Well this is a turn up in the reviews pile. This is a one man project (Tommy Varsala) from Finland and this is simply the best combination of metal music I can imagine at this moment. Take a splash of pre-Melissa Mercyful Fate, some classic Iron Maiden of the DiAnno and Dickinson (1st stint!) era’s and you have heavy metal that’s both uplifting, evil, and effortless, this simply has everything for me. The EP has 5 tracks, but also included is 4 further tracks from TD’s 2015 demo, there’s a difference immediately, a pleasant one that is.
The new material has a NWOBHM era hint in the guitar work, the often unearthly standard range vocal reminds me of Mercyful Fate’s stuff around the demos and ‘EP aka Nuns Have No Fun’ period, especially the demo material that’s surfaced on various compilations in the past. Then by the 3rd track ‘Rockers’ you have immense guitar melodies that whets even the most stubborn metal fans desires. The jewel of the release is ‘Gate to New Reality’ which is dare I say it, a touch epic. There’s so many ideas and when I listen to this, yes I hear influences of past masters, but I don’t feel this is a tribute, it has enough of its own character. The vocals maybe heavily influenced by a type of reverb but this gives it a sinister feeling. Even the guitar tone sounds authentically vintage.
The wealth of bits and bobs coming from the early US Power/Thrash Metal Scene, the NWOBHM scene, really puts a smile on your face. While granted, the production is quite lo-fi by today’s standards, this simply adds to the magic for me. The demo tracks show more of a Maiden influence with some loud mixing levels of the vocals that actually hit some painful points on your hearing from time to time, but hey, this is great material and what a find.
This is a fantastic effort without trying to be cvlt or deliberately retro, this simply works. There will be a vinyl and CD release and keep an eye out for a cassette version of the 2015 demo too.
(9/10 Paul Maddison)