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The 'Uncertain' turned out to be a bottomless pit - 40%

autothrall, July 5th, 2010

Adrian were another of many budding hopefuls during the German explosion of the 80s, performing a traditional brand of power metal that drew on NWOBHM influences and their own countrymen like Accept, but from the sounds of their sole album, which would not even score a record deal during the signing spree of that era, they must have been somewhere amidst the bottom rungs of the latter. That's not to say the album One Step Into the Uncertain is really all that offensive or unforgivably awful in execution, with the possible exception of the so-laughable-it-should-be-iconic cover art, but it's really just sub par on so many levels that its pretty easy to contemplate how it was overlooked in such a grandiose crowd of bands like Running Wild, Rage, Helloween, and the like.

A tentacled spider-beast guarding it's hatching eggs from a blonde hesher with a handgun? Are you fucking serious? Didn't your kid brother have any pictures of dragons or spaceships available? Well, fortunate for us that Adrian's music is a little bit better than their aesthetic eye for packaging, but the production on the album doesn't do it much justice. Vocalist Oliver Wende has a pretty typical Germanic English slant on his vocals for the time, capable of 2 decent ranges but wavery at best, with a decay that seems to teet off key more than once. This is not much of a distraction, since it's often an endearing trait for European metal of the 80s. The drums pop along with simple rock beats that don't deliver much power to the average melodic guitar licks, and the bass is also a fairly minimal contribution.

"Reach the Sun" is a pretty stock mix of Iron Maiden melodies and mid-paced, plugging Judas Priest rhythm guitars which never rises above muster, despite the tapping intro and the uplifting vocals. "The King is Born Again" has more of a dirty groove to it, and I didn't mind the chorus so much, though the verse vocals border on awkward and the pumping bass is just not enough to mask them. "Love Dies in a Painful Way" sounds like a first round loser from the 'Want to Write a Scorpions Rock Song?' competition, with truly mediocre vocals. At least "The White Death" has some speed to it, sounding a lot like a crude, earlier Running Wild track minus the catchy flair of Rock'n'Rolf which could immortalize it. Still, one of the better tunes here.

Speaking of Running Wild, the band once again forms a parallel with the "Prelude/Never Again", a fairly entertaining bit of rampant melodic speed metal. Since the band's name is Adrian, I have to wonder just how much of a connection, or influence these guys had with their vastly superior German masters. "South Africa" continues this trend in spots, but it's largely a piece of drivel with a few standout riffs that would be better served elsewhere. The melodic power ballad "Dreamer" attempts to close the album, and I'm assuming the band's career, and Wende gives what might be his most solid vocal performance, but the selection of chords is pretty weak, so once again we're dependent on the moody, bluesy Scorpions guitars to carry us. They can't.

One Step Into the Uncertain is an understandably forgotten record which no more than a few dozen people would remember on a clear day, the memory unburdened with more pressing issues, and thus it's hardly in danger of seeing some revival in interest. I personally love combing the depths of obscurity to find worthwhile metal, especially in the classic categories of European power, traditional or thrash metal, but this album simply stinks whenever it deviates from shoddy Running Wild worship, and the two acceptable songs "The White Death" and "Never Again" are hardly stellar. Now, I've heard worse than the brief legacy of Adrian, and this is not the kind of suck that you scream out towards the world with an upturned nose. The stink is not so pervasive, but it's probably best to take it out to the trash anyway lest anyone but the starved vermin catch a draft of it.

-autothrall
http://www.fromthedustreturned.com

A Hidden Gem of a German Metal Band - 95%

Zack2981, June 24th, 2008

It took me nearly two years to find a copy of this album after hearing a few tracks I found online. The copy I did get is a mp3 of a vinyl so the quality makes it sortof sound like the singer has a lisp, but I don't even care. This album kicks ass.

The first track has probably one of my favorite openings ever. One mark of a good band is that they can take a song and make it sound like three different pieces of music skillfully blended together. "Reach the Sun" is one song that not only has a catchy chorus but the bridge and verse all rock as well. It literally makes me want to dress up in leather and denim and headbang the evening away. This is what I miss about a lot of metal today... This song just has a feeling of good times but is still power metal. You CAN rock and have a good time!

Next up is "The King is Born Again" A little grungier than the first track but hey, you don't want all your songs to sound the same do you?? What I like about this song is the music sounds like I'm in a bar having a beer. It's very simple, again unlike the first track. Just a good driving drum beat, chugging guitar, and high vocals about kings and prophecies. And then, of course, the solo comes in and rocks your ass for about thirty seconds.

Remember when power ballads still rocked? "Love Dies in a Painful Way" might remind you. It starts off with a nice slow intro and moves into something just as good as anything else coming out in 1987. The composition on this track blends so well, just like the entire record really. The chorus is extremely catchy. I got it stuck in my head all last night. Some might argue that this isn't a power ballad at all, but it's the closest you'll get on this album and it's damn good any way you slice it.

Moving on to "The White Death", Adrian kicks it back up a few notches to a speed metal track! Hell yeah! There is a slow part or two thrown in for the chorus but the majority of this song is blistering solo and double bass drumming. I'm telling you, this album has it all.

Keeping it heavy with "Prelude - Never Again", the album moves into an early Iron Maiden feel. Yeah, Iron Maiden/Killers. In fact, the singer really has a Paul Di
Anno type voice. Quickly, though, the actual song starts and it's back into the speed/power metal.

The next track is titled "South Africa". Dammit... this song just kicks so much ass. Again, it's just impressive to hear a song that changes pace and has PARTS that all together create a song, but there is so much to listen to. This track in particular may be the most complex on the album, but they make it sound simple. I can think of no other way to put it.

Finally, rounding out Adrian's first and last release is "Dreamer" which, as you might guess by the title is another slower track. What more can I say really? It's a nice cool down to a great record.

Obviously, I like this album very much. There is a lot of metal out there even by bands who have a large discography that all sortof sounds alike. And who is to say that Adrian wouldn't ultimately fallen into a similar trap if they had continued? But, judging by this album, it's a shame they didn't go on to greater success because this is one album that makes hunting for obscure bands like this worth it. I believe there were only about 1000 or so pressings of this record, but if you search hard enough you will find it and I urge you to keep an eye out for it. It kicks ass from beginning to end. The guitar work and composition is quite impressive and the vocals blend in very well with the music. I only give it a 95 because I don't have a perfect copy of the album. Otherwise, it just may have reached that for me.