Κυριακή, 11 Νοεμβρίου 2012

Kamelot - Silverthorn (2012)

Genre: Progressive Melodic Metal
Country: USA
Members: Tommy Karevic (Vocals)
Thomas Youngblood (Guitars)
Casey Grillo (Drums)
Oliver Palotai (Keyboards)
Sean Tibbetts (Bass)
Website: http://www.kamelot.com

It's been about one and a half year since "Poetry for the Poisoned" and thousands
of fans have been waiting impatiently for the next addition to Kamelot's album
list.The anxienty grew as rumors of Roy Khan's departure from the band emerged and
many (including me) believed that Kamelot would never recover from this blow.Thus,
it was to my great pleasure when the band announced that they where working on a
new album and that a new singer had been found to fill the gap Kahn left
behind.Time passed, the album was released and so here is my humble opinion on its
many aspects.
This album's music style seems like a mixture of "Ghost Opera" and "Black Halo"
with more of the former and less of the latter.This is by no means bad since this
new style is a combination of darker and lighter themes which intertwine to create a
unique atmosphere.While listening to the album you'll probably feel like you're
walking through a shady scenery which is sporadically illuminated by rays of
light.In order to achieve this, Kamelot have masterfully used their skill in
creating beautiful melodies and guitar reefs in combination with melodic vocals.
The rhythm is surprisingly catchy and you'll find yourself remembering it for quite
some time after listening to the album.The guitars and keyboards perform
excellently, focusing more on the complexity of melodies rather than that of
technique (which is absolutely fine by me).Tommy Karevik's vocals were the most
pleasant surprise for me in this album.His voice is very melodical and he manages
to perform astonishingly in both low and high notes.Also, the backing vocals are
top quality (as ever) and they add a lot to the album's style.
All in all, I believe this album is a very good piece of work by Kamelot and is
absolutely worthy of being part of the band's great collection of
masterpieces.Keep up the good work guys...

My favourite songs on the album:
- Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)
- Ashes to Ashes
- Torn
- Veritas
Performance: 9.4
Lyrics: 8.6
Music: 9.0
TOTAL: 9.0

Παρασκευή, 21 Οκτωβρίου 2011

Iced Earth - Dystopia (2011)

Genre: Thrash / Power / Heavy Metal
Country: USA
Members: Jon Schaffer - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
                Stu Block - Lead Vocals
                Troy Seele - Lead Guitar
                Freddie Vidales - Bass Guitar
                Brent Smedley - Drums
Website: http://www.icedearth.com/

This is it. I'd been periodically checking Youtube for a taste of what Stu and ICED EARTH sound since Matt's departure, about twenty days before the official album release I bumped into a good sample that really cheered me up; a remake of the song "Dante's Inferno" showed that Stu would fit well in ICED EARTH, bringing his own elements in the band but not carving a brand new route in metal. Dystopia is far better than the 2008 album if you ask me (the crucible of man. You can read the minquisition here). The album is more power than thrash, yet with the same, well known thrash riffs by the ingenious soul of ICED EARTH, Jon Schaffer. As written above, Stu Block carried with him a part of his former band (INTO ETERNITY, Canada, melodic, death, power, thrash, almost every genre of metal, worth giving it a try), such as the remarkably high pitched vocals at times. There are some people saying "I could swear that this was Barlow", they are not quite off the point. The harsh and low vocals are left unchanged, there is no great change in the singing in general and this is, to my mind, a proof that Stu is really open minded, versatile and hard-working. This switch won't bother the loyal fan, I really welcomed Stu.
 Talking about the instruments' parts, ICED EARTH have added more melody to their songs than in their last album releases. At least I can hear some solo parts that are quite interesting and not simple as it used to be (this adds to the fact that the album is more into power metal), and the two ballads can make Dystopia sound quite complete. "Anguish of Youth" firstly gave me the impression that it is the successor of "I died for you" from the Dark Saga album. "Tragedy and Triumph", the longest track on the album, has a dim connection to the Iron Maiden song "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (the second riff really brings me that song to mind) and to "the Incurable Tragedy" by Into Eternity (the last chorus sung by Stu is quite alike to the song's main melody). This doesn't make the whole album boring at all, on the contrary, it's really interesting, the new singer can draw even more attention.
 To sum up, I highly recommend Dystopia. Counting 2-3 legendary songs and about the same number of interesting songs can't go unnoticed. The Deluxe Edition can be really good gift for any metal fans!

