Downburst

SKU: 146592
Label:
Metal Blade
Category:
Metal/Hard Rock
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Seventh album from this popular German power metal band led by vocalist Andy Franck.



"Been more than two years since Liquid Monster (which was one), yet still no additional North American shows. Well, the Germans better get their “esel” overseas for Downburst, or there will be an outburst, big time! Although not as immediate as its predecessor, Downburst picks up where Brainstorm left off (‘Stained With Sin’, ‘Redemption In Your Eyes’ and ‘How Do You Feel’). All told, these ten tunes benefit from the symphonic diversification sweeping through the power metal movement, i.e. Primal Fear, Iced Earth, etc. The effect is most noticeable in ‘Surrounding Walls’ and throughout ‘End In Sorrow’, where the hushed tones of singer Andy B. Franck sound decidedly American radio-friendly. In the opposite direction, there’s the staccato modernism of ‘Fire Walk With Me’ and modulated vocals on ‘Frozen’. Heaviest track honours go to ‘Protect Me From Myself’, which also sports an extended guitar break. The ‘All Alone’ finale has Franck in spoken word/near whisper, with an infectious late ‘70s hard rock chorus riff. 8/10" - Mark Gromen/Brave Words

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    $5.00
  • "Pink Cream 69 is an undisputed member of the elite class of melodic hard rock, the kind of band that rarely disappoints. Yes, some releases are better than others, but that is to be expected over the course of eleven studio albums and the fact is that all of them are worth your time and attention. Between the rock-solid vocals of David Readman and the immaculate production of Dennis Ward, expecting a PC69 album to fail is almost as foolish as expecting the Pope to announce his conversion to Satanism at the next Easter Mass.So how does Ceremonial stack up within the PC69 pantheon? Pretty damn good, actually. Not quite as good as Electrified or Sonic Dynamite, but slightly better than In10sity and Thunderdome. By now you know what to expect when you pick up a PC69 album and that’s exactly what the band delivers. There’s more diversity to their sound this time, the band doing a nice job of mixing things up between high-octane rockers, melodic mid-tempo anthems, and the occasional burst of metal heaviness, all of which ensure the songs don’t blur into one another. PC69 know what fans want and serve it up in fine fashion with minimal deviation from ingrained expectations.Of course, rock music is entirely subjective and how well you rank Ceremonial will depend entirely upon your personal proclivities, but there is simply no denying that this release features stellar musicianship, powering engineering, and some truly great hooks. The choruses really take off while the tight harmonies and sizzling guitar work together in tandem to make this one of the highlights of 2013.Ceremonial is a less aggressive beast than many of the releases that came before, zeroing in on the melodic section of the hard rock bleachers, a minor adjustment that serves the band well; the overall vibe is just a little looser and more fun that some of their previous output. That’s not to say PC69 have turned into a bunch of featherweights; “Big Machine” alone proves the band can still bring the heaviness, laying down a punishing groove that leads into a hard-fisted chorus that Readman delivers with an extra dose of attitude. But for the most part the band is content to focus on the melodic rather than the metal. That’s neither a pro nor a con, simply a statement of fact. Do with it what thou will.If the metallic tracks are scanter than venison in a vegan’s freezer, the catchy melodic rock tunes are in abundance. “Wasted Years” is a blissful mid-tempo number delivered in that inimitable way that only an experienced band like P69 can pull off. Next up is the urgently hard rocking “Special” and it gets the job done…assuming that job is to get your body moving. “Right From Wrong” is a jaw-dropping demonstration of how to do melodic rock right, featuring an insanely catchy hook and a bouncy sing-along chorus that really sticks in your brain. If you are asked what the best track on this album is and you don’t answer, “Right From Wrong,” then you are… well, wrong.PC69 could have just whipped together a few solid songs, had Readman phone in some professional but heart-lacking vocals, used Ward’s glossy production to hide a multitude of sonic sins, and fans would have gobbled it up like a starving wolf chowing down on a crippled chicken. But being the consummate professionals they are, they refused to take the easy road. Instead, they actually crafted some damn fine melodic hard rock songs, coaxed a great vocal performance out of Readman, and used Ward’s crunchy production as icing on the cake rather than a crutch. The result is another top-notch offering from Pink Cream 69 that most melodic hard rockers will enjoy as much as oral connoisseurs enjoy the position from which the band takes its name." - Hard Rock Haven
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  • "Germany's Mob Rules hit an absolute home run in 2010 with their album Radical Peace, and the band is back with the equally stellar Cannibal Nation. Don't let the title fool you into thinking that the veteran power/prog metal act has gone all horror on us, as Cannibal Nation is another sizzling collection of melodic, heavy, power & progressive metal songs. With a singer as good as Klaus Dirks, Mob Rules already has a step up on the competition, and he once again delivers a stunning performance here. "Tele Box Fool", "Lost", and the brilliant opener "Close My Eyes" all feature his confident, powerful vocals amidst plenty of catchy melodies and challenging metal arrangements. "Ice and Fire" has been picked as the first single from the CD, and it's a hook laden slice of melodic power metal with Dirks' soaring vocals over tasty guitar riffs & solos from Matthias Mineur & Sven Lüdke with just the right amount of keyboards courtesy of Jan Christian Halfbrodt. The CD has its share of heavy thumpers too, like the headbanging "Soldiers of Fortune" and the crunchy, harmony guitar laden title track. For those that like the more proggy side of Mob Rules, there's the atmospheric "Scream for the Sun (May 29th 1953)" and the textured "Sunrise", both heavily melodic and dripping with emotion.Cannibal Nation is another fine, classy release from Mob Rules, a band that consistently delivers one winner after another without relying on traditional European power metal or progressive metal characteristics." - Sea Of Tranquility
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  • "Iced Earth are going through a bit of a renaissance period at the moment. While they do have many hardcore fans who would defend their back catalogue to the end, honestly the heavy metal titans haven’t made a truly exciting album in about twenty years; that is, they hadn’t, until the release of 2011’s Dystopia. After two decades of putting out stale and generally uninteresting meat and potatoes heavy metal, finally they had an album that managed to match up to their first few records, one with the power and energy to justify their continued status as metal heroes. Plagues of Babylon is its follow-up, and thankfully they have managed to take this momentum forward and release another great album.Opening with the title track’s marching drum beat (strangely similar to Dystopia in that regard) and ominous harmonized leads, as soon as the heavy, chugging main riff kicks in it’s clear that this album is going to be a worthy successor. Noticeably, the production is very good, giving the guitars a sharp razor edge that albums like the totally flat The Glorious Burden lacked. Mainman Jon Schaffer churns out some of the best riffs in his career on this album, especially on the raging and thrashy Democide. Some new blood is brought in with an all new rhythm section, bassist Luke Appleton helping give the album its low-end crunch while drummer Raphael Saini (who was sadly since left) punctuates the songs with intricate tom patterns and ride cymbal work while maintaining a constant driving power. Stu Block meanwhile, who debuted as vocalist on Dystopia, continues to make sure that fan favourite Matt Barlow is not missed too much, his gruff voice helping give the songs a darker edge while his highs are utilised when appropriate, never being over-used.This is hardly perfect though. Plagues is a bit front-loaded, the second half never quite managing to match up to the first, especially considering it contains two somewhat unnecessary covers. The first is Spirit of the Times by Sons of Liberty, a Jon Schaffer side project, and you can’t help but question the logic in covering your own material, especially as aside from the darker and heavier overtones it’s not massively different from the original. The second, Highwayman by Jimmy Webb, is hardly electrifying either.That said, many of the problems that plagued previous Iced Earth efforts no longer show up. The obligatory cheesy metal ballad only appears once in If I Could See You, which is one of the better ones they’ve done, and only a couple of songs have a clean guitar intro, unlike on The Dark Saga where they appear on nearly every song. Iced Earth are a band who are at their best when they’re firing on all cylinders, and that is largely what they stick to here. With it’s almost death metal cover art, Plagues is for the most part a balls-out thrill ride, and honestly might be Iced Earth’s most complete work to date." - Sound And Motion Magazine
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