Shine

Shine

BY Olzon, Anette

(Customer Reviews)
$12.00
$ 7.20
SKU: ARM251262
Label:
Armoury Records
Category:
Art Rock
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"After what has been a rather public and unseemly split from Nightwish (déjà vu anyone...?), onetime Alyson Avenue front-lady Anette Olzon returns with her first solo album, Shine. For anyone expecting something akin to the Nightwish bombast and bluster, it is an album set to surprise, possibly shock and ultimately disappoint. However, for those willing to simply take this album at face value, the surprise will be of an altogether different variety; a classy mix of Pop hooks, grandiose arrangements, intimacy and a sprinkling of the eccentricity which marked Kate Bush out, creating a quite beautiful, confident record that really does indeed shine very brightly indeed. What Shine also allows Olzon to do, is to illustrate a voice that soars, whispers, commands and seduces, revealing far greater facets and variety than her previous musical situation could ever have allowed. Put simply, like the music here, or not, there's absolutely no denying that Anette Olzon is mightily impressive.

Thankfully, it is also extremely easy to give in to the music's charms, Olzon surrounding herself with a crack team (Stefan Orn, Johan Glossner, Johan Kronlund) of songwriters, producers and mixer-masterers, to craft a set of songs that are reasonably simple, memorable and thoroughly captivating. The likes of "Lies" hits like a shimmering Evanescence, "Invincible" is a string and voice (and plaintive guitar as the song builds) masterclass of stark melancholia, "Moving Away" a Scandi-folk tinged piece of adult Pop which works tremendously well. Add to that opener, "Like A Show", which fuses strings to slow electro-beats and a fragile vocal; "Falling", which I could imagine a stripped back Scorpions attempting, and the wonderful, soaring, is it Pop, is it Rock of the album's title track and not only do each and every one of the songs hit their mark, but they do so with enough eclecticism to stand up to repeat listens. And I haven't even mentioned the Kate Bush "Army Dreamers" clone "Floating", which while landing possibly too close to this particular Bush, is still a highlight. Factor in the commercial nous of Abba in places, and Shine really becomes a rare beast. An intelligent, yet utterly accessible and singalongable Pop come Rock album.

Some may have thought that Anette Olzon's departure from Nightwish signalled the beginning of the end of her career in the limelight. On the strength of Shine, it is only just the beginning." - Sea of Tranquility

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  • "The empire of the eminent Floor Jansen strikes back with an absolute startling release, a great surprise for all lovers of modern female fronted sound and an inescapable altercation towards anyone protesting against trying new and versatile notions. Set for release on August 23rd via Nuclear Blast, “Wild Card” really blew me away, in a level that my mind started whirling with the bands mesmerism in creating a very fresh and present album.After three years of agonizing waiting time, the down to earth yet class plethoric Symphonic/Melodic Metal act’s sophomore release settles down in the average CD player; revealing the hermetic catalyst of music to an extent that time-dimension seems unable to debilitate the magic of cardinal passion. And there’s a lot of passion and energy in “Wild Card“.Guided by Joost van den Broek, the band manage to conserve the known REVAMP vibe present in each and every single note performed, resulting to a set of eleven shining tracks full of charisma, sentiment and individuality. However “Wild Card” is by far heavier and much more aggressive than the 2010s self-titled debut album. Definitely guitar oriented and featuring one of the best vocal performances ever recorded in the history of heavy metal music. The compositions are quite variegated providing an intense kaleidoscopic view of interpretation by the listener.You can tell Floor Jansen had the need to redeem herself after her illness and thus resulted lyrically into some heavy stories and very personal experiences in which the Symphonic Metal Queen let out of her system with some quite openhearted screams and massive growls. Floor’s vocals are indeed very diverse and there’s not a single blemish throughout the record. From operatic, melodic lines to straight forward metal vocals, to grunting and growling everything is extremely powerful and it matches the albums violent music.Talking about music, “Wild Card” has a monstrous industrial atmosphere all around and it’s breaking new grounds to the sound of female fronted bands. The production is exquisite and it meets the bands polished songwriting, which makes me a very happy customer! Keyboard solos and compound synth sounds are everywhere to be found and together with the abundant heavy guitar riffs, make for a solid foundation in which bass and drums encircle beautifully.“Wild Card” features a plethora of guest musicians; to begin with, Devin Townsend sings on the track “Neurasthenia” which is part three of “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown” theme-song and he sounds amazing, then there’s Mark Jansen (EPICA) who delivers some terrifying growls on the song “Misery’s No Crime“. In addition to that, Marcela Bovio (STREAM OF PASSION) and Daniel de Jongh (TEXTURES) recorded the choir parts and harmonies together with Floor and that really adds to the whole Metal feel of the record. Finally Johan van Stratum (STREAM OF PASSION) was recruited last minute to record the bass for “Wild Card” and he did a splendid job if I may say.Thanks to the extreme variety in REVAMP’s “Wild Card“, there’s not a single dull moment overall and with every listening session I find myself discovering more and more in each song; and that’s a wonderful feeling and really what makes “Wild Card” a first-class album. Highlights include “Wild Card“, “Distorted Lullabies“, “Amendatory“, “Misery’s No Crime“, “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: Neurasthenia” and my personal favorites “Precibus” and “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown’: On The Sideline“. Honestly though, you should listen to the entire album back to back.The CD cover is quite remarkable as well. Definitely recognizable by REVAMP fans due to its connection with the debut album, the dual nature of the Queen of Hearts is a strong image which relates to the music in such drastic and fascinating ways. A perfect visual to accompany the fierce character of the music and props go to Richard Stark who created the artwork. A very well thought concept, indeed.A “Wild Card” is an unpredictable and unforeseeable factor and I feel like REVAMP won the bet and have successfully release a unique and brilliant album that will inspire many generations of heavy metal fans and for that they deserve immense credit. Many tunes off this album have the potential to become REVAMP classics and this itself makes the purchase essential for everyone that does not so far have REVAMP in his/her collection. A piece of thriving Symphonic, Melodic Metal history is now available, make no mistakes. You can’t let it go." - Metal Divas
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  • When progressive rock icon Neal Morse was preparing to tour his highly acclaimed 2012 studio release, “Momentum,” he turned to YouTube to audition touring players to support his faithful duo of Mike Portnoy (drums) and Randy George (bass).He had high hopes, but the final players selected from more than 70 applicants dramatically surpassed his expectations. They hit the road for an 8-stop North American tour. And now that band’s epic New York performance is captured on the new “Live Momentum” 2DVD/3CD Box Set.Fortified by the energetic live contributions of Eric Gillette (keyboards, guitars, vocals), Bill Hubauer (keyboards, violin, sax, vocals) and Adson Sodré (guitar and vocals), Morse, Portnoy and George blazed through two lengthy sets that spanned Morse’s entire, highly-heralded catalog, with the exception of material from “Testimony 2,” which was previously captured in 2011’s “Testimony 2: Live in Los Angeles” box set.The setlist is mammoth. The players are virtuosic. Their performances are jaw-dropping. And this dynamic box set documents it all—including a special one-hour behind the scenes look at the tour.It’s a Morse tradition to go big, and this new release unquestionably extends his powerful legacy of merging musical madness with addictive melodies in epic compositions that showcase the masterful musicianship of every member on stage.