Iced Earth in space
-- Dire Peril --
|■||Jason Ashcraft||Guitars, bass|
|■||Justin Tvetvan||drums (on The Extraterrestrial Compendium)|
Review written by Glenn “Terra Shredder” Van Bockstaele.
Dire Peril is an American power metal band formed in 2012 and now, 7 years later, they’ve finally brought out “The Extraterrestrial Compendium.” Their first full length after having released several EPs and singles over the years. “The Extraterrestrial Compendium” is released through American record label Divebomb Records and sent to us by our Canadian friends at Asher Media Relations.
The first song we hear is “Yuatja (Hunter Culture).” After an epic guitar intro this opener showcases thrash metal beats with soaring power metal riffs and operatic vocals that have a great Rob Halford vibe to them. A great startup for this 1-hour long album. Next up is “Planet Preservation,” wherein singer John shows that he’s also strong in the clean low registers. A sweet power metal track with a marching main melody and a slight touch of thrash. “Enemy Of Mine” is one of my favorite tunes on this album because of the awesome combination of acoustic guitars and the usual power riff fest. This song also has a huge Iced Earth inspired combat anthem feel to it and has a barrage of badass guitar solos to top it all off. I’m loving it!
Up next is “The Visitor.” A much slower and intimate track with high pitched vocals, acoustic guitar and piano as well as occasional heavy outbursts. A nice cool down tune! Track 5, “Total Recall” is the album’s first pure thrasher. Fast, relentless and tightly-paced like thrash should be but the vocals and guitar solo in the middle of the track pour in some power metal sauce. “Queen Of The Galaxy” is an older song, since it first appeared as the title track of the 2014 “Queen Of The Galaxy” EP. It’s an energetic power metal rollercoaster with beautiful catchy vocals and upbeat melodies. Even though it isn’t as multi-faceted as the later Dire Peril material on this album, this still is a more than enjoyable tune! Then we have “Roughnecks,” a fast mix between power and thrash and both operatic and shrieking vocals. A big wink to Iced Earth.
Next up is “Blood In The Ice,” one of the longest and most varied tracks on the album. Featuring soft acoustic sections, lengthy guitar solos and a thrashing ending sequence. “Heart Of The Furyon” starts with an orchestral part until it transforms into a headbang inducing tune with only a gentle acoustic middle to cool things down. After a short symphonic interlude comes “Altair IV: The Forbidden Planet.” A power metal tune with pounding drum beats, another long instrumental middle and plenty of Blind Guardian influences. The album’s penultimate track, “Always Right Here” is a emotional ballad that reminded me a lot of Iced Earth’s iconic “Watching Over Me” song. The release ends with “Journey Beyond The Stars” the longest track on the album and one in which Dire Peril puts all of their aforementioned assets on the table for one last ride! It’s a beautiful finale, just let yourself dive deep into the music and let your mind venture on a journey beyond the stars.
Overall, I felt Dire Peril’s debut album was a very good release. Their style is a tasty thrash, power and acoustic cocktail with plenty of Iced Earth and Blind Guardian thrown in. Don’t expect anything really original, but if those two power metal giants are your cup of tea, then go have a drink on this one! Here’s the music video for “Altair IV: The Forbidden Planet.”