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On disc: Artension



- Into The Eye Of The Storm - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
- Forces Of Nature - Amir Djawadi - 5 stars
- Machine - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
- Sacred Pathway - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars


www.vitalijkuprij.com/artension







Sacred Pathway

Sacred Pathway
(Frontiers - 2002)


This is the 5th album of Artension, musically they didn't changed. It's still neo-classic progressive metal as it's called. What changed is the line-up! After several years the original line-up is back which is Vitalij Kuprij (Ring Of Fire), John West (Royal Hunt), Mike Terrana (Rage, Axel Rudi Pell), Roger Staffelbach and Kevin Chown (Magnitude 9, Tiles). On the new output are eleven new songs as well as a radio edit of one of these songs which is called Nightmare. Sacred Pathways offers more diverse songs than their last al;bum Machine. They sound like a band even if everybody is involved in other bands, but perhaps that's the secret. On Sacred Pathways are slow songs (The Calm Before The Storm), mid-tempo (The Killing) and fast numbers (The Emperor), sometimes it seems that they want to show their technicality which probably is a little too much for some fans, but John West's dark, bluesy voice make listening more enjoyable. The album has melody, intensity and great songs. Listen to Sacred Pathways, Running Out Of Time and Nightmare.


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Machine

Machine
(Shrapnel Rec. - 2000)


The quintet is still alive and back with Machine. During the last years the band of keyboarder Vitalij Kuprij and guitarist Roger Staffelbach followed their way and kinda perfect their sound. They are still playing progressive power metal and know how to include complex parts in catchy metal tunes. The title track shows that very well. A trademark became the bluesy, powerful voice of John West. The line-up is completed by bassist John Onder and drummer Shane Gaalaas.
Listen to The Way and if you like that song, you'll like the whole album. This quintet of outstanding, talented musicians found a way to combine the complexity of progressive music and the power which metal fans know from other bands. The music is almost dominated by Kuprij's keyboard (he's writing all the music), but Roger Staffelbach adds his guitar lines. Sometimes the guitar line could be a little more aggressive, but that's a matter of taste. The songs cover a range from slower tracks, mid-tempo tunes and faster songs.
Give this ones a try: Madness Calling, The Way, Evolution In Reverse, Time Goes Slowly By and I See Through Your Eyes.


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Forces Of Nature

Forces Of Nature
(Shrapnel Rec. - 1999)


It seems to be the era of projects, many famous or wannabe famous musicians haven't enough to do with their main band and use side-project while not busy to try other things. Sometimes they can't just go different musical ways, sometimes they get the chance to work with their idols. Artension is an international quintet which was founded back in 1995. Vitalij Kupril from the Ukraine and the Swiss guitarist Roger Staffelbach kinda present the European parts. Shouter John West took over the microphone and these days also playing keyboards. In the beginning bassist Kevin Chown (these days John Onder is playing the four-strings) and drummer Mike Terrana (not necessary to introduce this man) were part of the band. Nowa­days Shane Gaalaas is playing drums. Soon the music of Artension caught the interest and they signed the dotted line. On this disc are 9 tracks (ca. 50 minutes) melodic metal with catchy melodies, fascinating guitar solos, interesting keyboard lines and pleasing vocals. This rocks with a progressive touch. There are songs with a balladesque touch like Mother Earth, but most songs are heavier and faster then this one. So, check it out! It won't be a waste of time!


5 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 






Into The Eye Of The Storm

Into The Eye Of The Storm
(Shrapnel Rec. - 1996)


The album opener World Of Illusion shows the musical direction of Artension, the play progressive metal, but with a lot of power! Some of the band members you'll know from their main bands or their former bands... Artension are: Singer John West, keyboarder Vitalij Kuprij, guitarist Roger Staffelbach, bassist Kevin Chown and drummer Mike Terrana!
Many progressive metal bands show their talents and try to show this with complex parts, not Artension! The quintet is showing their talents, but priority has the song! Even if there are complex parts... So they present 10 tracks which are progressive, powerful metal with almost catchy vocal lines. On Smoke And Fire bassist Kevin Chown kicked off the song...
A track which has the vibe of Deep Purple, but sounds like a progressive version of the legends. A catchy tune. The vocals of John West are powerful, bluesy and add the special touch to the songs. Roger Staffelbach's guitar is partly screaming, but on some parts they could be a bit more aggressive... Lost Memory starts with a piano / keyboard intro before the band joins in. A track which is changing between complex parts and catchy ones. Partly a little faster as the rest of the material.
And as usual for bands from the progressive genre the band has several tracks which are more then 5 minutes long, but due to breaks they can keep it interesting.
For power metal fans they probably not straight enough... But for open-minded fans of metal this is worth giving a try!


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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