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I havent bought anything on Escape Records for a long time & then two come along at once...

 

LAST AUTUMNS DREAM - Saturn Skyline

 

This is terrific, this band are getting better & better & even Erlandsson sounds good on this. Recommended if you liked their last album...

UNION MAC - Lost In Attraction

 

Really good Scandi AOR with the genius of Kriss Largerstrom (Prisoner, Radioactive, Spin Gallery) on vocals. Lush keyboards & some great melodies make this well worth getting, but not essential...

 

 

Tim

Have both of these on order, so should be here any day now. The Union Mac I am really looking forward to as I have heard 3 full tracks and samples of the rest and it sounds pretty damned good. Will fill you in when they arrive!!

 

Mate the UNION MAC will be right up your street. Is a little too progressive for my tastes, but I love the keys & the more immediate tracks...

 

TIM

Just got this yesterday and have been playing it all day (and night at work). Brilliant in a word. Not one track on here I don't like. My faves at the moment are 'Bring Me In' & 'Left To Need'. Love the vocals, LOVE the keys (some very nice stuff going on but done subtley) & the Guitars are great as well and alongside the keys they definately bring in a Saga flavour on quite a few tracks, 'A Live' is a good example of that. So the genereal consensus here is that I am a very happy bunny!!

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Picked up a few newly released modern metal albums this week:-

 

CHIMAIRA - RESURRECTION

 

This is one the heaviest albums you'll ever hear. Take Pantera, Machine Head etc, give them some balls, a massive production & an ear for melody, & you have this album. Crushingly brutal, but still pretty old-school in approach.

 

ONSLAUGHT - KILLING PEACE

 

Great return from the Brit thrashers. Pure old-school thrash metal, with a tight production. This is so like SLAYER it's untrue, the title-track is very like "War Ensemble". Very highly recommended...

 

DAATH - THE HINDERERS

 

Just got a promo copy of this, another recommended disc. A great album cover to this. Musically it's a little like CRADLE OF FILTH but heavier, & verging on DM at times, but tons of great riffs & melodic enough to be interesting...

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NORWAY - RISING UP FROM THE ASHES

Very good AOR album. Highly recommended, if you do not mind the rather dull production.

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Sevendust - 'Alpha' ; There is such a thin, thin line between nu-metal I hate and nu-metal I like. Even the stuff I like is on the borderline... and Sevendust is one of those bands. These guys do know how to write a good chorus and there are a few here, but not as many as the last couple of albums, I don't think. I think this will grow on me - it's heavier than the last few - but it sounded pretty good.

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Sevendust - 'Alpha' ; There is such a thin, thin line between nu-metal I hate and nu-metal I like. Even the stuff I like is on the borderline... and Sevendust is one of those bands. These guys do know how to write a good chorus and there are a few here, but not as many as the last couple of albums, I don't think. I think this will grow on me - it's heavier than the last few - but it sounded pretty good.

 

 

 

The fact that you said it was heavier is exactly why I'll probably love it.

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SEVENDUST - "ALPHA"

 

After 1 spin only this is a disappointment. It is a touch heavier but the tunes aren't there IMO. I will stick with it but it doesn't bode well...

 

MACHINE HEAD - "THROUGH THE ASHES OF EMPIRES"

 

Borrowed this one off a friend, is their last studio album - from 2003. This is all way too experimental to hold my interest for long. Flynn really does write some killer riffs, but the songs go off in a million different directions & never really make their point. The acoustic ballad is laughable. Poor.

 

CHIMAIRA - "Resurrection"

 

This is better. Heavy as f**k modern thrash. Again a bit more experimental than their last "S/T" album, but they're still the heaviest band on earth. If you take PANTERA & MACHINE HEAD and light some explosives under their arses, you will have Chimaira.

 

MENDEED - "The Dead Live By Love"

 

Great Brit modern metal. Mix DragonForce with some Killswitch Engage/In Flames-style Metalcore & you will sum up the sound of this band. On first spin it's pretty frantic & high velocity, but their ear for a great melody & catchy chorus is second to none...

