Year : 1992 (Japan Edition)
Style : Melodic Hard Rock , Melodic Heavy Metal
Country : Germany
Audio : 320 kbps + all scans
Size : 450 mb
Germany Melodic Hard Rock / Melodic Metal band founded 1988 in Stuttgart.Band spli-up in 1996.They achieved some success in the 1990’s with three full-length releases.The first being put out on Steamhammer Records in 1991, titled “Time of the Gathering”. “Born Into Darkness” is the second band’s album released in 1992 on Steamhammer Records offer us an excellently and tightly played melodic hard rock metal album with a bundle of high quality songs.Their last full-length was released in 1996 by Zero Corporation, and titled 'Reflections.' The band has since re-formed with line-up changes, but no new releases have been put out as of yet.
Letter X is a melodic hard&heavy metal band from the Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg area that plays a distinctive brand of music. Incredibly obscure, this act has a decent sized catalogue (of 3 albums), of which this is the second. Quite enjoyable, with a definite epic feel, this album deserves a bit more attention from fans of Germanic metal, or classic progressive metal. Heavy use of keyboard, and progressive metal structuring are your mainstays here. The spaced out mixing and combinations of synthesizers give a very epic, distant, hi-tech feel to this one.The opener ‘Train of Fools’ is a solid number with heavy patches that make use what is presumably double kick. Riffs are very late 80’s Iron Maidenish with the song retaining a chanty, gang vocal quality that is repeated through much of the album. The second track is slightly weaker overall, but makes use of some great keyboards, and a genuine chorus with some (presumably female) input that gives the track a more dynamic sound. A definitive ‘progressive’ feel in these two, with little in the way of ‘power metal’ coming through. In addition, some great George Lynch-esque riffs in the latter which are thoroughly enjoyable. This one is kinda like Europe with metal in their veins, ‘Train of Fools’ songs like a song title of their too, ya dig?The title track of the album is a powerful number, starting off with some very full sounding (twin) acoustic guitars, coupled with an epic guitar lead that is reverb heavy, and gives the song some epic qualities. When vocals kick-off it’s definitely a very prog affair, with timing slightly creative in between the instruments. Enjoyable are the chorusy (?) bits which enjoy some heavy hitting riffage and soaring vocals. There are some great chanted chorus vocals done in gang fashion which definitely give dimension to this already strong track. Yeah, your typical 80’s prog approach to gang vocals (think the chanted chorus backups of ‘Take Hold of the Flame’) as opposed to your rougher, shouted thrash metal or crossover varieties, or your more traditional harmonies in staright up heavy metal. Additionally though, this one probably isn’t the strongest cut on offer on this album – title honors perhaps could’ve been given to a more.I particularly enjoy the track ‘Illusions’ which has a bit of a Queensryche thing going on. It makes great use of synthesizers/keyboard and has some vocals coming through that are attitude laden and are like some kind of mix between Skid Row and Bruce Dickinson. Typically progressive lyrical themes here, and again a strong chorus that makes great use of actual ‘chorus’ rather than just having the lead vocalists sing something repeatedly. It has the reverbed chorus effects of the early Queensryche. Chants that give forcefulness to the power of the subject matter. The album’s ‘spacey’ production is well sampled in this track. Synth overtures, complicated guitars with a shitload of mixing an effects – making for a ‘distant’ type feel which takes you away a bit. This has a bit more of a ‘soft’ aesthetic though, which often leads purists to call the progressive stuff a ‘bit gay’, but it’s done well here I guess.The other tracks vary in style and quality. ‘We Live in Fear’ is an emotionally driven number with a lengthy intro which includes children in it, something I always hated in metal – I’m sorry, but I don’t much care for kids – not in metal anyway, guess it goes against the whole discourse underlying the genre. Maybe not. But anyway this touch isn’t doing anybody any favors – and makes the song simply ‘gayer’ – not a good idaea, really. Anyway, this one picks up later on and shows off some more of vocalist Micheal Bormann. But I’m afraid its rendered itself gay already with the use of that lame intro – reminds me of something a bunch of hippies would do, with a video-clip of them all dancing around holding hands and putting buttercups down rifles barrels. ‘The Sign’ is an example of progressive metal , with its groove-like guitar approach, and backup chants, thickened up smartly by an extensive use of driving synthesizers. This one is love-themed track though, so that may or may not put you off. Doesn’t really put me off, I listen to Dokken, so I think I can handle it. Yeah, pretty good singing here – a lot of long held notes and “woooaoohoooah” stuff going on. Fade out the end is a pretty proggy touch also.Overall an ambitious attempt by these German lads, crafting out a pretty darn unique sound enhanced by a good drummer and talented vocalist. Some weaker moments evidenced in tracks like ‘Visions’ that have more of a one-dimensional feel, but overall quite interesting, with the band having it’s own approach to the genre. I’m not expert on ‘progressive metal’ but I feel this band does it pretty well, with album not really blowing me out of the water. It is actually pretty consistent in quality, and the production values benefit from its late date of release (being in the 90’s is late for me). I’m surprised, given the fact that these guys have several albums, not just one, or a demo, that these guys aren’t more well known and respected amongst the prog community – much of their stuff seems to share common DNA with bands like Symphony X, that seem pretty respected. These guys are better than Symphony X though, in my opinion – I never cared for them or Star One – too much rock in the formula. Worthy of checking out if a fan of the genre.
Michael Bormann - Vocals - See also: PowerWorld, Redrum, ex-TAX, ex-The Sygnet, Charade, High Voltage, Jaded Heart, Jürgen Blackmore, Rain, The Trophy, Zeno, ex-Biss, ex-Bloodbound, ex-Letter X, ex-Bonfire
Rudiger Fleck - Guitar
Michael Faisst - Guitar - See also: Ex-Insanity
Jurgen Stahl - Keyboards - See also: Ex-Sharon
Marco Ieva - Drums
Frank Hildenbrand - Bass - See also: Ex-Mascot
Produced by: Letter X, F. Bornemann, G. Wolfle, S. Mann
01. Train of Fools 05:02
02. Walls of Confusion 03:52
03. Visions 05:03
04. Born into Darkness 04:21
05. Illusions 03:54
06. We Live in Fear 04:43
07. Nowhere 04:12
08. Neverending Love 03:45
09. The Sign 03:28
10. We're Alive 04:41
Please my link you can´t spread further and don´t upload to other hostings!!!
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