Power Metal: July 2014 Edition (In August)
After the marvelous month of June, power metal is standing tall and mighty! Fear not, for our illustrious brethren have not yet grown complacent, nor apathetic to the cause! July heralds young and old warriors alike accomplishing great feats, which I shall lay before you for your consideration!
In order to catch up, I have only listened to releases that were on Spotify. This obviously causes me to miss a few releases, but in the future, I plan on catching all of the releases, which should produce higher quality, fuller articles.
BACK TO THE POWER.
Deny yourself the pleasures of our brothers’ grandiose ambitions, and rot forever in the abyss of poserdom.
Age of Artemis – The Waking Hour
Age of Artemis is what happens when you add a splash of lime to progressive power metal. Hailing from Brazil, these warriors aim to bring a power metal album that also encompasses the sounds of their regional music. No, this is not like Sepultura’s abysmal Roots Bloody Roots, but rather, a fun, spicy little power metal album that deftly explores elements of progressive, power, acoustic, and South American music.
One of the joys of this album is the use of delightful, yet unusual chords. Mixed with the production, you will understand exactly what I mean about the “lime” comment above as soon as you get into “Under the Sun.” This band is progressive, but they tend to be so more in the melodies, instruments, and sounds they create rather than in song structure, time signatures, or tempo changes (although they do dip into 7/4 for “New Revolution”). That’s not to say they only stick with 4/4, but you’re not going to find extreme progressive patterns or sudden tempo/time changes.
Another highly enjoyable aspect of this album is the diversity of the music. Obviously, power metal permeates every song, but then you have acoustic ballads that are more reminiscent of old Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, or Queen than they are your typical cheesy power ballad. The pacing is exceptionally done. You will feel very satisfied when you reach the end, and look forward to future listens.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Fans of Angra and/or progressive power metal
Listen: Under the Sun
Derdian – Human Reset
Human Reset is a furiously catchy Italian power metal release. Every song has a chorus that will take you soaring high above the clouds on a dragon.
Derdian definitely follow the traditional Symphonic/Italian power metal trends, those being speedy palm muted passages, epic choruses, and soaring operatic vocals. One thing that they do that most of their peers don’t is throw in some progressive tendencies throughout the album. Each musician seamlessly transitions between shredtastic solos, odd time signatures peppered in various bridges and transitions, as well as demanding riffs and rhythms.
The only major flaw with this album is that some of the songs are a bit inconsistent in quality. It has a bombastic intro and 8 great songs, but goes just a bit too long.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Fans of Symphonic/Italian power metal, neoclassical metal
Listen: In Everything
Crystal Eyes – Killer
Fans of more standard heavy metal, rejoice! Crystal Eyes brings us a solid, consistent heavy/power journey. Plenty of songs, such as “Killer,” “Warrior,” “Solar Mariner,” and “Spotlight Rebel,” to name a few, bring big, catchy choruses. The solos, melodies, and riffs are pretty simple, but they provide you with a fun, headbanging time. The album art is a little explicit for a power metal album, and doesn’t really fit the mood of the music at all.
There really isn’t much to say about this album, but if you’re into heavy/power metal full of good riffs, solos, fun choruses, and great vocals, you’re gonna have a good time.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Fans of heavy/power metal.
Sharky Sharky – Party Under the Sea
This EP is a bit of a welcome anomaly to the metal world. Sharky Sharky is a children’s metal band that aim at bringing the fun of power metal to very young ears. I wouldn’t recommend this to non-fans of power metal, or even fans of power metal. However, if you have a 4 year old who you don’t think is quite ready for Dismember yet, this is the perfect album to begin introducing them to metal, and a welcome release from playing Kidz Bop in the car to appease your screaming terror spawns.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Kindergarten, pre-school
Listen: Party Under The Sea