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Altered - 'Dreaming Awake' ; a real surprise for me. It’s amazing what a good, unique vocalist makes to a modern rock band. This kicked ass to be honest. Easily in my top 5 releases this year, so far. Heavy and modern, but some excellent choruses/hooks. Big thumbs up.

 

Bayside - 'Walking wounded' ; I’ve never liked these guys yet something has kept me interested. The new CD is troubling. The songs are good-ish, but the vocalist is just terrible (bored, uninterested) and it ruins the whole thing, IMO. On the other hand, there is some interesting guitar work here for a modern band. I thought I heard a couple of small, cheeky runs throughout the thing, then on song 6 he rips into this massive 80’s style solo – and it’s quite good too. Lol. I won’t listen to this CD much more I don’t think.

 

Skillet - 'Collide' ; Nowhere near as good as ‘Comatose’ (lacking the big hooks) but a decent album. Not great though, and very average.

 

The Ataris - 'Welcome the night' ; Wowser, what a surprise. Another band I grew up listening to against my will in my brother’s car on the way to the beach, back when they were 100% punk. This new one is 100% NOT punk. It’s almost goth. Very moody, good songs. Reminds me of Julianna Theory, or a more mellow Kill Hannah. Hard to pinpoint, but I actually enjoyed this CD quite a lot. Good songs, good hooks. May rate well this year.

 

Relient K - 'Five Score and Seven Years Ago' ; Easily their best album so far. A good SR-71-debut type pop punk album. Got nothing bad at all to say about this one. Solid all the way through, sure to be in my top 10 modern releases this year. If it’s not, the year will be amazing.

 

Dead Poetic - 'Vices' ; Wow. I’m really finding some great modern discs I missed out on in 2006. This would have owned the top 5 list last year… well, would have been right up there anyway. Very good disc. Great songs, a few amazing songs (title track was awesome… track 10 as well I think was a standout). Overall, this was really solid and I can’t wait to hear again.

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Star Rats

 

'Broken Halo' - How on earth did these guys remain "undiscovered" up until this year? This was released in 2004 and it kicks ass. Great production, some very cool songs. I love 10 and 11 especially. Great hard rock album.

 

'Rebelution' - A bit heavier than the debut, but pretty much takes up where the debut left off. Good solid heavy rock.

 

Is there something wrong with me that I so dearly hate the lyrical content of christian bands, but I loved these 2 albums, lyrics and all. I don't know if I'm meant to take these guys and their lyrics seriously, because I found it quite amusing... but I still wonder...

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Koritini - 'Lady luck' – Sorry guys. I know this has a few fans out there but I thought it was dreadful. Didn’t enjoy one single song on this thing. Very bland, average hard rock, IMO. Don’t think I’ll play it again.

 

Grimm Jack - 'Jailhouse Tattoo' – not overly my thing. Sort of Little Caesar-ish. Okay but again, too much other stuff to listen to and I’m not sure I’ll spin this many more times.

 

A Static Lullaby - s/t – wow, huge surprise! Another band I’ve know for a while but I never liked what I heard from them. This, which I believe is their debut full length album, is just great. If you like Bullet For My Valentine or Killswitch Engage (not as much screaming as them) check this out. I am really, really digging this. Big riffs, choruses and hooks. What more do you need?? Looking forward to spinning this again too.

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Spitalfield - 'Better Than Knowing Where You Are' ; Wowser... that first track!!! Stunning! These guys are actually one of the most consistent modern bands out there, sounding like Acceptance and Anberlin and so far, this album included, they're 3 albums in without disappointing. This one is another consistent effort. Nothing crap on it, a fan pleaser. I still wish these guys had a few more absolute killers, like the first song this time round, but that's a small complaint. This is probably their best CD so far - I liked it a lot. Man that opening track is amazing!! Almost 'Crack Alley' - FM-esque guitars. LOVE it.

 

Jeff Scott Soto - 'B-Sides' ; Nothing I hear from this guy surprises me anymore - not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. Overall I probably have about 50 albums from him (:lol:) so you know the routine. These tracks generally could have been features on most of his releases and they're all a good listen with about 3 serious gems in there. Good stuff, no surprises. :D

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Chris Caffery - PINS AND NEEDLES

 

Not sure what to make of this one yet. Some heavy tunes to be found, but also some weird experimental-sounding stuff that I can't quite wrap my head around yet. Sounds like this one will need more than one spin to really sink in.

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Sunrise Avenue - 'On the way to wonderland' ; hate the guy's voice, but the songs are all pretty good. Snappy, hooky choruses... but the vocals do sort of kill it for me. I'll call it decent so far. Reminds me of Sahara and Kick the Kangaroo mixed together.

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Cherry Monroe - 'The good the bad and the beautiful' ; what's the deal with these guys??? I was expecting a Cherry St-style “sleaze” throwaway album, but it’s much better than that. I don’t know how to classify it because there are sort of modern hints, like Best Of Seven, or Mars Electric or something like that. There aren’t solos, but it rocks. I don’t know how to classify, but I liked it a lot. Damn fine album.

 

Jesse Damon - 'Nothin' else matters' ; it’s a shame Jesse got possessed by aliens and is no longer that awesome dude who sung for Silent Rage. Songs are shit, voice is unidentifiable… everything about this is pure shit. Listen to Silent Rage’s ‘Don’t touch me there instead’ and PLEASE, do not waste your time with this.

 

Within Temptation - 'The heart of everything' ; wow, this is my first taste of this band and melikes, a lot. Very atmospheric, ballsy…. Great songs. I like this a lot.

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First spin impression....I felt quite dizzy.

 

On my second spin ... I threw up ! :P

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First spin impression....I felt quite dizzy.

 

On my second spin ... I threw up ! :P

A cheekier devil there's ne'er been.

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Private Line - Evel Knievel Factor

Another quality band from Finland. Not easy to categorise - think along the lines of Modern Glam/ Hard Rock with seriously good, catchy songs. I have seen them described as 'Reminiscent Of Pretty Maids, combined with the attitude of Backyard Babies and the Melodies of Lovex' - which sums it up pretty well. Really REALLY good this one. Must be something in the water over in Finland at the moment, cos the standard of bands coming from there is incredibly high.

 

Geoff - Check this out if you can as I think it will be right up your street matey. Also have you heard Lovex - Divine Insanity which you also may like - some great tunes on that one as well.

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Within Temptation - 'The heart of everything' ; wow, this is my first taste of this band and melikes, a lot. Very atmospheric, ballsy…. Great songs. I like this a lot.

 

Yeah I need to check this one out too. Their last album was a disappointment, & I've always thought they were a distant second to NIGHTWISH, but the single is great...

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Star Rats

 

'Broken Halo' - This was released in 2004 and it kicks ass. Great production, some very cool songs. I love 10 and 11 especially. Great hard rock album.

 

'Rebelution' - A bit heavier than the debut, but pretty much takes up where the debut left off. Good solid heavy rock.

 

Is there something wrong with me that I so dearly hate the lyrical content of christian bands, but I loved these 2 albums, lyrics and all?

Short answer--yes. :P

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Private Line - Evel Knievel Factor

Another quality band from Finland. Not easy to categorise - think along the lines of Modern Glam/ Hard Rock with seriously good, catchy songs. I have seen them described as 'Reminiscent Of Pretty Maids, combined with the attitude of Backyard Babies and the Melodies of Lovex' - which sums it up pretty well. Really REALLY good this one. Must be something in the water over in Finland at the moment, cos the standard of bands coming from there is incredibly high.

 

Geoff - Check this out if you can as I think it will be right up your street matey. Also have you heard Lovex - Divine Insanity which you also may like - some great tunes on that one as well.

Hey mate, heard them both mate. I am also most impressed by both of them, especially Lovex. :)

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Just a quick run-through:

 

Tracy Starr - s/t ; pretty cool heavy rock. Not the best, but a good CD.

