Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review STATIC TENSION "Out of Reach"

Veröffentlicht am 31. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Static Tension, Prog Rock, Rock, News, CD Review, Alternative Metal

(5/10) Static Tension is a metal outfit, hailing from Ohio. The fourpiece that consists out of Rob Rom (v), Greg Blachman (g), Ritchie Paik (b) and Tony Sager (d) releases with "Out of Reach"a new EP which includes six new songs.

Static Tension describes their music as progressive grunge and I think that this description is spot-on. The fourpiece combines some Alice In Chains influences with a progressive Kings X sound. The idea is actually not a too bad one. The tracks on "Out of Reach" are build on some exciting ideas that bring back the older grunge vibe.

However, this release has two main weak elements. First of all it's the production that sounds very basic and squishy. A bit of a better mix would have been very beneficial for this EP. The other thing that gave me a harder time was the vocals. Rob Rom does his best and things work fairly OK during the more silent sections. But as soon as things get louder the vocals sound forced and missing a certain ease; a fact that made tunes like "Obstacles of Doubt" to a more painful excursion for my ears.

Static Tension's newest EP is build on some interesting ideas and tracks like the punky "Down From Three" work 'OK'ish'. Unfortunately this isn't enough in times when there are tons of great albums hit the shelves every month.

 

(5/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. PSM
  2. Obstacle of Doubt
  3. Faith to Fault
  4. Down From Three
  5. Back Inside
  6. Out of Reach

 

Label: Buried By Sky Records

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: January 6th, 2017

CD review STATIC TENSION "Out of Reach"
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12 Most Favorite Concert Photos 2016

Veröffentlicht am 31. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Amorphis, Amon Amarth, Europe, Archer Nation, Queensryche, Doro, Undertow, Testament, Honeymoon Disease, Anvil, Long Distance Calling, Dark Funeral, Heavy Metal, Hardrock, News, Power Metal, Doom Metal, Thrash Metal, Black Metal, Death Metal, Rock, Cultuurpodium De Boerderij, 013, Gebr. de Nobel, Dudok, Live, Photos

New Year's Eve is an excellent moment in time to look back on the last 12 months and what's better than scrolling through photos made that year. I challenged myself in choosing my 12 favorites, which was not a too easy exercise. Anyhow, I've chosen these photos from various shows in 2016.

Have a good start in 2017 and keep on rocking. Thanks for all your support \m/

 

All photos by Markus Wiedenmann

Amorphis, Tilburg, December 2016

Amorphis, Tilburg, December 2016

Doro, Leiden, November 2016

Doro, Leiden, November 2016

Europe, Utrecht, November 2016

Europe, Utrecht, November 2016

Dark Funeral, Leiden, November 2016

Dark Funeral, Leiden, November 2016

Amon Amarth, Tilburg, November 29016

Amon Amarth, Tilburg, November 29016

Testament, Tilburg, November 2016

Testament, Tilburg, November 2016

Honeymoon Disease, Leiden, October 2016

Honeymoon Disease, Leiden, October 2016

Archer Nation, Zoetermeer, August 2016

Archer Nation, Zoetermeer, August 2016

Queensryche, Zoetermeer, August 2016

Queensryche, Zoetermeer, August 2016

Long Distance Calling, Tilburg, May 2016

Long Distance Calling, Tilburg, May 2016

Anvil, Tilburg, April 2016

Anvil, Tilburg, April 2016

Undertow, Giengen, January 2016

Undertow, Giengen, January 2016

Just in case you want to see them all - HERE they are.

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CD review OPETH "Orchid", Morningrise" and "My Arms Your Hearse" - reissues

Veröffentlicht am 30. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Opeth, Death Metal, Classic Rock, Rock, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, News, Reissue, CD Review, Candlelight Records

(8/10) Opeth in the mid of the 90’s sounded quite different from what Mikael Âkerfeldt and Co. releases nowadays. The group’s history is deeply rooted in Swedish death metal from the days when the scene in Stockholm was growing. This specific style influenced many other bands and Opeth was a part of this gang of influencers. Candlelight Records took the effort to re-release the first three discs from Opeth, both, in vinyl and as CD.

