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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Out Of The Beyond Part 6

Silverlane: Above the Others

This is a Melodic Power Metal band from Germany, featuring the usual mix of speeding drums, shredding guitars and keyboard flourishes they manage to immediately catch the attention of the listener, the first 4 songs in particular all link together very well and provide a great start to the album. The band play ably the guitarists Christoph Alexander Schmitt and Uli Holzemer in tight harmony, the bass of Daniel Saffer is both rhythmic and driving with a suitable gallop, the drums of Simon Michael Schmitt pounding out a back beat. These are held together by the superb classical playing of Keyboardist Dorothee Schmitt and the band is topped off by the rough and powerhouse vocals of the conveniently named Ecki Singer. His voice is much rougher than other power metal singers but it suites the music well. The album itself goes through the first 4 tracks of powerhouse metal and then slows the pace with ballad The Game and before changing it again with the industrial The Dark Side in You which is followed by the poppier Ready to Rock. After these 7 tracks the next 4 tracks are part of a mini concept suite of four songs based around a White Lady character, before ending with another OTT ballad and a stormer of a closer in the song In the End. If I was to make a criticism of this album it is that it maybe a little over long at 13 tracks (The White Lady suite could have been on an e.p) but it is a good album that is very well produced and filled with great songs. It is also an album for fans of driving metal but without the falsetto vocal theatrics, all in all a real crowd pleaser. 8/10

Scenes: Call Us At The Number You Provide

It’s always strange heading into a second hand CD shop you never know what you will find. This album is one such gem. I had an inkling of the genre by what label it was on however for a £1 I took the risk and I'm glad I did. What I purchased was an album of great progressive metal from a band called Scenes with some research I found that they were from Germany and this was their debut. The band are obviously all virtuosos as the playing is fantastic throughout with particular notice going to Bassist Jan Ebert (although this maybe due to the bass heavy production). The vocals of Alexander Koch are strong and with a lot of gravel along with having the European style of pronunciation that is the norm in bands from Europe. The songs are well balanced with shorter songs breaking up the gaps between the prog epics that are 6, 7, 9 or 10 minutes each. While the album is good there is a small thing that annoys me about it, that is that on two of the songs they have another vocalist someone called Nektarios Bamiatzis who despite being a good singer and suited to the genre he does not to be an official member of the band so why is he credited as such on the album (he is not credited anywhere else) maybe it's just me but it seems a little cruel to have a vocalist and let someone who is not more well known to sing two of you songs. This aside the album is well written and well performed, like most prog, a good investment for £1. 7/10

David Readman: S/T

Known primarily as the singer of German metal band (what is it with German bands this time) Pink Cream 69 (after original singer Andi Deris joined Helloween). Englishman David Readman is more recently known as the singer of Neo-Classical/Hard Rock band Voodoo Circle. This is Readman's first solo album and it is in keeping with both of his day jobs albeit in a lighter sense. The album features Eden's Curse Bassist Paul Logue and Readman's Voodoo Circle cohort Alexander Beyrodt on guitar. The album is a primarily a Melodic Rock album that has a similar sound to bands like Y&T and 80's period Whitesnake (mainly due to Readman's voice). The songs are good and the playing is great Readman's voice is also fantastic as usual. Why then don't I like this as much as I do Voodoo Circle or Eden's Curse, it could be to do with the ratio between rockers and ballads, there are just too many of the latter, the album is a bit too schmaltzy and the rockier songs don't really have the punch they should, the opening track Without You is a big rocker but after about the sixth track the album starts to falter and the following tracks just don't seem to generate any feeling. A slightly disappointing album although not a total failure because of the quality of the playing and the production (which comes from Pink Cream 69's Dennis Ward) 6/10

Silverlane: http://youtu.be/GDWvFpnyjGI
Scenes: http://youtu.be/o8XW-V48FkM
David Readman: http://youtu.be/EzLCghc8j4Q

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