It has been a long time since I have heard any new material from former MSG lead singer, Robin McAuley. I enjoyed the MSG albums he sang on, so I was kind of excited about this release.
The first thing I noticed is how short this CD is. Only 8 tracks, under 35 minutes in length.
Luckily, this CD does out perform quite a few other 2006 releases with more tracks.
There are quite a few solid tracks. Movin On sounds like a very heavy MSG track, and is the best track by far. Let’s Dance and Gonna Get It are both pretty good as well. Gonna Get it has very Schenker like guitars on it. Let’s Dance cranks the tempo up with driving guitars and drums to match. This is a fun track.
Victoria also sounds like that a track that could have been left off of an MSG album. This is 80’s pop/metal that is as good as it gets. I love the guitars on Promise, and We Belong.
Won’t Let It Go is my least favorite track here. I don’t know if it is McAuley’s vocals or the lyrics that do not work for me here, but I just couldn’t get into this song.
Freedom is another decent track that sounds like it could have been at home in the late 80’s.
Sadly, Robin McAuley has left Demon Angels to go sing for Survivor. I am sure its a higher paying gig, but he left a potential band on the rise. Its a shame based on this hard rocking release. This band has loads of potential. I can only hope that Demon Angels can find a new singer as talented as McAuley and put out a follow up release to this excellent hard rocking disc.
Here is the lone video from Time of Confusion:
Rating:Out of 10
- Gonna Get It
- Movin’ On
- Let’s Dance
- We Be Long
- Won’t Let It Go
I didn’t think I would hear too many new quality releases to close out 2006, but I could not have been more wrong. Jon Oliva’s Pain, is one Heavy Metal release that took me by surprise.
This disc starts off with a very strong track, Through the Eyes of the King, which is unmistakably Savatage in style! This track is one of the best metal songs I have heard all year.
The title track Maniacal Renderings is a progressive number that stretches past 7 minutes. Parts of this song remind of Queensryche, in a good way.
The Evil Beside You starts off slow and kind of reminds me a little of Queen in style, but then breaks into another Savatage style rocker. Time to Die turns up the heaviness, and at times sounds like Black Label Society backing up Oliva. ( At this point, this reviewer has a big evil grin on his face ).
Push It To the Limit cranks the tempo way the hell up. I can see people in a mosh pit, slamming to this song. The bass rhythm on this song reminds me of Anthrax at times.
Who’s Playing God returns to more of a Progressive Metal style. This almost reminds me of a heavy Queen song. Timeless Flight also starts off with that Queen styling, but in a very heavy sense. This is one of those progressive tracks that is technically brilliant. It is one of those songs that make you wonder if you are hearing a CD that may one day be considered classic.
Holes is another heavy track that could easily fit on any Savatage CD. Lots of heavy guitars, rhythm and bass. At first I didn’t like this track, but I had to give it a couple of listens. You have to hear the way this song ends. Awesome!!
End of Times is another prog rocker with plenty of crunching guitars and heavy bass. This is another decent song with excellent guitar work. I didn’t care for this song too much.
Still I Prey For You Now is a slow short number that fails to excite me. I was hoping for something a little more powerful at this place in the record.
The Bonus track features 2 tracks in 1. Reality’s Fool is another slow tempo number that almost seems out of place. A few seconds later another instrumental track continues the fantastic solo work of the late, great Chris Oliva.
As a whole, this is a very strong effort from Jon Oliva’s Pain. Savatage fans should be rushing to pick this up. Progressive Metal fans will likely enjoy this too. If you don’t like either of those, this disc may not appeal to you. I have always liked Savatage, and felt they were very under rated. This disc stands up to any of the Savatage records out there, and is one of the best new releases of 2006.
Rating:Out of 10
Below are a couple of live videos of songs that are from the Maniacal Renderings CD. If you like these, you are going to love this CD!
Evil Beside You
- Through the Eyes of the King
- Maniacal Renderings
- The Evil Beside You
- Time To Die
- Push It To the Limit
- Who’s Playing God
- Timeless Flight
- End Times
- Still I Pray for You Now
- Reality’s Fool (Bonus Track)
Wow….this is a crazy week, but I have picked quite a few new tunes this week, and my playlist has changed dramatically.
Here is my current list:
Demon Angels – Time of Confusion
Jon Oliva’s Pain – Maniacal Renderings
Circle II Cirle – Burden of Truth
Miss Crazy – S/T
Leatherwolf – World Asylum
Sweet Cheater – Eatin’ Aint Cheatin
Iron Maiden – A Matter of Life and Death
Big Cock – Year of the Cock, and the S/T disc.
Violent Divine – S/T – I am really digging these guys.