23.6.15

The Aristocrats - Tres Caballeros (2015)

Being success with their first album, Culture Crash (2013), these happy guys in The Aristocrats has pulled out their second studio album called (the) Tres Caballeros. Based on their album cover we may feel that the trio is very happy and enjoy much time jamming together. Not much rock band want to proclaimed their togetherness as solid as Disney's classic trio. As reminder, The Aristocrats is super talented band with Guthrie Govan on guitar, Bryan Beller bass and Marco Minneman drum. The GGBBMM is going to blow everyone's mind with their blazing progressive madness.

Tres Caballeros is direct continuation on Culture Crash with new 9 tracks of creative musics. Stupid 7 is begin with chicken picking-like riffs, the main melody see Guthrie experiment with some ugly over compressed distortion. The song is typical rock-funk-flamenco feel, understandably this is the flamenco orientated album. Another crazy catching tunes is in Texas Crazypants, with Texan and cowboys in your background imagination as listening to this. Of the mellow, "easy-listening" song is Pig's Day Off, sweet clean guitar melody around. Smuggler's Corridor is simple Latin infused progression , the band wrapped it nicely and provide us a vibrant sunshine feel. The Kentucky Meat Shower is a shower of country licks, another style that explored in this album. The album then closed with 11 minutes jam, Through The Flower is kind of back to ordinary shred guitar of the '80s.

Overall Tres Caballeros seems like a tune down of a lot of complicated thing and they offer more relax to stuffs. Focusing on Spanish theme, this album is one unique idea in the field of guitar instrumental album. Bryan Beller and Marco is the other three half of the band. Nothing much to be added except that they enjoy high time creating backing track for Guthrie to laid down his melody. Of course those are not ordinary supporter with two most talented guy on board. Final words, the tres caballeros is going to volar tu mente !

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

Buy it Here - Amazon

The Aristocrats - Tres Caballeros (2015)

01. Stupid 7
02. Jack s Back
03. Texas Crazypants
04. ZZ Top
05. Pig s Day Off
06. Smuggler s Corridor
07. Pressure Relief
08. The Kentucky Meat Shower
09. Through The Flower

Line Up:
guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia/GPS)
bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Dethklok)
drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani)

21.6.15

Luca Turilli's Rhapsody - Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus

Would there be any room for new invention in symphonic metal, after two Rhapsody bands keep pulling out albums years after years? Luca Turilli is trying to prove this possibility once again. In his version of Luca Turilli's Rhapsody, new term has been coined out, Cinematic Metal. His first attempt in Ascending to Infinity was quite extravaganza , but by the standard of Rhapsody, it was just a little further continuation of their symphonic-metal legacy. Prometheus, is almost similar to their previous "debut". Only that now, Luca Turilli put giant orchestration works into his neo-classical metal, much much more than ever before. The cinematic metal that is, has more obvious bombastic than his "predecessor" Hollywood-metal. So you can imagine what come next.

First, listen to the traditionally opener, Nova Genesis (Ad Splendorem Angeli Triumphantis) is the first stone of this new idea. More operatic singer in the high set composition that have techno-synth and many many orchestra hits inside. Il Cigno Nero come up next as their first full song. Unusual to their tradition, it is open with piano intro. The song itself is quite generic Rhapsodian song. Rosenkreuz (The Rose And The Cross) is techno infused combined with Gregorian chant thing. The dynamic vocal arrangements still dominated the whole composition. More cinematic opening in the third song, Anahata, now that we will miss the old Luca Turilli's guitar riff already since all three songs have less guitar works. With the fourth song also emphasized more in vocals works mimicking Verdi's opera and a song title such as  Il Tempo Degli Dei, we are desperately need a heavy stuff. One Ring To Rule Them All can be quite a relief in term of that, since the this is one of their heaviest tunes in this album. The rest of song did not help much, Prometheus is their early release and we have listen to it. Fantastic song in term of rich orchestration, but as many may compliant, the lyrics is very Da Vinci code and hard to crack the meaning. As usual the pinnacle of the album is their last song. Of Michael The Archangel and Lucifer's Fall Part II: Codex Nemesis, that's the first part already known in their debut album.

