As a concept idea of an imaginary compilation album it works well, especially with the authenticity provided by using period instruments and equipment. However, for me, the radio station format is just annoying, and I’m glad that with digital downloads I can just skip those tracks.
The prize for the best title has to go to ‘Monkeys with Money & Guns’, a tongue in cheek rascal of a tune and hip in its funky blues-ness. And if you want a slice of ‘Hey Big Spender’, high kicking jollity, look no further than ‘Deep Water’ brought together with a superb chorus and hard-hitting brass section.
While the lyrics are a major highlight of the album (both in terms of the overarching concept, as well as some amazing isolated lines on each track) the overall sound is also very impressive. A lot is going on musically, with the use of symphonic arrangements and Adrienne Cowan’s beautiful, yet fierce voice, being the two constant presences throughout.
I’m sure there are crusty true cult metalheads out there that would refuse to give The Night Flight Orchestra their just desserts. They can stick with their piss poor produced, obscure music. I’d much rather have my spirits lifted by a band whose music is all about making their fans smile and have a good time while appreciating a style of music most Metal fans secretly love anyway. Wear it loud and proud dammit! I love, love, love this band and Aeromantic.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Hate Heavy Rock Radio II: Executing the Classics if you must, but not just from a fanboy stance, I thought this was a very entertaining album. Jorn and his band delivered a great product. Of course, I would love to hear some new material from him, and again, I suspect that is coming sooner rather than later. I think cover/tribute albums are a way for an artist to release new music and gives them a chance to pay tribute to songs that influenced them as well as not having to put too much effort into writing a new album. Again, this may be a legit complaint to have, but cut the man some slack. Just be thankful he’s still out there making music and still sounds amazing.
Every band in the world is on a quest to write that one song that is such an impact it becomes not just an anthem, but a part of the collective of the Universe. In the history of musical time few bands have been able to achieve that status, where as soon as you hear that song, it immediately projects to a different level of consciousness; songs that as soon as you hear that opening lick or even just the title you know, beyond everything else in your soul that this song is the very definition of legendary, a song that propelled that band to the next level of fame.
As a lifelong fan of Savatage, I feel compelled to check out as many of the bands and projects that crop up from the members of the band, and there are a few: from Jon Oliva’s Pain and Doctor Butcher to Chris Caffery’s fantastic solo albums to Zak Stevens and Circle II Circle to even TSO, there is a wealth of additional music that warrants your time. Zak is back with a new project called Archon Angel that out of the bulk of stuff that has been released since the “hibernation” of Savatage, we’ll call it, is closest to what he did with Savatage.
Sometimes a band will retool their sound along the way. I’m not talking changing to the point where they change their sound to fit a current trend, becoming completely unrecognizable, but simply approaching their sound from a different angle. Most of the time it can be a failed experiment, but occasionally, a band will get it right. One of the more current examples of “getting it right” is a band I have followed for several years now, Charlotte, NC’s The Fill Ins.
In a recent review, I commented on the importance of naming an album, and how some bands tend to be more creative with their album titles, while others tend to play it fairly safe. I’ve seen plenty of interesting album titles in recent years, as well as plenty of forgettable ones, but one that instantly raised my eyebrows upon seeing it is Apocalypse & Chill. Yep, that is indeed the title of Dutch symphonic metal band Delain’s sixth full-length release, and it sure is a strange one. Oddly enough, though, upon listening to the album, the name actually starts to make more sense, as it both gives an idea of what to expect from the lyrical concepts, as well as accurately describing the music pretty well.