ONWARD - EVERMOVING - CENTURY MEDIA
The release of a blue blood heavy/speed metal album such as Onward's debut proves that you can't break the wall that is heavy metal. Traditional US metal as delivered in the olden days by Omen and Agent Steel marches out of the disc by a band based around solo guitarist Toby Knapp (Shrapnel Records). Originally signed to heavy metal label Sentinel Steel, Onward proves that nothing will bring metal down. Unfortunately bereft of a perfect sound for now, Onward can rely on their pure play stance and capable - and high pitched - singer for now until CM allocates a reasonable budget for recording to this band. It's time for the Roadrunners, MTVs and media types of this world to wave the white flag and admit defeat to heavy metal once and for all. - Ali "The Metallian"
ONWARD - REAWAKEN - CENTURY MEDIA
I recall liking the band's debut from last year (Evermoving) quite a bit and certainly more than the other reviewers who followed. True and purist heavy metal is always a pleasure to hear and one has to constantly beware of false prophets' yearn for 'innovation' and 'originality'. These reviewers, in reality, want metal bands to turn pop. In that sense, Reawaken is a good and solid metal album and should please fans of everything from Omen and Sanctuary to Annihilator and Jacob's Dream. There are a couple of Iron Maiden riffs to be sure, yet one can say with certainty that the entire album is pure molten metal. The vocals are a little too loud in the mix though which is surprising given the guitar-oriented nature of the band. They are also close to Nevermore which I am sure many people will soon be mentioning. What is missing here is any attempt at excitement from the rhythm section. In the absence of much that's interesting from the bass or drums it's left up to the guitar to excite the listener. Two final notes: that idea of playing with the radio knob and tuning to the band is already done on Helloween's debut EP and one extra mark for covering Loudness (one of the best metal bands ever) but deduct two points for doing yet another cover version. - Ali "The Metallian"