Saturday, May 2, 2015

CD review: ACHELOUS The Cold Winds Of Olympus by Dave Wolff

The Cold Winds Of Olympus

Achelous started as a single-member project in 2011, eventually growing to a working band after vocalist Kappas (formerly of Reflection) joined founding bassist Chris Achelous (for the complete lineup see their Facebook community page linked above). Their 2014 demo Al Iskandar (limited to five hundred copies) sold out quickly following its release, generating enough fan support for them to head immediately back to the studio to record their follow up MCD, The Cold Winds Of Olympus. This release was recorded by Achelous, Kappas and guitarist Stelios Avgouleas, with guest musicians Irakis Loukakis (Keyboards) and Stathis Pavlantis (guitars). My first thoughts are this MCD is old school and epic; if you like Iron Maiden, Helloween and Fates Warning you’ll find something of interest in the four tracks included here. The first song (also the title track) has all the qualities of the start of a metal opera, complete with a grandiose opening, steady buildup and a similar epic feel to albums like Awaken The Guardian (Fates Warning) and Walls Of Jericho (Helloween), with variances in tempos and moods that will hold your attention and have you wondering what is coming next. This is answered soon enough with Guardians Of The Light which hints at 80s arena metal but doesn’t lose its conceptual license in the slightest. The mid-tempo Myrmidons takes things back underground with a catchy chorus and nicely arranged lead harmonies. The last song Dragon’s Nail closes the MCD with some hints at classic Manowar added to the guitar riffs. So the band bring a sense of diversity to this release and tie everything together tightly enough to deliver all of them with equal conviction. My personal favorite has to the track one which sets the tone for all that follows. The band has a new video out for Guardians Of The Light. -Dave Wolff