Fitzsimon & Brogan: “Big Blue World” – a full, punchy pop sound!

Fitzsimon & Brogan is a musical project based in London, whose creators therefore logically are songwriter Neil Fitzsimon, and vocalist Bee Brogan. The two setup their songwriting and production to produce, what they describe as “pure pop for now people.” Both were previously in a band called Pretty Blue Gun who featured guests musicians such as members of The Art of Noise, Dave Bronze (Eric Clapton’s bass player), Tobias Boshell (Moody Blues) and Pip Williams, who played guitar on the Walker Brothers’ track, ‘No Regrets’.  The two critically acclaimed albums were produced by Pat Collier, who produced Katrina and the

Lord Conrad: “Only You” – a journey through sound, emotion and introspection

Italian DJ, producer and model Lord Conrad, continues his prolific run with a series of acclaimed crossover hits like “Touch the Sky”, “Day After Day”, “1 Minute” and “Fight Till The End”. Lord Conrad has made it so far since his introduction to the music scene with his first release. With his innovative sound that only he can perfect, his reception is steadily growing, to beyond the strongest communication devices on the planet. Now with the release of his brand new track, “Only You”, the producer once again takes the music world by storm. His sound has drastically improved through the years, and it

Arush Dayal is a triple threat!

With a career spanning acting, singing, and writing, Arush Dayal is a triple threat. Originally hailing from India, Arush has seen a wide swath of the globe on his quest to hone his craft. He has studied at prestigious acting programs across the world including the Acting Program at the International Academy of Film and Television in Hong Kong and the One Year Conservatory at T Schreiber Studio in New York. Meisner Technique, Acting for the Camera and Commercial Acting are all facets of the industry Arush has studied in depth. He continues to perform both onstage and in front

The Frost: “Keep It Real” – There’s a classiness to this!

The Frost is a multi-genre group comprised of Leah Evans (Vocals) and Christian Gratz (Guitar, Piano). Located in Pennsylvania, their brand new single “Keep It Real” was released on December 7.  The duo emerge at a time when the ranks of sophisticated pop contenders seemed to have disappeared on a daily basis. Simultaneously chic and very creative, they thrive on the considerable charm of lead singer Evans, with her smooth chocolate voice, the instrumental talents of Gratz, as well as the pair’s impressive abilities as a songwriting unit. An absolute stand-out aspect of the new song is the way it’s

Forest Robots: “Timberline and Mountain Crest” – Inspired by natural landscapes

Let’s start of by saying that Fran Dominguez aka Forest Robots is a master at producing chilled out electronic music with heavy beats, and lots of orchestral instrumentation thrown in the mix. To call it electronic music almost seems unfair, as it implies this is music made by machines. Yes, I realize he is called Forest Robots, but this could not be further from the truth, as Dominguez’s music is pumping with life and human emotion. His latest album “Timberline and Mountain Crest” showcases 10 tracks of stunning depth, the kind of album you just throw the headphones on, turn

Edward St. Martin: “Lullaby” – blur the lines between savvy pop stylings and hard hitting kinetic soundscaping

Hailing from San Diego, Edward St. Martin has a background in film composition and classical music. His most recent single is “Lullaby”. Expectations met, superseded and immediately I hit replay. This track is going round again and I’m not the only one within ear shot of my stereo who is pleased about it. The easy laid back crossover Pop/EDM groove take is not unexpected, as I had already read that St. Martin was one for mellow tones combined with pop and soul vibes. But this track has another key element which makes a record of this nature standout. Intelligence. This

Katiah One: “Tail Spin” – an evolving, audacious artist

Soon releasing debut first EP “A Whole Lotta Water Works”, Katiah One is an artist raised on the Upper West Side of New York City. His mission is changing the common perception of the average rapper. Katiah draws inspiration from many genres including R&B and Rock, while his favorite artists include Freddy Mercury, Sam Cooke and Issac Brock.  On his latest single “Tail Spin”, taken off the aforementioned EP, Katiah deals with the deep issues of existentialism, or simply put, the meaning of a human being’s existence. Sure his talking ‘black’ talk, but you can’t go there without understanding the

Alisa Chirco: “Give Me More” – bench marked with confidence!

Alisa Chirco sure isn’t shy about revealing what’s on her mind, on her brand new single “Give Me More”, the follow up to her almost gothic-like pop ballad “Box”. Alisa sounds passionate, wanting and determined, in a driven rock song that is an anthem for empowered women. Her music here is very strong, has meaning, and is legit. The track shows that she is learning to emote in a more visceral and arguably more demonstrative way. Alisa has now escalated to being a rock chic with an attitude and bold open-confessional lyrics. A sensible direction for any reinvention is maturity, and

Roger Cole & Paul Barrere: “Old Folks Boogie Redeux” – true to their sound!

