – lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals,
    Steve Harris – bass guitar, backing vocals
    Nicko McBrain – drums
    Michael Kenney – keyboards





Iron Maiden - Maiden England '88 Album review

26.3.13

Stryper Second Coming 2013

If there is better ideas to do for the old guys in yellow and black stripes, re-record their hit songs is one of them. No kidding and no waiting time, this is it, the Second Coming. It is a re-recording of best of the best hits from Stryper in their earliest three studio albums. Stryper founder Robert Sweet explain that they were inexperienced when did the recording back there in '84 and the recording although capture the spirit was not fully technically well recorded. Considering Stryper was once part of mainstream glam metal scene back there, this idea is easily approved. I don't remember owned Stryper first album, The Yellow and Black Attack (1984) and Soldier Under Command (1985). I rely my memory of Michael Sweet voices in Only To Hell With The Devil and several live recording from them. Second Coming not only fix all the technical flaws in the original recording, but also give Stryper new way to control their own stuff legally. Good news for faithful fans, the idea not included re-arranged but simply superior recording of all hits chronologically order from earliest to the latest, that is included two original new tracks in the end.

Not much to comments on each tracks because this is simple a note per notes re-take on each respective songs. Loud N Clear started the familiar killer riff that helped defined the glam metal of the '80s. In Soldier Under Command, Robert Sweet add in several new hi hat and drum variation in the intro just to distinguished it from the original. After 30 years of singing, Michael Sweet sounds no major changes on his voices. Only in the most familiar tunes, To Hell With The Devil, where Michael voices audibly sounds older than the original. The solos are more powerful with the second round of solos come with more aggressiveness although they are notes per notes similar. In The Way, new drum character give more power in this version. The only significant re arrange is in Sing Along Song, this time it is full guitar riff replaced the original keyboard intro. As for More Than A Man I really can't decided which one is better, as the original also contained vintage and rawness guitar tones, as well as the singing originality.

The two original songs, Bleeding From Inside Out and Blackened are easy to fit into the last part as they sounds exactly where Stryper were in the late '80s. Both are hardly a filler or bonus track in this album. Second Coming is a compilation of Christian metal in their peak. All killer riffs and classic tunes. Lead guitarist Oz Fox changes several guitar tones in this version. His fellowship with Michael Sweet is still good the same as thirty years ago. Drummer Robert Sweet of course use all new drum set that sounds richer. Bassist Tim Gaines executed all his ever bass line with one of two new grooves, as in Loud N' Clear.  Stryper are part of glam metal history and if you miss and missed Stryper back there, Second Coming give you the exact original songs with superior recording quality.

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

Stryper - Second Coming 2013
buy it here at Amazon

01. Loud N' Clear
02. Loving You
03. Soldiers Under Command
04. Makes Me Wanna Sing
05. First Love
06. The Rock That Makes Me Roll
07. Reach Out
08. Surrender
09. To Hell With The Devil
10. Calling On You
11. Free
12. The Way
13. Sing Along Song
14. More Than A Man
15. Bleeding From Inside Out
16. Blackened

Band:
Michael Sweet - vocals and guitar
Oz Fox - guitar and vocals
Tim Gaines - bass and vocals
Robert Sweet - drums



Christian Metal Stryper Second Coming album review

25.3.13

Avantasia - The Mystery of Time 2013

It's been a while since the maestro of power metal Mr. Tobias Sammet revisited us with his fantasy and musics. I must proclaimed that the Metal Operas in Avantasia is my very favorite from the 2000s generation of power metal. Avantasia in there, were perfect in at least three important aspects, perfect in song arrangements, perfect in lyrics and storyline, and perfect in execution of the song, with best singers crafted their part hence the name, Metal Opera. Move on from the bombastic symphonic theme, Tobias Sammet followed up with the Scarecrow, then the double disc the Wicked Symphony and Angel of Babylon, which is although not 9.9/10 , still about nine stars in each album. So, with that heavy weight discography here comes the hardest part, the high expectation of fans on new Avantasia creation. For this new project in the theme of 'The Mystery of Time', Tobias Sammet keep bringing new singers such as Joe Lynn Turner, surprisingly Pretty Maids frontman Ronnie Atkins and Mr.Big's Eric Martin. This complete with faithful Avantasia power singers Michael Kiske, Bob Catley and others.

The bombastic opening in Spectres is understandable in answering high expectation to immediately created the atmosphere of Avantasia. Tobias is hesitated to repeat a surprise riff driven overture as in the Scarecrow, but opted to open with 'safe' orchestration, similar to the Wicked Symphony. There is no complaint with veteran Joe Lynn Turner handling the guest vocal there. Spectres is a bit too predictable but hey, you asked for Avantasia-like song! The Watchmaker's Dream did not let the moment slip away and pulled off full scale in speed and heaviness. Take attention to Arjen Anthony Lucassen input in keyboards for this historical coalition between Ayreon sound and Avantasia power. Black Orchid is a theatrical string attacks mid tempo epic. Saxon's Biff Byford coming all the way from England to delivered this song. The choruses are the best among the first three tracks. Then here comes legendary Michael Kiske in the second speed and power metal attack of Where Clock Hands Freeze. Yet in a second it's confirmed Tobias Sammet yet created another song fit to Kiske's style, in other words the song is perfectly 'Kiskelized' to the core. The ballads in Avantasia album usually very double edge, there are high percentage that the ballads will be epic, but most of time it is just a moment killing tracks that slow down the flow. So here comes the first ballad, Sleepwalking is also the first video clip released from the album. Cloudy Yang is in duet. Now among many big names in female power metal singer, Cloudy Yang is the lucky girls among the giants, she was in Avantasia project since 2010.

Savior in the Clockwork is epic ten minute-rs with awesome furious intro as the entrance for Turner, Byford and Kiske. It's best composition from The Mystery of Time. Very Scarecrow-ish with partially 'Devil in the Belfry' screaming halfway in the chorus. But I really like the aggressive guitar riff of it, very 'Shelter from the Rain' feel. Invoke the Machine in other opposite is the remake of 'The Final Sacrifice' riff. But then quickly evolved into his own right. Loves the bridge there with piano break. What's Left Of Me is the second ballad, and surprisingly in different style that it is now the pure '80s glam metal ballad. Of course the voice of Eric Martin fit this totally. It's remind you of Alias, Aerosmith (yes, part of I Don't Want to Miss a Thing-thing), and we only wake up from this nostalgic endeavor when Tobias Sammet join in.

