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[Recap] July 2010

I hate to say this, but it has been somewhat of a dead month. There has not been much on the blog this July, but only because I had trouble finding anything of interest to write about. What little I could cover includes the following:

  • Album of the Month: Winner/Loser
  • Late power metal reviews
  • Juvaliant interview
  • My personal favorites of the month

It had started to pick up at the end with upcoming interviews and shipments from the kind people of Earsplit, but some of that will have to come this month. For now, we’ll make do with what we’ve got, starting with the Album of the Month:

Album of the Month: At the Edge of Time (Blind Guardian)

Being highly influential in the power metal scene, Blind Guardian set high standards for themselves with this album. I doubt it will be renowned as a classic, but At the Edge of Time is no doubt a great album. It is very familiar for both Blind Guardian and general power metal fans, but still keeps itself interesting for the most part. Its dense layering of symphonic instruments is sensational, and adds a great deal of depth to the album. Despite having a few weaker songs, this is an overall strong release and the clear winner for album of the month.

Not Album of the Month

When I say clear winner, I mean that the competition was totally blown out. And when I say competition, I mean Avenged Sevenfold. There were only two albums which I heard this month, and they are in totally different leagues. Though the passing of the A7X drummer is quite the tragedy, I must maintain my honesty in saying that Nightmare is a generic and rather irritating album to listen to.

It is basically what to expect from an Avenged Sevenfold album, but everything done at a lower level of quality. Many fans will like this, but only for the familiarity of the band; there is nothing new offered in this album that hasn’t been done in the band’s former material. I was hoping drummer Mike Portnoy would bring something new to the table, but he played it safe and stayed out of the spotlight (which, unfortunately for the album, is the moral thing to do). I’m worried for this band; Nightmare is not a promising sign for where the band is headed.

“Old” Power Metal Reviews

Clearly I have not been on top of things, seeing how there are a couple extremely late reviews on the site. I felt obligated to review them, however, because they are both great releases. Both of them are power metal, yet they are quite different.

First, I’ll talk about Labyrinth‘s sequel to their highly acclaimed Return to Heaven Pt. I. The album is Return to Heaven Denied Pt. II: A Midnight Autumn’s Dream, and it could very well be seen as a comeback album for the band. It marks the return of fan-beloved guitarist Olaf Thörsen to much praise. It is quite technical power metal with a progressive polish to it. No doubt it is one of the stronger releases this year.

I definitely enjoy Juvaliant‘s debut album, Inhuman Nature, but just not as much as the aforementioned Labyrinth album. It had more of a progressive styling to it, and the touch of classical hit my sweet spot. That being said, it felt rather forced and unnatural at some parts. Still, there is no doubt much to be appreciated in this album, especially the final track, “Cold Distance of the Universe”. It is another strong release of the year.

A Word from Juvaliant

While we’re on the subject of Juvaliant, the lead singer Thomas Strübler was kind enough to take the time to conduct an email interview with The Golden Bird.

Thomas Strübler

In case you are unaware, Juvaliant is a new band to the scene, though its members have been musicians for much of their lives. If you like what they have to offer, give your support; they could really use it!

Personal Picks of July

For those who haven’t noticed, there as a new page at the top entitled “GB Favorites,” where I will continue to post my personal favorites of the month. It seems to be a great way of seeing how my musical tastes have been developing. Yeah, interesting stuff…

There was nothing new that really stood out to me this past month, so my picks are not particularly fresh from the music scene. There are familiar faces to my monthly picks, and they certainly deserve it.

My favorites of the month have been:

  • Band: Unitopia
  • Album: The Garden (Unitopia)
  • Song: “Idioglossia” (Pain of Salvation, The Perfect Element, Part I)

Unitopia – they are a great band; check them out! I hope you all had a great month, because the blog certainly did not… haha! I apologize on behalf of music for being so uninteresting, since it is clearly not my fault… Anyways, take care everyone!

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