• 9/10
    A COSMIC TRAIL - II: Mistral - 9/10


Pure Steel
Release date: April 19, 2013

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

The second album of Markus Ullrich’s instrumental Progressive Metal project, A Cosmic Trail, takes a solid grip on one’s emotions from start to finish. Where vocals usually demote the instruments to background or noise machines, on an instrumental work every note and every sound has to fit. The guitar has to have room to breathe, while at the same time enough power has to be generated to keep the listener’s attention. Since Long Distance Calling, no album has been able to do that in such a convincing and satisfying way. The generally long compositions create an emotional rollercoaster ride with unearthly melodies before they invite the listener to a round of solid head-banging.

No surprise if one knows that Ullrich and his companion Richie Seibel, on keyboards, are usually active with their band Lanfear. They find the perfect path between heaviness and progressive moods, and they create an album which can only be enjoyed and comprehended individually, as it is a much more personal experience than most albums with vocals. II: Mistral is to be put on one’s shelf with Hindsight from Anathema, Jim Matheos‘ First Impressions and Avoid The Light from Long Distance Calling. The clear production with a relatively mellow, but very fitting sound, makes for forty-six very entertaining minutes that can be enjoyed as a whole, or in parts, if one wants to go deeper and take each composition one-on-one for the very different journeys that II: Mistral has in store.

The album is an independent release with a little help from German label Pure Steel, so it may not be available everywhere. The bandcamp site is the best location to listen to some of the fantastic tracks and then to buy the album. But beware: this may occupy your player for a long time.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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