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.
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. Continue reading Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The CD Reviews – Part 2→
Artist: Communic Title: “Waves Of Visual Decay” Label: Nuclear Blast Records Release Date: 6/27/2006 Genre: Progressive Metal Rating: 4/5
The way I see it is like this, when you listen to Norway’s Communic, you should be prepared to be blown away by what is going on in the band. It’s Power Metal with a definite inspiration from the greats of the past and the resulting mix comes off like some sort of amalgam of both Fates Warning and Nevermore, making this strong on the Progressive side as well. “Waves Of Visual Decay” is the bands second release and follows “Conspiracy In Mind” (2005) which was a rock solid effort of its own for a debut from a band formed only two years earlier. Obviously, the band suffered no “sophomore curse” with the album and you can tell easily from the full Metal assault that you will get as it begins. The three-member group are diverse and technically intriguing at practically every turn and though a small lineup there is nothing small by the way of their sound. The album begins with “Under A Luminous Sky” which is a dramatic opener and features many exciting time signature changes. From this, you find that the band makes use of many peaks and valleys by slowing the tempo only to throttle it again, and again. There are true hints of Nevermore’s Warrel Dane on this one then Oddleif shatters glass with a scream that would make Tim “Ripper” Owens proud. Continue reading “Waves Of Visual Decay” by Communic→
Artist: Communic Title: “Conspiracy In Mind” Label: Nuclear Blast Records Release Date: 2/21/2005 Genre: Heavy Metal Rating: 8/10
Clearly influenced by early Queensryche and Dream Theater the band Communic have delivered a very good piece of Metal to the public. With their release of “Conspiracy In Mind” on Nuclear Blast Records the band has shown that not all music coming from Norway needs to be Black or Death Metal. I found it interesting to hear this very progressive layered Metal as opposed to the thundering of bands like Dimmu Borgir and Borknagar for the most part. The band is only three members strong with Oddleif Stensland (vocals and guitar), Tor Atle Andersen (drums) and Erik Mortensen (bass) and together brings a very Nevermore/Dream Theater quality to the songs. As I listened I found singer Stensland to remind me a little of singers like Jeff Scott Soto and Midnight. There is a different level of passion in his voice and more harmonies than one might expect to find in a band of this type. While there are only seven tracks on the debut the listener should be aware that most of the songs range past the seven minute mark. The length allows the band a little more room for creative music explorations. I think fans of Fates Warning, Nevermore and the others who have successfully brought this aspect of the genre to life will totally enjoy Communic. Continue reading “Conspiracy In Mind” by Communic→