Sebastien – “Dark Chambers Of Déjà-Vu” (Pride & Joy Music)
Quite possibly the melodic rock metal release of the year! Sebastien is a Czech band formed by founder vocalist George Rain out of the ashes of his prior bands, Navar and Calypso, which date back to 1999. Ten years later and Sebastien headed to Grapow Studios in Slovakia to record their debut “Tears Of White Roses” – where they were joined by just a ‘few’ guests in Amanda Somerville (AVANTASIA, KISKE/SOMERVILLE), Apollo Papathanasio (ex-FIREWIND), Doogie White (ex-RAINBOW), Fabio Lione (RHAPSODY OF FIRE), Mike DiMeo (ex-MASTERPLAN, ex-RIOT), Roland Grapow (MASTERPLAN, ex-HELLOWEEN) and and Tore Moren (ex-JORN LANDE). Quite possibly how a relatively unknown band could pull so many big names speaks bounds as to the talents of Sebastien’s music!!! With the next few years taken up with touring around the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria, playing shows with Fates Warning, Elvenking and Vicious Rumors, Sebastien played their national Masters Of Rock festival not once but twice! Last year saw them return to the studio once again to record “Dark Chambers Of Déjà-Vu” – again with a dazzling array of special guests in Tony Martin (Black Sabbath), Sergey Baidikov (Inner Fear), Zak Stevens (CircleIICircle, Savatage), Roland Grapow (Masterplan) and Aylin Gimenez (Sirenia)! Anyone wondering what the lure of this unknown band is only needs to check out any of the 13 tracks on this amazing album to hear and feel the incredibly passionate and catchy material executed by sterling musicianship. Driven by Andy Mons forged from the heart guitar riffs and melodies exuding passion beyond anything, the sound is bolstered by Pavel Dvořák’s superbly rich keyboards that add to the atmosphere and of course, deliver even more passion! With Petri Kallio’s soul deep bass and Lukáš Říha’s solid drum work providing a powerful kick to add some balls behind the marvelous melodies, all that’s left is for Rain’s soulful vocals to reach out to you on hit numbers like ‘My Deepest Winter’ and ‘Highland Romance’ – and these are just a few! With 2 heavy as hell live numbers including a cover of Sabbath’s ‘Headless Cross’ chucked in no one can deny the talent of Sebastien. Superb songs, addictive melodies and most of all, boundless passion – this is one band that everyone should hear!!!