As the later part of the album, Tobias give one more catchy song for Kiske, who sing the second verses of Dweller in a Dream. Song flows well between verses, bridge and chorus, Avantasia's best trademark. Closing chapter is The Great Mystery. Once again the ten minutes is worth and best part in the album.

So, what do you think? Surely the album only lacks is in the connection between singer and the song themes now. It is not as strong , and as necessary, in the Metal Opera. It's kinda more loose and random now. But that's also didn't resulting in any major harm. With the sub title as 'Rock Opera', this one is heavy, lean more to the Scarecrow. Helped by the specialist in concept power metal album, guitarist Sascha Paeth and keyboardist Miro, each tracks are composed well with the curves of song dynamic straightly linear from lower left up to upper right in graphic. Best part is in the two ten minutes epics, Savior in the Clockwork and The Great Mystery. While speedy riff every elsewhere greatly maintained the power metal in best shape. Ballads are totally awesome as well, so yeah, another nine stars album in 2013.

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

Avantasia - The Mystery of Time 2013
buy it here at Amazon

1. "Spectres"   Joe Lynn Turner 6:09
2. "The Watchmakers' Dream"   Turner 4:14
3. "Black Orchid"   Biff Byford 6:52
4. "Where Clock Hands Freeze"   Michael Kiske 4:35
5. "Sleepwalking"   Cloudy Yang 3:52
6. "Savior in the Clockwork"   Turner, Byford, Kiske 10:40
7. "Invoke the Machine"   Ronnie Atkins 5:30
8. "What's Left Of Me"   Eric Martin 5:07
9. "Dweller in a Dream"   Kiske 4:45
10. "The Great Mystery"   Turner, Byford, Bob Catley 10:03

Limited Edition Bonus Tracks
11. "The Cross And You"   4:14
12. "Death Is Just A Feeling (Alternative Version)"   5:24

    Tobias Sammet - lead vocals, bass guitar
    Sascha Paeth - guitars, producer
    Miro – keyboards
    Russell Gilbrook - drums

Guitars
  Bruce Kulick (on tracks 3, 6, 10)
  Oliver Hartmann (on tracks 4, 7, 9)
  Arjen Anthony Lucassen (on track 2)



Avantasia The Mystery of Time Album Review

24.3.13

Pretty Maids - Motherland 2013

One thing for sure, fame is not equal to quality. Pretty Maids maybe the most underrated , under fame, among their kind. Producing high melodic rock / metal materials since thirty years ago, Pretty Maids never get the appreciation from wider audiences they deserves. Even so, that's seems never be a problem and the band consistently able to focus on the music and produced high end heavy metal mixed with AOR nuances.

On their thirteenth studio album, Motherland is thirteen songs consist of a mixed of the styles mentioned above. The opener track is Mother of All Lies, a rather furious melodic metal with straightforward riff, and memorable chorus. Sad To See You Suffer is the next point of interest, AOR ballad that really bring out the spirit of the '80s. Then we get Hooligan, this one is heavy and deep singing. Why So Serious? Is seriously strong composition of melodic metal with nice double pedal accent inside. Motherland is heaviest track to bring the curve of listening to the climax. One thing is the band cleverly use memorable lyric into the song, such as I See Ghosts is surely easily to follow. Who What Where When Why also such example, melody line in unusual scale then followed by simple 2/4 groove. Not to mentioned the other 'fillers' that will mostly serves as best song in most average band, such as To Fool A Nation, and The Iceman.

Pretty Maids extended their port folio with this album. When listening to this album we get the whole and full feeling. Thinking that the next track will be the better than previous one. The flow for each song is well maintained  Hard to find one better song to another since they are fairly equal in creativity and composition. Singer and long time member 'Ronnie Atkins' can sings in many mood and type of voices. His talent also bring into mainstream metal in the next Avantasia album, The Mystery of Time. Guitarist 'Ken Hammer' is experience enough to bring connected riff, licks and solos to each song, supported well by his band mates that handle the harmony parts. It is not sure whether Motherland will make them gain more fame than they previously has, but for one sure, these materials will remain hidden treasures, if you failed to discover Pretty Maids anytime now. Hardly an album that will let you down.

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

Pretty Maids - Motherland 2013
buy it here Amazon

1. Mother Of All Lies
2. To Fool A Nation
3. Confession
4. The Iceman
5. Sad To See You Suffer
6. Hooligan
7. Infinity
8. Why So Serious?
9. Motherland
10. I See Ghosts
11. Bullet For You
12. Who What Where When Why
13. Wasted

Lineup:
Ronnie Atkins – Vocals
Ken Hammer – Guitars
Morten Sandager – Keyboards
Rene Shades – Bass
Allan Tschicaja – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records



Pretty Maids album Motherland review

22.3.13

Omnium Gatherum - Beyond 2013

This is the album that seems be liked by everybody. Omnium Gatherum is a unique combination of melodic and death metal. I'm impressed quickly by how contrast between their music and the growling singing. It's best describe as rainy drum in very atmospheric synthesizer and riffs. They are from Finland and should explain some of Wintersun thick orchestration style in it. The album called Beyond is their sixth full release. It is quickly went high in chart and positive popularity in almost every metal reviewer pages I visit.

The atmosphere quickly built up after the instrumental intro Luoto. A dynamic keys opening in New Dynamic followed soon by aggressive death voice by Jukka Pelkonen. Still, the effect of having a very wet chorus in whole song suggest this genre is best enjoyed by the death metal fans, rather to melodic metal listener. But then in the variation in the end, a male AOR chanting will puzzling to first listener like me. In The Rim come next as more 'normal' melodic death metal, with easy to follow groove. Yet again the chanting exist there just to finish the atmospheric elements. Then they sounds better when coming with darker, doom-er, mood just as in the eight minutes long Nightwalkers. Of the synthesizer effect, The Sonic Sign is another good composition that will take your feeling into different moods. The band also released the videoclip for the later track, The Unknowing. A ultra speed yet dooming tempo, all with awesome melodious phrases in between. Then Living In Me is the only straight forward track without too emo here and there. The last composition is a ten minutes White Palace, which fortunately for me, a track without showering riffs and drums.

