Released: 2010, Metalville
This is not at all what I expected. Billed as a side-project of Guitarist Cedric Dupont (Symphorce/ Ex-Freedom Call) I fully expected a more power-metal, guitar oriented, metal album. Often these ‘side-project’ bands are a chance for musicians to air out ideas that were rejected by their main band or more often than not, a shred fest. In this case, while it was not what I was expecting, I am very pleasantly surprised. POINT OF ORIGIN is a very musical album. I don’t mean a shred record by any means but there any many interesting and dynamic musical ideas on display here. So much so, in fact that I’d image some of his more traditional metal fans might not appreciate what is offered.
First and foremost POINT OF ORIGIN is really fun. It has this huge fun rock vibe. The songs are all very, very catchy. This is a big, party type atmosphere with many transitions and styles. The hall-mark of a true solo album. There is a lot of diversity so much so that at times it doesn’t even sound like the same band from song to song. There are some straight-ahead Metal cuts like ‘Arisen’ but more often than not, there are musical elements that add a lot of style to each song.
It’s hard to articulate but there are many things like harmonica, acoustic guitar, southern blues-based guitar, that sort of sound like steel guitar, plus plenty of ripping guitar solos. There are events hints of the guitar ‘talk-box’ device. Songs like ‘Love Song’ have a real Aerosmith vibe to them (with heavier guitar) and a some songs have a more modern rock/pop sound like perhaps a Nickleback or something. The drums often have funky shuffle going on, like something from a Van Halen album. Check out ‘Make My Day for a prime example of that! Another reference point might be the John 5 solo albums where he does odd stuff spliced in with ripping guitar.
The vocals of Steffen Lauth are all over the map from some very harsh vocals to laid back rock vocals, sometimes even in the same song. There is even a hint of (gasp) rap…thankfully short and kept to a minimum. He has quite a versatile and commanding presence at the microphone. The album has lots of atmosphere, lots of tempo changes and many ideas per song all crammed together, but somehow it works. It certainly keeps your attention or at very least scratching your head in pleased amusement. It’s fun!
POINT OF ORIGIN might be too far out in left field some metallions, but fans of dynamic and quirky, blues-based guitar rock will really enjoy this album that engages and entertains.