Man Of The World (Lion Music)
Drummer Mike Terrana, who has played with Axel Rudi Pell, Rage, Artension, Tony MacAlpine and most famously Yngwie, turns in a second instrumental solo album that features Victor Smolski, Cyril Achard, Rick Graton, Kevin Chown and Ferdy Doernberg. By that list, you might gather that this goes everywhere and it does, from world music to modern jazz to funk to fusion to heaviness, some of it live in Moscow. Through it all, you hear Mike's tight snare, his complicated grooves, his bell, crash and splash, all recorded only acceptably - this does not sound as lush, bold, expensive or as confident as most similar solo outings these days.
Roses On White Lace (Magick)
Five tracks, four actual songs (one an obscure, very heavy Alice Cooper cover), 17 minutes, but nonetheless this tiny American dark power metal gem is making huge waves over in Europe. Icarus Witch have hit upon a virulent strain for their classic metal munchings, conjuring the spirit of Mercyful Fate, early Savatage, perhaps Eidolon, with a collection of exquisitely recorded gothic-steeped, slightly progressive power metal numbers, containing as well hints of Yngwie, Maiden and Angel Of Retribution-era Priest. O'ertop soar the slightly twangy, uber-thespian vocals of Matthew Bizilia, who... man, given the garish, ghoulish metal lyrics, I'm not sure if his package is a truly serious one, or a slightly ironic one circa 3 Inches Of Blood - it's a potential deal-breaker for some, although sticking with it is worth the pants adjustment, given the explosive grooves and the towering production and hopelessly troo metal writing on evidence here.
Hard Reviews Page 6