28.1.16

Megadeth - Dystopia (2016)

The day is always better when we have good new Megadeth album. Yes, this is our lucky year, Megadeth is on top of their wheel of fortune. Dystopia is their 15th studio album, and it is the better one. Indeed, perhaps the best one after a long long while. There are two ultimate questions for Megadeth cyber army, and fans worldwide, to expect from this album. First is how the two new guys doing on in helping Dave Mustaine maintained Megadeth. While Kiko Loureiro acquisition is highly celebrated, can this aging thrash metal band benefit from this younger gun? Kiko's background, mainly in Angra, seem a bit out of Megadeth sound. The former Chris Broderick himself at least played in thrash band Nevermore, and he declared conflict in creative idea with the band after only several years. On Chris Adler side, the situation a bit easier. On paper, Chris is likely the most qualified drummer for Megadeth in any situation. We curiously want to listen this new line up to fire up indeed. Secondly, how Megadeth will sounds and survive after their weird, less-thrash, previous release, Super Collider?

Well, Megadeth also highly like to address these issues a.s.a.p. Three songs had been published online prior to the full album release. The Threat Is Real, Dystopia and Fatal Illusion all hastily released in Youtube by the band. These three songs are in positive acceptance by fans. They demonstrated the band eagerly return to old days. Trademark riffs, unique Dave thrash voice, blazing solos and drum are present there. The nightmare of Super Collider to be past now. The rest of album is also very promising. The highlights are: Post American World, which is almost a revision to Cryptic Writing's era, sounds like Trust but with real thrash guitar added to them.Then, Poisonous Shadows is poisonous track on the album where additional orchestra and choir inserted. A symphonic thrash metal maybe, what this song is. Kiko Loureiro had done impressive jobs so far, covered almost every bars with solos. He got even high time in Conquer Or Die with acoustic guitar intro and full instrumental song, highly in his favorite Latin minor scale. Even the traditional Megadeth "melodic speech" song got its upgrade in Last Dying Wish.

Dystopia is going to be everyone favorite album because the materials are surprisingly kick ass. Songs are strong with many awesome riffs we can expected from Megadeth. It is positively my favorite album after Youthanasia. Kiko as we just listen, is superb in this album. He just nailed all the required solos, fills in, riffs with easiness at the same time quite tense also. Chris Adler is without question throwing all his power, for this maybe his one shot opportunity as Megadeth member. Furious double pedal fills is now part of Megadeth sounds. The two Dave and David stayed on top of their game. David Jr didn't lost any idea as he just doing his Metal Allegiance project and has enough groove to give. Dave Mustaine himself find his best signature vocals in this album. Forget all our rage after the previous album, Megadeth is back with Dystopia.

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

Buy it Here - Amazon

Megadeth - Dystopia (2016)

01. The Threat Is Real
02. Dystopia
03. Fatal Illusion
04. Death From Within
05. Bullet To The Brain
06. Post American World
07. Poisonous Shadows
08. Look Who's Talking [Best Buy/iTunes bonus]
09. Conquer Or Die - instrumental
10. Lying In State
11. The Emperor
12. Last Dying Wish [Best Buy/iTunes bonus]
13. Foreign Policy [Fear cover]
14. Me Hate You [Japanese bonus]
15. Melt The Ice Way [Budgie cover] [digital bonus]

Dave Mustaine - guitars, vocals
Kiko Loureiro - guitars
David Warren Ellefson - bass, backing vocals
Chris Adler - drums


Megadeth Dystopia album review

Album Megadeth terbaru bersama gitarist Kiko Loureiro.

27.1.16

Dream Theater - The Astonishing (2016)

Here comes the thirteen studio album from Dream Theater. As with all the buzz we known so far, yes this is a concept album, a double CD it would be. Since Metropolis Part 2 - Scenes From a Memory, there hadn't any "proper" concept album from the prog giant. So, this will be some short of reboot to their collections, after half dozen of stand alone prog album that to some fans, almost a variation to each others. The Astonishing is their new title. It will be a concept album totally sketches out from John Petrucci's visions, he is the main creator of the ideas. Set in future timeline, the good news is the premise of the storyline is quite awesome. In short, we got to familiar with the story idea in their song "The Gift of Music" :

Far in the distant future,
Beyond the pages of our time.
Cold blooded wicked tyrants,
Threaten the freedom of mankind.
.....
While their secluded leader thrives
We are living day to day
Forced to bear the lion’s share
People just don’t have the time for music any more.
And no one seems to care
....
My brother Gabriel, is all the hope we need.
.....
Music is the gift he brings,
The songbird stops to listen when he sings.

This is the story about in the future-where, music no longer served by human but by machine. The only hope is a rebel musicians, supposedly metal band,  trying to bring back the good old days of music. To think about it, this is an explosive storyline.

