Affector

Affector is another supergroup of power- and prog metal musicians, members of Neil Morse, Spock’s Beard and Symphony X have been active together here.

The album Harmagedon rather delivers what you expect, excellent musicianship, superb production and great songs, definitely check it out, though I must say, maybe I expected even more, hearing all those big names dropped.

Line-up

– Daniel Fries / guitars
– Collin Leijenaar / drums
– Mike LePond / bass guitars
– Ted Leonard / vocals

Plus they have four special guests on keyboards: Jordan Rudess, Derek Sherinian, Neal Morse, and Alex Argento, also featured on the album is the Polish orchestra Sinfonietta Consonus.

The lyrical concept is about the Biblical Apocalypse, or End Times, timed for release now in early 2012 just before the world is coming to an end – well thought out boys 🙂

Now go find out for yourself what you think!

Tracklist

1. Overture pt.1: Introduction
2. Overture pt.2: Prologue
3. Salvation
4. The Rapture
5. Cry Song
6. Falling Away & The Rise Of The Beast
7. Harmagedon
8. New Jerusalem

http://www.affector.net/



Seventh Wonder

Seventh Wonder are from Sweden and have been together since 2000, singer Tommy Karevik joined the band in 2005. Yes, it is that same Tommy Karevik that has been chosen to replace Roy Khan in Kamelot. So now you know what I mean when I say that Seventh Wonder has the most outstanding vocals I have ever heard in a band like this. So powerful and yet totally melodious, almost too beautiful for a powerprogmetal band … Seventh Wonder have it all, power-shredding, 30 minute songs in the approved progressive fashion, melodious vocal lines, strange riffs and rhythmic parts.
I was hooked on that band from the very first minute, and I really wonder why they are not better known.
Releases:
Become (2005, recorded with former vocalist Andi)
Waiting In The Wings (2006)
Mercy Falls (2008)

and

The Great Escape (2010)

01. Wiseman
02. Alley Cat
03. The Angelmaker
04. King of Whitewater
05. Long Way Home
06. Move on Through
07. The Great Escape

They played with Queensryche, Testament, Sxmphony X, and at progpower USA and Europe.

Tommy Karevik – Vocals
Andreas Blomqvist – Bass
Johan Liefvendahl – Guitar
Andreas Söderin – Keyboards
Stefan Norgren – Drums

http://www.seventhwonder.nu

Pagan’s Mind

Pagan’s Mind is a Norwegian prog / power metal band formed in 2000
They have released five studio albums, a live DVD + CD and an overhauled rerelease of their first album

I haven’t yet had the time to check out their latest release Heavenly Ecstasy (2011)
God’s Equation (2005) is an incredibly great and powerful creation of powerful tunes wit decided prog elements I like very much.

image stolen from their home page: www.pagansmind.com

Nils K. Rue – vocals
Stian Kristoffersen – drums
Steinar Krokmo – bass
Ronny Tegner – keys
Jørn Viggo Lofstad – guitars

In 2011 they played at the Graspop Festival and a few support gigs with Symphony X, in 2012 they played in Greece with Royal Hunt

Check out my playlist on youtube for samples from all their releases:

Holy Force

I’m not sure if Holy Force is a band or just a temporary project, not much info to be found. It is good that Ango Chen has an outlet in making music, talking seems not to be his strongest side, as you can find out if you read his interview with powerofmetal.dk
Anyway, Mike Boals who was with Danish powermetalers Royal Hunt for a while as well as with Yngwie Malmsteen, Ango Chen, guitarist and moving spirit of the band, Mike LePond of Symphony X and Rhino of Manowar released this selftitled album together in 2011. Some reviews were awesome calling it a Supergroup, some spoke very openly of plagiarism.

I found it enjoyable, really nothing outstanding, only one track that stuck in my mind at all, but it’s not bad either. Simply melodic, solid, well produced (at least most of it. The mastering is somewhat strange, the short instrumental tracks in between the regular songs sound as if they were twice as loud) Check out the playlist at the bottom

1. Holy Force
2. Flying
3. Breathe
4. Seasons
5. A Country Good or Bad
6. Power of Life
7. Sky Etude
8. We Are The Warriors
9. Moonlight Fantasy
10. The Wings of Forever
11. Chasing The Dream
12. Emperor
13. Waiting
14. See You In The Future

Mike Boals – Vocals
Ango Chen – Guitars
Mike LePond – Bass
Kenny “Rhino” Earl – Drums

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It all started with Symphony X

yes, when I first listened to a Symphony X album it was a revelation and infected me with the powerprog virus. I guess I have always been into prog and neoclassic, Jethro Tull, early Genesis, ELP, these were my teenage favs. From there I have moved on to the metal stuff when I first laid my hands on a Symphony X album. It was more than a revelation, it was instant passion, as though I had at last found something that I didn’t know I was looking for…

I guess most readers of this blog are familiar with Symphony X anyway, so why go on ranting about them. Check out their latest release, Iconoclast. As most people will tell you Sxmphony X have rather gone from prog to power, but there is none of that fanca epic or symphonic stuff that is sometimes associated with power metal, this is just pure hard & heavy power. Insofar it follows in the footsteps of the 2009 release Paradise Lost that was also rather heavy and no-frills prog.
The songs are very accessible and – for prog – simple in structure. I loved the album from the beginning, though I also love their earlier releases.


Tracklisting:
01. Iconoclast (10:53)
02. The End of Innocence (5:29)
03. Dehumanized (6:49)
04. Bastards of the Machine (4:58)
05. Heretic (6:26)
06. Children of a Faceless God (6:22)
07. Electric Messiah (6:15)
08. Prometheus (I Am Alive) (6:48)
09. When All Is Lost (9:10)

Band Members:
Russell Allen (vocals)
Michael Romeo (guitar)
Michael Pinnella (keyboards)
Michael Lepond (bass)
Jason Rullo (drums)

Listen to Dehumanized, Electric Messiah and Children Of A Faceless God
I don’t really think there’s a weak track on this album

Links:
http://www.symphonyx.com