Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Yakamashii – 4 song promo CD review

Yakamashii – 4 song promo CD (Independent Release)

If you are searching for undiscovered bands that come from overseas, then the quest can be hard, long and sometimes unsuccessful. I had this feeling when I first heard about "Kai Hernando", a virtuoso from Singapore who was extremely talented and had already released some stuff. I started searching for Kai's works but I couldn't find a decent sample of his work! Finally and, after thanking God for mySpace, I was able to contact a band named Yakamashii. Yakamashii was really kind enough to send me their first two albums, entitled "Insomnia" and "Durjana". "Insomnia" was released on 2001 and "Durjana" 4 years later. The band's style can be characterized as raw-sounding Power Metal with Neoclassical metal elements, when time comes for Amy to contribute his blistering solos. I truly admire his style of playing, since it gives the band the necessary amount of melody in order to create a worth-mentioning style. Lately, Yakamashii (which means 'noisy' in Japanese) released a four track promo CD in their struggle to break the boundaries of Singapore and expand their reputation abroad. The CD begins with "Kau Tak Peduli" a Power Metal song with melodic chorus and Amy's brilliant solo to make the difference once again! "Epik Wira Rimba" is a technical Thrash song, while "Azab" once again is full of powerful riffing and wonderful guitar melodies. The promo CD ends with the song "Fight" (featuring English lyrics), my favorite Yakamashii song, which includes a fantastic riff (Amy is a true virtuoso) and is ideal for the band's musical style. If Yakamashii improve in the vocal section, then I am pretty sure that they will create some quite memorable albums. I fully support Amy's musical ideas and I am sure that in the near future, this talented guitarist will increase his worldwide fans. Contact the band and obtain their promo CD! Band's profile: http://www.myspace.com/yakablast

Dimitris Starakis

Monday, December 22, 2008

Zyphoyd – Prelude to The Storm Demo review

Zyphoyd – Prelude to The Storm Demo CD

It’s been a long time since I last met a dual-guitar attack project and Zyphoyd really caught my attention since the very beginning. I was a listener through their mySpace profile and was able to witness how the band progressed in terms of composing songs. Finally, their first instrumental demo is out and I am definitely pleased from the final result. Glen Sambrook and Kieran Larkey from New South Wales, Australia are two gifted guitar players and composers, if you can understand the true meaning of these words. The band’s style is really diverse and this fact gives the listener an enjoyable effort with the lack of dull moments. From the storming opening song to the deeply emotional “Key of Destiny”, Zyphoyd prove that qualitative instrumental music is here and can surely have a place in every metal fan’s discography. Their enthusiasm is obvious and I am sure that both can also compose even more interesting songs in the near future. If you enjoy Progressive instrumental music with Neo-classical and Eastern influences, then Zyphoyd is the latest hot name in the scene! Well done guys, we need your music. Always believe in your talent! Band’s mySpace profile: http://www.myspace.com/zyphoyd

Dimitris Starakis

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Storrmbringer - Promo 2008 review

Storrmbringer – Promo 2008

The young quartet from Volos considers themselves as disciples of pure Epic Heavy Metal and, judging from their three songs that appear on this promo, there are fairly right! Storrmbringer was formed in 2006 and this promo is the appetizer before the release of their debut album entitled “Among The Flames Of War”. The band already signed a contract with Eat Metal Records and the CD will be out in 2009. You can surely expect some well-performed Heavy Metal from these youngsters since their razor-sharp riffs and the high-pitched voice serve well their musical beliefs. “Return Of The Avenger” showcases an intense Iron Maiden influence on the main riff, while “Stormbringer” is a fast-paced Metal track. “Heathen Cry”, with its mid-tempo opening rhythm and the pounding main part could be easily considered as the band’s “concert trademark”. It’s nice to witness the enthusiasm of young bands, while they perform their favorite music. I believe that all fans of pure Heavy Metal will place Storrmbringer among their favorite newcomer groups and I am sure that their first CD will include even more noticeable moments of our favorite music! Band’s mySpace profile:

