Saturday, September 26, 2009


After writing the review for Theocracy I got in touch with their label Ulterium Records. Emil there was curious if I’d be interested in any of their other artists and I let him know in no uncertain terms YES! Send them in. Music is always spinning,so it seems, here at the White Throne offices, so the chance to hear something new is always welcome.

Well I received Harmony’s second release “Chapter II: Aftermath” and it’s been spinning pretty continually over the last several weeks. Melodic Metal with Neo-Classical-Prog elements as well. Now just because I say ‘Prog’ don’t all you prog haters turn the page. Not one song here is over 6 minutes…. So don’t think it’s all a bunch of guitar and keyboard noodling. It’s not, this band is about songs.

Strong melodic sense throughout this album is enhanced by piano/keyboards and great guitar work. Henrik Bath brings a superior vocal performance which is simply enthralling. A slower moody feel, flat out metal, or simply bringing it home with great melodic feel. Henrik shines. Listen to ‘Silently We Fade’ or ‘Rain’ and tell me he doesn’t have the pipes. (If his name sounds familiar it might be because Henrik is also a member of Darkwater) Markus Sigfridsson brings strong guitar chops in the vein of fellow Swede Yngwie Malmsteen. Perhaps a bit more melodic is Markus’s playing. He definitely plays to fit the song.

Comparisons to Stratovarius seem in order to this reviewer. Harmony would be similar in style I think. Their promotional material says “Imagine a great mix between Yngwie Malmsteen, Kamelot and Nocturnal Rites, and you’ll find Harmony.” At times I would even say a touch of Dream Theater because some of breakdowns and guitar, keyboard interplay strike me that way as well. If you listen to the song ‘Aftermath’ I think you’ll agree!

Nearly every song on this release is simply amazing, so it’s hard to pin down the stand outs but I’ll try. The aforementioned “Rain”, “Silently We Fade” and also including “Aftermath”, “Hollow Faces” and “End of My Road” simply scream superior quality. The musicianship is outstanding let I forget Tobias Enbert (drums) and Magnus Holmberg (keyboards). Very high quality and believe me if it wasn’t so I’d tell you.

The production is superior to their debut release “Dreaming Awake” a much more complete and full sound is achieved. The mix is very even and all the instruments are heard as well as the vocals. This type of metal with a positive Christian message is just what the doctor ordered for this headbanger.

This disc is very well layered with a lot of depth musically and lyrically. A lyric wasn’t included in my package, but regardless what I can hear makes me smile. Nothing trite or contrived on this album. This band could easily tour with the likes of Primal Fear, Saxon, Hammerfall and it would be a great bill.

I know this album came out much earlier this year and late last year, depending on your part of the world. If you haven’t picked it up yet I would make this a high priority. Good stuff.

9 AXES PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

No comments: