A New Beginning

A New Beginning

BY Pascual, German

(Customer Reviews)
$14.00
$ 8.40
SKU: NMR567
Label:
Nightmare Records
Category:
Melodic Metal
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"Vocalist GERMÁN PASCUAL (Divinefire / Narnia / Mind's Eye) is set to release his debut solo album "A New Beginning" to North American and Europe via Nightmare / Sony / RED.

Blessed to have these special guest musicians joining on the album are Carl-Johan "CJ" Grimmark (Narnia / Fires Of Babylon / Rob Rock/ FullForce) and bassists Per Schelander (Pain of Salvation / Royal Hunt) and Raphael Dafras (Almah / Seven Horizons).

 

GERMÁN PASCUAL is a man with a very special voice, he's achieved much notoriety around the world, lauded greatly and likened with the greatest melodic metal voices of our day, like Ronnie James Dio, Jorn Lande, David Coverdale to mention but a few in international reviews. Germán was the last voice of NARNIA, a well known Swedish melodic heavy metal band, similar to Stryper and Rob Rock, The new music is hard heavy and melodic power metal without compromise. Germán was named as "the best metal voice 2009" by ”The Gates of Metal”.

Germán Pascual, born 1974 in Uruguay, raised in Brazil, and moved to Sweden with his family at an early age. At five years old, Germán sang to the radio with everything… popular music to opera even classical music. In 1994 Germán began an education in voice and music. Longing for Sweden again, he returned to look for work and a way back into music, doing a short stint with a Rap artist D.J. Mendez, but his friends helped him realize… he was meant for metal.
Starting music as a drummer in a thrash band at 15, he was invited to try out for a much better band rehearsing next door as a vocalist when they overheard him screaming next door. It was to be his destiny, the band next door was MINDS EYE. In 2008 NARNIA needed a singer, and through a good friend Germán  made contact with Narnia guitarist C.J Grimmark. The rest is history… “Course of a Generation”  by Narnia was launched in late 2009.  Feeling blessed to have found this great situation in Narnia, Germán was stunned when the band decided to end all activity. In addition to music, Germán works with the less fortunate, the homeless, and in drug addiction.

Recorded in Germán’s studio "Camel wash studios", Engineered and produced by Germán Pascual & Raphael Dafras,. Mixed and mastered by Thomas Plec Johansson in "The Panic Room" (Sweden)."

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Wonderful vocals, very tight interplay among all band members with no one member or instrument really standing above any other--though the presence and performance of the saxophone is highly notable. This is complex music played so tightly. And the astonishing 14- minute epic, "God Left Us for A Black Dressed Woman," must be heard to be believed.1. "Oh My Gravity" (9:49) starts as a jazzy stop-and-start piece that picks up in intensity in the second minute before shifting to a melodic ballad in the vein of the heavier side of FROGG CAFÉ. The male vocalist sounds to me like something between RADIOHEAD's THOM YORKE and TODD RUNDGREN. Around the six minute mark the spiraling, swooning music sounds a lot like some of the louder stuff from MOTORPSYCHO's The Death Defying Unicorn. This feel continues into the seventh minute when organ and horns take turns embellishing the staccato music. The bare-bones, bluesy final 45 seconds is bizarre but so cool! A powerful and surprising opener to this unusual album. Very high marks for compositional prowess and instrumental performance. (9/10)2. "Wind Shears" (6:32) opens in a very psychedelia/spacey 1960s way. Then at the one minute mark it settles into a jazz groove with first sax and then jazzy guitar and Hammond organ filling the lanes over the rhythm section. Clavinet is added for a GentleGiant-like bridge before a polyrhythmic KING CRIMSON "Discipline"-like weave appears to support a brief ghost-like vocal. At 3:20 the sound gets much heavier over the same arpeggiated weave, nearly drowning out the still-soloing sax and organ. This is just like TOBY DRIVER (Kayo Dot/Maudlin of the Well)! At 4:05 things get quiet and sparse again, with the music vacillating from soft and delicate to heavy and abrasive. A very melodic kind of psychedelic big band section plays out for the final minute. Again, bizarre but so cool! (9/10)3. "Eschaton Hero" (8:29) opens with some guitar, keys & sax riffs repeated over latin percussion. At 1:00 everything settles down into another quiet section with a delicate vocal in Stian Økland's upper register. Beautiful chorus/bridge at 1:47 gives way to an unpretentious bass solo before settling back into the delicate vocal music. Same awesome bridge at 2:49 leads into a heavy section into jazzy chaos--all performed over the most simple, calm drum play. At 4:52 it gets even heavier as it plods along for a minute in support of a fuzz guitar solo. Finally the drums start to play--to match the frenzy of the rest of the band--then everything stops so the band can yell "Yay!" Then a variation on the previous frenzy picks back up until 7:05 when everything settles back down into the soft groove of the initial vocal section for a dirty sax solo before letting Stian finish the song out in his high voice. Well conceived and performed, just not my favorite. (7/10)4. 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SEVEN IMPALE's City of the Sun is a wonderful collection of masterfully composed, executed and recorded songs.A 4.5 star album that I can't see giving anything less than five in that it is a treasure for the ages!" - Prog Archives
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  • "An often misunderstood and underrated album, 1986's Seventh Star was never intended to be a Black Sabbath release, as the band had effectively broken up following its disastrous 1984 tour in support of career low point Born Again. Instead, Seventh Star was conceived as guitarist Tony Iommi's first solo project, and it was only record company pressure that forced him to resurrect his longtime band's moniker at the last minute. With this in mind, one can better appreciate both the record's more blues-based, often un-Sabbath-like songwriting and the contributions made by journeyman singer Glenn Hughes (ex-Trapeze, Deep Purple, etc.), whose incredibly emotive and soulful vocal style was completely at odds with the deadpan delivery of Sabbath's most recognizable singer, Ozzy Osbourne (a discrepancy that would spell his quick exit when the necessary classics were wheeled out for the ensuing world tour). Still, within the unique circumstances of Seventh Star's creation, Hughes' fiery tunefulness made aggressive hard rockers like "In for the Kill," "Turn to Stone," and "Danger Zone" uncommonly catchy, and gorgeous ballads such as "Angry Heart/In Memory..." and "No Stranger to Love" all the more heart-rending. Tellingly, his efforts fell resoundingly flat on the bluesy aimlessness of "Heart Like a Wheel" and the gothic menace of the title track, making it possible for keener observers to foresee the troubles ahead. Yet, in light of the even more traumatic difficulties that preceded it, Seventh Star -- for all its uncharacteristic sonic qualities -- actually represents the turning of a corner for Black Sabbath's lengthy career, which steadily regained momentum in the years that followed." - Allmusic Guide
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  • Its been some time since Michael Harris' Thought Chamber project made its debut.  The band consists of Michael Harris (guitars), Ted Leonard (vocals), Bill Jenkins (keys), Jeff Plant (bass), and Mike Haid (drums).  Ted Leonard and Bill Jenkins will be familiar to you from their membership in Enchant (Ted is also fronting Spock's Beard now).Psykerion is a sci-fi cybermetal concept album.  Harris plays with a lot of restraint compared to some of his solo albums.  In fact I would classify it as tasteful.  Leonard is one of the best vocalists in prog and he doesn't disappoint.  Lots of solos flying around on guitar and keys but it maintains a melodic integrity through out.  Hopefully we don't have to wait another 7 years for the follow up.  Highly recommended.This is the limited edition import version that comes with 2 bonus tracks.
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  • I thought Felix Martin's debut was insane but he's taken it to the next level with this one...If you are unfamiliar with Felix Martin that will probalby change soon.  He plays a custom made 14(!!) string guitar.  His musical background has strong roots in jazz but its clear he's able to feel comfortable with different styles.  His approach to this unusual guitar includes tapping as well as legato runs.  If you have seen any videos of him playing live its really something to see.  The Scenic Album is a trio affair - Martin is supported by Nathan Navarro on bass and Chapman Stick, and the mighty Marco Minnemann is behind the drum kit (ex-Behold The Arctopus' Charlie Zeleny is on the last track).  I don't think anyone other than Marco could tackle this material.  Martin's music touches on so many different genres - metal, prog rock, latin and fusion - all within a single composition.  Prepare to have your jaw drop! 
