After a hectic January, I’m finally catching up with two new reviews at Sonic Cathedral. And after what has been a sour start musically to 2012 (sorry, Nightwish and Lacuna Coil fans, but I don’t like their latest offerings at all), I’m so thrilled to have covered two phenomenal albums – two that I’m sure will battle it out at year’s end for my favorite album of the year!
First up is The Old Man And The Spirit, the debut album by German progressive metal project Beyond The Bridge. This concept album features two very different singers – metal veteran Herbie Langhans, and up-and-coming jazz singer Dilenya Mar – as the title characters. Musically, The Old Man… is, as quoted from my review, “a page out of Arjen Lucassen’s Ayreon book.” Progressive metal combined with various genres, salient melodies, and skillful arrangements galore. However, Beyond The Bridge have accomplished something that Mr. Lucassen – or any other artist whose album(s) I’ve reviewed – has never done before. I could tell you what that is – but that would spoil the end of my review. *wink*
The second album is Velvet Black Sky, the upcoming second album by UK alternative metallers The Mariana Hollow. You’ve probably heard that name mentioned numerous times on this blog – to the point that you might be thinking, “Pfffft! She’d never say anything bad about that band!” However, I gave Velvet Black Sky the same thoughtful and honest treatment that I’ve given all of my reviewed albums – and not only is Velvet Black Sky superior to The Mariana Hollow’s debut CD Coma Heart, it’s “the wake-up call that rock and metal fans will be sorry to miss.”
I’ve got much more coming at Sonic Cathedral in the next few months. So, as always, stay tuned!