26.9.13

Mystic Prophecy - Killhammer (2013)

Mystic Prophecy is Germany's heavy/thrash metal act formed in 2000s. The band's history included Firewind's Gus G in formation, when he was still unknown. With previous seven full length releases, Mystic Prophecy's Killhammer is their latest album making it a solid eight studio albums. The thing is, Mystic Prophecy seems enjoying their game in a very 'standard' heavy metal jungle. Mystic Prophecy did not swim into the Teutonic thrash metal ala Kreator or Sodom, neither they concentrate on traditionalist as in Accept or U.D.O. Another fact, they never really fancy the idea to brutally destroy their listeners with super speed tempo, they simply slowing down it!

The killer hamming tunes in Killhammer are, Killhammer of course. Very U.D.O.-ish, in fact almost a twin of Udo's Steelhammer! Armies Of Hell sounds at first as Megadeth's early years riffs, but when songs inserted , Anthrax-ish influence comes to mind. The chorus "armies of hell!" is a screamer. To Hell And Back is a good example of song writing Mystic Prophecy displaying, a story telling structure and again, easy listening for all level. Interesting track is in Hate Black, where an exotic scale intro will re-fresh the attention. Children Of The Damned is another 'cloned' song title, this time from Iron Maiden, (who grab it from a sci-fi movie of the '60s). And 300 In Blood? Another movie-inspired theme perhaps. Now, the tempo raised to more thrash standard velocity, undoubtedly the heaviest on the album. There are several other titles that are catchy as in Angels Of Fire which started with a must-learn sliding minor scale riff exercise. Warriors Of the Northern Seas is Amon Amarth inspired theme. Set the World on Fire is competing with Megadeth's and Paradise Lost in song title database. And the climax is a direct cover to Ozzy's Crazy Train.

Killhammer can do a very basic introduction to heavy metal world. Their materials ranged from 'easy listening' to a heavy one. Guitarist Constantine is a versatile virtuoso, together with Markus Pohl, covered the distortion sounds in perfect enjoyable music. Singer Roberto Dimitri Liapakis is also an all around in style, from clean to harsh voices. Nevertheless, a nice heavy metal album.

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

Mystic Prophecy - Killhammer (2013)
Buy it Here - AMAZON

01. Killhammer (4:17)
02. Armies Of Hell (4:24)
03. To Hell And Back (4:24)
04. Kill The Beast (3:25)
05. Hate Black (4:54)
06. Children Of The Damned (4:42)
07. 300 In Blood (4:22)
08. Angels Of Fire (4:07)
09. Warriors Of The Northern Seas (4:21)
10. Set The World On Fire (3:48)
11. Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne Cover) (5:20)

Roberto Dimitri Liapakis Vocals
Markus Pohl Guitars
Connie "Connor" Andreszka Bass
Constantine Guitars
Tyronne Silva Drums



Mystic Prophecy Killhammer album review

16.9.13

Dream Theater - Dream Theater (Self Title) 2013

First, I hate it when such an important album is not given a title! Now try searching a review for this album and it's takes a couples of works to get it right. Second, well... finally another release by our legendary progressive band, Dream Theater released their 12th studio album titled...Dream Theater, supposedly. Quick stats, this is the second to feature Mike Mangini as drummer. On this notes, this is the first to have Mike M integrated in writing process, since, surprises, Mike M was actually interpreting John P's drum programming on the last album. This is the newest album with full instrumental track since Train of Thought ...hmm can't be sure about it Wikipedia? So, what r u waiting for, unleashed the plastic wrap and push it in.

