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    Welkom op de log van Bas Kanij, de vliegende music reporter !
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

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    Solar Fragment-A Spark Of Deity

     

    This fairly young troop of musicians was formed in June, 2004, in Germany. Through a solid live performance and the release of a self-financed demo they managed to gain the attention of the international press within a rather short period of time. As a result of this the band was asked to support Beyond Fear and Vicious Rumors on their Spanish tour in 2006.

    Some time last year Greek label Sleaszy Rider took interest in the band and offered a deal that couldn’t be refused. The first effort of this Greek-German coalition has just recently hit the stores in the form of debut album ‘A Spark Of Deity’, a collection of songs in the vein of the old power metal tradition with the exception that this lot refrains from the use of keyboard parts.

    Solar Fragment focuses on melody rather than on complex structural lines. Still the music is diverse and the rhythm section thrives on a touch of progressiveness. The twin guitar work is occasionally fast and furious and leaves you gasping for air once you get caught in their stringed duelling. At times the music is neck-wreckingly heavy and its groove infectious, but there is also room for candlelight moments as in the folksy ballad ‘So Long’, featuring a stunning guest appearance by vocalist Daniela Pollei of Lunarstrip. Her angelic delivery matches perfectly with the slightly darker timbre of front man Robert Leger’s voice.

    Unlike the crew of the star ship Enterprise – even though the name of the band refers to outer space – Solar Fragment is not out to discover new horizons. Their approach to metal is set in a traditional way, but it’s done with a refreshing attitude and skilled technique.

    References can be made to the fellow countrymen of Custard and Blind Guardian. The latter because the music breathes the same atmosphere (especially when the pace slows down and the acoustic guitars come out of the closet), but also because the voice of Robert Leger has an amazing likeness to that of Hansi Kürsch.

    So, for all of those who favour good old fashioned power metal in the vein of Blind Guardian, get out of your lazy chair and check this promising new band out at your local music store.

     

    Tracklist

     

    Man Of Faith

    Take Me Higher

    To Thy Crown

    Lands, Titles, Nothing

    So Long

    Fading Light

    Wanderlust

    The Assassin

    Fragment Of The Sun

     
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    Theodore Ziras-Hyperpyrexia


    In short hyperpyrexia stands for an inexplicable rise of body temperature (high fever) and that’s exactly what you’ll get from listening to this album. Greek guitar virtuoso Theodore Ziras has ascended from the unholy depths of Hades, fleeing from the pointy teeth of the three headed dog Cerberus, to the upper world to unleash his shredded fury upon it.

    Among others Ziras studied Music Theory and took guitar classes at the Guitar Institute of London from which he graduated in 2001, being the proud owner of a degree in Music Performance & Composition. He first hit the limelight when playing in a band called Ice Divine, shortly thereafter followed by Guardian Angel, a promising prog act that for some reason failed to escape its cult status.

    After his graduation Ziras returned to Greece to record the first of his three instrume(n)tal albums: ‘Trained To Play’, a classic piece of neoclassical metal with rather complex melodies. His second offering, ‘Virtual Virtuosity’, went along the same lines and put him on the map as one of the most talented newcomers in the world of guitar wizards. And to prove he’s worthy of such a pretentious title, Ziras now comes up with this high fevered release that will send shivers down the spine of almost every guitar junkie.

    For ‘Hyperpyrexia’ Ziras joined forces with drummer Brian Tichy, who has worked with people such as Ozzy Osbourne and Billy Idol on numerous occasions, and Derek Sherinian, formerly known as keyboardist of Dream Theater. The album was recorded at Beachwood Manor Studios in California under supervision of Derek. The artwork comes courtesy of Mattias Noren.

    Naturally collaboration with established names doesn’t necessarily mean the outcome will be highly valued, but in this case it does. ‘Hyperpyrexia’ is like riding a roller coaster. Once you’re seated and strapped in, you’re in for the entire ride and all of its thrills.

    Contradictory to previous efforts the music is this time entirely focused on melody and catchy hooks. However, it hasn’t refrained Ziras from throwing in a couple of light speed attacks. Take ‘Rapid Eye Movement’ for instance, a neoclassical shred monster, very much in the vein of Joe Stump. Other influences come from Joe Satriani (‘Such And Such’) and Tamas Szekeres (‘Child Of Scotland’), but it’s done with a lot of finesse without simply copying the distinct style of these brothers in arms. To be highly recommended.

     

         Tracklist

     

    Child Of Scotland

    Such And Such

    Rapid Eye Movement

    Solitude

    Seven Courses

    Salvation

    Number One

    Night Of The Dead

    Hyperpyrexia

    Go East

     
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    Great White-Back To The Rhythm

     

    Great White plays the kind of music that seems ultimately fit for one of those smoky holes, where the local inmates have spent so much of their time that they have almost become a lasting part of the furniture. The blues-based hard rock has a raw edge to it and is enriched with flaming guitar solo’s that reveal the band’s love for the music of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

    Great White was formed somewhere in the early 80’s and played its first gig at The Troubadour in Hollywood even before any material was released.

    After several demos, one of them being cult classic Out Of The Night, Alan Niven was brought on board as manager. Under his supervision Great White came up with critically acclaimed albums such as the eponymous debut and its follow-up Shot In The Dark. These releases really launched the career of the band big time and sent Captain Jack Russell and his bunch of scallywags down the road as a support-act for Dokken, which eventually paved the way for even bigger success. So by the time the by means of the titles intertwined albums Once Bitten… ( 1988 ) and …Twice Shy ( 1989 )  had hit the stores the band had gained access to the hearts of numerous rockers all around the world. The latter of the two albums featured monster hit Once Bitten, Twice Shy, for which a Grammy Award nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance was received. In the video accompanying the song model Bobbie Brown starred as every youngster’s busty wet dream.

    The early 90’s saw Great White embark on its first tour of the land of the rising sun and with Psycho City ( 1992 ) , Let It Rock ( 1996 ) and Can’t Get There From Here (1999) the band easily maintained its status of most underrated rock act of the last two decades. But this was not what the band was aiming for. So, unable to cope with the disappointment of making it all the way to the top, but also because of the excessive drug and alcohol abuse of singer Jack Russell, four of the five members decided to call it a day at the beginning of 2000, leaving Jack on his lonesome own with a sinking ship that continued to sail for yet a while before finally going under at the end of 2001.

    However, this was not the end of Great White, because when Jack Russell’s solo career failed to take off he decided to breathe new life into the band within six months after its demise, going on tour under the flag of Jack Russell’s Great White alongside guitarist Mark Kendall, one of the guys who had abandoned ship the year before.

           But this comeback wasn’t meant to be and on February 20, 2003, it came to a tragic end at The Station night club in Rhode Island when 100 people, including the band’s guitarist Ty Longley, were killed in a fire that was accidentally caused by the crew using pyrotechnics that ignited the foam soundproofing material behind the stage.

    In the years following this dreadful event Jack’s version of Great White toured mainly to raise money for the victims and survivors of the fire, but at some point in 2005 Jack’s drug and alcohol problems became so big that he had to be put into rehab. It was believed then this would definitely send the band off to the land of faeries and elves, but once again history repeated itself when keyboard player Michael Lardie caught up with Jack to talk about a one time only beneficiary they would do with the original line-up. All the pieces fitted so perfectly together that everyone decided to give it another shot – not for the money, but simply because they wanted to put out new records with the kind of music they all like.

    The first of these records, Back To The Rhythm, was released earlier this year and contains some of the finest tunes ever written by the band. Two of them were already featured on the live recording Thank You…..Goodnight. The first one and title track Back To The Rhythm is a ballsy rocker that goes full speed ahead and the leading guitar and bass line have a powerful drive to it that makes it hard to sit still. The second one is Play On which reveals the more emotional side of the band as it is a slow-paced ballad with yet again a moving leading guitar line.

    Another song worth mentioning is How Far Is Heaven?, a real tearjerker solemnly dedicated to those who lost their lives and those who were injured in the fire in Rhode Island.

    For the rest Back To The Rhythm is filled with the kind of songs one could expect from a band from the likes of Great White: Straight edge rockers such as Still Hungry and Standin’ On The Edge, radio friendly tunes such as Here Goes My Head Again, the ultimate power ballad in the form of Was It The Night and a blazing version of Humble Pie’s 30 Days In The Hole.

    With this release Great White doesn’t leave familiar grounds, but continues to follow the course that was plotted such a long time ago. And that’s just the way it should be.

    Tracklist

     

    Back To The Rhythm

    Here Goes My Head Again

    Take Me Down

    Play On

    Was It The Night

    I’m Alive

    Still Hungry

    Standin’ On The Edge    

    How Far Is Heaven?

    Neighborhood

    30 Days In The Hole

    Just Yesterday


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    Octavia Sperati-Grace Submerged

     

    Octavia Sperati is one of the many bands that operate within the tight corsage of gothic metal. But unlike all these other bands this one consist of five woman, accompanied by a male drummer, and offers more doomy kind of tunes with a hard edged, yet melodic ring to it. The overall atmosphere of the album is dark and bleak, which comes courtesy of the downtuned guitars of Bodil Myklebust and Gyri Losnegaard and the heavy bass riffs of Trine Johansen.

