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Music Reviews: Delain, Magnum, Pretty Maids, and RPWL

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This week is upbeat glorious pomp infused prog, or prog-infused pomp if you prefer.

DelaincutDelain is set to unleash The Human Contradiction on us all on April 8, 2014. There may only be nine tracks on this one, but there is no fluff either. Think of this album as female-led symphonic metal distilled into a fine whiskey. It pretty much sums up the formula of how to make a damn good album in this genre. In short, this blows the last Within Temptation album out of the water. The opening track, “Here Come the Vultures,” lays down the intent of this album and it continues from there. Oh yeah, “Your Body is a Battleground” is catchy as stink and spot on.

Magnum are about to unleash Escape from the Shadow Garden on April 1. I know everyone will be shocked to know that it is a cracking album of pomp-infused hard rock. The band are on fine form as they take you on another journey into their imaginations. Bob Catley’s voice is a timeless wonder that never seems to amaze (considering his age). Tony Clarkin’s songwriting has lost none of its glory and wit. This is a damn good album that is pleasure to enjoy.

Pretty Maids are back on March 25 with Louder than Ever and it is what you would expect from the band. Love or loath it, this bunch do a great line in clever hard rock. It is slick as they come and very precisely made, but it is also very good. Every song is catchy as stink and has a chorus that is memorable. “With These Eyes” is just such a song. They’re like fine wine or a good craft ale, made with loving care and reliable. Not that they can’t rock out of course, check out “He Who Never Lived”. It is a mix of new and re-recorded older tracks, and includes a DVD retrospective. There is enough meat on the bones for old fans and also enough to get a few new ones.

RPWL are to release the album Wanted on April 1 and if you like prog, you’ll want this album. This lot started as a Pink Floyd cover band and it shows. The lead singer sounds like David Gilmour with a German accent. But when it is this good, you really don’t give a damn. It sounds like post-Waters Floyd yeah, but so new and refreshing you won’t care. “Swords and Guns” is a great track no matter what it sounds like. Clever Floyd-esque prog rarely gets this good or catchy.

As always stay safe and rocking out there.

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