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New Light Choir: Volume II

For their second album, the duo known as New Light Choir, John Niffenegger (vocals, guitars, bass and M-Tron) and Chris Dalton (drums ) take just about every sub-genre of heavy metal and combine them into a pleasing, often times complex amalgam of sounds. Volume II hints at black metal, NWOBHM, gothic, prog-metal, and of course vintage '70s hard rock & metal. Niffenegger has a high pitched vocal style that's going to be a hit or miss affair with some, sounding like a cross between Rush's Geddy Lee and any number of '80s new wave singers, but for the most part he fits these eclectic songs just fine."Frost and Fire" is a rampaging heavy rocker filled with furious riffing, the singer soaring overhead, while "Higher Fire" adds more of a proggy touch with a hint of black metal. There's some intense riffing going on through "Violet Skies (From The Ashes)", and "July Sky" tosses in black metal atmosphere with the epic nature of early Rainbow. "December Flying" delivers some huge Black Sabbath styled riffs and NWOBHM styled arrangements, but the overall impact is slightly tempered by Niffenegger's never changing vocal style. That's really the key negative of Volume II; halfway through the album you are practically begging that Niffenegger would change things up a bit, add a growl here, an aggressive passage there, but he just stays on the same course, and it really hurts some of these songs to have him delivering the same tone from track to track. He's not a bad singer by any means, but he has to find a way to vary his approach a bit.

Musically there are some cool passages here, as the duo is more than capable of putting together dark, hard hitting material, but with them listing influences such as Accept, Mercyful Fate, Queensr˙che, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Loudness, Slayer, Torch, Venom,Exciter, Trouble, Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Bathory, Tiamat, Paradise Lost, Cathedral, Entombed, Confessor, Scorpions, Thin Lizzy, UFO, Rainbow, Rush, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple, I guess I was expecting a little more.

Track Listing

  1. Higher Fire (Proximity)
  2. All I Need
  3. Frost And Fire
  4. April Witch
  5. Violet Skies (From The Ashes)
  6. July Sky
  7. New Light In October
  8. December Flying
  9. Darkest Of Nights
  10. Sea Of Stars

Added: September 6th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1250
Language: english

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