False Awakening Suite is not far from the nuance of Six Degree of Inner Turbulence orchestra-progressiva styles. The two minutes compositions is intense, for those never listen to DT this is quickly an eye opener and I bet they will all fell in love. But for die hard listener, it is a good one at least, to rise the mood to entering the next song. The Enemy Inside, already released months prior and I do like the song. It's back to the heavy riff leading intro approach. Listen to that background hi-hat at 00:27 by Mike M, surely it's that very tiny details that made the bands happy with him. A whole minute for a riff improvisation intro, then a keyboard layer comes in with James L soon singing altogether. As we know since Octavarium, the song writing in Dream Theater haven't changed into much extreme direction and the song feel at home as advance version of Scenes of Memory-era, and suitable to any other albums after that. The Looking Glass is the third DT song titled with "glass" (Under the Glass Moon, The Glass Prison). The feel of this song is rather oldish, YES kind of riff maneuver with a singing not far away from that concept. Lots of interesting breakdown, the ultra fast double pedal attack, the bass-theme + John Petrucci solos makes this another qualified Dream Theater title. Enigma Machine at least finally offered some new interesting idea. It's newest full length instrumental that not act as only a prelude. Now, Mike M is unleashed fully. Listen to his Pearl rocket toms. Though the composition not have one single strong theme, it's just feel like four extremely high class musicians jamming each other, some of the highlights are great. Especially after Mike M's seven seconds solos (at 4:59)  that seems like he hit everything on the drum set, the ending climax section after this just mind blowing. The Bigger Picture continue the epic mood with a moment of straight forward rhythm followed by calm piano leading parts. James L once again given a soft spot to sing in a slow tempo ballad. This is by far the most standard tunes, with only extreme breakup in the last part of the song. Behind The Veil, not sure about that majestic synthesizer intro that ended with a bang of half-Metallica inspired riff. A bit of unveil feeling for me because the song writing again a repeated of DT's ideas in the past. Surrender to Reason is influenced by Rush on the given intro. John Myung, is noted as lyricist and contributed for his aggressive progressive slap bass. Along for the Ride anyone? It did steal the attention and perhaps one of my enjoyable moments in the album, or maybe my favorite I should say. Nice ballad composition.  And the highlight of this album is on the last and longest composition. Following the tradition, here the newest 22 minutes song for you. Illumination Theory, a promising title. Five movements / or parts to wrap it up. The longest since The Count of Tuscany in Silver Lining album. But It's seem a bit of time-cheating since there is a lengthy new-age-Kitaro-like synthesizer parts in between. Highlight is John M's bass attack that rarely got in front of the line just after that string break up.

One thing that significantly noticed is where Jordan R's rules looks slightly decreased to make rooms for more interaction between others. For there, John P's guitars works are more dominating. On Mike M, he is actually more a rhythm drummer that his highest interest is to accompanied the song with best creativity, rather than a 'soloist' as per Mike P before. We got a tight drum pattern as a results. James L, is hardly having his moment on this album, because I only see composition that leaning more to its musical parts. Something that James L actually already having fun in his solo album released before. Overall, up to standard progressive album by Dream Theater caliber. If there is only a small step of musical step up from their rest album, this self titled / untitled Dream Theater album is still one big hell of progressive album with killers musicianship inside. Certainly a must have.

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

Dream Theater - Dream Theater 2013
Buy it HERE at Amazon

1. False Awakening Suite
    I. "Sleep Paralysis"
    II. "Night Terrors"
    III. "Lucid Dream" (Instrumental, music by Petrucci, Rudess) 2:42
2. The Enemy Inside   6:17
3. The Looking Glass   4:53
4. Enigma Machine (instrumental, music by Petrucci, Rudess, Myung, Mangini) 6:03
5. The Bigger Picture   7:41
6. Behind the Veil   6:53
7. Surrender to Reason (Lyrics by Myung) 6:35
8. Along for the Ride (Music by Petrucci, Rudess) 4:45
9. Illumination Theory
    I. "Paradoxe de la Lumière Noire"
    II. "Live, Die, Kill"
    III. "The Embracing Circle"
    IV. "The Pursuit of Truth"
    V. "Surrender, Trust & Passion"

James LaBrie – lead vocals
John Petrucci – guitars
Jordan Rudess – keyboards, Continuum
John Myung – bass
Mike Mangini – drums, percussion

Eren Başbuğ – orchestral arrangements, conducting
Richard Chycki – engineering and mixing


Dream Theater

Dream Theater 2013 album review

6.9.13

Borislav Mitic – Electric Goddess (2013)

I have long come to know this Serbian guitar master, Borislav Mitic. His album 'Fantasy' (2000) was truly neo-classical classic stuffs with spirit of Yngwie Malmsteen, Impellitteri and Vinnie Moore all come into one records. Then he also published 'The Absolute' (2010) on Lion Records and a step forward in quality and maturity. So it is an approved mind to expect more on this 2013 album released by Shrapnel, Electric Goddess. The album still largely done by Boris himself, but now a rising star drummer, Jeremy Colson of Steve Vai / Billy Idol fame is helping behind the drum.

