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Pascual, German - A new beginning 4/5

Reviewed: 12-1-12


1. Seek the truth
2. The wrath of God
3. If the sky would fall
4. Misty dreams
5. Open your eyes
6. I call for the one
7. Unbroken wings
8. Come ease the pain
9. Fate of the blind
10. Cancion con todos

Uruguayan born white metal vocalist German Pascual may not be a household name, but the bands he has been involved with should be somewhere in your metal memory bank. Pascual joined Swedish progressive metal band Mind’s Eye, temporarily replacing permanent vocalist Andreas Novak; singing on their 2008 release ‘1994: The afterglow’. Pascual then moved on to Swedish power metal band Narnia and performed on their last CD, 2009’s excellent ‘Course of a generation’, before the band decided to call it quits. Also in 2009, Pascual was awarded the “best metal voice” by The Gates of Metal.

Pascual’s next band is one he is currently still a member of, which is Swedish power metal band Divinefire. So far German has performed vocals on one CD for Divinefire, 2010’s ‘Eye of the storm’. Most recently Pascual has now formed his own self-named solo band, while also bringing in old and new friends from the past and present to complete the group. The musicians joining German’s solo band include ex-Narnia guitarist Carl-Johan Grimmark, ex-Royal Hunt bassist Per Schelander, current Almah bassist Raphael Dafras, guitarist Tomas “Plec” Johansson, keyboardist Guilherme Oliveira, guitarist Martin Hall and current Divinefire all-rounder Jani Stefanovic (drums, drum programming, guitars).

Now, if Christian/white metal is not really your cup of tea, just remember that there have been some excellent white metal bands throughout the existence of heavy metal. The very popular 80s band Stryper would be the first that comes to mind, while also other bands such as Theocracy, Seventh Avenue, As I Lay Dying and Rob Rock have also enjoyed worldwide success. It’s all metal in the end, so if you’re still reading this I guess you agree with that.

Musically for German Pascual, what you’ll find is traditional European melodic power metal, featuring saturated keys/synths, hardened and powerful guitar riffs and also emotional soaring vocals from Mr. Pascual. There are similarities with bands like Vanden Plas and Pretty Maids, as well as German’s other bands, Narnia and Divinefire, where I would be leaning more towards Narnia, mainly because of guitarist Carl-Johan Grimmark’s associations with both bands.

While there is nothing fresh or special with this debut CD entitled ‘A new beginning’, the excellent guitar work from Grimmark really draws you in, and keeps your interest; as I rate Grimmark as one of the most stellar guitarists in the metal world today. Standing next to Grimmark is another talented guitarist, “Plec” Johansson, adding further experience to the music and songwriting. All of the tracks are of an upbeat and energetic nature; however the guitar riffs have a ton of grunt as they slice through the air waves with profound sharpness. Again, if you don’t mind the message lightly put across through the lyrics and song titles, then German Pascual’s solo band would suit any fan of European melodic power metal, particularly ones who don’t mind a bit of extra synths in their songs.

Highlights on the release ‘A new beginning’ would include the passionate, fiery and powerful “The wrath of God”, that features a catchy as hell chorus that you can’t help but sing along to. German’s vocal talents on show with this track, as he switches from his soothing melodic tones to raspy low-range squeals; while the Fear Factory-esk styled drumming keeps the aggression high throughout the track’s length. Another highlight is the opening track “Seek the truth”, which starts with a Freedom Call style keyboard opening passage before the crisp and heavy guitar riffs sweep through. A happy, upbeat song, “Seek the truth” contains a great solo, as well as being quite memorable and catchy too. Other tracks to get your head nodding to include the swiftly guitar driven “Open your eyes”, the pulsating and slightly dark tinged “Fate of the blind”, and the heavy and scorching blitz that is “Come ease the pain”.

For those who already know the vocal talents of German Pascual, then you should be quite excited about his solo project and you will not be disappointed when purchasing this CD. For those who are unfamiliar with Pascual, I urge you first to listen to the releases that he was a part of Narnia, Mind’s Eye and Divinefire and then once you are hooked, track down ‘A new beginning’. Pascual has an unbelievable delivery that is so full of strength, conviction and passion, that I rate his voice alongside other great melodic metal singers like Jorn Lande, Andy B. Franck, Hansi Kursch and Tony Kakko. Yes, he is that good and so is his new solo release. Yet another top surprise of 2012.




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