Saturday, January 29, 2011

Livesay - Awaken The Giant CD review

Livesay - Awaken The Giant CD (Shredguy Records)
Now this was the big surprise of 2010! I am familiar with Livesay’s previous releases, beginning from the album “Under The Table“ (released on tape format) until the “Darkest Hour” CD. To be honest, Gregg’s albums were missing some grandiose tunes that would establish him as an important composer. But in “Awaken The Giant” things have rapidly changed. A spectacular CD indeed, featuring 8 songs that will definitely satisfy every fan of guitar-driven Hard Rock/Metal music. Gregg delivers two amazing instrumental tracks on the album entitled “Aphasia” and “Dance Of the Egyptian King” and showcases his devotion to Neoclassical Metal music, combined with many eastern influences. It is pure pleasure to listen to such a fine guitarist, in times where virtuosos are still handled as “egomaniacs” from some narrow-minded critics and fans.
Including songs like the bombastic “Tower Of Silence” with a storming riff that bursts into the song and transforms it to a metallic hymn, the splendid  tribute to the unforgettable eastern-influenced tracks “Flesh & Blood”, to the ABSOLUTE Mega Opus titled “The Agonist” (a 12-minute hymn which fairly earns the title of the “Song Of The Year”!), Livesay’s latest effort should receive worldwide success. Featuring singer Dean Sternberg(ex Into Eternity, Toby Knapp) which does a fine job, the band shouts that qualitative and inspiring Metal music is not dead! My enthusiasm is surely intense, since I feel so pleased to listen to this CD again and again!
I believe that “Awaken The Giant” is by far the heaviest and most wonderful Livesay release and I hope that Gregg will continue to compose songs in this very favorite style of mine.
Do not neglect this CD by any means. It is one of the greatest albums of 2010 and a resurrection of a band that has a lot to contribute to the scene! You can buy the album here. Livesay’s mySpace and facebook page.
Dimitris Starakis

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fortress Under Siege – Promo 2010 review

Fortress Under Siege – Promo 2010

Now this is an important resurrection for all those nostalgic fans of Greek Power/Progressive Metal. Fortress under Siege are back with a new album, after 18 inactive years! For those who are not familiar with the band’s history, I must remind to all that they formed back in 1992 by Fotis Sotirpoulos (Guitars) and John Vasilakis (Guitars) after the split up of Gladiators (another legendary and qualitative Power metal band that never had a proper release). With the addition of Michael Smeros in vocals and Nick Dedes behind the drum kit, FUS invited bassist Aris Matheakakis and started recordings for their debut EP, which originally came out on tape format, but later released in 1996 as a self-titled mini CD from Metal Mad Music. In the meantime, Vangelis Xatziandreou (Bass) and George Georgiou (Keyboards) joined the band and gave several live performances.
Although inactive since 199,8 FUS continue composing and finally reunited in 2009, with the addition of drummer Spiros Zenebisis on October 2010.
The band released a three-track promo that gives a brief example from their 10-track new CD and they currently searching for a record deal. Their newest creations are sentimental, Power?Progressive Metal samples of their creativity and it’s so wonderful to realise that their talent remain unchanged.
“Deeds Of All Disgrace” begins with a melodic intro, followed by a storming change, while Smeros’ vocals are powerful and melodic, a distinctive trademark that characterize the band. “My Foulest Sin” combines the basic keyboard melody with a fast-paced rhythm section and is quite inspirational, while “Gods Of War” is the heaviest track of all, with grandiose chorus and majestic, pompous parts and wonderful guitar leads.
Currently (December 2010), FUS have finished recording and mixing of their new album.
Some other indicative song names are: , "The Mortal Flesh Of Love", "Gods Of War", "Alexander", "Last Temptation" and "Night Caress".
I believe that every fan of good Power/Prog Metal music should welcome Fortress Under Siege back and encourage them to release soon their comeback CD!  They surely don't deserve getting a bad press, having such wonderful songs! Contact the band: FORTRESS UNDER SIEGE, c/o Ioannis Nikolakopoulos, P.O. Box 29 , GR 19300, Aspropyrgos Attikis, Greece. 
Band’s Reverb Nation page:
Dimitris Starakis