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Music Reviews: Armory, Cullooden, The Fall of Eve, and Imagery

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A collection of clever hard rock and metal this week, all of which will put a smile on your face.

Armory have released Empyrean Realms and it is quite the record. This is quality power metal from an American band that has been clearly influenced by power metal from across the water to the East. Less Iced Earth and far more Scandinavian in sound, this lot know that cohesive tight songs are what make a great record. It helps to have an excellent vocalist with the range to keep things interesting. Not a duff track on here, this album truly merits all the kudos it is getting. It is nice to see that the band realize there is nothing wrong with “catchy” tunes, best exemplified by “Dreamstate”.

Cullooden have an album called Silent Scream. Despite the name this bunch of progressive rockers have bugger all to do with Scotland (they are from Sweden). However they do produce a fine line in clever prog metal that does have a great deal going for it. As you might expect, it is sub-Dream Theater in style, but it is hard not to be in the genre. While uber-clever musically, they spare the listener any over-long songs and keep things pretty tight and tidy. They are certainly a band with potential and ones to keep an eye on.

Fall of EveThe Fall of Eve have a cracking EP out called Calls from the Horizon and they are definitely from Scotland. You can even hear a whiff of an accent in the frontwoman’s singing on a few tracks. This is a generous seven-track outing some clever and catchy symphonic metal. Highlights include “Evangeline” which could easily fill the dance floor at a certain goth club I know in London. “Envy” is another with neat intro riffing and keyboard flourish. The title track is quite good fun, too. Expect big things from this lot in 2014, that “Horizon” might be a lot closer than they think.

Imagery have released The Inner Journey in all its jazz-tinged progressive metal goodness. Lashings of jazzy keyboard flow over the tracks like some lush topping. The music ranges from merely progressive rock to Rush-like cleverness, with even a hint of Hawkwind and back. The Brazillian band clearly know their chops and are not afraid to show it. That said, there are never moments when you wish they would just get on with things. The music never mires itself in the weeds and they blissfully keep the tracks just as long as needed. Well worth checking out for those with eclectic tastes.

Have a good one and stay safe out there.

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