Angband hails from Iran. Yes, you read that correctly: Angband comes from the home of modern Islamic totalitarianism, where they hold bogus democratic elections, suppress dissent and disagreement, kill homosexuals, and arrest American hikers who accidentally cross their border. But we won't hold any of that against Angband. Heavy metal has a grander more tolerant character. Visions of the Seeker is their sophomore release available on Pure Steel Records.
A few minutes listen tells you that Angband's music is classic heavy metal, about 30 years removed from yesterday, with substantial doses of American power metal and very early NWOBHM. I might even suggest that Visions of the Seeker is so old school, a modern metal fan will struggle with it. Nevertheless, Angband pulls it off, even it this work is more than a little inconsistent. Beginning with a fine instrumental intro, Visions of the Seeker immediately digresses into some average, nearly forgettable, metal with Blind Anger and Battle For. Things don't really inspire until The Seeker, and with each song the metal becomes more interesting. Easy to Believe, Forsaken Dreams, and Truth of Lies, in the heart of the album, are sterling metal pieces showing genuine creativity in composition and a more technical side of the musicians. The work finishes with a solemn piece featuring acoustic guitar and vocals.
As to the latter, I struggled with Ashkan Yazdani's vocal style throughout. Like the whole of Visions of the Seeker, his performance sounds uneven and weak. Additionally, if you go by the by (excluding the intro) the first two tunes, the production seems terribly lo-fi. (But this may simply be because the album war recorded in a Tehran studio.)
In the end, however, on Visions of the Seeker, Angband proves it has the gifts and talents to deliver true classic heavy metal. Undoubtedly, in the future, they would benefit from some time in a Western studio with an accomplished producer helping them along. Until then enjoy this excursion into traditional metal from an unlikely place.
On Visions of the Seeker, Iran's Angband proves it has the gifts and talents to deliver true classic heavy metal, even if the work is a little uneven in composition and production.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]