Beyond is no doubt a works with many stand up moments. They successfully transform the listening session into musical meditation, with lots of hypnotizing licks. The feeling of outdoor, landscape, spacey, new age, with a death metal singing is surely something special. The melody department, guitars and keyboards never let a second slip without a layer of distortions and strings. Solos with all its wet chorus are well composed and really connect each parts of the song. The death metal voice is weird in first space, it sound unconnected, especially with all the too-soft music in the background. Imagine if the death metal voice convert into clean singing, that will change the concept very much. But of course Omnium Gatherum choose to implemented growl vocal and the result is something we just need to enjoy. Many reviewer praised this album in the same vibe of their last release, New World Shadows, which was one of their best album. A very appealing integration between melodic and even power metal elements into death metal situation.

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

Omnium Gatherum - Beyond 2013
buy it here at Amazon

01. Luoto
02. New Dynamic
03. In The Rim
04. Nightwalkers
05. Formidable
06. The Sonic Sign
07. Who Could Say
08. The Unknowing
09. Living In Me
10. White Palace

Markus Vanhala - Guitar
Jukka Pelkonen - Vocals
Jarmo Pikka - Drums
Aapo Koivisto - Keyboards
Joonas Koto - Guitar
--
Eerik Purdon - Session bassist at the moment

20.3.13

Visions of Atlantis - Ethera 2013

Once emerged as Nightwish inspired band, Visions of Atlantis is middle Europe answered to their northern neighbor in the battle of female fronted metal band. VoA also unique among others for that the band did not left one front-woman dominated the entire career, for they already rolled three singers in just five studio albums. This lead to different characters of their sounds, the late Nicole Bogner was a soprano operatic close to Tarja era, the current Maxi Niil is cleaner voices in gothic metal style while former American Melissa Ferlaak is in between. Their first debut Eternal Endless Infinity was a Nightwish tribute, but they slowly developed their style, peak in Trinity, saw them as one of few early band that utilized double singers in symphonic metal act. But then upon listening VoA latest album to date, Ethera, it's most likely we shall see another power metal band step into free world of 'female fronted metal' leaving most of their power and symphonic stuffs behind.

Now, first song The Ark. This is a clear chances on their opening act, without double pedal or bombastic orchestration. The Ark passed away as a simple synthesizer rich melodic metal act. Thing lift up heavier in the second track Machinage. This is a good song that memorable from the start of the verse, especially the good lyric writing fit the melody well. Avatara also a well written song, very rich in keyboard composition with all the synth voices connecting the gap between the singers, guitar distortion and a mandolin. Vicious Circle is a thick bass layered ballad song, with Mario Plank and Maxi takes turn to conquered the art of human voices. Hypnotized is another hit song, mostly once again thanks to the creative keyboard effect and now followed with good drum phrases in the opening. Tlaloc's Grace starts with a vocal duet, then developed into rather groove beat, and for a second, heaviest track in the album. Burden Of Divinity is also an interesting song with lot of twist in this only three minutes song. Give acoustic guitar a chance to shine in Cave Behind The Waterfall. I can't ignore the rest of the song since AEON 19th again prove interesting enough to extended the listening session. More Maxi Niil + string arrangements in Bestiality vs Integrity. And finally Clerics Emotion in the last position, and they left the most close to power metal song here.

Unlucky for symphonic metal fans, Ethera is not Visions of Atlantis in their earlier years. Instead this is a rather rich melodic metal album. The album dominated heavily with keyboards creativity. Also the drum's parts, although there are no speed and galloping beat here, the drum is another rich element in the album. Guitars part unfortunately only stay in behind as accompaniment, and even further the solos are just there without the over shred parts. Ethera might grow slow in the first listening, but the effort the band puts in each song will win you later. Still a very interesting work from Visions of Atlantis.

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

Vision of Atlantis Ethera 
buy it here at Amazon

01. The Ark
02. Machinage
03. Avatara
04. Vicious Circle
05. Hypnotized
06. Tlaloc’s Grace
07. Burden Of Divinity
08. Cave Behind The Waterfall
09. AEON 19th
10. Bestiality vs. Integrity
11. Clerics Emotion
12. Tlaloc’s Grace – Orchestra Version (Bonus Track)

Cris Tían, guitars
Mario Plank, vocals;
Martin Harb, keyboards;
Maxi Nil, vocals
Roland Navratil, drums



Visions of Atlantis Ethera 2013 album review

19.3.13

Serenity - War of Ages (2013)

It's increasing crowded in the chamber of symphonic metal. In this limited space of creativity, sure there need to come out with something special to stand them out of the waves. Or.... just stay firm and delivered a well known formula of bombastic riffs and mind blowing orchestrations. This is what Serenity done in their latest offer, War of Ages. Their studio album number four. Instead of going under surgery to find a new sounds, the band just increased their power, intense the riffs, doubled the galloping drum, and... bring more melodious songs to their duo vocals, of male and female of course.

Wings of Madness, as the first track already show sign of something great ahead. Acoustically prelude the album, this followed with opening riff layered with background choir. Surrounded with folk scale chanting to added more aura, the singer Georg Neuhauser takes turn to delivered the line along with his partner, Clémentine Delauney. Both are top of their game and vocals are flow with great controls. The Art of War is a direct bombastic symphonic metal that just so familiar that will bring less confrontation to the ears. Both are very Kamelot in style. The band try to inserted a little progressive and smart composition in Shining Oasis. In the fourth track, For Freedom's Sake is perhaps the only minor annoying thing in the album, that is it's come too early as 'slow' song. Because after this, Age of Glory begin the later acts that will bring the peak from this release. Theatrical intro in Age of Glory, then melodious leading tunes, all the way with The Matricide, Symphony For the Quiet and almost reaching climax in Tannenberg, because Legacy of Tudors contained one of my favorite chorus in 2013. Serenity then decided to close the album in rather generic Royal Pain, followed by bonus track included Love of My Life, the Freddie Mercury tribute.

