April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Artist: Ash the Sky
Album: This is Reality
Label: Independent (Self Released)
Date of Release: February 13, 2013
1. Poverty Of The Mind
2. Another Chance To Kill
3. Close My Eyes
4. No Mercy
6. This Is Reality
7. Let Freedom Ring
8. I Scream Vengeance
9. Truth, Lies, Reality
10. Wake Up
Following on from the 3 track EP released in 2012, Michael Felder’s “Ash the Sky” are back with their more “In your face”, more technical and more rounded metal album. Combining the strengths from the EP, we are given more examples of well-placed Phrasing, Shredding, Technical Progressions, and the most ‘Off the wall’ examples of harmonies one person could simply handle.
Starting off with the high-octane “Poverty Of The Mind”, we are thrown head first into the pure unrelenting progressions of gruff-vocal expressions not too distant from the great “Byron Davis”. Adding the speed of the drums and tonalities of the guitars, this is a great introduction to the album.
Bringing in the heaviness with “Another Chance To Kill” and the technicalities of “Close My Eyes” you really are left wanting more. The interesting combination of guitar harmonies and pure heaviness is not to be missed nor misunderstood. Introducing the beautiful rich intense solos and very well abused Whammy pedals and you feel a little smile creep on over.
Straight into the craziness of “No Mercy” and apart from the obvious “Testament” feeling, this track really does give the listener everything from Epic drums and choruses, to pure driven riffs and beautifully created solos. Possibly the greatest track on the album so far!
The intro to “Conflikt” is fantastic, very close to the Gothic horrors of the 20th century. This track has the ‘edge’ element which really takes the listener on an interesting journey inside the music and mind of Felder. Again, with the blasts of the kick drums and the Dethklok feel, this track is simply brilliant.
So, we’re half way through the album now and it only gets better as we progress.
Into the album track “This is Reality”, and as far as death metal goes, this is about as well-crafted as it gets. The mix between the growls and the heaviness in the guitars is sublime. Add to this the interestingly placed solo which slows the track down very slightly, with the double delay and echoes are really quite haunting. This is a great example of how far death metal has come over the years and how much further music, as a whole, has progressed.
Into “Let Freedom Ring” with the progressions and combinations of heaviness meets more heaviness is a great way start any track, however as you progress further you start to fall into the madness behind the track. The solo didn’t appeal to me on this track as it felt misplaced, but as a whole, the track is interesting.
Track after track this album just gets better and better, with the most technical and heavy phrasing combinations anyone could expect to hear. Mix up the songs and solos with Wah’s, Delay, and Harmony driven sequences and you really do have an amazing listening experience.
If you like Children of Bodom, Lamb of God, In Flames, At The Gates, God Forbid, Arch Enemy, then you’ll enjoy this album with all its technicalities and impressions.
Michael j Felder – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Chris Morgan – Bass
April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Album: Riding On A Flamin’ Road
Label: New Idols Records / Self Distribution
Date of Release: 20th March 2012
1. Look At Me Burning
3. Sick Soul
4. She Has Been Cheated
5. Relieve My Life
6. Your Last Day
7. Rider Of The Sunset
8. To Be King
9. Titty Twister Blues (Open dusk ‘til dawn)
WildRoads were formed in Tuscany in 2001 from guitarist Nik Capitini’s ideas, and after several line-up changes they released their first EP in March, 2010. The current line-up consists of Nik Capitini and Giulio Antonelli on guitars, Michael Cavallini on vocals, Enrico Calderani on bass and Stefano Morandini on drums. Entering Freddy Delirio’s (Death SS, HAREM) FP Recording Studio they recorded their first album which came out on March 20/2012 with New Idols Records / Self Distribution in Milan.
From the go we are given high octane good feeling riffs and up-tempo beats whilst the vocals really make you glad you’ve put this album on. Cavallini’s command of the vocals really shows how good this album is from the very start with the vocal ranges and expressions, add to this the solos and anyone who has ever enjoyed fun-loving blues/rock will really appreciate this take. Making the Wah-Wah scream and using technical tapping sequences is not something we often hear in this type of music but I’m glad it was here. Back into the enjoyable melodies and well-kept rhythms of Morandini and the drums before another tapping and tap-slide sequence kicks in. The first song is awesome, give me more!
Song by song it just gets better and better, from the super-expressive riffs and licks, to the absolute command of the Wahs and Tapping sequences, to the speed-picking and technicality of the guitars, drums and bases. What have I missed? Oh yeah, the vocals, Cavallini makes full use of everything at his disposal whilst maintaining an absolute fun-loving attitude which can be heard in his vocals throughout.
