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Issue 24 - November 22/23, 2001

Discussion in 'Songs To Watch' started by Demonspell, Nov 23, 2001.

  1. Demonspell

    Demonspell cheating the polygraph

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    DEMONSPELL'S SONGS TO WATCH
    THANKSGIVING HANGOVER EDITION
    Written November 22-23, 2001

    Greetings, devoted readers! This has been an extraordinarily busy week for me, on top of the usual educational responsibilities, I took in a Queensryche concert on Wednesday...they were in top form, and played through a setlist closely paralleling their excellent recent live album, with an emphasis on pre-Empire material. I'm also seeing an Islander game later this week...as a Devils fan, I hate to see them winning, but they are playing the despised Leafs...and of course, I have to see the relatives for Dead Turkey Day. I'll give you another week to send in your responses to last week's question. Enough rambling, let's see the songs...

    Beyond Twilight - Hellfire, Godless And Wicked: Danish band led by the gifted and wide ranged vocalist Jorn Lande, who has contributed to several different bands in his short career. These songs suggest a darker version of his main project Ark, both relying on sinister keyboard motifs. As always, Jorn provides a commanding performance, especially on the latter song which he carries on his own.

    Clockwork - If These Walls Could Talk, The Convolution Box: Progressive act signed to Sensory, a division of Laser’s Edge, which is undoubtedly the best place to order progressive music on the net. This band is well worth your attention, with equal parts Dream Theater and earlier prog. Latter song is a great instrumental. First song available at www.lasercd.com

    Marcel Coenen - Anthem, Independence Day: A definite patriotic theme running through here, although this man is from the Netherlands. After the extremely promising Lemur Voice broke up last year, he released a solo instrumental album. Both of these songs feature great melodic soloing, the latter being especially catchy. Both songs available at www.mp3.com

    Explorers Club - Fading Fast, Last Call: One of the few Dream Theater related projects I haven’t covered yet, which some readers have been inquisitive enough to point out. This is more of a loose assortment of talent than a band, but still very worthwhile for the rabid Dream Theater fan, especially since John contributes some awesome solos to both songs.

    Franklin-Neumann Project - Symphony Of Man, I Can See Forever: Two-man progressive rock excursion, as the name suggests. The former track is an accomplished three part opus (listed as separate tracks) reminiscent of Queensryche at times, especially the last part. The latter song has a highly addictive chorus. Both songs available at www.mp3.com

    Into Eternity - Speak Of The Dead, A Frozen Escape: One of a growing number of bands incorporating heavier elements into progressive metal (or vice versa), this one hailing from Canada, which seems to be a leader in this field. The latter song is a mostly acoustic track, while the former sounds like Queensryche with the addition of growled vocals, available at the band’s official site.

    Jag Panzer - Future Shock, False Messiah: Since guitarist Mark Briody has put in a few good words for my column, I should include some songs from the first two albums in their comeback period. The former track is a highlight of 1997’s The Fourth Judgment, which got me into the band, while the latter has an awesome lead riff, albeit not written by anyone in the band…

    Lacrimosa - Not Every Pain Hurts, No Blind Eyes Can See: Reader suggested highly praised German doom act. Both of these songs feature excellent female vocals with the expected male counterpoint, as well as well-placed acoustic work. Warning: most of their other song titles are in their native tongue. Former song available at www.666metal.com, a major supporter of the band.

    Power Of Omens – Test Of Wills, Time: Reader suggested progressive metal act who received much name recognition with an excellent cover of Screaming In Digital on the QR tribute. The former song, available at www.mp3.com in its entirety, is a 20-minute epic featuring great atmosphere and arrangement, and the latter song has a hypnotic structure. Vocals are highly reminiscent of Tate. New album coming soon.

    Quark - Conundrum, Colors Of Crime: French (!) progressive metal act discovered through the progradio.net stations. Both of these songs are good enough to warrant inclusion, especially the second which features some great playing, including some Maidenish guitar signatures.

    Jim Reindel - Mind Probe, Eclipse In Time: Solo instrumentalist who has put out a number of albums, which alternate between shred emulation and far more successful guitar atmospherics, which the latter is a good example of. Former song is an interesting 16-minute epic, which sounds like it could be on a soundtrack to a bad science fiction movie…that’s a good thing! Many songs available at www.mp3.com

    Silent Force - Promised Land, Hear Me Calling: German power metal act featuring the highly renowned D.C. Cooper (Royal Hunt, solo) on vocals, whom I’ve never really cared for…until recently, although both he and his band lapse into formula (and on the title track of Infatuator, Priest emulation) often. Both of these songs are exceptions, especially the awesome former song, as good as PM gets.

    Soul Forlorn - As The Candle Flickers, Away With The Breeze: Unsigned band discovered through the excellent Opeth forum hosted on this site. Both of these songs contain a strong amount of influence from the progressive melodic death masters, but point towards a promising future, as the arrangements and guitar work are extremely impressive. Both songs available at www.mp3.com

    Stonehenge - For Another, Angels: I included this Hungarian prog metal act a few weeks back, and got an enthusiastic response from a few of my readers. Both of these songs show that this band deserve an international deal right away, the latter feauring awesome guitar-piano interplay and the latter having an instantly memorable chorus. Former song available at www.mp3.com

    Symphony X - Communion And The Oracle, Through The Looking Glass (live): Live On The Edge Of Forever has dominated my CD player like no concert recording before! One of the best things about this album is how instead of serving as a vehicle for extended soloing, it highlights arrangements and individual contributions, especially those of Pinella and Lepond. And how the band has no difficulty into translating these more delicate songs in concert.

    Tiamat - Cold Seed, Mount Marilyn: Highly praised Swedish doom act I had ignored for a long time, despite having been familiar with the excellent former song from a CM compilation for a while. The latter song from Deeper Kind Of Slumber is an engrossing ten-minute track with haunting vocals from Jonas Edlund. New album coming soon.

    Tiles – Cactus Valley, Checkerboards: Progressive rock act who has been labeled as Rush clones by some reviewers, which I feel is a simplification of their talents. Both of these songs from Fence The Clear are accomplished prog, the former having a great chorus while the latter is a 14-minute track with powerful lyrics and some strong slower parts.

    Devin Townsend - Mountain, Earth Day: Only after hearing Terria do I begin to understand the hype surrounding this innovative musician. Both of these songs are equal parts progressive rock, aggressive metal, and Devin’s own eccentricity, this being especially apparent in the former song. The latter song has some savage riffs and a memorable chorus. Former song available at (how did you guess) www.mp3.com

    Transcendence - Echoes, Set Fire To The Sky: Progressive metal act discovered through www.hardprogradio.com Both of these songs, available at (like you didn't know) www.mp3.com, feature strong riffs and memorable choruses, especially in the latter song. Despite the band’s name, I can’t see any Crimson Glory homages… J

    Tristania - Hatred Grows, World Of Glass: After the departure of Morten Veland, the highly praised doom act has arguably grown more experimental and more accessible at the same time. The latter title track features a great chorus with female counterpoint, while the former finds the band in heavier form than on their first two albums.

    Ulver - Silence Teaches You How To Sing: I once called Garm the most unpredictable man in metal in these pages, and he has done everything to earn that title, the least of which is the latter 24-minute soundscape released as a limited edition EP. Listeners will either be enthralled by it or repulsed, and if they have patience there are some moments of great beauty in it as well as strangeness.

    Thus ends this chapter. With the holidays coming up, it means one thing: the slowest release period of the year. I think I’ll do two or three more normal issues before getting to the obligatory year-end specials…
     

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