Dimitris Starakis

Friday, December 12, 2008

Koichi Hayakawa (2008 Remastered Edition) Digital Release review

Koichi Hayakawa (2008 Remastered Edition) Digital Release

I have got this effort before from cdbaby.com in CD format, but Koichi decided to remaster and re-release it again as a digital release only. Koichi comes from the land of the Rising Sun. He has been playing the guitar for over 25 years now, and he was already teaching guitar and music composition since the age of 17.
His newest digital release is like a mini-best of effort from his previous single release and gives the opportunity to every fan of instrumental music to enjoy his qualitative playing. Koichi plays marvellous instrumental music with really inspiring riffs! Koichi’s style includes neo-classical elements, but doesn’t remain strictly in the baroque atmosphere. His vibrant sound, combined with various cheerful melodies and shuffle guitar orientation, is a close description of his musical identity. The talent of this wonderful guitarist was not neglected and this was proven from the fact that in 2003 "Speed" became the number one downloaded song in the Instrumental Rock section of MP3.com, followed by "Crush" which became the number one downloaded song in the Instrumental Metal section. His newest remastered edition is now available through itunes, cdbaby.com and amazonmp3 (only for US customers) so I recommend you to give his work a try since Koichi is truly gifted! Koichi’s myspace profile: www.myspace.com/koichihayakawa Official web-site: www.koichi-hayakawa.com
Dimitris Starakis

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kingdragon – Fire In The Sky promo-CD review

Kingdragon – Fire In The Sky promo-CD

When a man like George Aspiotis, who was played with some wonderful Greek bands like Raw Silk and the always amazing Spitfire, decided to play the game in "front row", then the result must surely be qualitative! KINGDRAGON is a melodic Hard Rock project that was formed in 2006 and has just released this four-track promo CD, strictly for promo purposes. The style of the band is clearly focused on catchy melodies that are strongly supported from the keyboard parts (a trademark of Foti’s unique style, who also handles the vocals), while also the guitar parts from Anastasis F. are faultless and fit the band’s style. I personally choose out from the four songs the tracks “Fire In The Sky” Lovely Lady” and “Man Of Yesterday” since they capture the true melodic essence of sentimental and perfectly-executed Hard Rock music! I strongly support the opinion that KINGDRAGON should be immediately supported from a record label since their ability to compose wonderful and enjoyable and their experience in the scene cannot be omitted! Fans of Journey, early Europe, and Giuffria among others should stay tuned, since this project (who recently supported Gotthard and Firehouse during their concerts in Athens!) has a lot more to offer. Visit their web-site: www.kingdragon.gr and their mySpace profile: http://www.myspace.com/meetkingdragon
Dimitris Starakis

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Black Sun - Rebirth Cd review

Black Sun – Rebirth CD (Independent Release)

It’s always wonderful to witness some Hellenic band to unleash their brand new stuff! Blacksun was formed in 1993 by Minas P. (guitars) and Anthony A. (drums). After a while Konstantinos Dratzides (bass) joined the band. On April 1994 the band released the debut five track demo-tape called "Blacksun. After two years the second, three-track demo-tape titled "Through Storm We Ride" was out. The atmosphere was more epic in that three-track release. The band went on with session musicians but the result was disappointing. After one year Anthony and Konstantinos rejoined the band. Two new members joined the band as well, Nikos Filippas (Vocals), Nikos Koulelis (Bass). With the new line-up created their third attack called "Crystal Edge of Time" in cd this time. The music of the band turned to be more melodic but heavy metal as well. The band pauses its activities until 2001 when the simply titled"Promo-cd 2001" was out and a change in the band sound was now a reality, since their musical landscapes were more atmospheric. Blacksun’s first cd titled “Tragaedia Eternal” came out on 2006 and it was the band’s most “depressed” release. Now, with the addition of Airged Lamh’s vocalist Steve Vernando, the band from Aigaleo chose to follow a more melodic and straightforward path in the musical quest. There are no dark parts in “Rebirth” or female vocal parts and the guitars simply show the way with delightful melodic riffs. I enjoyed the four tracks that appear on this release and I think that all of them stand on the same, high level. I you enjoy melodic metal with well-executed music from experienced musicians that now how to create interesting music, then give no second thought on purchasing this effort! Band’s website : http://www.blacksun.gr/. Band’s mySpace profile: www.myspace.com/blacksungr
Dimitris Starakis

Friday, September 19, 2008

Killbot Zero – Microtopia CD review

Killbot Zero – Microtopia CD (Independent Release)
I was approached by Chris Cavera, the leader of this prog project and I agreed to review their second effort that was released this year. To be honest, I was a little surprised when I found out that a MIDI sequencing software and an MP3 player helped them to finish the recordings of their album. The band was formed in 2003 under the great name Progzilla with Bruce Vermett on drums, Chris Cavera on guitar, Dan Huber on bass, and Tony Eyer on keyboards. Bruce left to go to school in LA and the band disbanded. After returning, Bruce and Chris reformed and rehearse, as their bio inform us. Dan then had moved to Chicago and Tony had no time for bands. Chis Cavera, decided to fill the missing parts with a little helping hand from technology and also remixed the drums and re-recorded all the rhythm guitar tracks before the release of the CD. Killbot Zero plays a unique style of instrumental Progressive Rock/Metal with odd meters and mind-exercising keyboard parts. “Microtopia” could have easily been a Musea release, for those who are familiar with the French Label’s releases. Intelligent, high-skilled music that demands the listener’s attention for great musicians that deny quitting from their musical quests, due to the great problems that they face in forming a band with a stable line-up. Support the band and buy their efforts, since money is not the main issue here. Intelligent music needs your support and these enthusiasts form Killbot Zero know how to perform it! Their 3rd CD "CPU Assassins" is currently in the works, so pretty soon we’ll have another noticeable sample from these progsters. Buy their albums in a really affordable price here: http://www.mindawn.com/albums/4595
Dimitris Starakis

