Welcome! Please enjoy this week’s selection of clever metal.
Axel Rudi Pell is back with his newest release, Into the Storm. This album is exactly what you would expect from ARP and company. It is power metal done in meticulous form. Johnny Gioeli is back on vocals and is an intricate part of this band, as is ARP’s guitar, which flourishes. A song like “Long Way to Go” is just the sort of catchy, anthemic rocker you would expect from them. That said, their cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” is a bit unnecessary, considering the quality of the original stuff.
Apocalyptica have unleashed Wagner Reloaded-Live in Leipzig on the world. It celebrates the 200th anniversary of 19th century composer/conductor Richard Wagner’s birth with all new original recordings inspired by him. And what a freaking amazing album this is at its core. It is an aural pleasure to behold and clearly marks that meeting of the musical heaviness between Wagner and metal. Tracks like “Stormy Wagner” are a summation of what makes this band so great. How can you not like the Wagner-inspired “Flying Dutchman”? This whole live event, which took place on July 5-6, 2013 at the Leipzig Arena in Germany, is an act of artistic brilliance and/or musical pomposity.
Lalu have an album out called Atomic Ark and it is really rather good. Yet another band that deals in the power metal side of progressive metal, but one that does it well. I found myself playing this French band’s offering quite often when I was looking for something interesting to listen to. It is just clever enough, but not over the top unlike many French metal bands. For reasons that are quite odd, much of the metal that comes out of France is avant garde in some way that makes it hard to get into. There is a certain variety in these tunes that helps. This is a cracking release from a band that you need to know more about.
Six Minute Century have a new album out called Wasting Time. Yet again we find a band that is successfully straddling the line between power metal and power prog, not that this is exactly a bad thing, mind you. This bunch of Texans really do know how to crank out songs that are both enjoyable and entertaining. They obviously are seeped in the ZZ Top “bang for your buck” school of songwriting. The title track is a suitable ending to this musical tour de force. SMC are certainly a band to watch this year.
As always, stay safe and rocking out there.Powered by Sidelines