Tesla-Into the Now
© 2003 Tesla/Sanctuary Records
Reviewed by Mike King

When I recieved a copy of Secret Heroes' debut CD 'Loose, High and Free', I really didn't know what to expect.It didn't take long for me to realize that this band is anything but loose. Instead they're quite the opposite-incredibly tight!They are a four piece band from Europe that clearly plays traditional Heavy Metal with a 21st century flare added to the mix. It follows suit to progressive metal icons such as Fates Warning
and early Queensryche.The CD starts your blood to boil with its .28 second intro Ignition. As keyboardist Lydia Labella brings up some keyboard action that would rival the Phantom of the Opera, Ryan Heart (guitarist and captain of this project) cuts into the mayhem with his guitar wizardry while drummer Volker Meyer adds rib pounding drums to the siege. All this sets the stage for their brand of high energy retro-metal sound.The first full cut on L,H&F 'Eternal Nights' reminds me alot of early Iron Maiden when Paul Di'Anno was fronting them. Fred Carson has his own vocal style though, very commanding and articulate. He reminds me alot of Dream Theater's James LaBrie. They show their versatality with the upbeat rocker 'Maybe Tommorrow'. Kind of a
Triumphish feel with sing along lyrics and catchy guitar hooks.They do slow down a bit on track five with a power ballad entitled 'Broken Promises'. Lydia gets to show off her craft on 'Steal Your Heart Away', piping out a huge organ sound. Her and Ryan go into an all out soloing frenzy. I haven't heard this done since the 70's when bands like REO
Speedwagon and Uriah Heep would go at it. Everything else on L,H&F is well arranged in your face progressive metal that will keep you sweatin' and your heart beatin' through your chest. Each member of
Secret Heroes are clearly accomplished musicians who have pulled their individual crafts together to create one of the 21st centuries finest debuts.

I really like this one. It is good to hear a new up and coming band like Secret Heroes produce a no nonsense, no gimmick progressive metal cd. If you are into bands like Fates Warning, Queensryche or Dream Theater then you'll like this band. I expect to hear more of them in the future. I also dedicate this review to their drummer Volker Meyer who passed away before 'Loose,High and Free' was released.

Comments or Questions? Email Mike by clicking here.

More info: Secret Heroes Official Website

Secret Heroes-Loose, High, & Free
            © 2003 Rock Parade Records
Reviewed by Dave Palmer

Tesla is back in a big way. Thinking back to the bands debut, they got started off right with one of the most kick ass debut releases of the 80's. They created their own 'big shoes to fill' scenario. It's always hard to follow a great album and this band has done it over and over again. This album is a comeback of sorts. It isn't like this band has been gone a long time, but they are back as a complete unit writing some great music that definitely hits the standards they created so long ago. The band open up with what is sure to be a classic tune amongst the fans, the crunching title track 'Into the Now'. If I was to try to fit this album into a category to best compare to, I would say 'The Great Radio Controversy' would be it's closest in my opinion. The album does have a bit more modern feel to it, but the vibe is close. There are great sounding rockers such as 'Look @ Me', 'Mighty Mouse', and 'Got No Glory'. Keeping with the even balance the band is known for is the mid-tempo tunes such as 'What a Shame', the thought provoking 'Heaven Nine Eleven', 'Words Can't Explain' which is classic Tesla, 'Miles Away', and 'Recognize' which sways back and forth in tempo. It wouldn't be complete however without some lighter numbers. You get a few good light tunes with 'Caught in a Dream' which sounds like something off of 'Psychotic Supper' which contained it's fair share of great acoustic numbers, 'Come to Me', and the closer 'Only You' which is another favorite track of mine. Tesla delivers once again. Fans of the band usually know what to expect from these guys and it is exactly what you get. Mentioning a more modern feel early on in this review doesn't mean this is a trend jumping album either. The band sound classic with an updated sound and I think most fans will get this album.

There are some bands that know how to keep producing quality material and Tesla is defintiely one of those. If you liked the bands previous material, you will more than likely dig this album. they don't veer too far of the track of what put them on the map in the first place. There is a good variety of stuff on this album as usual, offering something for everyone. Definitely a recommended title!

Comments or Questions? Email Dave by clicking here.