JESPER LETH – Know Thyself www.jesperleth.com
Jesper Leth has written and produced this album, previously having worked on an instrumental project called Drome. The album overall is a labour of love and he certainly knows his way around the guitar, cranking out some tasty riffs and solos throughout the album.
His vocals are not the strongest, although he does experiment with them as can be heard on ‘High On You’. The slightly pomp overture of ‘Legacy Overture’ is good fun and the piano led ‘The End’ has a hint of The Mission vocally and in the arrangements.
Taken as an instrumental piece the album works well and perhaps the addition of a vocalist would have made this album more of a ‘must have’.
MASQUERAGE – Backstabber www.masquerage.net
The band has been around since 1998 and this is their third release. Hailing from Finland is a plus to start with and vocalist/guitarist Kimmo Peramaki certainly possesses a decent set of pipes.
He fair bellows out the vocals on the title track or the hard rocker ‘Another Sleepless Night’, aided by some nifty keyboard riffs. Bizarre song title in ‘Rubber Band Accelerators’, a song about dangerous driving and not one for Sunday drivers to listen to!
Maybe lacking a big, powerful ballad to break the pace up a little as ‘Dance With Me’ goes someway there but doesn’t quite pull it off. Plenty of headbanging fare throughout the album, none more metal than ‘Talking To Me’ which has a riff Megadeth would be proud to have.
Good, solid keyboard led power meets trad metal. They are not quite in the top division of bands yet but this album is a good stepping stone. They need a little push promotion wise and the album is worthy of your time.
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