Many reviewers have been spending time listening to our releases and write about them. And while it is still a case of “some get it, and some don’t” many of those reviews are still excellent! So here the current update of available reviews:
Again a bunch of reviews have reached our desk. Well, computer actually. For your convenience here a quick overview and the links on where to find them:
Rockportaal wrote an awesome piece about the latest Chinawhite album Different. Find the original here, and an English translation on the Chinawhite site.
Viri AOR wrote about Fred Mika and Chinawhite. These are in Spanish! The Fred Mika review describes it as solid, yet maybe a little irregular because of the style changes throughout the album. Since there are also only 5 star reviews from readers so far, I think it is received well! Chinawhite get a glowing recommended, and you can read a translation here.
Next is Strutter, Gabor has written no less than 8 short reviews on this page. Here his points for them:
Marenna 7.2, Cryptic Nature 7.6, Sunrise Auranaut 8.1, Still Living 7.5, Tragik 8.3, Chinawhite 8.3, Souls Of Deaf 8.1, and Fred Mika 8.4!
German Crossfire Metal Webzine wrote about the first 2 EP’s from the Cellar Dwellers! And they liked it. Read the German version here.
With the next translation by Google:
Granted, the Netherlands has been musically a blank spot on my musical map. This is now changing with Cellar Dwellers: The band has released “The Junkyard Chronicles Pt. 1 + 2” the first part of their planned releases, which should include a total of four EPs. The band is dedicated to the various influences of rock and produces a diverse sound. Driving, punchy classic rock with a pinch of punk is just as present as bluesy and dark songs in the style of the early Black Sabbath. Of course there are no guitar solos as well as recurring, polyphonic and ecstatic vocal passages, which are a nice change to the vocals, which are otherwise very pleasantly rough. In music like “Ramones”, there is also something in it musically, the style of the punk legend has been successfully adapted without being compellingly contrived. For Oldschool Rock the songs are extremely powerful, the quality of the tracks is a big plus. All in all, it should be noted that fans of the old rock sounds should stop by here, it is worthwhile in any case. If you like Black Sabbath as much as the already mentioned Ramones, you will definitely be in good hands here.
Thank you / Danke Clemens!
For Marenna also 2 new reviews can be found. First one is from UK’s Frenzy Fire. They say the album will keep you smiling and singing from start to finish. Thanks Mathew.
The next one is in Portuguese (I think), and you can find that one here. Well the overall score is 91% so I do not think I need to add more… Thank you Marcos.
German Magazine Empire have written a nice review of the Pandor album.
And also a nice one for Earthshine, in Empire edition 125. Martin writes:
Peter Cox, the Chinawhite guitarist, continues his journey into instrumental electronic music with Abstract Patterns. The Dutchman describes the music as ambient, new age, film music and lounge, and that hits the spot. The often very melodic themes and sounds invite you to dream. The guitars that are added here and there create a welcom variation. For the quieter moments in life.
Find all the music online, or the CD’s in our webshop or your favourite retailer.
Our recent releases have been getting lots of attention around the world. Not all love of course, but hey we are indies and cannot afford to pay loads of advertising money. 🙂
But still, some very nice reports coming back.
If you want to know what some of the press is saying, check the next links:
UK, The Midlands Rocks: Brian McGowan calls Tragiks Phil Vincent the insider’s AOR hero, so that is quite the compliment in a way. Read his thoughts on the album here. Thank you Brian! Also find reviews for Still Living and Cryptic Nature there.
Dutch Lords Of Metal also wrote about these releases. Not all friendly… But the Still Living one is quite nice. Read that here.
UK’s Woody’s Rock Reviews gave Tragik – Tainted an 8 /10. Read here why.
And also Mr. H. from Zeitgeist / The Rocker tells us Tainted is “another enjoyable release for those of who grew up with this kind of music”. Read his thoughts on his website.
Dutch site RockPortaal have done an excellent review of the album. The original is here, and with help from Google here an English translation:
Are rock operas in 2017 still of this time? I do not know if Koos Thönissen himself ever asked this question. Regardless of whether he asked himself this question, he does give the answer. That answer is his very ambitious double album Pandor. A rock opera with 100% Dutch make. Or rather: Limburg-made. A rock opera where blood, sweat, tears and four years of work have been put into it. And you can hear that.
