Lady Flame – Kicking straight into action with some mighty power riffs and screams, that’s what you call a perfect start). This track’s the stuff of every speed metal lover’s dreams! Whilst difficult to compare to any one band, as it’s more like a new spin on a compilation of all the best speed/power bands, there’s a very definite Maidenesque feel to it. Always something to reach for, imho. Fresh, vibrant, exciting and absolutely brimming with cracking life force, energy and spontaneity. I love it at first listen. This has got to be one of the most uplifting things you’ll hear this year.
Zombie Lover – Heavier flavour to this, opening with more of a downtuned scale, it still slams you with sheer force of will. Fast-paced and full of evil intent and very disturbing lyrics. There’s a very dark thread to this, but it somehow, manages to go straight from dark, brooding and funereal, to light and airy, with an upbeat vibe, in one fell swoop. Impressive. Packed with thundering riffs, drums and vocals to match; it will hit you square between the eyes. I can actually visualise the levels being pushed upwards, as it soars higher and higher. Ending on the most awesome power scream I’ve heard in a long time, this is going down as a must have sensation in my top albums of the year and it’s only March.
Perfect Plan – Introing with some crazy riffs, this has a more sinister sense, especially given the creepy lyrics. There’s a lot of true talent in this band and that’s an understatement. Slightly charged, strategic use of lighter percussion in places, yet still gaining in heaviness as the song progresses. More screamo/growly type vocals here, befitting the lyrical material. More of those masterful riffs and getting lighter and more upbeat towards the end. These guys are metal magicians. Closing on a brilliantly timed harmony. There’s nothing not to love.
Smoke and Soot – What’s that?! I think the song’s been hijacked by a metal viking! You’ve just got to respect the incredible vocal dexterity present here. Rarely do you hear a vocalist quite so able to hit such tough high pitches and move instantly between that and growly, screamo style; interchanging continuously from the latter to the more melodic speed freak former. You’ll also hear so much stunningly beautiful guitar work, it’ll leave you speechless. I like the way the bass really comes into its own here! That, in my experience, is another rarity, along with drummers like this one, who know how, when and where to provide more power and strength and when to drop back and fade into the background, so artistically. Basically, this is one of those born to make music together bands.
The Story About Bird And Snake – Oh yes! Loving that gorgeous heavy steel stringed intro! A pure and intensely beautiful instrumental. They really have put their unique stamp on this song and its magic shines through. This is going to get you right in the middle of your heart and squeeze it till the last drop of blood oozes out.
Fairyland – Similar intro to the last track, but far heavier follow-ups riffs, as it segues smoothly and sexily into the next section, which is somewhat bluesy, gritty and rocky in temperament, deeply imagery provoking and really emphasises the full strength of the vocals, as they take you to places you’ll never want to come back from. Here, I’d defy you not to join in with the sultry, catchy vocals from metal heaven, which will no doubt sing to your heart and soul and have you begging for more. Sliding up and down those riff scales, changing the pace up and up and up, till you just want to fly with it; it’s an unbelievably sexy song. Really going for it as it flies on towards the end, with one of the ultimately sexiest endings you’ll ever hear. Now I really relate to those ‘never go away’ lyrics. They’ve poured just about everything they’ve got and more into this and I guarantee you’ll never want it to end.
The Last Meal Of The King – SLAM! Right in there with a full on metal attack. How can you improve on such perfection as this? I’m telling you now, you can’t. That’s it. I’m sold. Its new power metal, with the volume and energy turned up to the max and beyond. I mean it’s enough to make you sign a metal covenant, sealed with blood. Yet again, he defeats just about every other power metal vocalist I’ve ever heard, with that incredibly dexterous talent. There’s a slight hint of ‘Black Tide’ in this track, but these guys hit super strength level x 100. I’ll say it again. Metal. Fucking. Magic.
Louise – Opening with cymbal hits this time, quickly seguing into groove-laden riffs, drum rolls and vocals to kill for. You’re gonna have to join in again at this point, or you aren’t really alive. In another slight, but brief change of direction, they throw in some viking/folky/pirate stuff, which really works well for this track, before once more, moving rapidly and fluidly back into the smooth, velvety, lightning fast riffs and drum hits to knock you out cold. Closing with more beautifully high-pitched, high-level power screams. Have your speakers melted yet? They should have done by now.
Mr Two-Face – Bang! Crash! Slip and slide. You’re in. Like a car chase, in which the pursuer lures you closer with every sexual temptation possible and then recreates the same gloriously indulgent scenario over and over again. From the mid-section onwards, it’s like being covered in chocolate and challenged to the longest, fastest sexual marathon of your life. Full-colour images of your basest fantasies, with this song on continuous repeat.
Saints – Quick as lightning riff and drum intro, to send your metal senses reeling. Filled with melody, speed, drive and passion, x 1000. Here, there’s a slight ‘Dragonforce’ sound, in amongst the magic. They’re playing around with tone, pace and tempo here and there, throwing in a very brief acoustic section, in the midst of what’s otherwise some of the most relentlessly heavy driving music you’re ever likely to hear. It really is raining metal. The perfect closer, ending on a higher scaled riff and drum hit. It’s done.
Overall – A melodically magical, metallically transcendental journey through speed/power heaven. One listen will hook you and you’ll want this for life. There are no more words to do it justice. Just go buy it now!
For fans of Iron Maiden, Dragonforce, Black Tide, Avenged Sevenfold, power, speed, melodic metal and NWOBHM.