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Hollow Haze – Countdown To Revenge

Hollow Haze albumCountdown To Revenge is the fifth full length album from Hollow Haze and the first to feature new singer Fabio Lione ( Rhapsody Of fire, Kamelot). The album also features collaborations with Antarktica and Wintermoon Orchestra in an attempt to broaden the landscape of the music and give it that epic feel. A feat that the band pull off. There is always something going on in this album, give it a few spins and you will hear so much more than just the song in front of you.

The album starts off with the intro of Room 212 which leads us into Watching In Silence, a heavy mix of guitars underpinned by the orchestra. Still Alive comes blasting out of the speakers before hitting us with a very catchy chorus, this will sound as heavy as hell when played live. No Rest For The Angels has a massive chorus that will have fists pumping as well a solo that will have the air guitars out.

Life Has No Meaning offers a bit of diversity, slowing things down a touch and giving the vocals to really really stand out. We Must Believe will give your neck muscles a good work out, a very uplifting but heavy song. The Answer is another with a great headbanging groove but never loses the melodic presence within the song. Il Tempo Del Fuoco is a straight up rocker, the song lasts nearly five minutes but that passes in a blur. A very enjoyable track.

Hollow Haze bandA Fading Angel’s Life has the potential to become a live epic, it has everything you could possibly want from a Hollow Haze song. There is heaviness, melody, a chorus that is bigger than the Death Star on steroids and beautifully wrote quieter passages. It rolls in at six and a half minutes but leaves you wanting more. Next we have the title track – Countdown To Revenge. Kicking off with fuzzy guitars, this song carries on where A Fading Angel’s Life left off, except this is it’s bigger heavier brother. An acoustic breakdown halfway through the song just sets up the song for the epic ending, there is so much going on here you need to get a good pair earphones, sit in a dark room and turn the sound up. The Gate To Nowhere is an instrumental that gives you time to take in what you have just heard.

Countdown To Revenge is now out and I would urge fans of Power Metal, Symphonic Metal etc to get this, you will not be disappointed.

An outstanding 8.5/10

Fabio Lione: Vocals
Nick Savio: Guitars
Dave Cestaro: Bass Guitar
Camillo Colleluori: Drums

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Cardiant – Verge

cardiantCardiant’s new album comes at you like a breath of fresh air. It’s good to hear a hell of a good rock album. The album has hints of progressive metal and symphonic metal, but thats all they are – hints. Opener Justice Turns Into Revenge comes straight for you in a blur of riffage, the guitars never let up throughout the track, keyboards swirl but never overpower. Thought’s Inception is a fist pumping, headbanging song. Listen carefully and you will hear some clever work on the ride symbol. The song has a massive sing a long chorus to boot. The is a quiet breakdown during the solo and that really sets the rest of the song up.

Heavens Calling flies out of the block at you in an attack of riffs and soaring vocals, again the keyboards bind the track together. There is everything in here, power, heaviness and melody and even a lighter in the air moment or two. Ever Since starts off in power ballad mode and mixes male and female vocals well. The song mixes piano and guitar very well, sounding very much like early Queen in places. It is a very enjoyable listen, it is very catchy and has sing a long moments.

Believe starts off in Dream Theater fashion before the Cardiant sound takes over, a heavy opening breaks down into a soft female vocal courtesy of Outi Jokinen. Again the song is full of melody and there is enough going on throughout the song so that it never becomes a chore to listen to. Beat Of Heart is next up and is a straight up rocker although there are all the Cardiant quirks here, the song never becomes predictable. Loves Not On My Way starts off with vocal and piano and the thought of a soppy ballad comes to mind, however, two minutes into the song and it kicks off leaving me quite surprised as it turns into an almost fist pumping rocker before returning to the piano and vocals to end the track.

Stranger in me is another quality track with yet another uplifting sing a long chorus. This will be a very enjoyable live song, I ended up just sitting back and enjoying this song without trying to think of what I was going to write, that should tell you how catchy the song is. Break your mind has progressive elements throughout and has raced through to the end before you know it. The album ends with While The Ice Is Cold. A beautiful ballad that will be on my mp3 player for a while. Female vocals take the lead on this one and do not disappoint in the slightest.

This is a very enjoyable album and the musicianship on display is first rate. Cardiant have found a way to keep many genres happy with this one.


A very enjoyable 8/10

Erik Karhatsu – Vocals
Antti Hänninen – Guitars
Marko Lindroos – Keyboards & Backing vocals
Mikko Mänttäri – Bass & Vocals
Lauri Hänninen – Drums

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Def Con One – Brute Force And Ignorance EP

dc1Since Def Con One’s debut album Warface hit the shelves in 2012 the Newcastle quartet have been getting in the nations face with a series of unforgetable and brutal shows. They have not allowed themselves any down time though, as they have been busy writing and recording the follow up to Warface between shows. Before they assault our senses with a full length album they are giving us a teaser with the four track EP – Brute Force And Ignorance.

Due out in October 2013, Brute Force And Ignorance will be released as a limited edition 12″ vinyl. The vinyl will be Nuclear Green and all the tracks are on one side whilst on the other side the bands signatures are engraved into the vinyl. There is also a full open out gatefold sleeve, full of pictures etc. The band have pulled out all the stops for this and credit must go to them and Night Of The Vinyl Dead for offering fans so much more than the generic CD in a single cardboard sleeve EP. So now to the main thing, what is the music on offer actually like?

The EP  contains four tracks, Brute Force And Ignorance, Caving In, No More Hate and Weapons of War. Long time followers of the band will recognise three of those names as No More Hate was given away for a short time as a free download. Caving In and Weapons Of War were released on self financed EP’s earlier in the bands career, although both have been re-recorded and never sounded like this.

We kick off with brand new song Brute Force And Ignorance. As the title suggests this is no power ballad, the song is straight in your face, pummelling you into submission before a huge Def Con One groove finishes you off in the chorus. Must mention that the sound that the band now have going is extremely impressive. The sound is huge on this, yet it is nothing that the band cannot recreate live. Johnny Hunter’s guitar is crunchy and heavy, Steve Miller’s bass has a threatening heaviness to it, Antton Lant beats his kit until it is a quivering mess in the corner and Davey Meikle’s voice weaves everything together.

Caving in  has been given a nasty reworking, the guitar and bass on this are now so heavy and the chorus has been given the in your face aggression that it was missing. It is a completely different beast to what went before. Even when the band slow things down they retain the brooding heaviness of the song.brute forceNo More Hate will be familiar to a lot of fans by now as a lot of you will have downloaded the song or heard it live as the band have been playing it live for a while now. The song has been given a new lease of life with a better production, it sounds more sinister and super heavy.

Weapons Of War is six minutes of groove and heaviness. The kind of music that is made to get bodies moving and heads banging. Crunching guitars, pounding drums and super heavy bass lines ensure that this will stay in the memory. The song gives Davey Meikle the chance to use his full range and he doesn’t disappoint.

Brute Force And Ignorance shows us where Def Con One are at now and gives us a glimpse of where the new album may be headed. The band have added to their own sound with an excellent quality of production. There is no mistaking this for any other band except Def Con One. When the band released Warface as a limited edition vinyl it sold out within five days, this EP will continue that trend if not better it.

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