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This album has issues - 48%

BloodIronBeer, January 12th, 2007

Upon listening to the first moments of this, I was about to just turn it off. And never bother with it again.

There is some unrealized potential here, though. But there are so many problems, even being able to see that dormant potential in there, I can't really enjoy this.

The song writing could use some work. The riffs run into one another sometimes like the band is trying to jam the wrong piece into a puzzle. Sometimes they do have a more progressive element, in slightly unique song structures, and quirky interludes (steel drums - maybe a little too quirky). There is some sections where there is an emphasis on keyboards, sounding a bit more progressive than power metal. These parts are normally big, atmospheric sounding parts, and are frankly, quite boring.

The vocals come out sounding hushed and weaker than what they should be. It's possible to hear that this vocalist is slightly raspy and a keen singer, really a good voice. Alas, the backup vocalist on this disc is just plain bad, bring the over all vocal section down much further. He is off key, and really ruins any chance of the lead singer shining. Some of the choruses are completely marred by this second vocalist in the background. It is so bad, in fact, that it's just hard to listen to. I don't know how the band or the producers let this album be released having these on here.

I like the rhythm guitar tone, it's much more heavy and crisp than most power metal guitar tones, actually. Though the lead guitar tone is soft, and muted. What's worse is the parts played are just uninspired, the solos are lazy and weak.

The drums are too loud in the mix, and the drummer is really not up to par, even for most generic power metal.

Regrettably, as soon as I started to take notice of possible hidden goodness, I hear Spanish Eyes. It's kind of rock-ish, but mostly pop punk-ish. This song is cheesy, poor chorus, and absolutely dreadful lyrics. "All the days that has gone by, my love will never die; For you my sweetie pie ..." So juvenile it hurts. Those are lyrics and words you should never see in metal. "Sweetie pie"??? I'm pretty flexible with lyrics about not-so-metal subject matter, and in general. I especially don’t mind positive lyrics (Lost Horizon and Gamma Ray being two of my favorite bands) Normally love songs, and ballads don't bother me too much - but that is just ridiculous. At that point, I had a tough time thinking of them as a metal band.

Tracks worthy of mention ... uh. Be Thy Cross My Victory. Slightly progressive, pretty memorable track, and an interesting structure.

Really, I can’t recommend this ... to anyone. I’d wait for their next album to come out, and check them out then to see if they’ve remedied any of these problems. There is a massive amount of them, but I do think they could fix most of them. Maybe I’m being too optimistic (okay, I probably am), but they have since switched record labels.