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On disc: Halcyon Way

Building The Towers - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
IndoctriNation - Lars Bjørn - 5 stars


(Nightmare Records - 2011)

Halcyon Way is a struggling band, but overcame that lead guitarist Jon Bodan was treated in hospital for a long time and their planned tour in the spring 2011 was canceled. They start again from scratch and makes a new record to state their life and well message. IndoctriNation is number 3 from the Atlanta-based band, and their musical influences comes from many places. It shows in their songs which goes from US Metal to techno and industrial noise. Their vocalist Steve Braun is skilled and he succeed in heating the water and keep it inside the kettle rather than loosing control of the songs. On Black Wings is melodic and rough but not a song that takes home much praise. Our Darkest Hour sets the US Metal on the right place together with melodic traditional metal in a song they can be proud of. Revolution Is Now starts messy but develops to be the best song on the new album, super melodic with great guitar work and a spark in the eye. Stand Up is a cover version of Steel Dragon banger metal, but in Halcyon Way it looses the power and stands back left alone and lost in boredom. The System reaches the finish of the CD and now it's time for techno pop rock. A shame that the album only counts 8 songs, it's not enough to give a strong impression, especially after they had canceled their tour, then this half-hearted album is what they give their fans.

5 stars

Lars Bjørn


Building The Towers

Building The Towers
(Nightmare Records - 2010)

Halcyon Way are from Georgia (USA) and Building The Towers is their second album. The prog power outfit has a new singer on board, Steve Braun (Ashent) who replaced Sean Shields.
Distant riffs and some spoken words lead into the opener Rise To Revise, a track with fast riffing, complex elements, death-ish growls by bassist Kris Maltenieks and catchy clean vocals. The opener is heavy, melodic, complex and so has all the trademarks of the Halcyon Way sound. At Death Of A Dream the memorable guitar play is what sticks out, but the songs also gives drummer Ernie Topran and bassist Kris Maltenieks space to show off their skills. Again they use harsh vocals as a sound element to add heaviness and to change the atmosphere of the song. Braun's vocal style sounds familiar, but I can't fathom it... Anyway, they surprise you with twists and turns. The System kicks off with heavy riffs spiced up with keyboard, then they easy of and keyboard and vocals dominate. This tune is a sonic roller coaster ride. For me one of the highlights of Building The Towers. And another highlight is next in line - Inversion. Mouth Without A Head starts slowly with guitars and vocals, later the band heads into a symphonic tune which has a bit of Queensrÿche in it, and I don't mean Pamela Moore who is joining Steve Braun at this one. Later the percussion make you think of Angra, but only for a brief moment. Desecration Day is a guitar-driven US metal song which is enriched with progressive elements. After the long track Inside Looking Out (The Icon & The Ghost) they close the chapter with the title track Building The Towers. And even if they stick to their roots they can surprise the listener once again.

Okay, the songs need several spins til you discovered every detail and til the melodies stick, but as the songs have memorable elements you'll enjoy the album every time.
With Building The Towers Halcyon Way will build up a larger fan base, now it's time to promote the album live - which hopefully will soon be possible.... We wish guitarist Jon Bodan all the best in his fight against cancer!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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