DISTANT PAST - UTOPIAN VOID (Pure Steel Publishing)



Distant Past has been established in 2001 by multi-instrumentalist Adriano Troiano, after he decided to leave his former, Swiss based band Emerald. Why he called it quits, I don’t have a clue – fact is that Adriano started his own band called Evil Eye shortly after. Because of several musical factors, he was displeased with the result and decided to put the band’s activities on hold. But his musical brain was already working on the next step in his career, a new studio project who would be wearing the name Distant Past.

Very passionate as always has been, Adriano built up his own recording studio and with the help from a couple good old friends, the debut of Distant Past saw daylight in  2003 as a so called demo entitled “Science Reality”. Nine songs and a running time of 33 minutes, this first recording demonstrated what the band had in store and due to their determination, more efforts were on its way to break out. Next release for Distant Past was demo number two called “Extraordinary Indication Of Unnatural Perception”, unchained in 2005. This time the cut has eleven tracks to offer, make notice of the fact that on both demo’s, Adriano was in charge to deliver all bass and second vocal lines. The band got better and better as time went by and their third strike ever released would be the most impressive one to date… back in 2010, Distant Past’s first official album has been released by the title of “Alpha Draconis”, loaded with 11 songs.

Scarcely one year later, they’ve recorded ‘Touched By The Gods”/”Signs Of The End”, actually a two track free web-single. The track ‘TBTG’ is a self written Dio tribute sung by Distant Past’s new singer Jvo ‘Jay Jay’ Julmy (Ex-Emerald). He is small in stature but has an infinitely big vocal range as can be heard on the new full album entitled “Utopian Void”, released halfway January 2014 through Pure Steel Publishing. Be ready for 12 songs (incl. the two track single as bonus) spread over nearly 60 minutes. Recorded between 2010-2012 at the Kayfabe Studios in Switzerland, mixed an mastered at Little Creek in April 2014 by V.O. Pulver.

Distant Past’s “Utopian Void” is, without a doubt, a very exquisite effort where Traditional/Power Metal reigns supreme ! Another fact that works out infectious are the smooth transitions to other genres like Thrash and NWOBHM, similar sources based on the musicianship only to me are: Megadeth, Metal Church, Savage Grace, Mystik, Iron Maiden, Heretic. The vocals of Jvo are real strong - quite unique and original with loads of variation breathing from within this little man’s lungs, the bass lines of Adriano Troiano and drums of Jan ‘The Onion’ Zwiebel standing firm in line like a solid unit. The outstanding melodic leads/solo’s of both axemen Christof Schafer and Adam Curty let me enjoy to the fullest… Distant Past have also appealed to a few guest musicians who take their job to heart's content, thumbs up to these guys as well !

Opener ‘A Day In Darkness’ can be considered as an instant hit. This is my first real introduction to the band and I feel immediately that everything sounds very good. Partly thanks to the opinionated vocals, well-tuned guitars delivering a pure Metal sound during both riffs and solo activities… a high valued opener for an apparent brilliant album.  Next song ‘Sceptre’ is even better with more power and speed. It's good to hear that the band never loses control, always striving for musical perfection… a mission in which they succeed. And more speed up Power Metal is on its way with ‘On The Edge’, as usual featuring darn good vocal duties, thunderous bass/drum lines and awesome guitar delivery across the board. The high level of past 4 tracks is not achieved during ‘Kingdom Of Shadows’, due to the Iron Maiden type of guitar riffs still a moderately enjoyable work. ‘Helpless’ starts very subdued and I honestly thought to have a deal with a song that brought some rest but I was totally wrong! After a few minutes, all hell breaks loose and the track undergoes a merciless transformation. What a masterly piece of Power Metal including all accessories making this gem so attractive beautiful. No doubt about it, my favourite song for sure !

World War I is also mapped with the song called ‘The Hell Of Verdun’, the place where a bloody battle has been fought between French and English armies from February to December 1916. Described as one of the most intensive and longest battles in human history, etched in our memory forevermore and feels good that a band like Distant Past worked out a song about. The song itself radiates a lot of high energy and loads of musical skills those who achieve a much appreciating level… another brilliant implementation. For certain reasons, bonus track ‘Signs Of The End’ has a US Metal character and due to my long time passion for this type of music, I have to admit that Distant Past just stole my heart completely. Last song ‘Touched By The Gods’ comes in style, all by the grace and memory of almighty God named Ronnie James Dio. I would like to announce this ode to RJD as very successful, actually just another personal fave in line !

Distant Past’s one-hour album “Utopian Past” is a very good, manufactured of gleaming Metal cut delivered by a Swiss band bringing their country back on the map since a long time. This excellent album achieves high regions regarding craftsmanship and flawless performance, great job guys! “Utopian Past”: a must-have for traditional Power/Heavy Metal maniacs pure. Get it at: www.distant-past.ch 

My Points: 86 / 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