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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:40 pm 
 

Spoiler: show
Image

Album of the year. Nuff said.*

*ok, no, I'm writing a review...
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Jonpo
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:03 pm 
 

I've got big hopes for that one, to the point where I'm a little nervous! Arcane Metal Arts (with the Fog in the Valley tracks) has come to mean so much to me, but it also set an incredibly high benchmark.

Is it out officially, or did you get an advance copy to review? I'm going to have to do some research.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:11 pm 
 

It's out since the 25th, I personally found a leak on a Russian website (I had to kill a soviet to access it) but Jean-Pierre is sending me a copy and I can't wait to read the lyrics. I know it's available on HHR http://www.hrrshop.de/BORROWED-TIME-s-t-CD_1 but I don't know for North America, SKR will probably get copies soon...
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Jonpo
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:14 pm 
 

Yeah I'm looking at a copy on HHR right now. I was actually wondering if anyone had any leads on a NA distributor who would have this?

edit: What's it sound like compared to the demo and Fog in the Valley? They play such a different style from a song like Sailor on the Seas of Fate to something like Midnight Tygers. I'm very curious which Borrowed Time showed up for the LP.
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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:23 pm 
 

There's a short track like "Out of the Forest" on the self titled but there's no accoustic parts like on "Sailor on the Seas of Fate", there's still an ethereal vibe found in tracks like the excellent "Of Nymph and Nihil" (best track of 2013!). Good review of Arcane, Jonpo btw! I started my review for the new one, gonna take my time with it though, I'd like to have the lyrics to fully appreciate it. I think it's better and more original than the demo stuff!
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monkseatcheese
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:42 pm 
 

Ive been obsessed with Borrowed Time since I saw them live a few months ago, even minus one guitarist it was amazing. The couple tracks I have heard off the new one are promising, but I just hope it can equal/surpass Sailor on the Seas of Fate. I love of Nymph and Nihil just not quite as good to me. Sailor on the Seas of Fate is the best song I have heard in a long time, definitely the best song released in the last 10 years that I can think of.
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SolstafirAquilaria
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:13 am 
 

Nothing on the new album overtakes Sailor on the Seas of Fate to me. I share the same opinion of that song - one of the best songs that I've heard in years. That said, it's a very good album and you'd be a fool to let this one detail/opinion scare you away :P

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Jonpo
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:52 am 
 

Yeah, I don't begrudge them that. I doubt many of us thought they could improve on perfection. That song is a magical moment in time captured in some sweaty dank basement.
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Punishing
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:28 am 
 

How is everyone liking the new Vicious Rumors. I know it came out a while ago but I just received my copy yesterday and I have been listening to it all night and I think it is solid. The vocals are great and the riffs are fresh and there's not a one song on there that I can call weak.Haven't seen any reviews for it on the site yet. How do you like it so far, guys?
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Oblarg
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:52 pm 
 

The new VR is really solid, yeah.
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WaywardSon
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:40 pm 
 

Not power metal obviously, but listening to an old death/thrash band called Messiah, I came across a Manilla Road cover. Dreams of Eschaton specifically. Aside from your usual genre differences, it's pretty straightforward. Just kind of weird to see it pop up on a death metal album from 1992.
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suleiman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:54 am 
 

Punishing wrote:
How is everyone liking the new Vicious Rumors. I know it came out a while ago but I just received my copy yesterday and I have been listening to it all night and I think it is solid. The vocals are great and the riffs are fresh and there's not a one song on there that I can call weak.Haven't seen any reviews for it on the site yet. How do you like it so far, guys?


A good mostly consistent album that does not sully the brand.

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suleiman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:00 am 
 

I know its been discussed to death, but Satan's Life Sentence is the only album from 2013 that I have heard from beginning to end at least 25 - 30 times till now. And its not leaving the player anytime soon.

Possibly the best traditonal metal record I have heard in looong time. Didn't know it could be made in this day and age. The warm natural production, the great vocals, the instantly memorable riffs and the songs, oh lord , the songs.

Wonderfully it leaves most of the comeback acts as well as the new retro bands choking in the dust. Amen.

Standout moments : Testimony, Personal Demons, Another Universe...the whole damn record. Works brilliantly as an album.

I know its probably a futile request but are there any underground gems from the last 10 years who reach such a high mark in songwriting and production ?

