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Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Michael Romeo – War of the Worlds Pt. 2 (2022)

Little prog metal and sci fi storytelling? Don’t mind if I do! Dive in the JAR and see how Michael Romeo’s new album fared!

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Whenever there isn’t an album that really captures my interest I start digging around in the previous releases for the year. This led me to Michael Romeo’s solo project. Romeo is better known as being the guitarist and ,one of only 2 static original members, of Jersey power/prog metal band Symphony X. Given the title of the album and how many guitarists don’t drastically change their style just for solo projects, I think staying in the vein of power/prog is probably to be expected.

This is a mostly blind shot, but I don’t dislike Symphony X and even saw them during the Gigantour Tour in 2005. So – that at least sets a personal expectation. I even grabbed the bonus edition to give the chance for more joy, or hatred, depending on how the cookie crumbles.

Michael Romeo lineup is: Michael Romeo (Guitars), Dino Jelusick (Vocals), John DeServio (Bass) & John Macaluso (Drums)

  • Artist: Michael Romeo
  • Album: War of the World Pt. 2 (2022)
  • Label: Inside Out Music
  • Total Track Time: 66:24

Introduction, Pt.2 starts off with the sinister movie score feeling, and given the War of the Worlds inspiration, it definitely works. It sounds haunting, epic, foreboding and does a decent job setting the atmosphere. The fact it’s an all instrumental introduction really doesn’t lend a lot to write about, but it definitely feels right. Divide & Conquer punches you pretty hard in the face with that Prog Metal, fast arpeggios and great percussive structure to add more power behind each line. The bridge moves into the chorus nicely and the really punctuates each passage as part of a fight where each stanza takes its own color and shape in the story:” Ooh, unearthly silence dressed in black, Ooh, the damage is done, now there’s no turning back// Denying, defying – the dread’s intensifying, It’s all for one and one for all
Defiling, die trying – a storm electrifying, Divided we stand, united we fall” , also it’s not crazy clever, but works with the subject material on the flip of the usual united/divided saying. Destroyer keeps a little lower and crunchy tone as it opens, not nearly the epic battle music the last one was. They do a echoed gang vocal for the chorus, and its very reminiscent of Helloween, which sounds pretty cool and doesn’t take away from the darker tone of the song. “There is no Devil, there is no God, Imposters marching in their faithless promenade”, good use of promenade. Weird lyrical choices like that always amuse me especially when rhyming with the previous bridge of facade. Not sure if that’s considered Alternate Rhyme scheme or Terza Rima, I just appreciated it.

Metamorphosis is heavy in the progressive vein, guitar tone, keyboard tone, all of it screams ‘spaceship’. Which honestly, fits well given the inspiration, so it’s not as much of an eye roll as usual from me. Perspective is very cool, where it seems to focus on the perception of visitors, be it the aliens or other Earth forces, and the betrayal that is felt.  “Rising-up from the fire, A darkness comes over me, Look into the blackest mirror, Time’s the one enemy” – is an interesting choice because it applies metaphorically about time being undefeated, but also in the situation, time is of the essence. The final verse before the little run into double chorus finish changes to a much more angry and aggressive tone. “Change the rules, dancing fools, Howling at the moon, Isolate, take the bait, Accept impending doom, Vile, corrupt, self-destruct
Nothing you can do, Wicked birth of Hell on Earth, Becoming something new” the concept of adapt or die essentially, and it helps to really punctuate the song and where we’re at in the album. Mothership is an instrumental that plays the introduction pieces into something more, to symbolize the mothership approaching/landing. It ties the musical threads together to make it feel like a seamless score, and still breathes its own life into a Star Wars vibe at times.

Just Before the Dawn okay, I’ll be honest when it started I immediately got ‘anime opening’ vibes. Once the vocals kick in, the story continues and the lighter instrumentation is to imply grasping at the hope to succeed with everything against them. If this wasn’t a concept album, it could be argued that it’s a detachment from the tone so far, but as a story score, it makes sense. Still not going to be able to unhear ‘anime opening’ but it’s not bad. Hybrids hits like a Kamelot song almost from the first note. Rising rock oriented tempo and even the vocal performance starts more growled before getting clearing and then hitting a clear belt to hammer home the verse. Being the fact that Kamelot is one of those bands that rank higher on my preference list, the fact that this gives me those vibes, yeah, I’m not gonna be mad at this song. Hunted is our third instrumental song, which again, given the premise, I’m fine with this. The album being devised like a movie score to tell his vision of the War of the Worlds story, it’s really cool. Also makes my life easier, since I type less and just listen. Maschinenmensch is an interesting addition, since the concept isn’t War of the Worlds and instead from Metropolis, about a scientist who created a female android to be the new body for his dead wife. So it’s definitely an interesting pull, and I suppose android people would fight against aliens better than humans (Dragon Ball Z explains that to us as well), so it just wasn’t a direction I expected; but it is a cool song. Getting a little distracted in attaching threads, almost lost the plot there. It’s a hell of a song as well, 9 minute epic going through what she is and getting across the time aspect of things coming down to the wire.

Parasite has a nice gallop to the drums and guitar, the symphonic aspect is dark like a Tim Burton Batman film and we look to be aiming for the final fight. One can assume this song is getting across the point of finding out the oxygen is what killed the aliens in the book/movie. “One hate – pulverize, exterminate – titan carnivore, Dark heart – the earthen flesh ripped apart – devil’s at the door, Death storm – a lethal iron locust swarm blotting out the sun, Obscene – an unrelenting fear machine – got nowhere to run// A perfect illusion – so it seems, You always answer when I call// Parasite – I’m your Parasite” – so it would make sense this is the decisive battle that told humanity how to beat them, so the only thing left is a final counterstrike. Brave New World has elements of the battle music epic, but then simmers down into a light acoustic guitar, since the day is effectively won, its just a matter of spreading the word and ridding the planet of the threat. It’s another instrumental, but it has that victorious essence within it, that makes the normal conclusion of the album feel like an epic movie.

The Perfect Weapon is the first of the bonus tracks, and it has that quicker tempo like Parasite or even a Megadeth song. Lyrics are very cool, and I appreciate the word choices; “Light’s out, counterstrike – dead of night, Treacherous, the enemy lines align, Armed with a razor-tongued loaded gun, And decimate the righteous grand design” implying that words are weaponized is interesting since that either means word of mouth will kill the aliens or just what gives humanity the ability to breathe/speak. Alien Death Ray the final instrumental, just is a fun tempo change, polyrhythmic, tune that I’m not really sure what its about. It could be literally discussing a death ray or the metaphorical atmosphere. But generally its a cool song and I’m not going to weigh bonus tracks as heavily against the narrative since, they’re bonus for a reason.

So it’s safe to assume the sound was what I expected being the fact that I came in only really recognizing Romeo’s name and the Symphony X background. Jelusick has a great voice though, he has moments where he reminds me of Ronnie James Dio, Roy Khan and Michael Kiske. While the album isn’t as ear wormy as a few others I’ve covered, the musicianship is amazing. Great arrangements, fantastic tone and color throughout the whole story. I would gladly pay to watch this imagining of War of the Worlds, with or without Tom Cruise. 

Fantastic work, this is going to be the highest rating I’ve given all year (yet doesn’t edge out my number 1, I just haven’t done an article for that yet).

Final Judgment: 9.1/10


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Entertainment

Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu News Report! (12/1/22)

Get ready for New Year’s Eve!

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HPW News 2022

The Celebration of Greatness is set!

With Fyter Feast sorting things out, we’re ready now for HyruleMania 3! Get ready for the who, what, where and when of the Celebration of Greatness!

 

HyruleMania 3: December 31st, 2022!

As is the tradition, this incredible event will close out the year on New Year’s Eve! And it’ll be in the Hyrule Great Forest, right in front of the Great Deku Tree!

 

Look at all the title matches!

For the HPW Death Mountain Championship:

Torbevito prepares to defend against FOUR opponents in the third-ever Death Mountain Championship Ladder Match! The Son of the Whirlpool will have a Desert Flower, the Twilight Princess, the Living Blade, and the God of Woodfall. Two years in a row, a new champion has been crowned through this match. Will history repeat itself? Or will Torbevito find a way to break the streak and survive into the new year?

For the HPW Trios Championships:

After making it through the massive Three By Four match, it will be the Dames of the Dunes taking on the Arrow Club’s Bad Croc Scaly & The Young Ducks! Tali, Buliara & Riju want revenge for the All or Nothing Quartet match, but the Arrow Club says if they beat ’em once, they can beat ’em again! Will the Celebration of Greatness become a #SuperQUACKParty? Or will the Gerudo Alliance bring home gold?

For the HPW Termina Championship:

The Arrow Club took a lot from the Gerudo Ace, but he looks to take something back from them. Ganondorf may not be all that humble, but he looks to humble Fin Balure while becoming HPW’s first Triple Crown Champion! Will history be made to close out the year?

For the HPW Goddess Championship:

It is an epic tiebreaker between Princess of Hyrule and Sorceress of Shadows! Veran is the only person to have pinned Zelda in the almost two YEARS she’s been champion, but then lost in the rematch. Now we have the trilogy aligning with the Celebration of Greatness, where we will see who is truly the greatest in the Women’s Division! Will Zelda continue this reign of dominance? Or will Veran return to her former glory?

