Thursday, April 28, 2011

Artizan - "Curse Of The Artizan" review.

  Yesterday the new Artizan album "Curse of the Artizan" arrived at my mailbox! I don't like to write "reviews" especially for music, because I think listening to music is a very "personal" hobby and no one should tell anybody what is "good" or "bad" to listen to. What you are going to read further on is my subjective view, hoping some people will discover music they like, that is one of the purposes of this blog anyway.

I will start from the packaging, which is excellent, a great cover created by fantasy artist Marc Sasso, it features the Artizan character and other elements which are integral to the storyline of "Curse Of The Artizan". The booklet has the lyrics and all the usual staff and it's design is excellent with the integration of the cover spreading to the entire booklet. The only thing I don't like is the photo of the band, where the newest member Steffen is kinda "Photoshoped" to the rest of the band and not really standing together with them, nicely done I have do admit though. I understand why that happened but it still looks strange for me.
The thing that matters though is music, the rest are nice but secondary to the album that starts with "Trade the World". Great guitar at the beginning building "atmosphere", like a "build in" intro for the song. A great song with a very good rhythm. "Rise" enter the stage afterwards, one of the three songs from their self-released EP. I loved all three songs at the EP, of course nothing has changed now. "The Man In Black" is next, sounding like the "hit" of the album, with a "catchy" chorus. This was the song Artizan had released for the fans to listen before the release of the album, and they had good reasons to do that. Another song from the EP "Fire", another favourite of mine. "Fading Story", a new song, a heavy one too. The guitars from the beginning are relentlessly heavy and they keep going. The rhythm section for "Game Within A Game" following, entering with "bombastic" drums. Another song from their EP. "Torment" is a one minute intro, that prepares the listener to enter the mood for my favourite song "Curse of the Artizan",ten minutes long "magnum opus", probably the "progie" song of the album. From the first second it starts building "tension", which naturally leads to the "explosion" at the chorus : "Within the illustrations, Their certain tragedy, The beast delivers vengeance, You cannot contain the ~ Curse of the Artizan". I tried to resist but it was impossible not to sing along at this point, my poor neighbours! And then it calms again, but you have to listen for yourself the rest of the song. Read carefully the lyrics and you will make many connection to the album cover too. What a great way to close the album. I cannot stop listening to this song.

Ty drumming is unique and filled with "imagination". Shamus', Hermanus' and Tony's guitars are heavy with great riffs. Thomas vocals are melodic, clear and will make you "feel" the music. Jonathan, the bass player, has great rhythmic technique.

On of the few albums, I have listened to lately, with no weak tracks or "fillers", even the "Torment" intro plays its role. All songs are great, if I have to choose one that would be "Curse Of The Artizan" of course. With all the "mood" chances it really is the "kind of music" I love. Favourite ones are the three songs from the EP plus "The Man in Black" and "Fading Story". I suppose that leaves only "Trade The World" my least favourite song of the album, well one of the songs  had to get that title I suppose.

Production, with producer Jim Morris, and mastering is very good with the "clarity" I like and not only being just loud for loudness sake. I am so glad I can play this CD really LOUD at my living room's stereo and still sound great and crispy, and not only at my MP3 player or with headphones as many of the lately metal releases.

If you like melodic - power - heavy - prog metal or any kind of good metal, visit their site and listen to Artizan music.

1.) Trade The World - 6:46
2.) Rise - 4:28
3.) The Man In Black - 6:35
4.) Fire - 7:24
5.) Fading Story - 6:16
6.) Game Within A Game - 6:36
7.) Torment - 0:59
8.) Curse Of The Artizan - 9:52 

Artizan current line-up:
Thomas Andrew Braden - Vocals
Ty Tammeus - Drums
Shamus McConney - Rhythm Guitar
Steffen Robitzsch - Rhythm & Lead Guitar (**)
Jonathan Jennings - Bass

Hermanus J. Rombouts performed the leads on "Rise", "Fire" and "Game within a Game". Tony Smotherman performed the solo's on "Trade the World", "The Man in Black", "Fading Story" and "Curse of the Artizan" (** Steffen Robitzch did not perform on the album)

Go check the Artizan web page, where you can listen to three songs ("Rise" - "The Man In Black" - "Game Within A Game" ) of their new album.

For the first 1000 copies of the album you are getting a free poster too, with the cover of the album. You can see it in my photo. So be fast to order it.

You can order the album directly from the band for US, Canada, Central & South America.
Fans from Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, Arctica and Antarctica you can get it from Pure Steel Records.

Note: Pure Steel shop will be closed until the 3rd of May. You may visit it afterwards and check out the other bands there too.
Quoted from Pure Steel shop: "Hi Folks, we are on the Keep it True Festival. To prevent any double-sales the shop is closed during this time. We will be back on 3rd May."

Links for Artizan metal:


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