Frontiers [Release date 15.10.21]
Grandmaster is vocalist Nando Fernandez of Brazilian metal band, Sinistra, paired with incomparable metal guitarist Jens (Edguy) Ludwig. It’s a match made in Frontiers’ HQ.
The songs have been written by, and the album produced by the label’s inhouse man, Alessandro DelVecchio.
Ultimately, there is less here than meets the eye.
Much of Skywards is designer label hard rock/melodic metal from the lower divisions, with songs cut and tailored from a long out of date template.
Del boy’s clinical, precise approach fails to engage. The musicianship is impressive, the melodies are okay, and the arrangements are awash with finely formed orchestrations, but it’s often hard to find an emotional pulse.
Highpoints, ‘Lunar Water’, ‘Someday Somehow’ and ‘Skywards, Earhwards’ are robust, carefully crafted slices of melodic metal, buoyed by Ludwig’s sparkling, melodic axework, which compensates in part for Fernandez’s strangled vowels and over theatrical delivery.
But elsewhere and too often, tracks like ‘The Tempest’, ‘Dead Bond’ and ‘Turn The Page’ are formulaic and lacklustre. They lean heavily on Ludwig’s excitingly sophisticated guitarwork to carry them through.
And so the album becomes hogtied by its own format, introducing an attention eroding predictability as the music unfolds. **1/2
Review by Brian McGowan
The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 26 September. This marked the start of a new monthly series. Josh’s next session is Sunday 31 October.
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
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Featured Albums w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TAO Prophecy (Tarot Label Media)
12:00-13:00 LEVERAGE Above The Beyond (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JOE TILSTON Tightrope (Our Records)
Power Plays w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
ABOVE SNAKES Nothing To Lose (indie)
FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS Cookin’ (Greenway Records)
LEADFINGER The Fall Of Rome (Golden Robot)
FEMEGADES Stealing Numbers (Regent Street Records)
TIGERSIDE Any Contact (indie)
INDYA Love Like Champagne (indie)
EDGE OF DESTINY Forsaken (indie)
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