The Astonishing is also fully set in their official website , where you can check characters and maps of the land. There will be eight characters, Gabriel, Emperor Nafaryus, Arhys, Faythe, Daryus, Empress Arabelle, Evangeline and Xander. Guys, this is the Game of Throne of progressive metal.



Musical itself, the album is total astonishing. From the opening scene of "Descent of the NOMACS", the band introduce the machine-like sounds to accommodate the music side of the machine. "Dystopian Overture" is their first officially overture song form after so many lightyears since Overture 1928. The combination of melodic (human) music vs industrial (machine) "organized sounds" is the main theme of this instrumental track. From this point, we are set into a more than two hours of music journey. The notable aspect of The Astonishing is their usage of more orchestra sounds. Jordan Rudess has a busy days composing all sort of keyboards parts. He is utilizing larger voices from trumpet to strings to disc screeching sounds. The album credit listed David Campbell as arranger for orchestra and choir.  Mike Mangini happened to admit the album blew his mind, indeed he need to added another 34 composition into his drumming memories. Luckily, the album do not required Mike M to put drums in more forefront, as with the last album. Indeed the album highlighted in the song itself and to the story line. With this, James LaBrie got to imposing himself into eight different characters. A bit out of our luck, Dream Theater do not have the tradition of inviting guest vocalist. Since it will be a cool idea if The Astonishing followed some mainstream trend by inviting guest singers to perform their characters. John Myung, as always, stayed in background. I wondered when Dream Theater going to use their "secret weapon", I guess we must wait for the next album where we can hear John Myung even more. John Petrucci himself creating many more Dream Theater riffs that we should remember. The Astonishing comprise many John's new idea, so do not worry about listening the same dear riffs.

The highlight of the albums are : Dystopian Overture, The Gift of Music, The Answer, A Life Left Behind, A New Beginning on CD 1. 2285 Entr'acte, Our New World, Astonishing on CD 2. The rest of the songs many acted as platform for the story telling, so it must be listen with context and in continuation. The Astonishing is Scene of Memory meet Operation Mindcrime meet Game of Throne meet Final Fantasy-RPG-things and at some point meet some other power metal concept albums such as Avantasia. As far as I listen, this is the best Dream Theater album since their good old days, their music ambition fully transferred into this double album in astonishing awesome way.

Metal Harem class: 9.5 out of 10 stars

Dream Theater - The Astonishing (2016)
Buy it Here - Amazon

Disc 1 - Act I
1. Descent of the NOMACS 01:10 instrumental
2. Dystopian Overture 04:50 instrumental
3. The Gift of Music 04:08
4. The Answer 01:52
5. A Better Life 04:39
6. Lord Nafaryus 03:28
7. A Savior in the Square 04:13
8. When Your Time Has Come 04:19
9. Act of Faythe 05:00
10. Three Days 03:44
11. The Hovering Sojourn 00:27 instrumental 
12. Brother, Can You Hear Me? 05:11
13. A Life Left Behind 05:49
14. Ravenskill 06:01
15. Chosen 04:31
16. A Tempting Offer 04:19
17. Digital Discord 00:47 instrumental 
18. The X Aspect 04:13
19. A New Beginning 07:41
20. The Road to Revolution 03:35

 Disc 2 - Act II
1. 2285 Entr'acte 02:20
2. Moment of Betrayal 06:11
3. Heaven's Cove 04:19
4. Begin Again 03:54
5. The Path That Divides 05:09
6. Machine Chatter 01:03 instrumental 
7. The Walking Shadow 02:58
8. My Last Farewell 03:44
9. Losing Faythe 04:13
10. Whispers on the Wind 01:37
11. Hymn of a Thousand Voices 03:38
12. Our New World 04:12
13. Power Down 01:25 instrumental 
14. Astonishing 05:51

Dream Theater:
John Petrucci - guitars
John Myung - bass
Jordan Rudess - keyboards
James LaBrie - vocals
Mika Mangini - drums

Guests
    Eric Rigler - bagpipes on "The X Aspect"
    City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

Production
    Richard Chycki – engineering and mixing
    Jie Ma - cover art
    David Campbell - orchestral and choir arrangements


16.1.16

Beorn - Time to Dare (2015)

Beorn is newborn Russian band. They are labelled as "modern symphonic / power metal band from Russia. The band's music Beorn - it's heavy guitar riffs; beautiful...". Well prepared by the descriptions, I got to listen and fully agree. Time to Dare is the title of their debut album, consisted of eleven tracks of modern symphonic and power metal stuffs.

The first song they ever had is From Here To Eternity, well, the title surely inspired by their old metal folks from UK. The track is instrumental and it's not a light appetizer as there are tons of orchestrations to win your attention. Coming through that promising prelude is Riders Of The Sky. With such catching ears song title, nothing can surprised us when the song kick off as blazing double pedal beat. Melodic synth licks accompanied by trademark guitar riffs is a warm welcome present from the band. Through its three minutes of glory, amazingly the song bring all the a-b-c of power metal tricks. The second song is having much more the so-called 'originality'. Star Ocean is kind of cross over between power metal, Ibiza house beat and funky bass line. Official lyric video released on this song is a sign that the song also champion by the band themselves. Next is In Quest For Planet Eden, also a plot twist for listener, as the song turned out as sweet piano-based ballad in beginning and only delved into power ballad in the second part. The Chest Of Deadman is following some of classic power metal such as '80s Helloween sound. This basic ingredients are mixed with high energy solos and amazing instrument improvisation to give the song an epic status. Another song with very generic title is Space Invaders, which is the second instrumental track in the album. The band proved that they enjoy very much this setting and the outcome is a highly aesthetic instrumental composition. The rest of the album are typical power metal tracks with outer space theme. The band does not hesitate to bring in lot of keyboards and symphonic tricks to each song. Which bring us to the last song is ,Coming Home,  recently had been released as instrumental on their Youtube channel.

Time to Dare can be described as very interesting album. Beorn prove the genre still have so much corner to exploit. In between their blazing drum kicks and guitar riffs, there inserted many excellence solos. Much of those details rely on their individual skills, which is beyond adequate. Time To Dare is blend of generic power metal with innovative sounds without ruined the main character. This idea actually already known by several bandsm but Beorn stick to this anyway. With such promising debut, Beorn has conquered the first step to become part of power metal storm, especially coming from Eastern side of the scenes.

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

Buy it Here - Amazon

Beorn - Time to Dare (2015) 

01. From Here To Eternity (instrumental)
02. Riders Of The Sky
03. Star Ocean
04. In Quest For Planet Eden
05. The Chest Of Deadman
06. Space Invaders (instrumental)
07. Galaxy In flames
08. Phantom Ship
09. Ray Of Hope (Incubus Ex Abyssus)
10. The Beast
11. Coming Home

BEORN is:
Gregory Kryukov - Vocal
Andrey Zvonaryov - Guitars
Alexey Zvonaryov - Bass
Pavel Salikov - Guitars


14.1.16

Rhapsody Of Fire - Into the Legend (2016)

Into the Legend is the 11th studio album from Rhapsody of Fire. This is their second release after the band parted with Luca Turilli, well, still something to noted there. Luca himself lead another "Rhapsody" band and commend the band goes further into technical symphonic metal as in their latest album. However, Rhapsody of Fire remained in the same water with faithful symphonic metal, as bombastic as they were of course. Into the Legend is also their first album with new bassist, Alessandro Sala. This album span three years after their latest release, Dark Wing of Steel in 2013.

The first track is the album intro opener, In Principio. After composing ten opening tracks with almost the same vibes, this one can be noted for having percussion in the beginning. The second track, Distant Sky, is quite a surprise because this one sound exactly what expected from Rhapsody of Fire. The song resembling their heyday from Legendary Tales, same riff, same bombastic chorus and catchy string attack. If you like that one wait until you listen Into The Legend. The song got heavier and needless to say the song is one of the best produced by the band after so many years. Winter's Rain followed next. This one is rather mid tempo with the band exploring one chord riff into its maximum improvisation. Moving on, we come to the ballad with A Voice In The Cold Wind, where the flute and harpsichord enjoyed their parts alongside with other folk instruments. Another full blast song is Valley Of Shadows, now if you remembered how innovative they are/were in bringing soprano singer , this is that one song. Another ballad song, consisted of acoustic lute in Shining Star, now his duet should be with violin and string. The climax of them all is always the last track. The Kiss Of Life, as usual a 16 minutes finale to celebrated the triumphant of glorious return.

Into the Legend is exactly bring us back to Legendary Tales era. The band did not shy to admit that they do not need style changing episode to succeed  and just stick to what their best style. We come to listen what Alex Straropoli capability in leading the band with this album. Kudos to the guitarist, Roberto De Micheli, who rarely do any Turillian licks in his work, which is also what separated this album with their past classics. De Micheli confident in bringing his own style, notably a more heavy metal riffs rather than going too neo-classical. In front of the musician is the fabulous Fabio Lione who executed every song in perfect voice. With this quite bombastic review as well, we can safely say, the legend has back!

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

Buy it Here - Amazon

Rhapsody Of Fire - Into the Legend (2016)

01. In Principio
02. Distant Sky
03. Into The Legend
04. Winter's Rain
05. A Voice In The Cold Wind
06. Valley Of Shadows
07. Shining Star
08. Realms Of Light
09. Rage Of Darkness
10. The Kiss Of Life

Line Up

Fabio Lione - Vocals
Alex Staropoli - Keyboards
Roberto De Micheli - Guitars
Alessandro Sala - Bass
Alex Holzwarth - Drums

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