12.9.14

Mike LePond's Silent Assassins - Mike LePond's Silent Assassins (2014)

It's been a while for the whole member of Symphony X come together and release new music. In the meantime, most of them are busily doing side projects. Mike LePond, is one of their busiest one. Mike then decided to pull out his very own solo album, bravely his small gang as "Mike LePond's Silent Assassins", self titled and released September 2014. He also bring along Michael Romeo for six seven string-ing the album, and also ,eyebrow-risingly, as drum programmer. What's wrong with hiring real drummer you ask, and how awesome to programmed the whole progressive metal album drum track you wondered.

This album shared the same style with Symphony X, the progressive part are lessened, substitute with more heavy to thrash metal. The opener "Apocalypse Rider" tells us that we should expected straight forward heavy driven guitars riffs rather than seeing some mind twisted chord progression ala Symphony X. I agree that we see a lot of American heavy metal on this song, something like Anvil crossover with Symphony X. Alan Tecchio vocals is close to Russel Allen, un-alarmed listener may thing that is Russel in charge. Take no mistake, Alan doing his job in great shape. After this heavy opener, "Red Death" begin to show whom is this album belong to. Mike LePond starts the song with his bass show off, many more through out the album. With a basic single pedal drum pattern, Red Death still played in the style of very-Anvil feel. More closer to the European power metal is "The Quest", minor feel and addition of violin/viola/cello parts, lengthy bass solo, brings us to the folk - power - prog territory. "The Outsider" is another song that highlighted lots of bass parts. "Masada" is majority played in acoustic setup, epic ballad in the style of Manowar combined with good old David Coverdale days. A couple of heavy driven songs in between and let's jump to the last track, "Oath and Honor" is the epic ending track. Longest track in the reflections of Helloween and typical European symphonic metal orchestration.

This is a bass-fronted album with quite wide choices of styles inside. It will well enjoyed by many fans ranging from prog-head, power metaller, and general heavy fans. And guitar shred lover also, for the sake of Michael Romeo and Mike Metal parts. The kind of bringing bass sounds to the front is what gives this album even more credit. Song writing in another factor to make this album heavy yet easy to listen. This is an excellent heavy / progressive metal album came in parallel to its creator fame, bassist of Symphony X Mike LePond.

Favorite tracks: Red Death, Masada, Oath and Honor
Metal Harem class: ******** eight stars out of ten

Buy it Here - Amazon
Mike LePond's Silent Assassins - Mike LePond's Silent Assassins (2014)
Tracklist:

01. Apocalypse Rider
02. Red Death
03. The Quest
04. The Outsider
05. Masada
06. Silent Assassins
07. Ragnarok
08. The Progeny
09. Oath and Honor

Line-up:

Mike LePond - Bass (Symphony X)
Guests:
Metal Mike - Guitars (Halford, Testament)
Michael Romeo - Guitars and Drum programming (Symphony X)
Alan Tecchio - Vocals (Hades, Watchtower)
https://www.facebook.com/mikelepondssilentassassins/ 

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