Artaban’s Redemption – Broken Puppets EP

Broken Puppets EP Cover Art

Artaban’s Redemption – Broken Puppets EP
Demons Records
Release Date: 21/05/2021
Running Time: 29:01
Review by Simon Black
6/10

This five track, but still quite lengthy EP, is one of those lockdown side projects that probably doesn’t justify a full album, that was birthed in the chaos and frustration of 2020. It’s the brainchild of Unbound guitarist Alvaro Weik, with support from various members of Dark Moor, Freedom Call/Vexillu, Lethargus and Vision Divine/Derdian, respectively. It’s debatable whether the world needs another late 90’s influenced Euro Power Metal supergroup, but I’m not going to kick down any musician pulling together any project from scratch without the benefit of gelling in a rehearsal room together and finding your musical collective feet under conditions like we’ve all just endured, because, like us, they need to eat.

As ever with Power Metal, the piece is a concept one – exploring what happens when the technological scrapheap decides to get its own back, so comes across like a cross between a white paper on technical debt and The Terminator. It’s a valid environmental topic, given how gadgets so often end up in landfill and asks questions from the Internet of Things perspective and makes a welcome subject matter change from the usual Power Metal Pseudo-Historical / Sword & Sorcery fare.

I guess the challenge I have with it is that, although the musicianship is competent enough, it’s not really until the fourth track ‘Time For War’ that the song-writing hits a groove with a track that feels cohesively like a band. It’s definitely the strongest thing on the EP, with a mid-tempo heavy rhythm and feel, catchy chorus and anthemic feel. The closer ‘Never Again’ keeps the anthemic feel going and adds some speed, but overall, I’m left with the feeling that this is a good idea that needed a bit more time to ferment – or a band that need to work in the same room and find their musical shorthand, rather than remotely. It will be interesting to see whether this experiment gets taken further, as the promise shown in the last couple of tracks implies that there is definitely something in there, but that it needs a little bit of time and maturation first.

‘Shutting Down’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Obsolete Tech
02. Revolution
03. Shutting Down
04. Time for War
05. Never Again

LINE-UP:
Ivan Giannini – Vocals
Alvaro Weik – Guitar
Francesco Ferraro – Bass
Elena Alonso – Keyboards
Roberto Cappa – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Krilloan – Stories Of Times Forgotten EP

Stories of Times Forgotten EP Cover Art

Krilloan – Stories Of Times Forgotten EP
Self-Released
Release Date: 21/05/2021
Running Time: 20:51
Review by Simon Black
7/10

Despite it being a sub-genre in grave danger of being over done to death, good old fashioned sword and sorcery based up tempo power metal can still be refreshing and enjoyable when done just right, and this is making a very good step in that direction. This is most definitely Melodic Euro Power Metal in the vein started by Helloween and carried valiantly forward by the many ever since, with this particular instance being the brainchild of Klas Holmgren. Somewhat bashfully, the press release states that the record is driven by “A lifelong love of Melodic Metal and mediocre recording skills”, but frankly the production works out just fine (although perhaps a little less treble next time, eh Klas?).

The five tracks on here are well crafted – which in Power terms means there’s top notch musical proficiency in the playing that seems far simpler on the surface than it actually is. When songs are written like this, they easily draw you in and allow you the absolute pleasure of peeling away the complexity, drawing more and more with each additional listen – without detracting from what got your head nodding in the first place.

Lyrically it’s classic Power fare, but what raises this above the madding crowd is the sheer energy and pace of the piece. This EP ain’t long, but it flies by in less time than the average Dream Theater song with bravado, energy and some absolutely blistering performances all round. The guitar work is absolutely top notch, but I cannot fault the technical skills of anyone else in the project – not least the soaring vocals of Alex VanTrue who effortlessly stays in the kind of top end key that got the double-glazing rattling.

An excellent start from a refreshingly energetic new act, hopefully a full album is not far behind.

‘Into The Storm’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Into The Storm
02. Yggdrasil
03. Fireborn
04. Moonblade
05. Times Forgotten

LINE-UP:
Klas Holmgren – Guitars
Steve Brockmann – Lead Guitar
Alex VanTrue – Vocals
Marco Toba – Bass
David Lanas – Drums

LINKS:

Krilloan Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.