The American band Creation's End, are the brainchild of two friends Rudy Albert and Dario Rodriguez. After they met at school, they have been playing music together since 1999. The simple metal songs they started with evolved to the more mature and complex compositions they play nowadays. When guitarist Rudy Albert played the keyboards in a band called Until Destiny, he met producer John Macaluso and after a short period, Rudy and Dario Rodriguez decided that it was time to reconsider their old material in order to release the music they wrote. Now with John Macaluso on board, they reworked eight of their songs which they started to record. To become a real band they asked vocalist Mike Dimeo, known from Riot and Masterplan. On guitar they recruited Marco Sfogli, another talented musician known for his work with James LaBrie and his own stunning solo album. Joey Bones (Joe Black), Rudy's old band mate from Zanelle, completed the line-up. In the summer of 2010 the well-known engineer Neil Kernon mixed the album and as expected he didn't disappoint me.
The songs on the album are relatively long; none of them is shorter than five minutes. Songs like Of Shadow And Flame, World Holocaust and Relic are heavy progressive power songs with fierce drums, pounding basses and very powerful singing. There's a wonderful interaction between the riffing, but yet melodic guitar sound and the soaring keyboards. Besides you hear numerous solos by both guitar and keyboards. Hollow, opening with keyboard and cello, comes closest to a ballad. The emotional vocals build up to a heavier part with a beautiful keyboard solo that switches to Sfogli's smoothly ending guitar play. While listening to the first notes of Dissociate, I thought this to be another slow and softer song, but after thirty seconds the majestic drums take over to make this piece a heavy monster with power riffs and high-pitched vocals. The funny sounding guitar and keyboard instrumental section make this a great track. Still Life is another track that turns into a heavy one after a quiet start. A tremendous instrumental part with an excellent combination of the keyboards and the speedy guitars, give this song a powerful and melodic touch. The other two songs on A New Beginning last for more than ten minutes and can be characterized as epics. Forsaken mainly focuses on outstanding guitar play; it's heavy but also melodic and emotional. There's a great keyboard part in it as well. The final piece, named after the band, has more changes of mood with a perfect balance between the instruments. Perhaps this song would persuade progressive rock fans, who aren't much into prog metal, to check out this album.
I think Creation's End have made a perfect first step with their debut album. A New Beginning has a great sound, compositions that have been worked out greatly and highly skilled musicians, who all get the opportunity to add just the extras that make this heavy power prog metal album a special one.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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