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On disc: Reaper



Elements - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
Gardens Of Seth - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
Fairies Return - Lars Bj°rn - 8 stars


www.reaper.de







Fairies Return

Fairies Return
(Karthago Records - 2012)


Reaper is a band from Germany which was founded in the beginning of the 80's, and their kind of music is clearly inspired by the 80's metal. They stay true to the sound that was brought on by the NWoBHM movement, and in Reaper's case the sound is a mix of the bands Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, meaning that Judas Priest is to be found many places in their songs and the singing style is mostly close to the way Bruce Dickinson sings, but also Rob Halford can be the inspiration to some passages in the songs.

Killing Machine has nothing to do with the famous Judas Priest album, but is a traditional 80's heavy metal song with no surprises, just good footwork from Reaper. Most true to the NWoBHM style is the song Invader, simple classic heavy metal which could please most metal fans. Fountain Of Youth is another of their metal songs, tight and slow with tons of good old heavy metal sound. Breaking Out My Fear is pure standard 80's metal where the inspiration from Judas Priest is very dominant, just a song that again is so typical of the British bands from that period. Traditional heavy metal is very much alive.


8 stars

Lars Bj°rn
 

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Gardens Of Seth

Gardens Of Seth
(STF Records - 2009)


Reaper are celebrate their 25th anniversary this year and through the years they releases some albums, an EP and 2 demos. Now they present a new studio album which is called Gardens Of Seth. The band offers powerful heavy metal and due to Daniel Zimmermann's voice they got compared with Grave Digger more then one time.

The intro Into The Gardens Of Seth kicks off the album and they head into The Age Of Hunger which offers some fast passages, heavy riffs and doomy passages. There are reminiscences to early Iced Earth and if you can imagine Chris Boltendahl singing, then you have a quite good idea what to expect. After the straight forward rocker Ten Thousand Nightmare they open Super Mystique slower and with Oriental sounds, but soon they pick up speed. Again the riffing and the song arrangement shows similarities to old Iced Earth. Daniel Zimmermann varies vocally and offers some 'clean' vocals, not that he usually does growls, but the raspiness is gone partly. Dark Beyond Black has a catchy edge; Leviathan is slower, but still heavy - track which needs time to grow. After the rocker Revolution they slowly open up the instrumental Al Andaluz with acoustic guitar, then becomes powerful track with some Spanish guitar elements - which made me think of Friday Night In San Francisco, even they can't reach that level. They speed up for Der Erlk÷nig where they adapt Goethe's poem, a song they played live and even if the song not really fit in here, I like the idea. With Light Of Anger they close this chapter, a mid-paced rocker with slow passages. Cool guitar solo.

Reaper present traditional metal with reminiscences to early Iced Earth, but also offer other sounds. Offering a song like Der Erlk÷nig is risky, coz chances are good that people will criticize them for this one. Fans of early Iced Earth, Grave Digger and other traditional heavy metal bands should check out the album.


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Elements

Elements
(self-released - 2002)


The German heavy / power metal band Reaper aren't newcomers, even if many fans might never have heard of them. Opening their demo Elements with The Raven. The songs starts as a mid-tempo heavy metal track, then speeds up and becomes a heavy fast track. The voice of singer and guitarist Daniel Zimmermann remind me of old Rage / Grave Digger. He has a rough, deep voice. The track Azrael is a mid-tempo track with a catchy guitar line, even if they use breaks. The chorus is catchy and will live be a part to sing along. Really interesting is their version of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights. A heavy, doomy version of pop tune. Fields Of Joy is a real fast one, they combine speed metal parts with up-tempo power metal parts. On this track it's most obvious that another singer would have be good for them. A larger vocal range would add the certain something to this track. Musically their songs are quite good and well arranged. Last, but not least Wolfsong in a live version. Here the sound is hollow, but it gives an idea about the live quality of the band. The guitars should have been more up front and the drums are rattle... But this is a demo and not big production, so it's okay.

The demo has a powerful production which is done by the band. I think that the band did a good job production-wise. In the mid-80's they would have had the chance to make their way with bands like Grave Digger, Rage, early Helloween, but these days it ain't easy. Probably with a decent singer their chances would be better... Even if I like Dan's vocals I can imagine that for many fans this is the weakest part. On the other hand I have to confess that a better singer might give them the certain something...


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

           ©2008-2014 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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