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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:46 pm 
 

^Some that come to mind, in chronological order (keep in mind that not all of these are necessarily as good as Life Sentence, but all are very, very good):
2004 - Distant Thunder - Welcome The End (excellent power/speed with James Rivera, more of a straightforward approach than Helstar but still very enjoyable)
2008 - Manilla Road - Voyager (need more be said?)
2009 - Crescent Shield - The Stars of Never Seen (Michael Grant and Dan DeLucie at their best...see Onward and Destiny's End for reference)
2010 - Briton Rites - For Mircalla (Howie Bentley's excellent occult heavy/doom project)
2011 - Argus - Boldly Stride the Doomed (one of the best heavy/doom albums ever, monster riffs throughout), Manilla Road - Playground of the Damned (see Voyager)
2012 - Axehammer - Marching On (one of the better USPM comebacks), Graven Rite - The Summoner's Pit demo (very solid MR worship), Skelator - Agents of Power (Moorcock metal and Skelator's best to date)
2013 - In Solitude - Sister (heavy metal/goth rock in the vein of Tiamat's Prey, excellent songwriting and superb atmosphere!)

I also think Satan's Host's newest would probably be up there, it hasn't fully sunken in but it is extremely excellent for sure.

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Metantoine
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:52 pm 
 

Add Borrowed Time to that list :) Also Argus' new album is better than Boldly in my opinion. I might add Dawnbringer's Nucleus too, I really like that album.
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themicrulah
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:58 pm 
 

I just heard Into the Lair of the Sun God not too long ago so I'll check out Nucleus. I thought that one had a unique sound to it - I found a favorable review of it in Chips and Beer Mag and checked it out, was not disappointed.
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FasterDisaster
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:59 pm 
 

Opinions of Savatage? Thought about acquiring Hall Of The Mountain King.
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themicrulah
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:59 pm 
 

It's good but way overproduced.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:16 pm 
 

FasterDisaster wrote:
Opinions of Savatage? Thought about acquiring Hall Of The Mountain King.


It's an all time classic, I love it. I think a few people here don't agree, but I dunno, for me it's one of the best US metal albums. So much personality and verve to it, and it just kicks fuckin' ass. Amazing riffs, leads, vocals, etc.
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WaywardSon
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:05 pm 
 

THEMICRULAH wrote:
It's good but way overproduced.


How so? I think it has a nice, organic sound that avoids a lot of the pitfalls a lot of mid/late 80s albums fell into. The drums don't have that annoying massive reverb and the keyboards are used tastefully instead being forced into the front with sugary melodies. Despite being on a major label, it sounds like it could come from a mid level label like Metal Blade.

As for opinions...Sirens, The Dungeons Are Calling and Hall of the Mountain King are probably the most that would appeal to the power metal fan. Power of the Night is a bit lower on the ladder. It suffers from the usual sophomore slump of just not being as good as the debut. Fight for the Rock is just goofy. Gutter Ballet and Streets divide a lot of people. Some like them for the (at the time) ambition of combining a more symphonic sound with heavy metal while some just look at them as watering down a successful formula. The only essential Zak Stevens release is probably Edge of Thorns. If you like that, the rest of his stuff with them is a poorer version of that as Criss, guitarist and co-songwriter, died afterwards.
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Aydross
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:32 pm 
 

FasterDisaster wrote:
Opinions of Savatage? Thought about acquiring Hall Of The Mountain King.


It's a great, great album. Just get it. You won't be disappointed.
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suleiman
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:49 am 
 

Jophelerx wrote:
^Some that come to mind, in chronological order (keep in mind that not all of these are necessarily as good as Life Sentence, but all are very, very good):
2004 - Distant Thunder - Welcome The End (excellent power/speed with James Rivera, more of a straightforward approach than Helstar but still very enjoyable)
2008 - Manilla Road - Voyager (need more be said?)
2009 - Crescent Shield - The Stars of Never Seen (Michael Grant and Dan DeLucie at their best...see Onward and Destiny's End for reference)
2010 - Briton Rites - For Mircalla (Howie Bentley's excellent occult heavy/doom project)
2011 - Argus - Boldly Stride the Doomed (one of the best heavy/doom albums ever, monster riffs throughout), Manilla Road - Playground of the Damned (see Voyager)
2012 - Axehammer - Marching On (one of the better USPM comebacks), Graven Rite - The Summoner's Pit demo (very solid MR worship), Skelator - Agents of Power (Moorcock metal and Skelator's best to date)
2013 - In Solitude - Sister (heavy metal/goth rock in the vein of Tiamat's Prey, excellent songwriting and superb atmosphere!)

