Posts Tagged ‘euro power metal’
Here’s another rarity out of the collection. I picked this up about 2 years ago from Sentinel Steel. Limited to only 500 copies on CD, I had to pick it up after hearing a few tracks from YouTube. This is great early Italian power metal and highly recommended if you liked the NWOBHM stuff. The first 4 tracks feature one singer and the last tracks feature the replacement singer. I definitely prefer the first guy. They remind me a bit of Tokyo Blade (Night of the Blade era). I highly recommend this download.
|1.||Angel Of Might||03:48|
|3.||Flight To The Sky||05:38|
|4.||Like A Hurricane||04:25|
|5.||Welcome To The Slaughter||03:21|
|6.||Back From War||05:46|
|7.||Murder In Time||05:54|
|Total playing time||37:56|
Like most people, I was introduced to Kiske’s voice via Helloween’s Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1. He instantly became one of my favorite singers along with Bruce Dickinson, Dio, Jeff Scott Soto and John Arch. He had a very unique voice but was constantly compared to Dickinson. I never got that, but whatever. To this day I still follow Michael’s albums and have only been disappointed a few times along the way. Unfortunately I have never seen them live except for the Hell On Wheels Halloween Show they did on MTV, which was awesome. RIP Ingo!
I just spun Keeper 1 and 2 (NOISE Records 2 CD set) a week or so ago. Keeper 1 holds up well, good songs, great vocals. Keeper 2? Not so much. That album was pretty goofy when it came out and it’s even more so now. Other than Eagle Fly Free, Save Us and I Want Out, the album is pretty awful. When Pink Bubbles Go Ape came out, I was none to thrilled about the title or the album cover. WTF? The album is almost a joke save a few songs like Kids of the Century and Number One. I haven’t spun it in years and not sure when I’ll actually pull it off the shelf again. All that being said, Kiske still had the pipes and could pretty much reach any note he needed to. By the time Chameleon came out, I was really apprehensive about it, and with good reason based on the previous 2 albums. Chameleon is mellow, quiet and was really showing a different side of Helloween…a non-German power metal side. These guys essentially invented that style and ultimately completely abandoned it. While Kiske’s vocals were consistent on this one and while it is a better album than Pink Bubbles, it’s not great…but I still reach for it from time to time. It was a good indicator of what was to come for Kiske.
Kiske left after Chameleon to pursue a solo career. It’s not very often that new like this makes me happy, but this was one of those cases.
I was very excited when Instant Clarity came out in 1996. It featured Adrian Smith and Kai Hansen as guest musicians. The album is fantastic and Adiran’s and Kai’s contributions are certainly noteworthy.
A few years later came Readiness To Sacrifice. While I like this album, it’s certainly even more mellow than the last. You can see that Kiske really wanted to get away from hard rock. And that’s quite alright.
Unfortunately his next project was Supared. I tried and tried to like this post-alternative album, but it just didn’t connect with me at all.
Michael release 2 other solo albums under the moniker “Kiske”: Kiske and Past In Different Ways which was basically his acoustic interpretations of some Helloween classics. It’s not bad at all but the Kiske CD is a bit better.
Then there’s Place Vendome. I simply love the 2 CDs he did with them. Place Vendome and Streets of Fire are basically radio friendly slightly hard rock with, of course, great solos and really nice guitar solos. I highly recommend both of these albums if you like some of the mid-to-latter era Journey works. This is certainly comparable. AOR they call it? Whatever, it’s good stuff.
In summation, I love Kiske’s voice, I always have. I didn’t care much for the offshoot stuff he did with Avantasia etc, I prefer it when he’s the lead singer of a band. I’d love to see him whip out one more metal album but it’ll never happen. I think Place Vendome will be as close as he gets to that stuff ever again.
1998. I was really buying a lot of music at the time betweenwhat I was selling through my online music store and what I was buying for myself. A lot of the stuff I was buying for myself was from Denis Gulbey at Sentinel Steel Records. Back in the old days when you could call in and jibber jabber, Denis recommended Overlife to me. So…thanks Denis!
Overlife hails from Alicante, Spain. I built their first website (long since gone) and used to correspond with Fabricio quite a bit. What really drew me to them was Leandro’s voice. Very unique and a lot of emotion. The music itself was a little sloppy in places and even the vocals seem a bit out of key sometimes, but this album is really good overall. It’s sung completely in English but I included 2 bonus tracks in Spanish. They are good European power/prog metal with a hint of wanting to sound like Dream Theater. Their later albums sounded more like DT type prog which was a turnoff for me. So, this album it is. I still listen to it a few times a year. It’s a bright memory of a darker time in my life where the death of my father and my divorce seemed to dominate my every day life.
So if you’re into the aforementioned style of power metal, I recommend this highly.
So at the time that this album came out in 1997 I had already started my little online record store called Acacia Music that mostly sold stuff on eBay and on my old website. I was buying most of my stuff from metal Blade and Century Media directly as they were able to get good priced metal imports to me at wholesale prices. I got to know these guys pretty well and went to LA in Sept/97 to visit with both companies. It was a wonderful experience and I got turned on to a lot of newer bands via that business.
Stratovarius was one of those bands.
While all of their albums are pretty consistent, Visions is the one for me. I really don’t need anything else by them except maybe the corresponding live album which is also pretty awesome.
There’s nothing that I can really sad negative about Visions. It’s powerful. It’s emotional. It’s heavy. It’s tasteful. I would rank this the best euro-power metal album of the 90s easily with Helloween being the best of the 80s.