Archive for sophomore album

Twilight Force – Heroes of Mighty Magic

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 26th August 2016 by mickbirchy

Twilight Force
Heroes of Mighty Magic
Power Metal
Released 26 August 2016
via Nuclear Blast

This is one spectacular album to try and sum up, but I’ll try my best. Twilight Force bring us their second offering in the form of, Heroes of Mighty Magic. With shades of Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia, Sonata Arctica and DragonForce, Twilight Force have crafted an epic and bold album that completely plays to their strengths. It’s ultimately a fun record that has the right balance of dignified quality and having that sense of fun. I’m not a fan of when power metal bands take themselves too seriously.

The album covers the usual topics that you would expect – mythical warfare, questing and just your usual dungeons and dragons template lyrics. You know, all that good stuff. So not a tonne different in this department. It still works though, without getting tiring. Vocalist, Chrileon just sells what he’s singing with such conviction that it’s hard to think he’s from another dimension.  The production does everything to make him sound awesome and when the choir comes in on the choral parts it really gets you going.

The music is really good as well, don’t think that I’d forgotten. Not only is the metal instrumentation excellent with belting guitar solos and well incorporated synths. When the orchestral instruments swell around the songs it just makes them so much more epic. Seriously there isn’t a dead spot on the entire record. Everything in the production truly comes together to make an entertaining epic. I also have to briefly mention how good the album art is. The design is amazing and the colours just leap out at you. The artist Kerem Beyit has really crafted something beautiful and imaginative

Overall. Wow, just simply wow. This album took (and is continuing to take) my breath away. It’s entertaining in all the right ways. I’ve not wanted to put this album down since the first listen.

5/5

Mick Birchall

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Reign Of Fury – Death Be Thy Shepherd

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 8th February 2015 by Paul Macmillan

Reign Of Fury
Death Be Thy Shepherd
Release: 27th February 2015
Thrash metal
Self released

Reign Of Fury - Death Be Thy Shepherd

I love thrash! Always have, always will! However, the resurgence of its popularity in the last decade or so has seen an ocean of filler unleashed on the world. It was a disappointing end result to say the least: song writing was ditched by the wayside in favour of constant imitation of the genre’s founding bands, sometimes note for note. The whole scene seemed to have been hi-jacked by a strange breed of hipsters who sneered at any hint of originality, swamping the web with derogatory nonsense, should a thrash band stray from the path in any way.

I’m thankful to say that, on their second album, Death Be Thy Shepherd, Midlands mob Reign Of Fury continue to turn their backs and raise a firm middle-finger to such unfounded buffoonery. From the very first track, Faustian Mastery, you can almost smell the words ‘Don’t give a f***!’ wafting through the air. While ROF comfortably incorporate the essence of the original thrash movement, they deftly side-step the ‘re-thrash’ tag, indulging the influence of both its roots and its later development.

Snatches reminiscent of Megadeth’s Countdown To Extinction twist into Maiden like guitar harmonies. For those of you who stuck with Anthrax throughout their discography, this release will feel like a new home for your ears, although I’m also sensing the air of personal favourite and underrated Arizonans Flotsam & Jetsam sneaking into the axe work. There is plenty of diversity herein, the vocals even venturing into extremely well executed death metal vocals in Gates Of Sanity, which batters its way through an ultimately addictive chorus and musical flavours only found in the Testament cookbook.

It’s a unique musical personality for sure, but one that wears its influences with unashamed pride. If Jeff Waters, Nick Menza, Alex Skolnick, Peavy Wagner and John Bush stepped out of the past together to show the young uns how to write an album, it might not sound too different to this.

It must be a challenge to go against the grain when putting out music which is to any degree retro. As I mentioned to begin with, there will be a certain number of detractors if it isn’t a carbon copy of the original style. However, if you’re having as much fun and care as little about those opinions as this lot seem to, it doesn’t seem like something that would be a chore. Without losing track of their roots, Reign Of Fury have managed to seal the deal on a fresh sounding long player which is absolutely thrash, absolutely relevant, and an absolute neck-snapper! Top drawer stuff!

5/5

Paul Macmillan