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After initially hearing of this band being praised by many metal forums and magazines alike, I thought it would be fair to check them out to see what the hype was about. I managed to obtain this album at quite a fair price and stuck it on immediately. With a steady intro of 'Disappear Again', I was somewhat confused. This majorly-praised band was nothing special at all. There were no stand alone riffs, not particularly dangerous or cutting edge drum work, and Mitchell's retro vocals sound is so common in metal it's nothing to be desired. There's absolutely nothing here that's edgy or controversial. It's a very safe, primitive sound. They managed to throw a few seemingly out of place squeals in, which although I appreciate, doesn't enhance the lack of engaging guitar work. Yet that doesn't make them bad; they're tolerable, but just nothing really unique. Many bands (namely HammerFall) have received great fame from such a technique.
However, when the 'stand like stone' intro kicked in, I was a little more pleased. Their mediocre mainstream rock sound had suddenly developed to a more sophisticated groove metal-like sound. At this point I thought I'd underestimated the band and was starting to get my money's worth. There was a presence of a great riff comparable to the twangy speed of Lamb of God, delivered very professionally by Heath. The drums became more complex and Farmery was finally kicking in the double bass pedal, which gave the sound a much greater tempo and I was actually able to grasp a rhythmical beat I felt was pounding enough to start rocking my head to. Unfortunately, soon after this point the song turned back into a Black Stone Cherry anthem and I was once again uncomfortably confused. They were obviously very capable of such a sound and why they chose to ruin it with degenerate song structure and boring verse work escapes me. That pretty much goes for every song. There are parts where they give way for a more pounding assault, but would only last a short period per song before transforming back into the common rock song fresh from the stream. Songs often merge into each other and the frustration of the clear potential soon drives you mad. It's a very disappointing concept. Pat Heath delivered these riffs and solos with such precision, it's a shame his talent is snuffed and withdrawn so much during songs.
That being said, it's not a particularly bad album and I don't regret buying it, but I wouldn't recommend the band as heavily as the media did. That would leave expecting fans (like me) disappointed and frustrated. There are a few reasonably decent songs on the album and it does remain in my collection, but it's too safe and friendly to ever be put on and cranked up.
It may be a good idea to keep a watch on this band. However, I look to the next release with optimism and will give it a thorough listen and fair trial.
Furyon. More like Comeon.