The first longplayer was named “Orchid”. It was no less than Dan Swanö producing this debut that hit the shelves in 1995. An orchid is a beautiful and sensitive flower and these attributes go for the album as well. Even though Opeth celebrated their death metal roots with deep growls, “Orchid” included already progressive elements, showing a band that was prepared to break the chains of pure death metal. “In Mist She Was Standing” isn’t a short and brutal opener. It’s an almost 15 minutes long epos that contains, next to harsh vocals, beautiful and fragile soundscapes, showing the bands wider approach very well. “Orchid” aroused some first attention in the metal community and it was a smart step to keep the fire burning with a next longplayer.

 

Tracklist:

  1. In Mist She was Standing 
  2. Under the Weeping Moon
  3. Silhouette
  4. Forest of October5   
  5. The Twilight is my Robe   
  6. Requiem 
  7. The Apostle in Triumph 
  8. Into The Frost of Winter 
CD review OPETH "Orchid", Morningrise" and "My Arms Your Hearse" - reissues

(9/10) “Morningrise” arrived appr. 12 month later in the record stores. Again produced by Dan Swanö the longplayer continued the journey that started with “Orchid”. Opeth fine-tuned their sound and established their trademarks as progressive death metal band. Mikael Âkerfeldt and band mates took their way of making music even one step further. The longplayer includes only five songs with each of them being 10 minutes or longer. “Black Rose Immortal” is the core of everything, a twenty minutes masterpiece that is a next peak of creativity. This reissue version includes, next to the five original tunes a bonus track called “Eternal Soul Torture” in a demo version.

 

Tracklist:

  1. Advent
  2. The Night and The Silent Water
  3. Nectar
  4. Black Rose Immortal 
  5. To Bid You Farewell
  6. Eternal Soul Torture 
CD review OPETH "Orchid", Morningrise" and "My Arms Your Hearse" - reissues

(8/10) After the successful sophomore record and some touring activities the third Opeth album saw the light of day in 1998, marking another leg in the band’s successful journey through death metal and progressive passion. Once in a while songs from “My Arms Your Hearse” find themselves on Opeth setlists. On the most recent tour it was “Demon of the Fall” that set a well placed counterpart to the more progressive rock numbers of the later Opeth days. These are the moments when younger Opeth fans, knowing mainly the newer material of the band, stand in the room with a mouth wide open in front of the stage, trying to realize what’s happening. The songs on “My Arms Your Hearse” are shorter than what Opeth released earlier, which wasn’t a too big of a surprise. Instead the Swedes added another element to their music. The album starts with a prologue and also includes an intermezzo called “Madrigal”. The beauty of this longplayer is the diversity. Brutal death metal orgies like the mentioned “Demons of the Fall” are placed next to songs like “Credence” which is an acoustic track with clean vocals, a first step towards what Opeth stands for in the here and now.

 

Tracklist:

  1. Prologue
  2. April Ethereal 
  3. When
  4. Madrigal
  5. The Amen Corner   
  6. Demon of the Fall    
  7. Credence
  8. Karma 
  9. Epilogue 
  10. Circle of the Tyrant 
  11. Remember Tomorrow

 

For all three reissues:

Label: Candlelight Records

Genre: Progressive Death Metal

Release Date EU: December 16th, 2016

CD review OPETH "Orchid", Morningrise" and "My Arms Your Hearse" - reissues
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CD review DER ELEFANT "Der Elefant" EP

Veröffentlicht am 29. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Der Elefant, Tieflader, Farmer Boys, Power Metal, Modern Metal, Instrumental, Alternative Metal, CD Review, News, Rock

(8/10) Alex Scholpp should be no new name to you guys. The guitarist from Stuttgart, Germany is known from his activities with Farmer Boys, Tieflader, Tarja and some more projects. Scholpp teamed-up with bassplayer Kevin Chown and Timm Schreiner on drums - all three knowing each other from Tarja's band.

This trio started with a group called Der Elefant (German for 'The Elephant') and wrote three tracks that ended up on the first output - an EP, simply named "Der Elefant".

The name might sound a bit weird but knowing the background gives some clarity. There is the saying of "The elephant in the room..." which basically means that there is an obvious truth which is ignored and denied by people. The band took this human (dis-)ability of denial as an inspiration for their music by making a statement with their music rather than with words. This undertaking led to three powerful instrumentals that have a touch of a jam session.

