Released: 2005, Lion Music
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
To be honest, when I see that EvilG or Rick (who seems to take great delight in my misery) have sent along a promo from Lion Music, my smile quickly turns to a frown. But for the first time in at least a dozen or so stabs at this record label’s limp output, my smile finally returns and I have Resistance’s LIES IN BLACK to thank for it. How this California-based, classic/power metal band ended up in the same company as the fluffy Finns’ fleet-fingered fretwork (like that alliteration?) found on the Lion Music label is beyond me but rest assured, LIES IN BLACK is an ass-kicker of a traditional metal album that fans of Annihilator, Grave Digger, Primal Fear and Jag Panzer will devour.
The distorted “Star Spangled Banner” intro led me to believe LIES IN BLACK was going to be a politically-charged album but aside from the blistering “War Paint,” the lyrics tend to focus on traditional themes. The title track and “…`Til Dust Returns” are real heavy-hitters and with touches of Bay Area thrash infused within, the riffing of E.F. Martinez and Dan Luna sizzles. Robby Hett’s vocals lie somewhere between the lower registers of Ripper Owens, Ralf Scheepers and Sebastian Bach and on “Lies In Black” and “Wasted Time,” he explores his full range, never sounding strained or forced.
LIES IN BLACK was self-produced and there are times where this shows. Matt Ohnemus’ drums on “Bridge To Nowhere” are sorely lacking any power and are drowned out by Hett’s vocals. Also, the fact that this album is only 28 minutes long and is still padded with two instrumentals leads me to believe the band was a bit short on material this time out. Still, those 28 minutes pack enough punch to forgive any shortcomings on LIES IN BLACK and according to their website, Resistance is already hard at work on its follow-up. Can’t wait to hear it!
KILLER KUTS: “War Paint,” “Lies In Black,” “Wasted Time,” “…`Til Dust Return”