A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Theater Of Salvation
With their last album "Vain Glory Opera" EDGUY definitely became one of the shooting stars in the Heavy Metal revival of the ninetees. So, it was quite obvious that the expectations concerning their fourth release, "Theater Of Salvation", were incredibly high straight from the start this time. But these young Germans didn't seem to care too much about all the fan- and media attention that is going on around them. They simply delivered another high quality album of catchy Metal extravaganza with an even bigger HELLOWEEN touch than ever before ("Keeper..." period). But hey, there's nothing wrong with that in my opinion, cause HELLOWEEN do sound a lot different these days and EDGUY furthermore managed to still maintain their own little integrity. Their musical potential is just amazing and so is the production (the mix was once again done in Finnvox Studio by STRATOVARlUS engineer Mikko Karmila). Fans of GAMMA RAY, BLIND GUARDIAN, old HELLOWEEN and STRATOVARIUS can easily add this album to their shopping list - satisfaction guaranteed! In case you haven't bought a copy yet, go for the nice digi-pack as it features two additional bonus tracks!
(Metal Blade Records)
Metal Blade has signed some of the best new outfits during the last two years or so, just like they did when they started in the early Eighties. BRAINSTORM, DESTINY'S END, SUPERSHINE... and now EIDOLON for their third album, need I say more? Even if I liked their two previous albums a good deal, I still wasn't 100% convinced, but this time it's another story! Just listen to the opener "Nightmare World" and it's gonna give you an idea how much those guys are great! The music is an electric tornada! Even when they slow down the pace as on "Noctem Aeternus", EIDOLON show no inclination towards varying the intensity. I would say my fave would be "Eye Of Illusion" with an unreal break similar to some material written by SACRIFICE on their last album, amazing stuff! There is such a level of desire emanating from this one that they're destined to become a leader from the future, no doubts about that!
I don't know if the fact that guitarist Glen Drover played with K. DIAMOND in recent years had an impact on EIDOLON's songwriting speed. You all know how many releases K.D. can release in a short period of time by now, as it's a real surprise to see those Canadian Power Metallers releasing a new album so soon as "Nightmare World" was released during the winter 2000. That said the guys still have enough inspiration to deliver another good- but not killer- release dominated mostly by some absolutely frantic ripping guitar work from Glen. I mean the guy comes up with some killer first rate riffing at times and it's enough to make them enjoyable tunes, it's just too bad that the guitar too upfront on the mix- despite a killer production job done by brother Shawn who also did all the arrangements, writing etc on the album waouh! Check out the verses of "De-evolution", "Prelude Into Fear", "You Will Burn" (featuring crunchy/skullcrushing parts). His lead work being also very impressive. On the other hand stuff like "Forever Be Free", "Feed The Machine", "Forgotten City", "Mind Alteration" are just mid paced songs and they definitely lack the kind of braincrushing riffs to make them hit the right spot. Okay stuff but nothing to rave about. Brian Soulard's vocals are still delivered in the same manner as he did on the previous three other releases and I'm of the opinion that the guy will have to change his vocal delivery in the future if they want to come up with albums that can make a real impact as his vocals start to be annoying after a while. A good release but next time they'll have to make sure they'll come with a 100% power crushing album with no filler stuff if they want to hit the next stage.