    The story begins somewhere in 2000 in Bergen, Norway, when a couple of girls with the same interest in heavy music decided to head out on a musical adventure under the banner of Octavia Sperati. Their first effort, a five-track, self-financed demo called Guilty, was released in 2002, soon to be followed by some promotional recordings that ended up on Norway’s first-ever metal compilation cd with financial support from their local government. From that moment on their star was rising, eventually shining its light on the people from Candlelight Records, who signed them and paved the way for the debut album Winter Enclosure (2005).

    And now the band’s back with their second attempt to conquer the world with gloomy tales of sorrow and despair.

    With vocalist Silje Wergeland among the ranks Octavia Sperati creates a soundscape that resembles that of The Gathering at the time of Mandylion and Nighttime Birds, added with a touch of The Third And The Mortal and a teeny weeny bit of Lacuna Coil. And though Grace Submerged may at first seem like just another gothic release, there’s a lot more hiding between the lines than one might think. The musical palette is very colourful, ranging from bold ass semi-rockers ( Going North ) to dark mid-tempo songs such as Moonlit with heavy riffs that wouldn’t look out of place on any of the classic Black Sabbath albums.

    Naturally there’s also room for the softer side of the musical spectrum with two ballads, namely Dead End Poem and an almost fragile piano-version of Thin Lizzy’s Don’t Believe A Word. On moments like that Silje puts so much emotion into her singing that she could literally bring those receptive to that kind of emotion to the point where they could shed a lake of tears; and it’s due to her class A performance  that this album should be considered as one of the top releases within the gothic/doom scene. So let yourself be taken under by the beauty of Grace Submerged, deep down into the vastness of the Norwegian woods.

    Tracklist

    Guilty Am I

    Moonlit

    Going North

    Don’t Believe A Word

    …And Then The World Froze

    The Final Rest

    Deprivation

    Provenance Of Hate

    Dead End Poem

    Submerged

     
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    Dreamquest-lost Horizons

     
     

    Side project of Rhapsody-guitarist Luca Turilli. The idea to start this project was already born in 1998, just after Luca had heard the album ‘Oceanborn’ by Nightwish. Being a fan of their music it was his long time dream to start a similar band of his own one day. Strangely enough the original demos for the album date back four years, but due to legal hassles with his former label that prevented Luca from releasing anything under his own name, he had to wait until 2006 to make his dream come true. On this album the guitar parts are left to Dominique Leurquin, an old friend who also plays the role as second guitarist when Rhapsody’s on tour. Luca sticks to either the piano or the keyboard, which suits him well because for this album all the songs were composed on these two instruments. The album has a great sound and offers a musical pallet of metal, opera, gothic spheres and techno-electronic rhythms, laid upon a thick layer of symphonic, orchestrated bombast. There’s something for everyone here. Songs as opener ‘Virus’ and  ‘Black Rose’ combine straight ass metal  elements with gothic and heavy Front 242 related dance beats, whereas ‘Dreamquest’ and ‘Shades Of Eternity’ breathe the atmosphere of the more epic orientated material of Rhapsody. Closer ‘’ Gothic Vision’ speaks for itself. Revelation of the album is without a doubt the lady named Myst, who takes care of the vocal parts in an outstanding way. Just listen to her opera-performance in ‘Sospiro Divino’ and be swept off your feet. Pure magic. For the moment the clues to her name are enveloped in mysteries and according to Luca the curtain to her identity won’t be lifted until the release of the next album, some time this year.      

    So, be patient for a while and in the meantime, enjoy the music.

     

    Tracklist

     

    Introspection

    Virus

    Dreamquest

    Black Rose

    Lost Horizons

    Sospiro Divino

    Shades Of Eternity

    Energy

    Frozen Star

    Kyoto’s Romance

    Too Late

    Dolphin’s Heart

    Gothic Vision

     

                  Bas Kanij          

     
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    Moonspell-Memorial cd review
     

     
     
    In 1994 Moonspell surprised the metalworld with ‘Wolfheart’, a mixture of

     atmospheric black metal and gothic. Its follow up ‘Irreligious’  increased

     their status as one of the leading names in the scene, but then something

     happened on the way down to the dark places where the band used to lurk

     and the musical offerings drifted further away from the sound that had

     saved them from an early passing. It was generally believed Moonspell

     would be dead and buried within a few years, but with their latest release

    ‘Memorial’  our Portuguese friends prove all the criticasters wrong. This is

     by far their best album in years and it puts them right  back on top of the

     heavy map. Fernando Ribeiro growls himself as never before towards the end

     of times while the mindblowing guitarriffs accompany him to the outer rims

    of his private netherworld. On his way there he’s lulled asleep by enchanting

     keyboardparts that seem to have been woven with meticulous precision. The

    album can be divided into two parts, a heavy one and a somewhat softer one.

