Gitaron - The First Battle review
|Album:||The First Battle|
|Release date:||July 2007|
01. Enter My Church
03. We're Knights
04. Blood On The Wall
05. Flame Of Hate
Chances are high many of you have never heard of this band before. Well, Gitaron are a new Belgian Heavy Metal band founded in 2006 and have only released one demo so far, so that's why you don't know them. Yet. Because if there's one thing I want to impart in this review it definitely is: go to their website and check this band and demo out! As Gitaron is still pretty unknown, Metal Storm got the absolute premiere to publish the very first review (and interview and song-by-song) of this nice but solid Belgian Heavy Metal band.
And that Gitaron play nice and solid Heavy Metal becomes immediately clear by listening to this five-track demo. Every single song marks the band's freshness and creativity in all kinds of way. Also each song is quite different from the other qua composition and rhythm. In the interview I had with the band, they told me they wanted to try to give a complete and clear image of all the things Gitaron stand for in these five songs, and I now totally understand what they mean. All songs are of course played with a lot of spirit but still each song emphasizes on another aspect of the overall Gitaron sound. It's true it's hard to get an image of a band by only listening to five of their (demo) songs, but with this demo that isn't really the case as a lot of aspects of the band's sound are being put into the spotlights. And when you get the whole Gitaron image by this demo, you also discover that band is really something special on its own. When I labelled them as solid Heavy Metal earlier, I wasn't really aiming at the classic, traditional Heavy Metal music.
Let's analyse the demo a bit more extensively. Generally, "The First Battle" contains a lot of tempo, there are also a few interesting breaks and rhythm changes, but overall it's appealing straightforward music. There're also some very cool riffs and nice solos to be found on this release. Drumming is very solid too, not pounding or aggressive, just solid and good. The bass parts on the contrary are quite experimental. The bassist has its roots partially in the funky jazz scene, and from time to time funky jazz aspects are clearly being filtered into the music, which again gives another special dimension to the total Gitaron sound. The vocals are a bit tough actually; they're not totally clean but not really raw or harsh either. They're just forceful, which perfectly goes together with the powerful and solid sound this band stands for. Surprisingly there are also female background vocals, something rather unknown in the Heavy Metal music. But those vocals really come out very well in all the songs and certainly give those songs a very nice surplus value. It was a brilliant idea to add female (background) vocals to the songs, as the result is really (and in a way also surprisingly) successful. Concluding that this is a progressive demo would be quite wrong actually, but it's hard to deny that this is a progressive release within the genre in all kinds of aspects. And I also think this certainly was the main intension of the band. The whole band tried to bring in something special to their proper parts, which makes that this demo isn't just another Heavy Metal demo, but really has something extra and special to offer. Another thing that really surprises me and that certainly has to be mentioned too is the good and clear production of this self produced demo. This also really benefits the innovating freshness of the band's sound.
This certainly is a demo that grows on you. The songs are very appealing but not catchy and simple enough to immediately stick into your head for days. The choruses are very contagious though, but still not über-catchy or cheesy, if you know what I mean. This is of course a good thing. The music stays very appealing but gives at the same time a fair image of all the hard and difficult work the band has put in this demo. It's also by listening to the demo over and over again that you get the full picture of the songs and it's only then that you truly can appreciate each song in its full glory and in all its aspects. I sure believe and hope to hear more from this band in the future, because we need these kind of bands that evolve the metal scene with their sound.
Is "The First Battle" a good demo album? Yes it is. This is a good release. It's not outstanding but fairly and surprisingly good, certainly when you recall it's the band first release. And it's certainly a recommendation for everyone, especially those who are looking for something new and fresh in Heavy Metal.
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