Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Splendid follow up to a marvelous debut - 92%

eViLbOrIs, October 15th, 2007

I'm sure I'm not the only one who was sent spiralling into fits of depression, tearful outrages, and uncomfortable numbness when, about a year and a half to two years ago, Mechanical Poet decided to call it quits, citing 'Artistic differences' as the main reason. I wept for weeks and searched my soul and my past for reasons not to kill myself (Emo much?). I couldn't find any. I decided, 'That's it, I'm done with this stupid world, where bands can't get along.' So there I stood, in the bath tub, toaster in the water just waiting to be plugged in, knife at my wrist just waiting to slash, tap set to 'Ultra Hot', when life made one last desparate plea. Fine. I stepped out of the tub, for one last hurrah on the internet. I made my way to the pc, logged on to Mechanical Poet's website, and lo! 'tis not Jesus who saves in the end, but Lex Plotnikoff, for on this fateful visit to his band's website, I learned of his reformation of the band, albeit in a Mark II form.
Yeah, totally awesome singer extraordinaire Max Samosvat is gone, replaced with the slightly less theatrical and heavy, but equally skilled and capable Jerry Lenin, whose English pronunciation is waaaaaay better. He has more of a punk sounding voice, but he can do metal, from low to falsetto, and he fits the music very well.
Following suit, new drummer Vladimir Erkamoff is also less of a pure metal drummer than predecessor Tom Tomakoff, but that just means he's more versatile. And since Mechanical Poet's music is all about versatility, that is a very good thing.
Filling in the bass slot and relieving Plotnikoff of being the sole geetarist in the band (The Woodland Prattlers line-up was just a trio), is Serge Khlebnikoff, whose performance is of special note for it's diversity and overall presence (being able to hear the bass in a prog album is a rare thing, and it's really appreciated when a band makes the effort to make it audible and flesh out their sound.) Having an 'extra' dude in the band makes a great big difference and adds a certain live dynamic that was missing before.

Musically, Creepy Tales for Freaky Children has nothing even a remotely as heavy as Woodland Prattlers' opener, 'Stormchild', but it is a much more well rounded effort with absolutely no filler (let's face it, Sirens from the Underland is a great song, but there's really not enough going on to keep it interesting from the 10th listen on). There is a decidedly more rock 'n roll feel, and less of a Disney atmosphere. The Disney feel is missed at some points, but it's non-presence is appreciated in others. Let's just say that while not all the sound changes are for the best, none of them make the music any worse, either. And despite all the rock 'n rollisms, the band's style description remains as deservingly obscure as ever: Orchestral Progressive Soundtrack Folk Metal.
The lyrics, stunted as they often are (but it's better this time around) by the language barrier, still kick tush in a whimsical fashion, and the whole package is brought home in a grand way with a full-color, illustrated, hardcover book, with each song having its own little story illustrations and speech-bubble lyrics.

A grade-A release from a band who ya get the feeling really cares about giving their fanbase as much enjoyment-per-penny as possible.