Surely a surprise release from the Austrian fellows. Although Serenity keep coming strong album after album, Death & Legacy was a strong album too, War of Ages very much their peak in symphonic metal act. Well orchestration and good song wins this album. The vocals are enjoyable, mostly due to clever song arrangement in dividing their voices, their showcase can be enjoy fully in the piano version song of Fairytale.   The musicians division are also resourceful, adding the last factor to win them over their 'competitors', so far this year. Highlight is in the middle part of album, starting from Age of Glory until Legacy of Tudors. Serenity's War of Ages is a strong released, all with bombastic orchestration we all needed for.

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

Serenity - War of Ages (2013)
buy it here at AMAZON

1. "Wings of Madness" 6:01
2. "The Art of War" 5:15
3. "Shining Oasis" 5:15
4. "For Freedom's Sake" 4:42
5. "Age of Glory" 6:50
6. "The Matricide" 5:03
7. "Symphony For The Quiet" 5:06
8. "Tannenberg" 5:59
9. "Legacy of Tudors" 5:09
10. "Royal Pain" 4:51
11. "Fairytale" (ballad version - LTD bonustrack)
12. "Love of My Life" (Queen Cover LTD bonustrack)

Georg Neuhauser – Lead Vocals
Thomas Buchberger – Guitars
Andreas Schipflinger – Drums, Backing Vocals
Fabio D’Amore – Bass
Clémentine Delauney – Female Vocals



Serenity - War of Ages album review

14.3.13

Amaranthe - The Nexus 2013

Elize Ryd fame is now quite known for her worked with Dragonland (Under the Grey Banner album), Kamelot (Silverthorn) even as Nightwish's one night singer in replacing Olzen when she was sick. These events surely rise curiosity on her actual band, called Amaranthe. This is a six pieces band playing music something like a combination of Within Temptation, Lacuna Coil and metalcore harsh growl. That is, their formation bring in as many as three singers to executed their unique combination of clean vocals (female and male) and harsh growling. The Nexus is their second studio album, after their debut in 2006.

On the track by track hearing, the production is top notch. Implementation of multiple layers singing is supported with awesome composition, usually powered with good keyboard programming rhythm. Making this a fresh and rich bombastic trio vocals group. All beginning four tracks Afterlife, Invincible, The Nexus and Theory of Everything, flow with great pace and the song seems connected without a lost in momentum. The other variation on their bombastic core-gothic-modern metal song, is a mellow tempo Burn With Me. If you afraid on Amaranthe absence of guitar solos, then this is not your case. Olof Morck the guitarist put in a few spin of guitar solos to make Amaranthe a legitimate metal album into everybody's collection. Check also Razorblade with a good aggresive singing by Elize. But, be sure not to shock with a No Doubt / Lady Gaga near disco beat song in Electroheart. The album closed with two acoustic songs version that can diverse completely the mood.

Not a bad album at all from Elize and her companions. The Nexus smartly approach the market of metalcore, gothic metal and modern metal audiences. The trio singing is prove a powerful setup. Leaving little room to find lacking elements, only that some song gone too simple and scream for extra song development. If Amaranthe can quickly grow their own sounds, leaving influences of their other female fronted band, it is of a great future they are.

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

Amaranthe - The Nexus 2013

1. Afterlife 03:14
2. Invincible 03:11
3. The Nexus 03:16
4. Theory of Everything 03:34
5. Stardust 03:08
6. Burn With Me 04:00
7. Mechanical Illusion 04:01
8. Razorblade 03:05
9. Future On Hold 03:17
10. Electroheart 03:48
11. Transhuman 03:55
12. Infinity 03:05
13. Hunger (Remix and Acoustic version iTunes Bonus track) 03:17
14. Burn With Me (acoustic)

Olof Mörck Guitars, Keyboards
Morten Løwe Sørensen Drums
Jake E Berg Vocals (clean)
Elize Ryd Vocals (female)
Andy Solveström Vocals (harsh)
Johan Andreassen Bass



Amaranthe The Nexus album review

13.3.13

Dream Master - Fourth Key (2013)

Not only a power metal band, Argentina also can produced a Pope! Well, congratulations on that (today) and what a coincidence since I am listening to Argentina latest power metal act Dream Master. The band first made known to me for their Helloween cover song Dr. Stein, from their high acclaim debut Dream Master album. The new release called Fourth Key is their fourth studio album so far. They didn't provide much information for the band, except a liner in their official website stating "..Powerful guitars and rich vocal melodies combined conform Dream Master songs. Also you can experience a lot of different colors in the songs throw the lyrics and harmonized guitars and bass lines. "

You can accept that, the first two tracks from Fourth Key do justice on that. Make A New Tomorrow provide powerful combination between guitars and bass, especially the bass mixed with high end treble and just like want to scratch your ears. It's a good listening with a mixed between Bruce Dickinson baritone voices  and Racer-X power riff. With a title song Leather Army and a huu-haa thing in the chorus, the song transferred to traditional British heavy metal attack. Some potential song writing can be found in The Countdown Starts, with a drum trying to emulated the clock machine beat. Others is 2012, mellow starts and burst into progressive signature riff. Or Lying Mask that use strict half note scale / Locrian feel song. The last song in acoustic setting finally close Fourth Key with a good impression.

The unique in this album is the mixing of bass and drum that get more attack in the final mix. Overall,  the album compacted with enough power riff and Iron Maiden bass attack, and a very Bruce Dickonsonish vocal style as well. According to their social network, Diego Camano is the serving drummer, also known in the band Ravensoul. Rodolfo Sanmarti is the proud thumbing bassist here. Along with founder duo of Ezequiel and Gabriel, Dream Master make Argentina not only the rival to Italian sweet wine, but also to their power metal crowd. A nice underrated album and band to get known and show to your power metal friends.

