The Breaking Of The World

A new Glass Hammer is like a universal constant.  I can always expect exemplary old school prog rock.  For an old timer like myself Glass Hammer is right in my wheelhouse.  This is their 17th studio album (amazing!) .  If you are unfamiliar with the band you should know it revolves around the core of bassist Steve Babb and keyboardist Fred Schendel.  There have been a lot of musicians through the doors of their studio over the years but somehow they always seem to find an endless supply of them.  The line up seems to be fairly stable at the moment.  Salem Hill mainman Carl Groves handles lead vocals along with Susie Bogdanowicz returning as well.  Guitars are handled by Kamran Alan Shikoh and drums by Aaron Raulston.

Glass Hammer music is a reverential amalgam of Yes, ELP, Kansas and what the hell throw in a little bit of Genesis.  Steve and Fred proudly wear their influences on their sleeves.  Want wicked keyboard pyrotechnics?  Fred brings the thunder.  In fact they all do.  The Breaking Of The World arrives with epic length tracks and audiophile quality sound.  I wouldn't want it any other way.  BUY OR DIE!

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  • "Eden must be rumbling, its ground beginning to shatter as it is being constantly sliced by the profanity of an intense music heading closer and closer. Mankind was assumingly banished from the enchanted lands of upstairs without an option of returning, but the curse will be forever remembered, reminisced by those expatriated for generations, thus the creation of a sonic boom, a symphonic echo forged by the ancient sin, in order to redirect it back to where it came from. The creators have been quite proficient in their deeds, escalating their abilities for the shaping of the perfect “Symphony Of Sin”, this multinational formation is called EDEN’S CURSE. Actually, this isn’t the first time I was touched by the band’s enhanced multiformity as I had the chance to review their previous “Trinity” release. But with the upcoming “Symphony Of Sin”, again via AFM Records, EDEN’S CURSE underwent a slight change of figures. With vocalist Michael Eden out of the game, along with keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio, the remaining members sought out and found the Serbian soulful bliss of the young Nikola Mijic and the experience and abilities of Steve Williams (ex-POWER QUEST / ex-MERCURY RAIN / ex-DSG). Even with their reorganization, EDEN’S CURSE maintained their same sensitivity towards the melodic crust of both Rock and Metal, and I might even add that they enriched it this time around.The materialization of “Symphony Of Sin”, signified a slight change of proceedings within EDEN’S CURSE music. Nothing much a substantial impact of sorts, yet I felt as that this album tends towards the boundaries of AOR and Hard Rock rather towards the clutches of Heavy or Power Metal, thus making it less heavier or piercing, yet not without a lesser quality. Other than the classic influence of DIO, BLACK SABBATH and DOKKEN, particularly within Thorsten Koehne’s rocking riffery, it appears that the band took a closer step towards the catchy vibes of BALANCE OF POWER, PINK CREAM 69, SHAKRA, HOUSE OF LORDS, JADED HEART, COLDSPELL, EVIDENCE ONE and POWERWORLD. On the other hand, I found the energetic flex of STRATOVARIUS and Koehne’s guitar wizardry orientation of ex-STRATOVARIUS’s Timo Tolkki. Additionally, Mijic’s exquisite voice pattern, like a mixture of Jon Lynn Turner, Ian Gillian and Tony Martin seems to fit well with rockier songs and therefore the songwriting the musical direction was accordingly. “Symphony Of Sin”, in comparison to “Trinity”, consists of a fairly harmonic vibe, especially demonstrated on the choral vocals that were amazingly produced, which garnered the listening experience a fine edge of smoothness. There is nothing too cheesy or cheap, but a polished form of Hard N’ Heavy with a clear 80s ambiance, leaning on softer margins.“Unbreakable” and “Wings To Fly” are the opposite of modern day breakers, hook laden emotive rockers exercising the arts of old AOR, along with Pete Newdeck’s robust drumming efforts, taking on smoother turns, creating an anthem driven feel with such a fine elegance full of grace. “Devil in Disguise”, fulfilling the lust of those looking for a bite of intensity and exuberant guitar riffery, yet will find out that within this Heavy Metal chugger there is a sweet peak moment with an enticing chorus and sharp edged soloing. “Turn The Page” and “Where is the Love?” inflamed with its melodic sensation, riff revelations, corresponding between Hard Rock and Metal, and another enchanting display of Mijic’s soaring vocals. EDEN’S CURSE established a profound position for themselves, finding the right voice to lead them forward, and the exact musical vibe to follow through the next steps of their career. “Symphony Of Sin” is a quality product of an 80s admiration and fascination, yet also upgraded by the features and goods of a well attributed crew." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • Joyous Lake was one of two dead on fusion albums recorded by the illustrious jazz guitarist.  Pat Martino's career is legendary and he is one of the premier guitarists in the world.  When he left Muse Records in the mid-70s he signed with Warner Brothers and briefly jumped on the fusion bandwagon.  Joyous Lake was the first effort in 1976 and Starbright followed.  Both are essential.Joyous Lake featured support from Delmar Brown (keyboards), Kenwood Dennard (drums), and Mark Leonard (bass).  Martino experimented with early guitar synthesizer in places and it sounds like he moved over to a solid body guitar since his tone cuts through like a knife - as opposed to his hollow body guitar tone that has a very muted treble.  High energy playing from a very skilled quartet.  This will appeal to fans of Al Di Meola, Return To Forever, and Mahavishnu Orchestra.  One of the great fusion albums of the 70s available from Japan at a bargain price!