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Forgotten Realm – Power And Glory CD review

Forgotten Realm – Power And Glory CD (Sonic Age Records)

Yes, yes, yes, at last this album is out! I was pretty desperate from the delay of its release but now I hold it in my hands and yes, this is an album destined for the top! Forgotten Realm is an all-star band featuring the one and only David Fefolt, who contributes some magnificent vocal work on bands like Valhalla, Masi and Hawk, while the guitars are handled by Matthew Mills. I will not write my opinion about Matthew since this blog is full of his majestic releases and of course his interviews. The drum kit features another professional musician who is none other than Rhino, known from his cooperation with Manowar. So, when you get an album with such talented musicians, then the result is destined to become a classic album. “Path To The Fire” opens the album, a known track since Matthew posted it some years ago in a music web-site, so those who have listened to it before know what to expect. The others must be prepared for a splendid Power Metal hymn, full of flashy leads and out-of-this-world vocal performance!! “Time” is the second song of the album and once again one of their most inspiring compositions, while “Eyes Of My Soul” is a Neoclassical opus with David leaving me with my mouth open! This man is truly one of the greatest singers of all time; simple as that! Shattered Horizons was originally a mid-tempo instrumental track that was also featured in Matthew’s solo CD “Neoclassical Rock Guitar”. Now it features David’s vocals and it’s simply marvelous! A true Neoclassical Metal Hymn! The same stand for “Forgotten Realm” the 7min and 41sec grandiose song. “On Wings Like The Eagles” is the emotional songs of the album, a ballad in which the band really knows how to express their emotions and Matthew delivers also some wonderful riffs in that song as well! “Forged In Steel” is another Power Metal attack, while Freedom Calls is another fast-paced song with a sing-along chorus. The CD ends with a cover on Rainbow’s classic “Man Of The Silver Mountain”-the Neoclassical version! “Power And Glory” is a classic album as I said earlier so be sure to obtain it, in order to feel the magic! Order it through Sonic Age Records: http://www.sonicagerecords.com/ Band’s mySpace profile: http://www.myspace.com/theforgottenrealmband

Dimitris Starakis

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hidden Disturbances – mini-CD (Independent Release) review

Hidden Disturbances – mini-CD (Independent Release)

Neoclassical Metal on steroids? Well, yes, you could say so!! On the other hand, someone can describe this mini-CD as the Instrumental sensation of the year! Yes, you read well- these crazy Italians, with their “Shred N’ Roll” style as they love to call it totally amazed me. Imagine Depp Purple decide to take Yngwie on guitars and record an instrumental jam under the influence, he, he! Yes, the debut effort from Hidden Disturbances is a fine example “proggy” Neo-classical Metal/Shred/Fusion with the usage at times of the always sweet sounding Hammond (I am DYING for Hammond sound!) and it is highly recommended for all the fans of virtuoso and intelligent music. Yes, this quintet from Italy created a really provocative release and I am pretty sure that if they continue this way, then the world will soon appreciate their enormous talent. Credits must also be given to the great guitarist Saverio Tarantini, who is the brainchild behind the bands by composing the tracks and delivering also some six string guitar wizardry! He won the 5th and 6th edition of the International Music Contest in the city of Atri (Italy), a competition which gathers artists from all over the world. He played also at The Human Rights Day, an event held in the theaters of Loreto Aprutino and Città Sant’Angelo, two nice cities in the Italian Region of Abruzzo. Another important experience in his curriculum is the opening of the great drummer Greg Bissonette concerts in 2005. He has already written his first guitar method, addressed to all who want to play in his original style. I don’t think that I need to write more. The band accepts Paypal, so it is quite easy and affordable for you to buy this wonderful piece of art and support them by any means! Hidden Disturbances recently included singer Fabrizio Avantaggiato in their marks, so there are working for their first full-length album. Band’s mySpace: http://www.myspace.com/hiddendisturbances .

