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Released: 2000, Metal Blade
What do you get when you cross an awesome guitarist with an equally awesome vocalist? Supershine! Of course, you know that you're already ahead of the game when you've got two of the best heavy metal songwriters anywhere in Doug Pinnick and Bruce Franklin (ex-Trouble). So, is Supershine just another piece in the puzzle that is Pinnick's many solo projects? Hell no! Supershine is undoubtedly stamped with Franklin's fuzzy guitar tones and doomy song structures. Neither does this mean that the music is merely Trouble with Pinnick singing instead of Wagner. Supershine is it's own kick ass entity.
Right from the first strains of leadoff pounder "Take Me Away" you know that this is going to be an entertaining ride. Heavy as hell, and I don't think that I've ever heard Pinnick's vocals sound as heartfelt in a long time. "Take Me Away" establishes the direction for the rest of the album: heavy grooves mixed with the best riffs Trouble never played. The expected King's X influence is subtler than I expected, and this is because Franklin's style of playing guitar is so distinctive. I wonder what this would have sounded like with Ty Tabor playing?
"Kingdom Come" will stomp a mudhole in your sorry ass while the melodic melancholy of "One Night" will drag you down. "One Night" also features one of Franklin's best lead guitar work since Manic Frustration (also check out "Shinin' On"). Franklin is one of the best guitarists that can mix melodic lead work with heavy, heavy riffs. Really, the beauty of Supershine is their perfect mix of melody and heavy aggression. Just when you think that they are about to go too far in one direction, they haul you kicking and screaming back the other way.
Also worth noting is album closer "Shadows/Light" which is possibly the most depressing song that Anathema never wrote. Quite simply, Supershine is one of the best albums to come out in 2000, no matter what style of metal you prefer. Now let's just hope that the Pinnick/Franklin combination can manage to get together in the future and record Supershine II. Note: listen for Pinnick's Ozzy Osbourne impression in "Shinin' On".
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