And of course, for the HPW Triforce Championship:

The Hero’s Shadow shed blood, sweat and tears, and even drew blood from his brother, Link, to keep this title. He has proven ruthless in the ring, but he might be facing the only person who can match him. Igos du Ikana is cold and heartless, and not just because he’s a skeleton. He has held the TCW Championship, the predecessor of the Termina Champion, which Igos helped introduce to HPW. Now he aims for Kage’s throne. Fiery rage colliding with cold-blooded calculation, something has to give.

 

G͘̕͢҉U͝E̸̡̢S͏͘S͢ ̵̴͘͡W͜H̡҉͏Ó̀

Guess Who, part 1

I̶’̷d̵͡ ̢̀I̷̢̧’͜͢͢d̸́ I’d say your c҉h̷͜͞a͝҉͟  chances ą͡r̵͟͜e͏̵̨̛͢ are a million to none!
But let’s have f̢͠u̢͟ņ f̢͘u͘҉n̵ fun anyway!

HyruleProWrestlingFaction FacesofEvilGIF

 

But wait, there’s more!

Humpback Hook Halibut releases a statement.

“After the brawling that persist after Fyter Feast’s main event, there is a lot of tension in the men’s locker room that we cannot allow to continue. Firstly, the issue of the Dark Forces and the UnderWorld Order. It is clear all of the faction members being present is a recipe for disaster, so we must limit this to a one-on-one match. This will be Gibdo VS Gibdo to name the one and only Gibdo in HPW! There will be a ringside ban on all other members between the Dark Forces and uWo, or else there will be indefinite suspensions. This is your only warning.

“As for the other brawl between Groose and Skull Kid… That shall be handled in its own way. There will still be a ringside ban, and this will apply to Tingle and Ladrona as Groose’s tag partners. But more than a ringside ban, this will be settled with something very special for HyruleMania: Hair VS Mask! If Groose loses, his pointy red pompadour will be buzzed off his head. But if Skull Kid loses, he must stop wearing that strange, heart-shaped mask. There will be no count outs and no disqualifications, there must be a winner inside that ring! And I wish them both the best of luck.”

HUGE grudge matches made for the Celebration of Greatness! Who will be the Gibdo of All Gibdos? Will Groose end up a bald eagle? Or will Skull Kid be forced to show his face?


My Thoughts:

I may be wasting a lot of good match intro ideas with this article, but as I needed to announce the grudge matches that are going to fill out the card, I figured I should also hype up the established matches. And if you’re wondering about that “Guess Who/Face your FOE” thing, just wait and see. And yes maybe it is a bit Bray Wyatt White Rabbit but whatever, I’ve already copied a lot of other stuff from wrestling in the real world.


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New Force Order – A Star Wars Podcast: Rip Don Winkle

Is Yoda legitimately dyslexic? That and many more hard hitting questions answered on this edition of New Force Order!

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New Force Order Episode 170

Is Yoda legitimately dyslexic? That and many more hard hitting questions answered on this edition of New Force Order!

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Spiro went back to Exegol so it’s just a drunk Doc and a sleepy GGP tonight. We go in depth to break down the Disney+ Tales of the Jedi series. The acolyte begins filming and KK has a ball gag shoved into her mouth about announcing new films. Is Lost writer Damon Lindelof headed to Star Wars? Is Yoda legitimately dyslexic? Filoni compares the new Ashoka series to a classic Japanese movie. On who’s more over it’s a master/apprentice battle! Count Dooku and Qui Gon Jinn vs Darth Maul and Darth Sidious. Which duo is more over and why!?

All this and more on this weeks NFO episode! As usual email us at newforceorder@yahoo.com.

About the New Force Order

A Star Wars Podcast by the fans and for the fans. GGP, Doc and Spiro deliver a in-depth weekly news and review show on all stars wars related content.

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Launched in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in sports, entertainment, and sports entertainment. Wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts + the most interesting content + the most engaging hosts = the most entertaining podcasts you’ll find!

Featuring shows such as Bandwagon Nerds (entertainment & popular culture), The DWI Podcast (Drunk Wrestling Intellect), The Greg DeMarco Show (wrestling), The #Miranda Show (wrestling and entertainment), Chairshot Radio Hockey Talk, Patrick O’Dowd’s Chairshot Radio 5×5 (pop culture), PC Tunney’s Chairshot Bets (Sports), Down The Wire (Sports), Lucha Central Weekly (wrestling & lucha libre), Talk The Keki (Anime), The Mindless Wrestling Podcast, and more!


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New Force Order Episode 170


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