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Next review: » Imagika - And So It Burns (Demo 1999)
And So It Burns
Released: 2000, Massacre Records
If you're wondering why my first two reviews this month are a 5/5, well it's because both CD's blew me away!!! And so I come to another IMAGIKA CD review. These guys are definitely my favorite "underground" band. And So It Burns is released by Massacre Records and it's about time someone picked this band up. The labels that have turned these guys down to date have to be DEAF! This music and this band's sound is not at all dated. Good metal is ageless and their talent is undeniable. If you do not yet know who Imagika are then I pity you. This is aggressive thrash metal, plain and simple. There are some traditional and power metal overtones but at heart this sounds like thrash to me. That means roaring guitars, ripping solos, amazing drums, and screaming vocals.
This band keeps getting better and better. The improvements on this CD as compared to their last CD, Worship include: the vocals - David Michael has outdone himself this time around. On songs like "Fallen One" he really lets loose and sounds quite pissed off while on "Darkness Has Come" a more melodic side is explored. Another area that has improved is the drumming. Henry Moreno is a drum beast! The double kicks are very tight sounding and played with precision - check out the double kicks in "Atrocity"!! Steve Rice's lead guitar work also keeps improving and his rhythm sound on this album is godly - thick and brutal. The thundering bottom end bass lines of Michael Dargis hold down a solid foundation. There are no filler songs on this CD. The CD begins with a short intro segment with introduces the first full song "Chaos To Murder" - one of the albums attention grabbers and up-tempo numbers. This is followed by my current favorite track on the CD - "The Fallen One." The intro riff on this with the triplets on the guitars followed by a very neat drum patterns bring a smile to my face. The next mind-blowing track is "Hell." Again - killer double kick drums, excellent intro, screaming vocals yet melodic on the verses. The title track "It Burns" begins with a clip from the greatest horror movie ever, The Exorcist. Timely, considering it has been theatrically re-released this month. "Darkness Has Come" is another of the stand out tracks. The vocals are really cool on this one somewhat similar to Chuck Billy's (Testament) melodic styled singing. The CD's closing track, "Fade Away" clocks in at 8:40, the longest song on the CD. This is the one where I can hear a Grave Digger influence...it's still Imagika, the chorus has that grandiose melodic style of chorus with backing vocals. Not only is this album Imagika's best to date, it is also the best sounding. That is thanks to the engineering and production assistance of Grave Digger's Uwe Lulis. Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger also makes an appearance on a couple of tracks on backing vocals.
I've said it before, and I'll continue to say it - Imagika RULE! I happen to miss the thrash metal scene from the mid to late 80's, so it's nice that a band from the bay area have picked up and are waving the flag of REAL trend-free metal from the USA.
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