Heroes In Time

SKU: IW83072
Label:
Inner Wound Recordings
Category:
Melodic Metal
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"What would it sound like if Amaranthe decided to ditch all their male vocals and let Elize Ryd perform all vocal lines on her own? Well, you’d probably get something that sounds a bit like Heroes in Time, the debut from Swedish melodic metal band Metalite. Obviously, the aforementioned band has become a big success over the years, taking metal in a much more accessible direction, so it makes sense that many other bands would follow suit, and Metalite is the latest such band to try their hand at a very melodic and accessible brand of melodic metal, while still maintaining enough heaviness to avoid having their music fall too far into pop territory. With the obligatory comparison out of the way, though, I must say Heroes in Time is an excellent debut, which at times feels somewhat familiar, but still, does enough to stand on its own and proves to be a worthy new contender in the melodic metal playing field.

Metalite was formed by guitarist Edwin Premberg, and his guitar work is very impressive at times, with some hard-hitting riffs and some truly fantastic melodic guitar solos. At the same time, though, despite not having a keyboardist listed in their lineup, this album has plenty of very modern sounding keys, and in fact the keys often dominate many of the tracks, giving the music a very trance-like feel at times, which is part of what makes the music so accessible and so catchy. There’s certainly a ton of digital effects used on the keys here as well, and it all sounds very good. Compared to similar bands, I’d say the music on this album maintains the catchiness you’d expect from Amaranthe, while also having strong power metal elements at times, like Temperance and Dynazty on their last couple of albums, though the songwriting never quite gets as inventive or as challenging as either of those bands can be at their best. Which isn’t to say the songs are bad, though, far from it. In fact, the songwriting is very consistent across the board, with every song being excellent and there is a decent amount of variety, though most songs are very upbeat, very melodic, simple and extremely catchy.

If you’re going to be making an album as centered around catchy vocal lines as this album is, you need to have a capable vocalist, and thankfully Emma Bensing proves herself to be very good on this album. She has a very light voice that’s very much suited to this style of music, often staying in midrange and singing very calmly in a way that allows the melodies to shine through well, though there are times where she starts pushing for higher notes and singing with more power and emotion, and those points are the highlights of the album, as she always hits every note perfectly without anything sounding forced or strained. In fact, the only advice Id give her is to maybe push herself a bit more often, as she definitely sounds more powerful on some tracks than on others, and on the songs where she sounds more fully invested, she sounds amazing.

Moving onto the songwriting, and the album gets off an excellent start right out of the gate. Opener “Afterlife” is a perfect choice for the lead single, as it’s a very fast-paced, accessible track which has just a bit of heaviness to it, while also being very melodic and having an insanely catchy and memorable chorus. Emma sounds a bit more restrained on this track than on others, but she still does a great job, especially towards the end of the song. Moving on, “Purpose of Life” is a lighter, more mid-paced track, with the keys leading the way right from the start, with a very trance-like feel, and it’s another very catchy track, with occasional bursts of speed to help make it even better. Next is “Nightmare”, another very radio friendly track, where the keys again lead the way, though it moves a very fast pace like the opening track, and is the first song where I think Emma really shines, as she pushes for higher notes during the chorus, and generally seems to be very invested in this track. The last run through the chorus is especially fantastic, and the guitar solo near the end of the track is also very impressive.

From here, many of the tracks fall into a similar pattern, being very speedy throughout, with some heavy riffs at times, that often give way to the modern sounding keys, and the band manages to strike a good balance between being accessible and catchy, while still having a slight metal edge at all times. This continues with “The Hunter”, which has some power metal elements but also has some very pop influenced vocal lines at times. Another speedier track is“Power of Metal”, which definitely could have the “of” in its name removed and still be an accurate name, though it’s a very modernized form of the genre, of course, and is another very fun and catchy track, with some great vocals. Other faster-paced tracks include “Over and Done”, which feels very familiar, especially with how the keys sound at times, though it’s yet another very fun and catchy track, with an absolutely beautiful guitar solo that stands as easily the best on the album, “The Light of Orion”, which has an amazing guitar solo as well as excellent chorus, with Emma really shining especially near the end, “Black Horse Rider”, which has some excellent melodic guitar leads as well as some heavier riffs, and is another very power metal influenced track, with an extremely fast and powerful chorus, where Emma sounds very fiery, and lastly we have “The Great Force”, which again has some familiar sounding keys, and is yet another fast-paced track with a fantastic chorus, great guitar work, and some nice modern sounding keys.

On the slower side, the title track is the most trance influenced track on the album, with the band really going into overdrive with all the keyboard effects, especially during the intro and the instrumental section in the middle. It’s a fairly slow paced, but ridiculously catchy track where Emma shows off her higher register quite nicely and does a great job during the chorus. My one criticism on this track is more of a minor nitpick, in that I think it’s kinda silly to have lyrics talking about computers in a bad way, with lines like “technology will be our fall”, all while clearly making heavy use of digital effects throughout the track, even more so than on the rest of the album. It’s just a case of the music and lyrics conflicting with each other, I think, but it definitely sounds great, so at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Lastly, we have “In the Middle of the Night”, the lone ballad on the album, which is again very keyboard drove and it serves an excellent showcase for Emma’s vocals, as her voice is very low and calm in the early parts of the track, but she gradually goes higher and sounds more emotional as the track progresses, with the final run through the chorus being absolutely stunning. There’s also an amazing, very emotional sounding guitar solo in the middle, and overall it’s an excellent track which serves as a nice change of pace during the mostly very speedy second half of the album.

Overall, Heroes in Time is an excellent debut, which continues the trend of modern melodic metal that strikes a balance between being very accessible and catchy, with a heavy use of keyboards and some very accessible vocals, while still having enough of an edge to appeal to metal fans, especially power metal fans on many of the tracks. I think there’s room for the band to maybe to push things a bit further with some more complex or more surprising songwriting, but everything that’s here works great and I definitely think Metalite is a band to watch out for. Highly recommended for any fan of melodic metal." - My Global Mind

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    $14.00
  • Magnus Karlsson's name might not be that familiar to you but if you are a fan of melodic metal you probably own an album or two he was involved in.  The Swedish guitarist's original band was Last Tribe.  After a number of albums for Frontiers he was the man behind the curtain for the two Allen/Lande albums as well as a bunch of other projects for the label.  Ultimately he became a member of Primal Fear and toured with this.Freefall is his first solo album under his own name.  He plays all the instruments except drums which are handled by Danny Flores of Mind's Eye.  Calling in favors, Karlsson has enlisted a who's who of vocalists from the melodic metal realm: Russell Allen (Symphony X), Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), Tony Harnell (TNT), Rick Altzi (Masterplan), David Readman (PC69), Mark Boals (Malmsteen), Michael Andersson (Cloudscape), Rikard Bengsston (Last Tribe), and Herman Saming (A.C.T).  That's a lot of good pipes!
    $13.00
  • As a promotion leading up to the band's 15th anniversary concert, Within Temptation partnered with Q Music Belgium and Netherlands.  They released a series of cover tunes - 15 in all.  This CD includes 11 of them all done up Within Temptation style:‘Grenade’ (BRUNO MARS)‘Titanium’ (DAVID GUETTA ft. SIA)‘Let Her Go’ (PASSENGER)‘Summertime Sadness’ (LANA DEL RAY)‘Radioactive’ (IMAGINE DRAGONS)‘Crazy’ (GNARLS BARKLEY)‘Dirty Dancer’ (ENRIQUE IGLESIAS)‘Don’t You Worry Child’ (SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA)‘Behind Blue Eyes’ (THE WHO)‘The Power Of Love’ (FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD)‘Apologize’ (ONE REPUBLIC)There is no US release scheduled at this time.   
    $17.00
  • "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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  • "ALLEN/LANDE (or ALLEN-LANDE) is a Melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal super group / band project formed in 2005 by guitarist Magnus Karlsson (PRIMAL FEAR, STARBREAKER) with two highly acclaimed metal vocalists - vocalist Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X) and former MASTERPLAN vocalist Jørn Lande. The band released such albums: "The Battle" (2005), "The Revenge" (2007), "The Showdown" (2010) and "The Great Divide" on 17th October 2014.Opening track “Come Dream With Me” takes listeners on the journey through the Melodic Rock & Metal world where you can find stronger melodic guitars with wonderful vocals, clear rhythmic section, catchy chorus with an impressive guitar solo which makes goose-flesh, and little PRIMAL FEAR echoes. Powerful drums and mega energetic guitar riffs in “Down from the Mountain” are truly kick-ass with amazing vocals in climate of BLACK SABBATH, AXEL RUDI PELL and memorable refrain in high style. All tracks have similar sounds to GAMMA RAY and TIMO TOLKKI songs. The energetic atmosphere of “Dream About Tomorrow” is caused by heavier riffs, SCORPIONS echoes, great solo, and keys in Power Metal style.My favourite song on the album is “Lady of Winter”, which has everything that is the best in Hard Rock and Metal music – so gentle piano opening, then heavy riffs, clear drums, fabulous memorable high chorus, and perfect worked guitars full of melody. Stunning track with rockin sounds, mid-tempo, perfect bass, slower climate, and totally in the style of JORN. Stronger riffs with gentle keys and massive JORN vocals in pathetic melodic refrain in track “Solid Ground” is perfect, also with a massive and brilliant guitar solo!The band proves that they are on high-class level in powerful “In the Hands of Time” where keys and melodic guitars have STRATOVARIUS echoes. The energetic “Reaching for the Stars” with gentle keys in the background with memorable refrain and massive sounding “Hymn to the Fallen” with mixing Heavy Metal sounds together with rockin style.Also I like very much the ballad titled track “The Great Divide” with beautiful strong voices of singers, calmer guitars, keyboards, and passionate guitar work and chorus in high style with choir in amazing slower tempo – what a wonderful sound! Another ballad “Bittersweet” has a slower rate, clear drums, piano, and brilliant singing together with climatic stronger high riffs. Sounds total perfect!ALLEN/LANDE, again, proved that they are Kings of Rock and Metal. They connect different kinds of sounds – Hard Rock, Heavy Metal with doses of melody. The band creates music with passion. Every track is a masterpiece and in each sound the experience of musicians is hear able. ALLEN/LANDE is simply a fantastic band, and their fresh CD “The Great Divide” is more than highly recommended to every lover of Melodic strong sound!" - Metal Temple
    $16.00
  • "Blown-a-way! Lande and Holter’s sonic vision of Dracula sounds like Dio meets Alice Cooper on the stage of Phantom of the Opera. It is brilliantly heavy, melodic, fun, campy, and contagious. 2015 has not even begun yet and this is already an album-of-the-year contender. I am supposed to save all of this praise for the summation of the review, but Swing of Death is just that damn good.  It serves as both a solid heavy metal album, and a devilishly creative concept production.Vocalist Jorn Lande delivers his most encompassing work to date as the voice of Vlad Dracul, aka Vlad the Impaler. Trond Holter offers up some of the most addictive and memorable riffs and solos, which play perfectly into the songs’ storylines. Holter also serves as the pianist for the record. The female vocals for the voice of the character Mina/Lucy, are performed with flair and precision by Norwegian singer Lena Fløitmoen. Bernt Jansen (bass) and Per Morten Bergseth (drums) serve as the rhythm section for this intriguingly dark and exciting journey.The waves crash upon the shore and lightening illuminates the sky to lead us into the tolling bell that opens “Hands of Your God”. The slow, grinding tempo of the song lends an ominous feel. The track sets the story’s tone. Lande’s voice is edgy and menacing. The listener has been warned.Lande’s intro for “Walk on Water” helps one picture Vlad, top hat in hand as he stands under a street lamp, orating his tale. It is the first of many pieces that carry a grand, epic flair. The track breaks into a mid-tempo head-banger that would feel right at home on any Dio album. The lead guitars have an almost renaissance feel to them, which then rolls into a Thin Lizzy-style dual harmony.A jazzy little tack piano kicks off the title track giving the listener the first real punch of camp. The vibe takes us into a bawdy vaudevillian era. The chorus, big and sweeping,  might have fit right into the likes of The Rocky Horror Picture Show or Grease…on steroids. “Swing of Death” is an absolutely delightful and rollicking romp.Holter’s starkly poignant piano opens up “Masquerade Ball” and scores the undoing of Mina. “Save Me” showcases the powerful vocal presence of Fløitmoen. The track is equal parts metal bombast and Broadway grandiloquence.A swingy guitar groove drives “River of Tears”, which finds Lena and Jorn trading off on vocals. Another huge, hooky chorus on this one. The breakdown finds Lande trying to woo his lady-love: “Come and lay down on my bed, tomorrow morning when you wake up you’ll be dead.” Holter offers up some of his most inspired fretwork down the stretch on this track.The eerie piano and tolling bell carry us into Lande’s ode to Mina, “Queen of the Dead”. The undulating guitar riff and towering vocal performance by Lande, recall Whitesnake in many respects. The guitar work in the second half is blistering, and the ascending feel of the song will raise the hair on your skin. A stand out track on an album packed with mammoth cuts.On and on the record goes. There is not a weak track on Swing of Death. To be any more effusive in my praise would sound like hyperbole. I imagine that somewhere Jon Oliva is listening to this record with a mix of rapture and jealousy, wishing he had done it first. Records like Swing of Death help keep the torch of melodic metal lit. Lande and Holter have matched imagination and talent to create a darkly whimsical and captivating metal opera." - Metalholic
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  • "When one thinks of countries that are a hotbed of prog metal bands, places such as Norway, Sweden, and Finland come to mind. However the Land Down Undah’ otherwise known as Australia has been churning out amazing prog metal bands for the past decade. Bands such as Hemina, Voyager, Lord, Carnivool, Caligula’s Horse, Teramaze and Melbourne’s Vanishing Point have been wowing the prog metal scene for the past decade. It’s been seven long years since the release of Vanishing Point’s The Fourth Season, but the melodic metal quintet consisting of Silvio Massaro (Vocals), Chris Porcianko and James Maier (Guitars), Simon Best (Bass), and Christian Nativo (Drums) have finally returned with their fifth studio album Distant Is The Sun on AFM Records. The band has stayed true to their unique blend of progressive, power, AOR metal and have secured the talents of Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann of Ordan Ogen for mixing duites on Distant Is The Sun. Picking up right where The Fourth Season left off, the musicianship and songwriting on Distant Is The Sun is exceptional.The album kicks off with the short instrumental track Beyond Redemption and powers right into the first song King of Empty Promises. The double bass drum attack from Nativo and melodic keyboards lead the way and the harmonious soaring vocals during the chorus are a perfect way to officially start the album.The title track is next and begins with a heavy groove and transforms into a light piano tinged verses with Massaro’s impressive vocals leading to a catchy and melodic chorus. The twin guitar harmony lead attack from Porcianko and Maier is a thing of beauty during the solo section.Symphonic keys signify the start of When Truth Lies, an epic slab of energetic melodic progressive metal with a driving headbanging beat. Sonata Arctica frontman Tony Kaako lends his melodic pipes to the fast and furious power metal of Circle of Fire. Kaako and Massaro’s vocals compliment each other extremely well and create an amazing metal duet.The keyboard prominence on Denied Deliverance is pronounced in the mix but never overshadows the heaviness of the track, it just adds to the overall melody of the song. A blazing guitar solo section highlights the middle portion of another stellar song. Let the River Run has an impeccable acappella vocal harmony section that begins this mid tempo metal gem. The beautiful vocals during the chorus will be stuck in your head for days after listening.The album slows down for the piano based Story of Misery but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a traditional power ballad. The emphasis is on POWER with a emotive vocal performance from Massaro. Era Zero speeds things right back up with a frenzied double kick attack with plenty of soaring melodic vocals throughout and a shredding guitar solo from the tandem of Porcianko/Maier and culminates in a symphonic ending and bursts right into Pillars of Sand which keeps the hard and fast metal flowing.The eerie keyboard intro of As December Fades melds into a Maiden-esque guitar harmony and a glorious AOR sounding chorus with a symphonic element that is reminiscent of Within Temptation. A bright piano melody signals the beginning of Handful of Hope. Once again Massaro gets his chance to shine with an impressive vocal performance filled with passion and emotion. The bands penchant for writing catchy power metal is on display on Walls of Silence. The brilliant symphonic melodies and heavy guitar compliment each other perfectly. The album closes with the acoustic guitar tinged instrument titled April, an understated yet effective piece of music with a keyboard accompaniment underneath in the mix. It is a curious choice to end the album, but well done nonetheless.After a seven-year absence, the world of melodic prog welcomes back Vanishing Point with open arms and hopefully Distant Is The Sun will shoot the band to the next level of popularity outside their native Australia. This goes to show that like a fine wine, Vanishing Point only improves with age!" - Lady Obscure
    $15.00
  • KHAN WHO??Kamelot's new era begins with the addition of Seventh Wonder vocalist Tommy Karevik.  Any of you who have seen Tommy perform with the band know that he fits like hand in glove.  No radical shifts in sound - this is Kamelot as you know it - epic melodic metal with splashes of classical themes and of course more than a little bit of darkness.  The bombastic sounds of Kamelot are even further enhanced with guest participation from vocalists Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), Alissa White-Gluz (The Agonist) and Amanda Somerville.  Silverthorn was produced by Sascha Paeth so you know its going to sound larger than life.  One of the metal highlights of 2012 for sure. 
    $12.00
  • "One listen to this album and I was immediately drawn back to the sunset strip and the glory days of hair metal, but upon further listening to this album it goes so much farther. Kingdom of Rock by Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall is an amazing album and I only wish I would have heard of him sooner. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Magnus Karlsson, let me give you a brief synopsis. Magnus Karlsson is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. He has been on many projects through Frontiers Music including Bob Catley’s solo album Immortal and also the Allen/Linde and Kiske/Somerville collaborations on which he was also the primary songwriter. Magnus has also been a member of Last Tribe, Midnight Sun, Starbreaker, and Primal Fear to name a few.  Magnus’s talent as a songwriter is put to good use on Kingdom of Rock and any fans of 80’s hair metal or the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will absolutely love this album.Kingdom of Rock starts off with a nice orchestral arrangement and kicks into an early “Europe” sounding rocker that doesn’t take any prisoners or doesn’t ask if you mind. Great track and the guitar work is impeccable. "Out of the Dark” should easily please any Dokken fan. With headphones on you would almost swear that it’s George Lynch playing on this track.  “When the Sky Falls” starts off with an amazingly powerful “chant” and kicks into a Queensryche meets Dokken sounding rocker.  Great groves and a sing a long chorus make for a phenomenal track.  Even the Guitar solo could be sung along with. This track is extremely well-crafted and executed all the way through.“Another Life” starts with a very worldly mandolin and makes you almost believe you are listening to a Celtic track before breaking into a powerhouse fret burning rocker. And then morphs again into a very catchy example of what made “Hair Metal” so much fun. Again it’s just exceptionally written all the way through.  “The Right Moment” contains everything that makes the power ballad so good. Strong lyrics that are allowed to shine and the instrumentation is spot on. Nothing is overpowering and there’s is room for everything. It is refreshing not to hear things fighting for their space in the mix.  This album closes with “Walk this Road Alone” and anyone that likes the Trans-Siberian Orchestra will love this track. This is an extremely powerful closing track with massive hooks in all the right places.Magnus Karlsson’s Free Fall is a giant breath of fresh air. The musicianship is untouchable and the guest singers were carefully chosen to lift the already great songs to even greater heights.  I said before that any fan of 80’s hair metal would love this, but I have to say that anyone that loves great songs with powerful vocals and guitars will love this album. From fans of T.S.O. and Yngwie Malmsteen to Hair metal will absolutely enjoy this listening experience.  I, myself, being a certified guitar geek and metal nerd can’t stop listening to this. Thank you, Magnus, for one hell of an album and for reminding all of us what made hair metal and the guitarists from that era so enjoyable.  So c’mon everyone put on your denim and leather, raise your horns to the sky and enter into the Kingdom of Rock." - 1340mag.com
    $14.00
  • What a great singer Ian Parry is. This guy simply doesn't get the recognition he deserves. He's the prototypical metal singer - great control and range. This is his fourth Consortium Project album. The lineup eschews the previous three's all-star approach. The core band is Ian Parry on vocals, plus Joshua Dutrieux on guitars as well as Ivar De Graaf on drums. There is an assortment of singers and musicians filling in the musical nooks and crannys. Dutrieux and De Graaf are the primary songwriters as well. Children Of Tomorrow is a futuristic concept album. The music is pure melodic metal/AOR. It has a real epic feel. Stick Parry's voice in front a choir and you can't help but get a big sound.
    $3.00
  • Section A is the studio project Vehicle for Danish shredder Torben Enevoldsen.  The first three releases featured Lions Share vocalist Andy Engberg and Vanden Plas drummer Andreas Lill.  For the fourth album Enevoldsen has shuffled the deck and come up with a new lineup.  Engberg has been replaced by Nicklas Sonne, a vocalist I am unfamiliar with but one who does a more than able guy.  He's quite good and I suspect we might hear from him in other bands in the future.  Dennis Hansen, from Enevoldsen's other band Fatal Force, is behind the kit. Essentially the star of any Section A album is Enevoldsen's guitarwork.  He shreds with the best of them and I must say is quite tasteful.  The music fits squarely in the melodic metal/hard rock mold.  While this isn't a revelatory album if you are fan of these genres you can do much worse than to check this out (the older Section A albums as well). "For those unfamiliar with the name, Section A is the brainchild of Danish guitar virtuoso (and multi-instrumentalist) Torben Enevoldsen, who decided that, after two solo instrumental albums in the late 1990s, he needed to stretch his musical muscles within a band format and therefore teamed up with 220 Volt/Lion’s Share vocalist Andy Engberg and Vanden Plas drummer Andreas Lill for the release of 2003’s ‘A Seventh Sign’.Now, 12 years and several line-up changes (the band, at least for recording purposes, now features Nicklas Sonne on vocal duties and Enevoldsen’s Acacia Avenue/Fatal Force bandmate Dennis Hansen behind the kit, with Julien Spreutels guesting on keyboards) later, the project has released its fourth album.The result is a more than decent, solid melodic hard rock album which is more than capable of standing shoulder to shoulder with many other such offerings in this particular genre. The individual performances are highly impressive. Sonne has a beautifully melodic voice, yet is more than capable of adding that extra grunt when and where needed, while Enevoldsen is a hugely under-rated exponent of his instrument, capable of switching from soaring solos to fierce shredding and dirty crunchy staccatos quicker than many guitarists can change effects pedals. Hansen is solid and tight, while Spreutels’ adds his own sweeping, melodic interjections on guest forays to the forefront of the sound (the guitarist plays the majority of the keyboards nestling gently in the background).The songs, in turn, are well-crafted. Enevoldsen (who also does all the writing as well as the bass work) takes no chances with the basic formulae, but instead concentrates on the solidity of the format, building atmospherics with aplomb, combining massive melodies with catchy hooks and punchy rhythms while not being afraid to unleash a fiery solo here and ease off the pedal there, resulting in a fluidity and organic feel to each track, and the album as a whole.Section A may be essentially a solo side project by a highly talented muso who recruits additional players to bring his vision to life, but that does not prevent ‘Wall Of Silence’ sounding like an entirely homogenous entity rather than a vainglorious vanity settler: far from it." - Uber Rock
    $15.00
  • "After a three year absence it's great to welcome back Zak Stevens and Circle II Circle with their sixth studio album Seasons Will Fall. It's also great to find the band returning to their classic heavy metal roots, after the curious, slightly subtle, experimentation with alternative metal on their previous effort.Generally, and from the start, Seasons Will Fall is an ambitiously heavy album. The first four songs seem to exist only to prove this very thing, with only Diamond Blade having a more notable melodic hook. But the band redeems themselves with the solid groove of the extremely accessible, yet still heavy, End of Emotion. It also contains one of Stevens' best vocal performance. It's definitely the best song here.You get some more of that groove and melody in Never Gonna Stop and Isolation; a bit more progressive power metal in Dreams That Never Die; possibly a touch of blues within Downshot; and, the only power metal ballad in Only Yesterday. Mostly, as mentioned, Seasons Will Fall is basically straight heavier power metal. Stevens' vocals sound strong and even across the album. The production, typical of a Circle II Circle album, can be a point of contention, somewhere between dry as sawdust and as heavy as the music itself. Frankly, even after several spins, I found myself hovering around corner of ambivalence and interest, unsure whether I liked the album. It will be interesting to hear what C2C fans have to say about Seasons Will Fall. " - Dangerdog.com
    $11.00
  • Digipak edition with bonus track."These Power Metal merchants are held in high regard thanks to their personnel who have the experience, plus the previous four albums by Silent Force have held the attention mixing the hooks with rampant guitar riffs and their flair for clinical execution.Their last album, 'Walk The Earth', was unleashed back in 2007 so there has been plenty of water under the proverbial bridge leading up to this release.One notable difference for fans of Silent Force is the absence of D.C. Cooper on lead vocals. He has returned to the mighty Danish Melodic Progressive Rock band Royal Hunt and on this album is replaced by Michael Bormann known for his work with Bloodbound and Powerworld.Known as the main brain behind these Metal marauders, Alex Beyrodt starts the proceedings with some Yngwie Malmsteen style fretwork before 'Caught In Their Wicked Game' runs loose. Fast paced and ready to eliminate the competition the band sound hungry and eager to please.The new vocalist here really complements the sound, but may have some struggles winning over purists who yearn for their favourite original singer. 'There Ain't No Justice' and 'Circle Of Trust' both thrust the sword through the torso as the energy remains relentless.I really enjoyed the opening salvo of these three songs the first time I heard this album, through to the fifth spin and so on. The latter of these three tracks retains a pop sensibility, but loses none of the Metal credentials that you'd expect from this band.Not much to find fault about regarding 'Living To Die' which doesn't have the same prominent and obvious hooks as the previous songs, but still retains the quality. Listen out for some tasty keys from Alessandro Del Vecchio in the song 'Before You Run' and there's some mean riffing throughout 'You Gotta Kick It'. The balancing trick between the keys and guitar is the love affair that makes this album so appealing to the ears. They are the real stars from start to finish.Sarah has a lot to answer for as 'Turn Me Loose' tackles a relationship lyrically and maintains the groove in the backdrop. Solid drumming from André Hilgers keeps the good ship Silent Force on course providing a solid backbone, but is still unable to save this song from being below par in comparison to the rest. Perhaps slipping a little through the gears and reaching auto-pilot, 'Born To Be A Fighter' goes through the numbers competently enough, but the sparks aren't flying.Meanwhile, 'Anytime Anywhere' picks up the level of quality and mixes things up with a fine arrangement oozing melodies at each turn. This brings us to the final track 'Kiss Of Death' which chugs along like your favourite Metal anthem. The chorus stands up well and is a great way to round off what overall has been an enjoyable journey.Eight out of ten of the songs here are monuments to their reputation and abilities. Top quality musicianship, crisp production and power found in the crevices are all that I was hoping for initially, plus a feisty and strong delivery from the new vocalist. Thankfully, they tick the boxes consistently apart from a couple of weaker tracks that don't quite reach up to the benchmark they set with the rest of the album. Let power and melody unite in a blissful collision once more, as album number five aligns itself with their back catalogue." - Metal Talk  
    $16.00
  • "Danish legends PRETTY MAIDS never achieved the success they rightfully deserve. They have been releasing amazing material since their inception in 1981. Their catalog is incredibly consistent and jaw dropping. Their records “Red Hot and Heavy”, “Future World” and 2010s “Pandemonium” ranks up there with some of the best material of the last 30 years in Rock and Metal. Their latest record “Motherland”, released through Italy’s Frontiers Records is another heavy melodic masterpiece.2010s release “Pandemonium” was such an amazing record that the thought of following it up was a concern not only for the band but fans and critics alike. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief as they have done it again as “Motherland” captures PRETTY MAIDS at their best. Like all PRETTY MAIDS releases the songwriting is outstanding and every song is remarkably strong.Ronnie Atkins is an amazing soulful singer who seems to get better with age. His unique blend of melody and raspiness is unmatched and his voice is one of a kind. Founding guitarist Ken Hammer blends acrobatic guitar playing with a sense of melody that fits his songs brilliantly and is another unsung hero that can play with precision and emotion.Jacob Hansen’s production is crisp and jumps off the speakers. Returning to work with the band after the success of 2010s “Pandemonium” shows the partnership still is the perfect pairing. The mix is layered, separated and Hansen is quickly becoming the go to producer in Rock and Metal.First single “Mother of All Lies”, “Why So Serious?” and the title track show the band perfecting their heavier side. The title track is an up-tempo pounder that grooves, crushes and the chorus is pure perfection. The keyboards incorporate a subtle arpeggio sequence that backs Atkins as he sings a melody that is infectious. “Why So Serious?” is a haunting captivating chugger that blends melody with syncopated riffing, the biggest headbanger on the record.While “Sad to See You Suffer”, “Bullet For You” and the excellent “Wasted” is the perfect counterbalance and shows off their melodic essence. “Bullet For You” showcases a tender Atkins at his best. The harmonies are luscious and fill out the vocals beautifully. “Wasted” closes the record and does an excellent job of blending Morten Sandager’s keyboard playing into the songwriting. Again, the melodies dominate and paint the perfect landscape. All of these songs have amazing choruses that will stick in your head long after the record is over. Ever since their cover of John Sykes “Please Don’t Leave Me”; Pretty Maids are destined to play the rock ballad. They nail it.30 years into their career, “Motherland” finds PRETTY MAIDS unbelievably at their creative peak. Not too many bands are writing some of their strongest material thirteen albums into their career. Surprisingly on par with the fantastic “Pandemonium”, it is time for PRETTY MAIDS to be catapulted into the spotlight and be rewarded for their remarkable career. Let's hope that they have another thirteen albums left in them to compose because they have found their creative groove. “Motherland” contains all of the attributes that make PRETTY MAIDS outstanding. I can only hope that now is the time for them to launch a proper North American tour." - Metal Temple
    $16.00