Wednesday, April 10, 2013

4-way metal rendez-vous: Revelation, Freedoms Reign, Flotsam and Jetsam, Satan

4-way old metal rendez-vous
Revelation (U.S.)
Freedoms Reign (U.S.)
Flotsam and Jetsam (U.S.)
Satan (U.K.)
Where to start with the mindtrick magicians that is Revelation? “Inner Harbor” sounds like time travel to 1968, or another year that is a long time ago. Somewhere between doom, blues and prog, you will find Revelation. Sometimes doomy, sometimes trippy: forget everything about “modern metal” and all the growling and chugga-guitar that the young whippersnappers are into. Revelation’s warm and old sound will take you back to the days when bands played all types of songs and weren’t afraid to play outside a particular genre.
Did this band dust off some instruments that they found in old garage where a bunch of legendary British 70s classic band used to jam?
This band does not seem to have a website. Don’t try to find them on Facebook, either, because you will find a million acoustic bands with the name Revelation and they all play music for jeebus. www.againstnature.us
Next up is Victor Arduini, former guitarist in early Fates Warning, and his new band called Freedoms Reign and their self-titled debut of traditional melodic heavy metal.
Unlike the music of Revelation, Freedoms Reign has a more updated sound, based on 80s metal. The vibe is pretty fun, with a good energy of rocking.
Having said that, you should hear the vocals for yourself and see if Mr. Arduini’s singing is your cup of tea. I also hear a bit of studio magic with the vocals. Also, despite the rocking attitude, the guitar work has not yet clicked for me and I find that the songs are not moving me. www.reverbnation.com/freedomsreign
Flotsam and Jetsam’s “Ugly Noise” is 12 songs of “adult contemporary metal” with some immature/angry moments. As it turns out, the Flots this time were not able to top their wonderful previous album “The Cold.”
What a strange little ditty “Ugly Noise.” The first six songs are as good as “The Cold” and I was thrilled with the new album: catchy, great singing, uptempo songs, and deceptively simple structures.
The Flots have found a great niche, and are not afraid to do other things with their metal.
Then, out of nowhere, things go downhill and I don’t know what happened. Song number 7 “Rage” is one of the worst songs the Flots have ever done. It’s sounds like a punk rock song, too repetitive, too un-Flots. Surely the other songs will be better! Well, sort of. There are some cool moments but “Motherfuckery” sounds perhaps only a bit better than “Rage.” “I Believe” sounds rushed, too simple, bare bones. Oh, boy, the Flots have let their guard down and the result is uneven. Still, those first 6 songs are wonderful. www.reverbnation.com/flotsamandjetsam
Since the Flots have taken a misstep, maybe Satan can help. Of course, this is the Satan of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Brian Ross, also of Blitzkrieg, screams and sings his way through 10 songs of uptempo metal with lots of guitar melodies and rocking and/or semi-thrashy riffs, too.
Metal dorks will know that bassist Graeme English and guitarist Steve Ramsey are known for their work with folk metal founders Skyclad. They are back with Satan.
Anyway, songs like “Testimony” and “Life Sentence” recall the faster side of their music. On the other hand, it’s not all about speed. Satan has made music that stands up well to their back catalogue. Not a masterpiece, but a good album nevertheless. Perhaps the 80s metal freaks Darkhrone will be happy now that Satan has returned and the 80s metal party never has to end. www.satanmusic.com

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