"Caterpillar" breaks the first ground. The tune is build on heavy riffs which reminded me, to a certain extend, of Tieflader. Next to the mighty guitar riffing there are some melodic sections embedded in this song, all build on a steady rhythm foundation. Track number two got the powerful name of "Elefante" and it's the heaviest one out of all three numbers on this EP.  This instrumental is faster than the other stuff and you can feel the energy of an elephant with each drum beat. Last but not least there's "Freedom", a song that's kept in more mid-pace. The entertainment factor of "Freedom" is the forceful groove that comes with it, a strength that's reflected basically in each of the three tracks.

"Der Elefant" became an interesting EP of a trio that started to explore a partly new territory with creating their own songs in the here and now. Let's see if this project belongs to the more sustainable ones. However, the EP makes a lot of fun. Good stuff.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Caterpillar
  2. Elefante
  3. Freedom

 

Label: Self-released

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: December 9th, 2016

 

CD review DER ELEFANT "Der Elefant" EP
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CD review POWERWOLF "Blessed & Possessed" Tour Edition

Veröffentlicht am 28. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Powerwolf, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, Live, CD Review

(8/10) Powerwolf can look back on a very active period in the band's history with quite some releases over the last few months. It was during summer 2015 when the band published "Blessed & Possessed", the sixth studio album of the wolf pack. After having been on tour for quite some time the metal preachers unveiled a live album called "The Metal Mass Live", followed by some festival shows - like the appearance on the 'Dynamo Metal Fest' in July 2016.

2017 starts with a special edition of Powerwolf's "Blessed & Possessed" album. It's the 'tour edition' which includes the entire studio longplayer, enriched with a live recording of the band's show at the 2015 Summer Breeze Open Air. Powerwolf played a full set in front of 40.000 metal fans, celebrating each of the chapters of  metal mass. 

In case you call the latest live release already your own, you will not get a lot of new things that come with the 'tour edition'. The setlist of this show and the tracklist of the latest live album are mainly similar, with very little exceptions like "Werewolves of Armenia". For the rest, there isn't anything negative that comes with this extra edition. The live sound is excellent, the fans are enjoying the show and the band's embracing the moment as well. That Attila does his announcements in German makes sense, thinking about the band having a 'home game' in front of a mainly German crowd. It might not be an easy thing (or a mission impossible) for non-German fans to understand what he 'preaches' but it's anyhow the music that counts.

If you have the original album and/or the latest live release you have to decide if you need also this tour edition. However, it's a nice extra for collectors, an album that keeps Powerwolf's flame burning.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

CD 1:

  1. Blessed & Possessed
  2. Dead Until Dark
  3. Army of the Night
  4. Armata Strigoi
  5. We are the Wild
  6. Higher Than Heaven
  7. Christ & Combat
  8. Sanctus Dominus
  9. Sacramental Sister
  10. All You Can Bleed
  11. Let There be Night

CD 2:

  1. Intro
  2. Sanctified with Dynamite
  3. Coleus Sanctus
  4. Army of the Night
  5. Amen & Attack
  6. Resurrect by Erection
  7. Armata Strigoi
  8. Kreuzfeuer
  9. Werewolves of Armenia
  10. In the Name of God
  11. Blessed and Possessed
  12. All We Need is Blood
  13. Dead Boys Don't Cry
  14. We Drink Your Blood
  15. Lupus Dei

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: January 6th, 2017

CD review POWERWOLF "Blessed & Possessed" Tour Edition
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CD review LORD VIGO "Blackborne Souls"

Veröffentlicht am 27. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Lord Vigo, Doom Metal, News, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Dark Metal, Power Metal, Epic Metal

(9/10) I guess the day No Remorse signed Lord Vigo was good day. They added with this trio from Germany a real metal pearl to their portfolio, a band that released already their debut via the label. This record was the first sign of a rising star that playes finest doom metal. Lord Vigo stands for slow paced songs that are covered in an intense and dark atmosphere.

