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Thursday, 9 June 2011

Out Of The Beyond Part 3

Draven: Eden

Coming from the U.K Draven are a band that released their debut album Eden in 2009 they have come on to the scene with more ingenuity and better songs that a lot of bands have ever had. They have been shown by critics as being part of the southern rock scene, but this isn't completely true as they exhibit more hallmarks of a British rock band than of any of their American counterparts. The album is a concept based on 'Paradise Lost' with all the tracks linking but not fully so they can be enjoyed on their own merit. Opener Blitz has a funky but heavy vibe that leads into the second track Itchy Finger which sounds like part of a heavy metal western. The title track has a sprawling powerful sound that gives it the kudos of being one of the best tracks on the album. Draven mix styles effortlessly on this album linking, country, blues, heavy rock and alternative metal to create a very professional album. That said the production is by Kevin 'Caveman' Shirley who produces Maiden and has produced Zeppelin and Metallica so it is immediately given an air of professionalism by his superb production. For a lesser band this would 'make' their album, in Draven's case it just adds to the overall sound as even with a lesser producer these songs would still be excellent. Draven then are a band that defy genres and do it well. Worth seeking out! 8/10

Yargos: To Be Or Not To Be

Yargos are a strange mix of modern progressive metal a la Theater, Threshold etc., classic progressive rock a la Yes; Gentle Giant etc. while also using electronics and then mixing it all together. They are hard to describe and sound unlike many other bands that are classed under the progressive banner, too heavy for pastoral proggers but possibly too lightweight for heavy fans. The band is made up of guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Wieland "Wielo" Hofmeister, keyboardist and drummer Ossy Pfeiffer and former Threshold vocalist Andrew 'Mac' McDermott they are backed by ex-Running Wild (see Pirate Metal) bassist Peter Pichl, guitarist Andreas "Andigitarre" Kienitz and female singer (and Ossy's wife) Anca Graterol. the band then all comes from prog or power metal backgrounds but despite the heavy backing this music has more in common with the classic 70's style prog bands. McDermott’s voice suits this type of music better than it did Threshold's (although he was in a Blaze Bayley situation with Damian Wilson the bands original singer being the fans favourite) he uses real passion over Hofmeister's and Pfeiffers' compositions. The tracks are all solid with the playing being virtuoso on all accounts, Mac's vocals take the front with Anca's mainly being for backing, although she does share lead with Mac on the Summer Tree #1. Despite this being a 'prog' record none of the songs are longer than 7 minutes but still include the time changes and instrumentation that are synonymous with the genre. This then is progressive music. They are a hard band to access but once your there a rewarding one to listen to. 7/10

Magic Kingdom: Metallic Tragedy

No this is not a Disney metal album (no matter how good that would be) Magic Kingdom are a neo-classical/speed/power metal band from Belgium. Like with many of the bands of this ilk they have one focus in this case like so many others it is Guitarist Dushan Petrossi who is following the likes of Tony McAlpine And Yngwie Malmsteen in the virtuoso stakes. This is heavy and fast metal played to perfection, with solos galore. A true air guitarists dream. Petrossi also take the tried and tested route of adding classical nuances to his playing so to come across as more than just a guitar player. However the album itself is a joy to hear no matter how 'Spinal Tap' (Violin scene anyone?) its creator comes across. All blast beats and shredding with a large lunged vocalist screaming over the top. This is dumb and silly but ever so entertaining. The final and title track of the album adds a small difference in that it is a mini metal opera with various vocalists playing different parts. The Concept was expanded on the next album Symphony Of War with the second part of this 'opus' taking up the entire second disc. This is dumb fun for anyone who enjoys any of the genres I have mentioned before. Air Guitars at the ready. 7/10

Glyder: Playground For Life

Glyder come from the Emerald Isle and with that comes the assumption that they sound like Thin Lizzy and in some respects they do, but not totally. Led by guitarist Bat Kincade Playground For Life is their second and most accomplished album. Opening with the very bluesy Gambler's Blues Glyder immediately show themselves to be accomplished musicians. They have big heavy riffs and a lot of power, third song Puppet Queen is the most Lizzyesque of the album with vocalist/bassist Tony Cullen doing his best Phil Lynott impression. The rest of the album mixes these hard rock flavours together with a strong sense of modern playing to create a great rock album replete with two lighter wavers in For Your Skin and Sleeping Gun. Worth checking out if you are a Lizzy fan and also if you’re a fan of good rock music. 8/10

Yargos: http://youtu.be/J01G8x4J9q0
Draven: http://youtu.be/1zRkBFXWKus
Magic Kingdom: http://youtu.be/uI5zHA1RS90
Glyder: http://youtu.be/RJe8ojCbm4U

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