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Artizan: Demon Rider
Artizan - Demon Rider Music Review

Artizan: Demon Rider

Melodic/Heavy/Power Metal
4.0/5.0

Time is moving much too quickly. Three years ago Florida's Artizan dropped their epic sci-fi concept album, The Furthest Reaches. Where does the time go? Now Artizan returns with their fourth full-length album, Demon Rider. But that needs some explanation.

Artizan Band Photo Click For Larger Image

Artizan

If you get the basic CD edition, you get only five songs, just over 33 minutes. It almost sounds like an EP. Huh? Alternatively, you can get the Limited Edition two CD extended version. The latter has completely different artwork, and for the first CD, a second version of the title cut featuring Jag Panzer's Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin, and two live recordings, Hopeful Eyes and I Am The Storm. The second CD features instrumental bass and drum versions of the original five songs. For my digital promo, I received neither, but rather a digital hybrid including the songs from the basic edition, the Conklin rendition, and the two live songs. If you're scratching your head, I totally get it.

Otherwise, and speaking basically to the new (studio) songs, Demon Rider is pure Artizan: epic melodic power metal, perhaps a tad heavier than in the past. For instance, The Hangman is blistering both in riffage and pacing, a rather forceful tune. The same might be said for The Endless Odyssey, which is led, at the start, by a Ty Tammeus drum flurry, backed by Joey Vera's (Fates Warning, Armored Saint) bass groove. (Vera plays bass on all the new songs.) But the stand out piece is likely When The Darkness Falls, a longer epic number powered once more by the bass and drums and enlivened by some prolific guitar solos. It's also a fine tune to recognize Tom Braden as an exceptional melodic heavy metal vocalist, especially with his vocals tuned to an acoustic guitar breakdown after the midpoint.

Essentially, musically and heavy metal speaking, Demon Rider is everything you expect from Artizan, and so definitely worth your attention. However, I think somebody dropped the ball with the package presentation. The basic edition should have had, like my promo and at the very least, the five new songs, the Conklin version of the title cut, and the live tracks; the limited addition adding the instrumental tracks. As for the different artwork, I'm not sure what to think. I'm guessing the marketing plan was to get the loyal fan to buy both. Your decision.



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The Bottom Line

Essentially, musically and heavy metal speaking, Demon Rider is everything you expect from Artizan, and so definitely worth your attention.

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