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5.0 von 5 Sternen
You Germans are so lucky!!, 27. September 2013
Here is the review I put on Amazon.com in the USA (Since I live in Chicago). Just know that I am so jealous of you that you can SEE these guys live...I honestly wish I had that chance in the US and as Germans you should be so PROUD of the amazing work this band is putting out there CD after CD....now enough ranting and here is my review (And I KNOW you all understand English ;-)
WOW! After having released 2 very strong CDs in the past ("Beautiful & Monstrous + Touchstones"), Subsignal is back and if the old saying of "The Third time is the charm" is true, it could be never be more relevant here!
Even though the new material (IMO) is overall less progressive than the previous releases, the songs are definitely more "Accessible" and easier to absorb after the first few listens and include some monumental songs including 2 ballads that could easily reach a larger (Top40) audience if the right marketing/WOM channel was available.
All of the musicians are in top form! Markus leads with his inspiring classical guitar passages and thundering riffs, Ralf is eloquently and powerfully thundering his base, Danilo Batdorf finally gets to add his own touch to Subsignal and does it masterfully with great time changes and signatures while David Bertok always find a way to create amazing "moods" and "Soundscapes" to match each song. And then there is Arno Menses...the man with the "Majestic Voice" and someone who can take any song and make it sound great. Each member of this band contributes equally which in turn provides the wonderful "Flow" of the music and taking it to different levels and styles. You will experience "Deja Vu" moments from bands like Saga, Kansas, Yes and the Progressive greats but having said that, Subsignal has created their own style of music....perfectly blending elements from Progressive, AOR and Melodic rock genres and its music that EVERYONE can listen to!
Lets get to the tracks:
1. Time and Again (4/5)- This is a "intro style" song which is more of a introduction to the title track. Very experimental and great use of strings and a perfect intro for the title track
2. Paraiso (5/5) - Here come the riffs baby! This is Subsignal at their finest...clean riffs, sweet groves and an awesome chorus. Bullseye!!
3. A New Reliance (5/5) - This song reminds me of a classic Saga song from the riffs and structure whereas the chorus reminds me more of something else that I cant quite pinpoint. Probably my favorite track after the first few listens and a great rock song.
4. A Heartbeat Away (5/5)- Here is where I see some of the (Jon Anderson) YES influences...especially at the beginning during the acoustical intro. Strong chorus and a beautiful song.
5. A Long Way Since the Earth Crashed (5/5)- The first "Ballad" and something that could definitely be a "Top 40" hit and reminds me a little of Peter Gabriel. Beautiful song that can be appreciated by anyone who likes "Top 40" to any progressive rocker.
6. A Giant Leap of Faith (5/5)- WOW, one of my favorite tracks on the CD. Catchy Chorus, killer riffs and classic Subsignal...not much else to say!
7. The Stillness Beneath the Snow (4/5)- The beginning brings me back to some of their earlier (Arno/Markus)"Sieges Even" days (something about the riffs). Great song with a mellow chorus but beautiful clean riffs to offset some of the "mellowness" and love the way they end the song.
8. The Blueprint of a Winter (5/5)- Call me sappy but this is a beautiful love ballad and if this were written by a "Pop 40" artist it would be on top of the charts. This is the "Single" from the CD and includes the beautiful and talented "Marcela Bovio" from "Stream of Passion" and "Ayreon". Her duet with Arno is a masterpiece and one of the most beautiful "duet ballads" in the last decade IMO! What a treat it would be to witness this live with both of them!
9. The Colossus that Bestrode the World (5/5)- Hear comes the Thunder and Power! Probably their hardest riffs (song) on the CD and bursting with energy and maybe my favorite song now (after countless listens). A perfect mix of hard riffs, energetic vocals and integrating melody with the "Signature Subsignal Background vocals" as well as the acoustic interludes. PURE PERFECTION!
10. Swimming Home (5/5)- A grand finale in classic Subsignal style! A slow starting song that turns into a Mid Tempo Masterpiece and a fireworks of vocals/background vocals and orchestration....what a song....goosebumps and already a "Subsignal Epic" track that keeps me having myself repeat "Millions of Stars, Millions of Suns" etc.
This CD is an easy 5 stars and their best CD to date IMO...not one weak link or "Filler" (not that there are any in their previous work but this is definitely their strongest showing to date even though overall it may be a little more mellow than their previous work IMO).
A side note as the "Deluxe Edition" also contains their song setlist they played live in Mannheim back in 2012 and is also available via DVD (which is highly recommendable so you can see how amazing they are!)
I have said this to my friends in the US and when I witnessed them live in Germany. It is ludicrous and sad that this band does not receive more recognition worldwide....they are one of the best (Progressive) Melodic Rock bands in the world and deserve to be recognized. If this CD and their music speaks to you then please spread the word. Take the time and go see a show or write a blog/review and tell others (that may like this type of music) about them and get them the recognition they deserve! These guys work their tails off to bring us such incredible music and we should all "give something back" when we find the time.
Thank you for taking the time to read all of this (if you did) and I hope you find the music as inspirational and beautiful as I do!