Released: 2005, Black Lotus Records
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
Strangely enough, this could be a major label act. Note that this does not denote quality in any way; but it’s the truth—I could see this hitting the Ozzfest and Loud Rock circuit, and cleaning up fairly nicely. If Century Media can sign Brand New Sin, and Earache can sign Adema, I can’t very well begrudge Black Lotus—Greece’s biggest metal label—a shot at the gold.
This will probably get tagged as Nu-Metal, despite having determinedly coarse vocals and featuring a Septic Flesh cover. That doesn’t sound terribly commercial to me, but then, Lamb Of God caught on, didn’t they?
Drummer Catherine plays behind the beat, and truth be told, I’d like to play behind Catherine. But this is beside the point. The Grecian Goddess handles her duties with sufficient thunderous plod; as female drummers go—and there aren’t terribly many, metal-wise—I’m reminded of Martina Axen (Drain STH), who, herself, frequently fell into the Bill Ward mold. So, at times, it could be said that she somewhat plays like Martina playing like Bill Ward. Occasionally, Catherine lets out a blood-curdling shriek from behind the kit; I can only guess that this is meant to remind us why she is the drummer, and not the vocalist. It’s not pretty, folks.
The vocals are, well…not lovable. It really does remain their most significant hurdle. Vocalist Mineiro sounds as if he’s making a funny face—I can almost picture it. There are probably some ridiculous hand-motions going on, as well. Combined, it’s like a rapping, defecating ape—not that I’ve ever seen one, but I know it when I hear it. The grueling-for-soup/pinching-a-loaf bowel howls need to go.
The songwriting has potential, much of it untapped; the guitars tend to fall into a groove. Riff-wise, it’s somewhere between Clutch and Kyuss. Unfortunately, it comes off more like 2nd Tier acts such as My Ruin and Soil than anything with any real cult power. On the upside, it probably sounds wonderful live. But on disc, each riff stops just short of being clever, becoming an unending series of limp, repetitive thuds. It always sounds like something that could have been brilliant, but had too many errands to run on the way. For sure, the keyboards add some ambience; so would some Kitaro samples. It’s not new; there’s no good reason to highlight them. Keyboardist Christos, when not dying for our sins, has a fine sense of timing and restraint; unfortunately, this puts him out of sync with the rest of the band, who—let’s face it—don’t.
A swifter pace, a sharper vocal, and a tougher struggle against the unfocused repetition that chains them from the radio, could make this band the next Mushroomhead. Give ‘em another record to develop, I say—it’s still better than Bizkit in the end.