The masterpiece of the sophomore album is the title track "Blackborne Souls". It's an emotional eight minutes journey that is exciting from beginning to end. Lord Vigo created the song in a way that it's easy to follow. The various elements - heavy doom passages are interacting with an almost acoustic middle section and some spoken words - increase the intesity of a tune that deserves every second of its length without becoming lengthy. This is more than just playing a song; it feels like Lord Vigo is living this number.
The rest of the eight songs aren't kept much shorter. Lord Vigo celebrates endless darkness with tunes that are positioned somewhere between Type O Negative and Candlemass. 

Lord Vigo isn't afraid of adding hammonds to their sound too. And it fits very well, emphasising the atmosphere like in "The Bloodlust Draws On Me". 

After having released an exciting first disc some months ago, the band was ready for their next strike. This record belongs to the best ones in doom metal since quite a while, an album which feels like the beginning of something big that's on its way. Horns up.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Oh Mother Earth
  2. When the Bloodlust Draws On Me
  3. Great City in the Sky
  4. Blackborne Souls
  5. Blasphemy
  6. Ishrat II - Hail Me, Fire in the Night
  7. For Being Unkown
  8. Eternal Survivor

 

Label: No Remorse Records

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: January 13th, 2017

CD review LORD VIGO "Blackborne Souls"
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CD review FREEDOM CALL "Master of Light"

Veröffentlicht am 27. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Freedom Call, Melodic Metal, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Symphonic Metal

(8/10) "Master of Light" is one of these records that you shouldn't judge based on the artwork. I'm not sure who did this 'special' drawing that decorates Freedom Calls latest studio release, however, it's the only real downer on this longplayer.

Freedom Call aren't a new player. The guys from Bavaria, Germany started in 1998 and since then the four-piece released many records, with "Master of Light" as being their ninth output. If you expect many crazy new ideas on this longplayer I have to disappoint you. The guys do what they do best, writing and playing highly melodic metal tracks with a very positive vibe.

"Master of Light" comes with songs that are straight-forward, bombastic and full of well-done hooks. Chris Bay and his gang have a sense for big melodies that are the common thread from beginning to end, it's the glue that keeps the songs together. 

Sometimes things get a bit faster, like with "A World Beyond", and there are other moments when the band stays in bombastic midpaced sounds ("Masters of Light"). Talking about the title track, Freedom Call are obviously Metallica fans, at least you get this impression while listening to the 'Master, Master' shouts that are embedded in "Masters of Light".

In the very tight framework of the Freedom Call's style the guys try to also move the borders a bit. "Ghost Ballet" is such an undertaking. The tune comes with a modern riff, differently used keyboards and more complex approach. It's nice to see the band experimenting a bit with their sound but it's also a good thing that "Rock the Nation" brings the listener back to known territory with a sing-a-long chorus.

And if as all this wouldn't be enough "Master of Light' includes also a silent song which got the title "Cradle of Angels". This number is a tasteful ballad that is well-crafted. It's not free of cliche, but who cares - it's entertaining and that's what counts with this album.

If you're looking for a positive vibe in a grey world, than "Master of Light" should become a part of your metal collection. This longplayer brings some light into the darkness and should be checked by fans of Helloween, Avantasia and Co.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Metal is Forever
  2. Hammer of the Gods
  3. A World Beyond
  4. Masters of Light
  5. Kings Rise and Fall
  6. Cradle of Angels
  7. Emerald Skies
  8. Hail the Legend
  9. Ghost Ballet
  10. Rock the Nation
  11. Riders in the Sky
  12. High Up

 

Label: SPV/Steamhammer

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: November 11th, 2016

CD review FREEDOM CALL "Master of Light"
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CD review T.O.M.B. "Fury Nocturnus"

Veröffentlicht am 26. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in T.O.M.B., Industrial, Black Metal, News, CD Review, Ambient

(1/10) I'm not really sure if the world waited for this release. T.O.M.B. serves an album that sound weird. It's a distracting piece of 'music' and that's maybe already the biggest benefit of it - in case you're looking for distraction.

These thirteen tracks can be seen as ambient black metal numbers with e strong industrial touch. But in the end it's a very strange sounding combination of all of the before mentioned. "Fury Nocturnus" will neither work for industrial metal fans, nor it will become a favorite of down to earth black metal passionists.

T.O.M.B. put sound collages on the album that are build on samples and cold waves of sounds. The band combines them with moaning vocals that are meant to be dark, mean and evil. But in the end it's just annoying.

