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More Reviews

fred mika - withdrawal symptomsCranston IIsouls of deaf - fortune favors the bold

sky empire - the dark tower

D'Ercole - Made To BurnOk, halfway through the month it is time to point you to some more reviews! Let’s first start with Mr. H. from Zeitgeist / The Rocker, writing about Fred Mika. Alas no direct link to the review (it was posted November 23) so here his words:

FRED MIKA
Withdrawal Symptons
Rock Company

It’s the one fans are all waiting for. You know, The announcement that the drummer is doing a solo album.

So fans of Brazilian band Sunroad must have been besides themselves with joy when this appeared. Turns out said band have punted out half a dozen albums over the last twenty years or so. Nope, me neither. But it explains how Mr Mika has cajoled a host of Brazilian rock singers to appear here. See it’s one of those where a different singer is on each tune. Mind you, it’s as much an Andre Adonis record as he co-writes, plays guitars, bass and keyboards and does some singing as well. And he’s in Sunroad. Which just confuses me.

Never having heard Sunroad I don’t know how much this differs from their records but I’m hazarding a guess that this collection of old school, melodic hard rock won’t be a million miles away. And there are a few good tunes along for the ride. The best two are right in the middle when the class of Carl Dixon and Michael Voss help lift the songs on ‘Wired In’ and ‘Artwork Nightmare’ respectively.

There are nods to classic Deep Purple in a few places when the keyboards are a wee bit more prominent but there just aren’t enough to push the record from good to great. There are some jazzy and instrumental interludes which don’t help the flow so even though I quite enjoyed it but I won’t be rushing back.

Thank you mr. H.!

****

Another one I cannot point you to is for the latest Cranston album. And it is getting quite the praise:

To be released tomorrow, the simply titled “II” is indeed the second album from CRANSTON, the band formed three years go by vocalist / multi-instrumentalist Phil Vincent, his former band mate in D’Ercole drummer B.F. D’Ercole, and the legendary Paul Sabu on guitar.
What isn’t ‘simply’ for sure is the material on offer here; a strong bunch of classic melodic hard rockers full of bounce and displaying the best Sabu’s guitar work / songwriting in years.

While CranstoN first album was a good one, this second effort blow it out of the water on all aspects: all songs are good, arrangements & production better, and Sabu’s guitar playing is on fire.
Paul Sabu’s last solo album from some years ado resulted ‘cold’ in my humble opinion, then on CranstoN’s self-titled debut his work was fine however with not much room to shine, but here the talented guitarist seems to have re-captured his essence delivering some truly awesome riffs and solos to boot.

CranstoN “II” has the ‘good songs’ you need to success – well written and catchy tunes – Vincent has proven his talents and skills over the years, but what really takes this CD to another level is Sabu’s work.
His sweet riffs on the melodic rock tunes”Always on the Run”, “What’s it Gonna Take” or the AORish “Wrong Side of Town” bringing to mind Paul’s early albums.

Nicely, “II” is not circumscribed to only one genre, and they suddenly drop a poppy melodious song worthy of massive attention in the form of “Wish I Had More Time” (with Sabu performing cool acoustics as well). Here, as happens on some songs on the CD, Vincent sings with a vocal tone reminiscent of Night Ranger’s Keally Keagy which I like a lot and fits the material.

Then, the band change course to insight the hard rock intensity of the groovy “Throwin’ Down”, the Night Ranger circa mid-Nineties “Tables Turning”, and the pretty killer closing number “Dead & Gone”, a punchy cut again with a solid guitar work.

As said previously, while the first CranstoN album was good, I resulted pleasantly surprised with “II”, a very good melodic hard rock album with an early ’90s feeling.
I wasn’t expecting this Sabu return to form but the man delivers some of his magic again, add to that better songs and a more polished production, and we have here a very solid new album from CranstoN.
Highly Recommended

01. Always on the Run
02. What’s It Gonna Take
03. Wrong Side of Town
04. Soul Crusher
05. Tables Turning
06. Wish I Had More Time
07. One Track Mind
08. Throwin’ Down
09. Sad Truth
10. Take Me
11. Dead & Gone

Phil Vincent – vocals, bass, keyboards
Paul Sabu – guitar, vocals, keyboards
B.F. D’Ercole – drums

*****

Next are Souls Of Deaf. Writer Steven Reid from Sea Of Tranquility gives it 3 stars. Considering they focus on prog and this is a bit more of a metal record, not bad. He does not call it a perfectly decent record for nothing! Thanks Steven.

