"It needs to be said that Gordon is a world class musician who actually deserves plenty of more attention from the outside world than he got so far.... this is what I call a world class singer!"
- Stephan Sileghem (Metal To Infinity)
On Rebuilding The Ruins, Images Of Eden proves itself a force to be reckoned with in the progressive metal genre- fans of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Fates Warning, Shadow Gallery and Queensryche will do themselves a favor by checking this out. Quality musicianship and production when combined with spiritually themed lyrics will help make the album rank with the finest of 2011. I see Images Of Eden staying relevant for years to come.
- Andrew Rockwell (Angelic Warlord)
“Rebuilding the Ruins goes far into announcing Images of Eden as one of those bands to be reckoned with in the Progressive Metal genre. From deft songwriting to stellar musicianship to top notch production, Rebuilding the Ruins is a force... The imagery, the passion, the understated and overstated themes … it all comes together to make Rebulding the Ruins one of the most unique releases you will be fortunate enough to hear all year long …"
- Derric Miller (Hard Rock Haven)
BORN OF FIRE- DEAD WINTER SUN (2014):
1) Stephan Sileghem (Metal To Infinity)
2) Seb Di Gatto (The Metal Gods Rock Show)
3) Derric Miller (Hard Rock Haven)
IMAGES OF EDEN- REBUILDING THE RUINS (2011):
1) Andrew Bennett (Black Wind Metal)
2) Stephan Sileghem (Metal To Infinity)
3) Lars Bjørn (www.ice-vajal.com)
4) Craig Hartranft (www.dangerdog.com)
5) Jeff B. (Sea of Tranquility)
6) Matt Coe (www.blistering.com)
DREAD THE FORSAKEN- UNBOUND (2010):
1) Derric Miller (Hard Rock Haven)
2) Sean Maloy (Metal Express Radio)
3) Gabor Kleinblossom (Strutter'Zine)
ALL TOO HUMAN- JUGGERNAUT (2012):
1) Sean Maloy (Metal Express Radio)
2) Rico ("Office Nice")- Metal To Infinity
3) Logan Lee (Perfect Prog)
BORN OF FIRE- "DEAD WINTER SUN" REVIEWS:
Born of Fire- Dead Winter Sun review by Stefan Sileghem of "METAL TO INFINITY":
My first contact with Phoenix based Power Metal band Born Of Fire came with the release of the Iron Maiden compilation called “Maiden America”, a double CD featuring nothing but great US troops of steel acts like Sadus, Omen, Pharaoh, Twisted Tower Dire among others. Born Of Fire participated in this Twilight Records (1999) release with the song ‘Remember Tomorrow’, the second CD was filled with original tracks… in the case of BOF, they took my breath away with ‘Fire And Brimstone’. Striking characteristics for the band were the technical musical skills, offered by the grace of pure US Metal ! After hearing these two songs, I amused myself endlessly… a first official album was inevitable, “Transformation” saw daylight in 2000. This self financed 8 song loaded cut delivered solid Power Metal, strong and very technical as can be. They had it all, great vocals and sophisticated song structures… one year later on, they were back with the EP entitled “Born Of Fire”, filled with three new songs. Both full album and the EP were so damn good, I was expecting a new full album shortly afterwards but it turned out completely different. Instead of creating a new album, Born Of Fire took a hiatus for 10 long years.
They were reformed in 2012 and along with their comeback, No Remorse Records unleashed the “Anthology” CD (incl. the EP “Born Of Fire”/self titled 4 song demo plus the complete “Transformation” album!) which was a gift from heaven for all those into outstanding US Power Metal. It was good to know that the band was back with a vengeance and I had a good feeling that it would not be long before they would show up with a new album. My sense of satisfaction exceeds all boundaries, the official release date for Born Of Fire’s brand new album “Dead Winter Sun” (by Pure Steel Records) is scheduled for November 14th. 2014. I also ask your attention for the limited vinyl edition that’ll be out early 2015 !
Besides the original members Steve Dorssom (drums), Bobby Chavez (guitar) and Victor Morrell (guitar/keyboards), the band has some new blood within the ranks… may I welcome to a world class, masterful singer named Gordon Tittsworth (Images Of Eden, All Too Human and Dread The Forsaken) and bassist Michael Wolff (ex-Sloth Frenzy). Pending the official release, I’ve had the privilege to check out all of the songs in advantage… “Dead Winter Sun” will be one of the greatest US Power Metal albums of 2014, that’s what I think for sure !
Right from BOF’s early days of existence, the greatest asset musically seen is their versatility which is also present on the new album “Dead Winter Sun”. The title track opens the album on a very dark and calm manner before everything explodes. New frontman Gordon Tittsworth profiling itself immediately to a very renowned musician, the transition from deep to crystal clear vocals runs flawlessly. He is surely the most valuable acquisition with the eye focussed on the band’s future existence. The heavy guitar riffage and melodic moves on this first song are priceless… what a great start ! ‘When Hope Dies’ is another highlight due to the fast and technical bass, drum and guitar rhythms, the combination of clear and soaring vocals to work out contagiously. Fact is that Born Of Fire’s sound is very similar to US Progressive Power Metal heroes, Fates Warning! The vocal delivery does remind me a lot of Ray Alder and that’s perfect to me because he’s one of my all time favourite singers. On whether I think BOF as well as FW, I’d like to reply with much devotion, hell yeah.
And the comparison with Fates Warning comes even more into its own during heavenly beautiful, groundbreaking track entitled ‘Last Goodbye’ and next, more technical power loaded progmetal highlights ‘Cast The Last Stone’ and ‘Spiritual Warfare’. Each instrument is played with great sensitivity and fortitude which gives me a pleasant feeling while listening to all of the songs. With an emphasis on high musical skill, Born Of Fire knows how to take me completely in its grip, they put a spell on me for real ! ‘Hollow Soul’ has a quite modern/refreshing feel, ‘Echoes Of The Lost’ sounds more subdued and touch me deeply. Than the band is back in full force with the track ‘In A Cold World’ where pure US Power Metal reigns supreme. Closing the album they do in all simplicity with a song called ‘Tears’, a calm piece, yet brought with a high value on professionalism.
