ARTIZAN — The Furthest Reaches (review)

ARTIZAN — The Furthest Reaches album cover Album · 2015 · Heavy Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Time Signature
On spaceships and melodic metal...

Genre: melodic metal with a progressive touch

Having released two very good melodic and memorable metal albums (the chorus of 'Rise' from their 2011 debut full-length still sticks to my brain), Artizan are back with a third effort in the form of a futuristic sci-fi album called "The Furthest Reaches".

This time around, the music is, while still as melodic and accessible as always, slightly darker in tone, as reflected in the cello-based intro of the title track - which by the way is super epic and quite progressive. In fact, the Floridan band really seems to have embraced epicness this time, and that is a smart move, because, of course sci-fi narratives about spaceships and supernovas should be epic. 'Hopeful Eyes' is a nicely melodic and epic affair with massive vocals and melody galore, and there is even a wee touch of Thin Lizzy in the form of some sweet twin guitar harmonies. The heavy 'The Cleansing' is another dark track which open with an ominous evil laughter and then takes on an almost Solitude Aeturnus-esque epic doom metal-like character. The following track is strangely uptempo and melancholic at the same time, while 'Supernova' combines a sense of apocalyptic aggression with soaring vocals and 'Into the Sun' concludes the album on a musically uplifting note (and pays homage to Randy Rhoads in the process).

The songwriting on this album is of very high quality, as the band manages to combine hard rocking metal with melody and sophistication without every gong over the top. The performance is also very solid, with Ty Tammeus' clockwork drumming meshing in well with the melodic guitars, driving bass and Tom Braden's crystal clear singing voice. With guest performances by Matt Barlow and Sabrina Cruz, this album should be attractive to power metal aficionados. While this album does not contain a song as memorable as 'Rise', it does overall have a slight edge over the two preceding albums which, as mentioned, are already very good. I think one factor here is that the production on "The Furthest Reaches" is a bit better.

In conclusion, this is another bull's eye from one of Florida's best melodic meta bands, and fans of both traditional metal and power metal, as well as progressive metal, should definitely check it out.
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