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Complete and unmitigated shit - 12%

UltraBoris, May 13th, 2004

Every time I think about this album, I relive painful memories of being forced to listen to it, as people told me that it was so amazing and creative and completely unlike other power metal.

Well, they were right. It is different. Other power metal isn't the most boring stuff ever. Other power metal has balls of steel, and either is Ample Destruction or closely resembles it. Other power metal isn't a goddamn In Flames album, except with clean vocals.

That pretty much right there sums up the two things wrong with this album. One, the riffs are complete Gothenburg worship... slow, meandering, pointless "melodic" bullshit that makes Iommi want to kill himself, just so he can roll around in his grave. Then the vocalist - oh dear lord, the vocalist. What a goddamn novelty act. The sonorous equivalent of Mike Patton: sure it sounds technically GOOD, but he's annoying as shit, and is pretty much the centerpiece of the band, which is an absolute no-no for metal. I'd rather listen to Gene Adam.

This has to be pretty much the least interesting album I've ever heard. What is it with Gothenburg-styled bands compensating for their lack of good riffs with nonsensical vocal approaches? Dumbened down Iron Maiden "worship" that just fails to ever get to the point. Songs that go nowhere, and there isn't a single damn catchy hook to be found. Nothing that grabs you by the throat and says "headbang! Now!". Contrast this with a GOOD power-metal album, for example Diamond Head's Lightning to the Nations, which issues that edict, oh about one second after you put the needle down.

Highlights... I can't even remember. I haven't heard this piece of shit in months. Quest for the Crown, I suppose, was insipid but at least somewhat upbeat. The opener, Grave of Guilt, sounds like it might almost go somewhere, before the vocalist does that attention-whore thing in the middle. The rest of the album? At this point I was screaming, dying from inside, waiting until the experiment was over... and it never was. Matt, you must die in Hell.

People will tell you this is different. People will tell you it's the only power metal worth hearing. Fuck no. You know what they do to the "different" - they lock them in graves. If you hate flower metal, that doesn't mean you need to be subjected to this. Find yourself some classic Blind Guardian and forget this thing ever existed.