Born Of Fire takes you from one surprise to the next and overwhelm me with this brand new, very professional musical performance. No doubt about it, “Dead Winter Sun” is particularly suitable for fans who desire the technical nature of US Power/Progressive Metal music. I would once again emphasize that mainly, Ray Alder and the mighty Fates Warning fame are in close proximity which I consider as a great honour myself. A highly recommended masterpiece !
My Points: 96 / 100
Born of Fire- Dead Winter Sun review by Seb Di Gatto of "THE METAL GODS ROCK SHOW":
(10/10)- Born of Fire were formed back in 1995 and have been given a new lease of life through Pure Steel Records. The band has three original members Bobby Chavez / Victor Morrell Guitars and drummer Steve Dorssom with a new addition of Michael Wolff on Bass and a new vocalist in the stunningly talented Gordan Tittsworth who has the vocal range and style of Geoff Tate from early Queensryche.
Born of Fire deliver ten tracks of powerful progressive metal on "Dead Winter Sun" . The album opens with the title song which slowly builds into a majestic , thrilling ride of powerladen riff's and changes in direction as the song slows down with orchestrations over laden with some ripping solos this is a terrific opener. There are so many must listen to tracks on this opus!
The band speed it up next with "When Hope Dies" the sound quality is as clear as a Swiss mountain lake as the drums thunder, cymbals make ripples, and the guitars create a wave of metal majesty. "Last Goodbye" is a smooth ballad that washes over you mortal soul, with some nice drum work and a superb guitar solo as the song reaches its end, it’s searing, and rocks your world.
A classic progtastic six and a half minutes are delivered with "Cast The Last Stone" it has a slight middle eastern vibe , a Metal saga with delirious riff's and outstanding vocals from Tittsworth. "Speed of Dark" is a dramatic instrumental it leads into "Spiritual Warfare" shredding, battering, and in your minds eye you can see the crowds punching the air and singing "Spiritual Warfare" out fucking standing!
"Hollow Soul" has a supernatural feel to it, it wraps itself around you with its haunting and spectral forces as halfway though a manic instrumental, breaking out this is a strange track, but it really, fits in and for me is the best track on here, which is a hard choice believe me!
"Echoes of The Lost" has a passionate and operatic vibe which finishes with a wistful piano to then lead into a shredding and heavy "Into The Cold". Final song is an acoustic number called "Tears" quite simply a chilled out piece to leave you feeling warm and wanting to let the needle touch the groove again and play the whole album time after time!
If you love Queensryche, Iced Earth , Savatage in fact any form of Metal you just have to grab a hold of this album, Born of Fire deserve to be noticed and adored!
Born of Fire- Dead Winter Sun review by Derric Miller of "HARD ROCK HAVEN":
Just in time for the cheerful holidays comes the new release Dead Winter Sun from the American metal band Born of Fire. Although they’ve been around since 1998, the band’s releases have been intermittent and far between. In fact, Dead Winter Sun is only their second full album release. However long it took Born of Fire to get here, none of that matters, because Dead Winter Sun is one of the best metal albums you’ll hear all year …
Although the nexus of the band has been together from the start, they have now brought the multi-faceted singer Gordon Tittsworth into the fold. You may remember him from Images of Eden, Dread the Forsaken, All Too Human, and some side projects. What he brings to the band is a voice that can handle both the intricate and brutal, soaring vocals to meet the band’s galloping compositions and also a certain majesty when they slow things down on songs like “Tears.” They absolutely needed a talent like him in the band to make their compositions come to life, and it sure as hell worked.
The brooding, somewhat doomy title track “Dead Winter Sun” greets you darkly when you hit “play.” With subtle guitar playing, slowly building to crescendo as Tittsworth’s vocals go from calming to seething as the song breaks into full electric mode, there’s just a lot to digest musically, vocally and especially lyrically. If you don’t get chills when Tittsworth sings “How can we live tomorrow when we’re dead inside today?” then try harder. The ebbs and flows of the song, the breakdowns, the foreshadowing from slow to manic, the expert guitar solos and fevered drumming … yeah, this is a great song.
Obviously, if there’s a dead sun, it’ll lead to the conclusion of “When Hope Dies,” the next track. This one is less complex than the opener; although they’ll remind you of Fates Warning at times, they don’t need to be complicated to be effective. With any great band in this genre, lyrics take on larger role. Think Queensryche—yes, just listening to them is riveting, but if you know the story behind the songs, it enhances everything. In other words, just pay attention to the lyrics when Born of Fire is playing, or you’ll miss lines like “The media has raped me of my sanity, invading another once innocent mind.”
“Last Goodbye” is a more atmospheric, mid-tempo composition. The song just breathes, allowing you to sink yourself into the somber mood and powerful vocals. This is actually an uplifting song, one of those “seize the day” ideas, although it feels darker because of the tempo and the overall dirge-like heaviness. And if you try to sing along with Tittsworth on the line “And if I would have known” during the chorus, you’d best warm your vocal chords up for an hour first; it’s not just high … it’s full of emotion and energy.
“Spiritual Warfare” is one of the smartest and heaviest songs on Dead Winter Sun. Although their slower songs full of tempo changes are excellent, they bring a rage on their most straightforward Metal tracks that are just a riot to bang your head to. “Spiritual Warfare” is all of the above, somehow. Not to get too theological, when you hear the angry question “Why do you fight for me? Why would you die for me?” you can tether that to the many wars being fought over the past decade in the deserts of the Middle East … or you could be asking your version of Jesus why did he die for us, and are we really even worth saving? (That’s just saying the poetry of the lyrics allows for multiple interpretations. It doesn’t matter if you are right; it just matters that you contemplate while listening.)
