I'll admit it. I don't normally bother with Russian bands. Call me a bigot if you must. Communism. The Cold War. Caviar. Lenin. Putin. Invading sovereign states only to grab territory. Atheism. Socialism. Shitty Vodka. What's to like? Okay. There is some good vodka.
You might like Overwind, a Russian progressive power metal band. Mostly, the band falls in line with most European heavy/power metal bands. In this sense, Overwind is reinventing the wheel or bringing something new or novel. They have a bit of a modern metal edge to their sound thanks to vocalist Alexander Chumakov who has both an agressive and versatile style, singing clean, mostly gruffly, and sometimes adding death growls (which suck anytime). He's interesting for his versatility, but eventually I tired of his approach as it seemed too inconsistent, not bringing coherency to a song. A good example is Aqualand, where his vocals are all over the place. Or Affliction which has a good dose of death growls. He's not so band within Never Say Goodbye, but mostly because it's a catchy tune. Otherwise, I found him annoying overall.
Of better interest is the guitar work. Guitarist Anton Emelyanov has some real skill on the fret board, offering an abundance of creative and pleasing solos, above his command of harmonious riffage. There's also the bonus of guest guitar wizards Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie, Alex Argento) and Victor Smolski (Almanac, Rage, Mind Odyssey) on two songs. For brevity and to wrap this up, because I can't think of anything else to say. I liked Overwind and Level Complete mostly for the arrangements, the music, and then the guitar solos, but not so much for the vocals. You may feel different. Honestly, the album won't get another spin from me.
I liked Overwind and Level Complete mostly for the arrangements, the music, and then the guitar solos, but not so much for the vocals. You may feel different. Honestly, the album won't get another spin from me.
Bay Area band Space Vacation takes me back to the "golden era" of traditional heavy metal, where it all began. It was the glory days of tape trading, mimeograph fan-zines, and cut off denim jackets ... [ Read More ]