Before the ashes of eden's fall, Total Eclipse - the sacred guardians of metal - had written and recorded - Spellcaster. Once the Cameron brothers closed the doors on this sacred vision, Andy revived the band, being the last bastion of the former promise. He has thankfully re-issued this 2001 recording which Limb Music unwittingly decided to shelve, much to our dismay.
This is a must own masterpiece of Classic Metal, produced by Uwe Lulis, originally known - as Hell On Earth. This re-issue is professionally done, and includes the rough demo version for -Ashes Of Eden. The music is above what is to be expected, and never below what one will appreciate.
The 2000 Guardians Of Metal Demo received very favorable reviews, and established Total Eclipse as a worthy contender for the new millennium, along with Onward, Destiny's End, Jacob's Dream, and their ilk. Finally seeing the light of day, after several evolutions, this originally intended debut album, still holds up today as a truly genius metal storm warning; frozen in time.
The songs are very detailed, enduring, and involved, some clocking in over nine minutes. They are not progressive, in the sense of the meaning today. There are no keyboards, and the guitar harmonies are very melodic. Think of the grandiose epics by Iron Maiden like - Seventh Son, Alexander The Great, Afraid To Shoot Strangers, Sign Of The Cross, etc. In fact, fans of Pharaoh, ARYA, Aska, The Iron Maidens, and other Maiden inspired bands will seek and find reconciliation through Total Eclipse.
Hell On Earth initiates the alchemical wedding of mind and spirit. Andy's suggestive vocals are very unique, and well-trained, not quite falsetto. This sonic traducer's savage range often reminds me of both Bruce Hall, and John Cyriis of Agent Steel, intermingled with Eric "A.K". Knutson of the glorious Flotsam & Jetsam Doomsday / Disgrace Age. Sign of the time changes of Geoff Tate, Michael Grant, and James Rivera reciprocate, as well.
Erik wrote most of the unfathomable musical constructions, along with his brother Chris. Guitar wise, I sense the conscious work of Toby Knapp, Dan DeLucie (both Destiny's End and Crescent Shield), and Matt Johnsen of Pharaoh. There are an astounding amount of harmony soliloqouys, and classical arrangement, ever present.
Lyrically, Erik penned - Final Evolution, Storm Warning (which also appears on Ashes), and Ashes. The rest of the body of theurgical work is given over to Andy, who expresses his mettlephysical, mystical, gnostic canon of fluidity with caution, care, and repose. Songs such as 7 Trials, Spellcaster, and Above & Below are stellar evidence of this accomplishment.
The only non spectacular song would be - The Flames Of Eternity. That said, this song transcends many of the so-called epics being praised today. The production is still tight, save the last song, which is an unmastered demo.
I highly recommend this victorious evolution of sound, despite the severed Cameron brood's bloodbath trials . I honour - the avenger - Andy Giardina for being the gatekeeper of truth, and keeping this band alive and prospering.
I'm very excited about the re-issue for - Guardains Of Metal - which will include some great covers by Maiden, Priest, Megadeth, Slayer, Helloween, and many more influential acts. I entreat you to support the stormbringer's cause and follow the spellcaster.
with Andy Giardina