They are very much like the other group that came to prominence recently with a very similar name. Anvil Chorus, like the group Anvil, were a product of the 80's. Both bands made a name for themselves in their local areas and were known as very good heavy metal acts. Neither could catch the break that was needed to get to the next level. Now both are trying to grab a bit of that old flash.
Anvil Chorus never was able to get a record deal. There have been numerous demos and bootlegs traded but they never had the opportunity to get their music released. Now, 30 years later they have reformed and re-recorded much of their old music to finally get it out on this CD called The Killing Sun. You could call this a best of disc from those past years and as such you will be able to tell just what kept them from the mainstream.
Anvil Chorus was ahead of their time. The way that they mix progressive music with heavy metal was just not done back then, at least not to the extent that they did. These guys can play. The only thing I found was that there are no grabbers on here. The sound is terrific but very much a blending of other styles and sounds. It is a good listen but not one that is going to stick with you.
I did enjoy a number of the songs on here. "Phase To Phase" is a very good bit of prog oriented metal. Very nice keyboards and a catch melody make this one of the best offerings on here.
"After Time" is a very good ballad but it sounds so much like many others that are out. I almost think of Yes when I hear this one. Good, just not thrilling.
The song "Tales" also was a lot of fun and for some reason made me think of the group Asia.
They tend to try and blend this progressive sound with heavy metal that comes right out of that time period and for the most part it works but for some reason it just does not excite at all. Like on the song "Death Of A Dream" which starts out with a guitar riff that reminds me of Hot Blooded by Foreigner then turns into this well played European flavored progressive song. This has to be my favorite part of the album and even so it is not a song that stays with you.
There is some very good guitar playing by Thaen Rasmussen and Doug Piercy throughout and Aaron Zimpel's vocals are tasty for sure, they just need to put a little more fire into the music. It is not symphonic or epic enough to grab the prog fan in me and not metal enough to awaken the rocker either. It does find some middle ground and might be a good disc for those who can't make up their mind. Still some very good music throughout and I would have to say that there isn't a song that could be called filler on the whole disc.
I have played this one over and over trying to get that spark from them and other than a few times that perked me up, there was just a collection of songs that manage to make me like the band but not to the point that I couldn't live without them either. If this was released 30 years ago, it should have been a big hit and maybe it would have been interesting to see where they would have taken it from there. As it stands, this is one that you will like and well should but never will it become an often played disc.
1. Deadly Weapons
2. Red Skies
3. Phase To Phase
4. Man Made Machines
5. After Time
6. Death Of A Dream
7. Blue Flame
9. The Blade
11. Such Is Life
12. Once Again