    $12.00
  • "Alternative Rock is not a genre that graces my ears very often, but as always, they are open; as is my mind. The funny thing is, any time I am exposed to something I wouldn't normally find myself listening to, there is always something about that band that has my wanting attention for one reason or another, be it the sound of the vocalist, the mixing, or those infectious hooks in the chorus. For its genre, the ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN (formerly AGUA DE ANNIQUE) is perfectly postulated and is a leading act, with their non-repetitive writing (something I hear too often in commercial rock), excellent vocals and songs leaving you burning with an urge to sing along.Their latest release, "Drive", is no exception; as an album, it proves to be versatile, with no two songs sounding identical, but every song keeping the rhythm and mood to make the album fit piece by piece. "We Live On" feels like a typical pop-rock track, upbeat and driving, with an extremely powerful vocal performance in the choruses by Van Giersbergen. "Treat Me Like A Lady" does not want to be treated like a lady, and takes a noticeably heavier tone, brimming with attitude. "She" begins ever so modestly, making us think we're brought back to some level of calm, but explodes into an incredibly fast-paced chorus for such a Rock band, and includes yet another infectious chorus; something that is fast becoming an obvious highlight. "Drive" – I adore the sound of the bass in this song, the way it is dislocated from the drums, adds another dynamic. Van Giersbergen's even more stellar performance in the chorus demonstrates her large vocal range and versatility. Save for electric bass, "My Mother Said" is an entirely acoustic song and is the softest, most heartfelt song on the album; the band's namesake flawlessly demonstrates her ability to fit her voice around any song to emote any mood wants. "Forgive Me" is especially different, demonstrating unusual chord progressions, totally different instrumentation, and revealing even more, the extent of control that Van Giersbergen has over her range. "You Will Never Change" is upbeat and punchy, through-and-through with an – okay, let us just assume that every song on this album has an infectious chorus; definitely one of my favorites on the album. "Mental Jungle" begins with a strange, Arabic-sounding vocal melody, also featured on the chorus; I do indeed also love this chorus, as well as the interesting chord progressions. Quite easily the most unique song on the album, it strays from the pipeline rock sound that this record has been purveying. "Shooting for the Stars" takes the cake for the 'radiorock' track on the album, where every note, every beat, every lyric, screams commercialism and airtime. Not necessarily a bad song, but not the most interesting on the album. The album closes with "The Best Is Yet To Come" which makes me thing, Anneke has even better music to offer us in the future? The song itself takes first place on the album for me; the presence of the overdriven guitars and bass compliment her voice perfectly to create a powerful and catchy, yet Heavy Rock track, with interesting and unpredictable licks and hooks.Van Giersbergen and her band are quickly cementing themselves as one of Europe's currently most powerful and gorgeous-sounding rock groups, whom don't necessarily always cling to the commercialized, radio cliché sound, although no doubt perfectly suited to long air time. Coming from a metal head who listens to a fair share of female singers, I believe she could sing anything she wanted to, and the band of musicians that have got together and recorded this organic album with her have done so masterfully, and I'm not sure if the best is yet to come." - Metal Temple
    $8.00
  • "The first thing that came to my mind when I put on the new release Smorgasbord by Norway's The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band was just how much good music is out there that most people never get to hear. In a perfect world these guys would be massive and deserve to have their music heard. Smorgasbord is the band's third full length album. They also have an EP that is no longer available.Consisting of R. Edwards (vocals, guitar), Erling Halsne Juvik (guitar), Thomas Grønner (drums), Øyvind Grønner (keyboards) and Biff (bass), The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band make music that is sometimes hard to pigeonhole into a specific category. You will hear progressive moments to be sure and so many infectious melodies you will probably begin to lose track. If there is such a thing as ear candy this is it, however, this disc contains so much more than that.Musically the band has roots in the sixties and seventies but also employs a modern sound that prevents this from becoming a rehash of the