Dimitris Starakis

Giuseppe Silvestri – La Rosa Del Deserto CD (Secret Port Records) Cd review

Giuseppe Silvestri – La Rosa Del Deserto CD (Secret Port Records)

This is the second CD from 34-year-old guitarist Giuseppe who recently singed a contract with Secret Port Records and he definitely carries the tradition of the great Italian scene! I really enjoy instrumental albums, especially when the composer strongly focuses on his inspirational melodies and riffs, without having in top priority his demonstration in various techniques. The style of the album ranges from my favorite Neo-classical songs (“Inferno”, “Coral Castle”, “Portrait of Isabel”, “Les Fleur Du Mal”), to Eastern-influenced tracks (“Gates Of Passion”), mid-tempo pompous compositions (“Eternity”) and quite sentimental moments (“La Rosa Del Deserto”, “Daisy”) so there’s plenty of variety for the listener to choose which songs fits his taste best. Giuseppe is totally enjoyable when he performs the songs: he uses catchy phrases which never produce a dull moment and I think that this is the great advantage of his second effort. Allow me also to express my admiration to the song named “Portrait Of Isabel” since I think that in this particular song Giuseppe proves his advanced skills as a composer! Support independent releases like this and send your encouraging comment to Giuseppe. Visit his mySpace profile (unfortunately it is written in Italian only): www.myspace.com/silvestrigius. Order his CD through Secret Port Records: http://www.truemetal.org/secretport. His first self-titled CD is also available from: http://cdbaby.com/cd/gsilvestri

Dimitris Starakis

Friday, July 18, 2008

Orest 'Hawk' Dziatyk's musical past and present revealed in current Snakepit magazine!

Laurent Ramadier from the always amazing Snakepit Magazine (http://www.truemetal.org/snakepit) did a wonderful research regarding Illinoi's Metal scene and included an interview with guitarist Orest 'Hawk' Dziatyk. In order to spread the word about Hawk and his always great musical steps, we encourage you to download the following interview here . Don't forget also to order your copy of Snakepit!!!

P.S.: Check also Septer's releases in CD Baby for a possible purchase: http://cdbaby.com/cd/septermetal

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ashen Reign – Immortality CD review

Ashen Reign – Immortality CD (Independent Release)

This is an one-man project, found by Brent McDaniel and with the help of Vance McCumber formed and forged ahead. Brent McDaniel actually did all the drums, guitars, vocals, harmonies, keyboards, bass, recording and mixing. The melodic Heavy / Power Metal songs that “Immortality” includes are overpowered by the wonderful, solid and skillful guitar playing, by unleashing great riffs and pretty noticeable solos. I believe that Brent will try to find an appropriate singer for his next album, in order to send his songs to the next level. “The Fire Within” “Immortality” “Running Away” and other songs as well will be handled much better if they were sang by a better singer, so I am pretty sure that Brent will definitely search for a singer in his follow-up. Many congratulations to this “lonely hero” for his passion to release an album and I am sure that the fans will support him in order to give him the necessary courage to continue his “Metallic Quest”. "Immortality" is available through CDBaby (http://cdbaby.com/cd/ashenreign), but you can also find more info here: http://www.ashenreign.com/ashenshop.cfm
Dimitris Starakis

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Christos Nikolaou (Mythodea) – Ultimate Pain song (featuring John West) review

Christos Nikolaou (Mythodea) – Ultimate Pain song (featuring John West)

I never remember myself having written a full review for a single…song! My good friend Christos Nikolaou, a great guitarist who is completing the Mythodea project, is working for a disc that will definitely features some bright names of the scene like Jonathan Marshall, the always amazing Vitalij Kuprij on keyboards and of course the one and only John West! Let me clear something first: I am a HUGE fan of John West’s vocal abilities and I can never stop enjoying his solo works, his Artension albums, his amazing work on Royal Hunt etc. I must also admit that I don’t like his latest project, Ten Man Push, since John’s voice is destined for more “sentimental” situations. Well, the song “Ultimate Pain” is clearly the best song West has sang after his departure from Royal Hunt! Even Emir Hot doesn’t have such an inspiring song in “Sevdah Metal” (ok, let me exclude “Stand And Fight” from the sentence, he, he!). The song is truly fabulous and it is written for John’s warm, passionate voice, so you can expect some vocal wizardry from one of the most important singers of our scene. Christos made the perfect choice for “Ultimate Pain” and I really want to encourage him to feature John West in more tracks of his forthcoming CD! This is the John West as we love to worship!!!! Check the song for yourselves: http://www.myspace.com/christosnikolaou

Dimitris Starakis

Monday, May 12, 2008

Forgotten Scroll Fanzine #4 out now!!!