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

Dream Master - Fourth Key (2013)
buy it here at Amazon

01. Make a New Tomorrow (4:53)
02. Leather Army (3:57)
03. Insecurity (4:11)
04. The Countdown Starts (5:49)
05. Memories Marked in My Mind (5:31)
06. I See Your Face (4:59)
07. 2012 (5:38)
08. Lying Mask (4:15)
09. Insane…Am I? (3:52)
10. Save Us (3:47)
11. Orlando (4:07)
12. All I Say (3:52)

Ezequiel Wiurnos , guitars, vocals
Gabriel Chiavetto, guitars
Rodolfo Sanmarti, bass
Diego Camaño, drums



Argentine based power metal band, Dream Master Fourth Key album review.

Clive Burr (1957-2013) Passed Away at 56

The man behind the drum kit in Number of the Beast, Clive Burr has passed away on 12 March 2013. Clive  well known as Iron Maiden former drummer in their early years, playing in the first four albums, Iron Maiden (1980), Killers (1981), Number of the Beast (1982) as well in live album Maiden Japan (1981).

from Wikipedia:
Burr was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the treatment of which left him deeply in debt. Iron Maiden staged a series of charity concerts and were involved in the founding of the Clive Burr MS Trust Fund. Burr used a wheelchair because of his condition.
He was also the patron of Clive Aid, a charity formed in 2004. Clive Aid has continued to raise awareness and funds for various cancer and multiple sclerosis programs around the world through the staging of rock events.Burr attended many of these events.
Burr died in his sleep on 12 March 2013. He was 56




from official website of Iron Maiden

World reaction for the news, gathered from twitter and other social network:

www.ironmaiden.com
We are deeply saddened to report that Clive Burr passed away last night. He had suffered poor health for many years after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and died peacefully in his sleep at home.

Steve Harris said “This is terribly sad news. Clive was a very old friend of all of us. He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out. This is a sad day for everyone in the band and those around him and our thoughts and condolences are with his partner Mimi and family at this time."

Bruce Dickinson adds “I first met Clive when he was leaving Samson and joining Iron Maiden. He was a great guy and a man who really lived his life to the full. Even during the darkest days of his M.S., Clive never lost his sense of humour or irreverence. This is a terribly sad day and all our thoughts are with Mimi and the family”

FrankBello ‏@TheFrankBello
RIP to the great Clive Burr. He inspired a generation of players- he will be missed..

Scott Ian ‏@Scott_Ian
Just heard about Clive Burr from a Chilean journalist. Sad sad news. My thoughts are with his family.

Charlie Benante ‏@skisum
CLIVE BURR...One of My Favorite Drummers of all time. A quick Story. It was 1981 I was hanging with Friends in..

Chris Jericho ‏@IAmJericho
Sad to hear of the passing of Clive Burr-great drummer and big part of @IronMaiden’s success. He looked so cool too

Andreas Kisser ‏@andreaskisser
R.I.P Clive Burr!

Mike Portnoy ‏@MikePortnoy
So sad to hear of the passing of Clive Burr...RIPI was so

David Ellefson (Facebook)
saddened to hear of Clive Burr passing away today. He was one of my all time favorite Metal drummers. I'm thankful for his music and contributions. My condolences....

TWISTED SISTER frontman Dee Snider has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:

"After a long battle with multiple sclerosis, my dear friend Clive Burr [former IRON MAIDEN drummer] passed away in his sleep last night. We worked together on a project called DESPERADO from 1988-1990 and shared some great times, and sadly forgotten musical moments. I'm blessed to have spoken to him a couple of days ago on his birthday, shared some memories and a few smiles. 

Dee Snider ‏@deesnider
Today 3/8 is legendary Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr's bday. I spoke to him today. He is very ill with MS. Send him love & prayers!

Michael Amott ‏@Michael_Amott
RIP Clive Burr :(

See here for the List of Iron Maiden tribute cover
other Iron Maiden news from Metal Harem

12.3.13

Highlord - The Warning After (2013)

Remember Highlord? A power metal act from Turin, Italy, they are well remember for their breakthrough albums, When Aurora Falls.... and Breath of Eternity about ten years ago. Beyond that point, it seem the band gone into mediocrity without the world noticed their late albums. This month, Highlord back again to bring the seventh studio album to power metal audience, The Warning After. The significant changes was singer Vasce who sung in Aurora Falls was not around anymore, replaced by Andrea Marchisio. This also applied to bassist and keyboardist who are new mates to the band. This left only drummer Luca 'T-1000' Pellegrino and guitarist Stefano Droetto as original members.

If you wanted the symphonic and chorus metal as in Aurora Falls, The Warning After did not opened with that cheesy overture. Rather, Tonightmare (typo?) is unusual opening for power metal act, bringing intrique melodic verses to capture our attention.  So soon, The Goggle Mirror answered with keyboard riff that lead to rather progressive feel song. Brother To The End is confirming that The Warning After now leading to more dark and progressive metal territory, rather to their power metal roots. Couple of songs in this new song, with notable No More Heroes is maybe the 'lightest' song around there to be labelled power metal feel. A piano and string ballad in Of Tears And Rhymes. And The Warning After that goes quite epic. Last song is something special featuring Ralph Scheepers duet vocal in Arcade Warriors.

So that we are in the path of musical chances in Highlord. This is good considering they are in the land of power metal cheesy, Italy. Sure a couple of re-tuning are necessary to outstanding them from the rest. The Warning After fall into more progressive feel than what we expected from the creator of Aurora Falls. Guitars and keyboard parts are well crafted, drum sounds a bit mechanics,.. well, T-1000 was doing it. And singer Andrea Marchisio works hard to lifted the song by his singing. So done the most basic requirements to keep the album alive well for Highlord's fans.