I also think Satan's Host's newest would probably be up there, it hasn't fully sunken in but it is extremely excellent for sure.


Thank you !!! That will take a while to go through....
I have heard Manilla Road, Crescent Sheild and Axehammer, but not these particular albums from the first two. Axehammer is pretty good, with a strange non-modern production, but they still have to acheive THAT level of songwriting maturiy.

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suleiman
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:08 am 
 

THEMICRULAH wrote:
I just heard Into the Lair of the Sun God not too long ago so I'll check out Nucleus. I thought that one had a unique sound to it - I found a favorable review of it in Chips and Beer Mag and checked it out, was not disappointed.


Nucleus definitely goes for, and mostly nails, that early to mid-80's NWOBHM feel. Good production and and some great songs. But defintiely not a 9/10 or 10/10 record.

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rawsewage
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:16 am 
 

I'm just gonna leave this here

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themicrulah
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:11 am 
 

Holy fuck boys, this Savage Grace cover is making me shit myself.

WaywardSon wrote:
THEMICRULAH wrote:
It's good but way overproduced.


How so? I think it has a nice, organic sound that avoids a lot of the pitfalls a lot of mid/late 80s albums fell into. The drums don't have that annoying massive reverb and the keyboards are used tastefully instead being forced into the front with sugary melodies. Despite being on a major label, it sounds like it could come from a mid level label like Metal Blade.


It sounds more sterile than a woman going though menopause.
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WaywardSon
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:35 pm 
 

...but how though? Is it the drums? I mentioned they avoided the reverb explosion common of the 80s. The guitars have a fairly atypical roughness for a major label release. The bass is...well, just there as neither a positive or negative. Oliva's vocals don't seem to be given any special treatment over the other instruments. The keys again aren't overly abundant aside from the instrumental track. Are you thinking about one of their other, later releases? While I don't think they ever released something "overproduced," but the albums they released post-90s are pretty clean sounding.

For reference, when I think overproduced, this is what comes to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jTGVx2ATLI It works here too as it was released in the same year. Guitars lack any kind of balls, vocals are front and center with tons of backing vocals for emphasis, drums are all snare and are pushed up more too and the focus is on the chorus instead of the song as a whole.
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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:50 pm 
 

Yeah, Wayward's on the right track here. I honestly can't see why you'd call HOTMK production "sterile".
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colin040
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:56 pm 
 

Savatage are/were a band full of decent musicians. I found Jon's vocals to be fitting for most part (except for the latter releases where his raw voice doesn't fit the more melodic stuff, started on the 1989-onwards albums) and Chris was a good guitarist. His flashy leads were pretty cool and I'd say he definitely was the best bandmember. Songwriting was never the band's best point though but I do like The Dungeons are Calling quite a bit. It's probably the heaviest and most focused release of the guys.

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themicrulah
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:07 pm 
 

I dunno bro I don't feel like explaining it that's just what it sounds like to me, ya know?
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:57 pm 
 

Are there more albums like Warlord's The Holy Empire? : book-like epic heavy/power metal?

I like Slough Feg's Traveller, or BG's Nightfall.. well enough. They are good concept albums. Warlord's production, however, reminds me of holding the book itself. The epic heavy/early power architecture, choral synths, and unfolding thematic transitions combine in the vintage appeal of the experience of reading. Rocking is important, of course ("Kill Zone" rolls over things), but comprehensive experience is better.

thanks.

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:04 pm 
 

colin040 wrote:
Savatage are/were a band full of awesome musicians.


Fixed that for you...:p

HOTMK is better produced than their old stuff, but it's far from sterile.
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Oblarg
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:34 pm 
 

HotMK is repetitive as hell. A couple of real gems (Beyond the Doors of the Dark kills), but Savatage really needed a second guitarist. Criss Oliva is fantastic, but he sounds so damn stretched with the amount of material there.
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DoomMetalAlchemist
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:55 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Are there more albums like Warlord's The Holy Empire? : book-like epic heavy/power metal?