So the last 4 tracks have given body-moving music to rock to so as we enter track 5 “Relieve My Life” we are gently slowed down to beautifully expressed tonalities and synths, which lay perfect grounding for Cavallini to come in once again and control the stage. Get those lighters out and start swaying to this great melodic anthem track which has all the great elements to keep it up there with the best of them. Into the solo sections and if you didn’t see this coming then I’d suggest taking a step back and listen to the last 4 songs again, this is just beautiful. For anybody that has heard “Warm Regards” by Steve Vai, this is very close in both tone and technicalities.
After two more exciting high-octane songs we are once again given the smooth riding song “To Be King” with the finger picked intros and verses is simply delightful and almost delicate to hear. Cavallini once again showing how versatile his vocal ranges are with the wonderful array of harmonies flying in from all directions.
For those of you that have seen From Dusk Til Dawn you’ll appreciate this last track “Titty Twister Blues (Open dusk ‘til dawn)” which is inspired from the Quentin Tarantino films. With the heavy blues type dry riffs common in ZZ Top and alike to the dirty drums and guitar licks, we really have a very great blues track at hand and all we’re missing is an extremely aggressive solo, but wait, what’s this… But of course, and boy is it something else!
I for one will be searching for guitar TABs to learn to play this stuff as I can see many others will be over time as well.
For fans of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, Van Halen, ACDC, ZZ Top, and many others. If you love Blues, Rock, Heavy Rock, Good fun-loving music, this is for you!
Nik Capitini – Guitars
Giulio Antonelli – Guitars
Michael Cavallini – Vocals
Stefano Morandini – Drums
Enrico Calderani – Bass guitar
April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Album: A Legend To Believe In
Label: Limb Music
Date of Release: 05 October 2012
01. Follow The Fog
02. At The Gates Of The Silent Storm
03. Black Era
04. The Fog Lord
05. The Scream Of The Thunder
06. A Legend To Believe In
07. The Dark Prophecy
08. A Day Of Fire
09. Our Last Nightfall
10. Strength Of The Hopeless
11. The March Of The Grey Army
12. Of War And Resurrection
Italian Symphonic/Epic Metal band Fogalord released their “A Legend To Believe In” which comes alive through its hymn-like, epic songs, gaining power and energy from bombastic melodies. The classical influence seeps through every track and serves to support the historical statement of the tracks. Dany All, ex-SYNTHPHONIA SUPREMA, with whom he released two albums, “The Future Ice-Age” (2010) and “Synthphony 001” (2006) is the driving force behind Fogalord, showing a talent for writing good, classical compositions, he has quickly gained a good reputation on the Italian music scene.
With the mixture of effects and choirs blasting in from everywhere you really are taken on an interesting journey. In terms of music, there’s nothing we haven’t heard many, many times before everywhere else. The solos are exceptionally good, but we’d kind of hoped they were.
So the first five tracks are very generic of this genre and being a big fan of Symphonic metal, Power Metal and Folk Metal I am rather disappointed thus far. The album has got some good elements in terms of interesting riffs and drumming, also those synths and choirs are quite special, but the album as a whole just lacks substance. I suppose if we look at this alongside Turisas, Eluveitie, Luca Turilli, then I’m not really feeling a difference. Nothing really jumps out and screams “Look at ME“.
“A legend to believe in” starts with the Neo-Classical arpeggio sweeps very common in this type of music and very common place in the world of Yngwie Malmsteen. The song itself isn’t too bad at all, sounds like the past 4 tracks, but has those sweeps which allows it to differ slightly.
The intro to “Our Last Nightfall” is just fantastically written, combing such a wide array of instruments and voices throughout. It is a nice step back from everything that has happened up to now. Into what I like to describe as a “Erotic” solo from those rich toned guitars joining the orchestras and wonderful vocals, this is a wonderful song throughout. With the last track standing in at an impressive 15 minutes 40 seconds everything is thrown in for one last shot at hitting your ears hard. The symphonies are wonderful, the vocals are expressive and the music is well created, problem is it’s taken an entire album to get here.
There’s no doubting these are talented musicians, and with Dany All on the vocals it is very powerful indeed. I’d put this alongside Dragonforce, Iced Earth, Edguy, Luca Turilli, etc… Add to this those beautiful orchestras like in “The Dark Prophecy” and you really do have something quite special. But if you’ve heard good Power Metal/Neo-Classical/Symphony Metal then this will just vanish in your expectations.
