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cheesy power metal (a Rage album gone wrong??) - 45%

UltraBoris, May 17th, 2004

Well, it is a bit better than the album that came after it... this one at least has some balls. Unfortunately, it sounds more like Dream Theatre covering a Rage album than anything else, with some recent Angel Dust also making an appearance. It's still kinda pussied, and the vocalist still is a non-entity, and the production is still a disaster, and did I mention that at times it gets reeeaallly pussied?

But, at least there are riffs. It's not the most headbangable thing ever, not "End of Your Days" (told ya this was a Rage album gone wrong!), not the whole thing. That song sounds a real whole lot like a Dream Theatre album, with the guitar tone and the noodly keyboard (or is that a guitar? I can't tell what that other instrument is) soloing. The riff is a generic Pantera-like construction, like when Dream Theatre attempts to be heavy. Oh yeah and the vocalist just plain sucks. He's better than on the subsequent album, but still sounds a lot like a lounge singer. And that one riff that they keep using over and over again is really fucking annoying. It's a single-note timing thing, sounding like a bad attempt at channelling Coroner, and getting Meshuggah over the airwaves instead. Oops.

There's the occasional bit of brilliance. Take the title track for example... most of the song is a perfectly good example of "pussy rock". Isn't this the kind of stuff that made the 80s hair bands become really unpopular? Big hair, big keyboards, big mounds of cheese. And it's not even catchy, like "Home Sweet Home", which has that one infectious piano part... the beginning of this one just has a large mishmash of instruments supporting a main vocal line, and there's a piano part that goes nowhere, and then another set of mishmash. Oh but there's a fast section with a solo... HOLY CRAP THAT'S A COOL SOLO!!!!

Yeah, I wish they sounded like that more often. Fucken A, now that was fucking metal.

For about thirty seconds.

The rest of it... damn, I can't figure out which 80s singer this dude sounds like, I'm guessing, for now Phil Collins on valium, but I know there's an even closer resemblance that I'm just not thinking of right now. Man, what the fuck?? They throw in this blazing speed metal solo into this horrendous mound of cheese that would make Poison rethink their careers.

Okay, so how about the rest of the songs? For the most part, every song has some pussification, ranging from "small amount of pussification" to "man, this makes the Vagina Monologues seem like Rambo". The only exceptions are the opener, which is pretty much the best song on here... and the song Blinded, which is upbeat but has this horrendous chorus ("I'm blinded, I'm blinded"... right, and I'm going deaf).

There's a cover song... it's marked as a Dilba cover. I have no idea who Dildo is, but gawd do they suck the hard suck. But not significantly more so than some of the other songs on here. I mean, Fragments, is basically the same thing, except apparently they wrote that one all by themselves. Man, what's up with the completely emotionless ballads? I think The Crimson Idol has more value in half an intro piece than these guys have in their entire career. Throw in some random Peter Steele vocals, and complete the complete effect of stupidity. "Visions" is half a great song buried in half a pile of fecal matter.

The last three songs are basically all keyboards all the time, and are completely worth skipping (unless you like this stuff, which would be the only explanation for you getting this far in the first place). And I thought of it... the whole thing sounds like fucking Jon Secada. That's who it is. Especially those piano pieces at the end. "I ... I can't resist ... trying to think of what I've missed... just another day without you." Some cheeseball 80s ballad. Go look it up. And if ya dig it, go check out this album.

Entirely not recommended. The signal-to-noise ratio is really bad, and it's not worth gleaning through the entire album to find them. Check out the opener, and then if you like that, get a Rage LP. Those don't have the "big drums and shitty guitar tone" production that's all the rage today. Heh. Try "Unity".

Oh yeah... cool logo, but the album cover sucks hard. That's the least metal kid ever. Go find a picture of Andy Galeon from '83 or something.