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Released: 1991, Metal Blade
Classic Album Review
See?? I told you it was coming! This album is pretty much the pinnacle of 4 focused musicians that have wrought together a web of emotions and translated them into a technical play-fest.
As I said in the review for REASON, the drumming and low production were the weak points of this band’s delivery. Behold! A new drummer has come forth to tighten things up quite a bit! Chad Smith takes Mike Owen’s seat behind the drums and delivers a performance so tight that I find myself thinking if about whether or not he ever screwed up during the recording sessions! Add to this the brand new, super technical production and you get an album that would seem to lack emotion… or do you?
Most impressive of all that is contained in this aural roller coaster is the incredibly depressing lyrics that frontman Kenn Nardi is delivering. Based mostly on his (?) life and madness, the emotional charge displayed throughout the album is absorbing and at the same time inspiring. The guitar department is tuned to mostly treble which allows John Emery’s bass to “hop” around the guitars just the right way! This is an incredible plus since his performance is nothing short of amazing and along with Chad Smith’s drumming creates a tandem of elegant power that is guaranteed to catch your ear. The guitar work displayed on REASON is abandoned without so much as a glance back and replaced by an incredibly sharp riffing. The technical ability displayed in this performance seems to be almost mind numbing, yet maintains a degree of emotion that demands respect. Finally, the last improvement in the Anacrusis camp comes though Nardi’s vocal proficiency as he seems to have accentuated hi shrieks quite a bit more. What’s even more encouraging is the fact that his already great clean vocals also seem to have been not just revamped but also smoothed and inevitably improved.
As a whole, MANIC IMPRESSIONS is very close to perfection. Its emotional charge along with its technical approach blows me away every time I pop it into my CD player. I would recommend that if you ever see it you just grab it and go home. You won’t need anything else to listen to for that day at the very least.
Choice Cuts: Still Black (****1/2), Our Reunion (*****)
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