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Wednesday 4 January 2012

Out Of The Beyond 11

Seven Tears: In Every Frozen Tear

Young Swedes Seven Tears released their debut album In Every Frozen Tear in 2007 and it is a heady mix of melodic and progressive metal. The band are all virtuosos considering their age and this technical ability is shown in the odd time signatures that are thrown in to highlight the progressive nature and adds flair to the main bulk of melodic even AOR tinged metal. The band has crunchy guitars and propulsive keys and the vocals of Zoran Djorem are clean and crisp. The production is superb and it is handled by the band themselves which shows how talented this young band are. This is an excellent album with songs like Twist Of Fate and Faded Memory sticking in your mind for days after. All I hope is that they get around to releasing another album soon. 8/10
Andre Matos: Time To Be Free

Time To Be Free is the debut solo album from Brazilian vocalist Andre Matos; he is a former member of the prog/power metallers Angra and Shaman. This solo album continues in this genre vein adding a liberal dose of symphonic and classical elements courtesy of Matos' classical piano playing. The album features the Mariutti brothers on guitar and bass respectively both of whom have come from Angra with Matos and are long time collaborators. The album is full of classically influenced power metal with tracks like Letting Go, Rio and Rescue all top notch rockers that are mixed with soaring ballads. The album is produced by power metal super extraordinaire Sascha Paeth and co-produced by Roy Z who is most notable as the producer guitarist of Rob Halfords solo projects as well as Bruce Dickinson's solo projects, Z also provides guitar on a few of the tracks on this album especially the track How Long (Unleashed Away) which I think is the best track on the album. The orchestral elements are also excellent and are provided by long time Paeth collaborator Miro Rodenberg. This is a solid album from a man who was still finding his feet as a solo artist and the myriad of influences shows this, it does however suffer from too many ballad syndrome. 7/10

Andre Matos: Mentalize

This is Mr Matos' second solo album and is a far better-rounded affair. He has finally found his niche and can let himself grow a little. Matos voice is excellent on both albums but on this he takes it up a gear. He reminds me of screamers like Dickinson but has a lot more in common with Michael Kiske of Helloween or Tobias Sammet from Edguy because of his accented delivery (no wonder he is featured on the Avantasia albums). This album also up's the rock levels with the guitars and keys packing more of punch and some tracks like Shift The Night Away having a very speed metal approach, there are still ballads but even these a brought to another level of pomposity and are all better for it. Again the album is produced by Paeth but this time co-produced by Matos himself which is probably why there is a more of personal touch to this record. This is another slice of great symphonic metal from an excellent vocalist. 8/10

Cain's Offering: Gather The Faithful

Cain's Offering is a band formed by former Sonata Arctica guitarist Jani Liimatainen after his departure from the band. The album shares all the same hallmarks as Sonata with the galloping bass and drums, the speedy guitar riffing all over-layed by layers of keys. However what makes this album just a little different is that it features the unmistakeable vocals of Timo Kotipelto of Stratovarius who lends his heartfelt and supremely powerful vocals to the album and is more than a match for Sonata's Tony Kakko. Jani's guitar playing is excellent throughout the album as is Mikko Harkin's keyboard playing (who also features on Symfonia's debut album, which is the newest project of former Stratovarius guitarist Timo Tolkki and features Andre Matos on vocals, see its all linked folks). The album is described as an album of 'love songs' however there are few ballads and the majority are rip roaring power metal filled with solos galore and Kotipelto's soaring vocals. Good album for any fans of the members involved anyone else may just see a traditional power metal band. 8/10

Seven Tears: http://youtu.be/W6AZeYgJaCY
Andre Matos: http://youtu.be/vHTX-Az9YX0 & http://youtu.be/-kyckVwGD1A
Cain's Offering: http://youtu.be/7f9alJoClaM

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