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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Reviews: Five Finger Death Punch, Eden's Curse, Iron Man

Five Finger Death Punch: The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell Volume 2(Spinefarm)

Part two of the American bruiser’s fourth album and there is no sign of the band letting up and making an AOR album anytime soon. Again Moody roars and croons, Bathory brings some massive riffs and Hook adds the solos, backed by Spencer's drums and Kael's bass licks. So again we see FFDP crating a riotous, angry album full of groove filled American heavy metal. Unlike the first album there are no guests on this second part just the band playing their brand of metal that mixes heaviness but with melody, see semi ballad Weight Beneath My Skin and the euphoric Battle Born (an ode to the road) for the latter and Wrecking Ball (thankfully not  Miley Cyrus cover) for the former. This is another strong album that seems to have more of the big hook filled tracks and semi-ballads like Cold that the band are good at  rather than the aggressive razor sharp riffage, which is still present but not as prevalent as it was on part 1. Still it's a good album that works in conjunction with Volume 1 to give FFDP more songs to unleash in the live arena where they really excel, it also has quite a good cover of The Animal's House Of The Rising Sun which works quite well. 7/10

Eden's Curse: Symphony Of Sin (AFM)

Four records into their career and its all change in the Eden's Curse camp. They have done the make or break thing of changing their singer, and new boy Serbian Nikola Mijic has a tall order in following the unique vocals of founder member Michael Eden but luckily he is extremely talented and has voice similar to that of Edguy/Avantasia's Tobias Sammet. Mijic has entered the fray after Eden controversially left the melodic metal band stating that it was his creation and his idea and that he was being forced out by co-founder member bassist Paul Logue. But I digress into band politics which is always a bad idea so; I'll just focus on this album instead. What an album it is moving away from the more metallic offerings of their last two albums (the excellent Second Coming and the awesome Trinity respectively) back to the rockier melodic metal of their first album. This may look like a step backwards but as Edguy's Age Of The Joker showed sometimes variety is the spice of life and Eden's Curse have definitely spiced things up on this album. It moves and twists through several shades and genres. Take for example the opening title track, it has driving metallic riff from guitarist Thorsten Kohne, he is aided by the powerful keyboard runs of second new member former Dragonforce/Powerquest keyboardist Steve Williams who take over from the in demand Alessio Del Vecchio. Williams adds his years of experience to the songs with some amazing synths see Break The Silence, orchestrations and piano on the big show stopping ballads like Fallen From Grace which is Whitesnake by another brand. With all the talk of new members it's sometimes easy to forget the powerhouse rhythm section of Logue and drummer Pete Newdeck who keep everything nice and grounded in hard hitting rock. In terms of songwriting Logue has out done himself Evil & Divine sounds like Dio-Rainbow or Deep Purple, to the AOR of Unbreakable where everything goes all Journey. This is yet another sterling effort from Eden's Curse who have definitely come out of their line-up change on the right foot. With Mijic's powerful range and Williams’s keyboard prowess, Eden's Curse can step out of their genre domination into the world beating arena! 9/10       

Iron Man: South Of The Earth (Rise Above)

Stop the presses! A former Black Sabbath tribute band release an album of original material that sounds like Sabbath. Really this all you need to know. But in the name of information I suppose I should go on so I will. Formed by Maryland guitarist Alfred Morris III, Iron Man have all the hallmarks of Iommi and his Iron Men, the heaving slabs of doom riffage from Morris III the rumbling bass lines Louis Strachan who is channelling his Geezer Butler perfectly with his lead guitar like bass playing. The drums smash and tumble with equal power and singer "Screaming Mad" Dee Calhoun has voice that is a dead ringer for Grand Magus' JB. South Of The Earth is the bands fifth album with as many line ups (their ex-members list is huge!) yet they show little signs of changing or giving up on their Sabbath vibe yet. Yes as I've said the band sound like Sabbath and from the two opening tracks, the title track and the leaf worshiping Hail To The Haze the band show their intent to be as Sabbath as possible with driving riffage and some killer guitar playing before the doom creep of The Worst And Longest Day will get your head nodding in a smoke filled haze. The album takes a break in the middle with the acoustic Ariel Changed The Sky which is still hailing back to Sabbath and tracks like Planet Caravan or Laguna Sunrise. This album is perfect for doom fans as well as Sabbath worshippers. Spark up, sit down and let them take you on a trip Into The Void. 8/10 

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