****

Your Music Blog tell you why (providing you love prog metal) you should buy The Dark Tower from Sky Empire. And some time before the blog wrote about D’Ercole’s Made to Burn.

****

And closing for the moment is Dmitry Epstein from DMME. He always weaves magic words and finds himself pretty impressed with D’Ercole’s latest offering Made To Burn and hands it a 4/13 out of 5 stars! Thank you Dmitry!

 

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Recent reviews!

sky empire - the dark towerstill living - ymmij  souls of deaf - fortune favors the bold age-of-aquariusmarenna - livin no regretsSunrise Auranaut - Inserter

 

 

 

 

It is about time to give you an overview of reviews for our releases!

  • Musipedia of Metal gives Sky Empire a 7/10 and calls it a fairly impressive chunk of prog that will certainly entertain fans of the genre
  • DMME gives 3 4/5 stars to Still Living’s Ymmij album and likes the band best in the heavier songs
  • Rockportaal really enjoy the Souls Of Deaf album and call it a damn fine album with catchy and fast metal
  • Dmitry from  DMME also had some nice things to say about last years Age Of Aquarius release and adds several new genre descriptions to the varied sound of the album
  • Zeitgeist / the Rocker have lots of praise for the Marenna live album and state that Melodic hard rock fans should definitely be giving it a listen
  • Belgian Metal Shredder found several favourites on the Souls Of Deaf album and describe it as an old-school album that aims to bring some of that classic Motörhead vibe to you but with a typically Dutch flavor
  • Metal Temple are very impressed by the Sky Architect album and give a 10 for songwriting and a 9 for originality!

And in Empire 127 Martin Dambeck wrote several impressions. For Chinawhite, Souls Of Deaf and Sunrise Auranaut. Read in the next documents:

Empire_127_PREVIEW 56-57

Empire_127_PREVIEW 59

 

chinawhite - differentAnd last but not least the kind words of Mr. H. for Chinawhite:

CHINAWHITE
Different
Rock Company

Another release from the men who never sleep. Yes, Peter Cox (not that one) and Phil Vincent have made another record to go with all their CranstoN / Forest Field endeavours.

Chinawhite, though, is all about the songs of Peter Cox. With all the vocals taken care of by Vincent and the drums coming from Praying Mantis man Hans in´t Zandt they’ve certainly put together a quality product. It’s mainly eighties styled melodic hard rock but they’ve also thrown in a few prog elements as well. It would be no surprise to find some mid-period Asia albums in the collection of Mr Cox.

They kick things off with one of the album highlights – ‘Kiss Of Fire’ – which is as hard rock as they get. The prog starts to arrive with ‘Hello To The World’ and from then on they mix and match as they please. When it works, it’s really enjoyable, although a couple of songs just miss. And just to reinforce the prog credentials the album closes with an eight minute instrumental. Hey! It’s my album and I’ll do what I like. A good one.

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Reviews Reviews Reviews!

chinawhite - different fred mika - withdrawal symptoms marenna - livin no regrets Sunrise Auranaut - Insertersouls of deaf - fortune favors the bold

 

 

 

 

The reviews keep coming in! And most of them we are very happy to share with you:

Brian from The Midlands Rocks wrote about Chinawhite and Fred Mika here. Lots of positives, so thank you Brian for you kind words.

DMME / Let It Rock also published very kind reviews on Chinawhite and Fred Mika. Dmitry has a great way with words, you should definitely check these! Thanks again Dmitry.

Next up is Italian site Giornale Metal! They honoured Marenna with 8/10, and Sunrise Auranaut and Fred Mika with a 7/10. The site is obviously in Italian, but Google can translate automatically for you. Thank you Bob, Silvio and Angelica.

To move on we have Dutch site Rock Portaal. Lots of good things about Souls of Deaf. Thank you Filip.

The same applies to LiveReviewer.com. Also lots of praise for the Souls Of Deaf album. Thank you Winston.

French site Metal Integral gave Chinawhite a 4.5/5 stars! Thank you Noctus.

