Artizan is a melodic power metal band from Jacksonville (Florida), which was founded in 2008. With “The Furthest Reaches” the quintet released their third album now. In addition to the Standard Edition also a limited edition was published. This includes not only a bonus track, it also got a completely different cover artwork. Collectors were able to purchase both versions in a double pack.
“The Furthest Reaches” is an ambitious sci-fi concept album. After an emergency call aliens are on their way to Earth. Unlike many other concept albums there are no sprawling narrative passages, only the intro and two short intermediate pieces serve, to tell the story. There are then 7 (on the Limited Edition 8) songs finest US Power Metal with slightly progressive touch.
ImageFirst, the gods are summoned – “Summon The Gods” is a real blast, the guitars are crunchy and the drums drive forward. Great guitar melodies and super singing. Tom Braden proves that he is one of the best singers in power metal. Gorgeous Melodies are also available in “Hopeful Eyes”. The more than nine-minute title track “The Furthest Reaches” is a true masterpiece. Here it is shown how large-scale epic melodies to have to sound, much bombast without beeing cheesy.
Heavy and worn riffs dominate in “The Cleansing” Here you can hear Matt Barlow (ex-Iced Earth) as guest vocalist. The Guardian (The Keepers) are back and bring the great purification – the renovation. “The Wardens Of The New World” gives way to the darkness, optimism is spreading. The melody is exhilarating. This song is enhanced by the clear voice of Sabrina Cruz (Seven Kingdoms). As Mother Earth she sings “I will end the strife, I will bring new life!” Again, an epic song.
“Supernova ” then really cracks up again. The guitars are in the foreground and the drums drive the song forward. “Into The Sun” then steps up a notch. The guitar duo McConney/Staley shows his skills again. The bonus track “Come Sail Away” is the great ballad of the album. Minimalist, simply underlaid with e-piano singing at the beginning. Later keyboards and the guitars would then come and let the pace increase somewhat. And here you watch again the twin-guitars sound.
After I listen to this album many times, I wonder, how could the work of Artizan completely pass me? Only through a quick note from a good friend, the singer Sabrina Cruz, on Facebook I have become aware of band and album. These five perfect musicians have sought and found each other. Beautiful melodies, to quite heavy riffs and drumming. Thereto the voice of an exceptional singer. That’s magnificent!
Ty Tammeus – Drums
Tom Braden – Vocals
Shamus McConney – Guitar
Jon Jennings – Bass
Bill Staley – Guitar
Sabrina Cruz (Seven Kingdoms) – Vocals (as “Mother Earth”)
Matt Barlow (ex-Iced Earth) – Vocals (as “The Keepers”)
Label: PURE STEEL RECORDS/SOULFOOD
Coming Of Age
Summon The Gods
The Furthest Reaches
Wardens Of The New World
Heed The Warning
Into The Sun
Come Sail Away
Release date: 24-04-2015
Reviewer: Rainer Kerber