“Live Momentum” reveals the exceptionally inspired nature of this unique band and leaves listeners andviewers mimicking those in the audience on this tour—shaking their heads and wondering, “How could they possibly top that?”This ENORMOUS 3 cd / 2 dvd set includes 4 hours of video, including and exclusive Tour Documentary and over 3 hours of audio.DVD 11) Momentum2) Weathering Sky3) Author Of Confusion4) The Distance To The Sun5) Testimony Suite (Sleeping Jesus, Prince Of The Power Of The Air, The Promise, Wasted Life)6) Thoughts Part 57) The Conflict (From Sola Scriptura)DVD 21) Question Mark Suite (The Temple Of The Living God, Another World, Entrance, Inside His Presence)2) Fly High3) World Without End4) Crazy Horses5) Sing It High6) King JesusBonus Feature: A Long Strange Journey – Tour Documentary (Edited By Randy George)CD 11) Momentum2) Weathering Sky3) Author Of Confusion4) The Distance To The Sun5) Testimony Suite (Sleeping Jesus, Prince Of The Power Of The Air, The Promise, Wasted Life)CD 21) Thoughts Part 52) The Conflict (From Sola Scriptura)3) Question Mark Suite (The Temple Of The Living God, Another World, Entrance, Inside His Presence)4) Fly High CD31) World Without End2) Crazy Horses3) Sing It High4) King Jesus   
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  • Limited edition digibook edition.  The CD portion comes with two bonus tracks.  The DVD is a live performance from Rock Hard 2010 and 70,000 Tons Of Metal in 2013.  "Good morning, good afternoon, good evening or good night (depending on where you are in the world), how’ve you been? I’m good, thanks. Anyways, first thing’s first, before we get to the review, let’s take a minute to explain what is “Lingua Mortis”? “Lingua Mortis” was a 1996 album by German Heavy Metal legend RAGE, an album which took some of their classic songs and presented them in new symphonic arrangements.Fast forward 17 years, RAGE is still going strong, and after playing live shows with what’s known as “Lingua Mortis Orchestra” over the last few years, RAGE finally decided to create a new “Lingua Mortis” album, this time however the band chose to create an album of all new material. Based on the true story of the “1599 Gelnhausen” witch hunting’s and featuring around 100 musicians, “LMO” is a monster of an album. Make no mistake about it, this is a Metal album through and through, Composed by Victor Smolski with Lyrics by Peavey Wagner, this album is as much RAGE as any album they have released in their illustrious career, but this is RAGE with a completely different edge to them.It opens with “Cleansed by Fire” a ten minute opus opening with a witch chanting with a choir coming in, this is the song that tells you all you need to know, the song is melodic, deep, heavy, catchy, this is Rage at their finest, Peavey Wagner’s usually harsh vocals are softer here and are perfectly complemented by the female accompaniment, this song incorporates three parts into it, “Convert the Pagans Pt1”, “The Inquisition” and “Convert the Pagans Pt2”, the guitar work by Victor Smolski is absolutely exquisite throughout.I wanted to do the usual track by track review, but I honestly can’t, it would take too damn long, this album moves and twists more times than I could possibly put into a single review, it’s heavy as hell, the masterful blast beats are here, the guitars are incredible and at times reminiscent of the masters like Pell and Malmsteen. The choice to mix Peavey’s heavy vocals along with softer and operatic female vocals and at times choirs is a brilliant move as they blend perfectly. The album at times even has an 80s sound (like the opening of “Devils Bride”).The bottom line here is that this album is nothing short of a masterpiece, if you love RAGE (like me), you’ll love this album, if you love Symphonic Metal, you’ll love this album, hell, it’s very hard not to love this record as it features elements from a lot of metal genres and mixes it in with an amazing array of orchestral work. I’m not really the type to call an album perfect, but I find it hard not to in this case, the hooks are there, and so is the heaviness, it’s probably the best symphonic album I’ve heard without a NIGHTWISH label on it.The album comes out August 2nd, and I certainly suggest you go on YouTube right now, have a listen to a sample and go out and get this album as soon as it’s out, you won’t regret it. " - Metal Temple
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  • OK so lets say you don't want to shell out for the 14 disc box set.  This 2CD set is culled from those shows and presents you with a complete concert experience. 
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    $3.00
  • Second album from this excellent melodic metal band. Starbreaker consists of Tony Harnell (TNT) on vocals, former bandmate John Macaluso on drums, and Magnus Karlsson - the mastermind behind the Allen/Lande albums - on guitar. Tommy Hansen waved his magic production wand over it all. I'm much more of a prog guy but I know quality when I hear it and this one hits the mark.
