TMR

Darkwater – “Human”

 Posted by on January 28, 2019 at 22:41  No Responses »
Jan 282019
 

Darkwater make such a strong impression with “A New Beginning” off their much-anticipated third album for Ulterium Records. There is a hint of unease woven into the piano melody, carried forward into the synthesizer lead that plays over distorted guitars and an urgent rhythm. I agree with Mike Portnoy’s assessment that progressive metal can at times be so self-indulgent that it’s more fun for the band than the audience. I think Darkwater strikes a fine balance between being technical, and being emotional with the music.

Rather than reaching backward to prog rock past, the tone is modern and there is a considered restraint in the way songs are performed. In “In Front Of You” Henrik Båth’s voice shines through, as well as how the guitars and synths share lead melodies. There is a moment where bass and drums share the spotlight, but not indulge in it, and further proof that the shared perspective is that the sum total is greater than the individual players.

What is it to be alive in 2019? One in 7.7 billion, or one of 7.7 billion? The crowning glory of Creation, or a mist that appears only briefly? Not only do the lyrics take a “bigger picture” view of life, but like in “Reflection Of A Mind”, the qualities of the soul are also examined. Life is a struggle for who we are: the lone voice that rises above the chorus. Continue reading »

Philadelphia – “Search & Destroy”

 Posted by on January 18, 2019 at 16:54  No Responses »
Jan 182019
 

You don’t often hear the theremin, least of all in rock and roll, and when the drums kick in I’m magically transported to the seventies, à la Deep Purple. Philadelphia do an excellent job of setting an ominous atmosphere, and I really like Brian Martini’s drum solo that propels us into the path of the speeding freight train called “Search & Destroy”. “Search & Destroy” first arrived in 1985, and will be re-released by Roxx Records on 25 January 2019. The limited edition vinyl run numbers only 500, and if you’re lucky you’ll be the owner of one of 150 gold vinyl LP’s. This cracker of an album was remastered by Rob Colwell of Bombworks Sound, and it screams to be turned loud.

Philadelphia paint a portrait of a kid down on his luck and in the streets in “Bobby’s Song”. They put a name to the face we so often ignore. It’s a pretty perfect ballad, and I’m crazy about that guitar tone! Brian Clark delivers an emotional performance in “Oh My Boy”, a song from father to son, and the instrumentation in the verse is suitably sparse. When the overdriven guitar finds the spotlight in the chorus, the father’s anguish is amplified tenfold. Phil Scholling’s melodic solo here is also my favourite on the album. Continue reading »

I.N.D (In Nomine Dei) – “Lucernarium” ep

 Posted by on January 10, 2019 at 22:53  No Responses »
Jan 102019
 

In Nomine Dei surprised me with their intensity on “Zly”, the first of four tracks on their 2017 EP, “Lucernarium”. The Polish song title “Zly” translates as “Evil”, and the core message is that the main character will not let evil distract her from God. While the start of the song suggests thrash metal, it becomes more midtempo once Alina start singing. While not as theatrical, Alina’s voice reminds me of Catherine Ringer (Les Rita Mitsouko). Alina also pushes her voice to a gravelly scream that suits the mood of the music.

“Prorok” (The Prophet) has a great hard rock groove, and the guitars have a no-nonsense, modern tone. The dual guitar attack also stands out in this one, like in the solo, where Michał and Patryk take turns to drive the melody ever higher. The lyrics “It’s Him, He’s coming / My Servant” points to Jesus Christ, and at that moment where He is baptised by John at the start of His ministry (Matthew 3:13-17).

While titled “Mrok” (The Dark), this song speaks of the fire of the Holy Spirit that burns within us. Listen to the opening few bars, and what Alina does there. Can I be bold and suggest that IND are tipping a hat to Rage Against The Machine? I love the layering of Alina’s voice when she sings “Amen”, and in the mix I hear a lower harmony accompanying her voice at times. It’s a subtle, but great production addition. IND don’t emulate RATM’s funk, which is a good choice in my opinion. Continue reading »

Jan 012019
 

First of all, Happy Newyear, wishing you all a healthy, blessed and prosperous 2019!

Thanks for your support over the past year, we really appreciate that. The past year has brought us loads of decent new releases, new bands and nice concerts/festivals. We expect that 2019 will be even better! The next year will be the 13th. year of ‘The Metal Resource’.

Anyway, a little bit later then expected: But we are having each staff member of our team list their choices for The Top 10 Best Albums Of 2018 (In no particular order). Unfortunately, not everything is delivered on time, so as you can see below there are missing a few top-10 lists.  Continue reading »

Tourniquet “Gazing at Medusa”

 Posted by on November 29, 2018 at 21:08  No Responses »
Nov 292018
 

The first 33 seconds of “Sinister Scherzo” convey for me what you can expect of Tourniquet’s “Gazing at Medusa”: virtuosity. The eerie, tremolo-picked melody, sits atop blackened drum blasts, interrupted by a lone flute that signals the first verse. Now in thrash metal country, Tim Owens’ off-kilter delivery voices the madness of a world that “dances tuned to a dark macabre beat.” While a scherzo in the classical sense is played in an upbeat, playful manner “Sinister Scherzo” leaves me with an uneasy chill.

The music of “Longing for Gondwanaland” calls up an image of a warhorse riding into battle. Gondwanaland – the supercontinent – a metaphor of unity that is in stark contrast to today’s reality. We have eschewed the oneness that Paul so aptly describes in Romans 12:4-5:

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

If the melancholy slow march of doom metal is your thing, “Memento Mori” will be an early highlight on “Gazing at Medusa”. The riffs are crushing, and the lyrics remind us of our own mortality. Aaron Guerra and Chris Poland both supply lead melodies that wrench at your heart, while Ted Kirkpatrick keeps the procession moving forward. Continue reading »