past. These are all very talented musicians but special mention should be given to Thomas Grønner's drum work. His ability to change speed and tempo really form the backbone of these twelve songs.From the opening notes of the quirky pop/rock of "Medic" where an irresistible guitar melody in the form of choppy rhythms playfully mix with organ sounds having a distinct Doors feel, one just knows there is something special here. Folk music can be heard in the beautiful acoustic ballad "Godspeed Mother Earth" a pleading lament to our planet that really pulls on the heartstrings. The saxophone solo combined with lovely background vocals is a real treat. One of the highlights among many has to be the sheer pop delight of "Happy" and that is exactly how I feel after listening to this song. There is a subtle jazz influence heard amongst the light splashes of piano, but the main melody is pure pop with a heavy nod towards XTC, especially in the harmony vocals. The feel good pop/rock of "The Great Yeah" with its killer vocal harmonies and Beatlesque guitar work is another winner that also features a tasty organ solo.There are also unexpected surprises like "Animal Riot Hill" where heavier riffs of organ and guitar come together only to morph into the slow burn of saxophone and jazzy drum work making this one of the CDs defining progressive moments. Beatle's fans will have a real appreciation for the melodic "Strings To The Bow" featuring strings and lovely harmonies. The album's last song is the melancholic "A Hill Of Beans" where lovely acoustic guitar and strings create a breath of fresh air ending the CD in fine style.Smorgasbord will surely make my 'best of' list at the end of this year. With its eclectic mix of prog, pop and psychedelic inflected rock, The Brimstone Solar Radiation Band are a force to be reckoned with. Highly recommended!" - Sea Of Tranquility
    $6.00
  • "The Roaring Wolves are back… On a strong wake of a surprising and a triumphal album in 2011, that was much simply called “Wolfpakk”, the turbulent duo of vocalists comprised of Mark Sweeney (ex-CRYSTAL BALL) and Michael Voss (MAD MAX/MSG / ex-CASANOVA) unleash the successor, named "Cry Wolf" , and again the choral all-star project shift is the trick to give a marketing format for this burning platter, by gathering a pack of many high-class guest musicians and a few full blooded terrific barking voices to produce another raving record in the same musical vein as the great and self-titled debut.Running and undaunted Guests on "Cry Wolf" are :Vocals: Amanda Somerville (AVANTASIA), Ralf Scheepers (PRIMAL FEAR / ex-GAMMA RAY), Göran Edman (ex-RISING FORCE / ex-GLORY), Johnny Gioeli (A.R.P. / HARDLINE), Tony Mills (ex-SHY/ ex-SIAM / ex-TNT), Doogie White (ex-RAINBOW / ex-RISING FORCE / ex-CORNERSTONE / MSG), Blaze Baley (ex-IRON MAIDEN / WOLFSBANE), Piet Sielck (IRON SAVIOR / ex-SAVAGE CIRCUS).Guitars: Kee Marcello (ex-EUROPE / ex-EASY ACTION), Mandy Meyer (UNISONIC / KROKUS / ex-GOTTHARD / ex-COBRA), Roland Grapow (MASTERPLAN / ex-HELLOWEEN).Keys: Don Airey (ex-OZZY / DEEP PURPLE), Tony Carey (ex-RAINBOW).Drums: Brian Tichy (SUN / ex-WHITESNAKE), Hermann Rarebell (ex-SCORPIONS), Roland Jahoda (ex-PARADOX / F.U.C.K.)Under the leitmotiv of “if isn’t broken don’t fix it”, the Duet of Alpha Wolves and the fantastic AFM Records are teamed again in order to reedit the successful experience in giving the full and wild creative responsibility to the werewolf duet: the champions of Melodic Metal -Mister Sweeney and Doctor Voss.They wrote all the songs together (minus one surprise cover version from RAINBOW “Run With The Wolf” featuring the participation of the iconic keyboard player Tony Carey) and they were also in charge once again, for production and mixing duty, and of course they performed some ferocious vocals. This is a work of art tremendously and carefully polished that put some lights in a brilliant manner to the songwriting talent of the savage binomial Voss / Sweeney.The highlights of the albums are , the beginning track "Moonlight” with Ralf Scheepers who provide a very typical high flux of screaming and yelling, embellished by a fast pace and an epic dimension somewhere between HEAVENS GATE and MIND ODYSSEY with a little something from GAMMA RAY.In the same melodic power frenzy, the solid "A Matter of Time" that sounds like VICTORY meets BONFIRE, boosted by a share of battling vocals between Sweeney and Johnny Gioeli with an uplifting performance, courtesy of Mr. Brian Tichy beating his drum kit."Palace of Gold" reveals a new heaviness and a dark density before transforming in a more pompous style than usual with the participation to the voice of Tony Mills and a massive multi-layer backing vocal section choir, like a symphonic version of DIO merged with a delicate and fragile Prog Rock melody.Another fast