In the summer I came across an album called HYPERBOREA, by a band called Vorpal Nomad, which is just fantastic. I reviewed it in September I noticed the album was released was on the up and coming Canadian label, Metalodic Records, which I knew had been around for a couple of years but I had not given the label the attention they deserved. Impressed by the quality of the Vorpal Nomad, I went to the Metalodic company web-site and basically bought their entire catalogue of eight albums by a roster of seven bands, at a hell of a good price I may add! So now, I’ve decided to review all those releases (minus the Vorpal Nomad of course) in a feature on Metalodic Records to support the label and it’s high-quality, international roster. The bands in the spotlight are Aclla, (Brazil), Caravellus (Brazil), Icewind (Canada), Instanzia (Canada), Kaktus Project (France) and two albums by Kerion (France). Please check out the reviews of these bands in this Metalodic Records feature.
Icewind is the second Canadian band on the label following a strong debut on Steelheart. There were some delays as the band slimmed down from a sextet to a quartet with a session guy playing bass on the album. For whatever reason the sophomore album, AGAIN CAME THE STORM (MLC 004) sat in the vaults for over a year and a half, it was recorded in late 2008/early 2009 but wasn’t released until late 2010. It’s hard for a young band to maintain momentum with four years between albums! However, it is better late than never as this collection of songs is worth the wait.
The band secured renowned, German Power Metal artist, Jan Meininghaus (Falconer, Seven Witches, Tad Morose, Burning Point, Mystic Prophecy, Brainstorm, Sacred Steel etc) for a gorgeous piece of cover art. The booklet is attractive and the band has a cool spiky logo. The booklet includes lyrics although the small print and tiny font make the words a bit hard to read. The production is good, I like how the acoustic piano is quite up front in the mix at times, reminding me of hints of Savatage or perhaps even Nightwish on songs like ‘The Last March’, with it’s slow intro with piano and spoken words until ripping off into the stratosphere fired up with thunderous double-kick drums.
The guitars of Jay ‘The Ripper’ Menard are good, but he should change his nickname because having the same nickname as one of the world’s most famous metal vocalists, Tim ‘The Ripper’ Owens, is just dumb on Menards part. That’s like calling yourself Euronymous or King Diamond; it just shouldn’t be done. He is however a ‘ripper’ on the guitar, there are lots of great solos, he certainly is a shining new talent, with lots of blazing solos all over the place. I really enjoyed his neo-classically styled soling technique, lots of flash and speed.
This ten-song, 52 minute album is certainly worth your attention if you like Euro styled Power Metal with energy and flair. It’s the little extras in the innovative songs that make AGAIN CAME THE STORM a worthwhile purchase.
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