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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Reviews: Temperance, Battle Beast, LEAH (Reviews By Stief)

Temperance: Limitless (Scarlet Records)

The second album from the Italian Quintet opens with an eerie choir of children singing, Oblivion then breaks into the distinct techno-infused metal we've come to enjoy from the band. Yet again the guitars are solid, Giulio Capone's drumming heavy and Chiara Tricarico's vocals soar between operatic and clean effortlessly supported by Marco Pastorino's distinct growls. As mentioned before, the keyboards add a more techno feel to the melodic heavy metal sound, similar to Swedes Amaranthe, which isn't a bad thing at all. Save Me has both an uplifting chorus, and a brilliant breakdown in which Marco shows off his growling, as well as some great riffing supported by Sandro Capone's rhythm guitars. Stay brings the pace down a little, whilst remaining heavy. Another highlight is Mr. White, a song dedicated to everyone's favourite meth dealer, Heisenberg, which even opens with a Breaking Bad-esque bass line from Luik Abbott. Again, Marco shows his vocal skills, supporting Chiara in the chorus with clean vocals before breaking into growls and heavier vocals for the verses. Never Say Goodbye is another song with more of a ballad-esque feel and in this song, as well as throughout the album, the use of strings adds to the melodic sound. The album constantly shifts in pace from song to song, be it the slower sound of Never Say Goodbye, or the faster pace of the title track Limitless, but no song seems to detract from the others. Overall the album is just as melodic and heavy as the last. Another great album by a great band. 9/10

Battle Beast: Unholy Saviour (Nuclear Blast)

Finland's Battle Beast start off with Lionheart, a slice of 80's Heavy Metal complete with Noora Louhimo's vocals, which are bloody powerful, never sounding strained no matter how far she pushes them. There's a very Doro Pesch-like vibe from Noora, and it's perfectly suited to the sound of the band. The third full album from the band, Unholy Saviour is a great mix of heavy, speedy power metal and slower more ballad-like songs such as; Sea Of Dreams and Angel Cry, in which Noora shows the softer side to her vocals whilst still blasting us away with how strong her voice can be. The album also cements the band as fans of Scarface, including not only a sample from the film in I Want The World...And Everything In It, but also an excellent cover of Paul Engemann's Push It To The Limit from the film's soundtrack. Madness is another great song, showing off the talents of the band, be it Eero Sipilä's heavy bass, Pyry Vikki's brilliant drumming, the melodic keyboards of Janne Björkroth or the riffing from Juuso Soinio as well as Noora's aforementioned vocals. Another song which showcases the band's skills is Hero's Quest, a completely instrumental sing replete with chants of 'hey hey' which sounds like it would be perfectly in place as the theme tune to an 80's adventure TV show. Having seen the band live before, it's obvious they're very talented, and this album is a shining example of that. 9/10

LEAH : Kings And Queens (Ex Cathedra Records)

Having been supported by members of Testament before, Canadian artist LEAH is supported by members of Delain and Blind Guardian in places on her third album, Kings And Queens (released last year). It's obvious LEAH has talent,with a varied symphonic style and quite distinct voice. Be it soft in the form of Arcadia and Heart Of Poison to almost Enya-level serenity in places such as Alpha Et Omega, and Hourglass. The album has a very Celtic feel throughout with various instruments being used in conjunction with the metal guitar riffs and drumming to create a unique, soft metal sound which is reminiscent of acts such as Emilie Autumn in places. The album closes with a cover of Siúil A Rún, an Irish love song, mixing English and Irish language, and a bonus rock version of the same song. Overall a mixed bag, but a good album 8/10

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