I wish my ambition to write reviews was as high as the plethora of new releases that have come out this year as of so far. 2013 is shaping out to be another 'Year of the Newcomer.' I've got at least 8 albums on the slate for listening and 5 of them are debuts. One thing holding me back is a broken iPod. So my music capacities is limited to sitting down at the computer, which I only do to check e-mail and Facebook.
Not sure if it's a social issue, but I know what I like for music, and what I don't like, and so it's just easier to point out where improvements can be made and pointing out when a band is doing a lot of things right or wrong. It's just easier this way than to write reviews. I'll save the detailed reviews for albums that I'm looking the most forward to. I think this would be the best way to go for 2013.
I do have 3 Quickies for now. Hope to do more when time allows. I hate my work schedules.Vandroya 'One'
When you hear the opening track 'The Last Free Land,' one thinks this is gonna be a by-the-numbers power metal album. But then the comparison is gone henceforth. Vandroya's
style reminds me of the progressive lines of Ivory Tower,
where they don't really follow a song structure, but they don't try to cram a thousand notes at the same time either. Plus, most songs, regardless of musical tangents, are held together by memorable choruses. This is prog done right. Being different but without making the listener confused. Decent debut album.Visions of Atlantis 'Ethera'
It's a first for VoA
, they released a second album with the same singer. But I don't know if this is a good thing, because I thought 'Delta'
suffered greatly at the expense of Maxi Nil. But thankfully with 'Ethera'
her vocals have improved greatly. But the ongoing problem is the same as before. Her vocals clash with Mario Plank's. When they take turns, it's pretty good. But when singing together they're still off-key, and it makes the album difficult to listen to. In addition, there aren't too many standout songs, so they seem to have chosen to play it safe once again. No heart-pounding power metal anthems that were once a common thing on 'Trinity.' Ironically, the best track, a ballad called 'Cave Behind the Waterfall' is also the only track where there's no duel vocals, all Maxi Nil. Might be something worth exploring for future albums if the two of them can't at least sing on-key together. Envinya 'Inner Silence'
Now THIS is what I'm talking about. An excellent power metal/melodic metal debut that doesn't leave anything on the table. Excellent vocals (think Stratovarius
with a frontwoman,) big chorus hooks, but while still leaving room for improvement (They'll be elite if they can connect their verses to the choruses a little better. But room for improvement is always good for a debut.) They do use a few grunts, but it's definitely not a primary vocal and is very tolerable compared to the music they have to offer. Instead of continuing with this brief review, I'll finish by stating Envinya
will be on my 'contender' list for 2013, and will post a song and let it speak for itself.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On8Fyrb9CWQ