“Ya know that you’re over the hill, when your mind makes a promise that your body can’t fill!”, this is the line that inspired Paul Barrere to write the original version of the “Old Folks Boogie”, which would subsequently feature on the 1977 Little Feat record “Time Loves a Hero”. The citation came from a line Paul’s dad – an actor at the time – picked up at a vaudeville theater. He would often sing it around the house, so eventually Paul got hooked turned it into a song. For some time, Paul’s partner over at Better Daze Records, Roger

Glorious: “Move” – throbs with club energy

Pop singer, Livetronica drummer, producer and songwriter, Glorious, is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, who has been making music since she started playing drums at the age of three. Named after her grandmother Glorious Cooper, Glorious recently unveiled her single “Move”. In an increasingly crowded field of urban pop artists, you may be wondering what makes Glorious worth your time. To be sure, she boasts a lot of the qualities that her peers also bring to the table. Her song is outlined with an exquisite beat, her vocals are mesmerizing, and her persona appears spectacularly captivating. Without close

Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins: “Pawn and Prophecy” – Dense, dynamic and super tight

There is no doubt that “Pawn and Prophecy” is going to garner some serious praise. This album puts the ‘classic’ back in metal in a definitive kind of fashion. The album represents the direction many true metal fans hoped and presumed the genre would go after all the ridiculous sub-genres that crawled out of the woodwork over the past few years. This album basically sows the seeds for a whole new generation of power metal – one with technique, speed and aggression that has no regard for radio-friendly or corporate rock elements. There is no denying the awe-inspiring quality and intensity contained within these 8 songs delivered by Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins – a side project by the Symphony X bassist, who is joined by  Alan Tecchio (Vocals), Lance Barnewold (Guitar), Rod Rivera (Guitar) and Michael Romeo (Guitar, Keyboards, Drum programming).

Alan Tecchio sounds better than ever – his vocals right high up in the mix – and the venerable guitars cut through with conviction. There’s a nice mix of speed and traditional classic metal drumming, while Mike LePond’s bass rumble, drives the band’s rhythm as always.

Those with an appreciation for the qualities that make contemporary metal compelling along with an acknowledgement that the melodic leanings of 80’s metal were integral in pushing the message to a broader audience will find “Pawn and Prophecy”  both technically and stylistically worth embracing.

These songs are succinct and to the point – the longest song just short of 6 minutes – that’s if you exclude the final title track, “Pawn and Prophecy”, which is a nearly 22 minute song initially written for a Symphony X album. For some reason the song didn’t make the cut, so Mike dusted it off, reworked and tweaked it, into a spectacular progressive and epic metal centerpiece for this album.

Throughout the album there is a catchiness to the melodies and choruses that hasn’t been present in the genre since the nineties, and the production is just stinking clean – no muddy compression. There is plenty of guitar muscle, in both the leads and the solos, yet it doesn’t seem overdone.

I also love how this album doesn’t try to run at 200bpm the whole way through, and the band enjoys being a whole lot more expressive and theatrical. That said, the first 4 songs throw it down pretty hard and heavy. “Masters Of The Hall” may just be my favorite song, both lyrically and musically, because it has the classic metal riffage that is just so irresistible. But how cool is it to have the anthemic choral vocals in the opening bars.

The guitars in “Black Legend” are also so classic metal that you would swear you’ve stepped back 25 years in time. This song carries the spirit of the genre with a sound that is essentially timeless. And tell me that “Antichrist” doesn’t have that classic metal vibe as well? The diversity here is quite noteworthy.

You’ll notice that the word ‘classic’ keeps coming up again and again. It’s investable, because Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins’ sophomore album has ‘classic’ written all over it, in every sense of the word. The grind of “I Am The Bull” has a chugging Black Sabbath sting in its tail, and also happens to be a perfect showcase for LePond’s bass soloing. “Avengers Of Eden” brings into focus a distinct Judas Priest twist in its supersonic velocity and Tecchio’s high powered vocals.

Dense, dynamic and super tight, “Hordes Of Power” sees the band firing on all cylinders. It’s full of fantastic guitar riffs and solos, great song writing and massive hooks. There is only one way to listen to this album….loud! This is elite level material that matches anything they’ve ever done.

“The Mulberry Tree” is acoustically driven, filled with melody while still maintaining the high-energy quotient. This all leads us to the 22 minute symphony that is the title track “Pawn and Prophecy” – and showcase for their technical, arranging and performing skills.

On listening to this track, you will continue to ask yourself over and over “how the hell did they pull this off?” This is absolutely the best classic metal album that I’ve heard in years. The songwriting, playing and singing is superb. This is one of those rare records that you do not want to miss.

And if you really don’t want to miss this band in all their glory, then you’ll need to go and see them live at Headbangers Holiday Hell Feat: Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins on Saturday, December 22, 2018 at 8 PM – 1 AM EST at Dingbatz 620 Van Houten Ave, Clifton, New Jersey 07013. Tickets can be found HERE.

Follow the band on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE

Record Label
Frontiers – http://www.frontiers.it 
Knife Fight Media http://www.knifefightmedia.com
UDR Music – https://www.facebook.com/UDR.Music?fref=ts

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