– Burning BridgesGenre:
Melodic Death MetalRelease Date:
May 21st 1999Label:
Century Media RecordsAuthor:
is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swedish melodic death metal act Arch Enemy
. The album was released through Century Media Records
in May 1999. This is the last album by Arch Enemy
to feature lead vocalist Johan Liiva
, before he would leave to form Hearse
The music on "Burning Bridges"
is exceptionally melodic death metal taking equal amounts of inspiration from acts such as In Flames
and "Heartwork (1993)"
as it does to 70s hard rock acts like Thin Lizzy
and Wishbone Ash
. Add to that inspiration from acts such as Judas Priest
and especially Iron Maiden
and you´re just about there. The raw vocals (I struggle to call them growls) by Johan Liiva
and some of the most raw riffing on the album lead my thoughts towards death metal, but most parts of the music would probably be better described as melodic heavy metal. This is THE album to take a listen to if you´re a heavy metal fan who would like to take a listen to an easily accessible death metal album. "Burning Bridges"
would make for a smooth transition if you´re not used to extreme metal.
The band are very well playing and especially the melodic guitar work by Michael
- and Christopher Amott
stand out as quite exceptional. There are both soaring melodic, fast shredding, hard rock/bluesy and neo-classical influenced solos/harmony work on the album. The neo-classical theme at the end of "Demonic Science"
which in the last few seconds of the song suddenly serves as backing to a guitar line from "Still Got the Blues"
by Gary Moore
(I´m almost 100% sure that´s what it is), is a great example of the richness in detail when it comes to the guitar work on the album. One fantastic melodic theme or solo after another follows the next all the way through the album.
The sound production is excellent. Powerful and metallic but with an organic touch that again leads my thought towards 70s hard rock. All in all "Burning Bridges"
is an incredibly strong album by Arch Enemy
and to my ears it´s their greatest artistic achievement and the masterpiece of their discography. a 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved. 90/100Comment
– My AngelGenre:
Death MetalRelease Date:
July 8th 1991Label:
is the first official release by Norwegian black metal act Arcturus
after they changed their name from Mortem
. "My Angel"
is a two-song, 12:22 minute long vinyl EP. It was released through Putrefaction Records
in 1991. The EP was re-released in 2000 by Spikefarm Records
as part of a compilation called "True Kings of Norway"
along with early EPs by four other Norwegian black metal bands (Emperor
, Dimmu Borgir
). The EP is also included on the Arcturus
compilation album "Aspera Hiems Symfonia/Constellation/My Angel (2002)"
which was released by Candlelight Records
. The lineup for this EP consisted of Marius Vold
(vocals, Bass), Steiner Sverd Johnsen
(Keyboards, Guitars) and Hellhammer
The music on "My Angel"
is not yet in the symphonic/avant garde keyboard driven black metal style that Arcturus
are mostly known for on later releases. It´s more a slow and repetitive type of death metal. The keyboards provide the music with an almost horror movie like quality at times. The title track features some goth elements too. The vocals on the EP are growls.
The musicianship on the EP are decent. Nothing special or too creative are going on but it´s not bad either. The sound production is a bit murky but again it´s not bad. Upon conclusion "My Angel"
is probably mostly of interest to the hardcore fans of the band but it is also an interesting insight into what happened on the early Norwegian black metal scene of the nineties (where most of the bands had strong death metal leanings). I find it more of a curiosity than anything though and a 2.5 star (50%) rating is warranted. 50/100Comment
– The Final FrontierGenre:
Progressive Heavy MetalRelease Date:
August 16th 2010Label:
666Sharon666The Final Frontier
is the album that brings Iron Maiden
into their fourth decade of releasing albums. The time between releases is getting longer and longer but much like Brave New World
before it The Final Frontier
is a very impressive start for the new decade.
While I still enjoyed the prior album A Matter of Life and Death
I did think it was the weakest of the previous three albums. The Final Frontier
marks a step back up for me. While not as good as Brave New World
I find more individual songs memorable on this one and it still has the progressive influences and longer songs that has become an Iron Maiden
trademark by this point. The second half of the album is dominated by such songs. I think I would prefer the shorter and longer ones mixed up a bit more for balance though. But this is exactly the sort of album that I expect and want to hear from Iron Maiden
at this point. The best songs for me are El Dorado
, Mother of Mercy
and Where the Wild Wind Blows
.Arch / Matheos
– Sympathetic ResonanceGenre:
Progressive MetalRelease Date:
September 9th 2011Label:
Metal Blade Records Author:
is the debut full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Arch / Matheos
. The album was released through Metal Blade Records
in September 2011. Arch / Matheos
is a project formed by former Fates Warning
frontman John Arch
and Fates Warning
guitarist and main composer Jim Matheos
. Since John Arch
left Fates Warning
in 1987, little has been heard from the singer. The 2003 "A Twist of Fate"
EP, which was released under his own name, and which was also created in collaboration with Jim Matheos
, didn´t result in a comeback to the scene. It did however signal that John Arch
wasn´t completely through with music and when he was approached by Jim Matheos
, who had written material for a new project, his interest was aroused and the two of them started sending music files to each other. Matheos
would send his compositions to Arch
, and Arch
would write melody lines and lyrics to go along with the compositions. When it came to recording the album they enlisted a couple of prolific and greatly skilled musicians to record the bass, drum and lead guitar parts in bassist Joey Vera
, Armored Saint
), drummer Bobby Jarzombek
, Iced Earth
) and lead guitarist Frank Aresti
The music on the album is guitar driven progressive metal rooted in the eighties progressive metal movement (before keyboards became an integrated part of most progressive metal music). With all musicians involved being related to Fates Warning
, it´s impossible not to think of this album in relation to that band and especially the early John Arch
-led Fates Warning
releases, but ultimately "Sympathetic Resonance"
doesn´t sound like neither that era nor later Fates Warning
eras. Arch / Matheos
have succeeded in striking a good balance between recognisable elements from their Fates Warning
past (and for some present) and an original progressive metal sound.
The riffs are dark and heavy, the rhythm section provide complex and powerful playing and John Arch
signature high pitched and nasal vocal delivery is the icing on the cake. The latter´s vocal melody lines are amazing to say the least. Not only is he one of the most powerful and distinct sounding vocalist in metal, his way of writing melody lines is brilliant too. Lots of twists and turns delivered with great passion and conviction.
The 6 tracks on the album are for the most part structurally complex. Especially the three longest tracks on the album, "Neurotically Wired"
, "Stained Glass Sky"
and "Any Given Day (Strangers Like Me)"
, are really complex, going through multiple sections and atmospheres. That´s why it´s also great for the dynamics of the album that the band include more direct and relatively more "simple" tracks like "Midnight Serenade"
and "Incense and Myrrh"
. While the former is a powerful progressive metal track the latter is a beautiful ballad, that closes the album in great style. The dark and heavy "On the Fence"
is probably the least remarkable track on the album, but it says a lot about the quality of the rest of the material, when a fantastic track like "On the Fence"
is pulled out as an example of a slight decline in quality. And mind you I say a SLIGHT decline in quality."Sympathetic Resonance"
is simply through and through a fantastic progressive metal release to fans of guitar and vocal driven progressive metal. We´re talking top notch musicianship, a warm and powerful sound production and outstanding songwriting. To my ears progressive metal doesn´t come better than this. "Sympathetic Resonance"
is a born classic in the genre and fully deserves a 5 star (100%) rating. 100/100Comment
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