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  • Latest album from this brilliant Swedish band balances all of their previous output into one great work. Simply killer progressive death metal. Highly recommended.
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  • Kick ass new band from Sweden who owe a strong debt to Captain Beyond.  The music is hard driving blues based hard rock with a definite retro feel.  Expensive but worth it!"No doubt Sweden's Captain Crimson were influenced by legendary '70s band Captain Beyond, deciding to name their debut album after the classic track "Dancing Madly Backwards" from that bands self titled debut in 1972. Otherwise though, Dancing Madly Backwards is another great Swedish retro ride, as so many bands from that country are doing a fine job of keeping those '70s sounds alive.Despite the band name and CD title obviously tipping their hat to Captain Beyond, the lads from Captain Crimson also tap into the vibe of such acts as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster, Mountain, Cactus, UFO, Pentagram, Leaf Hound, Grand Funk Railroad, The Doors, and Humble Pie, as well as fellow Swedish acts Graveyard and Witchcraft. Loads of vintage fuzz-toned guitar riffs and solos abound, especially on the thick & muscular "River", the doomy "Lonely Devils Club", and the heavy blues-rock of "Mountain of Sleep". The band delivers some melancholy hard rock/blues on the poignant "Don't Take Me For a Fool", while "Autumn" brings to mind the early, aggressive garage rock of the MC5 and Grand Funk Railroad, complete with raucous, distorted guitar & bass riffs that scream 1969. "Wizard's Bonnet" is vintage sounding heavy rock complete with blistering lead guitar and meaty riffs, while "Silver Moon" and "True Color" could have easily been leftovers from Deep Purple's In Rock album, minus the Hammond organ. The closing title track has some wonderful Black Sabbath styled power chords over intricate rhythms, and the lead vocals have plenty of attitude, which in fact can be said about the entire album.Dancing Madly Backwards is a fun filled ride down memory lane, as Captain Crimson bring back images and sounds of so many great hard rock acts of the past, and do so in a convincing manner. You'll be headbanging and playing air guitar to this entire album, I promise you. Another winner from the folks at Transubstand/Record Heaven" - Sea Of Tranquility
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  • Limited edition digibook comes with two bonus tracks and enhanced artwork.I think its pretty much agreed that Echo Street was a bit of a mistep for the band.  It seems like they've gotten the message.  Mystoria finds the band returning to their space rock Pink Floyd meets Black Sabbath meets XTC sound.  The band is a quirky bunch - you will find the songs are filled with hooks and heavy riffs that will stick with you but also there is always a bit of a cosmic vibe."Following the release of Amplifier's sprawling grand opus, The Octopus, in 2011, the band have most definitely had their ups and downs. After the departure of long-time bassist Neil Mahony, the band were forced to regroup and rethink their approach: the lengthy process of writing and recording The Octopus had been a trying experience for all the praise the record subsequently received. Looking backwards to look forwards, Sel Balamir and his band re-visited previously demoed material and used it as the basis for the subsequent Echo Street, a more streamlined and concise record that reassured everyone, not least the band themselves, that their quest for sonic adventure remained undimmed in the face of all that life had chosen to throw at them.It's immediately apparent that Mystoria is a very different album to Echo Street in terms of sound, although in terms of ethos the two albums are probably closer related than any of the other records Amplifier have made. Mystoria eschews the gentler, more stripped-back feel of Echo Street and glories in its chunky twin-guitar riffing and thunderous rhythm section, much as the band did when they put together Insider and The Octopus. At the same time, the tendency of the band to indulge themselves in sprawling psychedelic space rock jams has been reined in. Mystoria is subject to the same intense focus on trimming the fat that Echo Street was subject to - indeed, the band have emphasised that they spent some time honing the songs and finalising their arrangements before they started recording, something they haven't tried before. On the basis of Mystoria, this approach certainly seems to suit them.This new sense of focus, allied to their delight in generating planet-sized riffs, is immediately apparent in the one-two punch of the opening tracks, 'Magic Carpet' and 'Black Rainbow'. The opener is a delightfully psychedelic instrumental built around a sturdy riff that might have lasted eight or nine minutes on previous albums. Here it arrives, says what it needs to say and is done in under four minutes, without sacrificing its loose, jammed-out feel. 