double kick power number is "Beast In Me" with the always classy singing of Goran Edman, recalling that he was the singer for RISING FORCE / SPACE ODYSSEY / STRATOSPHERE and for 1999’s third album “The Last Viking” by The JOHANSSON BROTHERS and a true Neoclassical expertise demonstration in the lead spot provided by Roland Grapow.Then it's time for a real entertaining Teutonic Metal with an Hard Rock touch cut named "Pressure Down" with the very distinctive voice of Doogie White which is highlighted in a mid tempo heavy rhythm , and a strong sing along headbanging refrain with a great gang backing vocal unit, like ACCEPT meets SINNER with an extensive ad lib howling final.The rest of the tracklisting is also enjoyable mixing a few gimmick True Metal tracks as a simple sing along hymn as "Wakken" in the HAMMERFALL / IRON  SAVIOR / RUNNIG WILD and obliviously ACCEPT's fashion (…"bang your head…Metal attack"…)  or the less catchy but energetic, epic, tortuous and poignant title track "Cry Wolf" that extend to ten minutes with atmospheric sequence, special FX surreal sounds like wind and rain plus a few narrative parts in with a very surprising vocal interpretation of Blaze Bayley and a ultra-fast shredding piece of lead guitar signed by the one and the only, the other Swedish maestro Mr. Kee Marcello himself for a big fat guitar lesson and a serious beating .Before that we had a ballad with Mrs. Somerville but I think it's just a flat and ordinary number, very caricaturish, in a not really inspired style, before that it was the moment for the WOLFPAKK's leaders to be left alone in the vocal department at least, Voss / Sweeney are dueling in the single, a quite regular Euro Metal cut under the moniker of "Dark Revelation"…Not my favorite.The cover version of a legendary classic rock track, is as always, a double edged sword but secured with the approval and the additional playing of the early RAINBOW's keyboardist Tony Carey, to keep it in the right path, in this case "Run With The Wolf" is a good revision lightened in its rhythmic cadence structure as a result we have a more pompous rendition, with obviously the Hammond keyboards quite upfront.Finally, the album is the perfect sequel of the highly acclaimed debut; this sophomore episode fulfilled the dangerous task, with maybe a less impressive guest list but with a real focus on bringing back, proudly and under one united flag, the old nature of the pure roaring Euro-Metal mania." - Metal Temple
    $15.00
  • OK I don't know who thought this was a good idea but someone let Billy Sherwood run wild again.  Your move."From the producer of The Prog Collective comes a new supergroup of unparalleled musical virtuosos who cut loose on this jazz-rock fusion album!Features performances by members of the biggest names in fusion including Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yellowjackets, Brand X, Soft Machine, and Spyro Gyra PLUS Yes, Dream Theater, King Crimson, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Hawkwind and more!"Track Listing:1. Random Acts Of Science - Rick Wakeman (Yes) Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra) Nik Turner (Hawkwind) Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets / Alan Holdsworth)2. Stone Cold Infusion - Steve Stevens Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater / Liquid Tension Experiment) Mel Collins (King Crimson) Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra)3. Molecular Breakdown - Jay Beckenstein (Spyro Gyra) Billy Sheehan (Steve Vai) Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) David Sancious (The E Street Band)4. Particle Accelerations - Larry Coryell Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater / Black Country Communion) Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea Elektric Band) Chester Thompson (Genesis / Brand X)5. At The Edge Of The Middle - Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs) Jim Beard (Mahavishnu Orchestra) Randy Brecker (Blood, Sweat & Tears) Percy Jones (Soft Machine / Brand X)6. Atom Smashing - John Etheridge (Soft Machine) Tony Kaye (Yes) Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa)7. In The Spirit Of... - Steve Hillage (Gong) Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech) Theo Travis (Steven Wilson Band) Justin Chancellor (Tool) Asaf Sirkis (The Orient House Ensemble)
    $14.00
  • With new kid on the block, Mike Mangini, fully assimilated into the group, Dream Theater has come up with a stunning new album.  Expect nothing less than full on prog (with a nice tip of the cap to Rush in spots). Enigma Machine may be the best instrumental piece they've cooked up yet.  Highly recommended.This is the CD/DVD deluxe edition.  It arrives in an embossed digipak with expanded artwork from Hugh Syme.  More importantly, the DVD contains a 5.1 mix of the album. 
