• Transatlantic - Live at 02 Shepherds Bush Empire - 21/05/2010

    22 May 2010, 18:14 by adg211288

    Fri 21 May – Transatlantic

    Set List

    The Whirlwind
    All of the Above
    Guitar Solo/We All Need Some Light
    Duel With the Devil
    Bridge Across Forever
    Stranger in Your Soul

    One band, two sets, and only six songs. Tonight is a night which is mostly about epic progressive rock and metal music, and nothing showcases that better than Transatlantic's first set, comprising only of their 77 minute track The Whirlwind. The band barely take a pause in it's execution, and those they do are only for affect with the audience. Early on Mike Portnoy remarks about all the camera's around the venue and that the crowd can be extra loud tonight. It look's very likely that the show will be coming to DVD in the future.

    Transatlantic preform The Whirlwind flawlessly. Neal Morse in particular is quite the showman. The expression 'giving it some face' that rock stars get really applies here. He looks in his element and by the end of the piece raw emotion shows. The man looked very choked to say the least. Overall the sound comes out really well, and the thundering bass of Pete Trewavas really hits the mark. Guitar wise Roine Stolt is joined by Pain of Salvation's Daniel Gildenlöw, who also doubles on other instruments where required. They both get up the front for the epic instrument section of The Whirlwind's Eleventh chapter, is It Really Happening, which must be on of the highlights of the night.Epic in every sense of the word.

    At the conclusion of The Whirlwind the band retire for a 15 minute break. When they return they launch straight in to All of the Above, a 30 minute piece from their first album SMPTe. Upon it's conclusion Mike Portnoy remarks that they've only played two songs so far and would we mind is it's a long night.

    No, I don't think we would mind!

    They take it down a bit next for a guitar break between Neal Morse (using a 12 string acoustic) and Roine Stolt. Their solo leads into SMPTe ballad We All Need Some Light. They vary it from the album in that Roine does some lead vocal on it, as opposed to just Morse. More's acoustic guitar is spectacular to hear.

    The remainder on the set comes from their second album, Bridge Across Forever. That album's epic opening track Duel With the Devil is up next and like the rest of the set, the crowd lap it up. There was a time where you went to a progressive gig you stood there and took it it, but tonight is just as much about having fun and More knows how to get the crowd going and Portnoy is ever popular in this respect as well.

    Encore time. First they play the very much Morse led Bridge Across Forever, the second ballad of the night. To end a great three hour show, they bring out Stranger in Your Soul, which is easily got some of the heaviest riffing that this band ever did. It's definitely headbanging time as Gildenlöw in particular proves. During the song, More takes over the drum kit while Portnoy puts on a DHARMA Initiative boiler suit to go crowd surfing in, perhaps some sort of reference that the UK turned out to see them when the final season of Lost is almost coming to a end and the penultimate episode was on during their gig. Fans rush to help him go from the stage all the way to the far end and back again. Many shove just for the chance to touch him, foreshadowed by an earlier shout that Mike Portnoy is God. It's a memorable moment. The crowd love it and so does he.

    All in all, a very entertaining night. I would easily rate this gig as a 10 on all counts.

    Copyright Disclaimer
    This review was originally written for Heavy Metal Haven and is reproduced on Last.fm by the original author.
  • Afterlight - Satan's Horde Review

    18 May 2010, 11:00 by adg211288

    Afterlight - Satan's Horde

    Satan’s Horde is a one track single release from outfit Afterlight. It is their second release after the EP Prophets of the Beast from 2009. Being just the one track, I’m going to keep this review short and to the point.

    In short Satan’s Horde is a really excellent track. There may not be much material in this release but there’s a ton of quality going on in this five and a half minute blast. The sound is raw but not so much as to not appeal to those who like their music better produced that what most black metal offers. I would go as far to say that Afterlight have found just the right level on a production standpoint for this style of music. It still sounds like black metal, but nothing is lost because of poor production, you have here what is going on with the instruments, and what is going on is surprisingly melodic and technical for this genre. There are times during the track where the bass guitar is particularly audible and the playing is extremely impressive. Personally I think these sections really fit well with the guitars, which provide strong riffs throughout. The vocals fit very nicely with the music. All in all an excellent track. This band deserves the opportunity to make a full length album next. I’m giving this track a 10 without hesitation. Personally I find it better than much established black metal I’ve heard.


