Artist:  Angel Of Eden
   Title: The End Of Never
   Label: Lion Music

Whenever the name of Carsten 'Lizard' Schulz is connected to a project you know we at the Mayfair Mall will sit up a take notice, and when we heard he was getting together with Roger Staffelbach for his Angel Of Eden project the interest rapidly increased.  Add in to the mix Carsten’s powerhouse drummer from Evidence One Rami Ali and the incredible keyboard skills of Mistheria, then your really talking star quality, and that's exactly what Staffelbach was hoping to achieve with this his new band.  It's been 10 years in coming but finally he's got a band of his own in the form of 'Angel Of Eden', and what a band!

This mix of melodic power metal with neoclassical elements all go to make for one hell of an album.   Right from the opener and title track 'The End Of Never', the album unleashes not only Schulz's fine vocals, but also the thunderous drum skills of Ali against Staffelbach’s trademark guitar sound and the almost spellbinding keyboards.  This monster is some of Schulz’s heaviest material to date, but the power of the vocals are equal to the metal onslaught.

The album continues with ‘Dreamchaser’ a track that is not as savage an attack as the opener but is equally as impressive, from the atmospheric opening which makes way for Staffelbach to shred like a demon and the rhythm section which all go to make this another full on metal delight.

'Angel Of Eden' is next and the pace is brought down just a touch on this one.  Again the guitar work of Staffelbach is superb and with Schulz you know you're going to get a vocal performance that is second to none.

The first part of the ‘Return Of The Pharaoh Pt. I’ just lifts the album to another level of excellence.   This track epitomizes the whole Power Metal genre with its epic style and flamboyant riffs laid down by Steffelbach, backed by a hard core rhythm section and keyboards that lay waste to this instrumental masterpiece.

'The Battle Of 1386' finds Schulz taking a back seat on the vocal front as none other than the mighty John West takes up the mike for this particular song.  A song so real you can almost smell the gunpowder on this very atmospheric piece.

Schulz returns to the fold with another powerful performance on ‘Into The Black’.  This song features more thunderous drums courtesy of Ali with both Staffelbach and Misteria running riot with the solos throughout this one.

Then it's back to the instrumentals with ‘Return Of The Pharaoh Pt. II’, with Staffelbach once again showing off his exquisite skills with the six string.

Next it's back to some more melodic metal with one of my favourite tracks ‘Keys To Avalon’, where Schulz leads the way for Staffelbach and the rest of the band to ignite the speakers with this all round excellent band performance.

'Stampede' is just that, it's like a herd of charging pachyderms.  The drums of Ali pounding out the beat as Staffelbach and Misteria burn up the keys and fret boards, leaving only Schulz to fill the gaps with his sheer powerful vocals.

The album finishes with the final of the three instrumentals ‘Towards The Light’, which again shows off Staffelbach’s superb fretwork and rounds off this breathtaking debut to true style.  This is just what Staffelback's fans have been waiting for and is a release that is sure to win over a whole new set of fans of this guitarist with magical fingers and a passion for his music.  As someone with a liking for good, strong power metal with lots of melody and textures this release has left me wanting more and I'm sure you'll feel the same when you hear it too.


Tracklisting:

   1. The End Of Never
   2. Dreamcatcher
   3. Angel Of Eden
   4. Return Of The Pharaoh (Pt. I)
   5. The Battle Of 1366
   6. Into The Black
   7. Return Of The Pharaoh (Pt. II)
   8. Keys To Avalon
   9. Stampede
  10. Towards The Light

                  

 

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