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Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The CD Reviews – Part 2

These album overviews were originally written for Metal Edge Magazine when I was a contributor to their “Hear Us Out” CD reviews section back in 2006-2007. With the magazine wrapping up publication a few months ago, I decided to add them to the context of our PiercingMetal presentation. I felt that by doing this I would not only be raising the horns in remembrance of the magazine but would also be able to showcase just how different writing for a major publication was when it all came down to it. Since “Hear Us Out” notations were usually “100” words in length, these posts will feature several reviews each until we run out of them. The freelance writing tenure at Metal Edge Magazine was discussed on THIS LINK so please check that out when done. Here are the reviews, so “Hear Us Out”.

Burn Season: “Burn Season” (Bieler Bros. Records)

After initial dealings with the folding Elektra Records, Burn Season found their brand of Nu-Metal Heaviness on Bieler Bros. Records. The group is closer in style to that of early Linkin Park as opposed to the recent crop of Metal Core acts and holds a passionate style that makes the oft-lambasted Nu-Metal label a little more acceptable. Solid riffs and harmony vocals tempered with the razor screams of Damien Starkey are par for the course with this self-titled CD so if you enjoy Hard Rock with a dose of today’s “edge” mixed in for good measure then this is a group for you.

Casket Salesman: “Sleeping Giants” (Longhair Illuminati Records)

The Casket Salesmen are much along the line of a melodic experimental rock band than their cryptic name would ever have you believe. They blend alternative feels with tasty rhythms and melodies to give you an enjoyable dose of Rock & Roll. Led by singer/guitarist Phil Pirrone the group adventures into several different genre territories and yet still manage to capture the listener’s attention on every cut. There is a lot of Post-Punk vibe that sometimes touches upon the Prog-Rock angle along with some Ambient feels that make the band something worth listening to a few times before making rash judgment.
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“Enter Deception” by Cellador

Artist: Cellador
Title: “Enter Deception”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 6/27/2006
Genre: Power Metal
Rating: 4/5

As you listen to the debut by the band Cellador it would seem that the future of Power Metal no longer lies at the hands of our European neighbors and instead has fallen to…Nebraska. Yes, I did say Nebraska and when the album begins you immediately are taken on a Power Metal ride that calls to mind the likes of Dragonforce and old Helloween with a twist of Gamma Ray tossed in for good measure. It’s a strong debut for a band that was still quite new when they opened up for Black Dahlia Murder and were able to hand their demo over to the label President and subsequently find themselves with a record deal. Surely this was not only a case of timing and luck, but also included their measure of skills and overall potential to move forward as a Heavy Metal rising star. Overall potential is definitely the key here as there is a lot of tasty Metal to absorb in both vocal style and musicianship. The band is made up of Michael Gremio (vocals), Chris Petersen (lead guitar), David Dahir (drums), Valentin Rakhmanov (bass) and Bill Hudson (lead and keys); the members of the band range from 17 to 23 years of age. Despite their young ages, you should not be deterred from the band by this as they play with a level of technical expertise that will have fans of this type of Metal influx banging their heads at mind-boggling speeds. Opener “Leaving All Behind” really reminded me of listening to a young Michael Kiske and “A Sign Far Beyond” had some Dragonforce vibe to it and perhaps that is the fault that they must overcome. There is perhaps a little too much familiarity in the songs across the album. There are no cloned songs but they do keep a certain feel rolling on all of the eight songs on the debut. Lyrics are provided in the booklet and as you leaf through them you will see the main difference in this band, for while Power Metalists, they are not singing about far away and fantasy places but instead things that affect our daily lives. I admit that I was blown away by the displays on guitars, vocals and drums myself and when you are a fan of Power Metal in general you tend to approach a new band with a level of caution. I can say to fans like myself that there is no caution necessary when it comes to these guys. Make room for Cellador, because even if you don’t you are not going to stop them from rolling over you.
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