Don De Necker

Evanescence – “The Bitter Truth’

 Posted by on June 17, 2021 at 01:09  No Responses »
Jun 172021

Some albums are so much easier to review than others, and for me the latest release from Evanescence was a harder album to just get down and review. It is not that “The Bitter Truth” is a bad album, it’s actually got a lot of things going for it, but it did take some time for me to get into it and unpack my thoughts about it. Evanescence has done well for themselves, and respect to them for their impact and influence they have had in the modern day music culture. Sure it’s been 10 years since they released an album, so one got to go into it knowing that things could be different, whether musically or lyrically, a lot can happen in 10 years that can influence and reposition a band. To think in 2003, their album, “Fallen” catapulted them into being one of the biggest bands of their time from America, thrusting them into super stardom, and here we are 18 years later. But remember this is not the first time Evanescence has had a major gap between albums. There was a five-year gap between Evanescence 2011’s self-titled third album and 2006’s The Open Door album, and even then the two albums showed some definitive changes and repositioning, so going into this review my expectation, and thinking was already in that headspace. So I leaned into the album with slight trepidation not knowing how I will need to approach this as a reviewer.

For me in a way through the soul of this album I can see for Amie Lee the personal struggles, and things she has gone through, had to deal with, and in some way now able reflect that back in a more balanced space, like the 10 year break was good for settling a few things possibly, and repositioning into a new headspace. Sometimes we just got to swallow the bitter pill where we at in life and move forward with hope things will get better and clearer as we progress and unpack the horizon before us. There is a definitive switching of cogs that has seemed to have taken place, and the album has a much lighter and brighter feel to it. It has a deliberate and well kneaded feel to it, a lot of thought process has gone into the release to give it the sound and texture it translates. Amy Lee’s voice for me also sounds allot more relaxed, compared to the previous release, it comes across with a greater sense of heart if you will, and a lot more sincere passion. It’s not like she is finished dealing with stuff, or wholeheartedly moved on, but you do get a sense that through reflection she is repositioning herself. “Far From Heaven” is a good example of that. It is possible one of the more hauntingly emotional songs and her voice on the song almost nakedly displays a strong emotional drive as she is dealing with things like her faith.

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Bride – “Here Is Your God”

 Posted by on April 30, 2021 at 19:55  No Responses »
Apr 302021

So you into the Christian metal music scene then you have got to have heard of the band Bride, right? Well I am assuming you have, Bride has been around recording material since about 1983 under the name Matrix originally if I am not mistaken, changed to the name Bride think around 1986, so if you are tallying up experience in the industry, that is 38 years in the business. They have including this just in their main album releases 16 albums available in their catalogue to reference to, that’s a mighty large volume of music to sink your teeth into, and certainly from a standing the test of time perspective, there is much validation in that catalogue to be had regarding their musical ability and importance in the world’s heavy metal scene. They are certainly for me from a Christian metal and hard rock historical point of view one of the main metal bands to come out of the scene, and they have by all accounts cemented themselves as a large influence in the metal and hard rock Christian scene itself, particularly in places like Brazil. It does not mean that they have not had their ups and downs concerning their albums, and appeal of their albums, but certainly in their catalogue there are no albums you feel need to be avoided like a plague. Stylistically Bride incorporated many variations of styles of music into their brand as they matured over the years.

There are definitive periodic lines that one can draw, in terms of particular Bride era’s in their sound. It’s probably one of the attributes that I love most about the band and maybe one of the things that has kept Bride over the years relevant and musically progressive as a band. They certainly have not pandered or towed the line of a specific stylistic genre in the metal music scene. Thus it’s kept their flavour original, and consistently fresh in my mind, and you get a sense they enjoy experimenting and pushing the envelope of their sound, thus continuingly offering new variations of their sound release to release. Even when they choose to double back on previous styles and bring it a new to the fans, it’s introduced to the listener with a fresh reference. This is where “Here Is Your God” enters, the latest album release from Bride.

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Signum Regis – “Flag Of Hope” EP

 Posted by on April 14, 2021 at 12:57  No Responses »
Apr 142021

Symphonic power metal seems to be an ever growing genre, and certainly its aided by an ever increasing flux of great bands. Formed in 2007 Signum Regis whom are a Slovak power metal band, who main core is melodic metal with a proficiency for shredding guitar bring us their latest release, “Flag Of Hope” EP. It is an album buried in the life line of Signum Regis, as they have developed their sound over the years. The “Flag Of Hope” EP was originally released digitally only in Fall 2020, But by popular demand, this specific EP I am reviewing is now released physically as a CD. In addition to that 2 tracks are now added to the tracklist! Songs “Tune Of War” and “Amorenada” were originally released on the Addendum Primum digital EP (2017), but never on a CD and fans were asking about this physical release too.

“Amorenada” is a beautiful instrumental song by Filip Koluš and “Tune Of War” is a groovy hymnic song, now re-recorded by Jota Fortinho singing lead vocals and Mayo Petranin singing backing vocals So for fans of the band, as well as folk who are been introduced to the sound of Signum Regis this EP offers an ideal landscape of the bands style and strengths over the years.

It was in 2007 that Ronnie König founded the band Signum Regis and together with the vocalist Göran Edman they started working on a self-titled album, which was released the following year through Locomotive Records. Other information important to note is that on September 11, 2018, the band informed on their official Facebook page that the lead singer Mayo Petranin was leaving the band. João “Jota” Fortinho became the new lead singer of Signum Regis in June 2019.

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Brotality – “Worldwide Desolation”

 Posted by on February 24, 2021 at 21:47  No Responses »
Feb 242021

You can say what you want about record labels, and boy many of us have varied opinions and thoughts about certain record labels, and there is a huge debate around if there is really a need for record labels in the 21st century. That said there are a handful of labels out there where I genuinely have to complement them on the way the owners manage their label and the quality of the bands that they manage to sign to their little independent label that gives them much creditability within their sphere of influence and the music scene as a whole. One of these labels is a little independent one in the United States of America, called Rottweiler Records owned and run by good guy, Shawn Browning. Both his character and demeanour as a person holds within itself credibility.

His eclectic taste for music is represented through many of the bands that he has released through his label. He certainly has a high bar set when it comes to the signing of bands, and it’s not like its without risk, but as someone looking in I get a picture of a label that has a discography of releases that no matter how you try to unpack it is of a very high calibre. This is where a guy like me gets excited when a new band has signed to the label, because he has already set the bar with the other bands signed to the label, and in some measure you have this confidence in that you are about to experience something of quality. Again as I said there is a lineage of creditability been established by Rottweiler records already. With that all said lets tuck into the debut release from the new kids on the block at Rottweiler Records.

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Black Fate – “Ithaca”

 Posted by on February 3, 2021 at 23:39  No Responses »
Feb 032021

Greek melodic progressive metal band Black Fate return strong and forceful on their newest album ‘Ithaca’, delivering powerful performance throughout. They bring together a beautiful symphonic landscape that is organically salty and filled with catchy guitar riffs, and big score melodies highlights. It is evident the band has progressively moved forward from album to album, and Ithaca is a wonderful landscape of great artistry matured and seasoned as it is beautiful and epic filled. Chemistry is a very important component in the fluidity of the product, and the musicians ooze chemistry through their skill set. This chemistry allows for easy listening and great enjoyment of the occasion, and one feels allured to celebrate the accomplishment of “Ithaca” with the band naturally.

The vocals deliver a hauntingly and dramatic execution that is a complimentary driving force to the musical landscape beneath. Vasilis Georgiou has a lot of warmth and depth to his voice that draws one into the musical landscape and the adventure story telling.

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