Final Stage - Through The Mirror
NWOBHM influenced Heavy Metal
11 songs (44'16)
Release year: 2008
Final Stage
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
Final Stage hails from Windsor, Ontario, Canada and despite the "youthful" look of the band, they seem to have a love affair with the NWOBHM sound and the classic metal of the early to mid 80's as these influences are very prominent in this band's music. Final Stage began as Ignite in 2004 and played mostly covers by bands like Accept, Judas Priest, Metallica, Megadeth etc. before giving it a go at writing their own material. Their very first EP Flight Of The Phoenix was released in 2006 and two years later sees the release of the band's first full length album Through The Mirror. The band is currently a trio and consists of Brandon Wright (guitar/lead vocals), Josh Kurkjian (bass/backing vocals) and Justin Humphrey (drums).

The classic NWOBHM sounds emanates in every aspect of Final Stage's music. Catchy solid riffs, tempo and time signature changes and a very 80's vocal style of Brandon Wright gives Final Stage the sound of a long lost underground NWOBHM band. Tracks like Murder On Contact offer more plodding and chunky heaviness with a decidedly Metallica feel whereas Age Of Ashes borrows some of the dramatic flair of older Queensryche. Classic galloping NWOBHM is front and centre with Dreams Of Madness complete with some great harmonized riffing. The title track Through The Mirror is a definite album highlight and begins with ominous bass lines before getting heavier with big power chord riffs and harmonized lead fills. In The Night "borrows" a riff from Crazy Nights by Loudness and Middle Eastern influences permeate the track Infidel which also "borrows" some of the "stop riffing" from the verses to Priest's Touch Of Evil. A cover of Titanic's Gods of War is included here which takes on more of an older Savatage vibe and as a bonus track, Heretic offers up some driving and heavy, fist pumping 80's metal.

Brandon Wright has a strong voice and holds his own quite well with this band's brand of metal. They have a very solid and mature sound for a fairly new band and seem to know exactly what they are trying to achieve. I love the classic NWOBHM sound and they have really captured the spirit of that era. A great mix of tempo/time signature changes, thematic riff breaks, galloping riffs and lead harmony work pretty much cover all what's so great about the classic metal sound of that era. All this band really has to work on is fine-tuning their melodies, improving the chorus sections to their songs and getting a second guitar player to pull all this off in a live setting. Some seriously cool stuff here........

Killing Songs :
Murder On Contact, Through The Mirror, Dreams Of Madness and Gods Of War
Marty quoted 75 / 100
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