Posts Tagged “Playfulness”

“Shut Up!”, the new video from Swedish hard rockers THE POODLES, can be seen below. The song comes off the band’s fifth album, “Tour De Force”, which was released on May 17 in Europe and May 22 in North America via Frontiers Records.

“Tour De Force” is the eagerly awaited follow-up to THE POODLES‘ Swedish No. 1 album from 2011, “Performocracy”. Behind the wheel, taking on the duties of producer for a fourth time, was Mats Valentin and once again, the band wishes to underline with the album title their superb entertaining abilities both as a hard-rocking studio unit and as live act.

“When writing and creating music, we try to do something that we would love to listen to ourselves. It’s always been important for us to do music close to our hearts,” said bass player Pontus Egberg. “I do feel, however, that there’s a newly found playfulness about a lot of the tracks. I’m not quite sure what it is myself, but it’s great!”

With songs like “Shut Up”, “Happily Ever After”, “Kings And Fools” and “Going Down”, THE POODLES stay true to their legacy of powerful, melodic metal while at the same time stretching into a new, more playful arena, flirting with influences from the past but always with a watchful eye on the present and in to the future.

“Tour De Force” track listing:

01. Misery Loves Company
02. Shut Up!
03. Happily Ever After
04. Viva Democracy
05. Going Down
06. Leaving The Past To Pass
07. 40 Days And 40 Nights
08. Kings & Fools
09. Miracle
10. Godspeed
11. Now Is The Time
12. Only Just Begun
13. En För Alla För En (bonus track – physical edition only)

THE POODLES is:

Jakob Samuel – Vocals
Pontus Egberg – Bass
Christian Lundqvist – Drums
Henrik Bergqvist – Guitar

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acidrain_thedescendingline

Argentina’s Acid Rain has been an active prog outfit since 2002, but have only just begun releasing albums in the last couple of years beginning with 2008’s Infinity Beyond and last year’s The Descending Line which I recently had the opportunity to check out.

Acid Rain plays out just as they should, an independent level progressive metal band with limited production capacity, but performing to the best of their abilities with what they have. Acid Rain in fact really have some nice chops which are thoroughly demonstrated on every track on The Descending Line with a slew of different sounds from 80’s synth, to early 90’s inspired Dream Theater-esque riffs, the playfulness of Joe Satriani and Trans Siberian Orchestra inspired instrumental portions that just kind of go off on a tangent, but in an imaginative way. The only thing really holding back Acid Rain are the vocals of Sebastian Fernandez for two reasons; one, he just isn’t that great of a vocalist. Yes, he can maintain a tune, but when you are singing over the caliber of instrumentation that is obviously so present on on album such as The Descending Line, you really need to out do yourself, as the singing is an equally important instrument. Second, Sebastian’s thick accent makes it difficult to really feel the impact of the words he sings in English. Normally I could give two shits what a musician’s native tongue is, but every once and awhile you encounter a singer who is better suited at singing in their native language because they just sound much more natural and fluent. A strong stand out track that really illustrates the talent of Acid Rain can be found on “Beyond Reality” which is obvious Dream Theater worship, but still an awesome song nonetheless.

Really, making a conclusion about The Descending Line is quite simple, it finds it’s stride when the band can play on and on without the hindrance of vocals that don’t quite measure up. I don’t want to recommend a vocal change since they could very well be aiming for this output stylistically, I just don’t think it works at all. Fans of Dream Theater and Circus Maximus should definitely check this out.

GOOD

Similar Artists: Joe Satriani, Circus Maximus, Dream Theater, Trans Siberian Orchestra

Ch. I: Overcast by Life
1. Doors of the Mind (Instrumental)
2. Chasing Dreams
3. Rough Spirit

Ch. II: The Unsent Letters
4. Beyond Reality (Instrumental)
5. Time to Plant Destruction
6. Never-ending Nightmare

Ch. III: Solitud Flame
7. Hold My Tears (Instrumental)
8. The Light Inside You

Ch. IV: Epilogue
9. Memory Waves (Instrumental)
10. The Descending Line

Sebastian Fernandez – Lead and Background Vocals
Fernando Culen – Acoustic, Electric and Spanish Guitars
Andres Blanco – Piano, Keyboard and Background Vocals
Ezequiel Gimenez – Bass and Background Vocals
Martin Magliano – Drums and Percussion

Self Released

www.myspace.com/acidrainprog

Review by CODY

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