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

Highlord - The Warning After (2013)
buy it here

1. Tonightmare
2. The Goggle Mirror
3. Brother To The End
4. Inside The Vacuity Circle
5. Standing In The Rain
6. No More Heroes
7. Of Tears And Rhymes
8. The Warning After
9. In This Wicked World
10. Arcade Warriors featuring Ralph Scheepers

Luca 'T-1000' Pellegrino, Drums
Stefano Droetto, Guitars
Andrea Marchisio, Vocals
Emanuele Salsa, Keyboards
Daniele Veronese, Bass



album review for Highlord The Warning After 2013

10.3.13

Eternal Tears of Sorrow - Saivon Lapsi (2013)

Eternal Tears of Sorrow is a good name for a band played more than one musical genre. EToS is a melodic death metal band, come from Finland. Their best album I am been aware of is Chaotic Beauty in 2000. Taking that thirteen years has passed and with numbers of album in between, which I hadn't listen, come in now Saivon Lapsi. This is their seventh studio album, is fruitful work with a mixed of power metal riff, good orchestration and death metal singing.

Promising started in intro Saivo, and then the riff is in. Begining verses, ..."I am your leader, / I am the winter storm,...." is best line to growl under such riff. Dark Alliance is good started, it is a good mixed on all elements of orchestration, gothic choir, riff and growl. On second track Legion Of Beast, come with keyboard passage and interesting answering drum licks. Dance of December is dark death metal feel, the band best in building up their stuffs, take all the necessary notes to make the composition awesome. The band also invest a good moment of duet singing between bassist Altti Veteläinen who do the growl and Jarmo Kylmänen who doing the clean vocal. Such take turn things best balance in The Day, where clean singing enjoying his extra singing line. Intermission piano ballad is in Sound Of Silence, which is also a track with good backing female voices. The last part of album didn't seem to down in quality with Beneath The Frozen Leaves and Swan Saivo all awesome composition. We then have ACT III: Saivon Lapsi Angelheart, Ravenheart as the closing act.

So that the band make it again, another underrated album from underrated melodic death band. Saivon Lapsi is intense with intrigue solos, orchestration, exchanging singing of power metal, death metal and female gothic metal voices. All mixed with good care. It is a good album to connect within these several genre. Listener from both side will enjoy this album.

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

Eternal Tears of Sorrow - Saivon Lapsi 2013
buy it here


01. Saivo
02. Dark Alliance
03. Legion Of Beast
04. Kuura
05. Dance Of December
06. The Day
07. Sound Of Silence
08. Beneath The Frozen Leaves
09. Swan Saivo
10. Blood Stained Sea
11. Angelheart, Ravenheart (Act III: Saivon Lapsi)
12. New Dawn (JP Bonus Track)
13. Another One Falls Asleep (JP Bonus Track)


    Altti Veteläinen – vocals, bass guitar
    Jarmo Kylmänen – clean vocals
    Jarmo Puolakanaho – guitar
    Mika Lammassaari – guitar
    Janne Tolsa – keyboards
    Juho Raappana – drums



9.3.13

Bon Jovi - What About Now (2013)

It is clear, that Bon Jovi will not turn back the time doing a release in a vibes of New Jersey or Keep the Faith. They are just a band that need no more Bad Medicine or Bed of Roses, and move on. In the past decade, the band wrote in  wider musical spectrum, playing in country influenced soft rock, modern rock and pop. But with high end output, that make us believed they did it in full passion. The couple last releases of Bon Jovi gives us clue how the band heading, gospelic music, motivational and touching lyrics. What About Now is just another chapter of it. Written in the time of American crisis, where the American dream seems evaporated in the air just within years, Jon Bon Jovi trying to inspire us with his poetic writing.

I don’t wanna be another wave in the ocean
I am a rock, not just another grain of sand (that’s right)
I wanna be the one you run to when you need a shoulder
I ain’t a soldier but I’m here to take a stand Because We Can

She’s in the kitchen starin’ out the window
So tired of livin’ life in black and white

.........................................................

...it is clear, a powerful opening verse. Written by Jon and Richie, this is Bon Jovi post 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong era. Mainly focus on the drum driven tempo, Jon delivered the inspirational lyric to make this one of Bon Jovi best take in the late 2010s.

When hope is gone and all you want is the truth
You carry on when it seems no use, it seems no use

If I got one thing I got something to prove

We all got nothing if there's nothing to lose (I'm With You)
I'm with you..

is no wait for a melancholy slow song in the second row. This track highlight Richie's takes in the solos.
.....................................
You want to start a fight?
You´ve got to take a swing
You got to get your hands in the dirt
To see what the harvest will bring

You want to raise your voice?

Don't be scared to breathe
Don't be afraid to hurt
Don't be ashamed to need
tonight, we're alive

Who´ll stand for the restless?

And the lonely? For the desperate? And the hungry?
Down for the count, I'm hearing you now
For the faithful, the believer
For the faceless and the teacher
Stand up and be proud... What about now?

The album's title song. These are some of my favorite verses on the album, along with this, beware of lefty and mandolin in one song ...

Well I’m a teacher I’m a farmer I’m a union man
It’s getting hard to make a living in this hard land
We ain’t working in our factories all these jobs went overseas

Does anybody want, Does anybody want

Does anybody want what’s left of me

They just don't let the album slip away with somber, the love song does exist in style. With,..

I feel just like Picasso
And you're my master piece 
.........

No matter how I try

No matter what I do
I'm still painting pictures of you

and kinda..

I laid down in her garden
Naked on her floor
Windows up, the curtains blowing
She don’t lock the door

Amen, Amen


At the banquet table

A beggar at a feast
I felt her tongue between her lips
And I forgot to breath
We stayed there ‘til the candles burned the carpet 
.........

It is clear, that the lyrical aspect is one of the thing I enjoy most from the album. Despite listening to this is album even more feel doing a sabbatical year, it is an en joyful experience. Mostly also for the factor that Jon Bon Jovi still has the magic to bring you back to unchallenged '80s era. Band mate such as drummer Tico controlled all the beat with mature strike. Hugo the bass thumbing-ers lay the low frequency foundation just to make sure we enjoy the best accompaniment. And keyboardist David Bryan put the soundtrack string in magical air. Some will find the album emphasized too much on 'deeper' meaning, lack of continuation of Bon Jovi in the past, especially long time fans that didn't catch up with their latest material. But I myself will accept their musical direction. The last notes on this album review will be ....