There is simply no song worth skipping on Dead Winter Sun. “Hollow Soul,” “Echoes of the Lost” and “In a Cold World” all have their varied strengths, especially the latter, which plays on the album’s overall theme and is somehow contained cacophony.
It all culminates on the song “Tears.” It’s not just rare—this almost never, ever happens. Born of Fire saved the best for last. “Tears” is an acoustic, sorrowful song with the most haunting chorus on the release. Again, if you follow the essence of their music, it’s always darkest before the dawn. Yes, the album takes you down bleak roads at the beginning, while always offering salvation, glimmers of hope and calls to enjoy your time here because in the end … we all end. “Do you remember when the tears turned to laughter once and for all?” Tittsworth asks. There’s your answer …
Dead Winter Sun is one of those albums that might experience a slow burn before metal fans start realizing in the glut of releases out there, this one is shining as one of the brightest of them all. When you bring sheer musicality, vocal prowess and philosophical lyrics all into one place … that place is Dead Winter Sun.
IMAGES OF EDEN- "REBUILDING THE RUINS" REVIEWS:
Images of Eden- Rebuilding The Ruins- Review by Andrew Bennett- Black Wind Metal
There come times in my musical fandom when a new discovery practically shouts “I am special,” and that this speciality is simply unexplainable; I inevitably find that these discoveries change me in similarly unexplainable processes. After being alerted to American heavy progressive metal project Images Of Eden by the members of its spearhead Gordon Tittsworth’s second major band, the Corpus Christi-based All Too Human, I soon discovered on the band’s website a lyrical mural with grace, passion, and one of the deepest senses of spirituality and optimism found in any collective. That the band’s heavy, emotional and beyond inspiring music delivered is unsurprising; though almost too profound to adequately assimilate or even review, it is precisely this sense of dealing with the incomprehensible that makes Images Of Eden’s heaviest, longest, most progressive, and most bombastic effort, “Rebuilding The Ruins,” such an intangibly Herculean force.
The story behind the album’s writing, especially lyrical, adds further mystery and intrigue to its development: Tittsworth’s lyrics generally appear during erratic, trancelike episodes where words simply spill forth with him unconscious of writing them, as if he was not actually writing the words but channeling them. His pen’s residue tends to support this claim; the lyric sheet’s control over imagery, recurring themes, refusal to clutter itself with excessive esoteric word choice, and ability to paint evocative images of inner warfare and the encouragement offered by fellow warriors and guardian angels is a flawless masterpiece, capable of captivating a listener all by itself. Appropriately, there exist strong indications of a Christian worldview, and though written as a universally applicable concept album, a heartfelt and convicted spirituality is breathed into every second of the recording. During the introspective “On Elevated Ground,” led by resonating arpeggio slices and a meditative strolling bass, majestic choirs vividly describe the heavenly utopia Tittsworth would create with such a capability, shaking my entire being with inexplicable chills. Regardless of the validity of his writing conduit, the album’s gigantesque musical cinema operates on such otherworldly levels that no listener can avoid being affected somehow.
As the Pennsylvanians’ heaviest recording, “Rebuilding The Ruins” is stacked with pyramidic riffage, authoritative vocals, cinematic keyboard and piano, and the precise drum prowess of Chris Lucci (also of All Too Human), whose intricate cymbal patterns recall Neil Peart and busy when appropriate tom fills recall Mike Portnoy and Bobby Jarzombek; Tittsworth handles all rhythm guitars, bass, and some keyboards, while lead guitarist Dennis Mullin’s technical ability and versatility solidify him as an essential member of the band. Introductory track “Crosses In The Sand” deploys all such stops and grabs the listener’s attention quickly with haunting piano and blowing wind combined with disturbing backward samples of crying babies; as Tittsworth whispers “Sorrow shall end,” power chords and drum fills kick in and harness the song into a galloping, Iron Maiden-on-chunk guitar riff, over which Tittsworth’s primary vocal style, a metalized classic progressive metal low tenor akin to Ray Alder and Mike Baker, sings about the dangers of playing God and the regrets, and need for understanding and forgiveness, of those who have made such fateful, even fatal, decisions. As Lucci’s crash cymbal contradicts the beat and the rhythm guitar rocks the boat further, the need to jettison ballast and let the waves wash it away becomes more urgent; Mullin’s solemn, ominous lead guitar playing at 4:50 draws from no other band, and yet he is equally capable of mercilessly shredding ears. Crazily off-kilter drumming, not just playing against the beat but against itself, is layered underneath a cyclonic guitar solo, intensified further by the recurring main riff and Tittsworth’s guttural howl at the song’s piercing climax. It is the first hint that the story’s characters, and every listener of “Rebuilding The Ruins,” are bound to realize the immense powers and principalities surrounding them, and that their guidance will allow them to see once unseen dimensions of existence.
