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Mostly goes nowhere. - 59%

hells_unicorn, May 28th, 2008

Two years after deciding to stop writing solid power metal with a slight, progressive edge and instead get their groove on, Labyrinth decided to turn back the clock a little. There is little doubt that their fans didn’t much take to the utter lack of direction or quality in the sound of “Freeman”, let alone the genre confusion, so a decision to ease up on the nu-metal a little was in order. Nonetheless, this Italian outfit hasn’t completely rid itself of some negative influences that seeped their way in after Olaf Thorsen left for greener pastures.

The principle problem on “6 days to Nowhere” is that it never really seems to stick to any good ideas long enough. Inconsistencies in the direction of the songwriting pop up again and again, often several times in a single song. There are times where this album really starts to cook and you think that the majesty of songs like “Moonlight” and “Thunder” is going to endure, but then they get into some sort of quasi-break down section that throws everything off, before going somewhere completely different. Most of the choruses sound recycled, and are continually haunted by off the wall changes in tempo that recur regularly, yet don’t really seem to fit at all.

Although often fast and aggressive, there is both a constant sense of mellowness and randomness of style throughout the album that drag things down. “Mother Earth” and “Just one day” are the worst offenders in this regard, having guitar riffs that seem to go on forever and so many out of place tempo shifts that you lose any sense of buildup or climax. “Out of Control” and “Rusty Nail” both sound like a mud butt discharges left over from the Freeman sessions, loaded with crappy nu-metal riffs and out of place keyboard sounds. “Wolves ‘N’ Lambs” starts off sounding like sampled background music for the latest Kanye West single, before going into a weird barrage of groove sections, and then a few blast beat sections. One has to wonder where the song is in this mess.

The instances where memories of better days are consistently upheld are few and far between, but some songs on here do manage to accomplish this. The opening track “Crossroads” works well as a mid-tempo hold over that could have fit well on “Sons of Thunder”. “What?” and “Coldness” also carry some characteristics from the days back when Olaf Thorsen was still contributing to this outfit. The cover of “Come Together” is also really good, definitely not as boring and redundant musically as the original version. Probably the best thing on here is the “Piece of Time” remake, which again invokes the mid-tempo aspect of the band’s history, as the idea of writing speed metal is clearly gone from Labyrinth’s repertoire.

Fans of older Labyrinth are advised to look for this at a low price. $7 is the highest amount of value that could be attributed to this half-hearted attempt at regaining some ground while mostly continuing to put out stuff oriented towards a non-power metal audience. Although there are moments where things really pick up, almost every song has ballad-like sections and down tempo break downs that completely ruin the flow of the album. At best, you’ll skip around constantly and like 5 or 6 of these songs, and at worst you’ll just end up letting this collect dust when realizing you still have a copy of “Return to Heaven Denied”.