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Progressive power metal with guts - 72%

kluseba, October 28th, 2010

I bought this album for only 1 Euro at Woolworth and didn't know anything about this band. While I didn't expect very much, I got surprised by this record. The band plays straight power metal with guts and has even some progressive and surprising elements. They do not sound like ordinary average European power metal bands.

The first song, "The fire burns" is a powerful and straight metal hymn that goes straight to the heart and is a perfect opener that already convinced me that I had bought a very good album. Especially the singer is doing an outstanding job and is very talented. This song is without any doubt the highlight of the album and I can't this song out of my mind.

More epic stuff like "Point of no return" or "Mirror in your eyes" are more calm and profound and concentrate on a mystical atmosphere. Those songs show the diversity and creativity of the band and the talent that they have to search their power in the tranquility. The songs need some time to grow, but when they do, you will really appreciate them.

This album inspired me to check out the new band "Mystic Prophecy" while this band is still on hold. I will also try to check out the band's other albums now. This record is very solid and easy to listen to even if it is not a masterpiece. It is somehow sad that the band seems to be dead as this album has been a really good one. It is indeed worth way more than to be found at Woolworth's at a very low price.

Frank Pané rules! - 85%

fluffy_ferret, July 17th, 2007

There’s a label on the CD I bought that says “Aggressive Power Metal” - a very accurate description it turns out as you’re not likely to come across power metal more aggressive than this. The driving force behind the aggression is the rhythm guitar and the star of the show is undeniably guitarist Frank Pané. The mix is as rare as the skills Frank Pané brings to the table as this sounds a lot like Hollow’s unusual Architect of the Mind. Meaning, the guitars are raw, powerful and ridiculously prominent in the mix while the drums and bass are quite subdued. Vocalist R.D. Liapakis powerful voice is mixed quite high too and seems the perfect match for the meaty guitars.

You’ll know what I mean once you listen to opener ‘The Fire Burns’, one unrelenting, bad ass song with some wondrous fret-work – truly a flying start to the album. ‘Point of No Return’ is good as well and a fine example of some more advanced songwriting. In this case an energizing intro and some sweet tempo changes. It gets even better with ‘The Sun’, a wonderfully paced song with some of the catchiest vocal melodies on the album. The fourth song ‘In Your Head’ is close to the aggression of ‘The Fire Burns’ with a rhythm guitar so godly it’s bound to send shivers up your spine. Other excellent cuts include ‘Mirror In Your Eyes’, ‘Kingdom of Pain’, ‘Creating Gods’ and ‘Falling’. Unfortunately it’s one of those albums where the first half stands out as the best, and the other half as sub-par, but admittedly, there are no truly bad songs to be founds.

If you’re a first time listener of Deception of Pain I’m just jealous. I well remember the huge impact this album first had on me. It wasn’t the vocalist R.D. Liapakis, (who is pretty good by the way); it wasn’t the songwriting or anything like that (which is pretty good too). It was the guitars. Holy shit, the guitars! The riffs! Guitarist Frank Pané pretty much single-handedly keeps this album interesting and induces it with awesomeness from start to finish. The guy should be playing for a bigger band… no… he should be put on a pedestal and worshipped!

Guitar-mastery aside, the band succeeds in the songwriting department too… at least for the most part. The album can hardly be seen as perfect - it’s a bit too long and has a sizable amount of average songs (‘Dark Room, ‘Shadows on the Wall, ‘Unholy Power’…). The problem has more to do with the refrains getting repetitive and the songwriting predictable than the songs themselves. At some point, you’ll notice that every song more or less follows the same pattern. Refrains that are repeated too often and in the same way on too many songs are definitely a problem, creating a feeling of Déjà vu: “Haven’t I heard this before?”. The aforementioned is what keeps this album from receiving a 90-95% score. Deception of Pain is fine enough as it is though, with plenty of highlights – definitely something to check out if you’re a fan of bands like Brainstorm or Angel Dust.

Solid heavy metal - 88%

Xeper, August 16th, 2003

Sometimes you get an album that doesn't necessarily blow your mind, but just makes you bang your head like a motherfucker and appreciate the good old fashioned nature of heavy metal. This is one such album. Valley's Eve have a winner here in Deception of Pain, an album that stands apart from the pack by not trying to stand out. The album is a mostly midpaced power metal type affair, but not watered-down modern day power metal. I mean metal with real fucking power, chunky riffing (none of that groove-laden bullshit, just the occasional triplet-based rhythms, this is 100% metal folks), killer rhythm guitar work, solos that shred when they need to, a singer with a great voice whose range is slightly lower than most power metal banshees, memorable choruses, and songwriting that is stripped down to memorable formats. I'm all for progressive music, but this release is refreshingly simple in its approach, and man does it work while making you want to raise the fucking horns. The keyboards are there on some songs, but used tastefully within reason, only providing atmosphere instead of any wankfests. The rhythm section is fucking solid, nothing overly fancy here, and man is that a relief. Kind of reminds me of Sinner in places but with less Priest influence, if that makes any sense. Fantastic band, and it's good to hear some bands still playing metal the way it was meant to be, no-frills and aggressive while still steeped in all the trappings that make metal so damn good. Worth looking into.