My favourite songs on the album:
- Dark City
- Anthem
- Anguish of Youth
- Iron Will

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Τετάρτη, 31 Αυγούστου 2011

Sylosis - Edge Of The Earth (2011)

Genre: Thrash / Melodic / Death Metal, Metalcore
Country: England
Members: Josh Middleton - Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Vocals
                Alex Bailey - Lead and Rhythm Guitars
                Carl Parnell - Bass Guitar
                Rob Callard - Drums

 Although SYLOSIS had been formed about a decade ago, back in 2000, their fist album was released in 2008, showing already their potential in composing music. Edge Of The Earth is a charm, a proud continuation of "Conclusion Of An Age". Dynamic and heavy as hell, all the band-mates cooperate perfectly to have an album that won't let anyone get bored or indifferent. The guitar riffs and the drum playing are phenomenically repeated through the songs and look alike to each other, but this makes the album more compact rather than a plain copy of rhythms and melodies. If you ask me, what makes the album extinctive is the catchy guitar melodies (including the crazy solos and the greatly attached arpeggios), the speedy drum-playing and the diacritical bass line. All these won't unveil at once but through the time, as the album is played again and again and again...
 There is not much time to relax while listening to Edge Of The Earth; that's probably the main con that may bother one that is not that familiar with that music genre. But it's never too late to make a fresh start!! You can easily give it a try.

My favourite songs on the album:
 - Empyreal (Part 1)
 - Awakening
 - Apparitions
 - Sands Of Time


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Κυριακή, 12 Ιουνίου 2011

Jarleholsen - Quadrasonic (2011)

Genre: Instrumental Progressive Metal
Country: Norway
Members: Jarle H. Olsen - Guitars
                Espen Austestad - Guitars
                Tore Christer Storlid - Bass Guitar
                Bjarte K. Helland - Drums
Website: http://www.jarleholsen.com/

I never thought this album was ever gonna sound like this. So complete, so interesting, so mature, and last but not at least not at all boring or annoying. And I would like to focus on the last characterisation; It is quite common for many Instrumental bands/albums to make the impression that they lack of something, that there is something missing from the whole project. That's probably (well, apparently speaking for myself but that may be your concern, too) because of the vocals that don't exist alongside with the instruments, to complement one another. But you don't have to worry, Quadrasonic is way different than what I wrote just above. It's almost like having the guitars singing. Jarle H. Olsen, the founder of JARLEHOSLEN (giving his name to the band) is a pretty talented guitarist, having spent a lot of time to come to the point of making his writing come to reality through playing the guitar. And that's because of the technical difficulties a mediocre (or even higher) guitarist could face trying to play the Uuadrasonic's songs. Nice prog and heavy riffs, catchy and ingenious solos, relaxing and sexy slow parts are some of the main points of the album. I must not forget to do mention the oriental melodies used at times. The first band that came to my mind while listening to JARLEHOLSEN was SYMPHONY X (probably because of the guitarists, Jarle and Romeo have some common elements).
 To sum up, this is the album where inspiration meets technique. You gotta give it a try, I highly recommend this to any metal fans. If you like melody and progressive playing, you are gonna love this.

My favorite songs on the album:
- Pro-10
- Enigmatic Mind
- From Deep Within
- Osiris - Journey to Duat


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Σάββατο, 21 Μαΐου 2011

Amaranthe - Amaranthe (2011)

Genre: Power / Melodic / Death Metal
Country: Sweden / Denmark
Members:   Elize Ryd -Female Vocals (2008-present)
                  Johan Andreassen - Bass (2009-present)
                  Morten Lowe Sorensen - Drums
                  Olof Mörck - Guitars, Keyboards
                  Andy Solveström - Harsh Vocals / Screams
                  Jake E Berg - Clean Vocals
Website: http://www.myspace.com/amaranthemetal

Sweden is home to some of the most talented metal music artists nowadays.Many bands with worldwide fame come form there and it is very common to see Swedish musicians in a lot of other great bands as well.Apparently many Swedish musicians love to play Metal music that actually "feels" good when you listen to it.One band that consists of such skillful musicians is Amarathe.Their music is a combination of Power and Melodic elements intertwined with Brutal parts.Some might say that sometimes all this mixture of different kinds might end up being tedious but I assure you that this is not the case here.Just as other great innovative bands like Scar Symmetry have done before, Amaranthe blended together the beautiful with the wild and created some real masterpieces.
The songs in this album consist of beautiful melodies and very nice rhythms.The solos are very powerful (as required) and add to the general progressive style of the songs.Besides this, great work has been done with the keyboards which accompany greatly the melodic / brutal voices of the singers, with Elize's voice being the most captivating of all.
All in all, Amaranthe have done quite the job in this debut album of theirs and it seems that their future will be bright.This year they were a support band for Kamelot , though you shouldn't be surprised to see them have their own tour a couple of years from now.My opinion is that they have set the right base and they have great potential for becoming one of tomorrow's great Metal bands.