On the opening track, Boris chose to done it with calm acoustic intro, playing main thematic melody for the song called Garden Of Dreams. It is divided into several parts combining acoustic and electric guitars. For once on Borislav's album, the first song did not try to win you with blasting neo-classical shred but rather with slowly build up guitar composition. Win or Lose on the second song is also not repeated the idea of neo-classical but playing in the pentatonic hard rock style, with a taste of Frank Gambale instead. Electric Goddess is building up a mystical atmosphere in mid tempo new-age-ish feel composition. Time is something like timeless late 9 pm instrumental backing track on TV, remind to Joe Satriani feel. Machine World is another interesting track with thick groove pattern. On Desert Highway it is now standard rock n roll groove, very Satriani in spirit. And as far as in the eleven track then we meet the most neo-classical stuff on this album in the song called The Golden Throne. We then meet with melodious Destination Reality and the final epilog in Alone.

Quite a surprise switch of interest in Borislav area of playing. As we only know more about his previous neo-classical stuffs, Electric Goddess is like a breakthrough album to reach more diversified styles. The result is tremendous enjoyable. Electric Goddess is another great instrumental guitar album of the 2013.

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

Borislav Mitic – Electric Goddess (2013)
buy it here at AMAZON

1. Garden Of Dreams 6:01
2. Win or Lose 4:08
3. Electric Goddess 5:22
4. Time 4:21
5. Out of the Blue 2:31
6. Machine World 4:22
7. Moment of Glory 5:19
8. Desert Highway 5:09
9. New Dawn 4:49
10. Unfinished Business 5:54
11. The Golden Throne 4:22
12. Destination Reality 6:08
13. Alone 2:26

Borislav Mitic Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Electric Guitar
Jeremy Colson Drums


Borislav Mitic Electric Goddess album review

5.9.13

ReinXeed - A New World (2013)

Even if this counted as a side project, ReinXeed sure got enough energy to unleash, in power metal. The band had released studio albums each year from 2008 until now. Just when we're having enough of cinematic symphonic metal in Welcome to the Theater,  A New World has just arrived. And taking counted that the mastermind behind this, Tommy 'ReinXeed' Johansson also part of the sister band Golden Resurrection which also very active, surely he got extremely well inspired energy. Which is confirmed by the level of ReinXeed's A New World album that are high quality. Band member-wise ReinXeed comes still with drummer Alfred Fridhagen whom also in Golden Resurrection, but now with new guitarist and bassist.

The intro and first song, Distant Horizon opened with that airy - lydian-ish string layer before landed on power metal blasting very song. It's surprisingly familiar tunes but yet you'll not going to let it go off the ear, especially the 'follow me...' choruses. A Stratovarius riff attack combined with Helloween heaviness is on one plate in Into the Darkness. Come to hear about it, Tommy surely one hell of guitarist that blessed with quality vocal to voice a power metal song. The majestic feeling still on in The Journey Home, but my favorite track can be on The Star. Which is, completely power metal on its best arrangement. Then we also have an AoR-Power metal type in Northern Allstars. And we should also anticipated the song titled that really hot, Guitar Hero. For this song faster tempi was implemented and the practice to give significant chorus-modifier to the vocal come into effect when the song now sing in faster and 'wild' style. Then a total cheeky song title A New World is closing this album with its epic 8 minutes duration, except you can still got two extra song in bonuses.

For one thought, A New World is not a concept-base album, unlike in previous two Reinxeed album 1912 and Welcome to the Theater. So as we know, when a power metal album runs into 'random' theme the effect of story-telling is a little bit 'unused'. Nevertheless, never assume A New World will not be catchy enough for you, in fact, on all of their twelve tracks none were a slow tempo or ballad. A New World continue the tradition to bring theaterical symphonic metal to screen, ReinXeed pulled off another easy to listen yet powerful material for power metal fans.

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

ReinXeed - A New World (2013)
buy it here AMAZON

01. Distant Horizon (05:01)
02. Into the Darkness (04:34)
03. The Journey Home (03:32)
04. The Star (05:01)
05. Final Destination (04:02)
06. Northern Allstars (03:32)
07. Chalice of Time (05:12)
08. Curse and Damnation (03:50)
09. Guitar Hero (05:33)
10. A New World (08:46)
11. Haunted Mansion (New studio version) (Bonus track) (04:41)
12. Eternity (New studio version) (Bonus track) (04:14)

Tommy ReinXeed - Vocals / Guitars
Alex Oriz - Guitar / Vocals
Chris David - Bass
Alfred Fridhagen – Drums



Reinxeed A New World - album review
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