Features interviews from:
RUSSIAN METAL Special article
RUST (CYP) + Diphtheria (CY) CD (Power / Epic Doom Gods) http://www.forgotten-scroll.net

Price is 5 euros (p+p worldwide included)

Send your payment to the following paypal id: gtsiligkakis@gmail.com

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Vengeful Few – S/t CD review

The Vengeful Few – S/t CD (Beagleator Music)

I still remember when I visited the band’s mySpace profile and listen to their songs. The band delivers well-executed, melodic and most of all, traditional Heavy Metal that is so hard to present it so fresh nowadays! I was really surprised that this U.S. quintet that was formed in 2004 by guitar players Tom Catuosco and John Zambri in Morris County, NJ knows how to make the listener listen to this album again and again! Wonderful tracks like “Get Us Out”, “Circle Of Seven” are maybe ideal for bring them live on stage, so I suggest to all European promoters to address the bands for some European dates and then even more people can surely appreciate their talent! Razor-sharp and memorable riffs, a great voice (Keith Vitali is also a member of the band “Gods Of Fire”) and most of all wonderful songs is what you get in this debut, so be sure that The Vengeful Few are here to stay for a long time with such a talent on their marks! Their CD is distributed through various on-line shops, so get more info on their website: http://www.thevengefulfew.com/ Band’s mySpace profile: http://www.myspace.com/thevengefulfew

Dimitris Starakis

Friday, May 9, 2008

Symphonia interview

It was a pleasure doing an interview with one of the most talented bands I've listened to lately and it's none other than Symphonia. The band from Kuala Lumpur was kind enough to send me its' answers to my questions, so enjoy what these inspiring musicians have to say...

When was Symphonia formed and how difficult was to find the appropriate members?

Symphonia: Back in 2004 with the 1st batch and since 2007 comes the best/newest line-up until now. Not too difficult as they're formerly Symphonia's close friends/followers who believe and have passion for this kind of music. Back in 2003, its quite hard to say but through our experiences, we have found a formula to minimized the hardparts. With the right tools/technique of self-practise. We've minimized errors down to 80% in the whole group practise sessions. So, the better system of individual practise and then in the group session is the key to be a better musician/band.

Was it hard for you to find band members that were interested in performing Neo-classical Metal?

Symphonia: Normally it'll depend on the situation & offcourse the attraction that we has...u might find there only quite a few bands plays this kind of music in malaysia, as its the most oustanding/demanding of Metal - its hard to find one band that has good musician's quality as in group - some bands are very good on the guitars only and some on the drums. Normally one of the members has been quite long in this band-they'll become very musically-good/advance-so there'll be a high demand for them to be invited to play outside as the sessionist. we do hope and place our support so that there will be more local bands concepting this genre and has a better system to develope their musical's quality as in group better package/product.

Tell me about what "Satria Naga" means and I want you also to comment the lyrical content of your songs.
Symphonia: Its just a cliche's of those strong/conquer elements over the weak/manipulated entities! Most of thelyrics potrait common issues - such as bad politicians, corruptions, personal faith and how to do the right thing in bad situation - sits up to readers to sub-understand it as once a lyric sung with the music it might produce a different feeling/emotion. We might record the vocals again in english and place them as bonus tracks in our next album.
Which are your favorite tracks from "Satria…" and why?
Symphonia: Every songshas different feelings and expressions on its own so its hard to choose which one the best, but for technical aspect we choose "Satria Naga" & "9 pendita" since it has an every bit of complexius rhtymn, blistering solo and amazing challenging drum patterns. For vocal tracks we choose the following: "Manusia", "Wira" & "7 penjuru" as these turn-out very well sounding-details advance compositions aspect. "Hasutan", "7 penjuru", "Lagenda trilogy" has the most shred/baroques elements throughly.

You are also recording a full tribute CD to Yngwie Malmsteen. Why you decided to do this?
Symphonia: YJM has been one of our major influences on us-throughout the time, we've understand his trademark composition/skills-finally can play and record his songs, not just claim/say it but unable to prove that we could play his.it has been our ultimate dream to produce this album...to prove to the world of how deep was YJM influences on us!.weve being on practising a lot of yjm tracks that u might never see him does on his live show.kind of tribute in Symphonia way - certain part we keep the original and some solo parts will be improvise by Aman.
Please mention your favourite guitarists and bands.
Symphonia: Bach/Paganini violin pieces - we wish we know who has influenced this maestros Yngwie J. Malmsteen's all albums - from the low-gain in the early 83' swe, we also like his newer sound,his impovised solos in newer albums, whie the latest compositions are also good!
Newer: Katsu Ohta strat's tones and solo/interlude/improvised licks, Richard Andersson's song's arrangement and keyboard single-coil sounds/solos.
Technically: we prefer most single-coil tones and sound guitarist,we dislike humbucker/high-output tones as its will weaken the sweet elements/freq tones.