 

Fall of Troy - Doppledanger ; absolutely terrible. Last all of 5mins in my stereo. AVOID.

 

Laurence Archer - LA ; Whichever pranksters actually told this guy he had a voice good enough to record with were awesome, but sacrificed what could have been a very cool disc. Laughable vocals and the female backing vocals are even worse, but the songs are good.

 

Jorge Salan - Chronicles of an evolution ; pretty cool stuff. A mixed bag, but a few cool songs.

 

Jack Starr - Out of the darkness ; average hard rock. Very average.

 

Kingdom Come - Ain't crying for the moon ; this was okay, but not great. Nothing really stood out but nothing was awful.

 

Cornerstone - Two tales of one tomorrow ; I think this is pretty much where the other albums left off. What are they up to now? Is it 4? I don't know, they're a cool band and I get that people dig them but for me they need to spice their shit up a bit.

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Gotthard - Domino Effect

 

First off don't believe any talk of this album sounding 'Modern' or sounding 'Experimental', because this cd sounds like Gotthard and no one else.

 

While it's not as immediate or commercial sounding as prior release "Lipservice", it's still a very good album.

Opener "Master of Illusion" gets things started off right and track 2 "Gone too Far" might be the best song on the album. Other great songs for me are "Falling", "The Call", "The Oscar Goes to you", "The Cruiser", "Heal Me", "Letter to a Friend", and "Tomorrow's Just Begun". This one gets a thumbs up from me.

 

 

Crimson Glory - Transcendence

 

I've never heard this band before, even though I've always been interested in what they sounded like.

I have to say on first impression I'm very very impressed. A great mixture of Progressive Metal and Classic/Power Metal, which is right up my alley. The singers voice is kicking my ass. Thanks for hookup on this one Keef. :drink:

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Gotthard - Domino Effect

 

First off don't believe any talk of this album sounding 'Modern' or sounding 'Experimental', because this cd sounds like Gotthard and no one else.

 

While it's not as immediate or commercial sounding as prior release "Lipservice",

On first listen I prefer it to 'Lipservice' for sure. Although I think I am the only one in the world who didn't think 'Lipservice' was the best album of all time, I did think it was a very good album. Just not THAT amazing. For me 'Domino Effect' is better. I think. I'll wait and see. Definately love the heavier sound.

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Gotthard - Domino Effect

 

First off don't believe any talk of this album sounding 'Modern' or sounding 'Experimental', because this cd sounds like Gotthard and no one else.

 

While it's not as immediate or commercial sounding as prior release "Lipservice",

On first listen I prefer it to 'Lipservice' for sure. Although I think I am the only one in the world who didn't think 'Lipservice' was the best album of all time, I did think it was a very good album. Just not THAT amazing. For me 'Domino Effect' is better. I think. I'll wait and see. Definately love the heavier sound.

 

 

 

I'm not gonna go so far to say it's better than Lipservice.

I'm one of those people that think Lipservice is a Melodic Rock Masterpiece.

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Just got this yesterday and have been playing it all day (and night at work). Brilliant in a word. Not one track on here I don't like. My faves at the moment are 'Bring Me In' & 'Left To Need'. Love the vocals, LOVE the keys (some very nice stuff going on but done subtley) & the Guitars are great as well and alongside the keys they definately bring in a Saga flavour on quite a few tracks, 'A Live' is a good example of that. So the genereal consensus here is that I am a very happy bunny!!

 

I couldn't agree more to Jez ! This is a fantastic piece of music !! WOW !! :banger:

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Crimson Glory - Transcendence

 

I've never heard this band before, even though I've always been interested in what they sounded like.

I have to say on first impression I'm very very impressed. A great mixture of Progressive Metal and Classic/Power Metal, which is right up my alley. The singers voice is kicking my ass. Thanks for hookup on this one Keef. :drink:

 

Glad you're diggin' it bro. That there is one of the finest Power Metal CDs ever recorded IMHO. :tumbsup:

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