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On disc: Zihard



- Life Of Passion - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars


www.zihard.com







Life Of Passion

Life Of Passion
(Doremi Media - 2007)


This is actually the first time I have a CD of a band from South Korea on my desk - and I'm curious to hear what they offer. I never heard of them before and I have almost no information about them... Only that the band was founded back in 1996 and that this is their debut.
Life Of Passion start with a bombastic intro which leads with thunder into Crying In The Midnight. The first song on Life Of Passion shows the musical direction of the South Korean quartet - they are playing neoclassical metal. An up-tempo tune with sharp, precise riffing by Bak Yeong-Su and on top Kim Seong-Hoon's vocals. This guy knows how to hit high notes! Partly he reminds me of Timo Kotipelto.... Heavy riffs and pounding drums kick off Viper. Here they slow down a bit and change between mid-tempo and faster parts which is a good idea, coz so Seong-Hoon has more space to express feelings. Very interesting is the ballad Strange Without You which shows their mellow side and is sung in Korean - at least I think it's Korean.... And even as most won't understand a word, the emotions speak loudly. Guitarist Bak Yeong-Su doesn't try to shine with complex parts here, he just tries to support the song and so adds some beautiful guitar melodies. But then it's time for the band to show their craftsmanship with the instrumental Adversity Of My Life. The tune reminds me a bit of old MSG.... It has this 80's feeling. A feeling they stick to for the following Once Again - another song with non-english lyrics, but that makes it even more interesting in my opinion. The track is a heavy rocker with a catchy hook line. With Against The World they speed up again - and they are back to English words. The pronunciation don't feel right... But the song is well done with speed changes and different atmospheres. Sad Memory is the 2nd instrumental on Life Of Passion and even as I'm not a big fan of instrumental music, they don't loose me. As the title indicates the song has a melancholy edge... With Fire In The Sky they come to an end. Another up-tempo tune and somehow I have to think of Alcatrazz's Hiroshima.... Only for a brief moment... But yes, there is some Alcatrazz in their music!
I recommend Zihard to fans of neoclassical and melodic metal. Especially fans of Yngwie Malmsteen and Axel Rudi Pell should like this sound - to name just 2 bands. Technically on a high level they can compete with every band of the genre. And with Kim Seong-Hoon they have a powerful and emotional singer. The only thing I miss is a bit more variety.. And a real ear catcher... But well, it's their debut, let's see what they present us next!


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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