Sunday, December 22, 2013

Distant Past-Utopian Void

Pure Steel Records

"Utopia Void", which is due out in the later part of next month, is the latest release from Swiss heavy metal band Distant Past. Formed back in 2002 by Emerald's Adriano Troiano (bass and keyboards), originally under the name Evil Eyes and with two of Adriano's high-school friends in tow (guitarist Alain Curty and drummer Kaspar Zwirner), the band's first album was issued in 2003. Since then (the group's release of their debut album, "Science Reality") the band has seen it's fair share of line-up shake-ups with only Troiano and Curty remaining from the early days. With "Utopia Void", which has some oddly sinister album art adorning it, this Swiss band now features the services of former Emerald lead singer/guitarist Jo Julmy (lead vocals) as well as guitarist Christof Schafer (ex-Orpheus) and drummer Jan "The Onion" Zwiebel. While the group is primarily looked at as a progressive/melodic heavy metal band this album finds a group more then willing to stretch past any such preconceived notions.Opening number "A Day of Darkness" carries a serious torch for all things 80's metal (as do the numbers "Kingdom of Shadows", "Helpless" and "The Illusion") while the band tackles Black Sabbath on the (Ronnie James Dio-tribute number) track "Touched by the Gods" and even Megadeth-like thrash with "On The Edge". At almost sixty minutes in length this one is a sure-fire winner and a good sign that 2014 will indeed be a good year for heavy metal! 

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