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Week 47

Issue 37 - Updated 15th November 2004

Release of the week

Fates Warning

·Other albums this week

Billy & Patti / Camp Susannah / The Chasm / Ella Blame / Kawaii / Maurizio Lauroja / Theocracy

Singles/EP’s this week

(Die) Pilot / Circa / Kryah / See My Sound


·         All releases are out now unless otherwise noted

·         All reviews written by Hans Jįkup Eišisgarš


Release of the week:


Fates Warning; X

Metal Blade Records

(Provided by Target Distribution)

One of the true inventors of progressive metal is back with another album. Not just any album, but their tenth album. And we’re not just talking just any band either. We’re talking legendary progressive metal band Fates Warning who’ve not just been there from the very beginning, but they’ve also been topping the game all the way through. On their tenth album, smartly titled “X”, they’ve come up with a progressive metal album that no fan of progressive metal can resist. It must have been inspiring touring with the likes of Queensryche and Dream Theater lately. (JJJJJ-)


Other albums this week:


Billy & Patti; Love And Other 4 Letter Words


Last week I reviewed Patti’s debut solo-album, which was pretty much straightforward classic rock from start to finish, but now it’s time for something entirely different. Patti has found a new musical partner in Billy and now she’s exploring different sides of herself. Personally I liked the tough, hard rock-edged Patti better than the soft and relaxing acoustic guitar-based Patti. I must give it to her, though – she’s got a great voice. Well-done, but as I said I like her solo-album better, which probably has more to do with taste than actual musical quality I guess. (JJJ---)


Camp Susannah; Happy Today


Beside the music there were two things that in particular impressed me when reading the press-release. The first one she can’t do much about, but Camp Susannah, aka Susannah Blinkoff, is the daughter of 70’s singer Carol Hall who released two albums on Electra Records that some of you might have heard about. The other thing is the fact that she uses musicians who have played with as renowned acts as Liz Phair, Tracy Chapman, Rufus Wainwright, Eels and Macy Gray on this, her debut solo-album. This is a laid-back pop-album for those of you who just like to sit around chilling in your living-room during the long, cold winters. (JJJJ--)


The Chasm; The Spell of Retribution

Wicked World

(Provided by Target Distribution)

I remember reviewing this band in 2001 when their previous album “Reaching Through The Veil Of Death” came out, which I think was their debut-album. Can’t remember what exactly it was that I heard back there, though, as I’ve reviewed a lot of albums since. But I guess some things have changed since then. At least they’ve signed to a bigger label – at least within metal circles – namely Wicked World which is a division of Earache Records. Musically this is death metal hard and heavy. Technical, fast and brutal. What I liked the most, however, was the intro to the first track, which says as much as this is not my favorite death metal album ever. (JJJ---)


Ella Blame; Ineffable Desire


There’s a lot of great self-released music out there. It has almost gotten to the point that there’s more good self-released music out there than the other way around – or at least it would be if labels didn’t start signing unique music recently. Ella Blame is, like fellow female artist Alu who we reviewed last week, an artist that will have a hard time selling millions of CDs and becoming a pop-star, but why should she. Together with keyboarder Michael D. Temple she has created a great dance/electronica/chill-out (or whatever to call it) album for the thinkers on the dance-floor. Her voice is ethereal and haunting in a Portishead kind of way. (JJJJ--)


Kawaii; If it Shines, We Have It


Kawaii from Norway is a band to keep an eye on if you’re into synth-pop. Mostly they’re soft and sweet, melding quiet female and male vocals alongside electro-beats, catchy synths, organs and jazzy guitars that will appeal to the typical synth-pop fans but quite possibly also the those into nerdy indie-pop as well... and pop fans in general. This’ll either make you dance or make you sad. Depends on who you are, really. (JJJJ--) 


Maurizio Lauroja; Heaven Or Hell


I didn’t know what to expect from this one, but I can tell you one thing and that is that I was surprised. Maurizio Lauroja from Italy is a talented guitarist and composer that’s for sure. Fans of intelligently played and written blues-rock will definitely have a blast listening to this... Personally, I find this a little on the repetitive side, but musically it’s top-notch all the way through. (JJJ---) 


Theocracy; Theocracy

Metalages Records

I used to hear some buzz about a Christian metal band back in the day named Theocracy A.D. and when I got this CD, I was convinced that this was it because of the obvious Christian lyrics, but then I found out that this was a one-man project from the States, which is really convincing really, because this sounds like a full band, although the same guy has played all instruments here. We’re talking progressive power metal that is not far behind of what the European scene has on offer these days. (JJJJ--)


Singles/EP’s this week:


(Die) Pilot; Demos


As the title implies this is a collection of demos. There are three of them, actually – clocking in under 15 minuttes. (Die) Pilot is a duo that has a soft spot for indie-rock along the lines of the likes of Coldplay, but they also stay true to their singer/songwriter-folk background. And if I forgot to mention that they’re very good at it, it’s hereby done. Now, send in a few more demos, will ya? (JJJJ--)


Circa; Hate Box EP


(Provided by Caravan Music Promotions)

Having been formed in 1998, this strangely named UK four-piece outfit is finally ready to convince the world of rock n’ roll of their existence and they do it by releasing a six-track EP full of alternative rock with an affection for poppy hooks. The title-track, “Hate Box” is a definite highlight, while the down-tuned “You” is perhaps the most interesting track on the EP. (JJJJ--)


Kryah; Goin’ Blind


Here’s a three-track demo-single from this British band that apparently has just played together for a few months. And judging on that these lads aged 23-27 are quite good at what they do. Of course this is not perfect, but who would have expected it to be after forming this past summer? These guys play 80’s inspired hard-rock and AOR and do it with a typical British sound. It would definitely be interesting to hear how these guys sound in a year or so. (JJJ---)


See My Sound; Hidden Depths

Distraction Records

Here’s a three-track 7” that has only been printed in 500 hundred copies and although mine is a CDR-copy, I feel lucky to be chosen to get to review a limited release as this. But if I am not totally mistaken you also have a chance at listening to this even though you don’t have a record-player. One word: MP3 (contact for info)... It’s a great single, this. The A-side, “Hidden Depths”, starts out with whirling and atmospheric guitar-sounds that keep building and building before turning into a highly unlikely post-rock vs. indie-pop song. The B-sides don’t have quite as addictive intros, but they’re quite good in their own way too. (JJJJ--)  

Hans Jakup Eidisgard, PO BOX 38, FO-470 Eidi, Faroe Islands, Via Denmark