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MASSACRE RECORDS:









Label web : http ://www.massacre-records.com-

Releases,


Releases :


LIONS SHARE

 


 

 Album :  Fall from Grace-    Style :  Heavy   metal -  interview
Contact : larschriss@swipnet.se - http://come.to/lionsshare - http://www.ronnerdal.se/lionsshare
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On les croyait disparus à jamais ! Après un deuxième album ayant connu un réel succès et la participation aux tribute albums pour Judas Priest avec le titre"A touch of Evil", repris également sur l'album, Lions Share a du se battre pour trouver un nouveau contrat et donner un successeur à "Two". C'est aujourd'hui chose faite ! On redécouvre alors avec plaisir un groupe au faîte de sa forme, puissamment heavy, délicieusement mélodique et remarquablement inspiré. De même, il fait bon de retrouver cette voix si personnelle, immédiatement identifiable, signe d'une personnalité forte. Pour le reste, Lions Share est resté avant tout un groupe de pur heavy mélodique, loin de préoccupations progressives actuelles. D'ailleurs la pochette s'écarte de cette otique (contrairement à "Two"). Les guitares volontairement mixées en avant témoignent de cette volonté du groupe de se démarquer des tendances actuelles. On en peut prédire la destinée de cet album, mais il est sur que Lions Share n'est en aucun cas un clone de groupe à succès, mais bel et bien un groupe unique et attachant. Comment résister à des mélodies telles que 'Edge of Sanity' ?


LEATHER


 

 Album :  Shock Waves-    Style :  Heavy   metal
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Encore une réédition, vous vous en doutez bien ! Le plus étonnant est que cela vient de chez Massacre. Originellement sorti chez Leviathan records, la boite de Chastain, Leather n'est autre que le groupe de Leather Leone, chanteuse connue dans les 80's pour avoir sinon joué avec Chastain au moins un timbre de voix aussi exceptionnel que notre elfe Ronnie. En plus, derrière ça joue sévère avec le génial Mickael Harris à la guitare et le cogneur David Harbour à la batterie. La prod' a pris un petit coup de vieux normal, mais questions riffs, rythmes et solidité des compos, ce Shock Waves  tient toujours autant la route. Il faut dire que Chastain, Mark Shelton (Manilla Road) ou Pat 'O Brien qui ont composé ces chansons ne sont pas des manchots ! Le plus surprenant reste toujours cette voix, rauque, féline, envoûtante. Leather utilise sa voix comme un homme et c'est ce qui fait la différence. Shock Waves est un album de pur heavy metal qui utilise tous les gimmicks du genre : morceaux aux riffs plombés, mélodies sauvages, rythmes effrénés , fluidité de jeu. Bref, un cocktail de puissance de hargne et de mélodie. Essentiel pour ceux qui aiment et défendent le metal et à l'heure d'un revival true metal, il est toujours bon de revenir aux sources !


JACOB'S DREAM


 

 Album :  Jacob's dream -   Style :  Heavy  metal
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Cet album prend à la gorge d'entrée. Deuxième réalisation pour ces suédois et cette fois-ci cela semble la bonne. D'entrée, on remarque l'étonnant chanteur à la voix très haute et aux inspirations très classiques. A vrai dire, on fera le parallèle avec les excellents Dyslesia dont Jacob's Dream est un concurrent direct. En effet, les deux groupes úuvrent dans un registre heavy metal lyrique, un brin prog où survole une voix majestueuse, précise et puissante. L'apport de synthés donne une touche plus personnelle à Jacob's Dream, même si son importance est relative. En tout cas, les morceaux se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas. Du très speed au plus mélodique, tout y passe et au final, on se prend encore une fois au jeu et on se laisse emporter par un groupe de fort bonne facture, encore méconnu mais qui ne tardera plus à percer. Si vous aimez Queensryche, Fates Warning et tout ce qu'on appellera du heavy metal "intelligent" et pas rébarbatif, Jocob's Dream vous tend les bras !



RAVEN


 

 Album :  One for all - Style :  Heavy metal
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Non, non, vous ne rêvez pas. Regardez bien le titre. Il ne s'agit pas de "All for One", le mythique album de Raven, bien connu des aficionados du metal (remember 83 et la tourmente naissante Metallica), mais bel et bien la nouvelle galette des frères Gallagher. Bien sur, le titre est révélateur du contenu. D'ailleurs tout l'album flaire bon les 80's: La production  assurée par Mickael Wagener, référence en la matière s'avère être redoutable d'efficacité. D'apparence "vieillotte", celle ci ne sert qu'à mettre en valeur des compos limite speed, terriblement heavy et simplistes. Et le pire dans tout ça, c'est que ça marche.  Jamais Raven n'était apparu aussi Raven ! On se croirait de retour à l'époque bénie, quand metal rimait avec énergie, avec folie douce. Aujourd'hui, cet album n'attirera peut être que les nostalgiques d'une certaine époque, mais, c'est une belle erreur de passer à côté. Le timbre fluet du sieur Gallagher, les tempos speed, le guitares allant à l'essentiel, Raven fait l'apologie du metal old school; certains riffs rappèleront le Metallica des débuts, des vieux Judas ou encore Maiden pour les harmonies. Raven atteint la quadrature du cercle avec un album de fort bonne facture, hymne metallique à l'efficacité optimale; Du tout bon !



STORYTELLER'S RAIN


 

 Album :  A rock musical By Ferdy Doernberg -  Style :  Opera rock
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Ecrire un album concept n'est déjà pas facile. Alors une comédie musicale encore moins. Celui-ci regroupe déjà des stars bien connu du monde métallique avec entres autres des membres de Rough Silk (claviériste en tête) et des guests venant d'Helloween, Sodom, Axel Rudy Pell, Ö. Mais peu importe les noms, empruntons donc cette nouvelle voie musicale. Opera rock est le terme qui convient le mieux. La guitare pourtant for présente n'est pas la base des morceaux. Certains morceaux sonnent plus comme du bon rock, reprenant parfois des intonations country, metal, blues ou progressives, aidés en cela par des claviers variés. Les chansons se suivent sans se ressembler et le sentiment qui domine après l'écoute , c'est qu'on a affaire à un album de fous. Plus la guitare "metal " est discrète et meilleurs sont les morceaux. Les refrains ont été soignés et permettent à l'auditeur de garder à l'esprit des morceaux pourtant fort complexes  et/ou complètement novateurs. Plus qu'un album de musique avec un grand M, un voyage musical intemporel, qui ne se réclame d'aucune mode, si ce n'est celle de l'authenticité, de l'extravagance et de la sincérité.



THE PROJECT HATE


 

 Album :  cybersonic / superchrist -   Style :  Death metal
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Ces temps-ci, les albums de groupes suédois sonnent souvent pareils. Saluons donc l'heureuse initiative de Massacre qui laisse entrevoir du changement dans cette contrée nordique. Projet d'anciens Entombed, The Project hate ne fait pas dans la dentelle tout en ne sombrant pas dans le déversoir à brutalités. Difficilement classable, la musique de ce groupe se laisse découvrir avec un réel enthousiasme. Novateur dans la forme, Cybersonic Superchrist l'est également dans le fond. Le mélange claviers, guitares, voix "douces" et agressives  s'impose naturellement, sans qu'on puisse taxer le groupe d'opportuniste. Les morceaux sont développés et structurés autour de thèmes classiques, qui permettent à l'auditeur de ne pas sortir des sentiers battus tout en découvrant systématiquement quelque chose de nouveau. Il est peut être difficile de s'approprier cet album à la première écoute, il faudra donc un certain temps d'adaptation pour que The project Hate s'inscrive irrémédiablement dans vos neurones (Cf. Les contretemps saccadés de "Nine Spectrums of Impurity").


