Don De Necker

Mindmaze – “Resolve”

 Posted by on May 12, 2017 at 20:52  No Responses »
May 122017
 

Concept albums are interesting ones for myself, sometimes coming across a lot more personal and real. So from Allentown, Pennsylvania we have weighing in with a mixture of progressive, melodic, traditional and power metal influences the band Mindmaze consisting the sibling duo of vocalist Sarah Teets and guitarist Jeff Teets, along with Rich Pasqualone on bass and Mark Bennett, the new drummer. “Resolve” is their third release and is signed under Inner Wound Recordings. “Resolve” is Mindmaze’s first conceptual release, and in this the theme is one that explores the depth of human emotion and struggling in the face of loss and betrayal.

“Resolve” is an album that from the start is massed with energy and emotion. An album of intense emotions and personal testimony in way that can or could be a hard album to digest for some, but Mindmaze create such a beautiful and intense landscape, and the driving energy keep you interested throughout, so hopefully people see that. “Resolve” is artistic, beautiful, intense, emotional, full of energy and delivers with an abundance of memorizing mucianship ie: “Drown Me”.

The thing with Mindmaze is that the sound and melodies are approachable, I am not saying they commercially acceptable in terms of some of those mindless one line pop songs, but the melodies and vocals are easy on the ears to be excepted by a wider audience. Look there are a great many female fronted metal bands out there, but Sarah Teets comes across professional and strong in her vocal performance exacting the emotions and ferocities of the songs as needed when needed. As I said if I analyse a song like “Drown Me” it comes across in movements and sweeps like a beautifully composed and constructed symphonic orchestra piece. Continue reading »

The World Will Burn – “Ruination”

 Posted by on April 23, 2017 at 20:27  No Responses »
Apr 232017
 

Well just when I thought Dale Thompson hung up his gloves for good after Bride, he surprised me with the release of “Severity” with a new project called The World Will Burn. Partnered up with Alan Zaring, The World Will Burn, saw “Severity” became a surprise hit for 2016.  It managed to rip its way up the top of the Amazon Hot New Alternative metal download chart, and if that was not enough it was able to maintain and stay near the top for months.  It showed that the road of creating music for Dale and Alan is not over. As many of us by now know Dale Thompson is a name that is very synonymous when talking Christian metal. In fact I say if you don’t have a Bride album in your metal collection, it’s the poorer for it. Okay we going off course a bit here, “Severity” was a surprise hit for 2016, and with that keeping to formula “Ruination” is released unto the world following up on the back of the success of “Severity”.

Now you need to know one thing I have always liked about Dale Thompson and Bride is that there is an experimental edge to him and the band, and that has been transposed onto The World Will Burn, and what a perfect combination Alan and Dale make in achieving a sound that is somewhat a little different to the usual broth of metal bands out there. Right off the bat there is a sense of growth and depth with “Ruination” over “Severity”, and that is usually a good thing, especially considering the success of “Severity”. It’s that experimental edge and flavour brought together through the combined talent of Dale and Alan that make “Ruination”, with Tim Bushong who engineered and mastered RuiNation playing the guitar solos and adding bits here and there that assist in making this a unique and ground breaking release which shows one that you never too old to rock out, and make great music if you are, The World Will Burn. To put it simply, The World Will Burn are a unique alternative metal band that though staying true to the roots of the individuals in the band draw some modern influence creating a sound that is somewhat different to the norm. It’s that formula that made, “Severity” a success, and hopefully building on that, “Ruination” will follow the same trend. Continue reading »

My Darkest Time – “The Last”

 Posted by on April 13, 2017 at 20:54  No Responses »
Apr 132017
 

My Darkest Time is an atmospheric band that blends gothic and doom together. ‘The Last’ is the fourth outing by the band. The band is made up of the duo of founding member and main writer Zarko Atanasov and Marina Atanasova.

To put a foundation down, My Darkest Time has been around for quite some time, debuting with their first album, ‘End Of My Darkest Time’ in 2008. The band has had pretty much a linear growth over the years, and to a degree, ‘The Last’ broadens their footprint of growth, adding a little more depth and colour over previous releases.

This Macedonian band is pretty much your run of the mill atmospheric gothic doom band to put it bluntly. It has an almost deliberate slowness of pace to it, and even though it does have some ggreat touches of piano and orchestral symphonic parts in it, it does not blow me away. It does not capture me and carry me away, which I feel is an important characteristic in music if ones to truly appreciate what the band is doing. Even some amazing solo work from Torbjörn Weinesjö (“Ephrath”) still does not give the album a wow factor. It’s not that I don’t like this kind of music, I love gothic and doom, and allot of my vast musical collection is filled with quite a few gothic and doom bands, I think it my lie in that I feel Marina’s vocals are not extra-ordinary for this genre, and I feel it brings down the instrumental side of the album a bit, which is actually at times quite strong and emotional, where her vocals don’t seem to carry the strength that’s actually needed to marry vocals with instruments. Continue reading »

Pyramaze – “Contingent”

 Posted by on March 23, 2017 at 22:55  No Responses »
Mar 232017
 

Some bands make your job so hard to review, Pyramaze was such a band, as from the get go I found myself struggling to review it without drawing myself away from the raw explosion of the music to give a down the line review. So here it is as honest as I can.

Pyramaze are a rocking progressive metal outfit from Denmark. Formed in 2001 this progressive melodic metal outfit explode out with “Land Of Information” which sets the album with a symphonic intro build up that has a big feel, emphasized by the choruses and vocal harmonies that penetrate and set the stage for what is a great album.

“Contingent” is an album with a very clean production quality, and yet able to capture the talent and energy of the band. They manage to package a wide variety of stylistic influences into their songs and the album as a whole. Very few bands grab me from the start and this is one of those bands, they hit the ground like Thor’s mighty hammer. It’s atomically excellent. Vocals are great and powerful, the recording allows for clean pronunciation. Terje’s vocal ability is certainly a high light of the album. The album flows smoothly into “Kingdom Of Solace” that again highlights the creativity and song writing prowess of the band. If you a fan of lots of great lead guitar work, and amazing keyboard musicianship in your metal, reach out and get this album. Continue reading »

Mar 072017
 

After each listen of Signum Regis one appreciates what they do more and more. They don’t necessarily win you off the bat, but a love affair grows with them the more time you spend listening to them. Unfortunately into day’s myriad of European styled heavy metal bands it’s a hard job to stand out from the crowd. Also the level of musicianship is growing which makes it harder not to come across average, even when you are nothing like average. Signum Regis get a lot right in what they do, though it’s not perfect, and this is where I found my love affair with them started with the release of Chapter IV: The Reckoning.

Signum Regis is a Slovak power metal band, which was founded in 2007 by the bass player and songwriter Ronnie König. They are a little more than your standard power metal outfit and I found that they have a lot of progressive melodic elements to their interpretation of the genre.

If you like bands like Golden Resurrection and Divinfire then this is a band you need to listen to. Lyrically bold, and excellent musicianship paint the landscape of Decennium Primum. The album is consistent in its material and lyrics throughout, but it’s a hard bat as a band with the likes of a band like Golden Resurrection swimming in the same pool. Continue reading »