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X-Piral - Hunters (CD)

X-Piral
Hunters
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 25 February 2007, 9:28 AM

The history of X-PIRAL started somewhere in 2000 in the capital of Greece, Athens; there, four friends formed a Power Metal band and after a while recorded their first demo CD entitlted Perfect Lies. Well, they didn't get much attention from the Metal scene, bringing the prime form of X-Piral into a dead end.
The fire was still burning though, and the band was re-activated some months later under the name SHADOW PLAY. By that time, the lineup was solidified taking the band into various live stages and finally into a studio to record their maiden full-length album. The band fell apart, just before the beginning of the recording process postponing the album release date. After almost a year Poison Eyes was ready to see the light of day. Unfortunately, there was another problem; the name SHADOW PLAY was already copyrighted by another band and this is how X-PIRAL was born.
A Greek record label named Burning Star Records helped the band to release Poison Eyes in February of 2005. The reviews on the album were a little bit diverse, arguing whether the Power Metal of the Greeks had a place in the Metal scene. The album was under-produced with straightforward complaints on the vocal performance especially in the high pitches. Even the live performances couldn't help X-PIRAL since they sounded loose and weak The guys followed the motto: what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and almost two years after, they return with a new album Hunters. I have to confess that I was prejudiced against them because I've already reviewed their debut album and had watched them performing live giving them and average grade. The first thing you noticed as soon as .Com-Fusion enters is that the sound production (courtesy of Markus Teske who has worked with bands like VANDEN PLAS, SYMPHONY-X to name a few)  is top notch and keeps everything in place. Michael Apostolakis has been definitely practicing/evolving his vocals supporting with renewed forces X-PIRAL's STRATOVARIOUS meets ROYAL HUNT Euro-Power metal. The band follows the well-known pattern of keyboards versus guitar, balancing between aggression and melody with a touch of progressive metal.  Most of the times the guitars reveal some influences from the German Metal scene with catchy riffs and fast rhythm  section as in the track Hunters or Golden Wings . The Eastern atmosphere in Duat (The Land Of The Dead) mixes perfectly with the staccato riffs and the powerful vocals bringing the track in the best-song list of the album. Some tracks that stand out are the melodic Hear Me Calling the aggressive Hunters and Timechaser with catchy chorus lines.
Without any doubt the Greeks have improved themselves and have created a very good Power Metal album with catchy melodies sophisticated guitar and keyboard work and a solid rhythm section.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
.com-fusion
Golden Wings
Fall Into Oblivion
Hunters
Duat (Land Of The Dead)
Timechaser
Powerlust
Hear Me Calling
The Fire is Burning Bright
Dead Within
Lie Down Free
Lineup:
Michael Apostolakis - Vocals
Nick Papanikolaou - Guitars
Dimitris Marinis - Synths & Piano
Fragiskos Samoilis - Drums & Percussion
Makis Petritsis - Bass Guitar
Record Label: Burning Star Records
     


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