    $7.00
  • "Australia is home to many fine progressive acts like Voyager, Arcane, Vanishing Point, Karnivool and the Melbourne based band Eyefear. The Inception Of Darkness illustrates once again why Eyefear are such a likeable group, and together with those fellow bands mentioned above are proving the land down under has plenty of progressive talent.This band has been around for quite some time and Eyefear's last release The Unseen came out in 2008 and it is one CD I have returned to many times. The Unseen is such a good metal album, and as you can tell from my score below I like The Inception Of Darkness a great deal also.Like Tomorrow's Eve and the heavier progressive bands, Eyefear perform a potent selection of animated metal, while clean vocals dominate this recording with some darker spoken words on track four which really suits the haunting material. Eyefear's lead vocalist Danny Cecati has a different style than most as he tends to hold his notes longer and is well suited to their songs. With eight tracks on the standard version, the special version has additional tunes which are orchestral versions of three songs off the album and are very well done indeed. I really like the use of keyboards on this recording, they are very tasteful and combine so well with the other instruments which also sound impressive. The two part title tracks "The Inception Of Darkness Part 1 – Transcending" and "The Inception Of Darkness Part 2 – Reborn" are two of the best being both dramatic and powerful, "Redemption" is another good lively song that opens this new album while "Legions" is a fine heavy closer. The Inception Of Darkness has plenty of appeal and that attraction continues to grow with each listen of this newest Eyefear release.Of the vast number of Progressive Metal groups, Eyefear certainly belongs amid the upper ranks, as The Inception Of Darkness is that good." - Sea Of Tranquility
    $15.00
  • Hardbound mediabook edition with one bonus track."I haven't had anything similar on my musical plate for a while, so Gazpacho's eighth album Demon was an interesting, beautifully surprising and absolutely brilliant variation. Again Gazpacho mixes progressive sounds with electronic elements and folk instrumentation with the addition of dynamic riffing and amazing vocals. The outcome is a unique sound that is quite inimitable and rare to find. How much you enjoy the new record will mainly depend on how you respond to this incredible mix and the singing style used by the vocalist. Anyway Gazpacho rules, especially at night.I'm a great fan of these guys and for those of you that still don't know who they are, Gazpacho is a band formed in Oslo, Norway in 1996 by childhood friends, Jon-Arne Vilbo and Thomas Andersen, along with Jan-Henrik Ohme - later joined by Mikael Krømer, Lars Erik Asp and Kristian Torp; they released their debut album Bravo in 2003.Demon, the upcoming record, is a concept album based on the true story of a manuscript found in an apartment in Prague where the writer, a previous resident, had detailed his chase of an evil, “The Demon”. Demon is for sure full of emotion and humanity and the way the Norwegian band reproduces in music the diabolical story and the psychosis of the protagonist is wonderful.The story is told in four parts and it starts with 'I've been walking – part 1' and it couldn't start in a better low-key fashion way. There’s something disarmingly powerful about loud vocals from Jahn Henrik Ohme that add incredible depth to a song. The intermittent piano notes are just perfect and the delicate violin sound is like a nice shade of color you don't notice on painting but that painting wouldn't be the same without it. A great bonus.The second part of 'I've been walking' – that is the third track of the album – starts exactly where the first movement of the piece ends but adding a dark shadow to the overall atmosphere. There are still vocals but now are slower and they mix perfectly with the other instruments. The bass is gorgeous and the way the song turns into a more ambient and atmospherical dimension is great. It's such a damn good track and together, 'I've been walking' parts I and II, might be the best tunes that Gazpacho has ever written.The mix of sounds of the opening track changes completely in 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' becoming electronic in the first part of the track and turning into a sort of gipsy or Yiddish sound in the second half. We are all crossing lands pursuing the demon.The story ends with 'Death Room' and the motifs of the 'The Wizard of Altai Mountain' come back like creating a circle with that song. Oriental sound, progressive rock and folk are all mixed together and the resulting fusion sound is incredible. I rarely make direct comparison among artists but this time I cannot avoid to think of Radiohead's music mixed with folk elements to create an intricate yet beautifully original tone. Other times they make me think of the Scandinavian prog-rock band Airbag but again Gazpacho find their way to be definitely unique.The story ends here and Demon too, a captivating and intriguing album that is absolutely brilliant. I like the way it flows song by song and the variety of sounds blended in it. Such experimentalism is the proof that the Norwegian guys are really talented and they deserve to be considered one of the best progressive rock bands on the scene today.Demon is an album that requires time and patience to be understood and to gain the listener's estimation and it will reward open minded audience. Play it in the dark to fully experience its great music." - Echoes And Dust
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  • New edition of the band's album from 1991. Contains the bonus track "Sister Bluebird".
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