If you don’t end up skipping through the tracks to find something unique then you’re in for an “Interesting” journey. I listened to the entire album… Twice, and wasn’t overly impressed.
Stefano Paolini – Guitar
Dany All – Vocals + Keyboards
Lorenzo Costi – Bass
Francesco Zanarelli – Drums
April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Album: Nine Waves From The Shore
Label: Self-Released (Independent)
Date of Release: November 25th 2012
1. The Landing Of Amergin
2. The Battle Of Tailtin
3. The Kingship Of Bodb Dearg
4. Sorrow Of The Dagda
5. Tar éis an Sidhe
6. Conn Of The Hundred Battles
7. Anann: Ermne’s Daughter
Celtachor is a Blackened Folk Metal band from Dublin, Ireland. Born in 2007, it became a full working band in 2010, melding the influences of black/doom/folk metal together in one combined force. The band sees themselves as the narrators of Irish Mythology. The band’s main goal is to showcase their own vision of those stories, playing the music with passion and from the heart. The band just released their first album in November 2012. Celtachor has shared the stage with the likes of: Skyforger, Primordial, Heidevolk, Suidakra, Cruachan, Wolfchant, Alestorm, Mael Mordha, Waylander, Thurisaz, Nothgard, Darkest Era.
Technically speaking ‘Celtachor‘ have or rather “are” taking Celtic metal to the next step in interesting music with their second release to date “Nine Waves From The Shore“. Combining traditional whistles, Drums, chants, and black metal to make an interesting listening experience! With enthralling licks and riffs taking centre stage throughout the tracks there is never a dull moment. “The Landing Of Amergin” standing in at an impressive 10 minutes there really is no stopping this band, and based on this first track you wouldn’t want to. From the range of instruments coming in from everywhere you are given the best of the best throughout whilst Roche thickens the music with his intense vocal ranges.
Showing the true diversity of this band we are given “The Kingship Of Bodb Dearg” with the classic themes of Celtic traditions and whistles. But not for too long before we’re thrown back into the metal stronger and more intense than before. What really does make this band stand out is the clear-cut use of tribal drums mixed with the Agolloch feeling of expressions throughout. “The Kingship Of Bodb Dearg” is my favourite on this album as it encompasses everything that makes black metal great for me, from folk traditions to intense vocals and traditional instruments carrying their own roles in making the music a little more than one would expect.
As far as beautiful Celtic instrumentals come it doesn’t get much better than “Tar éis an Sidhe“. Within the gentle calm before the storm approach, lifting you off to a distant land far away from yourself and the mayhem laid before you. The whistles and the drums together are magnificent whereas the guitars themselves are just something else. A truly unique and spectacular track!
Back into the mayhem after the calm and we’re again thrown deep into the pits of hell with Roche holding all the controls. “Conn Of The Hundred Battles” takes the listener on an interesting journey within the minds of the creators. This is definitely one of those songs you will find your entire bodies moving along with, if not your souls too. Intense, dark, deep and brilliant!
Leaving the album with “Anann: Ermne’s Daughter” you are shown how much musical talent this band actually has. There really isn’t a dull moment throughout.
If you are a fan of heavy black folk metal then you’ll really enjoy this album!
This album is a listening experience!
Stephen Roche – Vocals/Whistles
David Quinn – Guitar
Emile Quigley – Bass
Anaïs Chareyre – Drums
Fionn Staffort – Guitar/Whistle
April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Artist: Loch Vostok
Album: V – The Doctrine Decoded
Label: Vicisolum Records
Date of Release: October 4th 2012, through Vicisolum Records (digital release on September 28th)
02. A Tale of Two Kings
03. Syndrome of Self
04. Citizen Cain
05. Twilight of the Dogs
06. Inflict Chaos
08. Claim the Throne
10. Common Ground
11. Beyond the Obvious
Swedish avant-garde prog/death metallers Loch Vostok are back with their 5th album: “V- The Doctrine Decoded” released on October 4th, through Vicisolum Records (digital release on September 28th). Loch Vostok rose out of the collapse of Progressive Metal band Mayadome in 2001. After 10 years Drummer Teddy Möller was tired of the cheeze and decided to start something meatier – Loch Vostok was born.
From the very beginning of the album you get the sense of some quite spectacular forming inside you mind. Möller brings some of the most extreme black metal vocals to the album whilst allowing enough room for the music to introduce the listener to another method of writing.