Are you satisfied with the sales of your debut CD so far?

Symphonia: quite good! it has surpassed our basecost last month, luckily we have minimized the production cost through self-effort - private owned record label. By end of May we'll get the actual total collection from dealers/associates - positively 2nd reprint will follow soon. Thanks to u too brother-those reviews really has spread the Satria Naga news.

You are also preparing your 2nd album, with lyrics now fully written in English. Give us some info on your preparations.

Symphonia: Its all on the right track - 70% progress so far! 10 tracks has been recorded without vocal yet..we do spend on this an extra hours as we understand the demand & competitiveness are higher than the 1st album..this 2nd album will potray our differentiate and progressive ideas toward neoclassical-baroque platform..rhtymn will be improvised with more modern feel/style and solo will be as baroque/classical as before!the guitar sound will be the same trademark-single-coil -big/low-gain and fatter/raw/big than before...sure things will be all english vocal tones, kind of the asian-way delivers the lyrics in english.we hope all of these will turns more success for us and hopefuly the acceptance from international fans.

Tell me about the Metal scene in your country. Is it easy for a Metal band to survive?

Symphonia: Local Metal mostly focus on Non-neoclassical Metal such as straight/heavy metal/death/black/punks o there quite great scenarios for these followers-a lots of gigs and show for them-good demand/supporters for them.but there're nearly few to none a band concept favours the wordly acclaim/accepted power/melodic/speed/baroque metal style as in europe,consider it as underground here, many major label wont sign these concept until now, only a brave indie/private self-fund label will go through it.luckily some and growing no of metal online website/blogging has unite all these metal genres and features/dedicate/provide many forum's sections for all these kind of metal through their channels.

Did mySpace help Symphonia to establish a strong fan-base? Do you have fans from other countries as well?
Symphonia: Yes it is indeed one of the right/most viewed channel currently! Good for promotion. We've fully utilised this channel. We're glad to have more friends and fans through this way. Plus countless promotion on guitar metal/non-metal musical related websites, many local/intl. musical forums also help! Yes, so far we had good local followers through self-efforts/close friends-agent promotion channels. International will be on progress basis - on the way to make it happen!were now planning to spread our music in asian countries first - more on Indonesia (big population) as Ark Storm does now. There're also a number of fans from Sweden, USA, Japan, Greece (thanks to u) as well.we would like to gather as much as reviews now-one of the promotion tools.
Which is you ultimate musical dream?
Symphonia: To achieve the greatest musical success internationally and of course by that time Symphonia will have its' own identity of fans-accepted/blended musical ideas/elements.
Dimitris Starakis

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Abstract Symphony – Infinite Desire Demo 2007 review

Abstract Symphony – Infinite Desire Demo 2007

After the great Symphonia, I am so happy to enjoy another great newcomer, this time from Chile! The band started out in 2001 as an Yngwie Malmsteen tribute band, but in 2003 the leader of Absract Symphony, Esteban Hulloa decided to put an end to the tribute-attitude and started to compose songs in the Neoclassical vein. In about two year time, the band had composed a total of more than 10 songs. After various auditions and a lot of line up changes the band finally has an stable line up with David Rebolledo on drums (ex Endriago, Santiago based band), Juan Andres Oyaneder on bass and Esteban Hulloa Castro on guitars (ex Ring of Steel). In early 2006 the band began recording a total of 10 songs. After the drums were recorded, Matias and Felipe parted ways with the band because of musical differences .The band concentrated 100% in recording what would later became the "Infinite Desire" demo. Singer Marcelo Carvajal, who later recorded the vocals on all 6 songs from the demo, finished recording in mid 2007, while Esteban finished recording, mixing and mastering of the demo late 2007.
The demo consists of 6 songs, including a guitar intro and an organ outro and it is really well-crafted. All musicians are professionals, with some fabulous work on guitar by Esteban, who really knows how to produce thrilling Neoclassical Metal compositions! Marcelo’s vocals are melodic and really flow with the songs, while keyboardist JJ Roldán surely does a fine job (check out his solo in "Into Your Eyes")! From the fast-paced and fabulous title track to the melodic ballad "Nobody Know’s" to the flashy "Into Your Eyes", the band maintained a high level of truly worth-mentioning songs! The production in this demo could have been better, but I am sure that in their debut CD, Abstract Symphony will be ready to storm the world with some A-class Neoclassical stuff. You can download Abstract Symphony’s Demo for free in the following address: http://www.myspace.com/abstractsymphonyband
Dimitris Starakis
P.S.: The band is rehearsing now and putting the finishing touches for their very first album with the following line-up: Esteban Hulloa V. (guitar lead guitars), Esteban Hulloa Castro (guitar), Marcelo Carvajal (vocals), JJ Roldán (keys), Juan Andrés Oyaneder (bass), Sebastián Pontigo (drums)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Symphonia – Satria Naga CD review

Symphonia – Satria Naga CD (Symphonia Musical Fidelity Inc.)

