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Friday, 7 October 2016

Reviews: The Radio Sun, Anciients, Fallen Temples

The Radio Sun: Outside Looking In (Melodic Rock Records)

The Radio Sun are an Australian AOR band that are trying to compete with the huge rise in Scandinavian melodic rock that has been on the rise since the millennium. Luckily TRS have maintained their high strike rate from their debut and second record. The songs hark back to the glory days of AOR when Journey, Reo Speedwagon, Night Ranger all ruled the airwaves but they add bands such as Firehouse, Trixter and Mr Big to the mix due to the sublime vocal harmonies and guitar driven nature of the songs. The opening few songs are all bouncy radio bothering melodic rock driven by a steady rhythm section and huge vocal hooks. The guitars are clean and biting, blending with the keys that are obligatory in this kind of music.

All the instruments are vital to the sound with nothing taking precedence until the sparkling guitar solos of course but even then the rigorous rhythm keeps beating. Guitarist Stevie Janevski is also in Aussie power metal band Black Majesty this link is evident on the rockier strains of One Of These Days. What I love about this band that all of their songs are bright, sunny and upbeat even on the more romantic numbers such as the title track they have a hopeful outlook. They've managed to bring in a couple of guests to with Nelson six stringer supplying a solo to Falling For You and ex-Danger Danger vocalist duetting with Jason Old on Wink & A Smile.

It's the kind of AOR I love unashamedly bright and breezy but with a solid level of musicianship underpinning it. Chock full of melodic rock anthems, fist clenching rockers such as Bulletproof and saccharine ballads like Baby Blue, Outside Looking In is the fine third album from this Australian band who have taken what they have done before and refined it yet again. They make it sound easy and it's a triumph yet again. 8/10

Anciients: Voice From The Void (Seasons Of Mist)

I'll admit I've never heard of Anciients but this Canadian act touted a progressive metal band and it's hard to argue because this second full length is full of complicated musicianship, intense time changes and big slabs of heaviness. The band sound a lot like Mastodon they have a percussive force that rivals Brann Dailor and co. They also have the dual guttural clean vocal sound of the Atlanta band with guitarists/vocalists Chris Dyck and Paul Cook both sharing vocal duties. The cleans have the Southern drawl to them but the guttural roars sound a lot like his Opethness Mr Akerfeldt.

This album has rock hooks slipped into overarching heaviness, Buried In Sand is a testament to this with classic rock guitar solos coming after a slow sludge metal build before Mike Hannays' drums power the middle section while Boons bass keeps the pace until the track explodes into its most melodic part. Driven by hard rock melody, overshadowed by metallic heaviness and underpinned by groove Voice From The Void lives up to billing as a hotly anticipated release, it's music packed with riffs, shifting time signatures and intense guitar workouts. If you worship at the altar of Mastodon and yearn for Opeth to return to their Blackwater Park days then Anciients will fulfil those desires with gusto. 7/10

Fallen Temples: The Future We Left Behind (Self Released)

Fallen Temples are the band formally known a Tidal. A favourite here at MoM towers, since the Tidal debut album they have shrunk down to a three piece but the groove is still strong with these ones. Taking their cues from Clutch, Mastodon, obviously Sabbath along with nods to Soundgarden, this is groovy, heavy rock music, that has some stoner elements to it. With thundering rhythm section from the Joe's, Stirland (drums) and Lewis (bass) tracks like Cut The Wire rumble along underpinning the heavyweight power of the band as guitarist/vocalist Adam Vaughan riffs with a technical panache to throw in flourishes of heroism on The Hunt but also keeps the riffs flowing.

His vocals too are spot on for the music, they are strong and clean and on the Touching The Void they have some grit to them too. This is one of the best tracks on the four track EP with a great rhythm riffage from Lewis, expressive drumming from Stirland and some searing lead guitars but they flex their muscles on the final track Eternal Drift which slows things down and adds some genuine feeling to the chorus. Fallen Temples brilliantly rise from the flames of Tidal with a sound that is similar but one that takes them to  the next level in their evolution. I just have one question, when's the full length guys? 8/10   

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