Archive for Dream Theater

Paradise Lost announce exclusive show in Roman theatre

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on 14th March 2014 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Yorkshire Gothic metal lords Paradise Lost have announced an exclusive show to take place on 20th Spetember this year at Plovdiv, Bulgaria in its magnificent Roman theatre. For this special one off event, the band will be joined by he renowned Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra who were founded nearly 70 years ago and are made up of over 100 highly qualified musicians. The orchestra has its roots in the hundred year old orchestral tradition in Plovdiv and over the years has launched the careers of many world-famous conductors.

The prestigious evening will be promoted by Bulgaria’s independent radio station Radio Tangra Mega Rock and orchestrated by conductor Levon Manukyan who wrote the first metal ballet and is the founder of the Levon Manukyan Collegium Musicum orchestra. During his career Levon has previously given the classical treatment to rock and metal works by Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Dream Theater, AC/DC, Evanescence, Guns’n’Roses, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana and Judas Priest, and worked with world-famous soloists including ex-Nightwish vocalist Tarja Turunen.

This event will mark a key milestone in Paradise Lost’s, already esteemed, career as they make their first ever performance accompanied by a full live orchestra.

Paradise Lost online:

http://paradiselost.co.uk
http://facebook.com/paradiselostofficial

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Distorted Harmony – Utopia

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 15th June 2012 by tobiasgray

Band: Distorted Harmony
Album: Utopia
Release date: 14th May 2012
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Unsigned

Few things cause more trepidation and anxiousness to this reviewer as the words ‘Prog Metal‘.  For every band that does it well, there are thousands trying to be the next Dream Theater, Tool or Opeth; tragically falling on their own pretentious swords.  Thank (insert relevent deities here) for Distorted Harmony then.

The over-arching impression of Utopia is one of sublime beauty.

Here is a band that understands that no matter how complex  or rhythmic your music, all things must serve the song.  Every instrument has its’ moment to shine, including multiple keyboard solos that are actually listenable (Bodom take note)!  Songwriting aside the strongest element of Distorted Harmony is Misha Soukhinin’s heart-rendingly gorgeous voice.  A cross between Maynard James Keenan (Tool) and Jonas Renkse (Katatonia), with hints of Muse and unusual melodic lines thrown in as a welcome bonus.

The song durations are unsurprisingly long, as to be expected from this genre, and yet your attention is held throughout.  I would recommend listening to this album as a whole, as it offers a much more rewarding experience digesting as a complete ‘works’.  The production, as practically everything else on this album, is flawless, and the band are offering it free from their homepage (although donations are welcome).

Distorted Harmony have created a universally appealing 6 track release, it’s jazz and classical influences colliding with a very Western, epic style of songwriting – somewhat surprising considering the band all hail from Tel Aviv, Israel.  ‘Utopia’ is well worth checking out, an emotional journey of an album and, as previously stated, sublimely beautiful.  Maybe next time I hear the dreaded ‘Prog Metal’, I’ll think back to Utopia and not be so cynical.

5/5

Tobias Gray.

Pastel Jack – Trojan Horse [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 9th August 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Pastel Jack
Album: Trojan horse
Release year: 2011
Genre: Yorkshire Metal

Pastel Jack, since forming, have been tearing up their local music scene with their blend of aggressive music and catchy hooks. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of Sworn Amongst and XIII. Their newest release is “Trojan Horse”.

The thrash sounding riffs of the title track “Trojan Horse” comes first. At first, the drums don’t seem to mix well with the guitars. The vocals are powerful, full of strength and melody, contrasting well with the aggression of the guitars. As the track progresses on the drums improve vastly, adding to the fire of the music. The guitar solo has a slightly Iron Maiden meets Dream Theatre sound to it – A strange yet awesome sound for a solo. “Cold Light Of Day” comes next, with an angry introduction. The vocals come in with strength and force again. The drums are well played, perhaps being the highlight of the song.

”The Gentle Art Of Combustion” has a more approach in its introduction before it turns slightly more brutal. The vocals are soft yet powerful at the same time. The soft section, about half way through, that places a lot of emphasis on the bass is just spectacular. Though this track is slower paced, it still provides a health dose of vitamin metal. “The Sacred Self” begins with an immense drum sections. The guitar riffs that follow have a slight Trivium sound to them, the vocals however are far from Trivium-sounding. The drums play some good parts as well. The guitar solo is melodic and technical, adding to the unique sound of the song. “Condemned From The Start” starts with a great vocal-guitars-drums combo introduction. The use of double bass pedal through out the song is genius and the riffs, though seeming simplistic, are great, keeping that angry thrash metal feel to the album. The vocals are forceful and unyielding.

”Day Like You” has a very laid-back intro compared to the previous tracks though this changes when the tempo increases. The riffs and drum work are solid, tight and efficient. The vocals steadfast and somewhat zealous sounding, whilst being raw at the same time. The bass work makes the solo sound even more amazing. “Part One (The Ghost Within)” is very different sounding to the tracks due to its emphasis on slow, soft riffs and soothing vocals. While it takes some adjusting to get used to the calmness after several tracks of face melting aggression, the track shows the great talent of Pastel Jack as well as their musical diversity. “Part Two (Your Sick Machine)” blasts its way next a thunderous strike on the listener, something that those who love untamed, bone smashing brutality will enjoy. The vocals sound very heroic and epic in parts and the music is simply greatly composed and played.

”Flatline” is another forceful track, with almost black metal sounding riffs and drum work. The vocals are quite calm in comparison to the riffs and drum sections, which is a very intriguing sound for the song. “Methematic” has a very stimulating introduction, with most of the emphasis being on the drums before the guitars begin doing more work. The vocals are rather stalwart whilst the guitars and drums are wrathful and vehement sounding. Nearing the end of the album is “Synergy”. The riffs are very rage-fuelled and the vocals are quite hypnotic and malevolent. The bass work is brilliant and adds a little extra flare to the song.

”Swan Dive” begins with a soulful acoustic introduction with some gentle vocals. Even the drums are calm and mellow. The track builds up straight to the heavy section, which is when it becomes beefy and immense. The vocals stay slightly gentle though much stronger and powerful than at the beginning of the track. The album finishes with the bonus track “Down To A Sunless Sea”. The guitars seem very progressive yet thrash orientated in their playing and the vocals seem different as well. The drums are superbly played, as is the bass. The guitars are composed well, adding a very metal edge to the song.

From beginning to end, the album contains Yorkshire-styled thrash metal goodness – Recommended by any good doctor to be apart of your daily diet of metal. Pastel Jack show some amazing talent on this album and it’s clearly just a taster of what is to come from these Yorkshire musicians. This is an album worth getting, even if you are only a casual listener to metal.

5/5

Nico Davidson

Pastel Jack are one of thirteen bands playing at this year’s Valkyrian Festival.