I've been having life problems lately. Between that and the plethora of below-average albums, I took a break from reviewing.
This is a brief review list of stuff I haven't posted yet, no scores, no frills. Suffice it to say, even the better albums from this list still aren't that great.
Alyson Avenue "Changes"
I've been avoiding melodic rock lately, because as each year passes, the room for originality in the genre shrinks, and it's starting to leave little margin for error. When I think of Alyson Avenue, I think of their debut album 'Prescence of Mind,' which had strong 80's style production, killer in-your-face guitar riffing, lots of keyboards, and of course, the great Anette Olzon...some of these elements were missing in 'Omega,' but Anette's prescence was still pronounced, and kept the follow-up on the level. And now, all of these elements are missing in 'Changes.' Thin production. unhooky generic songs, and the new singer just doesn't have any power. Nightwish took a long enough break that Anette Olzon could've fronted this start-to-finish, and not just as a backing vocalist. And what happened to 'I Am Your Pleasuremaker?' The best track had been posted on their myspace site since forever and then it was excluded?
Robin Beck "The Great Escape"
It makes me laugh that fans are still looking for 'Trouble Or Nothing 2.' My response: 'It was called "Livin' in a Dream." Meanwhile, follow-up 'The Great Escape' doesn't quite have the power of said previous album, but it's still a solid AOR effort start-to-finish, on-par with 'Do You Miss Me.' even if the pace of the album doesn't differentiate much.
With this being my first taste of Benedictum my first impression isn't a good one. The singer has potential to be a strong voice in rock...but the band behind her really sucks. Utterly terrible songs. I'll leave it at that. I just don't get why Frontiers would sign such crap when bands like Shiva, Tacere, and Lullacry remain unsigned, and bands on their roster like Two of a Kind remain in limbo...
Apparently, nobody's heard of Halestorm. If you need to know how to write a good rock album, start there.
Imperia "Secret Passion"
The much long anticipated 3rd album from Imperia is the first of the remotely gothic albums I've listened to all year, outside of Sirenia, that has been remotely listenable. This is a fairly solid album that is reminescent of the 'Mother Earth' days of Within Temptation, but with more kick, and a slight commercial appeal without completely selling out. Most of the album takes a slower, classic goth type pace that doesn't differentiate very much thereafter, mixing crunchy guitars with softer, keybaord & vocal driven verses. Speaking of which, vocals are improved in many areas, though sometimes I find myself yearning for a stronger voice to put some of the choruses over the top. However, overall, a step better than 'Queen of Light.' It's refreshing to see a band improve themselves without overstepping their boundries. However, I could do without the final track 'Mistress.' That was a big WTF if I ever heard one.
Krypteria 'All Beauty Must Die'
I consider Krypteria to be a poor man's Lullacry. There was promise in 'My Fatal Kiss;' it had heaviness, and some good memorable songs and hooks. With 'All Beauty Must Die,' this potential exists here as well, as most songs seem memorable enough, but I don't think Krypteria knows how to put those songs over the top (hint hint more keyboards, heavier guitar distortion.) But one thing I do know; they STILL can't write an epic song, and should quit trying to. Stick to the 3 to 4 minute songs....I'm still flipping a coin on this one, but in spite of a few fillers, Krypteria has delivered an album that is better than most of the field so far...that's not saying much.
Weither or not I post more brief reviews later, I'm not sure. My ambition level has run really low. Most of my efforts will go to the albums I'm anticipating the most. Nightwish and Delain if they finish before the year is over, Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Forever Slave, and the We Are the Fallen DVD confirmed for later this year. My review ambition will be concentrated on those albums when they're complete. Most other posts will be quick posts that will either recommend an album or to warn to avoid an album.
Last edited by Jonny B
on Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
'All these years you spoke me, to my heart, to my sanity. Revealed to me all my deepest fears, and brought me down, soaked in tears.' -- Sirenia