The album’s midsection is its heaviest and most climactic region; though merely five minutes long, the foreboding “Sorrow’s End” is a wild bantha chase, slowly slipping into disharmonic vocal patterns and choirs, swashbuckling bass expansions, and a frantic tremolo picked guitar solo underlain by the tense combination of repeating exotic chords and Lucci drumming ahead of the beat within the first half of each bar. The biblically proportioned battle between inner angels and demons is itself enlivened in the title track, where synthesizer solar flares scorch the now seven-string guitar riffage, Tittsworth’s experimentation with basso chanting, whispering, and harsh choral vocals, and Mullin’s firestorm lead above one of multiple infernal riffs created by expansive chords; while the song maintains steady 4/4 time except for its gentle bluesy postlude in 6/8, excitement is afoot around every second, manufacturing a standing model for writing heavy progressive metal. The spectacular “My Stigmata” delivers the progressive goods by combining Images Of Eden’s all-out heaviness with smooth dynamic/meter changes and encouraging lyrical anecdotes. Its groove-oriented riffing approach and gritty vocals summon the Symphony X ghost, but Tittsworth’s provocative religious imagery, proscenial dramaturgy, and ominous pacing are patented Images Of Eden; Tittsworth and Lucci steamroll through a viperine 12/8 guitar riff, with Lucci displaying more than adequate technical competence at fills, cymbals, and even polyrhythms, and in signature style, the music carefully settles into a vulnerable piano for its emotional climax. L. Dean Harris’ skill on the ivories is reminiscent of Shadow Gallery as he accents the protagonist’s humble plea for assistance from above with Gregorian choral patches; as Tittsworth’s delivery grows more desperately pleading, his voice nearly cracks, and along with the smooth recurrence of heavy guitar, guest vocalist Jackie Joyce’s angelic mezzo-soprano shines down from the sky, offering undying support until the very end of his journey, soon to come after one final mission. The call-and-response between the two voices finishes a song that has left me speechless, even with my eyes welling up, on multiple occasions.
While the following three tracks are significantly calmer, the graceful songwriting and thematic persist. The Native American-flavored trio of strings, marching drums, and emotive soloing combines seamlessly with the rustic galloping riff of “Native To His Land,” and this primitive theme continues through the equally nostalgic “Children Of Autumn,” re-establishing the Shadow Gallery associations with an exquisite piano-led introduction and the album’s only keyboard lead; the joyful verses employ 7/4 time to evocative effect as the man returns to his homeland and works towards restoring nature to its created splendor. The solemn piano descent opening the 12-minute grand finale, “Sunlight Of The Spirit Part IV” (referencing a series on the band’s so-titled previous album), is cut open by diving riffs and wordless siren calls; the protagonist’s earthly mission has been completed, and the song details the preparation for his glorious journey into the afterlife. The emotional impact of this piece is incontrovertible; as determined galloping with unhinged drum fills falls into a guitar and drum trade-off, then slides into sinking chords which echo away into sounds of nature, Harris’ circling piano melody and conclusive synthesizers make it feel like the man is looking at the sky, satisfied with his accomplishments and ready to transcend to an eternity beyond wildest dreams. Tittsworth’s tenacious bass climb harmonizes perfectly with Mullin’s victorious guitar solo, which amazes by crescendoing its initial few notes into a blistering scale oscillation, driving the track towards its venerable climax. As the riffing accumulates harmonic tension towards the final moment of crossing over, Mullin and Tittsworth ascend to the very apex of their technical and emotional ranges and Lucci accelerates into a breathtaking double kick run. While Tittsworth sends his last hurrah to temporal existence, the riffs slow down and Lucci overlies the final resonating note with an Olympian drum solo, then drifts away beyond the horizon to spotlight a peaceful piano and clean guitar coda (also reprising the identically named epic). This is the type of musical journey which is “too good to be true” until actually heard, and it displays everything Images Of Eden stands for, musically and conceptually.
Precious few shades of mere mortality shine through the cracks of “Rebuilding The Ruins.” The production is slightly flawed, with the kick drum and snare lacking presence due to minor dynamic range clipping, but credit is given for the otherwise pristine mix; cranking the volume high will clarify the sonic intricacies and intensify the seraphic embrace of Images Of Eden. After finishing an album such as “Rebuilding The Ruins,” I’m never hesitant to believe Tittsworth’s inspiration is indeed beyond mortal minds. To take his words for it, this is his Lord of the Rings, and one does not simply read a review of such an album without walking into Mordor, because what you find there will lift you above Middle-Earth and into an entirely different plane of musical existence.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Images of Eden- Rebuilding The Ruins- Review by Stephan Sileghem- Metal To Infinity:
A few years ago, Metal To Infinity co-editor Patrick De Sloover did the review for Images Of Eden’s album called “Sunlight Of The Spirit”, released in 2006 through Nightmare Records. In the end, Pat decided to give the effort a well deserved, very good rating. We hoped on a quick follow up to this CD but finally, the wait lasted 5 years, quite a long time actually. To forget and forgiven their absence in the world of Progressive Hard Rock and Metal music for the past five years – I'm glad to spread the word of third and brand new full length CD called “Rebuilding The Ruins”, international available through Nightmare Records since March 01 – 2011.
The man that gave birth to IOE named Gordon Tittsworth back in 1999 is still present in the nowadays line up of the band. Gordon is a very promising multi instrumentalist who has a godlike, unique voice and he is also ultimate competent based on the deliveries of outstanding rhythm and bass guitar works – if that isn’t enough, he’ll push you to the limit with extraordinary additional keyboard lines as well. Hell no, I won’t forget to tell he’s also the master brain behind the Images Of Eden song writings. It needs to be said that Gordon is a world class musician who actually deserves plenty of more attention from the outside world than he got so far. On the new album “Rebuilding The Ruins” he got musical support from lead guitarist Dennis Mullin, piano / keyboardist L. Dean Harris and drummer / producer Chris Lucci.
Playing the first song of the album ‘Crosses In the Sand’, my ears are pleased with a great sound quality and an amazing song structure. As told before, superb and very clean vocals in the vein of godlike frontmen such as Geoff Tate, James Labrie and Ray Alder – musically based, they take my breath away due to loads of excellent guitar rhythms and a stunning lead guitar demonstration. While reaching the end, the song becomes into a flow acceleration – brilliant! It’s obviously clear that fans of Fates Warning, Symphony X, Dream Theater, Katagory V and Queensryche will have a wonderful time checking out this new IOE effort!
These guys are professionally able to set their songs in a very attractive manner… technical and groovy, power guitar riffage alternating with heartfelt melodic parts delivered by a competent profession axeman. Leader of the gang Gordon Tittsworth knows how to work out a decent song structure, be sure about that! Nice and easy on the ears comes a song called “Memories Unbroken” – every now and than, this one takes me back into the days of another great ProgMetal act named Katagory V and I'm very happy with that. Along with track entitled ‘My Stigmata’ comes some more speed up rhythms from both groovy guitar riffings and rums – all perfectly worked out and another masterpiece to listen at. “Children Of Autumns’ starts in a melancholic way with superb vocals and as soon as the piano begins to pluck, the song reached another, more powerful level including a fantastic guitar solo and even more pleasant moves to enjoy with full force.
One of the most awesome songs for me is the one that close the final curtain entitled ‘Sunlight Of The Spirit Part V – Images Of Eden’. Make yourself comfortable for at least 12 minutes of Progressive Metal at its best. Guitars those who bring on a lot of high power and energy and when it comes to the solo works, I feel myself rising up to seventh heaven… beautiful shreds that takes you by the throat! During the entire album, I only hear magnificent vocals… loud and very clear, near to high pitched actually, this is what I call a world class singer! Long story short, make notice of this awesome last track from Images Of Eden’s new album “Rebuilding The Ruins” and please … don’t come tell me afterwards you didn’t like this great composition. If you still do I absolutely refuse to believe you anyway.
Progressive Metal became some kind of a world based hype – I got my own so called “progfaves” and you got yours which is a fair deal to me. To make myself more understandable, Images Of Eden’s new output deserved my complete attention and gets a whole package of total appreciation. Because of the fact, the entire concept of “Rebuilding The Ruins” (running time: 74+ minutes!!) is very qualitative / professional, I’d like to tell you all – this is one of my favourite Progressive Hard Rock / Metal discs at the moment. Check them out right HERE or http://www.myspace.com/imagesofeden .
My Points: 93 / 100 (Review by Stefan)
Images of Eden- Rebuilding The Ruins- Review by Lars Bjørn- Ice-Vajal:
What a great CD we get from the very interesting American band Images Of Eden. Their new album Rebuilding The Ruins is full of spectacular music from one end to the other. It sounds like they are inspired by Aerosmith, but in fact several of the songs has a basic rhythm and creation that makes you think of Deep Purple due to symphonic and bombastic epic attack, intelligent in a way that the feelings are sitting on the outside of the clothes. Images Of Eden successfully uses keyboards to give more volume on some songs, so lets take a look at what we are sitting with from Rebuilding The Ruins.Tribal Scars is released as their first single off the album, a symphonic expose that holds good rock quality, but only gives part of the story of how complex Images Of Eden really are. In my view most material have a surface varying between epical, hard rock that is getting heavier by the moment, examples: Crosses In The Sand, Sorrow's End, Rebuilding The Ruins, Children Of Autumn and also Sunlight Of The Spirit, but just underneath the surface lurks the power that is so vital and yet indulged on the entire album. It's a great technique to have that power behind the songs without letting it dominate it completely. Maybe their style is a bit confusing, but this 3rd album from Images Of Eden makes an impact only few bands does.
(9 out of 10 stars)
Images of Eden- Rebuilding The Ruins- Review by Craig Hartranft- www.dangerdog.com:
When you find an American metal band that doesn't do the latest trends of death metal, melodic or otherwise, metalcore, deathcore, hardcore metal, or some other such 'core' nonsense, you must sit up, take notice, and listen. Images of Eden is such a band, offering strong (American) progressive metal. Oh yeah, they're local boys based out of Red Lion, York County, Pennsylvania about 45 minutes from Dangerdog HQ. Rebuilding the Ruins is their third full-length release, the first since 2006's Sunlight of the Spirit.
After just a single spin, it's clear that five years is to long to wait to hear from Images of Eden. Rebuilding the Ruins rivals their American brethren like Dream Theater or Symphony X, but also their kin across the Atlantic, where melodic progressive metal has never waned.
Rebuilding the Ruins displays a more mature Images of Eden. The song craftsmanship is superb, equally entertaining as it can be complex. Witness Human Angels or The Sunlight of the Spirit Part IV which closes the album. IOE can develop a song on a foundation of heaviness and deliberate riffs as found on the title track; it pummels with a metal spirit. Sometimes Images of Eden envelopes the progressive with the vigor of power metal as on Crosses in the Sand. Later, My Stigmata intrigues by combining heaviness with the melodic and symphonic.
Clearly, besides the fine song craftsmanship and musicianship, one of IOE's additional strengths is lyrical depth. When's the last time you heard a song based on the poetry T.S. Eliot? Native of this Land was formed from a snippet of the Eliot poem Little Gidding. I can't say its a favorite track, but it's quite a proficient display of what makes progressive music viable.
For pure progressive metal from an American band, Images of Eden's Rebuilding the Ruins casts them into the category of 'a band to be reckoned with' in the present, and future, for that matter. The only drawback (possibly) to this album is its length: there's quite a bit to absorb here. Thankfully, it's all better than average to excellent. I'm just wondering if Images of Eden should not have saves some for album number four. Maybe we wouldn't have to wait so long for that next album.
Strongly recommended! (4.75 out of 5)
Images of Eden- Rebuilding The Ruins- Review by Jeff B. (taken from Sea of Tranquility):
Images of Eden has been silently making waves in the underground U.S. progressive metal scene for quite some time now, and Rebuilding the Ruins is now their third album. What was once upon a time a one-man act is now a full-blown band with plenty of assets to win over a new legion of prog metal fans. Rebuilding the Ruins is a very strong album from beginning to end, and, although it suffers from a few genre clichés, it's an impressive effort from this American quartet. People who've enjoyed the band's previous outings, or enjoy traditional prog metal in general, should definitely check this one out. These guys wear their influences on their sleeve, but they wear them proudly, and have delivered a killer third album here.
Rebuilding the Ruins is progressive metal played in the old-school U.S. style. Obvious points of reference are bands like Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Queensrÿche, or Psychotic Waltz. As such, this isn't the most revolutionary formula out there, but the delivery and compositional prowess of Images of Eden is enough to make up for their somewhat derivative approach. The compositions are generally very memorable, the musicianship is professional, and the sheer emotion they inject into their music is impressive in itself. Just listen to songs like "Children of Autumn" or "Sunlight Of The Spirit Part IV- Images Of Eden" and you'll understand how this band puts their heart and soul into every note they play. My biggest issue here is ultimately the playing time, which almost reaches the 74 minute mark. Although there's plenty of variation to keep me entertained, I could see Rebuilding the Ruins benefiting greatly from a shorter length (somewhere in the 45-50 minute range maybe).
Rebuilding the Ruins is a great album by Images of Eden that I would strongly advise fans of American-sounding progressive metal to take a listen to. There are enough memorable hooks, breathtaking instrumental runs, and interesting compositions to keep me coming back for more and more. If you're a fan of Fates Warning and Dream Theater, checking out this album will be a mandatory benchmark for 2011. I'll go with 3.5 stars here - Images of Eden has created some standout material that's surely worth looking into.
Images of Eden- Rebuilding The Ruins- Review by Matt Coe (taken from Blistering.com):
[7.5/10] Five seems to be a magic number in the Images Of Eden circle. It showcases the number of years between studio releases, with Rebuilding the Ruins their third release and first since 2006’s Sunlight of the Spirit. Not that leader Gordon Tittsworth has been idling his time away - he also performs with two other bands in Dread the Forsaken as well as All Too Human. The act that garners his attention most is this progressive metal unit, and one that matches a lot of the skill set from the bigger bands of this subgenre based on the following 74-minute record.
Gordon tackles lead vocals, bass, rhythm guitar, and additional keyboards and his talent appears to be in sync with much of the late 80’s/early 90’s movement with Fates Warning and Queensryche especially on tracks like “Crosses in the Sand” and “Tribal Scars.”...
As far as being a progressive voice, Gordon prefers to sustain notes in a mid-range to higher pitch delivery, much like older Geoff Tate or Mike Baker of Shadow Gallery on winning tracks like “Human Angels” or the Native American influenced “Native To His Land.”...
Overall, Rebuilding the Ruins contains all the requisite musicianship interplay and complex songwriting everyone envisions while also remembering to keep the focus from time to time on shorter, catchy choruses and melodies. Probably will gain wider appreciation with the ProgPower crew than with conventional metal followers.
DREAD THE FORSAKEN- "UNBOUND" REVIEWS:
Dread The Forsaken- Unbound- Review by Derric Miller (taken from Hard Rock Haven)
“Give me wounds that will make me stronger” is just one of the introspective and visceral lyrics you’ll hear on Dread the Forsaken’s debut release, Unbound. This multi-cultural band consists of American vocalist Gordon Tittsworth (Images of Eden), El Salvadorean guitarist Mauricio Liborio, along with drummer Vinnie Perez and bassist Mako. Tittsworth comes from a more Progressive Metal background while Liborio is a shredder in almost a polished Thrash Metal vein, and bringing these different cultures and genres together makes for one of the most interesting bands (and band names) you’ll hear in 2010.
Those aforementioned lyrics greet you on the first track, “Give Me Wounds.” Beautiful keys at the onset make you believe, perchance, this is a Progressive band, but then Liborio’s frantic riffs turn it into something entirely different. Mako is a madman on the bass — it’s not often you hear the bottom end drive a song so fiercely. If you had to make any sort of comparison, it’d be Anthrax, if John Bush had Joey Belladonna’s range. If you are a fan of Images of Eden, you’ve never heard Tittsworth bring the heat in this manner, always melodic but more sinister and gravelly than his other recordings. As the song ends, it’ll definitely bring up Bay Area Thrash memories on the closing riffs.
“Darkest Days” is up next, and it’s the quirkiest track on Unbound. Liborio accompanies Tittsworth’s vocals nearly note for note on the verses, almost like two-part harmony but with a guitar and a voice instead of two singers. The chorus, though, is anthemic and the most memorable on the album. If you are a drinking man, then you will embrace the lyrics, “I still have a thing to say: bring another bottle or change my ways!”
The variety on Unbound is palpable; it’s not like Dread the Forsaken has a formula in mind. So “Walk With Me” shouldn’t surprise you with its sing-song melodies and adulturous tale. Probably the best lyrical moment is when the band names the frame, singing “Still amazed by the lack of talent; it took so long to write this line.” While that is funny, someone in the band must have had some practice in this arena, because the lyrics, “But I know you feel so filthy, I crossed this line and don’t feel guilty. But I know you just can´t take it, you turn around with the will to fake it,” almost have to come from experience. The huge “whoa-oh” shouts and chunky guitar playing will stick in your noggin, along with the sudden desire to stray.
The band decided to take the brave chance of penning a song after themselves. “Dread the Forsaken,” almost necessarily, is the most intricate song on Unbound, both vocally and especially musically. In fact, while Perez more than holds his own with the talent around him, on “Dread the Forsaken” he combines rabid power, smooth tempo changes and then bludgeoning double-bass passages that will leave your neck in shreds. The solo allows Liborio to fire off massive riffs and heated leads, and this time, you may be thinking of Jeff Waters when you hear exactly how fast, heavy yet precise Liborio plays.
