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Released: 1999, Independent
Another progressive metal band. It seems that progressive metal has been gaining more and more popularity in the last few years with the success of such bands as Vanden Plas, Digital Ruin, Dali’s Dilemma, Platypus and Dream Theater. Anno Domini are another band that are destined to fined success in the progressive metal arena. However Anno Domini are not just about playing as many notes as intricately as possible like some of the other up and coming progressive bands. They craft memorable songs that are powerful as well as intricate. Anno Domini was formed in Denver, Colorado in 1996. Originally they emphasis was on straight ahead classic metal in the vein of Metallica and Megadeth but the band have developed a sound more akin to Queensryche than Metallica. The band consists of Mark Fisher: lead and backing vocals, lead and rhythm guitar and keyboard, Tim Landers: lead and backing vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, Sean Behrens: lead and backing vocals and bass, and Ted Clarke: lead and backing vocals and drums. Together they craft a cd that contains 9 songs of progressive metal with the emphasis on metal.
The CD kicks off with the almost 7 minute track "The Chosen Ones". The lead vocals on this song are shared by Sean and Mark. For its length this song does not seem long and was interesting enough to keep my attention for its entire duration. (A feat in itself.) Up next is "Innocent Innocence" Again this track is 6 and a half minutes long and is much more subdued than the opener. Tim provides a smooth and clean lead vocal, almost the opposite of the vocals of the other band members, and if not for the length of this song it could be a radio hit for these guys. "Reaching Out" contains a hint of the bands early beginnings as it is almost thrashy in parts. "Retribution" is almost 9 minutes of metal with nary a hint of traditional progressive rock to be heard. " Sanity’s Edge" brings down the momentum of the CD with a touch of "Still Life" from Iron Maiden. Another notable track is "Separate Realities" with the only lead vocal on the CD by drummer, Ted Clarke. This song verges on power metal and shows another interesting side of Anno Domini.
Overall this is a very good CD. Anno Domini present a disc that is a stew of real metal. We hear bits of power, classic and thrash all tempered by progressive overtones. Though all the guys are above average vocalists I can’t help but wonder what a truly outstanding voice could do to material. Couple this with a good producer and Anno Domini could make some big noise on the metal scene. For more information about Anno Domini check out their website at mwfisher.home.mindspring.com.
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