    $19.00
  • The Swedes seem to love their retro 70s music and Three Seasons serves it up hot and heavy.  This guitar/bass/drums trio harken back to the early days of the British psychedelic scene.  You will be reminded of Cream, Incredible Hog,and Leafhound.  When the organ kicks in you'll harken back to days of yore when the mighty Heep, Purple, and Lucifer's Friend prowled the countryside looking for victims.  You could be next!
    $15.00
  • "Give Aerosmith credit for not only realizing something was wrong after Nine Lives relatively flat-lined, but deciding to do something about it. Ditching the outside producers who initially liberated but eventually straitjacketed them, Steve Tyler and Joe Perry seized control of the boards, working with the assistance of Mark Hudson and Marti Frederiksen. (Forever the Stones fanatics, Tyler and Perry dubbed this crew the Boneyard Boys, just like how Mick-n-Keef are the Glimmer Twins.) So, this isn't really a full-fledged band affair and Hudson and Frederiksen's fingerprints are all over the place, but that doesn't matter since the end result is tighter, savvier, and better than anything since Pump. It's still far from perfect, however, since it suffers from a surfeit of memorable material, and the group members' steadfast refusal to act their age results in a couple of embarrassing slips into stodginess (the "f*ckin' A" chorus on the title track, a song improbably titled "Trip Hoppin'," or the ludicrous "Avant Garden"). These mean that the record doesn't come close to matching the twin comebacks of Permanent Vacation and Pump, but it's a sleek, classicist hard rock record that sounds good -- better than Aerosmith has sounded in nearly a decade, as a matter of fact, particularly when the group gets a hook as tuneful as that of "Jaded." Aerosmith sounds good enough on Just Push Play that it almost makes you forgive the Heavy Metal refugee on the front cover, a sexy robot illustration that looks far more out of date than the music sounds." - Allmusic Guide
    $5.00
  • Third and best album from this Italian band that started out in a psych/proto-prog direction. Great example of "Rock Progressivo Italiano". Long suites filled with spacey keys and slashing guitar leads. The keys really make this album - 'tron, phat Moog sounds blast into the ether. Dynamic listening experience with quiet interludes and vocal harmonies interspersed with exciting outbursts of keyboard/guitar interplay. In that respect I'm reminded of Le Orme's Felona E Serona. I've seen this album get knocked on some prog forums and for the life of me I can't imagine why. To my mind this one is a classic and a must own. Highly recommended.
    $15.00
  • Remastered edition with one bonus track."With Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, and Neal Schon leading Journey once again, and bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith behind them, it would seem that Trial by Fire would contain the same elements that gave them their stardom in the '80s. Disappointingly, though, there is nothing captivating or even the least bit attractive about this unimaginative release. Perry's singing hasn't lost too much of its power, but the faster tunes come off as contrived and messy. Sounding hard and scattered, the smoothness of their trademarked music is nowhere to be found, replaced with brash, beat-up, hollow rock riffs. The ballads fare no better, as the passion that once flourished within the band when it came to slowing things down has long since faded. Just the fact that Journey reunited may lure fans to this album, but it won't be long before the discontentment begins set in." - All Music Guide
    $5.00
  • This 2CD is perhaps the band's crowning achievement. You can even perceive this to be their "Lamb" so to speak. Extremely ambitious work firmly implanted in the neo-prog style but with lots of cool intricacies. Peter Nicholls and Co. take it to the next level on this one.
    $16.00
  • "Tracer release their new album ‘Spaces In Between’ on October 3rd (UK release) on the Cool Green recordings label.  The Australian desert rockers, who are based in Adelaide, comprise of brothers Michael and Leigh Brown and Andre Wise. They have had success with two previous independent releases, but ‘Spaces In Between’ will I feel launch Tracer to new heights.Tracer’s blend of 90’s stoner and 70’s classic rock is steeped in epic guitar sounds, clever hooks and raw, uncompromising vocals.I hope (and imagine) that Tracer can reproduce live on stage the intensity and passion and raw rock n roll that is so evident in this album. With the UK tour coming up I think we should all go and check out these Aussie contenders!“So what’s the album really like?” I hear you say.   The album starts with ‘Too Much’ and a great start it is. A guitar riff straight from the 70’s classic-rock bible. A solid, constant rhythm throughout. A very catchy rock song, which is understandably the first single from the album.Check out the video belowTrack two; ‘Push’ has a more laid back feel. It still rocks, but in a groovier kinda way. If Jimi Hendrix and Paul Rodgers had a lovechild, it would sing like this!‘Walk Alone’ continues the 70’s rock vibe. A solid drum beat throughout which has a simple yet traditional guitar riff over the topThe fourth track, ‘Louder Than This’ is stoner rock at its finest. Distorted vocals over a solid pounding drum beat, with guitars turned to eleven. There is almost a Slade vibe to this song. I can imagine Noddy Holder belting this out in the 70’s.The next track ‘Devil Ride’ goes back to the rockier tempo of track one. Definitely the catchiest chorus on the album so far.  I have a feeling that ‘Devil Ride’ might just be the next single.Track six is another thumping tune. ‘ The Bitch’ is the song which will get the crowd going wild in the mosh-pit, although they will still sing along to the chorus, with devil-horns flying high.The seventh track, ‘Voice In The Rain’ has a much slower pace than most on the album. The Paul Rodgers comparison to Michael Browns vocal is most evident here. A great performance.The album’s title track ‘Spaces In Between’ is the stand out track. The bass line complements the raw guitar sound and you find yourself singing along to ‘The Spaces In Between’ line of the chorusTrack nine is ‘Dead Inside’. This starts slow and Bluesy, rocks in with screaming vocals and guitar solos, slows back down again then totally rocks out towards the end. A clever song, which highlights the bands musical talents.‘Save My Breath’ is another pulsating rocker with some nice stop/start moments and even a little psychedelic middle eight!‘All In My Head’, the eleventh track, is a mellow rocker with another catchy chorus.The album closes with ‘Won’t Let It Die (Run Mary)’. A shot of Bad Company, a dash of Led Zeppelin and topped up to the brim with Jimi Hendrix.  Get the idea? A laid back song but with great guitar work, especially the solo. This will have you singing along by the end." - I Review Rock
    $12.00
  • "Next To None is the band of four young guys that are from Lehigh Vallay in Pennsylvania. Their names? Max Portnoy (d), Thomas Cuce (key/v), Ryland Holland (g) and Kris Rank (b). Portnoy, Portnoy, Portnoy? Yes, Max is the son of Mike Portnoy who some of you know from his time at Dream Theater or many other projects.The boys began already at the age of 12 and 13 to write own music. Additionally they also could gain already some live experience by being on tour with Adrenaline Mob and The Winery Dogs.The music of Next To None has many influences. There is the harder stuff that Max brings in and on the other hand the classic rock component that comes via Holland. The result is an interesting metal cocktail that is very entertaining.The diversity of sound comes back in songs like the melodic "Runaway" which is a straight-forward one. It includes a heavy riff, but also a keyboard-based middle part that give the tune a slightly new expression.The opener "The edge of sanity" instead is an nine minutes long epos that start with pouring rain, thunder and a chiming bell. It builds up to an dark prog metal track that reminds to Dream Theater not a big surprise. Their are two more of those extraordinary long tracks on "A light in the dark". "Control" is another nine minute long tune while the closer "Blood on my hands" is with eight minutes a bit shorter. Also those two numbers are more complex prog metal that shows the musical quality of the guys.Next to these extralong tracks it's the different influences that enables Next To None to numbers like "You are not me" too. Here we are talking about a raging metal track with a brutal verse. The chorus is more melodic, however, it is one of the heaviest tunes on the album. And it still fits into the context.But it also shows the wide vocal range of singer Thomas Cuce. He can handle the angry screams like on the before mentioned track as well as some soulful vocals that are need for e.g. "A lonely walk". The classic rock influences are very present in this song and I had to think about the good old Rainbow times. Cool stuff.There are maybe a few smaller parts that sound a bit unfinished but it's amazing how far the four guys got already. Still being in their teenage days the boys write already excellent songs and their musical talent is amazing. If these guys continue we can expect something very special for the coming years.These boys did a great album that has for sure a 'Wow'-factor." - Markus' Heavy Music Blog
    $13.00