“Dead Chances” starts with Tittsworth nearly rapping, but in a Biohazard, manly, street-cred sort of way. In fact, these vocals foray into near Death Metal at times, although never getting that harsh. Mako pummels you with more expert bass playing, and with the jumping vocals, sounding like the other gents in the band are joining Tittsworth on the song, you will think of Anthrax once again.
Surprisingly, the album’s closer is a keyboard-led instrumental. “Unbound” instantly mellows you out, especially considering how playful and manic “Dead Chances” was. It’s a flowing, mesmerizing composition, proving Dread the Forsaken can play anything, and play it well. If you recall the opening, then will just means the band understands the concept of “coming full circle.” By ending the album thusly, they’ve gone out of their way to create a real album you want to hear from the first to the last song every time, singles be damned.
One of the more difficult pursuits in Heavy Metal is making music that doesn’t get lost in the crowd, when thousands of bands are simultaneously attempting to do the same. Ninety-nine percent of those bands fail. But that one percent that stands out may just have a chance to re-energize the industry, and right now, that one percent is Dread the Forsaken’s Unbound.
Dread The Forsaken- Unbound- Review Review by Sean Meloy (taken from Metal Express Radio)
Dread The Forsaken is a new band on the scene based out of Guatemala City, Guatemala. This quartet takes the classic sound of 80’s Thrash / Speed Metal and refreshes it into a cutting edge, and infectious modern style of Metal. Their high energy and motivating approach should be tremendously appealing to any fan of Old School Thrash looking for something new.
Dread The Forsaken was founded by El Salvador born guitarist and songwriter Mauricio Liborio. In 2008, he teamed up with Images of Eden vocalist Gordon Tittsworth and began the foundations for this debut album.
The sound of Unbound is extremely reminiscent of an Anthrax album from the 80’s. From the high-pitched Joey Belladonna type vocals, to the loose-sounding guitar riffs, and the raw vocal harmonies. There is a lot of aggressiveness and power that goes into each track on this album. Tittsworth’s vocals are the key ingredient that culminates the sound of Dread The Forsaken. For each track he puts forth an incredible effort to push through the passion he is feeling into the music. With Liborio’s fast, yet articulate, thrashing to complement Tittswoth’s vocals, this album really becomes the complete package of a revived and fresh sound.
The only real downside to this album is the album's length. A total of nine tracks averaging around four minutes each make for an extremely short album by today’s standards. Although each track is very strong, there is some lacking in the overall development of the songwriting, which could stand to benefit fom some improvement. That being said, there are couple of more appealing tracks worth mentioning. The title track “Unbound” is probably the heaviest track on the album. It features a heavy and driving guitar riff, along with a very raw vocal performance in which Tittsworth nearly raps during the verse sections. Another strong track is “Give Me Wounds”, which actually begins with a soft and melodic piano and acoustic guitar intro. This song brings out the full range of Tittsworth’s vocals, and best exemplifies the aforementioned passion he portrays.
Although it is evident Dread The Forsaken has a significant amount of growth ahead of them, for a debut album, Unbound is an admirable beginning. The edgy, raw, and classic sound will leave the listener ready to hear more. With a tighter sound and more developed songs, Dread The Forsaken has the potential to be a heavy contender in the Metal arena.
Dread The Forsaken- Unbound- Review by Gabor Kleinblossom (taken from Strutter'Zine)
Now this is the way Modern Metal should sound like! DREAD THE FORSAKEN are a Guatemala City based band signed to the major Metal label NIGHTMARE RECORDS and on their first CD ‘Unbound’ the band is going for a very aggressive modern US based Metal approach that happily leaves the door open for strong melodies and it is very clear they are hugely influenced by DISTURBED. Just listen to opener “Give me wounds” and the similarities to DISTURBED are very obvious. The band does also have some Extreme/Hardcore-Metal influences and actually sound a lot like AVENGED SEVENFOLD, but the difference is that DREAD THE FORSAKEN has got a powerful melodic clean lead singer (GORDON TITTSWORTH) who easily reaches the same vibrato of the DISTURBED singer. He is by the way also a member of the Prog/Power Metalband IMAGES OF EDEN, a band whom we reviewed in the past. Anyway, with DREAD THE FORSAKEN Gordon is going for a more modern approach, although still each and every song contains supertight melodies. This album has all the ingredients to be on top of the American Rock and Metal charts, because this is the way the Americans want to hear it. I can not recall if I reviewed a band from Guatemala before, but for sure this band is one of the finest. Highlights on their CD are “Darkest days”, “Walk with me” and “Wasted youth” (best song!), but actually each of the 9 incoluded tracks sound excellent, mostly due to some very strong melodic choruses (a few that come straight out of the Power Metal book actually, so perhaps even fans of ICED EARTH might like this band!). Combined with a major sound/production, a surprise here and highly recommended to the fans of DISTURBED, SHINEDOWN, AVENGED SEVENFOLD and such… More info at: www.dread-rocks.com and e-mail at: Gordon@imagesofeden.com
(Points: 8.5 out of 10)
ALL TOO HUMAN- "JUGGERNAUT" REVIEWS:
By Sean Meloy of Metal Express Radio - Rating 8.5/10
"The ever versatile and always dynamic vocalist Gordon Tittsworth is back at the helm again with a new project for 2012. Tittsworth has an extraordinary resume, being essentially a singer for hire, with multiple bands such as Images of Eden, Dread The Forsaken, and Spiritus Mundi to name a few. This time around he has teamed up with the Progressive Metal stylings of All Too Human. This band has been around since 1998, and Juggernaut is their third full length album. Their music has often been compared to Dream Theater, Queensryche, and Rush; and this album is certainly no exception as it portrays all the intimate beauty of classic Prog Metal.
