Three years later and a new label, Polish guitarist Boguslaw Balcerak returns with his second effort, Gates of Valhalla, now on Power Prog Records. The album and music can be summarized simply: neo-classical guitar driven heavy and power metal, complimented by a quintet of guest vocalists. If you need to know more, than read on.
You might ask, well isn't that the same as the last album Blood of the Prophets? Yep, you got it. And like last album, your opinion of it or decision to buy it, will stand or fall on whether you like neoclassical guitar heavy metal. In other words, if you like Malmsteem, Roth, Pell and others, you will likely be inclined to this album. However, some might turn aside because of the use of multiple vocalists, finding that technique more disruptive to the albums internal consistency. I sympathize. Goran Edman and Marc Boals can sway easily between metal and hard rock; At Vance's Rick Altzi is just too metal screamo for me, totally ragin over the fucking top; and, sometimes, you don't know what you're going to get from Carsten Schulz.
As for the songs in general, the keyboard layer gets the bump with several songs have an added slight symphonic texture like Mirrored Eyes, Deadnight Serenade, and Gates of Valhalla. Then, in House of Pain, which flows by a nice rock groove, that symphonic layer gets a greater push complimented by some added piano. It's almost as if Balcerak's guitar solo was an afterthought to the song composition; it could be the best song here. My second pick would probably be Lost Again, a metal anthem of sorts with lots of solos, lighter in contrast to most everything else here, and with vocalist Goran Edman the pitch perfect singer for the timbre of the song. Yet, in the end, Gates of Valhalla, even with advanced keyboard nuances is still more of the same, neo-classical guitar driven heavy and power metal, and some readers may very well like that.
Gates of Valhalla, even with advanced keyboard nuances is still more of the same, neo-classical guitar driven heavy and power metal, and some readers may very well like that.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]