AUGUST - AUGUST (Arkeyn Steel Records)
(Review by Stefan)
Greek knights in US Metal services named Arkeyn Steel Records proudly presents newcomer August, a four piece act from Hollywood California. Formed in 1988 by two ex-students called Mike Moore (guitars) and bassist Houston Thad Cranford, both were ex-pupils of Californian based Musicians Institute where they graduated with flying colours. Mike and Houston had met each other and jammed a few times, one led to another and even shared the same ambition… to form a Metal band that was more heavy and technical than de rest at the late 80s period of time. And they also wanted to dissociate with regards to the looks. Andy Shea was added to the ranks, he was allowed to take place behind the drum set.
At that time they were still on the hunt for a proper singer which eventually was found by the name of Tony Russo - August was packed and loaded to take the world of Heavy Metal by surprise. They never brought out a full album, only a few demo’s were recorded which unfortunately never saw the light of day officially. According to the US Metal movement, it happened very often that bands did not get a chance to be noticed by a label. Damn pity for all those greats but that was all part of the 80s Metal movement. Therefore my sincere admiration and appreciation for all the labels able to give all these hidden US Metal treasures some kind of a second lease of life! As for this great August CD release, big thanks to Kostas and Arkeyn Steel Records !
As a long time fan of obscure US Power Metal, take it from me that this nine track loaded CD is a killer cut, no doubt about it. Back in the days, I collected as much as possible US Metal music, both on cassettes and vinyl but have to admit honestly that I never got the chance to get something from August. That’s why the Arkeyn Steel release of these guys’ collection of demo songs mean so much to me. Right from the first song ‘Innocence’, it’s very clear the band sounds really fantastic. All elements which makes late 80s/early 90s US Progressive Metal so beautiful are present. The clear and powerful vocals of Tony Russo to work out contagious, he simply absorbs a lot of attention as well as his fellow players are capable of doing this. Bands featuring this way vocals/ instrumentalists… I’m hooked on! Cold hard fact to mention is that frontman Tony died in a car crash later on.
The entire August line-up showcase their skills at the most appreciated way, watch out for the sharp, yet technical and melodic guitars. Only one guitarist in the band but he remains standing strong as a true professional, let that be clear. Many mighty strong riffs and leads are delivered with class. ’40 Days And 40 Nights’, ‘The Search’ and ‘Island Song’ come to my ears as pure US Metal highlights in the vein of early Queensryche, Lethal, Heir Apparent, Oracle, Amulance, Oliver Magnum, Mercury Rising and stuff. Both singer and guitar player deliver a fantastic performance during these strong song structures. During the last song ‘Wings Of An Angel’ they deviate from the traditional US ProgPower Metal road, instead we get a portion of Glam oriented Metal. I expected just a little more from a final song but all in all, I want to forgive them because the first eight songs are simply stunningly good.
This dazzling and very recommended effort has left a deep impression on my soul, all because of its typical US Metal character. I would encourage the true enthusiasts of this genre to place an order immediately, you will not regret the effort! Purchase via THIS link. Have loads of pleasure while listening to August’s unreleased demo recordings, digital remastered and including lyrics, unpublished images plus a full background history.
My Points: 89 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish