Thursday, 27 January 2011

FAITHEALER - Welcome To The Edge Of The World (CD)

Ivan Gunn, former keyboard player of UK’s melodic semi prog unit Balance Of Power and melodic band Pride, is back in action with his new melodic union – Faithealer. This time he is co-operating with phenomenal singer Jason Marks (Forever, S.I.N). There’s definitely a touch of Balance of Power, but with much better sounding drums and a more AOR-oriented vibe. There’s really an array of strong choruses on this album, starting with opener “Who Will Stop The Rain” and continuing with the outstanding “Stronger”, which actually reminded me a bit of long lost AOR-gods Touch. The layers of voices in the chorus must have taken up half the ProTools tracks. Fat and juicy indeed. Despite Ivan foremost being a keyboard player, there’s still lots of guitars, solos provided by the excellent melodic shredder Chris Green, formerly of Pride and now found in the outstanding heavies Furyon. “Welcome To The Edge Of The World” is actually a bit more than your ordinary AOR-album, I’d actually place it in the rarely used category “pomp”, together with classic bands like Boston, Styx and the aforementioned band Touch, where there’s a bit more than just a catchy chorus and simple chorus patterns. There’s definitely a twist to it without being progressive, great arrangements which builds the songs up nicely and brings the listener through different phases and moods. This is definitely an album to check out – a great piece of melodic rock!
Janne Stark
Label: private
Country: UK
Year: 2010

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

CELLOUT - Superstar Prototype (CD)

Cellout is a Swedish combo I’ve followed since their demo days. Finally their debut has hit the streets and I’m not disappointed. Modern, heavy and melodic. This may sound like a general description of quite a few of today’s heavy/nu oriented bands. Well, to be honest, Cellout don’t differ so much from much of what the American recording market gives us today with bands like Sevendust, Trapt, Alter Bridge, Nickelback etc. But, nevertheless, I really like this. Cellout do what they do and they do it really well. Unlike Trapt, who are a carbon copy of Nickelback, Cellout at least give it their own stamp and in some tracks they add a heavier edge to the package. They stretch the boundaries a bit. For instance “All My Demons Inside” almost has a touch of “Dark Tranquillity” in some of the guitar rhythm parts, and “Set Things Straight” is a helluva battering ram. The mix, by Ulrich Wild (Seething, Pantera), is really fat and heavy, yet quite ambient at times. “The Gift” for instance shows some great layers in the verse part, before the detuned guitars crush all barriers in the melodic chorus. Highly recommended!
By: Janne Stark
Label: Nuerra Records
Year: 2010

Sunday, 23 January 2011

SPIDERS - Spiders (10" MLP)

It’s pretty ballsy to make a debut as a 10” vinyl! Spiders look vinyl and they sound vinyl, too, so maybe it’s not that far fetched. The band consists of singer Ann-Sofi Hoyles, Witchcraft guitarist John Hoyles, Midwest bass player Matteo Gambacorta and Graveyard drummer Axel Sj√∂berg. The style is quite different from their former musical treats and offers more of a garagy vibe. One band I immediately came to think of (and probably noones even heard of) was Suffrajett, both the style, sound and Ann-Sofi’s rough edged vocals. I shall be honest and admit this is not 100 % up my musical alley, but they still appeal to me in some way. I really like the vibe and they also have a pretty cool twist on songs like Nothing Like You and High Society.

By: Janne Stark

Label: Crusher Records

Year: 2011

Friday, 21 January 2011

New reviews coming

Hi y'all!
Just a short note to tell you there's a bunch of reviews coming! I have, among others, reviewed:
Yngwie Malmsteen - Relentless
Coldspell - Out From The Cold
Last Autumns Dream

Stay tuned!