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Released: 2010, Asher Road Records
Life is the latest project of Mike Kischnick who has played in and around British Columbia, Canada for years. He’s worked with Empyria and the mighty Thor among others. Life is a new quartet and they are entering the metal rat-race with their 10 cut (plus intro) indie, debut album. The self-titled digi-pak album cover art features an eye-catching metal-baby, a sort of fetal metal-skeleton type dude throwing the horns. Kinda cool. The package is acceptable for an indie band, no lyrics included, but the lyrics of John Buck are clear and easy to understand. The inside photo is quite unique, the guys dressed as…I’m not quite sure what… old timey, 1930’s gold-rush miners or something in their Sunday best outfits. Weird but interesting.
LIFE (self-titled) is planted firmly in the melodic rock/metal camp. Cuts like ‘Walk My Way’ are more rockin’ and others like ‘Shattered Dreams’ are more in the metal realm. The production, courtesy of Kischnick is loud and clear and sounds decent. What adds some audio dynamics is the use of a mandolin by John Buck. It’s not an instrument you often hear to begin with and if you do, (in metal at least) it’s used in an middle-eastern context, not on a straight ahead Hard Rock album. Either way, it sounds good. The guitars are crunchy, with some laid back soloing, the drums are solid providing a good back-bone for some conventional rock compositions.
The tempo of the album is a little on the slow side, it’s not too raging, there is enough space for the songs to breath and have a bit of atmosphere as on the cut ‘Ghosts’ with some decent sound-effects adding sophistication. I don’t know why but these guys remind a little bit of Rush, straight-ahead but still a few elements of quirkiness. I doubt anyone else would hear the reference point as Rush has too many eras to pin-point their sound, but listen to some of the more straight-ahead late 90’s era Rush (Counterpoints) and you might hear it.
A strong debut effort aided by decent songs and solid performances all round. Fans of heavier Aerosmith, maybe a bit of Jackyl and good driving guitars will appreciate what LIFE is all about.
2. Slaves And Masters
4. Walk My Way
5. Shattered Dreams
9. No Sympathy
10. The Edge
11. Mind's Eye
John Buck-Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin
Mike Kischnick-Guitars, Keyboards
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