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Identity crisis - 56%

RequiredFields, September 6th, 2007

So Loudness more or less loses their charm by hiring an American lead singer (Mike Vescera, Obsession).

Vescera is a very good vocalist, but still, one cannot deny that the Japanese accent that Minoru Niihara had gave Loudness a unique charm and identity.

As a whole, the album isn't completely awful, but isn't great. The band finds themselves in an identity crisis, as far as the style is concerned. At times they want to be a very solid metal band. At others, they want to be a very, very commercial sounding band. If only they could be the former more often, and not the latter.

OK, we start off nicely with one of the best songs Loudness ever recorded, "Soldier of Fortune". Nice riff work opens it up, and then the verses come along. The song has an excellent chorus, and the lead work here is some of the best Loudness ever came up with. An excellent song overall, and definitely among the band's best songs.

"You Shook Me" is the hit single. A very commercial, poppy vibe is here, but it's still preferable to what was polluting the airwaves at the time. Then we have a couple of more commercial sounding songs ("25 Days" actually starts off very nicely, but then quickly falls down the spiral of suckage). "Red Light Shooter" is a bit less commercial sounding, but is still forgettable.

There's finally another memorable song in "Running For Cover". The intro grabs you by the throat, and you find yourself enjoying the album again. Then we get back to the suckage in "Lost Without Your Love". Why couldn't they have come up with another song like the opener in place of this? "Faces in the Fire" is pretty solid. "Long After Midnight", however, finds Loudness falling back to the suckage. But then, Loudness finishes off the album on a high note with a very fast paced speed metal monster, "Demon Disease". This one is fast paced from the get go, and is definitely the second best song on the album.

If only all of the tracks in the middle were as good as the opener and the closer, we'd have a really winner in our hands.