Halcyon Way – “Bloody But Unbowed” (Agonia Records)
Oh wow, like, totally awesome! Winners of Georgia’s Music Awards for “Best Metal Band” 2014 & 2015, Halcyon Way were formed at the turn of the century and have released 3 astounding albums prior to this latest opus. What makes these guys so remarkable is their tremendous blend of different metal styles from prog to thrash to nu to even melodic death – so don’t be surprised if your ear catches Skid Row or Queensryche, along with Fates Warning and Killswitch Engage all at the same time I might add – and man, does it sound ever so good! Centred around a powerful dual guitar attack led by founder Jon Bodan, Halcyon Way also employ a multiple vocal technique which they use to lethal effect, with some songs concurrently featuring clean, gruff and melodic harmonies all coming at you at the same time – I mean, wow! Roaring in on the title track ‘Bloody But Unbowed’ with double bass drums, heavy riffs and a mixture of gruff vocals and Steve Braun’s own clean vocals, the song just grabs you and shakes you to your very soul in headbanging bliss made all the more enjoyable through the liberal use of powerful melodies – not to mention a very cool Martin Luther King passage topping it all off – very nice! On ‘Superpredator’ they chunder in with more heavy double bass drums along with a strong hard rock groove and Braun’s vocals taking a more soulful approach, along with those in the background, before Bodan comes screaming in with a wailing solo, an awesome display of his own talents in both power but equally, melody. Injecting the nu metal on ‘Crowned In Violence’, the contrast between its slower but darker intro and massively uplifting harmonies couldn’t be greater (or less spectacular) as the band inject bursts of speed to vary not just the tempo but also the emotion running through this charged song. Indeed, there is a lot going on across the 12 songs making up this excellent album, but Halcyon Way always ensure that energy, and class pervade throughout, resulting in a catchy album that just clings onto you! It’s easy to see why this is an award winning band and having toured in 20 countries across 4 continents with Saxon, Sabaton, UDO, Angra, Fozzy and Delain (to name but a few!), Halcyon Way are indeed a band to watch out for.