    This review was originally written for Heavy Metal Haven and is reproduced on Last.fm by the original author. Copyright Heavy Metal Haven 2010.

  • Haken - Aquarius Review

    18 May 2010, 18:11 by adg211288


    Aquarius is the debut album from UK / band Haken, following a 2008 demo from which no songs appear on this album. It is a , but not one which must always be taken as a single listen, each of the seven songs may be listened individually and still be masterful.

    Musically Haken drift between being rooted in progressive rock and metal, and are unafraid to shift in other influences whenever they feel like it. I’ve found sections of Aquarius that come across as jazzy, symphonic, funky and there’s some real classic rock type moments. Of course, being progressive music the songs of Aquarius are typically long, with times ranging from 6:42 to 16:56, so it’s not an album to take on lightly, it still requires a dedicated listener, but may appeal to people who like this sort of music but generally steer clear of concept albums.

    The album begins with three songs in a row which are all over ten minutes long, then gives another three which are under ten minutes before rounding off with the longest, Celestial Elixir. The Point Of No Return is up first though and it’s a great way to start the album. It feels atmospheric with the use of keyboards in its intro. At first though I struggled with it and the rest of the album because I needed some time to let the band’s vocalist, Ross Jennings, to grow on me. For the most part he sings very cleanly, but so say that the whole album uses this vocal style would be grossly incorrect. In fact, Ross Jennings is a very versatile vocalist, shifting between three styles throughout the album; the regular clean singing (which once it has time to grow on you is actually really epic), some stronger, more metal style vocals, which at time would fit well in a groove metal band, particularly in the song Drowning In The Flood, and very occasionally he also employs a death growl, which can be heard mainly in the song Streams. To be honest the growl is probably the weakest of his vocal styles but is by no means bad, and it is used to effect pretty well regarding the album concept.

    Music is excellent, though not the heaviest around for a metal band, hence why I tagged them as progressive metal/rock. There can be quite long sections of it that don’t have metal in them. That is by no means a bad thing, as it makes Aquarius extremely varied. If I was to compare them to any other more well known band it would have to be Dream Theater. There are some very Dream Theater moments in the album, especially when the keyboards take on a sound that would fit in a circus which is very Jordan Rudess. They are all very talented musicians, and they have put out a very strong debut album of the sort of quality that other bands have difficultly to touch. It is an album that seems to get better with every listen, with my personal favourite songs being The Point Of No Return, Streams, Aquarium and Celestial Elixir.


    This review was originally written for Heavy Metal Haven and is reproduced on Last.fm by the original author. Copyright Heavy Metal Haven 2010.

  • A band for Nightwish lovers: Echoterra

    1 Jul 2010, 20:49 by Ocean91

  • A band for Nightwish lovers: Emerald Mind

    1 Jul 2010, 19:24 by Ocean91

    Emerald Mind

    Tales of Soveena

    Breathless Kiss
    Fading sun left a place to the silver Queen
    Nightingales stopped to sing
    All I wish, all I dream is your sensual hug
    But my skin is so cold laying under ground

    Forever lost for morning light
    Beg for the moon in lonely night

    Ancient runes, mystic signs are covering my skin
    Vial is filled with blood. Ritual begins.
    I’m so real, so alive, walking through bloody mist
    But your heart will be burned by my breathless kiss

  • A band for Nightwish lovers: Legenda Aurea

    1 Jul 2010, 18:46 by Ocean91

    Legenda Aurea

    The singer in "Sedna" was wonderful! It's a pity that the band have already changed singer and music style =(


    Years of Coldness
    This is the great final fight of gods and beasts
    When they stand face to face
    When honour and force awakes
    A war of different races
    Everyone will see
    And no one will forget this moment
    When everything collapses

