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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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Pre Order Sky Empire open now!

sky empire - the dark towerYou can now pre order the fantastic new album The Dark Tower from Sky Empire on CD. But only in our webshop:

A must for fans of Dream Theater or Symphony X! So it is progressive metal time!

Shipping starts early September. Click here for their artist page.

To get a taste: here some samples:

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Sky Empire sign with RC!

sky empire - the dark towerWhile I imagine that most of you will be either in the water, or sticking their head in the fridge, things keep cooking here at RC-HQ. So it gives me a great pleasure to announce that the mighty Sky Empire have signed with us for a worldwide release of their stunning album The Dark Tower.

If you follow their facebook page, you might have noticed our logo on the back of their recently posted message about the CD!
Final release date is yet to be confirmed, but we hope it will be before October! For fans of bands like Symphony X or Dream Theater, this is an album you will not want to miss!
Stay tuned for more details. Or start with reading this review to understand our excitement.
 
Keep cool, Peter
the dark tower back photo