This month, I was treated with an amazing assortment of albums to review from the mighty Frontiers Music Srl! With the latest release from Norway’s Big City queued up and ready to go, my mission begins…
I must admit, I had not heard of Big City before receiving this album. As I have said before, when listening to bands who are new to me, I adhere to one strict rule: no research into the band or their discography until I have listened to the album at least three times. I don’t want any information to plant even the slightest bit of preconceived notion or bias in my head. I can tell you, after my third listen, I was very impressed with TESTIFY X!
For those of you unfamiliar with Big City (as I was), this latest album is 100% pure melodic metal at its core with a dash of Prog thrown in just to season things up a bit. As I searched through the files in my head trying to sort out who I would compare Big City to, I kept coming back to Pink Cream 69 with an added touch of more proggy Winger. The vocals, supplied by new singer Jørgen Bergersen, are delivered with confidence and emotion and sound similar to lower/mid register David Readman and Kip Winger. For the guitar enthusiast, there are twin guitar melody lines, thick crunchy rhythms, and scorching lead work provided by Daniel Olaisen and Frank Ørland throughout the entire album. The bass and drums, provided by Miguel Pereira and Frank Nordeng Røe respectively, provide a powerful foundation for the guitars to build on.
“The Rush”, “Dark Rider”, and “Testify” start the album off with a magnificent one-two-three punch of melodic metal complete with fist pumping rhythm work, twin guitar harmony lines and superbly crafted guitar solos. The remainder of the album flows nicely with an abundance of solid up tempo metal tunes and no dull moments. Other standout tracks include the atmospheric “Running Away” and the ultra-catchy proggy “Winds Of The Road”.
With solid vocals, a smashing rhythm section and an excellent twin guitar attack, this album has a lot to offer the melodic metal devotee. The songs are carefully fashioned with just enough prog added to make for a very enjoyable listen. Check these guys out. I think you will be as pleasantly surprised a I was!