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Mad Hatter's Den: Excelsior

According to their website, Mad Hatter's Den describe Excelsior as an album," on which the band will further develop their style. In addition to influences heard on Welcome to the Den, the new album's inspirations draw from symphonic and progressive metal, just to mention a few." The good people at Finland's Inverse Records suggest that, "Listeners can expect no-nonsense heavy metal tunes, great riffs and catchy melodies, but enough technical virtuosity to satisfy the more demanding listeners as well." That would be one of the more accurate descriptions by a label this year.

Excelsior is an unexpected gem of an album especially given semi-recent turmoil in the band's line-up. Arto Pitkänen, who joined the band during the Welcome to the Den tour in 2013 is now in full possession of the drum stool. Jarno Vitri, who joined Mad Hatter's Den first to play bass, has now also the job of lead vocalist whilst the band's founding members, Jaakko Hänninen and Kari Korhonen, continue on the guitar alongside Petja Puumalainen's who adds depth and texture throughout. In many ways the keyboards are the most prevalent instrument especially on "The Aftermath" and occasionally the listener may look for more guitar action as when the band rocks out as on "Hero's End (At the Silver Gates)" the result is pretty special. The opening flow is somewhat disrupted by the lacking in tune "Break the Chains (Into the Black)" but overall this is a solid piece of progressive metal with symphonic leanings.

Track Listing:
01. Eye of the Storm
02. Break the Chains (Into the Black)
04. Masters Of Hate
05. Trail Of Fears
06. Through The Unknown
07. Guardian Angel
08. Hero's End (At the Silver Gates)
09. Ascension
10. The Aftermath
11. Not of this World

Added: August 17th 2016
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1192
Language: english

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