Another collection of fine metal for your listening pleasure. However, before we start I have an EP to mention. It's for charity and it stars Ian GIllan, Tony Iommi, Jason Newsted, Jon Lord and Nicko McBrain among others. Two tracks, a video and a documentary are included to raise money for music education in Albania under the name Who Cares.
Seven Thorns: Return to the Past
Yes, it's power metal all right; no messing about, a straight shooter . If you like well done power metal then you might enjoy this. The cast of players on here includes Olaf Lenk of At Vance on one track. Lots of solos and wilding on this release, as is to be expected with two guitar players. There is a bit of Judas Priest feel to this all at times, which is in fact no bad thing. As is normal with this music there is a smattering of keyboards, mostly supplied by Mikkel Henderson of Fate fame.
“Spread your Wings” is pure Dragonforce at their best. It's one of the catchiest things on this release. Well they all have their catchy elements; this song is just purely aimed at the festival sing-along crowd. This bunch of Danes are getting quite a bit of kudos from the power metal fraternity. Some would say they don’t necessarily add much to the genre, but that can be over-rated. It's a solid release of uber-clever over-wrought power metal, which is pretty much what fans of the genre clamour for. More serious than Helloween, but less po faced that much of genre.
You could always say this is a bit production-line power metal. However sometimes that fits the bill. Then again they are a newish band and need some time to develop.
Shakra: Back on Track
Not to be confused with the death metal outfit of the same name, of course. This bunch do a great line is Scandinavian-type hard rock which is heavier than Europe, but still retains that epic sing-along quality in the choruses. They may be Swiss, but they sound nothing like Krokus. On their previous releases they haven’t gone as much for the sing-alongs as on this one. Every chorus is brimming with that quality, which makes this release quite a joy to listen to.