Onward - Evermoving Century Media - 2001 By Rodrigo /images/covers/Onward-Evermoving.jpg One of the newest bands to come out from Century Media is the 4-piece group Onward, who are led by "guitar virtuoso" Toby Knapp. He plays all the guitars in the album and his style of playing reminds me a lot of Chris Impellitteri. Onward plays guitar oriented, traditional metal very reminiscent of 80s-type metal. The music throughout the album is filled with powerful and soaring vocals, catchy choruses, and some truly impressive guitar work; there are plenty of memorable riffs, leads and solos. The rest of the band members are Randy LaFrance (bass), Jon Pereau (drums) and Michael Grant (vocals). Toby originally hooked up first with Randy and Jon and then thanks to Denis Gulbey, (president of Sentinel Steel Records) who found Michael Grant, the band was finally set. Evermoving is the groups powerful and ferocious debut album. The first time I listened to this album I immediately enjoyed it. It is hard to believe that Evermoving is the bands first album; they show a lot of the maturity and originality of bands that have released a few albums. It is really refreshing to hear a new band that plays with a lot of confidence and is not a carbon copy of some other bands. Sure, one can hear the influences of some bands but Onward manages to make their own unique sound. The first song, "The Kindness of Strangers" is a fast paced burner of a track. The intro has a great driving riff, along with a great solo and the drums complement this part really well. The last 3 minutes of the song is entirely instrumental where there are plenty of kick-ass solos. My favorite song is definitely "Witches Winter Eternal". What is so great about this song is the galloping pace of it, which immediately reminds me of Iron Maiden. Once again the chorus and the pre-chorus are characterized by some great vocal melodies and I just cannot resist the urge to sing along. The solo is one of the best found in the album. Every single time I hear this song I always turn the volume just a tad more. In a perfect world this would be a huge radio hit. "Storm Coming Soon" is also features this galloping pace. Another of my favorite songs from this album is "The Last Sunset". It is a really heavy tune but what I love the most about it is the chorus section. It has an excellent vocal melody paired with a cool guitar lead. The solo and instrumental is phenomenal as well and the ending of the song is cool since the chorus and the last verse are sung at the same time to give it a fabulous finish. "The Waterfall Enchantress" has an extremely cool lead at about the 53 second mark and it is heard a couple of times during the song. This song has another standout solo, (frankly every solo in the album is cool) and the main riffs are really fast, crunchy and heavy. The last song of the album "The Lost Side of the World" is different from the rest of the album. It starts out fast but then it slows down during the verses and it picks up during the chorus. Finally, the song ends like the first song with a long instrumental section where Toby once again belts out some amazing guitar work. This song has a very "epic" feel to it. I do have some minor complaints with this album. The first one being that the production could have definitely being more crisp and cleaner, the bass and drums are sometimes lost in the mix. The other complaint is that the album is too short! I wanted more music, 8 songs were not enough. But that is really it for the negative critique because the future is definitely looking really bright for Onward. Evermoving was a great surprise and a cool album with a lot of positives that the band can build on for their next effort. Actually, that will be really soon because the groups next album Reawaken is tentatively set to be released later this year and I for one cant wait to get my hands on it.