Released: 2005, Arise Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
There’s something wrong with me, sometimes. Oh wait--I know what it is…I’m an asshole. That’s it…
Because this website seems to attract lovers of Power Metal, etc., we tend to get utterly barraged and overloaded with the stuff. Some of it is good--I really liked Penetrator, for instance--but they had a retro angle going, and did it really well, to boot. Other things have been great for the sake of unintentional comedy--Everlasting Tales and Valkija, for instance, were so bloody awful as to be a sheer delight, in a passing-by-a-car-accident sort of way, though without the satisfaction of a rolling severed head and organ smears shaped like Texas..
My point? This looked like Power Metal, at a time that I was utterly and completely exhausted of the stuff. Not privy to a press sheet, I eyeballed the thing, and played about thirty seconds of it--sounds like Power Metal, right? I tossed it back in the pile, and dug around for people with face paint that I could make fun of.
Had I not been an utter snot about this, I probably would have noticed that this had Death Metal vocals, and actually sounded more like Norther or old Children Of Bodom than anything by Helloween.
Or does it?
This one really challenges the barriers, like a horny, drunken farmer lusting for his neighbors cows. A song like “Ender” would most certainly fit into the Norther/COB mold, and do so nicely--it has richly pimped-out 80’s-style twin guitar harmonies, harsh vocals, and layers of overwrought keyboards, fruity as your pebbles. And you know what? It’s awesome. Then you get equally-awesome tracks like “The Silent Song” (hint: it’s not), which feature melodic vocal parts, and occasionally channels Dark Tranquillity during their PROJECTOR period, with some cool gang shouts and deep growls rounding out the package like a sock in a transvestite’s trousers. But then…you’ve got stuff like “Central Theory” and “My Black Letter”…which are, basically, Power Metal with a gruffer vocal effect.
Truth be told, I liked this, but it was simply all over the fucking place. Like a squirming, hogtied cheerleader, inching like an earthworm out of my basement of throbbing terrors, this band just won’t stay put. The compositions meander back and forth like Dimmu Borgir wearing the dead skin masks of Soilwork. A lot of it is excellent, but the album as a whole is utterly incoherant, like an epileptic Hindu speaking pig latin at morning mass. It wants to be all things to all people--hell, “Words Of Truth” even has some Black Metalish parts to it, before going into some Children Of Bodom-style Nintendo loops on the keyboards.
There’s actually a three song arc (tracks 5-7) that make the entire disc worth picking up, if you like this sort of thing.
This band is decent, and will be interesting to watch develop. In the meantime, this is a quality Melodic Death release for the Finnish-favoring Children Of Bodom and Soilwork crowd, who-one day-just might come into their own, worthy of being wrongly ignored by much more important reviewers than myself…