    Three years of dying
    Three years of coldness
    All the lights died out
    All the blossoms withered
    Three years of dying
    Three years of coldness

    The wolf and the snake were unfettered
    And Odin is defeated
    Death devours life
    The world goes up in smoke
    And only dust is left
    And no one will forget this moment
    Only when the dust is left

    Three years of dying
    Three years of coldness
    All the lights died out
    All the blossoms withered
    Three years of dying
    Three years of coldness

    This is the great final fight
    When honour and force awakes

    Three years of dying
    Three years of coldness
    All the lights died out
    All the blossoms withered
    Three years of dying
    Three years of coldness

  • Music discoveries of May 2010

    8 Jun 2010, 16:57 by adg211288

    My music discoveries have been few and far between for May, mainly due to my being at university and it coming to the end of the academic year. As such there is not much worth talking about here, many of my new additions to my Last.fm library have only a few plays to their name, hardly a discovery so I'll just list them at the end of this journal for completion's sake, but maybe talk about them more in the future. So without further ado let's discuss the lore meaningful finds.

    Okera is a fairly new band, having just released their first demo. This band plays a combo of , and . At times they remind me of Opeth, especially with the growled vocals they use. The three songs on their demo The Black Rain are very diverse and I look forward to hearing more from them in the future. In the meantime I am planning a review of The Black Rain for my forum, Heavy Metal Haven, which I'll probably post here on Last.fm also as a journal entry. The Black Rain is available as a free download from Last.fm.

    In a similar vein as Okera, The 11th Hour is another death/doom type. They came to my attention because they feature Ed Warby of Gorefest fame as a member. I am also familar with him as the common choice of drummer on Arjen Anthony Lucassen's projects. Not into this group that much but it's a decent enough album and they're a name to watch out for.

    Lucidity was my last of the three main discoveries I had in May. They are another band that offers music for free (all demos). They play and are pretty decent. Not my typical but I don't turn my nose up at free and legal music. I'd check them out in the future should they get the chance to make an album.

    Other artists I heard and liked, but don't know too well yet: Ophelia's Dream, The Wishing Tree, Narsilion, Sisare, Eyes of Noctum, Ancient Bards, Bel O Kan.

    Hopefully June will be a better month. Until next time,

    edit: Just a note for those who read these, June's entry got delayed and will now be a part of the July entry as a double bill.

    - adg

  • Weekly top artists (UPDATED)

    13 Dec 2009, 00:12 by rakkel17

  • Heavy Metal Haven's Top 10 Albums of 2009

    5 Mar 2010, 15:17 by adg211288

    Over the last couple of months the members of my forum Heavy Metal Haven have been voting on our of .

    Here is the result, counting down from 10 to 1.

    10. Anubis Gate - The Detached

    There was a three way drawn for 7th place, so in no order;

    7. Korpiklaani - Karkelo

    7. Heathen - The Evolution Of Chaos

    7. Cage - Science of Annihilation

    6. Megadeth - Endgame

    5. Alice in Chains - Black Gives Way to Blue

    4. Darkology - Altered Reflections

    3. Guilt Machine - On This Perfect Day

    2. Dream Theater - Black Clouds & Silver Linings

    1. Transatlantic - The Whirlwind

    There were 78 albums mentioned in the poll and the list was complied by 12 critics, who are credited here with their Heavy Metal Haven user name.

    Mick Bynes
    Caladan Brood

    The site is also currently voting on the top 100 albums of all time. Come and have your say at this thread;

  • RIP Ronnie James Dio!

    17 May 2010, 09:13 by hclairvoyant

    Probably 1000 identical posts, but...

    R.I.P RJD

    Thanks for helping introduce me to the genre and contributing to it unlike any other artist in history!

    Dio has had a huge impact on myself and the metal community alike. He has passed, but he will not be forgotten. \m/.

    Dio, Black Sabbath, Elf, Rainbow, Heaven & Hell