To conclude this gathering, I present a beautiful one published in French magazine Highlands #92, about the Inserter album by Sunrise Auranaut:

For his first title, The Flight Continues, SUNRISE AURANAUT remains in his comfort zone by using what he knows best: a rhythmic Progressive feeling good 70s, with keyboards also retro futuristic. We always hear the programmed battery, limit drum machine, which can annoy by its sound.
In The Old House is more imaginative: varied and articulate on an intriguing Glockenspiel, it establishes a well marked atmosphere in just four minutes.
The rhythm is both more present and better used, serving keyboards from the Moog from the 70s to the 80s. Vitaly KISELEV skilfully slides guitar parts for a more energetic and relevant overall rendering. Keeper Of The Castle Forest push INSERTER in this way, in equal quality.
Based on a very nice guitar part freely inspired by Steve HACKETT, this title is part of a very good balance between guitar-keyboards-drums.
SUNRISE AURANAUT knows his classics and he never hesitates to refer to them, for the good cause. Identification Man (Psychedelic Inserter) could be his sequel: the Hammond organ always holds a place of choice, for a very progressive piece, in the spirit of In The Old House.
Rhythm breaks and other tempo changes are part of the journey and thanks to the contribution of MALAKHOV, KISELEV can refine the programming and the guitar playing, forming a solid and always interesting. The pair works perfectly, which allows him to offer the short but beautiful Fog. This time, we hear the contribution and influences of the Classic claimed by SUNRISE AURANAUT. With his guitar evoking the harpsichord, the keyboard can play its sweet and ethereal part that makes us enjoy a different and pleasant music.
Auspicious before the trilogy The Saga Of The Discovers.

The first two are grouped on the same title and this choice is judicious: it allows us to focus on his six beautiful minutes; SUNRISE AURANAUT is more ambitious than ever and this is reflected in his arrangements: the rhythm section seems more and more natural, serving at best this powerful Progressive rock, in the wake of a romanticism at GENESIS and Steve HACKETT.
The duo makes us take advantage of their great range of sounds, by packing this piece which finds its climax in an excellent third final part.

Taking advantage of the change of track to rest with a soothing introduction, this Saga resumes its cruising pace by finishing as well as it started.
A flawless for this suite that marks his imprint album. The World Of Light keeps in itself the aesthetics of its predecessors, without taking all its strength: the piece is good but with less strength of conviction. The strange One Strange Morning will bring another atmosphere, between Dany ELFMAN and that of a haunted mansion.

Despite an electronic drum too present, we revel in this title lighter, tinged with irony, in a state of mind finally very Russian. Hello, Star Man is very honorably closing the set: even if it does not reach the height of the saga, it returns without complex to a progressive progressive pleasant, without surprise but effective.

By diversifying with the contribution of a musician for this fifth album, Vitaly KISELEV was able to reinvent itself in his style, making INSERTER an excellent record if this is the best of SUNRISE AURANAUT.

In addition to the programmed battery that can displease, the whole is very homogeneous, creative, always located in the Progressive referenced period 70 but not without brilliance and panache. He even surprised us, like The Saga Of The Discoverers, brilliant.
Lovers of instrumental rock, listen to this endearing album. (*** ¾)

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Reviews keep coming!

D'Ercole - Made To Burnsouls of deaf - fortune favors the boldSunrise Auranaut - Insertercryptic nature - pandor marenna - livin no regrets chinawhite - different 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:

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And more great reviews for our releases!

chinawhite - differentfred mika - withdrawal symptomssouls of deaf - fortune favors the boldSunrise Auranaut - Insertermarenna - livin no regretscryptic nature - pandorstill living - ymmijtragik - taintedAgain 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!

Then we arrive at Musikreview.de. They write about Chinawhite (9/15), Souls Of Deaf (7/15) and Fred Mika (10/15). Just shows that tastes differ…

And to conclude for now, we have Crossfire write about Marenna, leaving them a bit confused 😉

Thanks to the writers, enjoy reading!

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Another Fan Review

fred mika and forest field fan review

it is of course always nice to get a good review from various sites and magazines. But hearing back from a fan who actually buys the albums is frickin’ awesome! So thank you Jorge Luiz Rodrigues for support and the time to write this (translated via Google, original post is in Portuguese):
Track of the week
Hello friends! Good night and a great week.
“Simplicity is the ultimate achievement. After having touched a number of notes and notes, it is the simplicity that emerges as the crowned reward of art.” Fréderic Chopin
 
Fred Mika – Withdrawal Symptoms – For almost three months I’ve been with this album and I can not hear it, and I have not found words to describe the emotion that each one of their songs conveys. Being the first solo work of the Goian drummer Fred Mika (Sunroad), his professionalism is remarkable here, as well as his commitment to present a polished and captivating work where classic hard rock, sometimes with a few AORs as in Wired In (remembers a lot the softest phase of Whitesnake), here with the vocals in charge of Carl Dixon (Coney Hatch, April Wine, Guess Who). Just for this beginning I already feel that my hard earned dollars were not spent in vain. Then we see a range of guest vocalists from the most diverse countries, including Brazilians Rod Marenna, Daniel Vargas, Tito Falashi, Mario Pastore and André Adonis. Describing each song becomes unnecessary, since the 10 songs (taking the short introduction) bring all that eighties feeling, that is, songs that convey emotion, euphoria and even that pleasant nostalgic feeling. Each song is unique, engaging and striking showing a solid work of seductive sound beauty to those who enjoy good music. He could not close with Miss Misery (Nazareth) with the vocals of bandmate André Adonis.
 