'Black Rainbow' makes for a striking contrast, a gargantuan doomy riff powering along a muscular rocker that possesses energy to spare. "And I’m going to sing my song", bellows Balamir, "Been stuck in a throat far too long / And I’m going to get me gone / Going to get me some!" As the song crunches to a halt, Balamir opines "Well, we did it again", as if anyone was in any doubt by this point. And so the scene is set for a really crowd-pleasing album, one that will delight existing fans and appeal to those new to Amplifier's swirling psych-influenced rock.The album has been described as a "party record", with Balamir stating that "It’s a summer time rock record to hopefully make people feel good when they listen to it. That’s the only intent.” In many respects that is absolutely the case. Jammed full of catchy hooks, sing-along choruses and Balamir's trademark guitar, this is an album that impresses immediately, sticks in your mind like velcro, yet has the variety and substance to withstand repeated plays without losing its appeal. Some of the songs here are so quintessentially Amplfier that they might as well have the word 'Amplifier' written through them like a stick of rock: the two openers, the playfully off-kilter 'Bride' and 'Named After Rocky' (which contains a really crowd-pleasing moment as a clearly gimlet-eyed Balamir breaks the fourth wall to tell the listener "Dance toe to toe with the devil /And I’m gonna do you proud / I’m gonna make you proud!") are all good examples of this.However, it wouldn't be an Amplifier album if Sel and company didn't have something new and unexpected to present: here, the unexpected is provided by a surprising voyage into ska with 'Cat's Cradle' and the baleful, shoegazey 'Open Up'. The former comes across like Kula Shaker re-imagining something from the Madness back catalogue, the unmistakeable skanking ska rhythm underpinned by a wonderful turn by the rhythm section of Alex Redhead (bass) and Matt Brobin (drums), paired with a playful lyric that indulges in some social commentary ("Well, the world is like a cat's cradle / Too much tension in a cat's cradle") and a wry vocal turn from Balamir. 'Open Up', on the other hand, is the song most removed from the sunny, somewhat carefree feel of a lot of the other songs, coming across like 90s indie darlings Lush at their most metallic, a fuzzy wall of sound framed by reverb-laden icy sheets of guitar and a pleading lyric as Balamir asks a lover "Well, are you looking for a man / To try to solve / Well to open up / Won’t you open up?"he somewhat nightmarish 'OMG' continues this darker thread, a juddering riff and bleak lyric ("Did you look 'em in the eye / As life was choking you / Choking you...") meaning that these two tracks dunk the previously sun-kissed listener in freezing water, enabling them to return refreshed yet unsettled to the remainder of the album, which picks up the more carefree feel established by the earlier tracks. 'The Meaning Of If' may have a somewhat fatalistic lyric ("Well, any simple man can see / That there ain't no cure to the meaning of if / 'Least no meaning I can see") but the swirling guitar that runs through the track is pinned to the wall - as is the listener - by a titanic Sabbath-style riff that intimates that if Balamir believes that the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, he'll be going out with a smile on his face, dancing like no-one's watching.The album closes with a pair of tracks that are clearly closely interrelated, as the mellow 'Crystal Mountain', with its strong 60s psychedelic pastoral feel and suitably surreal love ballad lyric gives way to a building tension that resolves itself into the wonderfully typical fuzzed guitars and lumbering riff of 'Crystal Anthem', that manages to pack in a truly jaw-dropping storm of squalling guitar before collapsing, exhausted, into a heap. The chorus of 'Crystal Anthem' seems to define both Balamir's world view and the band's approach to Mystoria as a whole, as Balamir sings "And I just want to say / That life is a kind of game / We’ve all been born to play." As with all the best games, life may be sometimes difficult: the path to victory designed by sadists and the pieces easy to lose, but ultimately games are designed to be fun. And the new-look Amplifier, not least Balamir himself, would appear to be playing this game to win.Mystoria is a resounding triumph for Amplifier. Whilst Echo Street was full of great songs and superb performances, its comparatively sedate feel did sometimes leave one wondering if the freewheeling sense of adventure that so typified the band had been tempered permanently by the problems and setbacks that they'd had to deal with. Mystoria is both a sure-footed restatement of Amplifier's intent and evidence that, like all the most positive survivors, the band have learnt a lot from the bumps in the road. The band that recorded The Octopus are back, older, bolder, wiser, and with a fire in their eyes and in their bellies. Long may it be so." - Echoes And Dust 
    $9.00
  • "With 'Home', for the first time since their critically acclaimed 'Posthumous Silence' of 2006, Sylvan have taken the chance to create another full-on concept album. Even though the Hamburg natives attach great importance to creating contextually comprehensive pieces of art with any of their albums, this time around Sylvan have upped their ambition another notch and taken on the mammoth task of building an overall concept around the never ending quest of the human condition for 'home' - that very special place that can provide a feeling of complete safety."This is the deluxe mediabook edition.  Same track listing as the jewel box but in much nicer packaging.
