Reviews

Ghost Machinery-"Haunting Remains"-2004

Finland has unleashed yet ANOTHER great band upon the Metal world! Ghost Machinery is the brainchld of guitarist/vocalist Pete Ahonen, a member of Finland`s awesome Burning Point. Evidently, Pete had a backlog of songs that didn`t quite fit the Burning Point sound, so he enlisted some of his mates [Bassist Tapsa Pelkonen and drummer Jussi Ontero] and thus Ghost Machinery was born! "Haunting Remains" is their debut album and the guys come out all guns blazin`! 13 tracks of blistering, well written Power Metal just the way you like it; killer riffage, high-powered drumming, flashy guitar solos, it`s all here. Pete is a first rate song writer, as well as a fine vocalist and amazing guitarist, with Pelkonen and Ontero matching him note for note. "Dreamworld", "In Your [Evil] Dreams" and "Fallen Angels" are just a FEW stand-out tracks. Hands down, my favorite is the great cover of Gary Moore`s, "Out In The Fields", with guest lead vocals by Ville Lathiala of Sentenced. This is one of my all-time favorite Moore tunes, and Pete`s version is faithful to the original. To top it all off, the album has a very cool cover, as well! What MORE could any self-respecting Metal monger possiby want? An impressive debut by a VERY impressive group! \m/Horns up!!!\m/ [Thanks to Pete for hooking me up with Sound Riot Records! You rule!]

Unchained-"ST"-2005

One of the most highly anticipated releases of the year, Unchained`s self titled debut features 9 well crafted Power Metal tracks that`s SURE to go down a storm both in their native Sweden AND abroad. Obviously the band [Per Karlsson on vocals, Peter Eriksson and David Blome on guitars, Mathias Eriksson on bass, and Martin Michaelsson on drums] have an affinity for "Seventh Son"/"Fear Of The Dark"-era Maiden. In fact, they pretty much outdo IM at their own game! The album is brimming with power, passion and energy, each cut filled with catchy riffs, melodies and thoughtful lyrics. Songs such as "My Guide", "Ghost Of The Alchemic Hall", the soulful "Like The Candle" and one of my faves, "The Great Witch Hunt" just get better with each listen. Unchained is a band that knows what they`re doing and are damn good at it! This band`s gonna be one of the biggies in a few years, mark my words! Remember, you heard it here first.....

Chain Collector-"Forthcoming Addiction"-2004

Chain Collector has within it`s ranks some of finest musicians the Euro Metal scene has to offer. Singer Kjetil Nordhus (Green Carnation & Trail Of Tears), drummer Anders Kobro (Green Carnation, Carpathian Forest & In The Woods), guitarist Goran Bomann (Carpathian Forest), guitarist Kjell Jacobsen and Endre Kirkesola on bass/keyboards (studio only; also in Green Carnation] So what can we exect from such a prestigious line-up? One helluva 4-song demo, that`s what! Not a hint of the happy, sappy Helloween Power Metal currently being cloned for the 20th time. But don`t expect much of the members respective bands to pop out of the mix, either. "Forthcoming Addiction" can best described as a blend of the newer Metal stylings of say, Disturbed, but with a more Northern European flavor, which most definitely suits MY pallette! "Wicked Mask","Winter Princess", "Crucifixion" and "Fallen Angel" are super heavy, downtuned tracks rife with modern elemenst, traditional riffs, and various synths and samples done in a creative and tasteful [AND memorable] fashion. Almost like a high-energy Godflesh at times. And this is only the demo! Just wait `til their full-length comes out Winter 2005! Without a doubt one of the best groups of 2004, and beyond. Not to be missed!

Chain Collector

Memorized Dreams-"Theater Of Life"-2004

Tell me, is Eurpoe EVER going to run out of Progressive Power Metal bands?! God, I hope not, especially if they`re THIS good! Memorized Dreams has 7, count `em SEVEN members! [Frode Hovd and Kee Jason on Guitars, Terje Harøy on Vocals, Olav Skei on Drums, Kenneth Skarsvaag on Bass, Stian D Rødsjø and Maria Garli on Piano/Synths] Yet surprisingly, the songs are very straight forward and uncluttered. This can be attributed to the high degree of musical and creative skill within the band. On this, their debut, Memorized Dreams mix catchy melodies with complex often arrangements, wonderful choir parts and piano pieces with powerhouse riffs. While at times sounding similar to Rhapsody, Edinbridge and the like, I personally find the tunes a bit more down-to-Earth. You don`t feel as if you need a degree in music theory to enjoy their music. Some of the choicest cuts include "Cardinal Sin", "Gates Of Heaven" and "Light Above All", among others. Nothing groundbreaking, but so what? Give me great songs played with conviction ANY day over some half-hearted attempts to be "different"! No doubt one of the most promising new bands on the Euro Metal scene today, and definitely one to watch!

Memorized Dreams

Vicious-"Vile, Vicious & Victorious"-2004

The "official" debut for Sweden`s Vicious [after several self releases] finds the band [Pontus Pettersson on Guitar, Fredrik Eriksson on Drums & Backing Vocals, Simon Jarrolf on Guitar, Henrik Wenngren on Vocals and Captain Carcass on Bass] mining musical territory similar to early Ninties Death Metal [Monstrosity comes to mind] and late Ninties bands like Gates Of Ishtar. Speed/Death/Thrash is the order of the day for these guys. No, it`s hardly original, but it IS entertaining, fast and heavy as HELL! Songs like "Beast", "Life Corrupted", "Trigger Needs Some Action" and "Boots Of Led" are delivered with all the subtley of a wrecking ball. The high-quality production helps give each cut that extra kick up the ass, and the guys are no slouch musicians, either! Overall, a well-crafted slab of high speed Death worthy of your attention. "Vile, Vicious and Victorious" indeed!

Vicious
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