I can’t hurt but I still feel
I know that life’s a battlefield
When a time get tough
I’m a soldier

When it’s time to the fight

It’s just my side right on my side
I’m an army of one
I’m a soldier

Never give up

Never give up
Never
Never give up
Never let up
Ever
Never give in
You’re an army of one

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

Bon Jovi - What About Now (2013)
buy it now at Amazon

01. Because We Can
02. I'm With You
03. What About Now
04. Pictures Of You
05. Amen
06. That's What The Water Made Me
07. What's Left Of Me
08. Army Of One
09. Thick As Thieves
10. Beautiful World
11. Room At The End Of The World
12. The Fighter
13. These Two Hands
14. Not Running Anymore
15. Old Habits Die Hard
16. Every Road Leads Home To You

Jon Bon Jovi – lead vocals, guitar
Richie Sambora – guitar, backing vocals
Hugh McDonald – bass, backing vocals
Tico Torres – drums
David Bryan – keyboards, backing vocals



5.3.13

Recent Metal Band doing Iron Maiden Cover 2010-2013

Although Iron Maiden already has 666 compilation albums, the world seem not enough with that. Cover of Iron Maiden song keep coming out, from unknown metal band seeking fame, to veteran band such as Testament and Kreator. The world keep celebrate what might be the greatest metal band on earth by doing a tribute song. Here is a fictional compilation tribute album, cover of Iron Maiden song from the last couple of year. The article in Wikipedia listed almost all notable cover album of Iron Maiden, but I found they are not updated and missed out recent addition to the list. Here is a list of metal band doing Iron Maiden cover that not included in any official tribute album, for now. And for more information on Iron Maiden tribute and cover project see this blog.

List of Recent Notable Band doing Iron Maiden cover song:

Testament – Album Dark Root of Earths (2012)
 Powerslave

Kreator – Album Phantom Antichrist (2012), also appear on special EP “The Big Teutonic 4
The Number of the Beast

Ensiferum – Single Burning Leaves , album Unsung Heroes (2012)
 Wrathchild

Iced Earth – Album Dystopia (2011)
The Trooper

Stryper –Album Covering, special Stryper cover album (2011)
The Trooper

Rhapsody of Fire - Album From Chaos to Eternity (2011)
Flash of the Blade

Tankard – Special album called “The Big Teutonic 4
The Prisoner

Angelus Apatrida – album Clockwork  (2010)
Be Quick Or Be Dead  [limited edition bonus]

Fatal Embrace – Album The Empires of Inhumanity (2012)
Killers (Iron Maiden cover - bonus track)

Reinxeed – album 1912 (2011)
Aces High

Trilogy - album Empieza el Juego (2012)
Flight of Icarus

Symbyosis - album On The Wings Of Phoenix (2005)
The Loneliness of Distance Runner

Clairvoyants - album Word to the Wise (2009), previously Italian Iron Maiden cover band
Hallowed be Thy Name - featuring Andre Matos vocal
Wasted Years - not issued in album but available on Youtube featuring Timo Kotipelto

Sturm Und Drang - Album Rock n Roll Children [Limited Edition] (2008)
Fear of the Dark

Metal Styx - Магический амулет (Magical Amulet) (2012)
Brave New World

After Forever - album Exordium [EP] (2003)
The Evil That Men Do

Cradle of Filth - album Lovecraft & Witch Heart Disc 2 (2002)
Hallowed By Thy Name

Eternal Tears of Sorrow - album Chaotic Beauty (2000)
Flight of Icarus

Argus - album Argus (2009) - band from USA
Phantom of the Opera

re-Vision - album Chapter IV: ...All For The Sake of Love (2009), Germany female fronted power metal band, the band also serves as Paul Di'Anno's backing band in Germany
Strange World

Meanwhile official Iron Maiden cover studio albums that didn’t make to the Wikipedia list, mostly after 2010  are:

Beast Over Greece (2012)
Metal Hammer Greece issued a full CD of Iron Maiden tribute, notable bands such as Wardrum, Spitfire and Bob Katsionis on board.

1. Spitfire - Where Eagles Dare
2. Wardrum - Be quick or be Dead
3. Nightstalker - Running Free
4. Bob Katsionis & Peter Ellis - Moonchild
5. Dream Weaver - Flight of Icarus
6. Mahakala - Hallowed be thy Name
7. Acid Death - Deja vu
8. Dark Nova - Chairvoyant
9. Convixion - Sanctuary
10. Marauder - Children of The Dammed
11. Maidenance - Alexander The Great









Thomas Zwijsen - Nylon Maiden (2013)
buy it here at Amazon , talented acoustic guitar player doing Iron Maiden cover instrumentally

1. Aces High (3:43)
2. Rainmaker (3:30)
3. The Trooper (4:21)
4. Dance Of Death (8:35)
5. Can I Play With Madness (3:33)
6. Blood Brothers (8:00)
7. The Clairvoyant (4:32)
8. Wasting Love (6:07)
9. Wasted Years (4:43)
10. The Clansman (with Blaze Bayley) (8:42)
11. The Talisman (9:01)







Maiden United - Across The Seventh Sea (2012)
buy from Amazon
1. Only the Good Die Young (5:18)
2. 2 Minutes to Midnight (6:54)
3. Prowler (4:21)
4. Flash of the Blade (4:13)
5. Children of the Damned (4:53)
6. Infinite Dreams (5:54)
7. 22 Acacia Avenue (8:59)
8. The Evil That Men Do (4:35)
9. Wasted Years (5:48)

Damian Wilson (THRESHOLD, HEADSPACE): Vocals
Ruud Jolie (WITHIN TEMPTATION): Guitar
Joey Bruers (UP THE IRONS): Bass
Marco Kuypers (CLOUDMACHINE): Piano
Mike Coolen (WITHIN TEMPTATION): Drums



Iron Maiden Tribute - The Soldier Has Returned (2011)
Country: USA - buy it here at Amazon

01. Steve Overland (of FM) - Can I Play With Madness
02. Steve Grimmett (of Grim Reaper) - 2 Minutes To Midnight
03. Paul Dianno (of Killers) - Wrathchild
04. Doogie White (of Rainbow) - Hallowed Be Thy Name
05. Paul Dianno (of Killers) - Running Free
06. Doogie White (of Rainbow) - The Evil That Men Do
07. Paul Dianno (of Killers) - Phantom Of The Opera
08. Steve Grimmett (of Grim Reaper) - Number Of The Beast
09. Paul Dianno (of Killers) - Iron Maiden
10. Steve Overland (of FM) - Run To The Hills
11. Gary Barden (of MSG) - The Trooper