VIGILANTE
 
 

Album : Vigilante - Style : Heavy prog metal

Vigilante comes from Japan. This album has eben recorded in the beginning of 1998 but it's issued now. Vigilante plays some progressive heavy metal. This kind of mpusic is really trendies but Vigilante has got a different way to make it sound. It's absolutly not boring prog metal played at slow tempos with tons of keyboards & boring vocals parts. At first, the singer is really powerful. He's got (ofcourse) a high range voice & he never hesitates to scream & push his voice on a very high level. Then, guitar parts are really interesting. Vigilante blends technical guitar parts but also heavy ones with high level solos. The main thing that remains progressive is the way that the band structured its song. It's definitly not common structure. Rythm are really not simple. With very good harmonies, Vigilante succeeds in delivering a very good prog metal album which has the advantage of sounding very differently form the masses. Mayben, it's better to define them as a technical heavy metal band instead of a prog one.

Album :  II

 

 Style :  Heavy prog  metal
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On se souvient encore du premier album ! Ce premier essai fort concluant posait les jalons d'un futur grand du prog. Aujourd'hui, Vigilante sort totalement de sa réserve et les quelques réticences ou imperfections du premier album sont déjà bien loin. Toujours aussi décousu (mais ici, c'est plutôt un compliment et un avantage), Vigilante dispense un metal "classieux", finement agencé, hétéroclite et "destructuré". A écouter dans tous les sens, cette musique quasiment torturée demande une concentration de tous les instants. On notera l'aisance vocale de Hideaki Niwa qui en dépit de structures complexes arrive à tisser des lignes mélodiques efficaces. La précision des guitares et des solos, la cohésion incroyable de la basse et de la batterie sont autant d'atouts supplémentaires chez Vigilante. En plsu, l'amateur de vrai heavy metal y trouvera forcément son compte car la majorité des riffs sont divinement lourds et puissants ("Under the strain" en est un farouche exemple). Nos Japonais montrent donc brillamment qu'après Loudness, il y a une vie pour le heavy metal, d'inspiration demonstrativo-progressive. Un groupe à encourager, assurément.



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MAJESTIC
 
 

Album : Abstract symphony- Style : Heavy (symphonic) metal

What a superb masterpiece ! It's been time that a young band released such an incredible albums like this one. Majestic continues what Malmsteen created som eyears ago with the excellent "Marching Out "& "Trilogy" albums. If you like this kind of music, Majestic will totally please you. Some bands like Symphony X have also been infeluenced by the swedish guitar hero, but Majestic is maybe the best band in this style. The main difference between Majestic & other band, it's that Majestic really composes songs while others only makes collection of riffs. With a good singer that can be compared with Jeff Scott Soto & Joe Lynn Turner, Majestic blends with a great talent incredible melodies ( which sometimes are rally too close to some Malmsteen's ones like 'Crimson sun') & excellent guitar/keyboards parts which are with no doubt influenced by classical music. Here's definitly a band to support. "Abstract symphony" is really this kind of album that will mark its time.

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ROUGH SILK

Album : Beyond the sundown - Style : Heavy metal

Web : http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/phb/roughsil.htm

Management : http://www.cmm-music-promotion.de

Rough silk features like quite an unknown band in the metal world. Nevertheless this German band have several albums already released. The fact that Rough Silk never follow trends to be on the top can be the reason of this relative ignorance of media. But the band is back with a new album & their situation can rapidly changes. Itís really one of their most amazing album. The trend is on progressive metal and with the return in grace of the classical or traditional metal scene, Rough Silk can perhaps be put in front of the light. To begin the presentation of this album, it is necessary to notice the excellent cover put into this new album. Then, the production is also one of the best one in this style : precise & heavy ! Now, musically speaking, Rough Silk evolves in a metal with traditional appearances but some more progressive touches can be found here & there. This band is often compared to Savatage and to my own, this comparison is not really the one Iíd say. Even so, Rough Silk proposes quality songs filled with melody developed by an hallucinating work made by guitars. Far more powerful than the average of all bands evolving in the quite same style, , Rough Silk plays title after title & reveals in new terms all that has made the glory of the heavy meta scene l and a song like «Nosferatu» has to be taken as an homage to Ozzy Osbourneís«Mister Crowley» In any case, this album shows a high level demonstration of what a melodic metal band is able to create.