It was a tough exercise to give this album a full round of listening. In my humble opinion there are many other ways to spend your well earned money on than on this release. A definite thumbs down for an album that's not needed at all.

 

(1/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Into Wotan Flames
  2. Awake...
  3. Darkness
  4. Death Tunnel Scars
  5. Glorious Triumphant
  6. Belial
  7. Ignite The Torch Again
  8. Portal 502
  9. Hoards Rise Now
  10. Oblivion Dawn
  11. Mystic Blood Scrying
  12. Fury Nocturnus
  13. Battle Winds Of Desecration
  14. Abysmal Channeling

 

Label: Peaceville

Genre: Industrial Ambient Black Metal

Release Date EU: October 21st, 2016

CD review T.O.M.B. "Fury Nocturnus"
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CD review ARKAN "Kelem"

Veröffentlicht am 25. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Arkan, Melodic Metal, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Modern Metal, CD Review, News, Melodic Death Metal, The Old Dead Tree

(8/10) Some of the The Old Dead Tree members started a new band called Arkan back in 2005. A year later the first EP hit the shelves, followed by three longplayers.

"Kelem" is the newest record of this French metal outfit and it combines again metal and some oriental soundscapes, something that becomes already very obvious while listening to the well-done opener "Kafir". Arakan's sound is often described as melodic death metal and indeed, there are tracks that come with deep growls and mighty riffs. Songs like the brutal "The Call" and also parts of "Erhal" speak a clear language. But next to these heavy metal monsters the majority of the album focusses more on melodies and clean vocals rather than brutal death metal shouting.

Arkan adds a dark vibe to their sound. Well-crafted tunes such as "Just a Lie" , Nour" and "Kelem" that are good songs with the latter entering the fields of modern metal more than death metal. The embedded melancholy gives the numbers an emotional depth, something that makes the album to a more intense experience for the listener. And last but not least and not to forget the acosutic intermezzo named "Eib" that adds a moment of reflection to this release.

Arkan published with "Kelem" an album that is technically done very well, benefits from a proper production and features good songs that are more build on modern/alternative metal. The band could be interesting for fans of the current In Flames sound.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Kafir
  2. Nour
  3. The Call
  4. Cub of the Caliphate
  5. Erhal
  6. Eib
  7. Just a Lie
  8. Beyond the Wall
  9. Kelem
  10. Capital City Burns
  11. As A Salve
  12. Jasmine Harvest

 

Label: Overpowered Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: November 25th, 2016

CD review ARKAN "Kelem"
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Merry Christmas to everybody

Veröffentlicht am 24. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Merry Christmas, News

Merry Christmas to everybody
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CD review DAWNBRINGER "XX" EP

Veröffentlicht am 23. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Dawnbringer, Traditional Metal, Classic Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, High Spirit, Hardrock, Classic Rock

(8/10) Interesting stuff comes from Dawnbringer. One day before Christmas the band of Chris Black comes with a new four-track EP which seems to mark the end of this two decades lasting band. Black started some years ago with High Spirit another highly successful outfit that received great feedback. Compared to Dawnbringer, High Spirit has a far more positive approach while "XX" became a dark vibe release, however, with great songs.

"Why Would You Leave Me" begins silent and melancholic. "Time. Time was never on my side", these are the first lines of the song that gears-up when it comes to heaviness while staying in a heavy-hearted mode throughout.

Things don't get optimistic with "Into the Maze". The tunes comes with a strong riff that builds the base for this midpaced number. It's an almost hypnotic expression that comes with this track. Seven minutes of epical metal is what you get with "North by North" before "Earth" takes over. "Earth" is a song with a hammering beat, well-done leads and brilliant vocal lines. The tune shows some W.A.S.P. parallels and since "Golgotha" acted as an inspiration (see interview in noisey) it's not a too big of a surprise.

"The End of the Beginning" is already the last track on this EP and it easily can live up to the quality level of the before heard material of Dawnbringer. It's again melodic and traditional guitars that are in the forefront and after a more moderate start the instrumental shifts gears. In the end it's a furious track that reminds of the earlier Shrapnel-releases.

