It's been a wee bit more than a week between columns. Rest assured I have been listening to the pile of the discs sitting on my desk. I was unable to write much however because of chemo related bleeding fingers. (Typed until my fingers bled... literally.) My wife has been unable to take dictation because of a raft of auditions. Anyway here is a nice collection of stuff ranging from the bleak dark-wave ambiance to the 80's style hard rock.
Archeon: End of the Weakness
This is a release from Metal Mind Productions of a local Polish band and it's what you would expect from central European heavy metal. The fact that you get a Hungarian dance at the end demonstrates that this is a bit unusual. This quite competent metal album is a good example of the quality of stuff coming out of central Europe these days. Where once you got merely clones of the various types of metal be it death, black, or heavy now you're getting bands that are influenced by their local traditions of music. They're no longer reluctant to be a bit unique and reflect their heritage. Bands like Archeon are a welcome addition to the heavy metal genre. Give this lot a try, you won't be disappointed.
Chainsaw: The Journey into the Heart of Darkness
This band has gone through various incarnations and various versions of the word chainsaw. The Polish band has the guts to put music in Polish on their CD. This adds a certain frisson to the normal keyboard-infused power metal faire. Now that is not to say they are dull or not up to par, but it's merely the Polish element that adds something different to the band. It is quite enjoyable if not groundbreaking. It's good of metal mind to bring such acts to the wider world attention.
Dark Sky: Empty Faces
Dark Sky seems to be a fairly popular name of a band as I found at least three different bands with this name on the internet. This lot are from Germany and play power metal in the style of what you would expect from a bunch of Krauts, by that I mean there are traces of Halloween, Gamma Ray and others of that ilk at their hard rock end. To show that they don't take themselves too seriously they do a rather cracking version of Michael Sembello's flashdance hit "Maniac". It works surprisingly well in the power metal style. To think this band has been about since the early 80s is pretty impressive. There's nothing wrong with a bit of German hard rock, now is there?