Forest Field – Angels – Peter Cox’s request not to take this album too seriously, should be regarded as a moment of good humor, as well as the cover of the album. The opening track, Broken Wings, totally instrumental, even with a modern footprint reminds us of good progressive rock. Angels, the second track, is that infectious hard rock with AOR pitches, great guitar solos, accurate drumming, which takes us to the good times of Journey, Peter Frampton, Kansas, Asia, Europe and other sacred 80s monsters. Left At Cloud Nine is yet another beautiful short instrumental that will take us to It Looks Like Rain, a softer song with a captivating keyboard in the background, and again the well-placed and seductive guitars become an invitation to an ecstatic journey. Needless to describe each song here, since all 11 songs are fascinating charm, showing that Peter was in ambitious moments of inspiration. An infectious album from beginning to end indicated not only those who like a softer rock, but to all who seek good music. It is important to emphasize the love of Peter for the style, since besides musician, he owns the record company Rock Company, that even comes launching some Brazilian bands in Europe, like Fred Mika, Still Living and Marenna. Thank you for the good songs and for the support of the Brazilian musicians, Peter.
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Have we got reviews for you!

chinawhite - differentfred mika - withdrawal symptomsmarenna - livin no regretssouls of deaf - fortune favors the boldSunrise-Auranaut-The-Ocean-Of-Unspoken-Words

 

 

 

 

 

Been rather busy with lots of things lately, and in the meantime quite a few reviews have seen the light a day. So here a wrap up for you:

Lords of Metal talk about:

  1. Chinawhite – Different and give it 80 points!
  2. sadly only 58 points for Fred Mika’s Withdrawal Symptoms
  3. Marenna’s Livin’ No Regrets does better with 64 points
  4. and last but not least; Souls of Deaf album Fortune Favors The Bold got 73 points

Thanks to all the writers.

On DMME a rather nice review of the previous Sunrise Auranaut album The Ocean Of Unspoken Words has been published. Thank you Dmitry!

On to UK site Uber Rock now:

  1. even when Mark Ashby did not seem to understand the idea behind Different from Chinawhite, he still liked many things on offer
  2. so it’s a good thing Marenna’s Livin’No Regrets got a better reception, thanks Mark

In Italy site Metalhead gave Marenna an 8/10 for Livin’ No Regrets. Nice one, thanks!

And to close for now, how about a 80% for Fred Mika’s Withdrawal Symptoms on AngelicWarlord? Much better, thanks!

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Reviews keep coming!

cellar dwellers - junkyard chronicles part 1German 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!
marenna - livin no regrets
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.
cryptic nature - pandor
German Magazine Empire have written a nice review of the Pandor album.
You can read some quotes on the Cryptic Nature website, as well as find the whole article (in German).
Thank you Martin.
earthshine v - abstract patterns
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.
Thanks Martin!
Find all the music online, or the CD’s in our webshop or your favourite retailer.
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Reviews!

still living - ymmijSunrise Auranaut - Insertermarenna - livin no regretsearthshine v - abstract patterns

 

 

 

Of course we send out all our releases to the press, hoping they will write about it. Alas not all magazines and websites let us know, but here a couple of recent reviews we enjoyed reading:

Heavy Paradise on Still Living – Ymmij And with a 9/10 score I think they liked the album as much as we do!

Zeitgeist – the Rocker also wrote about the Still Living album here. Plenty of good stuff according to Mr. H.!

Rockportaal wrote a piece about the Inserter album from Sunrise Auranaut. It is in Dutch, so some quotes:

  • lots of bombastic tinged instrumental prog spiced with jazzy influences with an overall Seventies mood
  • no easy digested songs here
  • a splendid listening challenge

The album gets comparisons with King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Par Lindh Project and classical composers like Grieg and Tchaikosky.

The Metal Mag spent time with the energetic Marenna live album Livin’ No Regrets. And calls it brilliant!

And also some words on the latest Earthshine release Abstract Patterns! Dmitry from DMME has a unique way of describing his listening experiences and had a few smiles to share.

Thanks to all the writers!

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More Tainted reviews

dmmeDmitry Epstein from DMME has written some kind words about the Tainted album from Tragik. Read it in full here.

 

And Your Music Blog had this to say about the album…