    After a short intro the musical experience kicks off hard with a soon to be death/

     black classic called ‘Finisterra’, which is closely followed by the pounding

    ‘Memento Mori’. With ‘Blood Tells’ Moonspell finally has its own battlehymn

     of  almost Manowarian magnitude. Listening to the song one can almost picture

     the  bearded and hairy Vikings of long forgotten times, leaning against  the boards

     of  their Drakkar, eying the ship they’re about to enter with luststained eyes, swords

     held high while a mighty roar rips the air apart. After that it’s full force ahead again

     with  ‘Upon The Blood Of Men’, which contains a ripping guitarsolo that cuts down

    right to  the bone,  and ‘At The Image Of Pain’. ‘Sanguine then marks the turning-point

    between  the heavy and the ‘soft’ part as the guitars slowly change their tune to a more

    melancholic  sound and Fernando starts using his clean voice in combination with his

    grunts. Due to some of these changes   Moonspell sounds a bit like Type O Negative in

     tracks as ‘Once  It Was Ours’  and ‘Luna’. The latter also includes lovely guestvocals

     by Brigit Zacher, turning this one into a jewel of gothic beauty. So, to sum it all up

     in a few words, Moonspell’s back and you better know it.  

     
     

    Tracklist

     
     

    In Memoriam

    FiniSterra

    Memento Mori

    Sons Of Earth

    Blood Tells

    Upon The Blood Of Men

    At The Image Of Pain

    Sanguine

    Proliferation

    Once It Was Ours!

    Mare Nostrum

    Luna

    Best Forgotten

    Atlantic

     

    Bas Kanij

     
     
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    Blind Guardian- A Twist In The Myth

     
     

    Ever since they started in 1984 BG has been one of the biggest

     exponents of the so-called Teutonic metal movement. Together with

     Helloween the band paved the way for lots of soulmates from their

    home country. On the first two albums, ‘Battalions Of Fear’ and

    ‘Follow The Blind’ the bards ( a name given to the members by the

     fans )  played old-fashioned heavy metal and became quite  a

    popular lot in the local venues. Then, slowly but surely, the band

     began to divert from the choosen path and started to introduce

     more melodic and progressive pieces into the music. The artwork

    of the sleeves turned into masterpieces of fantasy and the lyrics

     were usually inspired by Tolkien or the Middle Ages. After the release

     of the live album ‘Tokyo Tales’ the popularity of our bards increased

    even more, especially in the Far East. Killer albums such as ‘Nightfall

    In Middle-Earth’ and ‘A Night At The Opera’ saw the light of day as

    the music became more and more complex, eventually culminating

    in this latest epic effort. The band still delivers a great deal of melodic,

    thrashing riffs and balladesque songs that are so typical to them,

    but slight changes have been made. As already stated the music is more

    complex than before and progressive in nature. Therefore it takes some

    time to get to the very heart of the music, but if you take that time,

    you’ll find that this album is one of their best deliveries ever. The

    limited digipack comes with an extra track and interview.

     

    Tracklist

     

    1. This Will Never End

    2. Otherland

    3. Turn The Page

    4. Fly

    5. Carry The Blessed Home

    6. Another Stranger Me

    7. Straight Through The Mirror

    8. Lionheart

    9. Skalds And Shadows

    10. The Edge

    11. The New Order

    12. Dead Sound Of Misery

     

    Bas Kanij

     
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    Kamelot-One Cold Winter’s Night  dvd review

     