Some of my favorite songs in this album:
- Leave Everything Behind
- 1.000.000 Light years Away
- It's All About Me
-  Act Of Desperation (best song for me)

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Παρασκευή, 15 Απριλίου 2011

Scar Symmetry - The Unseen Empire (2011)

Genre: Progressive Melodic Death Metal
Country: Sweden
Members: Lars (Lerta) Palmqvist - clean vocals
                Roberth Karlsson - brutal
                Per Nilsson - Lead and Rhythm Guitars
                Jonas Kjellgren - Rhythm and Lead Guitars
                Henrik Ohlsson - Drums
                Kenneth Seil - Bass Guitar
Website: http://www.scarsymmetry.com/

 Well, what to begin with? I'd been waiting for that release for about 2 weeks, it was highly anticipated. I just hoped that this album wouldn't let me down (to be honest with you, the previous SCAR SYMMETRY album called "Dark Matter Dimensions", the edge point where the two singers replaced Christian Alvestam and his uncommon talent, wasn't as good as I expected). And it didn't! This is SCAR SYMMETRY return, a return back to the old quality songwriting, where lyrics and instruments are combined in a way that only the Swedish metallers can achieve. The first song on "the unseen empire" called "the anomaly" reminds me a bit the band's hit "the illusionist", that's a promising start...
 The album contains both high and low tempo songs, both soft/smooth/sexy and heavy parts. Creativity is again a main element, and it seems to me that the equilibrium between the clean and brutal vocals has been achieved greatly. Lars and Roberth have found courage, strength, support and experience to overcome the high obstacle called "Christian Alvestam" and the two have established their role in the band's performance far clearly than in "Dark Matter Dimensions". I like the fact that synthesizer is wisely used now and then in the songs. SCAR SYMMETRY have more emphatically entered other metal fields as well as our beloved Melodic Death metal, having Progressive metal to be probably the easiest spotted one. Lyrics, talking about the unseen empire that is taking decision over the most important things, are pretty interesting, too.
 To sum it all up, "The Unseen Empire" gets a "thumbs up", SCAR SYMMETRY do still write great music, and as a consequence this album is a must buy for a prog-melodeath metal fan. The versatility of the album, though, can attract ears from all metal genres.

My favourite songs on the album:
- The Anomaly
- Domination Agenda
- Astronomicon
- The Draconian Arrival


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Τρίτη, 15 Μαρτίου 2011

Kamelot - Poetry For The Poisoned (2010)

Genre: Progressive Melodic Metal
Country: USA
Members: Khan (Vocals)
                Thomas Youngblood (Guitars)
                Casey Grillo (Drums)
                Oliver Palotai (Keyboards)
                Sean Tibbett (Bass)
Website:  http://www.kamelot.com

I have to admit that writing this review was pretty difficult for me.This was mainly because Kamelot is one of my favorite bands and I had to try really hard not to misjudge them due to the great respect I have for them.But it seems that even gods may bleed sometimes, though,for Kamelot even this has its own special beauty.Poetry for the Poisoned is Kamelot's latest album and, as you can see from it's title and album art it has a rather "dark and mysterious" aspect.Of course other Kamelot albums had it too, but not to such extent.All this reflects the shady feelings you'll probably have while listening to it's songs.A very clever use of guitar reefs at the right moments accompanied by beautiful keyboards here and there show once again the band's great skills and charisma.The rhythms are also very captivating although sometimes it feels like they are being repeated through different songs.So, in terms of melodies and rhythm, I would say that most of the songs in this album do not come as a surprise.The vocals on the other hand have proven to be more than satisfactory.In fact, I believe it is Khan's melodic and beautiful voice that this album is based on.Harmonic changes of notes and an ever present  "hidden  pain" in it compose the true magic of the songs and show what this album is all about.The lyrics speak of illusions created by sin and dark feelings, thus crafting a more insidious image of our world.Finally, I must mention that in this album there are contributions from other great artists like Simone Simons (from Epica) and Gus G. (from Firewind). Generally, I believe that Poetry for the Poisoned is a good album, though inferior to the band's previous ones.For those of you who have listened to Kamelot before it might seem a bit different than what you would expect.Nonetheless, I suggest that you listen to it and see how the world looks from the dark side.......

My favorite songs in this album:
- The Great Pandemonium
- House On A Hill
- My Train Of Thoughts
- Once Upon A Time

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