Heavy Metal Reviews

Heavy Metal an Rhein und Ruhr

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THE ANSWER – New Horizon

THE ANSWER – New Horizon

The Answer from Northern Ireland take a step back on their new album "New Horizon"to their albums one and two. The more commercial, much more song-oriented approach of the superior predecessor "Revival" has to make space for a different style. The focus this time is not catchy choruses and melodies (although they are there in parts), but above all two things: The still totally terrific guitar sound and a catchy groove.
After the first runs this orientation leads to some question marks. The song material does not ignite immediately, initially seems even somewhat unspectacular. It changes with time, if one has understood the straightness of the material. A rather plain blues number like "Call Yourself A Friend" remains a little pale even after several attempts, the harder rockers grow on the listener however. "Spectacular" captures a joy that not many other bands of the retro rock genre are able to cover, the riff of "Concrete" makes the band even border to metal and sounds a bit like the Black Stone Cherry debut. There are some melodic rockers in the form of "Somebody Else", the title track and "A Scream Louder Love" a and "Speak Now" is a somewhat more restrained journey to the band's sensitive side.
Due to the somewhat less convincing hits "New Horizon" is not just as good as its immediate predecessor, but The Answer avoid copying the same formula again. Anyway: The album is a successful, no-frills rock album.

TRIVIUM – Vengeance Falls

On their new album “Vengenace Falls TRIVIUM again sound a little different than before. This time they serve the fans of commercial US alternative metal, producer David Draiman (Disturbed) certainly is a considerable reason for that, his influence is reflected not only in the sound but also in many tunes. The songs sound like some leftovers from Disturded sessions. In itself this is not a bad thing, but many listeners iwill not like the lack of identity.
Not every song is a high-flyer, "Strife", the title track or "Villany Thrives" however are some very catchy hook-monsters. The sound as expected is quite punchy and sounds more like computres than a band a bit too often. Details like guitar solos and breaks are to be found in large numbers, they are not always impressive, but never inappropriate. Matt Heafy almost continuously sings with his standrad vocal range, with no screams, what many will bother, to me it is even better this way. Who wants to hear more classic TRIVIUM should pick up the limited edition, because tits bonus song "As I Am Exploding" recalls the early phase of the band.
Overall, “Vengeance Falls” is something like a more consistent implementation of its predecessor "In Waves," on which the band had alreday had a sneak towards the more commercial orientation. The band will not give us any more Maiden leads as heard on "Ascendancy" or hard-edge thrash like on "The Crusade" at the moment. "Vengeance Falls" is a solid, mass-compatible music, which nevertheless offers no lack of heavyness, so that you cannot blame TRIVIUM tof being sellouts. Ultimately, the disc is an entertaining work, and that is what it's all about.

THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT – s/t

The latest "hype" from the UK is not a modern-sounding commercial point-to-safety-exploitation of some major label, but real, timeless music. The Temperance Movement play guitar-oriented blues rock, which appears to be a bit monotonous and quiet towards the end, but otherwise convinces with honesty and authenticity - and with good songs.
The energetic songs are in the tradition of various smoky pub rock bands and should appeal to fans of The Answer or Rival Sons. The quieter numbers are bluesy and emotional epics that reveal every now and then the frankness of diverse singers and songwriters. The songs are presented acoustically in parts, but never stagnate on a once target terrain. Drummer and bassist have the same proportion of influence in each of the numbers as guitarist and singer have.
Highlights and try out-songs are the opener "Only Friend", "Morning Riders" ,which is also quite snappy and the ballad "Lovers And Fighters".

RUSH – Vapor Trails (Remixed)

When RUSH came back in 2002 after a six-year break, because of the the calamities that drummer Neil Peart had to suffer, it was not easy for the band to get back on track. The task to get old trademarks upright, like to follow one's own virtue, not to record an album twice and the challenge to cover the past few years musically - even these outstanding musicians were brought to their limits. "Vapor Trails" is still a good album, whose sound however was a nuisance for the band. The whole album has now been completely re-mixed. The new production emphasizes completely different facets of music. The result is interesting, but only in parts really an improvement.
The new sound is very clear and transparent gown, giving the material a little lack in the rough element that distinguished the original at the end. The songs were partially reduced in heaviness, since Alex Lifeson's guitar is now significantly placed behind Geddy Leed bass. Some songs work quite well this way, the emotional and melodic songs like "Ghost Rider," the title song, "Earthshine" or "Nocturne" gain a little by the detailed and colorful mix, also the guitar solo in "Celing Unlimited", which was completely unheard before, enhances the song. Other songs were working quite well in the original versions and , here you get presented something you did not really need in the end.
"Vapor Trails" can be splitted in two parts in the future: Half of the album is better than before and the other half is better in the original version.
The new mix is worth a listen, and will not have any influence on the question of liking or not liking the songs. One finds it either good or not.



Text © by Heiko Eschenbach