25.7.16

Levin Minnemann Rudess - From the Law Offices (2016)

This is the 2nd album by the trio gentlemen of progressive metal. From the camp of prog rock is Tony Levin who bassist in King Crimson and Peter Gabriel, if you would call it progressive rock. His jamming buddy are Jordan Rudess and Marco Minnemann. Jordan and Tony already have jamming history in Liquid Tension Experiment (LTE), a mirror project of Dream Theater back in the day of Mike Portnoy. Interestingly is the duo pairing with Marco Minnemann. We all know Marco. He played in a lot of other project in similar style to this record. Marco closely "encounter" with Jordan and Dream Theater in the famous 7 drummers audition for Portnoy replacement. So I guess all the trio gentlemen already has bite of chemistry before they decided to do recording. Their first debut in 2013 was quite successful and accepted by the community. "From the Law Offices" is the follow up of that album.  From the Law Office follow closely the spirit of that album. This record is all about progressive metal, unlimited creativity and out of the world improvisation skill.

There are sixteen tracks on the album, enough to fill up of your day with quality music. The first track "Back to the Machine" is a cheekily starter. The song built up from simple riff. It is a good song that demonstrated how the drum going to respond in this simple melodic. After Levin and Marco setting up the basis , the main role is played by Jordan, who going to lay down all the melodies of the song. This basic formula is what defined the essence of trio LMR. As the second song come in, "Ready, Set, Sue" is much more "complicated". This song is set in funk, prog and techno feel, enjoyable mix. "Riff Splat" turn the highlight role to the bass. A loud overdrived bass making this song quite muscular. Although this album did not included any guitarists, the present of guitar can be heard in "Marseille" and "Balloon". The rest of songs done in similar fashion, tense improvisation and also lots of innovation.

This records is for prog fans that combined the fans base of three different world. From King Crimson to Dream Theater to Kreator, well, it was Marco's band after all. From the Law Offices followed up the trend of joining big names in trio setup. This is a great addition to similar project such as the Aristocrat, LTE, the Winery Dogs and so on.

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

Buy it Here - Amazon
Levin Minnemann Rudess - From the Law Offices (2016)

01. Back to the Machine
02. Ready, Set, Sue
03. Riff Splat
04. What is the Meaning?
05. Marseille
06. Good Day Hearsay
07. Witness
08. Balloon
09. When the Gavel Falls
10. The Verdict
11. Free Radicals
12. Magistrate
13. Shiloh's Cat
14. The Tort
15. Testimony
16. Habeas Porpoise
17. The Tort (Ver. 2xb-74)

Line Up:
Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson) - Bass, Cello, Chapman Stick,
Marco Minnemann (Joe Satriani, The Aristocrats) - Drums, Guitars
Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) - Keyboards

21.7.16

Vivaldi Metal Project - The Four Seasons (2016)

As the universe has known, "The Four Season" is a Baroque musical piece composed by Antonio Vivaldi. Yes, that was in the year of 1723. The works actually not very much "popular" at the time, well if you lived in the era of Vivaldi you probably heard this too often, only later got its "classic" status in the next century. By the year of 2016, The Four Season is already one of the most known, universally accepted, greatest classical music composition by a subgenre of Baroque period. There are endless list of adaptation of Four Season through out the history of music.  Finally, of course they naturally reach the world we belong, the power metal world.

Vivaldi Metal Project is the most ambitious works that trying to transform The Four Seasons into power metal version in its entirety. The man behind this project happened to be Giuseppe Iampieri aka Mistheria, who works previously in Bruce Dickinson, Roy Z, Rob Rock as keyboardist and arranger. The link of full description in official website pointed out the history behind this project. In brief, mr Mistheria worked for this project for at least two full years and incorporated at least 130 musicians to make this happen. Vivaldi's The Four Seasons  then adapted into power / symphonic metal version. This version is not a notes by notes transcription, but merely a source of inspiration, as the music itself merit a huge portion of original creativity by the band.

