CONORACH - THROUGH THE AGES (Independent)
Four years ago, I wrote a review of Conorach’ 2 track EP, which was released as a demo-release. If you want some more background information about this band from Rotterdam (a city on the West Coast of Holland), I refer to my previous review .
It took quite some time, but here it is, the second album of Conorach, and it was worth the wait! The songs have a darker approach but at the same time, they have a more mature sound compared with the songs that I already knew from this band. Ten stories of ‘things that happened in life’ is what we get, and I want to mention the vocal capacities of Jacco de Wijs, as he has the magical talent to use his voice in a perfect way. He will agree that he’s not a world class singer, and perhaps some will have comment on his vocal chords, but if you take enough time to explore the album several times, accompanied with the booklet, you will agree that Jacco knows how to disguise his limitations.
The album starts with the track ‘The Finest Hour’ and from the very first moment, I had Sabaton in my mind. The riff, the arrangement, the overall sound and vibe could be from this highly praised Swedish metal act Sabaton, but luckily things change totally when the vocals drop in, as I’m not a Sabaton fan at all. Jacco his voice conducts me in a totally different direction, as his timbre is pretty close to Bruce Dickinson of mighty Maiden. He’s not that powerful, and he can’t get in the higher regions, but he has the same tone and intonation in his throat, albeit lesser powerful. The 3rd track on this album is called ‘To Rule Them All’, and everything is even better reflected. While the voice of Jacco is entertaining and at some moments rather telling, the musicians of Conorach focus on their instruments that deliver really high class quality!
The many breaks result in songs that get better and better, the more you listen to them. For example, in the song ‘To Rule Them All’, we hear a very intriguing middle part which starts at 3:22 and takes until 4:20, followed by a smashing solo combined with the refrain of the song. Awesome!! This is the first highlight on this album! Nice stories continue with tracks like ‘Messenger Of Kings’ and the French title ‘Laissez Fair’. Perhaps it would have been a challenge to write a complete French text, as it’s only limited now by mentioning the title of the song. I mentioned already one highlight but there are more tracks with that equivalent on this album.
For example: ‘A Wanderer’s Lament’, a song that could be described as the ballad of the album, but it has so much more to offer. Again, I’m impressed about the effect of the song. It has a very sensitive approach, but at the meantime, it’s all wrapped in a nice story with modest musical skills. The keys of Sander Zuiderwijk in combination with the guitars of Jurgen de Vries and Jaco Ket result in an excellent track where every member is giving all possible efforts. Daniël his bass and Ivo’s drums create a nice foundation to a track that is very constructive. I’m sure that this song will result in goose bumps at live gigs!
Conorach surpassed my expectations on every level, and I’m sure that this band can be considered as an original act with a great future ahead! I can only hope that they will be able to spread their art as much as possible, as people should be aware that Holland has a top-notch product that is worth to give it a try! Conorach Official
My rating: 90 / 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