    $17.00
  • Edison's Children is a collaborative project between Marillion bassist Pete Trewavas and American guitarist Eric Blackwood. The music has a laid back, melancholy feel going more for emotional slam that cerebral intricacies. The supporting cast is worth taking notice - all the members of Marillion are here as well as Andy Ditchfield of DeeExpus as well as Fish's guitarist Robin Boult.
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  • "The Contortionist are really speaking my Language (PUN!) on their first full-length with Last Chance to Reason's Michael Lessard on vocals.Last year I went to see Between The Buried and Me and one of the openers was The Contortionist. I knew of them vaguely from my college radio days, but couldn't recall much. I was mainly interested in seeing them because Michael Lessard of Last Chance To Reason had just been announced as their permanent vocalist, and I fucking LOVE(D?) Last Chance To Reason. The set was mostly (if not entirely) from their album Intrinsic and was pretty solid, but I felt like Lessard was a little out of place. He wasn't quite at his full potential. This brings us to Language, and this is Lessard and existing Contortionist members at their best.Language opens with a melodic piece comprised almost entirely of vocal layers that I could really only compare to something on the level of Imogen Heap. The album keeps the melody going on the following track "Language I: Intuition" and it is fucking gorgeous. With the exception of a few parts the song suppresses the metal, instead opting for a rhythmic post rock feel. The heaviness does pick up as the album progresses, but there is definitely and ebb and flow (an idiom that appears a lot in the album) happening that favors the prettier side of the band, and I don't have a problem with it. There is still quite a bit to headbang to with the very next tracks, "Language II: Conspire," "Integration" and more.  So don't fret, they haven't gone soft by any means.It's unclear to me how much of the album is the added influence of Lessard, and how much is natural growth here. The band was able to progress their sound enough while staying grounded in who they are. I find this is rare for a band in general, but especially rare for a band often lumped into the "djent" category. This record is a lot more of everything that worked. It is heavier when it needs to be, it is bigger when it needs to be, it is prettier when it needs to be, etc. For example, "Thrive" could have easily fit anywhere into Intrinsic for about the first minute or two, but then Lessard soars and the song crescendos into pure atmospheric metal glory to a level they hadn't achieved before.I realize much of this review is praising Michael Lessard's vocal abilities, and if Level 3 didn't already cement him as one of the best voices in modern metal/rock/whatever, this album should (I mean, just listen to him on "Ebb & Flow"!). However, this band is really tight and unique regardless of who is the voice. Often bands in the rhythmic, atmospheric, progressive blah blah blah, genre will give in to tropes of the genre, The Contortionist either avoids them or spins them enough to make them seem outside of the box. So many bands will have one guitarist chugging along in wacky rhythms with the bassist and drummer while the other guitarist noodles over the top, and it's just so overdone. These guys will either have everyone noodling in a cool way interweaving with one another, or they just go different directions completely. This could be said about previous records as well I'm sure, it's just especially notable here.This album is not everyone. If you're quick to lazily label any rhythmic progressive band out there as "djent" and dismiss them accordingly, you should probably just not bother here. This album is for fans of progressive music, atmospheric metal, theory nerds, and especially the previous work of either LCTR or The Contortionist.I was a much bigger Last Chance fan going into Language, but this has really turned me on to The Contortionist more. This is a fantastic release that is best digested as one long piece." - Metal Injection
    $13.00