All Too Human is a four piece band consisting of original members Clint Wilson on guitar, Maurice Taylor on bass, and Chris Lucci on drums, in addition to Tittsworth’s vocals. The musical quality of this album is truly remarkable. These guys are very serious musicians with talent to surpass many of their contemporaries. Generally three musicians playing an acute Prog Metal style can end up being overwhelming, and lacking depth. However, nothing could be further from the truth. They put forth an exceptional effort to create a very big sound with minimal overhead.
There is a considerable emotional element to Juggernaut. It takes on an almost “Classic Rock” feel at times, like listening to an old Kansas record where it’s filled with passionate vocals surrounded with a big, creative sound. One track in particular which emphasizes this is “Cut Me”. This track starts out with a strong 90 second musical introduction and then segues into a laid-back, smooth vocal line, and turns into a very intense chorus. This track epitomizes what All Too Human is all about.
Being this is Tittsworth’s first album as vocalist for All Too Human, there is clearly good chemistry between him and guitarist Clint Wilson. Wilson plays a solid and heavy guitar riff on most of the tracks which plays well into the grit and passion of Tittsworth’s vocals. It should also be noted that drummer Chris Lucci puts forth a highly commendable and prominent effort. Lucci is an avid Neil Peart enthusiast, and it certainly shows in his playing style. With this album, the drumming plays a significant role in the highly energetic level of music.
One of the most enticing elements of this album is its vibrant quality. The album does not get stuck into using one main theme for the entire album; each track manages to carry on a life of its own. Additionally, the compositions are all written and produced extremely well. Juggernaut is a very serious album for a serious listener, there isn’t any fluff presented as every single note seemingly has an important purpose."
By Rico (Office Nice) of Metal To Infinity - Rating 88/100
All Too Human is a band from out of Texas/USA. I suppose it’s no secret that lots of first class American Metal bands are from that specific area. Just like the coldness is inspiring the best Black Metal bands in the North of Europe I suppose the sun has some special influence on the musicians in this part of the States.
Anyway we notice mister Gordon Tittsworth in this band. This vocalist is pretty busy nowadays and we know him from Images Of Eden and Dread The Forsaken. From this latest band you can find a review on our website too. We already know this man contains a good clear voice and Progressive Metal is really his thing. In the Dread The Forsaken review I wrote I heard Gordon Tittsworth better before and here’s the proof I was right! On this record this man really impresses me. His vocal sound is ideal for this kind of music and he lifts the band up to a higher level. Well, a higher level might be a bad description because the listener is really spoiled on this album. On this record you will hear first class Progressive Power Metal from the beginning until the end.
Fans of old Dream Theater and Fates Warning (of course), Arch/Mattheos, Non Fiction, Auditory Imagery (why can’t they re-unite?) but also the softer Progressive bands like Rush (what a new album!) will for sure like this one. This kind of progressive Metal is all the way melodic and yet not always that easy to adept. The guitars are without any doubts extraordinary and Clint Wilson seems to be a very talented musician, he knows perfectly how to pull the strings! I really adore this kind of guitar players, the kind that makes something complicated sound so easy, so beautiful and all the way so overhwelming! That's what we call talent, natural talent as only the best guitarist contains! He knows perfectly how to mix power, sensity and his overdose off skills!
The band obliges the listener to keep on spinning this disc, the more the better! I don’t dare to make any predictions anymore but in my opinion this band should grow fast and strong in this specific genre. All Too Human has the perfect songs, the musicians and the front man for it! This album was produced by Eric Zimmermann (Fates Warning, Deftones, Suicidal Tendencies, Images of Eden,…). If a band is able to let a Grammy-nominated producer to master their album they’re either very rich or either very convincing. I don’t know if All Too Human is rich but convincing they are!
This is the third effort of the band and I suppose I must google again so I can add this one to my collection although it seems only mp3-formats are available. This superb Progressive Metal with outstanding vocals, great guitars and keyboards and fantastic arrangements really deserves a place in my personal CD-rack. I would pity (read: be pissed off) the fact if this one can't be found on an official silver disc. Outstanding release you will find more about at http://www.alltoohuman.net.
By Logan Lee of Perfect Prog - Rating 8/10
"In this time of economic crisis we find less time to enjoy ourselves and dedicate to listening to good music but this guys from Texas managed to capture my attention. Luckily enough I’ve got the chance hear the album preview but I have chosen to publish this review today, together with the album’s release.
Juggernaut is a very complex and strong piece of prog and heavy metal combined inside a 9 track album that is really something to discover.
Hearing it carefully I could match some real interesting similarities since from the beginning. One day I would like to ask them directly what they think about this, but I heard the style of some of my favorites (but unusual) bands: a bit of Sentenced and a lot of Freak Kitchen and yet they have created a style of their own.
With that in mind: Juggernaut is ATH’s third long length album after their first album “Forever and a day (1998)” and “Entropy” (2004) and for what I could hear, this album represents several steps forwards on this guys’ musical path. Even though it is filled with great music arrangements Juggernaut did not seem to me a hard album to listen and write about. All tracks are very interesting and you do not need to focus on the entire album at once, which is another reason why I have chosen to postpone my review but also a good thing since I have listened to all tracks separately at least 5 times before start writing and I can assure you all that all tracks are very catchy.
About the tracks: my favorite among them is Thorn on my Side (which was also released as a single on 2011) where we can find how versatile is Gordon Tittsworth voice which is another great add-on on Juggernaut. This is the first All Too Human album with him and I think that his voice and style match perfectly with the musicians features. The album opens and encloses with two other great songs, Juggernaut and Catharsis: the first one is more powerful and gives us a preview of what we are about to listen while the Catharsis is more chaotic track (in my opinion) witch might be a preview of what we should aspect on their next album (more experimentation?).
In the meanwhile, enjoy this recent release as soon as possible and my vote is 8/10 because this guys have an incredible potential to keep on this road. Really hope to know more about them and I will keep checking their website to know their tour dates."