- Album Reviews

Artizan – Ancestral Energy

When I reviewed the debut album “Curse of The Artizan” from Jacksonville, Florida’s Artizan, I wrote, Artizan had just scratched the surface of what they are capable of. After several listens to their sophomore effort Ancestral Energy on Pure Steel Records, it appears that I was correct in my estimation. With their second full-length album, Artizan has successfully achieved what professional metal bands strive for. They have created a signature, instantly recognizable sound all their own.
Founded by drummer Ty Tammeus in 2008, the band consists of vocalist Tom Braden, guitarist Shamus Mcconney, and bassist Jon Jennings. Legendary metal producer Jim Morris of Morrisound Studios in Tampa, Florida produced Ancestral Energy. The production is crisper than the debut album and has a great sound mix. The album is a throwback to the early 1980’s NWOBHM style when there were no sub-genres of metal, just pure meat and potatoes heavy metal. Listening to the albums seven tracks, I was reminded of those early Iron Maiden albums like Killers and Number of the Beast, where the songs were melodic, heavy, short, and packed a punch. The seven-song track listing here is a perfect album length.
The fIrst track I Am The Storm evokes memories of classic Maiden with some great guitar harmonies, melodic vocals courtesy of Braden, and a catchy hook laden chorus. The Raven Queen is another rocker with killer hooks and soaring vocal harmonies. The intro to The Guardian features some emotional vocals from Braden and some beautiful acoustic guitar work. The song kicks in with a Maiden-esque guitar and bass rhythm. Tammeus takes the spotlight with some great drum work on the melodious metal of The Death of Me. The album slows down a bit with the eerie Deep Ocean Dreams, a mid-tempo galloping slab of metal. The “ode to all that is heavy” You Can’t Take The Metal Out Of Me doesn’t quite hit the sweet spots for me to make it a memorable cheesy metal anthem in the tradition of Judas Priest or Manowar, but it is a solid song nonetheless. The albums highlight is the epic and moody title track, which features a guest appearance by metal vocal legend Matt Barlow (Iced Earth, Ashes of Ares). The song starts slowly, building in intensity as it progresses. Barlow’s powerful vocals are introduced midway through the ten minute track, and his trademark tone is instantly recognizable, but never overshadow the song, instead, Barlow high register compliments Braden’s melodic and subdued vocals perfectly. In summation, Artizan has created another great album that fans of old school heavy metal will thoroughly enjoy. I look forward to seeing what they come up with for album number three!

[youtube CxP6TVQeskw]

[flickr count=][/flickr][googleplus size=][tweets][like]

[author_infos title=]

You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply