Allegro Promise Land -Demo (independent) 1998/2010

1. Shock & Awe
2. Life?
3. Christ in Us
4. Secret of Life

Keyboard heavy progressive metal with a slight classical influence. The four song demo starts off with an instrumental that gives the band a chance to strut their stuff. Both the guitars and the keys seem to play an equal role in this band and both get equal time in this instrumental. The remaining three songs do have vocals. Vocalist Dave Ralston has a mid-range, clean style that reminded me immediately of Paradise Lost's Nick Holmes, and specifically his performance on "Draconian Times". Musically these three songs are mid-paced, dark and moody. Had the keyboards been mixed back and the guitars brought out front a bit, this would be a much heavier album than it is. As it stands, the keys almost drown everything else out and this becomes a bit distracting for me. Being that this is a demo and probably done on no budget, the sound isn't bad, but is overall a bit thin. (Although I must confess that I had been listening to this CD on a less than stellar sound system prior to writing this.) Also, the drums sound like they were either programmed or triggered. For the most part this isn't a big deal, but every once in a while the rolls sound a bit digital. Despite my complaints about the recording and mix, the songs are well written. "Christ in Us" is definitely the standout cut on the album. This song too has a dark, moody feel, even though the lyrics are very positive and edifying. This song reminds me of a cross between Paradise Lost and Savatage, especially towards the end of the song with the layered vocals, not unlike something you might hear on some of the later day Savatage material. Promise Land are very open about their Christian faith. All three vocal songs are very blatantly faith based. "Secert of Tears" even finishes off the album with a prayer of supplication. With better production and some growth as a band, Promise Land may be force to be reckoned with. (Thanks Dale)

Harmony Promise Land - Harmony In Ruins (XNilo) 2014

1. In The Beginning (1:02)
2. Harmony In Ruins (3:21)
3. C.I.U. (6:06)
4. The Piper Illusion (4:13)
5. Leviathan's Voyage (2:33)
6. Before The Dawn (5:13)
7. Hiding Place (5:45)
8. Her Name (3:16)
9. Holy (4:09)
10. Eclipse (2:00)
11. Harmony In Ruins [Orchestration] (3:19)
12. Hiding Place [Instrumental] (5:45)

Several years ago I received a CD from Promise Land simply titled "demo". As I recall I stated that the band were "keyboard heavy progressive metal with a slight classical influence" and I also stated of that demo that "Promise Land may be force to be reckoned with." Indeed I was correct in that statement because this is a fantastic new release from Promise Land. 
"Harmony in Ruins" is progressive and symphonic power metal. According to the band they perform, “orchestral cinematic metal (that is) modern, heavy, melodic, aggressive and orchestral/cinematic”. Indeed! Within the first couple of spins I was hearing similarities to Savatage albums like "Dead Winter Dead" or perhaps the Savatage-related Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The mix of heavy guitars, orchestration and neo-classical guitar solos is quite compelling from beginning to end. Vocalist Rod Kozikowski has a clean, mostly mid-range/ baritone vocal style that pulls it all together.  

Lyrically Promise Land leaves little doubt about what they believe and the hope they want to offer their listeners.  Songs like "Holy" and "C.I.U.", or Christ In Us, make it very clear that these guys are a band of Christians. Some of the songs revolve around somber themes such as human trafficking, suicide and other social issues from a Christian perspective. Songs like "Hiding Place" drip with emotion from the music, to the singing, to the lyrics. 

I predicted in my first review that Promise Land will be a force to be reckoned with and it looks like these guys are intent on proving me correct with "Harmony in Ruins". 

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