This album said it all about Luca Turilli. The maestro keep pushing the symphonic metal into the jungle of cinematic and score-like composition. Indeed, Prometheus is amazing display of that. The most difficult part for Rhapsodian fans, and symphonic metal listener would be around three issues: First. the reduce of guitar virtuoso and riffs, which was once Rhapsody best trademark feature. Secondly is the obvious repetitive and recycle of ideas, which is also their hardest things to crack regarding new Rhapsody album. Third, is the lyrics and story telling part. As we know, classic Rhapsody albums all have original concept that hardly can be repeat. In Prometheus, the lyric is intentionally encrypted, and for symphonic metal situation, this may not working. Nevertheless, the album will provide many ideas for those looking for inspiration upon scoring and metal combined together. Obviously, Luca Turilli still working his best for fans in his music.

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

Buy it Here - Amazon

Luca Turilli's Rhapsody - Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus 

01. Nova Genesis (Ad Splendorem Angeli Triumphantis)
02. Il Cigno Nero
03. Rosenkreuz (The Rose And The Cross)
04. Anahata
05. Il Tempo Degli Dei
06. One Ring To Rule Them All
07. Notturno
08. Prometheus
09. King Solomon And The 72 Names Of God
10. Yggdrasil
11. Of Michael The Archangel And Lucifer's Fall Part II: Codex Nemesis
    1 - Codex Nemesis Alpha Omega
    2 - Symphonia Ignis Divinus (The Quantum Gate Revealed)
    3 - The Astral Convergence
    4 - The Divine Fire Of The Archangel
    5 - Of Psyche And Archetypes (System Overloaded)
12. Thundersteel [digipack bonus] [Cinematic version]

Alessandro Conti - vocals
Luca Turilli - guitars, keyboards
Dominique Leurquin - guitars
Alex Landenburg - drums
Patrice Guers - bass

Guest musicians
Dan "Fucking" Lucas - vocals
David Readman - vocals
Ralf Scheepers - vocals

Additional info
Recorded and mixed by Sebastian Roeder.
Mastered by Christoph Stickel.

2.6.15

Paradise Lost - The Plague Within (2015)

The guys in Paradise Lost did it again. Just when old timer fans enjoyed their semi "back-to-root" album, Tragic Idol (2012), the band changed their steer once again. Their 14th studio album called The Plague Within is yet another album that going to plague the fans-base with like it or hate it debate. The good news is, this new album still contained faint trace of their root from Draconian Times era. The reality is, majority of the materials is new sounds.

The first noticeable thing is the changes of vocals. Right from "No Hope In Sight", Nick Holmes has decided to put in heavier growl. Yes, as you heard it everywhere else, the vocals now is deathmetal-like. The song and ambiance itself can be said remained Paradise Lost in their '90s era, and some quite close to actually. "Terminal" is something of their catchy tunes. Stormy drums since the start. Once again it is the growl vocals that need to get adjusted by old timers. "An Eternity Of Lies" is where lies more new stuff. This one comes with almost equal division between growling and clean vocals. Something fits more correctly in their post-Draconian Times stuff. On their most dooming moment in the album, comes "Beneath Broken Earth" where the beat is doom slow. "Sacrifice The Flame" itself in turn, most mellow one, with cello sound and tragic sounding sings. The other surprise is in "Cry Out", they changed guitar distortion sounds too, to accommodate a more 'bluesy' riff in doom-death metal environment. There are still few bunch of songs where the band do their latest invention doom metal in the rest of album.

The Plague Within didn't sounds like the exact continuation from Tragic Idol. Where their previous seems like the resurrection of Paradise Lost classic era, The Plague Within is one more about creativity power. Once again die hard fans need to appreciated range of new ideas fit into their beloved Paradise Lost's doom metal. Objectively, there is enough old time stuff to celebrated, as in the first two songs. The rest is potential explored stuff, with bigger musical context.

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

Buy it Here - Amazon

Paradise Lost - The Plague Within (2015)

1. No Hope In Sight
2. Terminal
3. An Eternity Of Lies
4. Punishment Through Time
5. Beneath Broken Earth
6. Sacrifice The Flame
7. Victim Of The Past
8. Flesh From Bone
9. Cry Out
10. Return To The Sun
11. Fear Of Silence (bonus track, Deluxe Box format)
12. Never Look Away (bonus track, Deluxe Box format)
13. Victim Of The Past (orchestra version) (bonus track)

Paradise Lost members:
Gregor Mackintosh - guitars
Aaron Aedy - guitars
Stephen Edmondson - bass
Nick Holmes - vocals
Adrian Erlandsson - drums

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