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When The Thumb Points Down
February 2014
Released: 2013, Independent
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: UK Team

Even though Keldark was formed in 1999, this is the first time I’m hearing about them. Which means I missed their debut album “Slow Trip To Destruction Part II” and have no idea how they sounded two years ago. What I do know is that the “melodic thrash metal” genre they’ve tagged themselves with is wrong in the here and now. “When The Thumb Points Down” is heavy metal, and not of the most impressive breed.

The riffing structure of “Sex Me Up” is a bit unnerving, the rhythm going back and forward all the time. That works with progressive tunes, where the guitars are complex, but in a more straight-forward song like this one, especially with a chorus so mainstream (they do have Nickelback cited twice in their influences...), it doesn’t sound right. The gang vocals screaming “sex me up” are somewhat nice, though, but it doesn’t cover up for the lack of spunk in the main voice. It’s not that Pablo Crazy sings in a monotone voice – no, he modulates it here and there to suit the melody. But some feeling is missing.

“Nightmare In L.C.” is probably the best song here, with a cartoon-ish vibe entangled with some guitar pieces. It’s precisely the guitar work that’s richer and more diverse – the solo in particular – and makes this track stand out. The rest of the album is just too average, too similar to hundreds of other bands out there (“Look Beyond The Wall” being the most notorious example of too-much-of-the-same). Not even the ballad “The Sad Clown”, full of magical and dreamlike promises, leaves a mark in your ear, as so many power metal bands have used that formula before. At the same time, as it differs from the other tracks in the album, it ends up being refreshing to listen to it.

The last track is an Arch Enemy cover.

I’m usually the first to say that covers are meant to give you something different, otherwise you should just stick to the original. But what Keldark did here lessens the song, in my humble opinion. As the title itself says, “We Will Rise” is a song about confidence, strength, and the Spanish managed to strip it away of all that aggression and fierceness. The guitar and bass lines are much the same, but the vocals and drums are shallow and slow the rhythm down a few notches. I also think that singing “we will rise before your eyes” aims lower than the original “we will rise above”, so maybe they are aware that they still have to work hard to come out with something good.

Review by Renata Lino
Track Listing

1. Flatui Pacui -- 00:33
2. Sex Me Up -- 03:58
3. Nightmare in L.C. -- 05:50
4. Look Beyond the Wall -- 05:22
5. When the Thumb Points Down -- 04:47
6. Stealer's Prince -- 04:45
7. The Sad Clown -- 04:36
8. Slow Trip to Destruction -- 07:35
9. No Respect -- 05:15
10. We Will Rise (Arch Enemy cover) -- 04:16


Pablo Crazy (Vocals),
Hulk (Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals),
Monster Beat (drums),
Pin Arse (Guitar),
Andy Zyz (Lead Guitar)

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» When The Thumb Points Down
by UK Team

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