If you wonder what “Neoclassicism” really means, then the easiest way nowadays is to do a simple…web search! If you do it, you’ll definitely find something like this: “Speaking and thinking in English, "neoclassicism" in each art implies a particular canon of "classic" models”*. Neoclassical Metal was always based on structures that will never fade the test of time. Demanding, inspirational and highly qualitative, it is still considered the most demanding genre of Metal. A brief look to the artists that tried to “go by the Neoclassical book”, proves that talent mixes with excellent performance in order to create some advances musical forms.
When I discovered the band Symphonia, I was extremely surprised to witness that they were coming from Kuala Lumpur! It was a pleasant shock to see that Malaysia was lucky enough to present a wonderful Neo-baroque Metal band which will surely has the right to hope for success! Symphonia’s debut “Satria Naga” was released lately and includes 11 songs of bright virtuosity. Aman, the “brainchild” of the band has completely dedicated his musical studies in re-inventing traditional Neoclassical Metal and he surely has the class and the ability to compose songs with that significant guitar sound which always give a vibe of joy to the devoted followers of the scene! Apart from Aman’s amazing composing and playing abilities, Zul’s voice is smoothly fitted into the songs and gives the necessary strength contrast (sic) in the vocal lines, something that cannot be avoided in traditional Neoclassical Metal. Z9’s (strange nickname!) bass lines keep the rhythm going and provide an additional positive mark in the CD. The debut album from Symphonia is an enjoyment form the beginning to the very end and if you want to taste some of their greatness, just listen to the riff from “Wira” and you can immediately get the idea! The band is preparing their 2nd effort, which will include exclusively English-sung lyrics, sin hope that this will help the band to expand their reputation in many countries. I strongly suggest to each and every fan of this significant Metal to help these young musicians, since their enthusiastic beginning should be continued! Get all the necessary info on how to obtain their album on their mySpace profile: http://www.myspace.com/symphoniamalaysia
Dimitris Starakis

P.S.: The band is also participating in the “A Tribute to Yngwie.J.Malmsteen Project” album which is the 1st YJM tribute album from local Malaysian bands! Symphonia covers “Rising Force” and “As Above, So Below” and their performance is once again splendid!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

OSV - Mission One CD review

OSV – Mission One CD (Independent)

Having witnessed the interesting collaboration of some fine and high-skilled musicians like Bassist Steve Sexton, drummer Gary Oppert (who both cooperated with my always favourite guitarist Matthew Mills) and guitarist Brandon Vaughn I was expecting the OSV project and when I finally got it, I witnessed some wonderful musicianship form guys who didn't just decided to invite guitarists like Mathias Holm and Paco Hernandez for fun. “Mission One” consists of 12 tracks of faultless executed Fusion/Prog/Neo-classical and at times Shred Metal, inspired mostly from our beautiful and mysterious Universe. This music could be easily characterised as the “Official Soundtrack Of Our Solar System”! Dreamy melodies, prog rhythms and a special atmosphere consists the world that the listener will meet as soon as he starts listening to the CD. It's really hard to pick a certain song, since evey single one captures a variety of positive emotions, proving at the same time that sometimes music can be intensively expressed without the help of words. The power of sweet melodies, demanding rythm breaks and inspiring riffs is steel strong and I believe that this album is not destined from musicians to musicians only. I should also add here that in “Mission One”, guitar parts are also contributed from Jean-Do Leonelli (742) and Chris Cavera (Killbot Zero). “Mission One” is distributed on several web-stores through the net, so check the band's mySpace profile (http://www.myspace.com/osproject) for additional info on how to obtain it.
Dimitris Starakis

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Black Fate – Deliverance Of Soul promo CD review

