Saturday, October 20, 2012


I’ve gotta tell you that German Pascual’s debut solo album A New Beginning is one of the biggest surprises of 2012. From high octane power metal to soaring melodic metal, A New Beginning not only wipes out any preconceived ideas I might’ve had but left me scrambling for the replay button.

Pascual as many of you might realize was the vocalist for Swedish metalers Narnia on their final album, Course of a Generation. He has also contributed to Divinefire on occasion as well. When I heard he was going to release a solo disc I really didn’t know what to expect, but I really didn’t think I was going to get this!!

A New Beginning is strong and powerful, with memorable melodies and the vocals of German Pascual, who has continued to show he is one of the finest vocalists in heavy metal. With tonality along the lines of Dio, Rob Rock and slight hints at David Coverdale. On the odd occasion there are a few deep growls on some of the heavier tracks such as Wrath of God.

The more I listen the more I’m drawn into this swirling amalgam of musical metal bliss. Tracks like Seek the Truth or Open Your Eyes go right on the melodic metal category, but imagine it kicked up one notch with more energy and power. Misty Eyes moves like a locomotive heading downhill, get out of the way or be run over. However the hook is so good, it digs in and remains with you long after the song comes to its completion.

Yet songs like Wrath of God or I Call for the One stride into more intense speed/power metal territory. Thrash type elements and even a hint at modern styling’s ala Divinefire. For the most part this album is a heavier version of the last Narnia album. There are even a touch here and there of some slight progressive elements. The arrangements are solid and even on the heavier songs the melody cuts through and grabs a hold. Just spin Fate of the Blind head banging all the way, with a great riff.

Rounding out Pascual's band is Guitarist Martin Hall, Pain of Salvation bassist Per Schleander and Almah bassist Raphael Dafras. The guitar work is top tier as are the rest of the instrumental performances. The production was handled by German Pascual & Raphael Dafras, with the Mixing and mastering handled by Thomas Plec Johansson. The sound is powerful and the guitar tones cut through without question.

I don’t want to build this album up too much, but I have been surprised and really enjoy this release. Especially when I had no preconceived ideas about it. Pascual has made a statement with this release; he’s a musical force to be reckoned with.

I normally don’t write reviews in the first person but this album has excited me so much, an album of the year candidate? A New Beginning is just that and be prepared for a journey into heavy metal bliss. 9 outta 10 axes from here and I’m cheering all the way!!

9 axes

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