One Cold Winter's Night

The famous Steffan J polishes his Viking horns and brushes down his bear skin coat in preparation for a bushel of winter listening...

Angra: Aurora Consurgens
Label: SPV

I'm not an Angra fan but I enjoyed listening to this CD which is supposed to be quite different from their other releases.

The Brazilian band's earlier album 'Temple of Shadows' was acclaimed in the world of power metal as being fast and furious but their latest album combines melodic and choral pieces with a kind of 'hippy' percussion, and more intricate guitar parts and strong vocals. The ten track album also shows that the band is still capable of the more frantic 'Dragonforce-like' speed metal guitar riffs.

Although this is unlikely to be a best seller, 'Aurora Consurgens' is likely to interest metal fans and maybe widen Angra's fan base.


Dialog: Far Too Long

Dialog, a funk rock band from London, have recently released their third EP Far Too Long (and it is!). They have been a support band for Uriah Heap (is anyone is old enough to remember who they are?).

The three track CD includes some bold lead guitar riffs and strong bass guitar, with pounding drums, but there is also a softer acoustic sound in the middle track, 'Mystery' - An unexciting set of songs, which are probably most memorable for the singer's husky vocals.

'Far Too Long' is probably the strongest of the three tracks but the sci-fi synthesised voice half way through was annoying - music that is heading towards the present day but not quite making it.


Kamelot: One Cold Winter's Night
Label: SPV

The title says it all - recorded live in Oslo in February 2006 you can imagine big booted, leather clad Norwegian power metal enthusiasts battling the blizzards to see this American band perform.

It is like an epic adventure film where you are swept along with the technical effects. With lots of guitar solos, both screeching and twiddly, backing and solo keyboard pieces, female vocal harmonies and even a drum solo, this double album is very theatrical but brilliantly performed.

I feel I must polish my Viking horns and get a bear coat before listening to this again.


Steffan J