Reviews roundup – Horizons Edge vs. Dean Cascione vs. The Winter Tree vs. 5 Way Addiction

61u3gzfgedl-_ss280HORIZONS EDGE
Heavenly Realms
Finnvox

And we’re starting the day in the mythical continent of Australasia, where women glow and men plunder.  It’s the second album from Melbourne’s Horizons Edge and it is, huzzah, a rather enjoyable power metal album.

I do like a bit of power metal, and if you’re going to have a bash, then you’re as well going back to the eighties for some Helloween chops.  Of course, they have got some Stratovasius and even some early Malmsteen in there.  But it’s all to the good, as they’ve got some good songs to go along with it.

They one thing they do differently, is have a female vocalist.  It’s true.  There aren’t many on this area of metal, but Kat Sproule does a grand job.  There’s plenty of good music to choose from with ‘Out of the Ashes’ and ‘Ride The Stars’ the early favourites.  The only clunker is the Queens of the Stone Age cover.  A crap song from a crap film.  But that aside, this is a good one.

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61qtrz2b9uul-_ss280DEAN CASCIONE
Shred Crusade
independent

It’s widdle time!  Oh, yes.  It’s been a long, long time since shred guitar was a thing, but to the hardcore devotees, it’s still the weapon of choice.  And here’s the latest album from Dean Cascione, which sees him setting his guitar to stun, alongside a few special guests, including David Shankle, Joe Stump, and Dave Mercado.

And there is no doubting that when it comes to neo-classical, Malmsteen like excesses, that Mr Cascione is up there with the best of them.  It’s the kind of rip, tap, widdle, shred and whanging that will have guitarists getting ever so slightly moist.

There are some noises that do get you wondering, especially on album highlight, ‘Spider Gates’, but the whole album is rich with enough notes to keep fans of the genre happy for a very long time.

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31dpuf0ioflTHE WINTER TREE
Earth Below
independent

Time for the American colonies to make a pitch, and it’s Andrew Laitres and Mark Bond with the fourth album of melodic, almost prog rock from The Winter Tree.

It’s the kind of thing that post-Fish Marillion fans will take to almost immediately, as it’s rich with melody and moments of quiet beauty.  Of course, I’m old, so I got more than a few Moody Blues vibes in there, but you’ve to got to make cultural references that kids of 45 will get.

It’s chock full of good music, with fabulous arrangements and harmonies, which make songs like ‘Writing on the Wall’ and ‘The Light’ a genuine pleasure to listen to.  It’s the sort of thing that the seventies were designed for, before prog became lumpen and extended.  It’s a record that should cross over to prog fans and melodic rock fans looking for something new to become smitten with.

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61zi3phj2bzl-_ss2805 WAY ADDICTION
Play Loud
independent

I’ve seen a picture of 5 Way Addiction, so would just like to say that this is the best record ever.  I remember saying the same about the first Rose Tattoo album back in the day.  Also before I’d heard a note.

Intercontinental travel is too easy these days, so I’m not going to diss a bunch of hard rockers from Australia, even if their country doesn’t actually exist.  Fortunately, there is actually a lot to enjoy here.  You won’t be surprised to learn that they’re looking back to the aforementioned Tatts, as well as the obligatory AC/DC.  But they also like a bit of sleaze in the mix, which is where Guns ‘n’ Roses and Buckcherry come in.

It reminds me of my youth, which isn’t always a good thing, but as they rampage through a set of hard rocking anthems like ‘Mutha Rockers’ and ‘Soul Rippa’ (spelling bands own).  It’s a fun album, very 1987, and all the best for it.  It even manages to sound big, with a cracking production.  A good time for all, if your idea of a good time is a bottle of dog and a fist in the face.

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