As you move through the album one thing remains constant is the depth that keeps you listening, although at times it can feel like you would want to skip track you are glad you didn’t. The mix between the consistency of the effects (Keyboards), Drums, and Guitars is really well produced and put together. The solos are beautifully crafted and the tonality is worth listening to alone, you are given so much more throughout this album to keep your attention.
With “A Tale of Two Kings” and “Citizen Cain” really showing you how good this album could be you are given “Syndrome of Self” to really muddle things up with the obscure timings and progressive riffs. “Citizen Cain” and the solo sections is everything a song could ask for, the super speed shredding whilst maintaining consistency is nothing be great.
“Regicide“, “Ravenous” and “Common Ground” give the listener a little more depth and solitude whilst remaining positively strong throughout.
Leaving the album with “Beyond the Obvious” is a nice surprising track to end with. Giving licks based on Eastern sounding scales and riffs to keep you moving until the very bitter end.
Melodically and Musically this album is flawless!
Teddy Möller – vocals/guitar
Mano Lewys – guitar
Fredrik Klingwall – keyboard
Jimmy Mattsson – bass
Lawrence Dinamarca – drums
Dark Logic (2004)
Destruction Time Again! (2006)
Reveal No Secrets (2009)
V: The Doctrine Decoded (2012)
April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Artist: Members Of God
Album: The Talking Words
Label: Copro Records/Casket Music
2. Someone Knows
3. Talking Words
4. Magical Water
5. Promise Of Happiness
6. The Sense
7. My Friendship
8. It’s Saturday
9. The Value Of Past
11. Don’t Murder
12. Like Empty Lyrics
14. Power And Fire
16. Don’t Desire
17. Ten Words
Combining progressive symphonic metal with Jewish folk metal, Members of God have created religious inspired themes and music whilst moulding ideology and theology. Now, not being religious in any way at all the lyrics had no appeal to me but the music is not only moving, but inspiring throughout.
With the opening track taking the listener into a realm of the obscure and divine (yes, I said divine) there is a constant overwhelming desire to listen deeper. As we move into track 2 ‘Someone Knows’, the drive and blasting familiarity of Symphony X creeps in like Michael Romeo has been enlisted by the devil himself. This track is deeply spiritual (musically) with the combinations of orchestras and Eastern scales throwing the mind out into another place. This is beyond anything I was expecting and I actually looking forward to the next tracks. Taking a moment to breathe ‘Talking Words’ is just enough to get you ready for an onslaught of heaviness in the next track ‘Magical Water’. There is so much going on in this track and it’s very easy to feel lost with all the sounds. Although the writing is impressive this track seems to lack any real definition like other tracks. The solo mix of synths and guitars is very Steve Vai’s Love Secrets which is just fantastic to hear; after which you are thrown in the most interesting time signature changes whilst the music just confuses everything around you.
I’m getting used to these little orchestral breaks between tracks and ‘Promises of Happiness’ is no different, adding the much welcomed haunting chorals before taking you into ‘The Sense’ which is, well, interesting!
The piano’s introduction in ‘It’s Saturday’ is exceptional and screams Final Fantasy throughout whilst maintaining the composure of a beautifully thought-out track.
‘Like Empty Lyrics’ demands attention all the way through it, from the start with the heaviness all the way through to the chanting chorals of the choirs, into the most exotic leads you are ever to hear or ever expected to hear in this album. The only major problem with this track is there is way too much synth, it’s becoming one of the phrases I feel this album has abused and used to death.
Entering ‘Don’t Desire’ we are instantly thrown in neo-classical/power-metal elements of Yngwie Malmsteen, but it is fun! Where would any Malmsteen type be without the ridiculously fast shredding, it is well executed and doesn’t go on too long, thankfully!
Leaving the album with ‘Ten Words’ and the spoken vocals atop this beautiful music is just enough to send you off to sleep. A truly inspiring piece of music for all!
This is an interesting album with many obscure intricacies and phrases throughout but loses consistency towards the end. The mixing is clear to a degree but some sounds do feel like they disappear within the mix of all the instruments at times. The vocal lines have been well created and well written and are really crammed full of passion.
Jesus of Nazareth: Singer and Acoustic Guitars
Myriamor: Singer and backing vocals
Alex “Uriel” Pinto: Lead Guitars and choirs
Gianluca “Jahn” Pinto: Bass
Roberto Pinto: Keyboards
Pasquale D’angioilllo: Drums and Percussions