BLACKLANDS – A New Dawn (2013)

BLACKLANDS - A New Dawn (2013) mp3 download


Coming from Germany, BLACKLANDS is a new, female fronted quintet presenting their debut “A New Dawn”, a musical whirlwind full of diverse, highly sophisticated compositions.

Though long steeped in progressive rock (that are not tiresome at all), the band does have universal appeal that bridges melodic hard rock and even some metal overtones.

Blacklands are able to incorporate the magic of early Marillion into a modern sound, turn into some Toto elegant arrangements and then surprise with heavy prog metal riffs a la Beyond the Bridge with ease.

And all flows like a charm.

Blacklands was founded four years ago by Ex-Heavenward / Lucifer’s Heritage (Pre-Blind Guardian) drummer Thomas Kelleners. Joining him in tandem is keyboardist Manfred Reinecke, female vocalist Moja Nardelli, bassist Rudiger Startingen, and finally guitarist Michael Stockschlager.

The musicianship on this debut is at its highest level, with gorgeous songwriting swaddled in captivating guitar solos, subtle keyboard orchestrations and an unquiet rhythm section. Lead singer Moja Nardelli (of an Italian origin) delivers a velvety performance perfectly complementing the musical picture.

Perhaps the best way to describe Blacklands’ style can be found in title track “A New Dawn” where waves of sonic impetus cascade around the vocal duo of Nardelli and Dragonsclaw’s guest Giles Lavery (one of the album’s top moments), stippling a portrait of a progressive masterpiece.

Highlights are the driving riffs in “Dance of the Witches” and the nice interlude between keys and guitar in “Remember Your Time”, the song with the heaviest guitar crunch on the album.

Another is the fantastic melody in the ballad “I Can Hear Your Heart”, a song reminiscent of Marillion’s ‘Heart of Lothian’ between the over style and the melodic refrain.

The album’s most grandiose feat is “Power Play”, the fifteen minute epic that which takes on the topic of 9/11 and the accompanying wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The song has thrilling guitar work and more substantial guest contributions from vocalist Lenny Rizzo (Exxplorer) and guitarist Terry Gorle (Heir Apparent). The track represents one of the finest progressive rock songs heard lately, with a smattering of influences from Deep Purple, Yes, Genesis and Savatage. Even better, it holds the interest of the listener from beginning to end.

“A New Dawn” is an impressive debut release with stellar play and mature songwriting, and a high rate of return for your investment – well over an hour of music.

This first album from Blacklands not only lays the foundation for a remarkable future career, but at the same time entertain us all with the quality of the compositions and the skilled musicianship of the overall performance.

Blacklands should appeal highly to fans of progressive rock, but also has enough to fetch those elaborated melodic hard and prog metal fans that dip their interests in that territory.

Above all, “A New Dawn” is highly recommended for any rock music aficionado out there.

01 – Cold Embrace

02 – Dance Of The Witches

03 – A New Dawn (feat. Giles Lavery)

04 – Ocean Of Tears

05 – Remember Your Time

06 – I Can Hear Your Heart

07 – Floating Pictures

08 – Love Will Never Die

09 – Take

10 – Memories

11 – Power Play (feat L. Rizzo & Terry Gorle)

12 – The Meaning

Moja Nardelli – Vocals

Michael Stockschläger – Guitars, Backing Vocals

Manfred Reinecke – Keyboards

Rüdiger Sartingen – Bass

Thomas Kelleners – Drums


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