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It is for the first time that I decide to write a review about an album that I really really dislike. Fact is, there are few albums in my collection that can earn the label “not to be touched again”. And I’m not sad to say, “Passage…” is the king of them.
It’s one of these albums that you are sure about their quality, but when you get to listen it you just can’t believe how boring and flat they are. Fuck, I expected a lot more from the god-singer that recorded “Dark Queen”, “Run With The Pack” or even “The Watcher” with Destiny’s End. Yet what I listen to, is James Rivera as a shadow of himself. And I think Jack Frost is the mistake here. This guy really thinks he is…I don’t know who he thinks he is, but surely he is way too young to guide a legend like Rivera into vocal styles that just don’t match his voice. I mean, what the heck is this “Mental Messiah”? James Rivera trying to be Rob Halford in the “Painkiller” years? It’s a shame for both Rivera and Vera to play in this album. What about Joey? Hey, this guy is the one that slayed my ears off with his basslines in “A Pleasant Shade Of Gray” and “Disconnected”. It’s the one behind the thick sound of the heavy metal gods called Armored Saint. Yet I hear him following stupid double bass drumming that sounds way too funny even for Heavenly or Rhapsody. Ah…this pitiful drumming. I once read in an interview that the favourite bands of Seven Witches’ drummer are Iced Earth and Blind Guardian. Well, I am sure they are. This guy is completely out of the spirit. They said they were recording an old-school, 80’s-like heavy metal album, yet they appoint this rookie drummer that began to listen metal music with Blind Guardian and Stratovarius. And the result is that he screws up with his role. He blasts with double bass drumming EACH and EVERY moment. Man, this is tiring. Get off the stool and go play German power metal, because you can’t just play straight, 80’s heavy metal.
I bought this album having read that it’s the rejuvenation of classic heavy metal. But, as far as I’m concerned, this one is the genre’s funeral bell. Crappy stuff. Even the choice of covering Def Leppard is totally lame. “Dance With The Dead” tries to stand away from the swamp, with Rivera in Helstar-like singing, but the drummer just pulls it back in with a continuous double bass triggered hammering that really gets on my nerves. This is not my heavy metal. Out of sight, out of mind. Keep away.