Best of Month
It’s a mystery why some great bands of the 80s, like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Motley Crue and so on, changed their style so much that in some cases it’s hard to believe that they were once on the top. Thankfully, there’s a new generation coming that was raised by listening to the aforementioned bands and got inspired by their attitude & style. Summers is one of those bands that brought in my mind the glorious 80s days from the very first moment I listened to their debut album.
I happened upon this band out of nowhere. It seems that Norway is having something like a bloom in every rock & metal genre during the last years. I was immediately amazed by the prog rock approach of the band but I was not ready for what I was about to experience. First of all, I have to say that The Windmill started out in 2001 and after some line-up changes and lots of rehearsing they managed to self-release their debut album in 2010, which was entitled “To Be Continued…”. Now, three years later, they’re back, as they promised, with “The Continuation”.
We should not leave Australia out of the metal game for it keeps shouting, especially lately, that is here stronger than ever! During the last years, the Australian bands are growing bigger not only by the numbers. It’s not that Australia hasn’t always been a considerable metal force or anything like that.
Finally Aeon Zen or Rich Hinks who is the leading force behind them, became a proper band with a “permanent” singer, Andi Kravljaca, a drummer, Steve Burton, a keyboardist, Shaz, & a guitarist, Matt Shepherd. Rich of course is still the songwriter, producer/guitarist/bassist and also does some vocals for the band.
I happened upon this band, coincidentally, as another band with the same name had released a new album around this time-period and I sorta confused them. Gladly enough, I then realized that this band, Knightmare, is a newcomer from Australia (the Australians are coming with full force this period) and “In Death’s Shadow” is the band’s long awaited & long in the making debut release. They did release an EP called “Unholy” in 2008 but since then the band’s line-up has changed a lot. So, nowadays the band consists of the two founding members, the vocalist MICKoWAR and the guitarist/keyboardist Luke Besley and the newer ones, the guitarist Jim Munro & the bassist Matt McConaghy.
Jimi is, undoubtedly, one of the three golden AOR/melodic rock voices of all time. Let’s be clear on that. As he used to sing back in his “Vital Signs” days… “it’s the singer not the song… when it’s coming from the heart…”. Who can deny that? He can effortlessly turn a mediocre tune into a great one! And you know what, Jimi is a natural talent… either you born with that or not.
I had almost forgotten of that project until I saw it on my promo list and was surprised for a second. I was trying to remember when the last time I had heard from the guys was, and I realized it was 8 years ago. I remember they had an
AOR approach in their music mostly influenced by Journey & Survivor but are things the same nowadays?
It was about time… as 5 years were too many for a band like Threshold to be out of the game. In the meantime, the sad news for the loss of their singer Mac brought sadness and grief to the band itself and the fans around the world as well. Andrew “Mac” McDermott was a great singer and will always be remembered no matter how much time will pass. He was one of the guys responsible for one of the greatest prog metal album of the 00s… the astounding “Subsurface”.
Quiz of the day: what can a collaboration among a bunch of good musicians present? Say, we have Jason Hart (Renaissance etc.) on keyboards and lead vocals, John Galgano (IZZ) on bass, Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright and many others) on drums, Jack Petruzzelli (the Fab Faux, Patti Smith etc.) on guitar, plus guest appearances from Steve Hogarth (Marillion) on vocals, Paul Bremner (IZZ) on guitar, Laura Meade (IZZ, solo) on backing vocals, Max Moston (Slow Six) presumably on violin and Keren Ann (KAB, Shelby,solo)… The answer lies within five only songs, more than capable of making you feel thrilled to bits.