Παρασκευή, 5 Φεβρουαρίου 2010
AZTEC JADE are a prog metal band from Albany, N.Y., who combine the heavy style of DREAM THEATER with the melodic hooks of RUSH, ASIA and SAGA. The vocals of Leon Ozug (a real signer as opposed to a 'yeller') are first rate and somewhat reminiscent of STYX or KANSAS. The band's guitar/keyboard driven material focuses on interesting off-time progressive rhythms, soft prog-metal riffs, melodic choruses and thought provoking lyrics. Although self taught, all five musicians are technically highly skilled.
Their first release, "Frame of Mind" (1998), is a little gem of melodic metal with some great complex riffs and keyboard work. Well structured, it features nicely laid-out melodies with a strong emphasis on song writing (the band's forte). Their second album, "Paradise Lost" (2000) is simply a re-edition of the first plus some tracks from an early E.P. ("Modern Prophet", 1995). With "Concrete Eden" released in 2002, the music takes on a more progressive approach and could almost be divided into to parts: the first half has DREAM THEATER, QUEENSTYCHE and FATES WARNING overtones whereas the second half has a decidedly more symphonic feel a la SYMPHONY X (due in great part to the keyboard work). The song writing is excellent, as usual, and the production is impeccable. However, don't look for ground-breaking innovations or long drawn-out technical solos here. The music of AZTEC JADE is exciting but has no pretention except to provide some good clean fun. And it rocks!