4.3.13

Jimi Hendrix - People, Hell and Angels (2013)

Are you old enough to experience the day waiting for Jimi Hendrix releases? Nope, I am not, Jimi's last day was in 1970 and it was decade before my first day on earth. When the new Jimi Hendrix album announced weeks ago, I did get a tiny of goosebumps waiting for the release. So, with the time different of about forty years gap, can we still connect with the buzz on that age? The music is the only way to do that. People, Hell and Angels is the latest post-humous release from Jimi. Actually this is the 12th post-humous album from him, quite a number for the die man, isn't? Sound quality is great, fresh as the recording of our age. Beside that with the chances of audio recording taste to turn the sound into vintage, this album hardly different what we always here by now.

The album started with catchy riff of Earth Blues. Right after that we presented Jimi signature singing in his patented blues style. Very charming if you really miss the vibe of his voice. The song itself easy to absorbed, just a couple spin and it become familiar. Fans of Hendrix-ism wah wah will found the next track, Somewhere a great mix between blues song and guitar playing. The prove of this part is in song Crash Landing, where the lyric, "... you don't love me, you just want me..." can be so natural become part of blues theme. The sound of '68, the year of this recording done, come out shinning in Hear My Train A Comin', where the guitar riff trying to emulate the coming voice of a train. Bleeding Heart is almost 80 percent instrumental. The full instrumental track is Easy Blues, something for those looking to study Jimi Hendrix jamming session. Follow by Inside Out and Hey Gypsy Boy. The last song is Mojo Man, and producer put mellow instrumental Villanova Junction Blues as closing chapter.

It's surely a nostalgic listening experience inside People, Hell and Angels. It's not a missing chain of what we believe we have now, neither a hidden treasure we haven't listen to, but we surely brought back to the '68 and '69 era. Jimi Hendrix unmatched guitar will add new licks library to enthusiast of this guitar legend. Band mate were mostly featuring Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. Production is fine, rawness of Jimi's stratocaster is well preserved. Learn how he can make friend with voice noise and blend it into musical elements. The album is seeking for commercial purposes with Jimi Hendrix name, but the contains material is up standard blues man song. Highlight is Crash Landing, Earth Blues, Hear My Train A Comin' and Hey Gypsy Boy.

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

Jimi Hendrix - People, Hell and Angels (2013)
album review , buy it here - Amazon

1. "Earth Blues" 3:33
2. "Somewhere" 4:05
3. "Hear My Train a Comin'" 5:41
4. "Bleeding Heart" 3:58
5. "Let Me Move You" 6:50
6. "Izabella" 3:42
7. "Easy Blues" 5:57
8. "Crash Landing" 4:14
9. "Inside Out" 5:03
10. "Hey Gypsy Boy" 3:39
11. "Mojo Man" 4:07
12. "Villanova Junction Blues" 1:44


1.3.13

Code of Silence - Dark Skies Over Babylon 2013

Recently, a record label and promoter Rock N Growl become new destination for news and interesting, mostly newcomer, bands. The next band called Code of Silence is a new sensation on their lineup, this band comprised of member from UK and Brazil. Playing eclectic blend between old school heavy metal and hard rock, even with a taste of AOR, their genre can only be termed as melodic metal band. The debut album called Dark Skies Over Babylon come out this week. Member of band come from notable band, such as guitarist Ben Randall , ex Power Quest. Their power horse is singer Gus Monsanto, ex Adagio and most familiar as ex Revolution Renaissance. Moment of listening tell the band is uplifted their reputation as seasoned musician as the album heavily rocks.

Omerta serves as intro, the time to adjust your hifi before the storm of melodic metal comes in, Bitter Sweet Paradise. This is a heavy metal but with an AOR feel in it. I love the pentatonic-exotic harmonic guitar fill in the beginning of the song. Especially special is the second song, Sky Is Falling Down. The riff is going to be their asset in the future and the verse again started in rocking AOR singing. Tame the Tempest will swing you around with its Axel-Rudi-Pell-like guitar tones and intro riff. Then come in darker themed in Dark Skies Over Babylon, which is now using ‘70s guitar tone ala Zepelin. This is a moment Gus getting some quality time to spend his voice character. Seventh Seal sounds like Dokken era metal. The rest of album still got enough interesting moment, song like Black Abyss is there, Midnight Caphedral (Veritas) in Gregorian ambience match the situation in Vatican right now following resignation of Pope Benedictus. And its close with melodious piano ballad Here to Heaven.

Great album with creative mix of resources ranging from AOR to heavy metal materials. The overall theme of Knight Templer with this kind of music is rather out of ordinary, given this story usually done in power metal kind of music. Guitarist Ben Randall proves versatile in creating many styles. Gus Monsanto also shine better from any of his previous appearances. Keyboardist Scott McLean convert many space left by other member with his eclectic styles string and fills in. This is one of great debut album, set the ball high for the team to advanced their career. Again this line up from Rock N Growl is not mistaking and worth every cent to try on.

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

Code of Silence - Dark Skies Over Babylon 2013
buy it here - Amazon

1. Omerta (Intro) (1:51)
2. Bitter Sweet Paradise (5:27)
3. Sky Is Falling Down (3:51)
4. Tame The Tempest (6:32)
5. Dark Skies Over Babylon (7:31)
6. Seventh Seal (6:09)
7. Witches Of November (5:12)
8. Black Abyss (5:53)
9. Knights Of The Crimson Cross (5:07)
10. Midnight Caphedral (Veritas) (6:44)
11. Here To Heaven (6:31)
Witches Of November (Original Demo — bonus track) (5:11)
Here To Heaven (Original Demo — bonus track) (6:33)


Gus Monsanto (Vocals)
Ben Randall (Guitar)
James Murray (Bass)
Scott McLean (Keys)
John Clelland (Drums)

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