Saturday, April 28, 2007

Final Stage, Steel Assassin, Legion reviews

Final Stage – Flight Of The Phoenix mini-CD (Independent)

Final Stage was originally named Ignite and started as a cover band, playing songs from the member's favourite bands. The band's recent line-up was completed in 2005 when founding members Brandon Wright (Guitar/Vocals) and Josh Kurkjian (Bass) included drummer TJ Dowhaniuk in the band, so Final Stage started to prepare the ground for their debut release. "Filight Of The Phoenix" came out in August and it featured 4 songs of Heavy Power Metal -the Canadian Way! The EP kicks off with the self-titled track which has a pounding rhythm and also reveals immediately the band's identity: Pure Heavy Metal, with razor sharp guitar parts and powerful vocals. Final Stage gives the listener the impression that their songs will be Metal blasts in a concert! The "live feeling" is quite vivid in the songs, which always keeps the listener's attention in top priority. "Heretic" comes next and is definitely the most "simplistic" song of the band. A riff that comes from the glorious NWOBHM days and forces anyone to start Headbangin', can best describe the song. "Open Your Eyes" starts with lots of melody but things get "speedier" when the first vocal lines appear! Maybe this is my personal favorite from the EP. The song has a nice, melodic refrain and once again makes me wonder how thunderous will be when performed live! "In The Night" is the final song and once again we are talking here about another piece of uncompromising Heavy Metal feeling! Final Stage created a well-cared debut EP and they have raised our expectations for an even better follow-up! I'm sure that the band has the potential to achieve it! You can order "Flight OF The Phoenix" form the band's web-site: . Check also their profile and stop by to encourage the band by leaving a comment:
Dimitris Starakis

Steel Assassin – 3-song promo CD from"War of the Eight Saints"

This is a three-song appetizer from the forthcoming STEEL ASSASSIN album "War of the Eight Saints" and I am happy that these guys are back in the spotlight! The quintet from Boston (all hail to Boston Celtics!!!!!!) was formed in the late 70's and thankfully they are reformed after many years of "silence"! To be honest, I think that now they are stronger than ever! Their previous CD titled "From The Vaults" came out in 1998 and was a collection of the songs that were written from the band over their career, featuring singer Doni Escolas! The new promo CD features 3 songs ("Hawkwood", "Hill Of Crosses" and "Barabbas") of crunchy Heavy Metal with the harsh voice of newcomer John Falzone (former vocalist of Triphammer) that will satisfy every 80's Metal aficionado! Phil Grasso is also present here, a member also of MADD HUNTER, a well known U..S. band in the Underground Metal scene. So, the result is screaming guitars, fast-paced rhythms and a "vintage atmosphere" which proves that U.S. Metal is alive and kickin'! I am really waiting for the full-length album to have a better opinion, but, judging from these three songs, I'm pretty sure that STEEL ASSASSIN will appeal to any fan of the U.S. Underground Metal scene!
Band's Website:
Band's profile:
Dimitris Starakis

Legion – Shadow Of The King CD (Independent)

On my visit to Japan last September, I visited Rock Stakk Records, my favourite record shop of my favourite friend, Mikitoshi! In there, Mikitoshi suggested me a great album as he said and he gave me the CD that I'm reviewing now. First of all, I was attracted by the cover, a wonderful painting by Jean Jacques Scherrer! But since I never judge a book by its cover, I tried to examine the music and the result was pretty amazing! Legion deliver 1st class melodic Power metal with brilliant riffs and really good vocals. The Adamo brothers handle the guitars and they did a great job, since the riffage is quite catchy, while the solos might be described as a heavier Rainbow approach! This is the style that I enjoy listening to! The CD includes well-crafted Power Metal songs like "Illusion" (marvelous Neo-classical riff, this is a hit for Metal parties!), "The Watcher" (mid-tempo hymn!) and the OPUS Stay Away (From The Night) (you'll stuck with it!) that will definitely make you want more from the band. Melodic metal tracks with a Hard Rock approach like "Deny Yourself", "Heart Of Stone" and "Medicine Man" are welcomed since the musicianship is well-cared. Mike Bunk's vocals reminded me of Doogie White's voice, so "Shadow Of The King" starts from where Rainbow's "Stranger In Us All" stopped, but continues with power, inspiration and passion for great compositions! No, this is not another clone-band, this is a band that produced an enjoyable CD and I'm sure that will attract many fans of Power metal are fed up by listening to the same repeated song in 100 CD's!
"Shadow Of The King" was originally released in 2005, but Majestic Rock brought it to light again this years by re-releasing it with a new cover and a remastered production! Legion are also planning now to tour for the promotion of the album, but I think that they must also start creating the follow-up to this wonderful debut!
Band's web-site:'s Myspace profile:
Dimitris Starakis

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