I like Slough Feg's Traveller, or BG's Nightfall.. well enough. They are good concept albums. Warlord's production, however, reminds me of holding the book itself. The epic heavy/early power architecture, choral synths, and unfolding thematic transitions combine in the vintage appeal of the experience of reading. Rocking is important, of course ("Kill Zone" rolls over things), but comprehensive experience is better.

thanks.


Well first off, if you don't know Bill Tsamis' other epic metal band Lordian Guard, you should check them out immediately. They have very unique female vocals, delivered by Bill's wife Vidonne. I seriously can't compare her to any other vocalist in any genre, metal or not, that's how unique her vocals are. There's a lot of keyboards that help give it an epic feel. And there's plenty of guitar harmonies. Here's some of my favorite songs:

Lordian Guard - Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (most epic song I've ever personally heard)
Lordian Guard - War in Heaven
Lordian Guard - Revelation XIX
Lordian Guard - Winds of Thor

If you like these, pick up the 2 CD Anthology put out last year. It has a lot of bonus tracks, including recordings by another of Bill's band's, Lordian Winds, which was formed in 1986 after Warlord initially broke up.


Other than them, I have just discovered a band called Martiria. This was actually Rick Anderson's previous band before rejoining Warlord for the last reunion. I've only downloaded the albums, and listened to each of them once (except the last one, I haven't listened to yet--and just fyi, Rick wasn't on the last album). One of the albums, it was either 2005's The Age of the Return, or 2008's Time of Truth, had songs that sounded like they could've been inspirations to Bill for The Holy Empire. I haven't had the balls to ask him about it yet on facebook, though, lol.

Martiria also did a really cool symphonic non-metal cover of Warlord's Soliloquy.

EDIT: The Lordian Guard Anthology was put out earlier this year, not last year.


Last edited by DoomMetalAlchemist on Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Opus
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:09 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
colin040 wrote:
Savatage are/were a band full of awesome musicians.


Fixed that for you...:p

Neither Doc Wacholz nor Jeff Plate are "awesome" in any sense of the word.
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WaywardSon
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:53 pm 
 

Really? You single out Doc when "Thumper" and Johnny Lee Middleton are right there?
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Jophelerx
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:56 pm 
 

Jon Oliva is a great singer but the songwriting consistently sucked balls. I think "By the Grace of the Witch" and "Before I Hang" were the only songs I really enjoyed...maybe one or two others from "Sirens" but I'm not sure. Hall of the Mountain King has really shitty riffs, not sure why it's praised so highly.

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Temple Of Blood
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:17 pm 
 

HOTMK is a U.S. Power metal masterpiece. The musicianship and songwriting is great.

Joph, what power metal albums do you think have better riffs than this one?
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:22 pm 
 

Jophelerx wrote:
Jon Oliva is a great singer but the songwriting consistently sucked balls. I think "By the Grace of the Witch" and "Before I Hang" were the only songs I really enjoyed...maybe one or two others from "Sirens" but I'm not sure. Hall of the Mountain King has really shitty riffs, not sure why it's praised so highly.


Because the riffs are not shitty. They are godlike.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:26 am 
 

Meh. They have some good riffs to be sure, but most of their songs don't have nearly enough variation. Jon is a great singer and Cris is a great lead guitarist, but I think they really would have benefited from some more input in the songwriting department. On the whole I find Savatage a mediocre band elevated to decent by the singing & guitar solos. Highly overrated overall.
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Rocka_Rollas
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:49 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Are there more albums like Warlord's The Holy Empire? : book-like epic heavy/power metal?

I like Slough Feg's Traveller, or BG's Nightfall.. well enough. They are good concept albums. Warlord's production, however, reminds me of holding the book itself. The epic heavy/early power architecture, choral synths, and unfolding thematic transitions combine in the vintage appeal of the experience of reading. Rocking is important, of course ("Kill Zone" rolls over things), but comprehensive experience is better.

thanks.


You might not be expecting it from Rocka Rollas but our fifth album Last Days Of Light (predicted to be released 2015) is very Nightfall inspired ;) None of our earlier "speed metal fun" is to be found. Some might not like that change in sound but for me it's just natural progress and I think it will shine through that I put way more heart and effort into that rather than songs with "metal" in the title haha.
So while I don't have anything to show I hope you have something to look forward to now ;)

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