  • Steven Wilson's solo career apart from Porcupine Tree, is for this listener, far more interesting.  Whereas PTree currently skirts the line between rock and metal, his solo work fits squarely in the progressive rock arena.  The Raven That Refused To Sing (and other stories) is easily his magnum opus.  The musicianship is stellar - he recorded with his touring band: Nick Beggs (Stick), Guthrie Govan (guitar), Adam Holzman (keys), Marco Minnemann (drums), and Theo Travis (flute, sax).  Mr. Wilson has also dug two things out of mothballs - King Crimson's Mellotron and Alan Parsons.  It was Steven Wilson's wish to one day work with Alan Parsons, who came on board as engineer.  I can't tell you who is responsibile for what but I can tell you that the production is impeccable.  The opening epic "Luminol" drips with the holy 'tron sounding like a cross-generation blend of King Crimson eras.  And so it goes through out the album.  Some utterly fierce playing on this album.  From beginning to end a stunning effort.  BUY OR DIE!
    $11.00
  • Excellent new sci-fi prog metal project put together by Carptree mainman and keyboardist Carl Westholm. While Westholm is probably better known for his involvement with Carptree he has also been working in the metal field for many years in bands like Abstract Algebra, Krux, and Candlemass.Westholm has assembled an interesting cast of musicians for this larger than life Ayreon-style project. First off, Mats Leven in handling vocals. Right there that is enough for me. Leif Edling, the driving force behind Candlemass plays bass and helps with lyrics. What else do you need? Various members of Carptree and others fill out the heavily symphonic sound lending an epic scope and feel. Highly recommended.
    $3.00
  • CD/DVD digipak edition.  The DVD contains two video clips plus a "making of" documentary."Do you like melody? Do you like duets? And do you like POOOWEEER?!? Then this album has you covered. This project between Michael Kiske and Amanda Somerville has produced a beast that’s every bit as forceful and epic as it is catchy, and even moving at times, with the stunning vocal talent from both singers really delivering on the emotional front. The duets between the two are really the highlight of the release, with some songs mainly including harmonies and others being more of an interaction between the two.The titular “City of Heroes” is one of the definite highlights, opening the album in an uplifting, upbeat explosion of sound. “Rising Up” may be even better, with its very fast rhythm and catchy chorus putting it somewhere among the best songs of the album. The style of music can be described as somewhere between DRAGONFORCE and WITHIN TEMPTATION’s more recent work, with the drums being a massive driving force and propelling the synth and guitars up into the stratosphere.The synth is an essential part of the mix, providing the introduction for the majority of the songs, as well as being the backbone of the record, possibly more so than the drums. Magnus Karlsson has done a great job in both of his roles, giving every track a melody that is enhanced massively by the vocals. It would be easy to imagine that the bass has been smothered by the plethora of other sounds that it supports, but that is fortunately not the case, as it is still present and correct alongside the drums.One strange thing that happened to me while listening to the album was that I felt an overwhelming urge to sing along to each track, and found myself doing so during the occasional chorus, despite being clueless as to what the lyrics were. That’s not the result of a language barrier either; for a mostly German project, it’s surprising that all the lyrics sound so clear in English.The softer songs are worth mentioning, as well as the powerful ones, as they give the vocalists a chance to show off. “Ocean of Tears” is a good example, using strings to provide a minimalistic backing sound to Kiske and Somerville, who belt out a heartfelt duet that is perhaps the best emotional display of the record.There is virtually nothing negative to say about this album; it’s long enough without being too long, it’s varied, the production is top notch, and the musical quality is fantastic. If you haven’t heard it, you’re missing out. Go and listen to it.…Well go on then!" - Metal Temple 
    $19.00