Evermoving (Reissue)


One can always weep about prospects that eventually succumbed to ruin, torn asunder, sometimes due […]
February 18, 2014
Onward - Evermoving (Reissue) album cover

One can always weep about prospects that eventually succumbed to ruin, torn asunder, sometimes due to reasons that weren't necessarily due to failure or lack of success, but as a cause of an integral element being out of the equation. Can't be positively sure that the early demise of the American ONWARD's commanding vocalist, Michael Grant (also fronted CRESCENT SHIELD later in his career), was the lone cause effect for the band's disbandment. Either way, the departure of ONWARD took away another 80's US Power Metal band out of the circle of melodic classic Metal in the US scene. ONWARD left behind them three studio albums, in particular the first two under the belt of Century Media, capturing this giant label's eye assumingly due to the musical prowess that you are bound to listen to within these albums. Pure Steel Records, with the pursuit of rehashing the band's first two releases back into acknowledgment, started with the debut "Evermoving", originally released in 2001, the band's breakthrough of definitive US Power Metal driven by the 80's wheel of steel.

In a time where the term US Metal, or better pronounced US Heavy Metal, was mostly used in past tense, nevertheless acts like CAGE, which started blazing back then in 2001, would have probably argued otherwise, ONWARD saw that the only way is up. Recapturing the essence of the mystique of American Metal of the early days, assimilating the grasps of JAG PANZER, early HELSTAR, JACK STARR'S BURNING STAR, MALICE and OBSESSION among the various of legends of those days, beside an utmost respect and preservation of the European roots al'a NWOBHM, mainly IRON MAIDEN, with a burning clutch of early STORMWITCH and HEAVEN'S GATE, the excursion through "Evermoving" is as the title suggests, a jarring journey, to some measure epic but evidently straightforward as it progresses.

ONWARD produced material rigged with over the edge guitaring of Toby Knapp. A bit adventurous at times when it comes to the overly bombastic, sometimes to a certain extent exaggerated with a saw like sound cutting through the skin, and slightly Neo-Classical predisposed lead guitar shredding, however, rhythm wise it is largely down to earth, even with its twin guitar melodic dynamics that appeared multifarious, yet I found to be speedier if compared to IRON MAIDEN or Teutonic based harmonic creations. The rhythms crossed between mid-tempos thumps, where Randy laFrance's touch is apparent and clear, with a fervent sense towards Speed Metal influences, shedding the skin of tradition in favour of an ass kicking blowout, hard and pounding with its vigorous paces, thanks to Jon Pereau. Though Knapp surely wrecked the scenery with his shredding talents, putting him in the ranges of Andy LaRoque, Jason Becker and Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Grant, may he rest in peace, was possibly one of the last true remnants of the voices that were bred in the 80's US Metal scene. Like a young Zak Stevens or Harry Conklin or MALICE's previous star vocalist James Neal, mixed with early version of James Rivera and Michael Vescera, indulging the emotive voice pattern of pre-NEVERMORE Warrel Dane, Grant sounded authoritarian, multi-channel recordings that created an almost storyteller kind of singer, melodic, filled with depth, strong diction, nearly theatrical with a decent range.

Essentially, "Evermoving"'s songwriting contributed to my notion of an Epic Metal album, yet energetic and melodic enough to send you back to earlier discographies, instigating a research after a research to listen to more of these precious examples of genius brainwaves. In a general sense, tunes like "Onward", "The Kindness of Strangers", "Absolution Mine" and "Witches Winter Eternal" made an amazing comeback, or paid a tribute, to the supremacy stream of 80's Metal, especially the American version that took the genre into heavier corners but retained the melodic layers ever strong and accurate. Though not being boldly catchy, "Evermoving" opened the gates to a fair legacy that could have reach to higher places.

8 / 10


"Evermoving (Reissue)" Track-listing:

1. The Kindness of Strangers
2. Onward
3. The Waterfall Enchantress
4. The Last Sunset
5. Absolution Mine
6. Witches Winter Eternal
7. Storm Coming Soon
8. The Lost Side of the World

Onward Lineup:

Michael Grant (R.I.P.)- Vocals
Toby Knapp - Guitars
Jon Pereau - Drums
Randy laFrance - Bass

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