Artizan - Ancestral Energy
Pure Steel Records
Melodic Heavy/Power Metal
7 songs (40:19)
Release year: 2013
Pure Steel Records
Reviewed by Joel
Surprise of the month

Artizan's second disc is a strong platter of American Melodic Heavy/Power Metal, that shows the band expanding on their strong debut, Curse of the Aritzan. This Jacksonville, Florida based band knows exactly who they are and the music that they want to create. Founded by drummer and principal lyricist Ty Tammeus, the band also features the dynamic range of vocalist Tom Braden, who is one of the best pure metal vocalist I have heard in a long time. He has a strong sense of melody, range, and power. Guitarist Shamus McConney and bassist Jon Jennings are the other two members of this four piece.

I am The Storm and The Raven Queen open the disc, with a similar melodic feel, with each instrument being easily heard through the mix. The first thing you will notice is Braden's vocals, which are clear, powerful, and flawless throughout. His vocals are one of the strongest and consistent elements of the entire disc. The Guardian is one of my favorite songs, and it has a chorus to headbang too. The song sounds like it would have fit perfectly in the 80s, all while still not sounding nostalgic.

Death of Me, like I am The Storm and Raven Queen is another solid melodic rocker, that while the tempo is the same as the previous songs, it stands on its own. Coming in at just over seven minutes is Deep Ocean Dreams, a song that starts with a haunting melody sung by Braden, with McConney accompanying him. Drums and bass join in a minute into the song, as the tempo picks up. An ode to their favorite genre, You Can' Take The Metal is next. The shortest and one of the fastest tracks it shows that Artizan can up the tempo when they want too.

The mammoth and epic title track is next, and clocks in over ten minutes. It features guest vocalist Matt Barlow(ex-Iced Earth and Ashes of Ares). Barlow join in a little over halfway through the song, and it likes a slap in the face. His vocals, like all of his projects are powerful and easily recognizable. The song itself, encompasses everything Artizan does with their music. From haunting and eerie slow musical passages to their great sense of melodic metal, to soaring vocals and added progressive elements. Ancestral Energy, is the go to song, if you want to know exactly who Artizan is. My only complaint would be the length, at just over forty minutes, it leaves me wanting more. This is a very strong second album for a band that consists of true professionals, easily recommended to those who enjoy strong vocals, and a great melodic hooks. Their music is available at all major online stores, and the band is extremely active on Facebook as well, keeping in touch with fans. Their 2011 debut Curse of the Artizan, is also available at all the same online retailers.

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Joel quoted 89 / 100
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