Sandalinas - Living On The Edge
Nightmare Records
Melodic Heavy Metal
10 songs (38'32)
Release year: 2005
Sandalinas, Nightmare Records
Reviewed by Ben

From out of nowhere comes this new band, Sandilinas and their impressive debut Living on the Edge. This is no frills Melodic Heavy Metal with huge choruses, thick and hearty guitar riffs, powerful and rich vocals, and to top it all off hooks galore. When I listen to this cd I am reminded of acts such as Bonfire, Rainbow, Pretty Maids, and Iron Maiden. Vocal melodies are simple yet forceful, while you won’t find any verses that are constantly fluctuating up and down with odd phrasings you will find that they are at once catchy and intriguing. Variety is also the name of the game with this album, there are quite a lot of fast numbers but there are also a handful of mid tempo crunchers that have a doomy atmosphere to them and your token ballad that is quite nice and heartfelt.

Opening up with two monster songs, the title track and All Along the Everglades, this album has a very uplifting and energetic start. Both songs have that epic rock quality to them with the huge riffs that abound in each passing moment. Hearing such fresh and vivacious high quality metal coming out of my speakers after so many sub par albums that are in need of being reviewed made my day, nay, it made my week. These two songs alone reaffirmed my faith that 2005 still has some hope left in it for Melodic Metal fans. Another highlight is the doom laden Follow Me. Placed on an album filled with upbeat rockers this song could have easily been the worst out of the whole batch but it surprisingly ends up being a treat to listen to. Simplistic riffs with mournful vocals sung on top, this is an experimentation that works on all levels. If It Wasn’t For You and The Conqueror are Power Metal anthems to the hilt, with the first one being a bit more slick than the latter. It has a great intro lick and main driving riff that all climax at the explosive chorus. The Conqueror on the other hand is much more centered on the music than a sweet chorus. With a title like that this song better be heavy and fast and what do you know, it is. Relying on a pounding rhythm section and a speedy delivery The Conqueror quickly becomes a highlight. The last song I’ll comment on is the closer, Die Hard. This is an unusual song to close an album with, instead of high flying metal we get an acoustically driven hard rock tune. Not to say that this is a bad thing, just surprising. Ending an album in this way just exemplifies Sandilinas’ ability to write a great song even more.

2005 has been a very disappointing year for me so far. It’s almost half over and I can count on one hand the number of cd’s released so far that have had an impact on me other than draining my wallet or wasting my time and Living on the Edge is one of them. There aren’t any gimmicks, there aren’t a million guest appearances, these are just ten excellent Heavy Metal songs that will make any headbanger proud.

Killing Songs :
Living On The Edge, All Along the Everglades, If It Wasn't For You, Die Hard
Ben quoted 85 /100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Tue May 31, 2005 9:59 pm
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