Combined sales on their 2 previous CD's ("Law Of Three" and "Momentum") are over the 3,000 mark worldwide- and this latest 11 song/ 47 minute effort adds another chapter to the quintet's quest for a label contract. "Flashpoint" expands upon the earlier CD's by allowing more melodic dynamics and hooks to enter the songs without sacrificing the heaviness or style ENERTIA plays. I'd go with the comparisons to early 1990's thrash bands like WRATHCHILD AMERICA, FLOTSAM and JETSAM and FORBIDDEN on tracks like "Victim Of Thought" and "Glitch". Vocalist Scott Featherstone has one of the best contrasts in aggressive, balls out screams and smoother, Southern-tinged vocal lines- recalling Mike Howe, Eric A.K. and John Bush rolled into one. Fans who don't like their thrash too fast and fans that miss bands that write individual songs (as opposed to riffs thrown together haphazardly) need "Flashpoint" from ENERTIA. Exceptional packaging (lots of live photo action and professional layout that mirrors what good record labels offer) and major label quality production top off a must have disc. Since getting this at Powermad it's on listen number 50... Contact: Animated Insanity Productions, c/o Joe Paciolla, PO Box 687, Gloversville, NY, 12078, USA Web: http://www.animated-insanity.com/enertia.html
Ray Alder (FATES WARNING), Joey Vera (ex-ARMORED SAINT, now FATES WARNING) and Bernie Versailles (AGENT STEEL) performing on one record, that could be a helluva album. In fact, it's a conflicting one. It's mainly the solo disc of Ray Alder and his personal musical faves shine through the whole record - DEFTONES, PANTERA and such crappie stuff. SNAKEPIT normally refuses to give this kind of non-Metal a platform, that would be a waste of time (you can read trendy Hammer or Aardshok here in Europe and Metal Maniacs overseas, if you really want to know that KORN is more breakfast than Metal....). Fortunately, Ray Alder is not able to growl, he remains an excellent singer and in my opinion his vocal performance is amazing on the whole album, it's even delivering more power and emotion than on the FATES WARNING recordings. But sometimes the music is the problem here, not the musicianship. On some tracks, the FATES WARNING influences are obvious (the quiet "Tree Of Life", the melodic "Bear Your Cross" or "Alone") an d here the melodies survive the intentions to sound as "modern" as possible. On the other hand, who needs aggro music as "I Don't Need" or "You're Awake" deliver? None of us, that's for sure. Of course, the record is far better than the music of the aforementioned non-Metal bands, it has some very strong moments and it's to appreciate that Ray doesn't copy FATES WARNING with ENGINE. He tries to create his own thing, only, it could have been more Metal, you know what I mean?
The Guardian of the Treasure
When the artwork includes castles, hourglasses and dragons among other things, you know you can expect European styled power metal- lots of happy melodies, chugging double bass and epic storytelling lyrics. Sweden's ETERNIA have put out a 5 song debut CD, recorded in 2 parts with the first 3 songs recorded in September 1999 and the latter 2 recorded a year earlier. Pluses for the quintet include a stellar guitar tandem in Ronny Blylod and Daniel Niemann- contributing great twin licks that close "Soldiers of the Night". The most impressive song on display "The Eye of the Storm" opens with a riff that could be a distant cousin to "Wasted Years" but quickly rips into a savage power riff that would make Kai Hansen or Randy Rhoads beam. Singer Mats Dahlbery has a smooth mid-range voice that could use a little more strength to match the quality put forth musically from his band mates- the title track showcasing his potential best. The band need to spend more money next time in a better production- as the rhythm sections doesn't get the best sounds in the mix- but it doesn't sound so poor as to deter your enjoyment. Potential for the future is evident in ETERNIA- once they step away from their MAIDEN/ HELLOWEEN influences and gel they should gain a deal because they play convincingly from their souls. Contact: Eternia, c/o Magnus Larsson, 1:a Langgatan 35, 89160 Ornskoldsvik, Sweden Web: http://welcome.to/eternia
Peaking in at the brief recording output from this Swedish Power/Progressive Metal quartet, readers know of our admiration for the debut album and the interview we've done in our last issue. In fact vocalist/guitarist Tom S. Englund spoke of a classic album appearing from EVERGREY in the coming years. Look no further as "Solitude*Dominance*Tragedy" fullfils all criteria for immortal status. Creative songwriting that encompasses the best elements of Gothic, Power, Progressive and even Death Metal (especially the heavy guitar tone), arrangements that allow the softer moments room to breathe and the savage parts to beat you in like an anvil over the head - plus soundbytes, string arrangements and choirs. The vocals have improved immeasurably - Tom has a raw confidence that pours out anger, sorrow and tenderness depending on the given words and song's feel. Every song sounds fresh from first listen to the latest (and I've played the album at least 200 times in its entirety since owning this a month ago) - favorit es including the guitar echo laced "The Shocking Truth" and ripping "She Speaks To The Dead". EVERGREY know the many shades to Metal - so this album should appeal to anyone who likes creativity and a good headbang, no matter what age or style you prefer. See them live - buy the album - they deserve your support for original Power/Progressive Metal conventions and the effort this second record delivers for your money. Album of 1999 for me!!!
In Search Of Truth
EVERGREY have changed my world for the better with their first two releases "The Dark Discovery" and "Solitude, Dominance, Tragedy". To expect anything less than a brooding complex metal disc from these Swedes would be criminal- so "In Search Of Truth" awaited my ears impatiently and once again the band has taken steps ahead to cement themselves in the annals of metallic history. A concept record based on the journey of one man's impacts with alien involvement/ UFO's, the 47 minute album forces you as a listener to take in a wide sonic spectrum of polyrhythmic riffing, atmospheric keyboard parts, incredibly catchy vocal melodies and exceptional songwriting from the opening cut "The Masterplan" to the emotional ballads "State Of Paralysis" and "Different Worlds". Latest guitarist Henrik Danhage picks up right where former guitarist Dan left off, submerging easily into the twin harmonies with Tom Englund in songs like "Watching The Skies" and personal favorite "The Encounter" (the latter featuring a tempo change from first to second riff that I guarantee will have your jaw drop in a second). "Rulers Of The Mind" features a keyboard/ electric drum section following the solo that allows the band to expand upon their already divergent style, and all the samples accent the story perfectly. Produced once again by Tom and Andy Larocque, "In Search of Truth" illustrates that a band can have 4-5 unique metal elements and merge the best of the underground worlds into a captivating, one of a kind sound. If you enjoy innovators and creators in metal over copycats and trend hounds, you need EVERGREY in your collection.
Here it is finally: album no. 3 of one of the most progressive bands in the Italian Metal scene. Although they had their first release back in 1994, not many people know the band, as they used to play a very abstract kind of progressive Metal/Rock. In 1999 the band play a more melodic style. But don't worry, they are still very progressive, the songs sound more mature as EVIL WINGS have enriched their style with straight and melodic parts. The disk contains 11 songs and clocks in at about 60 minutes. The songs cover a stylistic range that goes from typical EVIL WINGS prog Metal tracks like "Big Old Roundabout" via rocking tracks as "Away" & "Sell My Soul" and balladesque songs a la "Flowers" or "20th Of May". The highlights of the disk are the opener and title track "Colors Of A New World", which is a groovy, heavy rocker with a progressive and funky touch, and the closing track "Colours Of A New World (revisited)", the progressive version of the song with distorted vocal lines and more proggy and weird parts . The production is very dynamic and powerful, thus underlining the power and drive of this album. EVIL WINGS have released a great 3rd album which really deserves to be heard. So, if you are into progressive stuff or even liked the first 2 disks, this release is a definite must. I am almost tempted to say it is the best progressive disk of the last months. Well, what am I telling you, make yourself a picture: go and hear this disk.
Heavy Metal Maniac
(Old Metal Records)
As far as I'm concerned, this release will always remains as one of the best Speed/ Power/ Heavy Metal album of all time, no matter what people can say. From the intro called "The Holocaust" to the incredible ending track "Cry Of The Banshee", it's just INSANE! Also the track featured on U.S. Metal Vol.2 "World War III" is included so it really makes that CD an ULTIMATE MUST! Well I think it's time for me to hear it again for the five thousand time!
Violence And Force (re-release)
(Steamhammer / SPV)
Next to EXCITER's milestone debut "Heavy Metal Maniac", "Violence And Force" is probably their best album to date, so I was really happy when I found out that SPV finally decided to re-issue it on CD. But the disappointment came straight away as it comes with extremely poor quality in terms of sound and packaging. No real booklet, just a piece of paper with the album cover on it and the worst is yet to come: one track is MISSING!! Yes, you read it correctly! This so-called "official" CD is lacking in one song (if I remember correctly it was "Destructor" - I don't own the CD, so don't quote me...)! Can you believe that?! Even the bootleg version of it (which was rather poor in terms of packing also) is better than this here. Too bad that I have to say this about such a godly album, but avoid this fuck-up by all means!!!
Dawn...A New Beginning
This Australian band released their fine PSYCHOTIC WALTZ influenced debut "Edge Of Existence" in 1996, then they had serious line-up problems and now a new singer and guitar player. So it lasted more than three long years to come up with another piece of high quality progressive Metal, nevertheless it's a pity that only three tracks prove their insane musicianship on the new record. This time the WALTZ parts are nearly gone and very early DREAM THEATER (or better MAJESTIC) with a bit WATCHTOWER is to mention when the music is to categorize. The production could be more powerful and the loud snare sound gets a bit on my nerves, but the music brings back good memories when DREAM THEATER released their first fresh sounding album and sounded not as trendy and annoying as the last three years. An un-commercial disc that makes me wonder what's up next in the EYEFEAR camp, a full-length album? Contact: EYEFEAR, 28 New Rd. Oak Park 3046, Melbourne, Vic, Australia. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org