“Now what is this?” Someone would wonder… Is it Lethal on steroids? Is it a wilder and more technical version of Crimson Glory or an explosive version of Queensryche? Well I would answer to all your questions and I would mention that August from Hollywood, California, USA were a combination of all the above. And yes it was about time for an official release of the band’s demo material for all of us the US Prog / Power Metal addicted.
Formed around 1988 by former students of Musical Institute of Hollywood, California, Huston Thad Cranford (Bass / Backing Vocals) and Mike Moore (Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals) this band pushed their Prog / Power Metal to the limit and they even broke it. You can of course hear the recordings of many bands that were following the Ryche / Glory / Lethal mood in the USA of late 80s – early 90s. But how many bands that represented this kind of music on an ultra, complex and technical way, delivering lots and lots of riffing in each and every song which is trademarked by a vocalist who singed on a passionate almost semi-paranoid way, would you be able to discover? Well August was one of them and their music is released officially for the very first time.
YOU GOT to listen Tonny Russo singing. I really mean it. His name many not even fill a slot on the list of your five best singers of all time, but his way of singing was unique. Both in his mid ranged and higher notes he was totally FEELING every single breath he was taking, every single word he was singing. Was it passion or paranoia? I do not know. But I can assure you it was pure talent. He unfortunately passed away on an auto accident so we would never have the chance to hear him singing on something new. At least he was lucky and talented enough to take the slot behind the August microphone during a single audition which was his first one after moving to Hollywood, trying to find a slot on a band while he was living on his van. And yes we are more than lucky being able to hear his recordings the way they deserved to be heard thanks to the remaster done by the band’s founders on this Arkeyn Steel release.
So dear listener focus into the music, you would be able to listen some catchy Prog / Power Metal anthems. Catchy may be the final result of each song, but if you pay more attention to the music you would discover some outstanding melodic guitar parts delivered under technical rhythms, you would be also able to count many crushing riffs and witness some really interesting song structures. Catchy music delivered the Prog way? Yes and it is done the US Metal way and it rocks. Do you remember this Arch Rival `In The Face Of Danger` debut? Well the mood is -a little- similar. OK we must accept that the most US Metal bands always wanted to write catchy songs hoping for some airplay. That is why some of the greatest melodies in the Metal world have been captured on USA, and yes the most of them on the Prog / Power Metal genre.
Well I believe that you are already on the mood of this release. And I know that you are crying for your Power / Prog fix already and I know that you worship Heir Apparent and Lethal and Ryche and I know that you would soon bang your head on `The Wings Of An Angel` one of the best songs of the genre that you would be able to discover thank to this release.
Go for it. Now.