As for reminder, here is the full movements of Vivaldi's Four Season :
Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, "Spring" (La primavera)
        I. Allegro (in E major)
        II. Largo e pianissimo sempre (in C-sharp minor)
        III. Allegro pastorale (in E major)
    Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 8, RV 315, "Summer" (L'estate)
        I. Allegro non molto (in G minor)
        II. Adagio e piano - Presto e forte (in G minor)
        III. Presto (in G minor)
    Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, "Autumn" (L'autunno)
        I. Allegro (in F major)
        II. Adagio molto (in D minor)
        III. Allegro (in F major)
    Concerto No. 4 in F minor, Op. 8, RV 297, "Winter" (L'inverno)
        I. Allegro non molto (in F minor)
        II. Largo (in E-flat major)
        III. Allegro (in F minor)
Therefore, Vivaldi Metal Project simply adopted all those 12 movements into a lyric-completed symphonic metal songs. There are two original songs though, as a prelude and in between the album. The first one is the 1st track "Escape From Hell". However, a sorry from us, these original songs largely going to be ignored as our focus is on the Four Seasons itself. "The Illusion of Eternity" is direct version of Allegro from Spring. The original Vivaldi melodies and passage well preserved, giving this song a world wide familiarity. Those who understand how hard is song writing should praise the the band creativity to be able to do this. The verses and chorus now sounds natural as they were first composed as metal song. The next song "Vita" is lesser strictly following Largo,  the song only captured the intro idea but then inserted a nice song into it. This formula repreated in many songs and they were all well fit.

Indeed, the best tunes I recommended next are "Sun of God", taken from Allegro in Summer. The piano intro works really well in mixing power metal and Vivaldi, the song as well. "Thunderstorm" is considered the most "head banging" part of Four Season, and this version serve the burden well. Prepared for the thunderstorm of shreds and bombastic works here, along with majestic choruses hired by the band. "Alchemy" also demonstrated that the band and the arrangers do a lot of homeworks to make this adaptation really stand out. This piece of music step further into the progressive metal zone, and if you got Vivaldi, power and prog join together you know the result. The finale is "Doomsday" which the final part of Four Season, taken elements of Winter part but duly played it as orchestra version in the end.

Provided that the musicians involved here are all big names, the outcome is very above expectation. When I first the heard the project honestly there is a shadow of doubt, but this album cast away any of it. Vivaldi Metal Project is a very strong remark from the metal community in paying tribute to classical / baroque music. If you like both world, then this is a must have creation for you.

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

Buy it Here - Amazon
Vivaldi Metal Project - The Four Seasons (2016)

01. Escape From Hell
02. The Illusion of Eternity
03. Vita
      - part 1: Darkness
      - part 2: Light
04. Euphoria
      - part 1: Metamorphosis
      - part 2: Into the Game
05. Sun of God
06. Immortal Soul
07. Thunderstorm
08. The Age Of Dreams
09. Alchemy
      - part 1: The Abyss
      - part 2: Canto
      - part 3: Golden Number
10. Stige
11. The Meaning of Life
12. The Final Hour
13. Grande Madre
14. Doomsday
      - part 1: Skyfall
      - part 2: Doomsday
      - part 3: Resurrection

Line Up:
MISTHERIA (Bruce Dickinson, Rob Rock, Roy Z,) - keyboard player, composer and producer
Alberto Rigoni (Bass)
Rick Wakeman

Guests:
Mark Boals (Y. Malmsteen), Rob Rock (Impellitteri), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire/Angra), Edu Falaschi (Almah), Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation), Rolf Pilve (Stratovarius), Michael Lepond (SymphonyX), Michael Angelo Batio, John Macaluso (ARK/TNT),  Marco Sfogli (J. LaBrie), Mark Wood (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Andreas Passmark (Royal Hunt), Vitalij Kuprij, Mark Cross (Scorpions/Firewind), Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork), Chris Caffery (Savatage), Dani Loeble (Helloween), Victor Smolski (Rage/Almanac), Steve Di Giorgio (Testament), Anna Portalupi (Tarja), Atma Anur (T. MacAlpine/G. Howe), Tommy Denander (Radioactive) and 100+ other musicians

Sinfonietta Consonus Symphonic Orchestra (Poland),
Academic Choir Angel Manolov (Bulgaria),
the “Chamber Choir Ivan Filipovic” (Croatia)
the “Rock Academy Choir” (Croatia)

Trailer:



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