Black Fate – Deliverance Of Soul promo CD

How can someone be totally objective when he listens to the newest work of one of his all-time favourite Greek bands? Black Fate were formed in 1990 in Larisa and thrilled the followers of Greek Underground Metal by releasing two magnificent demos entitled “Black Fate” and “A Piece Of Dream”. In 2002 their first full length "Uncover" was released from Secret Port Records, presenting also some line-up changes. 5 years later, with singer Vasilis Georgiou in their line up, Black Fate released a promo including 3 tracks: “Blood Red Sky”, “If The Silence” and “Dying Freedom”. That particular “appetiser” showcased an almost radical change in the band’s sound, since Georgiou’s voice added a sentimental direction and made them focus even more on melody in their Power/Progressive Metal style. I remember being a huge fan of Herakles Fanarakis (the band’s first singer), but I must admit that their new singer is the ideal person for Black Fate’s new musical direction. Black Fate sound more modern than ever, but the refreshing breeze in their sound made them even more appealing. Passionate compositions and vocals (with an intense influence from Roy Khan, so you can understand the high level of quality!), great and mature musicianship featuring quite some catchy moments in their songs are the highlight’s in Black Fate’s trademark, so I personally believe that since the band is looking for a record contract to release this album, the labels must contact them! Don’t ask me to choose my favourite track. It’s impossible since I never stop enjoying the wonderful “Inner Warning Of My Soul” (fantastic chorus as always!), the astonishing “Blood Red Sky (with my favourite eastern influences, this song, along with “Dying Freedom” and “If The Silence” that appeared in Promo 2007 were re-arranged for this full length CD). There are also some fine acoustic moments like the song “Wicked”, while “Thorn In My Hand” is ultra-melodic, groovy and another highlight! "The Conscience Of The Brave” starts with a totally inspired riff and great leads while the tracks unfolds (you’ll meet a lot in this album!) and “Angry Silent Scream” is a mid-tempo song, featuring the heaviest parts of the entire album, along with a sing-along chorus! I would lie if I wrote that I didn’t enjoy every single moment of this album! Band’s mySpace profile: http://www.myspace.com/blackfateband
Dimitris Starakis

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wrath Of Wolves – The Obstreperous Dragon Demo review

Wrath Of Wolves – The Obstreperous Dragon Demo

Definitely a name for a Black Metal-oriented band! But that's half the truth! Well, this project was formed when Blackstorm witnessed the decline of Black Metal in 2005 and fortunately guitarist Antony Storm decided to follow a more qualitative direction by composing skillful music with progressive and Neo-classical elements. What I got from the band is a four-track demo with inspiring moments, deeply influenced by Yngwie J. Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth and the great pioneers of the scene! In the band's forthcoimng album, Derek Sherinian will contribute the keyboard parts as a session musician, while current Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force’s drummer Patrick Johansson will be also invited to torture his drum leathers. All four songs are fast-pasted tracks, with precisely executed parts and crystal clear performance from Mr. Antony something that will not pass unnoticed from all Neo-classical Metal aficionados! Shining arpeggios mix with galloping rhythms and memorable riffs showcase the great abilities and many promises that this project reveals. The band is also ready to enter the studio in order to record their debut full length with the above mentioned guests, so stay tuned for some major updates from the band’s camp! Check their mySpace profile: http://www.myspace.com/uswolves
Dimitris Starakis

Monday, January 14, 2008

White Witch – Never Dies The Dream… CD review

White Witch – Never Dies The Dream... CD (Independent Release)
I delayed the review of White Witch’s third effort that was released right before the end of 2007, but that happened to some obligatory circumstances that I could not overpass. I expected the follow up to “The Power” with great anticipation and I was pleasantly surprised to witness a nice starter like the song “Slaughter In Salem” is: Powerful and catchy so my appetite for the rest of the album was growing. The duet “Singleman” and “Game That I Play” however pulled my break, they were it was too commercial for my ears, while “Prince of Darkness” was in the same vein, but I enjoyed most its chorus. But since i trusted this band in their previous album, I somehow felt that they would not let me down! “Underneath The Lights” is the song that White Witch knows how to create and turn the power up. That’s the style of the band that I enjoy again and again: Decent Hard Rock, with wonderful chorus and guitars that stuck in your mind! Uncle Jeff’s performance in that song and the way that sings is what really appeals to me! “The Seed” is mid-tempo track with an atmosphere close to the first era of Black Sabbath when the song begins. This is the song also tha carries the guitar parts that gave White Witch that specific trademark which makes them special! “Street Corner Madness” is the most powerful song of the CD and definitely my pick! I think White Witch saved the best for last and really offered us a great dynamite! The third album of the band showcases once again their talent and if they manage to be careful with the production and with some Rock N’ Roll songs that reduces their might (guys, the style that fits you lies in “Street Corner Madness”), then their 4rd CD might give them also their first record contract! Contact the band for more info at: http://www.whitewitchrocks.com/ . Their mySpace profile: http://www.myspace.com/whitewitchrocks
Dimitris Starakis