Eidolon - The Parallel Otherworld
Escapi Music
U.S. Style Power / Thrash Metal
10 songs (68'20)
Release year: 2006
Eidolon, Escapi Music
Reviewed by Marty
Canada's Eidolon are back with their 8th full length album and the first one since 2003's Apostles Of Defiance. A lot has happened in that time period with yet another vocalist onboard in Nils Rue (Pagan's Mind) who replaces Pat Mulock after only two albums and more importantly, the Drover brothers (Glen and Shawn) joining Megadeth a couple of years back for the tour to promote The System Has Failed. Since then, the two have been very busy touring with Megadeth on Gigantour I and II as well as recording the forthcoming United Abominations album. In between all that, they've still managed to keep the Eidolon machine rolling and once again serve up a nice offering of technical U.S. styled heavy metal with their new album The Parallel Otherworld. This time out, several guitarists appear for a few guest solo spots including Michael Romeo (Symphony X) Chris Caffery (Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Frank Aresi (ex-Fates Warning) and fellow Canadian rock icon Kim Mitchell (Max Webster). That last one may seem a little strange but last year when Megadeth were in town, Glen Drover appeared on Kim Mitchell's regular afternoon slot on Q107, a Toronto radio station and brought along a guitar. He played some amazing leads over Kim's Rockland Wonderland track from the late 80's that blew Kim away. They kept in touch with Glen eventually pitching the idea to Kim about doing a solo spot on the new album.

As a curious opening track, we are treated to a very Symphony X flavored heavy prog metal track with the title track The Parallel Otherworld. Besides the crunching heavy riffs that are such a staple of Eidolon's sound, this one features lots of tempo changes and odd time signature passages as well as some quieter interludes. Although a very technical prog metal styled track, it's a very "busy" with one riff passage leading into another and it really doesn't flow all that well. It does have some strong moments but would've been better off as a mid album or end of album track rather than the lead off track. Getting back to business with Arcturus #9, we are now back to more familiar Eidolon territory with thrashy old-school power metal. With great riffs and shredding leads, Nils Rue also does a great King Diamond style of vocal; alternating between the high falsetto and a menacing scowl in true King fashion. This track as well as many others has a Judas Priest Painkiller vibe to it and also reminds me a lot of the U.S. heavy metal band Cage and their Darker Than Black album.

For the rest of the album, we are bombarded with endless killer guitar riffs, all propelled by the fierce double bass fuelled drum work of Shawn Drover. Nods to old school Queensryche can be heard with The Eternal Call and Order Of The White Light not just with the more atmospheric heavy metal quality but with Nils Rue offering up a pretty solid likeness to Geoff Tate's vocal style especially during the earlier Warning and Rage For Order era. Ghostworld and Astral Flight see a slightly more melodic sense to the choruses over most others on the album all the while still maintaining the rip-your-face-off heaviness throughout. The Megadeth influence is front and center with Spirit Sanctuary as domnated by speedier thrash metal with flurries of double bass and some dynamite riffing by Glen Drover. It's easy to see why he was a great choice for the lead guitar slot in the new Megadeth, the guy spews out monster riffs and technical and expressive shredding lead guitar on every track on this album.

A few others feature more of the King Diamond vocal style with both the King and Mercyful Fate being obviously heavy influences on most of this album. No sooner has the listener made this "discovery", than we are treated to a cover of Mercyful Fate's The Oath from the classic Don't Break The Oath album. Complete with guest solo appearances by Mercyful Fate guitarists Hank Shermann and Michael Denner, the amazing likeness of Nils Rue to King Diamond makes this track sound like a newly recorded version by the original band...it's that good!!

Production wise, this album has the perfect sound for this type of intense old school heavy metal. Overall, The Parallel Otherworld is an amazing sounding album that has over an hour of pure head banging bliss and is a virtual crunching riff fest. Nils Rue provides the best vocal performance ever on any Eidolon album as far as I'm concerned and absolutely nails the King Diamond and Geoff Tate vocal styles better than anyone I've heard. The only real "weakness" with this album if you can call it that is the fact that about half way through the album, it really starts to sound the same with little variety in the song styles. A few of the tracks have much better vocal melodies and better choruses but all have huge monster riffs to more than make up for that. If you're looking for melody in your heavy metal, you might want to look elsewhere. If melody is not really all that important to you and all that matters is exercising you neck muscles solidly for over an hour with some ferocious and serious heavy metal, this one's the stuff!!

Killing Songs :
Arcturus #9, Ghostworld, Spirit Sanctuary, Astral Flight and The Oath
Marty quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Eidolon that we have reviewed:
Eidolon - Apostles Of Defiance reviewed by Danny and quoted 69 / 100
Eidolon - Coma Nation reviewed by Mike and quoted 83 / 100
Eidolon - Hallowed Apparition reviewed by Danny and quoted 77 / 100
Eidolon - Nightmare World reviewed by Danny and quoted 68 / 100
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