Koos Thönissen is a songwriter, bass guitarist, guitarist and singer living in Limburg. At some point he decided to change course and at the top of his bucket list he created the complete creation of a rock opera himself. What followed was a one-lane road with footsteps and clamps. But the self-taught Thönissen persisted, straightened his back more than once and completed his quest. Partly thanks to the help of a bunch of friendly enthusiasts, musicians and vocalists.
The story of Pandor is set in the time that dragons rule the earth. The dragons are the guardians of the balance and the guardians of the living beings. They live in the high mountains called Aenoor and reign in the air. They maintain a special bond with the unicorns. These live in the lush green forests of Glynyd. But the Molgar live deep underground, in caves and caves. A primitive and aggressive people that would later evolve into man. The Molgar’s are based on the immortality of the dragons. They cause conflicts when they come out of their holes after sunset. After a meteorite destroys the capital of the Molgar people, they hold the dragons responsible. They are seeking revenge. That comes after an apocalypse destroys Aenoor virtually and the dragon population falls apart. Then Pandor is born. The orphaned dragon, whose father was imprisoned by the Molgar, is saved and brought up by the unicorns. Unicorns see the hope for a better future in Pandor. Then Pandor meets another orphaned dragon, Tayla. A female. Although raised by the dragons, a special bond arises between them. Tayla teaches Pandor the lessons of life and even secretly falls in love with him. Thanks to the wise lessons Pandor’s skills grow quickly. He becomes a great strong dragon with respect. The new leader of the dragons.
Then the dragons unite in their ultimate goal: restoring the old order and understanding. But especially justice. With Tayla at his side, Pandor leads the troops in their attack on the Molgar’s. The Molgar’s are successfully driven back into their caves and caves. They come to repentance and realize their cowardly act at the time. They do not get the secret of eternal life. And with that, Glynyd and Aenoor have also been restored.
The story written completely by Thönissen has been translated into music in a breathtaking way. Scattered on two CDs are 14 songs with a total playing time of 83 minutes. Thönissen then takes care of all instruments (including mandolin and didgeridoo) and some vocals. Occasionally he is assisted by Jeroen van den Biggelaar (guitar on Certamen Ultimus) and Ron van Rhee (flute on Consulting Cerna). Larger (vocal) roles are assigned to five female singers. The story is spoken in an sometimes theatrical way during this album by Ian Jillings. These spoken documents are not separately indexed. And to give the story extra visual power we hear the dragons roar.
I leave out the discussion of the individual numbers. Be surprised by brutal guitar work on songs like the long and stirring Gol Matoo, including grunts and the hardest song Ael Hathor. And especially the war number Certamen Ultimus. Let yourself be swept along symphonic pieces full of beautiful keyboards such as opener A Dragon’s Tale, Glynyd, the second part of Gol Matoo and the beautiful Consulting Serna. But also on the power metal number The Meeting. Especially enjoy the female vocals on Pandor’s Adoption (with beautiful vocals that sounds like Margriet Boomsma from Flamborough Head) and The Prophecy / Tayla’s Mission. But also the lover of polyphonic singing comes into contact with Aenoor. In terms of vocals it reminds me of the German High Wheel. Actually there is something for everyone on this double CD.
Are there no downsides? On this album several vocalists participate that take care of the various characters. Somewhat too bad I find that the CD booklet does not mention in which songs these characters sing. Although you can sometimes make that out of the text when you follow it closely. But this is only a minor smet.
Finally, I come back to the question where this review begins. Are rock operas still in this year in 2017? After listening to Pandor on several occasions, I answer this question with yes.
Recently Koos and Peter (who runs Rock Company) visited the Prog X Grooves Studio in Abcoude, near Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Not only to talk about the album and get the song Glynyd played on the radio show. But also because Pandor was chosen as a winner in the 2017 Awards, in the category concept album!
It was a fun evening, with many of the award winners present in the studio. We thank Pieter for inviting us!
Things are turning quite hectic here at HQ. 2 albums landing end of October (the progmetal double disc Pandor by Koos Thönissen’s Cryptic Nature and the soothing instrumental album Abstract Patterns by Earthshine).
December will also see 2 releases coming your way. And since they are both of a hard rocking yet melodic nature, that Christmas tree better be steady… Because besides the already announced new album Ymmij by Still Living, the explosive new album Tainted from Tragik will also become available. We are of course very happy and proud to be working together again.
Better save up, you won’t want to miss this!
October 27 will see the release of our next 2 albums. But the good news is, here in our webshop you can already order them! They will be shipped out early October, so in most places you will receive them before the official release. And the best thing is; until October 26 they can be ordered with a reduced price!
Thank you for your support and for buying the original.