Austria`s Madog are of the melodic Power Metal genre and "Fairytales Of Darkness" is their second release. Now, this was actually released by the band themselves in 2003 and THEN re-released by Sound Riot Records. And yes, I`m just now finding out about them, so sue me! Madog have been in existence since `91 or so, having released their first CD, "Dreamland" in 1999. The band have played Metal and nuthin` BUT since their inception, and "Fairytales Of Darkness" continues mining that same territory. Sure, there`s nothing here that is truly one-of-a-kind, but Madog do what they do with a style and conviction that ALL Metal bands should have! The music on this album is in the best tradition of Grave Digger, Galloglass, and Blind Guardian; blazing Speed/Power Metal with a touch of melody. And even though the CD clocks in at nearly an hour, it`s never boring; the songs manage to old your interest through out. A stellar production helps give the tracks that extra kick in the ass we all love!:) "Heart Of Dragonsteel", "Destiny", "Thunder" and "Dream Of The Mountain" are but a few examples of Madog`s fine song-writing and individual musicianship. Now that I`ve FINALLY caught on to these guys, I`m looking forward to their NEXT album! Highly recommended! \m/
Hailing from Russia [Kazakhstan, to be precise], Holy Dragons has been at it for a while now, with "Wolves Of Odin" being their 9th album. They sing in their native language, but good Metal is good Metal, no matter WHAT the language! "Wolves Of Odin" is apparently a concept album of sorts, dealing with various Norse mythology. Now this is not gonna win points for originality, and the tunes suffer a bit, due to the sameness of each track. But don`t let those minor quibbles keep you away, as this is the bands most ambitious relese to date! The guys are top-class musicians all the way, and pride themselves on creating all this sound with just guitars, bass and drums ["Guarenteed no keyboards, synthesizer and MIDI equipment used!", they announce on the back of the CD case]. While the production and mix could have been better, the feel of the songs comes through LOUD and clear, and THAT`S what it`s all about! So get this baby when you can, crank it up and unleash these "Wolves"! A must have!
French Power Metalists Moonstone`s new DVD, "Par le Fans, Pour les Fans" ["By the Fans, For the Fans"] definitely lives up to it`s name! The DVD features the band performing 9 of their best known tunes live in Elysee Montmartre, with the studio versions dubbed over. So basically these are performance videos. As drummer Mikey Lee says: "Don`t expect it to be Rock In Rio!" The camera work is good, but not super professional, but then it IS fan-created. That aside, it`s great to see the band live, esp. for those of us who don`t get to Paris all the time [I`ll be back in the near future, Mikey Lee! First round is on me!;)]. The band have a great rapport with their audience, and vocalist Paula Guittard has them in the palm of her hand. Another treat is the inclusion of the band setting up for the shows, as well as a glimpse of past line-ups. Also, we get studio footage of the band recording their second album, "The Second Rune". Cool or what? This oughtta hold you over `til the band releases their third opus. THEN maybe we`ll get to see "Moonstone-Live In Rio" on DVD!;) [Merci to Mikey Lee for sending the DVD!]
Originally from Italy, but now based in California, Arcadia label their sound as "Nu Extreme Metal", a fairly apt description. And while this style is always my cup of tea, there are SOME bands that do it right, and Arcadia falls into that category! Mixing elements of Disturbed, System Of A Down along with various bits Hardcore, Industrial and Electronica, Arcadia's sound is harsh and brutal at times, but this is mixed with varying shades of sound, so it`s isn`t ALL violent ALL the time. The individual members are highly skilled musicians, unlike ninety percent of their down-tuned, one-finger-chording, non-soloing peers! "Fracture Concrete" may or may not help the band stand out in an already crowded genre that many say is on it`s last legs, but Arcadia have the skill and the ability to rise above the masses. Keep an eye on this crew! [Thanks to the band for sending the disc!]
After splitting from Shinjuku Cactus, The mad man from Japan Jimmy East wasted no time in getting back in the game with Suiside Rose! This band [Jimmy East, Rhythm Guitar, Michael Ru-z on "High Voice", Xevy Joker on drums and T-Bach on Bass Guitar] mixes the raw energy of Glam/Sleaze with Punk, along with a bit of Nine Inch Nails for spice. Of the 4 tracks ["19 Dude","Suck Me, Shock Me, Eat Me Raw", "Break Down" and "R.I.P. Party"], "Break Down" is my favorite; it`s HEAVY, it ROCKS, what MORE do ya want!? Now will some label PLEAZE sign these guys? We want MORE! [Cheers and thanks to Jimmy East from Dave West, er, West Side Dave for the demo!]