PRETTY MAIDS

Album : The best of. .. Back to Back - style : heavy metal

With a well filled career, it is legitimate to see a compilation out for this amazing band. & this time the tittle of this sampler has the good name. Itís exactly the best of Pretty Maids. Their best tracks are represented here. Really a few titles lack into this best of. Pretty Maids had created the surprise with its 1st album where so much track become hymns. Thatís why this best of begins with « Back to Back ». Pretty Maids has always had the senses of the ultimate riff, the fatal melody. Songs as « Back to Back », « Future World» still stay unmoved. Itís impossible to stay insensible while listening to these tracks that still give the will to head bang like a damned. This band has created timeless songs that resonate forever in our heads. Indeed, the band known up & down due certainly to the fact that they tried to seduce the Us scene with more commercial tracks & albums. Songs like «Love Games » is the proof of this more commercial attitude, with a chant that sometimes felt with the very . Pretty Maids doesnít seem to know which position to keep . sometimes « aggressive » & some times melodic. The way their singer sings show this dichotomy. But now, the band makes a come back with albums that renews with a glorious past . Then to rediscover this major act of the heavy metal story, it is good to get this compilation. Itís the best resume of Pretty Maidsí story. A beautiful testimony in any case.


WHIPLASH

Album : Thrashback - Style : Thrash metal

E mail : whiplash@mail.com - http://www.whiplashmetalmusic.com/

Whiplash belongs to the kind of bands that has come too late on the metal. appeared when the thrash wave of 80ís made rage, Whiplash has been launched in a career that has made them rather consider as followers and copiers than as innovators. It is necessary to tell that it was rather difficult to compete the bands of 4 (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer & Anthrax). After having disbanded, the band is finally back a few years later with an excellent album «Cult of One» where Whiplash finally revealed its own personality. Unfortunately, it seems that the audience hasnít followed the movement. Then, today believer to a nevertheless bygone past, Whiplash strikes us a new pice judiciously titled Thrashback. For these that would not suspect it, the band returns to its loves: the thrash metal, simple and efficient. The production seems to come right from the 80ís, the style is direct, , without any arrangements or subtleties, without flourishes. All riffs are a celebration of what was used to be put in all thrash metal songs of the 80ís : fast rhythmic parts, ... *On one song, some prestigious musicians appears : the keyboard and guitarist of Symphony X come to untie fingers. Then, some people can tell that this kind of album is boring. But itís simply not the case !. Even if this record would have made a flop in 1985, it remains in 99 very pleasant & refreshing. The metal scene is strongly encumbered by too much complex bands that lost feelings & fun. Whiplash has taken another way to make its music back and the result is surprising of vitality, vivacity. I find again the íexcitation that was mine in 1983 when Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer then Megadeth reigned in absolute masters. Pieces such « King with the axis » sounds very good and itís with a real pleasure that this record has to been listened to. Some will qualify it as obsolete. Well, itís their opinion, but those that has grew up with Bay Area thrash metal will certainly find a good Whiplash record


SOLITUDE AETERNUS :

Style : Heavy - doom metal - Album : Adagio

Label web : http ://www.massacre-records.com

Created in 1987 , Solitude Aeternus released 2 demos before its first deal with King Classic records, that were impressed by the quality of their doom melodic metal. It ends with « Into the depths of sorrow » recorded in 1990 but released in 1991. In the mean time, the band was signed on Roadrunner which released « Beyond the crimson horizon » the 2d album in 1992. Then, they toured with Killers & get a new deal with Pavement records & then released « Through the darkest hour » in 1994, followed by a tour with Mercyful Fate & Revelation. « Downfall », the following album , released in 1996 wasnít as good promoted for teh band, os, it didnít bring something more to the band, even if they toured with Morgana Lefay. Thatís why, Solitude Aeternus signed on Massacre records. The result is « Adagio », the new album released in 1998. This 5th album has been produced by the band himself. To promote it, Solitude Aeternus will tour in 98 with Saviour Machine, Heavenwood & Bliss.

