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Onward
Evermoving
February 2001
Released: 2001, Century Media
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: EvilG

Onward play traditional metal and they hail from the USA. This is not the typical type of statement or band we hear enough about from the USA. This style does exist in the USA with bands like Iced Earth, Nevermore, Steel Prophet, etc…and now we will add Onward to that list. This band was recently signed for a multi-album deal to Century Media Records. Prior to that, some might of heard Onward’s guitarist, Tony Knapp, who was one of the many “guitar virtuosos” that were on Mike Varney’s label, Shrapnel Records. Tony released an album on that label called “Guitar Distortion.” Knapp left Shrapnel in the mid-90’s and continued writing traditional metal. Thanks to Denis Gulbey of Sentinel Steel Records, Knap and his band hooked up with vocalist Michael Grant. You may of heard his vocals on a CD from the South American band Legend Maker (also released by Sentinel Steel). After hooking up, the recordings for what is now Evermoving were put together.



Not surprisingly, the two key elements that make this a great CD are the vocals and the guitars (isn’t that what makes a great heavy metal CD 99.9% of the time anyway?). Grants vocals range from a lower voice as on the verses of “The Waterfall Enchantress” to the soaring high melody found on “The Kindness Of Strangers.” Despite the fact that lead guitarist, Knapp, was once a Shrapnel Shredder, this is far from a self-indulgent “shred-fest.” The album begins with a lead section over a riff somewhat evocative of the main riff in “Bark At The Moon” which announces that, yes, this guy can really play…but it’s never overdone or done distastefully. The song itself comes first; this is not a just showcase for someone’s talent. The styles of players that have influenced this guy are evident without ripping anyone off. I’m sure he must have listened to a fair amount of Marty Friedman, Yngwie Malmsteen, Priest, Jake E. Lee, etc…but he has his own sound that’s for sure. The soloing on the outro of the first song, “The Kindness of Strangers” is probably the best on the album. Very melodic, not all a million miles an hour shredding either…some of it bleeds in a killer Marty Friedman kind of way. The same aspect is in effect with the vocals. I can hear a bit of Warrel Dane in there mixed with his own voice and own melody lines of course. “Witches Winter Eternal” has a killer vocal melody. This is one of those songs where it’s not just the range that impresses; it’s the phrasing and the melody…killer stuff, especially on the chorus. There are no lackluster songs on here, no “gay” ballads, nothing that turned me off in any way.



So ok, this might not be something new but hey, I am not looking for ground breaking metal all the time!! I can just enjoy the music I love and not worry that this is in many ways re-hashed. Well, that’s what I’m doing because there is some very fine musicianship and songs on here…. material that will find it’s way back to my CD player long after I’ve finished with the review of the CD. So Onward is shall be…
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Other reviews

» Evermoving
by EvilG

» Evermoving
by Michael De Los Muertos

» Reawaken
by EvilG

» New Fathoms Down
by JP


Next review: » Onward - Evermoving
Previous review: » Onslaught - VI

Onward
Evermoving
September 2001
Released: 2001, Century Media
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Michael De Los Muertos

Onward is a snappy, high-octane progressive/power metal outfit hailing from – well, I’m not exactly sure where they’re from. They’re managed out of Las Vegas, their fan club is in Wisconsin, it was recorded in Colorado and mixed in New Jersey. EVERMOVING has a few rough spots, but on the whole it’s a worthwhile experience.



This band, while staking out traditional and power metal territory, moves at a slightly faster pace than most power metal you may be used to. The fact that Onward has a little extra frenetic energy is evident on the first track, “The Kindness of Strangers.” The speedy pace keeps up for most of the album, treating us to gems like “The Waterfall Enchantress” and “Witches Winter Eternal,” both of which sport snappy, crackling riffs, particularly at their openings, that have the tendency to circle around in your head for a while. Tony Knapp is the guitarist here and clearly the driving force behind most of the songs. As a result they have a very unified groove to them, reinforcing the feeling – particularly when the album is over – that it’s a concise, well-thought-out piece of work.



Now, the nits. Yes, the consistent guitar style (and consistent virtuosity) is an asset, but also something of a liability, as these songs have just a touch of “sameness” to them particularly on the later stretches of the album. Also, the vocalist, Michael Grant (of the band Legend Maker) is competent to sing for a power metal outfit, but he’s really nothing special. He has just a hint of an annoying nasal tone – but it’s not enough to spoil anything.



EVERMOVING isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly worth hearing, if only for the excellent guitar talent. Fortunately there’s a lot more here than just that. Onward delivers pretty much what it promises. It won’t crown your power/progressive metal-CDs-of-the-year list, but it deserves a place in your collection.
Track Listing

N/A

Lineup

N/A

Contact

N/A

Other reviews

» Evermoving
by EvilG

» Evermoving
by Michael De Los Muertos

» Reawaken
by EvilG

» New Fathoms Down
by JP


Next review: » Onward - New Fathoms Down
Previous review: » Onslaught - VI





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