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Monday, 17 October 2016

Reviews: Cry Of Dawn, Blind Ego, Exist Immortal

Cry Of Dawn Feat Goran Edman: Cry Of Dawn (Frontiers)

Goran Edman has a pretty good case for being THE voice of AOR, especially in the Scandinavian realm. Cry Of Dawn is his current project and features Michael Palace (who's own debut record was reviewed recently) handling guitars and bass, Sören Kronqvist on keys and Daniel Flores (Mind's Eye, Murder Of My Sweet) tackling the skins and twiddling the knobs allowing everything to get the shine it needed.

Goran Edman's vocals are as usual spot on clear, soulful and he has a supreme range scaling the highs and crooning with attitude on songs like Tell It To My Heart. Palace's talents lay with his guitar playing clearly as he is the ideal foil for Edman's vocal prowess cutting into the layers of keys with virtuostic solos that Steven Lynch (Autograph) would have plied his trade with. Cry Of Dawn is yet another feather in the cap of one of AORs premier performers and reinforces why Scandinavia is the best breeding ground for it. 7/10

Blind Ego: Liquid (Gentle Art Of Music)

Solo album from the RPWL guitarist Kalle Wallner, bringing the same kind of progressive bluster that he brings in his day job. As you'd expect it's very guitar heavy and perfect for six string nerds but it is also full of great songwriting even the instrumental Quiet Anger is an interesting song that keeps the attention. This record has a fluid nature drawing from various influences similar to Roger Waters/Steven Wilson guitarist Dave Kilminster's solo output. Just listen to the first two tracks A Place In The Sun and Blackened and you will get an ideas of the duality of this record A Place... is a driving prog rocker with intense double tapped guitar solo, whereas Blackened is an acoustically laced more emotive track.

It seems almost perfunctory to talk about the guitars on this record but they are amazing, displaying that when Wallner is away from the German Pink Floyd mothership of RPWL he confirms how versatile a player he is. Wallner has assembled a great group of musicians too taking his pick from three different bassists and vocalists while the only constant are the drums of Micheal Schwager formerly of Dreamscape. The album marries the sounds of his two previous records melding glistening melodic melancholy with thumping hard rock. Kalle Wallner's third solo record is yet another impressive slice of experimental yet engaging rock music. 8/10

Exist Immortal: Breathe (Primordial Records)

Heaviness at it's fullest is the order of the day from the London five piece Exist Immortal, stomping palm muted riffs teamed with clean, melodic guitar lines. Think bands such as Fallujah and you'd be in the right playing field. The drums and bass power the heavy grooves, with the drumming especially impressive on Invisible Lines which also highlights Exist Immortal's use of clean and harsh vocals that are a major part of the current metal scene.

This can be considered to be djent but it has a wider remit too, still the crunchy, mechanical groove laden riffs work well with the much cleaner guitar playing that soars along with the excellent clean vocals and they spread their wings a little on Follow Alone which stands out as one of the best on the record. It's not rocket science but it works well, there's enough guts to bang your head too, lashings of technicality but also actual songwriting which is where a lot of the more djenty acts fall down. Breathe should be the opening into the wider consciousness Exist Immortal need to drag them out of the underground, ready to beat down anyone that listens. 7/10


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