Solitude Aeternus has just released one of its best albums ! First of all, the group benefits from an incredible production, terribly powerful with very few effects. The group has wanted to make simple and to remain deeply anchored in its roots. The style of the group has not really evolved a lot since their beginning. It always concerns Doom or rather slow heavy metal. Some songs as « Lament » or « Never »sounds really Doom but others are more rapid. The chant is excellent and eventually, Solitude Aeternus, that evolves in a very close style to Count Raven , Kyuss or again Saint Vitus, can equally be classified among bands as Memory Garden, Candlemass, Memento Mori without nevertheless being as heavy musically. Available in digipack version , « Adagio » is a surprising & varied album. The chant is really at its best and Robert Lowe asserts himself as one of the most gifted & skilled singers in this style He can in anyway be melodic (« Never»), worrisome ( as on « Empty Faith ») or more powerful ( « days of prayer »). More, some vocal harmonies here and there are very convincing. And attention to the bonus track, a cover of Black Sabbath : Heaven & Hell, perfectly played and sung ( beautiful performance !)and where Solitude Aeternus has kept the spirit that animated Black Sabbath to this period. As compared to a lot groups in the same style & that often try to make relive only the past, Solitude Aeternus explores an other way. Its music is rather a mix between the past and the present ( often symbolized by Doom swedish bands). The result is really excellent. Eventually, Solitude Aeternus proposes with this « Adagio » its best album to date. The expected tour beginning in September would easily allow them tomeet a large success. Certainly the album of the consecration


CHROMA KEY :

Style : rock - album Dead air for radios

Band web : http ://www.chromakey.com

Chroma Key is a new band but itís also a long awaited new project form Kevin Moore, the ex Keyboards player of the famous Dream Theater, which have already sold millions of records worldwide ! He left the band in 1994 to pursue his own direction. At this date, he worked on several songs that feaatured on this album. H eplays keys of course, but he is also the singer of his band. But he moved to L.A. to work with Mark Zonder, the drummer of heavy metal band Fates Warning. In Zonderís rehearsal studio, the 2 guys worked on drums of the new songs written by Kevin Moore. In the fall of 1996, Mark Zonder called 2 other guys to work on this project. First one is bassist Joey Vera ( ex Tribe after Tribe, Armored Saint & formerly in Fates Warning) & a L.A. solo artist called Jason Anderson on guitars. The result is 9 songs that constitute this first album « Dead Air for radios ».

To these that expect progressive music or rather progressive metal as Kevin played within Dream Theater, it is necessary immediately to specify that this album is by far completely different from whole that he has been able to play in Dream Theater at this date. It is not at all metal music. The style of the group is qualified as dark - avant-gardiste music. If it concerns progressive music, Chroma Key-has more to be classified among artists as Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd or again of more pop artists as Bowie or Talk Talk ! But to that, Kevin adds there a more somber & more unhealthy climate. Obviously, the quality of the production and the sound is irreproachable ! Then, instrumental qualities of each musicians are exploited at best ! We knew that Mark Zonder was a talented drummer, but with Kevin, he has simplified ( relatively !) his game while achieving to be again subtler ! He excels in all titles and his qualities are undeniable. The bassist, ubiquitous, is equally impressive. Joey Vera asserts himself here as a inspired bassiste. As for Kevin Moore, his technical mastery, his experience but alsohis feeling and talents of composition demonstrated all along this album brings to him a supplementary dimension ! The guitar is on the other hand very in withdrawal. But each appearance is really convincing. Exploring somber universe, taken from bands like Pink Floyd or venturing on a more electronic terrain, this album is not the one to put in hands of all amateur of metal. Nevertheless, to these that appreciate progressive metal, Chroma Key can bring a different vision of the progressive music where the guitar is not the preponderant instrument. More rock than metal, « Dead Air for Radios » is before all an album of atmospheres, that has to be listened to attentively to seize all its richnesses and all subtleties.

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