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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Reviews: Turisas, Revamp, Newsted

Turisas: Turisas2013 (Spinefarm)

Finland's premier exponents of Battle Metal Turisas have continued in the vein from their last albums slight change in style, with a more straight power metal approach rather than the folk metal of their first two albums. Things are taken further on this album as the opening track For Your Own Good has a elements of bands like Kamelot or Sonata Arctica with its heavy piano/keyboard led riff and big background vocals. Ten More Miles has a more classic Turisas sound with the driving drums and some big folk metal arrangements. This album is a bit more guitar driven than previous efforts but the solos are still handled by violinist Olli Vanska. Despite some strong tracks on this album with Piece By Piece and the excellently titled No Good Story Ever Started With Drinking Tea however this album just doesn't really do it! It sounds like Turisas are trying to be something they are not with tracks like Into The Free and We Ride Together sounding like generic Power metal rather than the folk influenced battle metal of the band's past. Yes Warlord still has a great voice and the band are all very talented but by trying to change their sound so much they have managed to become just another band. 6/10     

Revamp: Wild Card (Nuclear Blast)

So former After Forever and current (stand in for the time being) Nightwish vocalist, Floor Jansen returns with her second album with her new band Revamp. Since the first album Jansen has experienced a burnout and got the Nightwish gig which has postponed this instalment of the album but it was worth waiting for. More streamlined than the first effort this combines Gothenburg style sometimes even djent style guitars, blast beat drums mixed with more symphonic elements of Jansen's past. Much like on the first album three of the tracks are part of a concept called Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown which builds up into the heavyweight third part Neurasthenia which features the mad Canuck Devin Townsend who provides some unmistakeable demented vocals to the breakdown. The musicianship is of the highest quality throughout with some killer riffs and solos coming from the two guitarists, some huge hooky keys but most impressive of all are Floor's vocals she is equally at home in the upper operatic register as she is grunting like Corpsegrinder, she provides both styles throughout the album but most effectively on the superb I Can Become. The final track Misery's No Crime features guest grunts from her After Forever cohort Mark Jansen (no relation) and ends the album in sine style (unless you have the bonus tracks). Still this is a much more streamlined concise but hard hitting album that is a lot more satisfying than her debut, with an album like this part of me wishes she wasn't frontrunner for the Nightwish job. 8/10   

Newsted: Heavy Metal Music (Chophouse Records)

Jason Newsted has always been 'the other guy' stepping into the world’s biggest thrash band after the death of their superstar bassist. He was always standing in Cliff Burton's shadow and only ever had a few writing credits while in Metallica, along with the famous case of his bass being all but mixed out of ...And Justice For All. After a few years in the wilderness he is back with a solo album which consists of the man himself on bass and vocals and a band consisting of some heavyweight players. Be sure that the bass is loud and proud on this record standing head and shoulders above the rest of the instruments. Now with all the mentions of Metallica you'd expect Heavy Metal Music to sound like Lars and co but it doesn't, it has more in common with Megadeth than it does with 'Tallica Newsted's voice has the same shredded quality as Megadave's and the riffs vary from being fast and furious (Soilderhead is the best Megadeth song they've never written) to big heavy ragers like the opening Heroic Dose and ...As The Crow Flies. However Jason doesn't just stick to one style he runs the gauntlet making sure this album brings as much Heavy Metal Music as possible with Long Time Dead and Above All having the bass heavy blues metal of Lemmy and co, Ampossible is AIC under another name, punk comes in the form of Twisted Tail Of The Comet with King Of The Underdog and Nocturnus being pure doom metal. Newsted has brought all of his influences together and created an album of strong heavy metal tracks that stand shoulders above anything his former band have done in recent years. 8/10

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