Monday, October 5, 2009


Coming from Norway this disc was released in 2007, yet it’s still new to me! Emil at Ulterium sent it to me and I must say this is a great disc of Heavy Metal 80’s style with a slight commercial edge. What does mean? It means chorus melodies that stick in your head for days, terrific musicianship and not to mention the crisp production.

Their promo material indicates a love affair with TNT, Judas Priest, Stryper, Kiss and Dio. I would also say in terms of heaviness the bands above but also Titanic, Barren Cross. Traditional heavy metal with the chops to back it up. I must admit when your spinning as much music as we do here in the White Throne offices if you hear a chorus once of twice and it sticks with you it must be pretty darn good.

Opening with the headbanging ‘1000 Paper Cranes’ these guys show they mean business. Vocalist Phil Goode just leads this attack with some great battle strong vocals like Carl Albert (Vicious Rumors) and Terry H (Leviticus, Jet Circus). Phil has a powerful set of pipes and he shows it all over this release ‘Rainbows End’, ‘Eye of The Storm’, ‘Escaping the Clouds’ also demonstrate the power he has. I must admit the first time I listened I almost thought he was singing in Norwegian!! THAT is not the case, I just had to get comfortable with his annunciation style. I didn't receive the lyric sheet but as best as I can determine lyrically the are mature and somewhat introspective.

The twin axe attack of Kirk Evin and B.D. Hughes shines throughout this disc. At times I wonder if a comparison to Thin Lizzy in this regard is in order. Providing very melodic but powerful playing on every track. Drummer Ran Dee and bass player Zack Rament play powerfully and give great performances that just enhance what else it going on.

The songwriting here is mature and developed. Intertwined guitar parts bring such heavy hitters as ‘Eye of the Storm’ and ‘Like Hail From a Blue Sky’ to a higher degree of excellence. Frankly there isn’t a weak song on this release, Grand Lux have really mastered the art of the Traditional Heavy Metal tune. I’ve not heard their earlier material but I understand this disc might be a bit more polished. If that means improved songwriting then there is nowhere else to go but up. This is a fantastic release that would fit quite nicely next your Barren Cross, BloodGood, Armored Saint and Judas Priest albums.

I must also point out that the production on this album is clean and clear. Watch the video for ‘Escaping the Clouds’ or visit their MySpace page for some song samples. (Click the title at the top of this post for a myspace link.)

Ulterium really seems to have produced some great Metal acts from Theocracy, Harmony and now Grand Lux. I hope another album is in the near future.

Bang yer head in happiness….!

8 AXES PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

No comments: