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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Reviews: Dream The Electric Sleep, Amon Amarth, Nero

Dream The Electric Sleep: Lost And Gone Forever (Self Release)

DTES are prog rock power trio that come from Kentucky. This is their first release is a concept album that is based on a young couple in a mining town. So far so ordinary I hear you cry, well not so because DTES draw from a plethora of influences and are equal parts Floyd, Muse, U2 and in some places Radiohead. The songs span long run times and are a kaleidoscope of textures drawing light and shade in every song. Second song Coal Dust And Shadows moves from a U2 riff into a soaring Pink Floyd solo, the songs continue in this vein throughout the album with everyone being different. Where DTES also break the mould is that they are giving the album away 100% free. That's 14 tracks on an album that clocks in at over an hour of constantly great music, surely that is a deal that any classic, prog or any rock fan can't turn down. Stunning 9/10
Link for the album: http://www.noisetrade.com/dtes

Amon Amarth: Surtur Rising (Metal Blade)

I realise that this album was released in March but I have only just bought it so here's my review. Continuing their theme of Viking trad metal Amon Amarth return with their newest album Surtur Rising is again lyrically based on Norse mythology. Johan Hegg again leads the proceedings with his guttural roars and shouts, the rest of the band play very well the guitars are tight and the soloing is melodic. The real star though is drummer Fredrik Andersson whose blast beating is stunning throughout the album. In terms of style they don't move away from the style of their previous albums which is death metal with power metal influences. Opening track War Of The Gods sets the tone perfectly with speedy riffing and great soloing. The Last Stand Of Frej is a doom laden slow burning monster that's full of atmosphere, a fantastic track that is out of the norm (and also gives Andersson a break from the blast beats). Surtur Rising is a good album that doesn't do anything different but it's done very well. 7/10

Nero: Welcome Reality (MTA)

I realise that this is primarily a rock and metal blog but the emergence of Dub step has been linked with such metal friendly acts as The Prodigy and Pendulum. Nero are signed to Chase and Status' record label. This debut album features the already released singles Me & You, Innocence, Guilty and Promises. So it is up to the rest of the tracks to hold people's attention, they do this admirably, opener Doomsday and closer Departure bookend the album brilliantly as they are very orchestral pieces filled with the pulsing bass lines dub step is known for. The main vocals on the album come from Alana Watson whose voice is perfectly suited to the heavy and melodic music. The album shares many similarities with rock and metal and even feature synth created guitar effects. Three of the tracks are remixes of songs by The Jets, Hall & Oats and Carmen. The tracks are all linked together giving the album an almost concept feel throughout. For fans of dub step and electronica this is great, but fans of rock and metal are also going to enjoy this as well (I promise). 8/10

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