Archive for July 10, 2008

Dragonforce has just released their new video for ‘Heroes Of Our Time’, the first single from their upcoming album ULTRA BEATDOWN.

‘Heroes Of Our Time’

Griffen – Linked In Eternity (2008, self-released promo demo)

  1. Linked In Eternity
  2. Secret Fire
  3. Falling Inside
  4. The Hydra
  5. Life Is On The Way

Band Lineup:
Jörgen Söderberg – Lead Vocals
Tomi Peltonen – Guitars, Vocals
Harri Tuovila – Bass, Vocals
Stefan Törnblom – Guitars, Vocals
Kristian Huotari – Drums, Vocals

Total Time = 25:36

Griffen official website
Griffen MySpace page

Up until about a month ago, I had never heard of Griffen. The band was kind enough to contact me and send me a copy of LINKED IN ETERNITY for review. I did a little research and found that Griffen is from Sweden and has two current members of Torch among their ranks (Peltonin &  Huotari)! I have had a fascination with Torch for a long time so my interest got sparked big time. Turns out that this is Griffen’s second promo demo (the first was in 2007) and it is one of the most professionally done demos I’ve heard in the last couple of years.

The music is basically a blend of melodic Hard Rock and traditional Heavy Metal that really has it’s roots in the ’80s…..it’s all straight forward Metal with strong vocals, a great twin axe attack, and a powerful rhythm section. The guitars really form a solid groove on every track without being overbearing. It’s not about overplaying and fitting in as many notes as possible, it’s about attitude. The blend of heaviness and melody cannot be overstated, this is the basis of good old fashioned Metal. Yes, the songs’ roots sound like they’re from the ’80s but it’s far from “dated”, the production is top notch and the mix crystal clear. The music is excellent but Söderberg’s vocals are particularly impressive, he can move from low/mid-range to hitting all the highs while maintaining a melodic presence. It seems very easy for Söderberg to move between straight up Hard Rock to the heavier Metal songs, I would take a close listen to both ‘The Hydra’ and ‘Life Is On The Way’ as perfect examples.

Bottom Line:
For a second demo, everything is crystal clear and evenly mixed, very professional work. Every song has solid musicianship and vocals but the key is that they songs themselves were well-written and stayed true to the attitude and style of the band. I’m very surprised that a European label has not snapped these guys up yet for a full-length album, there is some major talent here and Griffen would do well in today’s crowded Metal scene. Frontiers would be a solid fit, maybe even Nightmare Records in the U.S., whoever signs Griffen will end up with a solid, well-tuned band. I’m hoping to acquire the band’s first demo CD as well so keep your eyes here for more news on Griffen in the future, I’m sure we will be hearing good things from them.

Favorite songs: all of them

WANTED

 

Krokus – s/t debut (1976)

This is one of those “holy grail” albums that I want for my collection really badly. Krokus has been one of my favorite bands since 1982 when I first heard ‘Long Stick Goes Boom’ (from ONE VICE AT A TIME) on a local Metal radio program. Shortly after, I started reading more and more about the band in magazines like Metal Forces, Circus, and Hit Parader. Aside from filling a hole in my Krokus collection, this album stands out as a must have because it is the only album to not feature either guitarist Fernando Von Arb or vocalist Marc Storace. Most people believe that Von Arb started the band but it was really long time bassist/keyboardist Chris Von Rohr who founded Krokus and actually sang lead vocals on this album. I’ve seen this album twice on Ebay but the price was $100 U.S., this was around 1999. It’s very rare and out of print and is only available on vinyl.

Krokus – To You All (1977)

I need the second album too! TO YOU ALL brings classic Krokus members Fernando Von Arb, Freddy Steady, Tommy Keifer and Jurg Naegeli into the fold joining Von Rohr…..this was actually a joint effort between Krokus and Von Arb’s band Montezuma (with Naegeli & Steady) under the “Krokus” banner. It’s also the beginning of the band using the famous Krokus logo. This ones pops up on Ebay once in awhile on CD for about $35 from Switzerland. The Krokus website says that a Swiss company released it on CD but I’m skeptical on the authenticity, it could be a bootleg. I had a sealed copy of the LP in my hands in 2000 at a record store in my hometown and the price was the original $25 price tag from back in the ’80s for the import. I hadn’t been in the store in years so when I put it down and checked out the rest of the store, the owner grabbed it off the rack and slapped a fresh tag on it for double the price! I had been a regular at this particular store since I was a young kid and I knew the owner was a shady guy with a lot of questionable business practices as years went on so I wasn’t surprised to find a new sticker. Obviously I passed.

Anyone with any leads on these two albums, please contact me through the contact page of the website.