This EP is an exciting release, a treasure box, filled with five traditional metal pearls that are worth to be part of every serious metal collection.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Why Would You Leave Me
  2. Into the Maze
  3. North by Borth
  4. Earth
  5. The End of the Beginning

 

Label: Ektro Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: December 23rd, 2016

CD review DAWNBRINGER "XX" EP
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CD review LUCIFERIAN LIGHT ORCHESTRA "Black"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in News, Therion, Luciferian Light Orchestra, Occult Rock, Classic Rock, Vintage Rock, Retro, CD Review, Hardrock, Doom Metal, Psychedelic Rock, Rock

(7/10) The vintage spirit gained and still gains momentum and Stockholm-based Luciferian Light Orchestra is one of the representatives of this kind of music. The band is a side project of Therion's Christofer Johnsson who found with Luciferian Light Orchestra an outlet for his passion of 70's based rock music. 

The band/project released the self-titled debut a year ago followed now by a new EP called "Black". The title describes the general vibe of these four tracks very well, even though 'grey' would have been even better. 

Anyhow, the EP begins with "Evil Masquerade". The first thing that stands out are the well done female vocals. Since names of band members are covered in darkness too, I can't tell you got the gift of such a fantastic voice, but we are talking about fragile and susurrant phrasings that fit perfectly to the doomy expression of this song. Here and there you can recognise some parallels to Avatarium which is more due to some of the arrangements. However, in general the two bands can be compared and Luciferian Light Orchestra sound more like the occult version of Therion by leaving out the orchestral parts.
The songs aren't too heavy and include well done melody lines. In the end it's more the beauty of all shades of grey that these four tunes express. There is a lot of melancholy in three out of the four songs on this release with one number that stands out a bit. It is the almost swinging "Serpent Messiah" with it's galloping rhythm that gives this tune a slightly different vibe, even though it never becomes a bright sing-a-long smasher. It fits into its context while being different too.
What I miss with this EP are more elements of tension since the tunes become a bit tiring after a while. Especially "Thunder Perfect Mind" could be shorter and more spot on.

"Black" is containing good rock songs. This EP belongs to the category 'Can have' but it's not a 'Must have'.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Evil Masquerade
  2. Where the Lilies Grow
  3. Serpent Messiah
  4. Thunder Perfect Mind

 

Label: Svart Records

Genre: Occult Rock

Release Date EU: December 9th, 2016

CD review LUCIFERIAN LIGHT ORCHESTRA "Black"
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CD review ARMORED SAINT "Carpe Noctum"

Veröffentlicht am 18. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Armored Saint, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, News, CD Review, Live

(9/10) It seems that this year's Christmas present arrived already two weeks too early. As reported a few weeks ago it's power metal legend Armored Saint that started a PledgeMusic campaign for a new live album of the iconc five-piece band.

Armored Saint isn't one of these bands that regularly releases live records. It was 28 years ago when the guys from California published with "Saints Will Conquer" a six track live EP and that was it - up till now.

"Carpe Noctum", a name the fans voted for based on a pre-selection, features eight tracks that comes with new material such as "Win Hands Down", the title track from the latest studio output. That legendary Armored saint tracks needs to be part of this release too is a given. The awesome "Last Train Home" and the closer "Reign of Fire" belong to the best tunes the quintet ever wrote and are well-placed on this longplayer. 

A view on the tracklist also shows no overlap with the '88 EP. "Carpe Noctum" features songs that officially haven't been released live so far. The only little downer with this album is the running time. 38 minutes aren't too long, esp. knowing how many great songs the band has in their musical bagpack. One or two more tracks would have been a good extra for fans of the band who waited almost three decades for another live album of the Armored Saint.

The sound of this live album, that was captured in Wacken 2015 and Aschaffenburg, is excellent. The production finds the right balance between authenticity, energy and a clear sound.

All in all it's exciting to listen to the bands newest live disc, something we had to wait for such a long time. Armored Saint is heading towards a new peak in their career. John Bush, Joey Vera, Phil Sandoval, Gonzo Sandoval and Jeff Duncan are  Armored Saint - a spearhead of powerful metal music. I like.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Win Hands Down
  2. March of the Saint
  3. Stricken by Fate
  4. Last Train Home
  5. Mess
  6. Aftermath
  7. Left Hook from Right Field
  8. Reign of Fire

 

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: December 16th, 2016

CD review ARMORED SAINT "Carpe Noctum"
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