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Tuesday 22 August 2023

Reviews: Cyhra, Neal Morse, Devilsome, Induction (Reviews By Manos Sideris & Matt Bladen)

Cyhra - The Vertigo Trigger (Nuclear Blast) [Manos Sideris]

Cyhra’s third studio album is The Vertigo Trigger released from Nuclear Blast in August 18th. I did not know this band and upon seeing that most band members had existed in important heavy metal bands such as In Flames, Kamelot and Amaranthe, I thought that I would be in for a very good record. I started listening as open-minded as I could.

Starting off I can tell that production is very good. You can hear all instruments clearly. Also, the use of synth and samples complimenting the guitar riffs and the chord progressions and seem to be doing wonders for this band. Of course I do not know if they play it live or they use samples. I hope they do without pre-recorder tracks. Anyway, most songs have typical forms, guitar-driven with catchy choruses and this god-awful 1-6-7 chord progression repeated on almost every freaking song. 1.000.000 Fahrenheit is the first song that I manage to hear different things on, with a wicked riff in the middle section. After that Buried Alive takes the turn with its twin lead bridge and a nice sing-along part coming up.

The Voice You Need To Hear comes at the perfect timing. Good song-writing here, probably the best track of the album for me at least. Life Is A Hurricane and If I are both good tracks. We‘ve got a rhythm going here. These guys are serving the music at all times without needless parts, they’re actually on to something, despite the fact that this damn 1-6-7 chord progression keeps popping off all the time. I will call it the In Flames Chord Progression! Too Old For Fairy Tales is the last track of the record with it’s nice twin lead in the middle and the catchy chorus. I had hoped for a grander outro but that’s life.

To be honest I am not a man to talk or write about 3 minute modern heavy metal songs with a hooky riff and a chorus strung together and the In Flames Chord Progression raving on and on in every other song, as my musical taste is much more elaborate than that. However, upon appealing to my younger self with simpler tastes I can see that the guys in Cyhra have done a good job and this is a very good album for that specific genre. 8/10

Neal Morse - The Dreamer: Joseph Part One (Radiant Records) [Manos Sideris]

Neal Morse is known to most people as a great musician and songwriter in progressive rock having participated successfully in many groups (Spock’s Beard, Transantlic, Neal Morse Band and many others). For those who want to know more he is also a devout Christian spreading the word every chance he gets. He does so through his music as well. According to his multiyear discography this is his 11th solo album. Joseph Part One out in August 11th from Radiant Records is an album about Joseph’s story, son of Jacob and Rachel, a biblical figure known as “the righteous one” who ultimately rose to become vice-ruler of Egypt. He wore a special multicolored robe, one you can also see on the artwork from the album’s cover. Joseph Pt Two has already been announced to drop in 2024.

Treading in classic Neal Morse footsteps this record does a great job at telling the story. Upon listening I googled for so I could find out more about Joseph’s story and as it turns out music fit along perfectly in my search all the way in this classic progressive / gospel / bluesy rock record. Neal and all musicians taking part are doing a very good job. Guest musicians are Steve Morse (Deep Purple, Dixie Dregs), Erik Gilette (NMB), Ted Leonard (Spock’s Beard), Matt Smith (Theocracy) and Jake Livgren (Kansas) among others. As for separate tracks, this entire record is fleshed so the story comes first and no specific track really stands out among the rest. I personally liked the outro guitar solo on Wait On You, the sinister feel of Liar, Liar, the seductive groove on Slave Boy and the outro song Heaven In Charge Of Hell, but truthfully no track got me super-super excited. However, all tracks musically really did transpire the feeling of the part of the story that was on display at the moment.

Overall, to be honest when I saw it was a Neal Morse solo album I had to review, I was a little terrified of all the religious overtones. It turns out I was wrong because the music is really good (if you are not a listener extremely hung on to any one genre), and serves the story of this concept album really well. Also, despite being atheist, I am open-minded enough to end up liking the story as well! Now if religious overtones are the problem for you, I am just sorry that you are missing out on good music because of that. 8/10

Devilsome - Devilsome (Self Released) [Matt Bladen]

From Northern Ireland, Devilsome are an occult heavy rock band featuring Joe McGuigan of Gama Bomb on guitar, Garth Kidd on vocals/bass and John McSherry on guitar. As you can see, there's no drummer in the main line up so Chris Williams of (Shrapnel/Gama Bomb) came in as a guest behind the kit, Kenry Canavam provides keys and Richard Shaw of Cradle Of Filth brings a special guest solo on the thrashy 7th Seal

The trio are influenced by gothic rock, heavy metal, punk and horror movies, with a sound that straddles Type O Negative (Necromantic Girl), Ghost (Children Of The Night), Danzig/Misfits (Charge Of The Nephilim) and Black Sabbath (Morning Star). 

Spooks, spectres and sinister affectations are abound on this debut record and the dark, gothy sound is what is overarching, I struggled a little with the vocals thoughout and there is a weird cover of Time Of The Season by The Zombies, but Devilsome is a spooky introduction to the band of the same name. 6/10

Induction – The Power Of Power (Atomic Fire Records) [Matt Bladen]

Having come off the back of playing Helloween’s Hello Feast in Slovakia, Induction release a digital only EP as a reminder of their commitment to proper power metal. For 6 tracks across 30 minutes, you’ll be pumping your fist in time to the speedy gallops, twin axe harmonies and music influenced by the German pumpkins and Finnish neo-classicists Stratovarius. It’s a compilation of tracks from their previous albums; Born From Fire (2022), Induction (2019), a single from this year A Call Beyond and a new song Set You Free

The constant between these is guitarist Tim Hansen who founded the band, the rest of the band having been members since 2022. It’s quite interesting to compare the vocals of Nick Hollerman on the 2019 takes and the vocals of current singer Craig Kearns (Tailgunner) as Kearns is the better vocalist so it’s definitely a positive change. Listen closely and the songs since 2022 are actually much better wholesale, the brand new track Set You Free a rollicking romp through power metal past. If this is a glimpse of what is to come then Induction will soon be near the top of the power metal pile. Love it! 8/10

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