Heaven’s Cry Re-Issue Shows Band’s Versatility, Influences

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Canadian Prog-metal act Heaven’s Cry will issue two of its classic albums next Tuesday, January 8th.  The first of the pair is the band’s 2003 album, Primal Power AddictionPrimal Power Addiction opens solidly with a rather Prong style piece in the song, ‘Komma.’  Vocalist/guitarist Pierre St-Jean even sounds eerily like Prong front man Tommy Victor in this song as a result of the song’s mixing.  The song’s somewhat cryptic lyrics aside, what really stands out in this song is the precision of the band’s musicianship.  Drummer Rene Lacharite’s timing is spot on.  His ability to keep time while maintaining such polyrhythmic patterns more than shows his talent.  And the control of the guitars both during the heavier and more subdued sections of the song give it even more flare.

As impressive as ‘Komma’ is, it Primal Power Addiction offers plenty more for fans of Heaven’s Cry.  Fans will also appreciate and enjoy the band’s cover of the classic Midnight Oil tune, ‘Beds are Burning.’  Even turned into a prog-rock style piece, it still holds up to the original.  For that matter, it might even be a little better than Midnight Oil’s take on the song from its 1987 album, Dust and Diesel.  It has the same kick as the original.  But what it does here is it gives the song an extra little spice, updating it for a whole new generation.  For that, Heaven’s Cry should be proud of their cover of this rock classic.  And it makes for a fitting end to the musical journey on which listeners embark with this album.

The band’s cover of ‘Beds are Burning’ is impressive to say the least.  It shows just one of the band’s influences.  It also profiles for a moment, the band’s versatility.  Though by the time listeners get through this re-issue, they will have already seen just how versatile the band is.  Whereas the band started off with a rather Prong style work, other pieces such as ‘One of Twenty-Four’, ‘Divisions’, and ‘Waves’ seem to show influences the likes of Alice in Chains, Dream Theater, and even Nevermore.  St-Jean’s vocals greatly resemble that of Nevermore front man Warrel Dane in both ‘One of twenty-Four’ and ‘Waves.’  And the influences of the aforementioned bands are evident throughout each opus.  They, along with this album’s other tracks make for an album that any fan of the prog-metal genre will enjoy increasingly with each listen.  Primal Power Addiction will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, January 8th.  It can be ordered direct online via the Prosthetic Records store, http://www.indiemerch.com/prostheticrecords/item/17422

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Between The Buried And Me Shows Its Growth Again On Its New LP

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The men of Between The Buried and Me have done it again.  This North Carolina based band has once again bent the needle of the metal community, crafting what can only be described as one of the most intriguing and bizarre metal records of the year.  The follow-up to the band’s 2011 LP, The Parallax:  Hypersleep Dialogues, continues the band’s tradition of taking that proverbial road less traveled, making it largely unlike any other band out there.

The Parallax II: Future Sequence takes the best elements of Lamb of God, Nevermore, Dream Theater, and The Devin Townsend Project to make an album that is an original, hands down.  The album’s opener, ‘Goodbye To Everything’ is the first strike showing how much BTBAM has grown since its split with Victory records.  With its ethereal, almost Pink Floyd style sound, it sets the stage for what’s to come.  The band follows that up with an equally interesting piece in the form of ‘Astral Body.’  The best way to describe this song is a mish-mash of Dream Theater and Lamb of God.  That’s one heck of a combination.  But it’s also one that any true open minded member of the Metal Nation will appreciate.  Things get really interesting on the album’s third track, ‘Lay Your Ghosts To Rest.’  This is where the obvious Devin Townsend influence begins to come in to play.  Note it’s where the influence begins.  As with the album’s first two songs, the various prog influences are infused throughout this record’s twelve tracks.  And while the songs on this record may not be the shortest, anyone real fan or anyone with a long enough attention span will come to appreciate the finer detail of each song.  The band’s members show on every track that they aren’t just metal heads, but well trained musicians.   By the end of this epic, listeners will have realized that they have experienced something very special, especially for a metal record.

The band is currently wrapping up its tour down under in support of The Parallax II.  It will return stateside in the first part of the New Year with a performance in the nation’s capital on February 4th.  It will have a semi-hometown show on March 10th when it performs at the Filmore in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Fans can get a listing of the band’s tour dates and all the latest news from the band online now at http://www.betweentheburiedandme, http://www.facebook.com/BTBAMofficial, http://twitter.com/btbamofficial, and http://www.youtube.com/btbamofficial.      

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Heaven’s Cry As Strong As Ever After Seven Year Break

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Heaven’s Cry is one of the best kept secrets of the prog-metal universe.  This Canadian prog-metal four-piece’s third record is obviously a far cry from the band’s previous par of albums.  Unlike those albums, this one seems to lean more towards the heavier end of prog-rock, whereas the others had more of a Fates Warning vibe.  The album’s opener, ‘Empire’s Doll’ can best be described as being somewhat similar to material from the likes of Nevermore and Evergrey.  Front man Pierre St. John’s vocals are very similar to that of Nevermore’s Warrel Dane.  The guitar work of Eric Jarrin (and the additional keyboard parts) adds that extra touch that makes it similar to said bands.  ‘Empire’s Doll’ is followed up by another very intriguing song in ‘Realigning.’  At one point, it sounds like something similar to Megadeth.  But then at others, it seems to conjure thoughts of classic prog rock with its guitars and keyboard.  Somehow that mix works, making for a balance that will keep audiences listening through the entire song.  Again, guitarist Eric Jarrin shines on this track.  And the drumming of Rene Lacharite keeps the energy flowing throughout the song. 

The album’s first two tracks are impressive in their own right.  But if there’s one song that really defines “Wheels of Impermanence”, it’s ‘The Hollow.’  This song is pure prog metal at its finest.  Every element of this song is perfectly balanced.  One listen through this song proves that it will undoubtedly become a fan favorite both on the album and performed live.  It’s just one of the album’s ten total tracks that make it a solid work from start to finish for any prog-metal fan.  Any one of the songs on this album could potentially be used as a single at one point or another.

The band has a big show coming up for all of its European fans next month.  It will be performing at the annual Prog Power Europe Festival Friday, October 5th in the Netherlands.  Fans can get full information on the band’s performance and all the latest news from the band online at http://www.heavenscry.com, http://www.facebook.com/heavenscry, http://www.myspace.com/heavenscryband, and http://www.youtube.com/user/heavenscryband.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Arch Enemy’s “Khaos Legions” rise

Courtesy Century Media

Metal nation members, put your horns in the air with pride.  The mighty Arch Enemy has returned with yet another solid album in its latest release, “Khaos Legions.”  The band–Angela Gossow (Vocals), Michael Amott (Guitars), Christopher Amott (Gutiars) Sharlee D’Angelo (Bass) and Daniel Erlandsson (Drums)–has never sounded better.  This album is everything that Arch Enemy’s fanbase has come to expect from the band and more.  Producer extraordinaire Andy Sneap (Stuck Mojo, Fozzy, Killswitch Engage, Nevermore, etc.) is back once again, this time serving mixing duties.  That’s just one more reason the album is so clear and solid in its brutality.

Longtime fans will love the absolutely shredding guitars of the Michael and Christopher Amott on every track.  And vocalist Angela Gossow’s screams are as pounding as ever.  And as on its past albums, the band continues its themes of rebellion against the norm.  One of the best of those songs on this work is ‘No Gods, No Masters.’  Gossow writes in the song, “I am who I am\take it or leave it\A Rebel at heart\No Gods, No masters\My time has come!”  if ever there was a fist pumping arena anthem from this metal titan, this song is it.  It’s one of those pieces that puts pride into fans for their individuality, much like that of Machine Head’s “Imperium.”

‘No Gods, No Masters’ is an absolutely brutal track that will make any purist metalhead proud.  But it’s not the only positive to this extreme metal act’s new release.  The album’s instrumental opener, ‘Khaos Overture’ sets the tone for what listeners are about to experience.  It then opens mercilessly into ‘Yesterday is Dead and Gone.’  The song, combined with the official video, is remiscent of scenes from riots across the globe in 2011.  Gossow writes in this piece, “Under a blood red sky\our voice will be heard\in a world where compassion is lost\you try to control us\This is so absurd\Freedom will be won at any cost/Yesrday is dead and gone…”  Combine the defiant lyrics with the pure musicianship of the Amotts, Gossow’s relentless screams, and Daniel Erlandsson’s blade sharp drumming, and audiences get what is bound to be one of the most memorable and powerful tracks on this album. 

Fans worldwide will get the chance throughout the Summer and into the Fall to experience these songs and a whole bunch more as the band tours in support of the album.  Arch Enemy will close out June with performances at the Peace and Love Festival in Borlange, Sweden on June 28th and the Dokkem Open Air Festival in Dokkum, Netherlands on June 30th.  From there the band will head across Europe and South America throughout the rest of the year.  Fans can keep up with all the latest tour dates online at http://www.archenemy.net and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/archenemyofficial

To keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/PhilsPicks and “Like” it, or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can also keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.