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Supernal Endgame: Touch The Sky: Volume II

A mixed bag of prog and classic rock.

There’s little doubt about this band’s pedigree, so while you can hear various influences — from Saga to Styx, Yes to Gentle Giant — the Dallas band bring their own spark to bear on much that’s recorded here.

What Supernal Endgame are very good at doing is mixing passages of almost portentous jazz-rock excursions with more lightweight forays. This helps to make the music less straightforward and also keeps the listener on their toes. You can hear the band at their best on lengthier compositions such as Different Stage and The Endgame. On these epic pieces, it appears that the band feel less inhibited and more comfortable about expressing themselves. The extended workouts sound like disciplined structures within which the musicians encourage one another to be spontaneous, and all work very cogently. Less convincing are some of the shorter tracks. For instance, Again And Again falls between being a soaring melodic rock anthem and offering more musical depth, while Immutable comes across as a Chicago power ballad played by Steely Dan. It’s so nearly brought off but ultimately doesn’t quite get the balance right. Overall, though, this is an intriguing album.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.