I am a die hard Iced Earth fan and I was devastated to hear Matt Barlow left Iced Earth, even though Owens did a great job. Then I heard he was recording with a great European style band and I was excited but not as much as I would be if it were Iced Earth. I found out the name of the band and checked out the myspace song "Year of The Phoenix", which I thought was vocally insane, and musically decent, so the next time I went to the cd store I picked the album up.
I loved every minute of it. It had a "Horror Show" (Iced Earth album) feeling with a progressive European metal twist. The music was aggressive, melodic and Barlow's voice just brought it to the next level. He sounds like he never left music at all. Powerful, emotional, and melodic is the best way to describe his voice. Definitely still one of the great voices in metal.
Pyramaze guitarist and leader, Michael Kammeyer's songwriting is very powerful, and resembles the skill of the legendary Jon Shaffer. You wont hear one bad or generic track on here. He has some familiar riffs here and there but there is something about his lyrics and music that bring out this unique sound.
The Keyboards give each song an amazing aura. They give most of the songs especially the last song "March of The Endless Rain" such an epic feeling and it never feels forced. The music is very honest and personal in some aspects, becuase certain words and situations in songs such as "Caramon's Poem", in the mid of a sibling battle and a battle out of land, can be compared to modern situations in life.
1) A Beautiful Death - Aggressive and meaningful song for the passion of ancient warriors. Barlow's sings with so much emotion that the listener is brought into the heat of a battle.
2) Caramon's Poem - "My brothers blood is my blood"
3) The Ghost Light - Very unique songwritting and brings the listener to another world
4) The Highland - Another unique song with amazing musicianship