    Bout two years ago, when the band was still in the studio, recording

     the critically acclaimed ‘Black Halo’ album, plans were being made

    fot the shooting of a live-dvd together with Swedish director Patric

    Ullaeus. But it took some time to get everything organized, but early

    this year the band took off to Oslo to make it all happen, accompanied

    by Epica as support act. The concert took place on February 11th at

    the Rockefeller Music Hall and was visually a feast to the eye with

    the lights and all that. Supported by a three-headed choir the band put

    on a stunning show and Khan in particular was at his best with an

    outstanding vocal performance. The programme kicks off with intro

    ‘Un Assassinio Molto Silenzioso, along with a choirmaid clad in a

    white cape, holding up a red rose. Then it’s full throttle with the

    ‘Black Halo’ and ‘Soul Society’. In ‘The Edge Of Paradise’ the fans

    are being treated to rains of fire and in ‘Center Of The Universe’ and

    ‘Abandoned’ Mary Youngblood makes her appearance as the sad Helena,

    while snow falls down on her. Other guest appearances are made by

    Khan’s wife Elizabeth in ‘Nights Of Arabia’ where she stars as a princess,

    Simone Simons in ‘The Haunting’ and Sascha Paeth on guitar in

    ‘Moonlight’. Then it’s full throttle again with ‘When The Lights Are

    Down’, after which Mary returns one more time as the icy Elizabeth

    Of Bathory. Then, as Khan tries to drag his wife into the flames

    projected on the screen in the back, ‘March Of Mephisto’ sets in

    and Snowy Shaw appears as the spitting image of the devil himself.

    The show ends with a drumsolo after which the band says its good-byes

    in ‘Farewell’. Bonus material such as The making of the dvd, upclose

    interviews with Thomas Youngblood, Casey Grillo, Oliver Palotai and

    Simone Simons, videos of ‘The Haunting’, ‘March Of Mephisto’ and

    ‘Serenade’, member bios and a slideshow are featured on the second disc.

    If possible one should try and get the beautiful shaped limited edition

    boxset which also includes two live-cd’s of the concert and a poster.

     

     

    Tracklist

     

    Intro: Un Assassinio Molto Silenzioso

    The Black Halo

    Soul Society

    The Edge Of Paradise

    Center Of The Universe

    Nights Of Arabia

    Abandoned

    Forever

    Keybord Solo

    The Haunting

    Moonlight

    When The Lights Are Down

    Elizabeth Part I, II and III

    March Of Mephisto

    Karma

    Drum Solo

    Farewell

    Curtain Fall

     

     

    Bas Kanij

             

     

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    Rainbow-Live In Munich  dvd review

     

     
     

     

    Finally available as an official release this almost

    legendary recording of the show at Munich Olympiahalle

    on the 20th October 1977. This is a unique document of one

    of the most influental hardrockbands of all times, because

    as far as anyone knows it’s the only live footage of Rainbow

    with Ronnie James Dio and Cozy Powell on stage at the same

    time. The band was at the peak of its musical career and played

    with passion that night, especially Ritchie Blackmore himself.

     Watch extended live versions of ‘Catch The Rainbow’ and

     ‘Still I’m Sad’ and let yourself get carried away by the sheer

     magic of it all. As a bonus the dvd features rare videos of

    ‘Long Live Rock ‘n’ roll’, ‘Gates Of Babylon’ and ‘L.A.

    Connection’, interviews with Bob Daisley and Colin Hart

    and a replica of the original tourbook. A must have item

    for those who favour traditional hardrock.

     

    Tracklist

    Introduction

    Kill The King

    Mistreated

    Sixteenth Century Greensleeves

    Catch The Rainbow

    Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll

    Man On The Silver Mountain

    Still I’m Sad

    Do You Close Your Eyes

     

    Bas Kanij

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    Metal Church-A Light In The Dark  review

     

     
     
     

    When these West Coast metalheads released their self-titled

    debut in 1984 the true metalscene shook on its foundations.

    This was pure metal, the way it was supposed to sound.

    Together with label mates Metallica they set out on a

     rather successful tour. Two years later they delivered the

     follow-up to the debut, ‘The Dark’, which proved they had

    stayed true to their metalroots whereas other bands had

    fallen into the tempting claws of more commercial rock.

    But then the band started to slide gradually into their own

    darkness, partly due to the fact that singer David Wayne

    was replaced by former Heretic frontman Mike Howe,

    but also because the music seemed to have lost that special

    edge. And now the band’s back with this new one. Had this

    been there first offering, praises from all over would have

    been their part. But there’s always the weight of that very

    impressive debut and its successor on their shoulders,

     pressing them down. Still this is a worthy statement from

    an old school band. The album breathes metal through all

    its pores. Just listen to the title track and ‘Mirror Of Lies’

    and try to keep your head still. It’s true that not all the songs

    are of the same high level as the ones mentioned and it’s

    also true they shouldn’t have re-recorded the classic

    “Watch The Children Play’ as a tribute to the late David

    Wayne, but that doesn’t make this album any less heavier.

     

    Tracklist

     

    1 A Light In The Dark

    2 Beyond All Reason

    3 Mirror Of Lies

    4 Disappear

    5 The Believer

    6 Temples Of The Sea

    7 Pill For The Kill

    8 Son Of The Son

    9 More Than Your Master

    10 Blinded By Life

    11 Watch The Children Pray 2006
     
     
     
     
    Bas Kanij

     

     

     

     
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