Airged L'Amh - The silver arm 3/5

Reviewed: 3-25-05


1. Intro/Gaurdian of the ancient deeds
2. Fate of the king
3. Dissention seeds
4. Warp spasm
5. Mourning grief
6. The silver arm
7. Balor of the evil eye
8. The arrival
9. Armies assemble
10. Splendor divine
11. Painless vengeance
12. End domain
13. Homeland

This Greek band (whose name, in Gaelic, means the silver arm) combines the stylings of recent Virgin Steele, Iced Earth (and their attendant aggression) mixed with the traditional epic European power metal sound, into a lengthy and intricate concept album based on celtic legends. Vocalist Steve Venardo sings in a limited range in the medium octaves, with a touch of snarl, but is effective. Although his work could definitely be improved upon with some more compelling vocal melodies, but those who prefer something other than the silky sweet European strains of Stratovarius and Michael Kiske should enjoy this.

The guitar work of Alexander Vasilopoulos and George Sofikitis features a sharp, generally complex integration of crunchy riffs, with a more dynamic (and exposed) bass presence (always welcome) by bassist John Luna Tsimas woven into the work, and George Thanasopoulos completing the band on drums. At over 13 tracks and 60 minutes, it's an epic presentation, and the lyrics are great, fully satisfying for those who love the epic fantasy basis for their metal libretto, while at the same time being more complex, interesting, and going far behind some of the more simple minded sword-dragon-wizard 'rix that we frequently see. Strong and enjoyable stuff.




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