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Dire Peril: The Extraterrestrial Compendium
Dire Peril - The Extraterrestrial Compendium Music Review

Dire Peril: The Extraterrestrial Compendium

Heavy/Power Metal
4.5/5.0

Perhaps because he's been busy with his other band Helion Prime, guitarist Jason Ashcraft hasn't revisited his other project, Dire Peril, in some time. My last experience was 2014's EP Queen Of The Galaxy. But after hearing that album with caustic metal screamer Norman Skinner, I pretty much vowed not to consider another Dire Peril album again. Except, of course, if Ashcraft got a new singer.

Dire Peril Band Photo Click For Larger Image

Dire Peril

Well, Ashcraft and Dire Peril are back with The Extraterrestrial Compendium, a complete long-player. But before downloading and jumping in, I had to check and see who was behind the microphone. With this album, Ashcraft brings in vocalist John Yelland from Judicator. Hmm. Don't know him. As Steven Seagal said in Under Siege, "We'll see what we'll see." While having some screamo nuances, Yelland delivers a more classic metal vocal performance: strong and passionate, more often than not with his voice attuned to both guitar harmony and song melody. A fine change. Nevertheless, he gets somewhat buried in the musical mix of Dire Peril's power metal. Additionally, and as usual, Dire Peril's heavy metal involves sci-fi themes, which means you'll probably need the lyrics handy to understand the vocals. No such luck for me.

Expanding upon that theme, The Extraterrestrial Compendium includes songs based upon popular sci-fi films. Quoting from press materials these films include "Predator, Total Recall, Starship Troopers, and E.T.," among others I'm sure. The album also features guest performances by Brittney Slayes (Unleash The Archers) for the re-recorded version of Queen of the Galaxy and Arjen Anthony Luccassen (Ayreon), adding voice and guitar to Journey Beyond the Stars.

All these things are wrapped up in Dire Peril's heavy power metal which mostly features Ashcraft's abundant guitar riffs, harmony, and thrilling solos. Songs can be hard charging power metal like Yuatja Hunter, Planet Preservation, Total Recall, or Queen Of The Galaxy. Something of a lighter metal anthem comes with The Visitor. But many songs also reflect some versatility by blending tempos and mixing heavier parts with lighter segues. You'll find this with Blood In The Ice, Journey Beyond The Stars, or Always Right Here, another anthem. Essentially, in its conceptual and musical depth, Dire Peril's The Extraterrestrial Compendium is rather epic and entertaining guitar-forward power metal. But, then again, power metal and sci-fi go together like beer and pizza. Get it. You won't be disappointed.


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The Bottom Line

In its conceptual and musical depth, Dire Peril's The Extraterrestrial Compendium is rather epic and entertaining guitar-forward power metal. But, then again, power metal and sci-fi go together like beer and pizza. Get it. You won't be disappointed.

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