- first up a review of Sunrise Auranaut’s Inserter album on Sea Of Tranquility. Revieuwer Michael Popke rates it with 3/5 stars.
- been a while since Melodic Rock dot com have done reviews, so happy to report that the second Cranston album got a 78% score. Andrew says: “If American melodic hard rock with a pomp touch and a heavy Winger influence is your thing, then look no further”.
- Dutch site Progwereld review Claudio Delgift’s The Essential here. They praise his talent and think the collection is a good way to introduce yourself to Claudio’s music.
- another Dutch site, Background Magazine, gives the same album a 3/5 star rating. Read the review here. They think the album is great, but do not like the vocals much.
- DPRP on the other hand, beg to differ and find lots more positives, read their thoughts here.
- and our friends from Rock Hard Slovakia rate Fred Mika’s album with 4/5 stars. Read here why writer Erik calls it a pleasant and varied melodic hard rock album.
- First one is from mr. H. (The Rocker) about Souls Of Deaf (January 22). He does not like the name or all of the tunes, but says “There are some good tunes and riffs on offer”
- French site Neo Prog write a very fine piece about the latest Slug Comparison. Some of their words (translated): “Definitely, it is more than recommended to explore the Slug Comparison universe; between shadow and light, acoustic and electric, this opus listens to one stroke as it is judiciously balanced and you will become indispensable”
- Next is Get Ready To Rock, also about Slug Comparison. Jason Ritchie says “Those already familiar with his solo work will certainly want this, along with those who enjoy prog rock with a distinct alternative edge”
- Rocktopia/ Fireworks’ Mick Parry had this to say about Marenna: “The album oozes a vibrant, melodic sound and it’s easy to pick up the influences from the past, but these guys have added a touch of flair to it all. In Rodrigo Marenna, they have a great front-man with the pipes to match the best out there. If you like Melodic Rock with an edge, go for this and you’ll have ‘No Regrets'”
- Word wizard Dmitry Epstein wrote about Cranston: ” this little ensemble with a big sound follow their debut record with a sophomore effort that bares their arena-minded ambition” and hands a 3 3/4 out of 5 stars for the album
- Your Music Blog say about Cranston “prove that Phil and Paul have a great thing going. Fingers crossed we are treated to more of this”
- Something For The Weekend include Slug Comparison in the 5 albums you need to hear for January
- Felonafan wrote a 4 star review for Sunrise Auranaut, and says it’s a “good addition to many prog collections”
- Another one from Dmitry at DMME, this time on Slug Comparison “bound to perplex and enchant an ear in equal measure” with a 3 4/5 star as a result
- And last but not least for now, a blistering 5 star review for Cranston on ViriAOR. Alicia Albertos recommends the album saying (translated) “An honest and easy listening record where a careful production stands out, with well-arranged arrangements and second voices and some lines of guitars that give the final product a touch of distinction”
All writers, thank you very much!
Here some quotes and links to the reviews:
- Glory Daze Music gave Cranston an 8.5 and admit quite liking the effort
- German site Musik Reviews gave Sunrise Auranaut 10/15 and think they have a full Eastern flair and a clear space sound
- Heavy Paradise were among the first to review Slug Comparison, crediting the album with a 8/10 saying: ” I have to say that is a quite interesting ride all the way through Doug Harrison‘s music world. It includes some excellent melodies, solid arrangements, deep and with meaning lyrics and very good performances”
- Fireworks writer Paul Woodward discussed D’Ercole‘s fifth album Made To Burn and calls it “another quality release involving Vincent and it’s one I highly recommend“
- Next we have Progressive Rock Fanatics writer Stephen Conrad. His first review featured involves Claudio Delgift and his compilation The Essential. Stephen says “Claudio is a prolific musician, and these tracks serve as a good introduction into the breadth and quality of his work so far.”
- The second Conrad review is about Slug Comparison. In one word he calls it “Superb”!
- In Canada’s The Georgia Straight, Slug Comparison is named Album Of The Week by writer Mike Usinger!
- Get Ready To Rock writer Jason Ritchie says “With Cranston both Phil Vincent and Paul Sabu have made musical chemistry and I am already looking forward to hearing what these two come up with next.” 4/5 stars
- and last but certainly not least is a thrilling review for Slug Comparison by The Ringmaster. Pete says “When You Were Living Here is simply intimate splendour with melodic nobility sure to be deserving of every ounce of attention and acclaim it will inevitably garner.”
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 Empire album and give a 10 for songwriting and a 9 for originality!
And last but not least the kind words of Mr. H. for Chinawhite:
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.
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.
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)
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:
- DMME, the site of Dmitry Epstein has published about Souls Of Deaf (4/5), Marenna (3/5) and Cryptic Nature (3/5)
- DPRP have done an extensive one on Sunrise Auranaut
- Rock United have done an uplifting review of Chinawhite’s recent Different album. They also posted an interview with Peter
- Musiczine wrote about Souls Of Deaf (Dutch)
- Metal Inside were very happy with the Souls Of Deaf album
- and also RockXXL published a nice Souls Of Deaf review (Dutch)
- last but not least, MusikReviews wrote a mixed review of the D’Ercole album Made To Burn
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!
And to conclude for now, we have Crossfire write about Marenna, leaving them a bit confused 😉
Thanks to the writers, enjoy reading!
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:
- Chinawhite – Different and give it 80 points!
- sadly only 58 points for Fred Mika’s Withdrawal Symptoms
- Marenna’s Livin’ No Regrets does better with 64 points
- 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:
- even when Mark Ashby did not seem to understand the idea behind Different from Chinawhite, he still liked many things on offer
- 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!
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!