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Lost Diamonds Pt. 1

Ein Artikel von gargantouas vom 25.02.2003 (2385 mal gelesen)
This first part of the special is intented to present some albums to you that are diamonds, but unfortunately their bands have been lost in time and in anonymity. Some of the albums made quite an impact, some completely passed without notice. One is for sure; the next five releases deserved a whole lot better attention and they are at least worth the listening. So, if you don’t have some or all of the albums presented bellow, get out your “Indiana Jones” equipment to start the search.

ARTCH-ANOTHER RETURN

Artch is a band from Norway. As I read somewhere, their name was intended to be Arch, but the one responsible designing the album cover, made this mistake with the “t” and the band liked it. So, no spelling mistake there.


1. "Conversio Prelude"
2. "Another Return to Church Hill"
3. "Power to the Man"
4. "Loaded"
5. "Where I Go"
6. "Metal Life"
7. "The Promised Land"
8. "Shoot to Kill"
9. "Living in the Past"
10. "Reincarnation"

Here, we have to do with a heavy/power metal album of the 80’s. Heavily influenced by the “Four Horsemen”, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica and Helloween, the band unleashes all the talent into song composing. Amazing production for that time, vocals that could stand near the big performers (Yes, Bruce Dickinson, Michael Kiske etc.), guitars that are well taken care off, bass and drums that tie the whole recording result.

The album kicks off with “Conversio Prelude” which starts to say the story of a priest of some kind. Unfortunately, the lyrics on my vinyl have disappeared and I clearly don’t remember the story behind the intro and of “Another Return to Church Hill". As soon as the first song starts, we are in front of one of the most epic songs ever recorded. No laugh about it, when I listen to it, it makes me want to take out my sword and kill evil priests. So, what else to add? "Power to the Man" goes on, a heavily “Feministic” song, with really cool lyrics. "Loaded", is a heavy metal hymn, and probably the most radio potential for the band. A song with melodies not easily written by people that don’t love the music. The chorus is one of the best I have ever heard. "Where I Go" finishes the first side of the vinyl, and it is a powerful ballad, but to they way metal bands should play ballads. No arrangements, no nothing. Acoustic intro and kick ass chorus and one of the coolest outros.

"Metal Life", sums up the second side, and it is a song to the standards of “Battle Hymn” of Manowar. Talking about the metal life back on the 80’s, the song is just another hymn added. "The Promised Land", "Shoot to Kill", "Living in the Past" add to the whole atmosphere of the album. "Reincarnation" just finishes the attack “like a firestorm”. A speed metal song that just leaves you a bitter taste, knowing that the album has finished.

A record that is a legend. Was recognised a lot back in 1988 where it was released, but the band was lost. I haven’t heard their second record that was out in 1991, called “For the Sake Of Mankind”, but I heard words that it is a better one. I cannot tell. All I can tell, is that is you find this record, don’t miss the chance to buy it, listen to it or just make it yours. It is a seminar to heavy metal. 10/10


RICHOCHET-AMONG THE ELEMENTS

This is hard… Couldn’t find anything on the net for that one. Not even a picture. It is a shame that I don’t even have a scanner to get you printed the front cover of this magnificent CD.

Richochet come from Switzerland. I don’t know if they still exist or of they are splitted. All I knew, is that they released on 1994, a record with very big potential. Purely, someone would describe the album as a progressive metal album. Well, it is. But, not to the “usual” meaning of it. You will not listen to some copy of Dream Theater. You will listen to a band that mixes, all their influences, whatever it is. Rock, metal, pop (the way Sonata Arctica of course are influenced by pop).

Here is the tracklisting:

1. Holy Bells
2. Among The Elements
3. Angels
4. Life
5. I Need An Answer
6. I Can’t Follow
7. Avalon

Every sound, note you will listen, sounds perfect in here. You listen to songs, that are big sometimes, but that have main melodies and are not thrown ideas out of nowhere. Lyrics that have to do with life, relationships and love. I can’t really pin-point out the best song, since all of them are really…amazing. Maybe, the title track that runs for 15 minutes is the one that remains as the best one. But really, “Holy Bells”, “Angels”, “I Cant Follow” and all of them are so lyrical, so atmospheric that do not fall behind.

One could also notice the amazing vocals. One of the best voices I have ever heard. More or less… if you find it, don’t miss the opportunity. 10/10


ZEN-GAZE INTO THE LIGHT

These guys come from Italy. They released their debut, in 1998. Not many years ago. However, I lost their traces after that. Found some stuff on the net, so if you are lucky enough, you will be able to get their CD from somewhere. It is another progressive album. And especially all the Dream Theater fans will love it.


1. The New Sunrise
2. Gaze Into The Light
3. Water Can Cover The Next
4. Divine
5. Tales From The Deep
6. 137.999-Welcome To Zuffenhausen
7. Invisible Horizon
8. Aphasia

From the intro one can listen to the amazing production. And when the title track begins, one can listen to one of the best voices on the heavy metal scene. Andrea Polidoro, just gives lessons to all the new singers throughout this record. I read that he is he new James LaBrie, the new Geoff Tate or whatever. I will say that he is Andrea Polidoro. His voice just takes every song to the next level. Singing, with the same convenience high or low notes, makes a simply amazing performance on the record.

As for the songs, yes, they are heavily influenced from the Dream Theater of the “Images And Words” period. However, this is not a drawback. I would call it, ‘a blessing from the father to the child’. Simply as that, the songs, one by one, reveal the talent of the band on the composing and the instrumental part. My favourite? “Water Can Cover The Next” is maybe my favourite. Lyrical, atmospheric, with kick ass melodies that only Dream Theater could have written, Zen gives us on this song the full potential of the band. The other songs are walking on the same space. They are just as good as “Water…”, but this is just a personal preference.

No more words for this one, a must for the Dream Theater fans, a must for all the progressive freaks, a must for all in my opinion. If you find it, don’t even think of missing the chance of escaping the world for 50 minutes. 10/10 (and maybe more).


VIPER-THEATER OF FATE

This was the first band of Andre Matos. You all know this one. Undoubtedly, the man has one of the best singing capabilities on the heavy metal scene. “Theater of Fate” is the second release of the band.


1. Illusions
2. At Least A Chance
3. To Live Again
4. A Cry From The Edge
5. Living For The Night
6. Prelude To Oblivion
7. Theatre Of Fate
8. Moonlight

This album is the “usher” of Angra. After “Theater…” Andre Matos left Viper to go on with Angra. This album is on the standards of Helloween’s “Keepers…”. Fast melodic songs, with always the “new” Andre Matos making the first steps for recognition.
The only thing that is irritating on this album is the very small running time. Around 40 minutes, just finishes too soon. However, each of the song has a lot to give, with really inspired melodies and professional made compositions. The last song is a cover version to Beethoven’s “Moonlight” and just kicks major asses, with Andre making one of the best performances of his carrier on this song.

Another must, for all the power metallers. No “progressive” elements, just pure speed/power with Andre Matos on the vocals. The group remained to release “Evolution” which without Andre was a really mediocre album. After that, I completely lost the tracks of the band from Brazil.

Get it, it will be a nice add-on to your collection. 9/10

WINTER’S BANE-HEART OF THE KILLER

Well, this is a difficult one. I will explain why. On a review from a magazine- around 1993-, I read about this album and specifically the journalist was making special notice for the lead singer of the band. So, I decided to buy it. And it worth the money I gave for that one. Here is the album then:


1. Wages of Sin
2. Blink of an Eye
3. Heart of a Killer
4. Horror Glances
5. The Silhouette
6. Reflections Within
7. Haunted House
8. Night Shade
9. Winter's Bane (Instrumental)
10. Cleansing Mother

A year after, I learned that this talented singer was going to occupy the spot of the singer of the metal gods, Judas Priest. And I thought it was an excellent decision for Judas.
Unfortunately, on his new band Tim Owens doesn’t bring to the light his full capabilities. “Heart Of A Killer” is a concept album, about Judge Cohegan that convicts a criminal that has done 8 killings, to death. This is “Wages Of Sin” a song, that really, should remain a classic. However, the Judge has a fatal accident and receives the transplant heart of the serial killer. And the story goes on.

To the road King Diamond has shown, Winter’s Bane, mix their influences –Helloween, Metallica, Judas Priest (of course), King Diamond- and produce a classic album. Tim Owens is just amazing and simply brings out his full potential on that one. I haven’t heard him sing like this into any of the releases with Judas or on the live recording. The guy is capable for more than that.

If you really want to listen pure Heavy Metal buy this record. It is simply a classic. And yes, Winter’s Bane was never a cover band of Judas Priest- damn Hollywood. 10/10

End Of Part 1.
Since the writing of specials requires consuming of large amounts of very alchoholic spirits, I will take it slow for part 2. I am concerned about my health.......:-) Stay tuned, though.

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