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Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Out Of The Beyond 26

Darkwater: Where Stories End (2010)

Where Stories End is Swede's Darkwater's second album and it is a far more direct approach to progressive metal than their debut was (if that's possible with prog). On the whole Darkwater have a style similar to that of Symphony X combining speed metal riffage with big keyboard runs and some powerful vocals from frontman/guitarist Henrik Bath. Things get off to flying start with the eerie keys of Breathe before the heavy guitar crunch kicks in, this is where the bands strength lay the keyboard and guitar interplay is excellent Magnus Holmberg's keys and orchestrations are dominant but not overpowering meaning that the guitars of Bath and Markus Sigfridsson can pull out some very heavy riffs especially on the 8 minute plus Why I Bleed which twists and turns throughout. For a band with only two albums these songs are very strong the instrumental passages are excellent and the vocals are also very, very, good. With tracks like the brooding Into The Cold, the evil A Fools Utopia and the very Dream Theater sounding In The Blink Of An Eye. Where Stories End is a very good album that will appeal to Symphony X fans and also fans of the darker side of progressive metal with some meaty riffs, classical keys and very strong vocals. 8/10

Innerwish: No Turning Back (2010)

A Greek power metal band formed by a virtuoso guitarist; sound familiar? However Innerwish are a band that may always be in the shadow of Gus G and his world conquering crew but despite this Innerwish deliver some top quality power metal that if I'm honest, sounds like Firewind a lot like Firewind. This is their fourth and most recent album and it is also probably their strongest. The Firewind comparison is clear from the opening riff of Signs Of Our Lives which has the dual guitars of founder member Thimios Krikos and Manolis Tsigkos shredding through some galloping Euro power metal style riffage backed by some blasting drums from Terry Moros and some very good keys and synths from George Georgiou (no Bob Katsionis style dual playing here!) all of this is topped by some very technical solos from Krikos and the strong and very European vocals of Babis Alexandropoulos (great name!). Like I said this is top quality power metal with some crunchy riffs and melodic solos and yes it does sound a lot like Greece's premier power metal band and this is not really a bad thing as if you are going to imitate then imitate the best, but with Firewind looking for a new singer this could be Innerwish's time to step out of the shadow and into the light! 8/10

Forever Never: S/T (2009)

Forever Never are a melodic metal band hailing from Essex and this was there second (and final) album. They mix tight, downturned, breakdown heavy, metal with massive melodic choruses and some electronic elements on tracks like Eradicated. The band are all very professional with the some progressive riffage coming from the guitars of George Lennox and an incredibly heavy bottom end from bassist Kevin Yates and drummer Sam Curtis on opener Empty Promises and T.I.T.S. However the bands ace in the hole is vocalist Renny Carroll who has an incredibly good voice equally adept to the soaring melodic clean parts of Broken Kingdom and the ballad of Lost Kingdom as well as having a strong scream on tracks like Break The Trend. Carroll's vocals are simply awesome and he is the perfect vocal foil for the heavy and melodic music as his vocals are so strong when screaming and when singing. This a great album full of huge melodic rock choruses and some massive metallic riffage. Forever Never is a great sophomore album from an underrated British metal band that proved to be not only their grand finale but also it became their magnum opus. 9/10

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