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Taking back the metal, eh? - 76%

hells_unicorn, May 21st, 2008

While it is hardly unexpected for any band of the heavy/power metal persuasion to make bold statements about their musical genre, it brings about the expectation of the band actually delivering something that matches the bold promise uttered in the prologue. When someone gives a villainous laugh and tells the listener that he and his band are “taking back the metal”, you have to dwell upon it and see just exactly what the speaker just implied. Thus the question becomes what kind of metal is our esteemed group of musicians here planning on taking back?

Seeing as “Xiled to Infinity and One” was put together in the recent aftermath of Jack Frost’s brief stint with Metalium (which produced a damn fine album, by the way), it is likely that he imported a lot of thematic ideas from them, although obviously not their love of grand sounding, keyboard heavy narratives praising the heroes of metal. But it seems that the mostly precious metal that was reclaimed by Metalium on “State of Triumph” was not the same as the booty that has been hauled in with this effort, which may have been the result of not sifting the soil carefully enough while at the dig site.

Before we can appraise the loot contained in this rather mixed collection, one should take note of the credentials of the miners that worked this particular quarry. Jack Frost has a fair share of credibility as a pickaxe man and has worked well with veteran gold mine workers such as Savatage and Marshall Law, albeit his approach is extremely predictable and formulaic. Bullhorn wielding foreman Wade Black has had his fair share of assignments with well established crews such as Crimson Glory and Leatherwolf, although his results while directing these mining operations have met with criticism from the various metal miners unions. The occasional assistance of master metal polishers like Jon Oliva (Savatage) and Jon Comeau (Liege Lord) have been employed. However, the rest of the fold are novices that include; the jackhammer man (Billy Mez) who would later go on to a metalcore strip-mining outfit that was justly put out of business by environmental activists (Single Bullet Theory), and the blast worker (Craig Anderson) who later landed a contract with a better version of this batch of 80s power metal dirt lovers (Crescent Shield).

The haul that these metal roughnecks have brought us is a little mixed, which could be construed as a job not so well done if the group was seeking to specialize in a certain kind of metallic commodity. “Metal Tyrant”, “Incubus” and “Salvation” represent the silver that has been harvested from the lot. Although extremely formulaic, they offer some solid galloping riff work and a decent Halford inspired vocal delivery by Wade Black to keep any buildup, due to the moisture from cheese exposure, from tarnishing the ore. “Eyes of an Angel” is the small amount of Iron harvested from Jack Frost’s claim; it is very silvery like the other speed metal offerings on here, but sounds a little more generic. The Grim Reaper cover is the lone piece of nickel in this collection, offering up the same silvery speed and gallop riff goodness as the previously mentioned songs, but with some added weight and ductility due to a ballsy vocal performance courtesy of Jon Comeau.

Unfortunately, despite the collection of valuable silvery metals in this haul, the sifting process didn’t go too smoothly and as a result, some cheap metal and non-metallic sediment got mixed into the bag. “Anger’s Door” is Iron pyrite (Fool’s Gold), it appears to a metal newcomer as an excellent speed metal song, but the experienced eye recognizes it as the most generic and worthless metal you can get. “Warmth of Winter” is an awfully impure pile of modern rock limestone, loaded with stale grooves and a real cheap Layne Staley imitation by Wade Black. “Pain” goes back and forth between being chalk and gypsum, containing varying degrees of brittle/soft rock that fragments and falls apart due to being softer than the metal it’s in the bag with.

Naturally inviting such worthless material to seep into your final collection is worthy of a reprimand from the manager, but thankfully we have two extremely precious metals in this yield that prevents the crew from immediate termination. The title track is a nice hunk of 18 carat gold, patterned into a small epic acoustic/electric number due to its malleability, and never tarnishing after the passage of time. The foreman’s vocal orders have aided strongly in the sheer quantity of this very valuable metal as well, trading easy going encouraging melodies with kick ass screeches to keep the diggers moving. “The Burning” is a small chunk of speed metal platinum, being of a similar pale color like the silvery speed numbers earlier in the album, but with much more staying power and complemented with a nice polishing job courtesy of the “Savatage” Miners’ Guild chairman Jon Oliva.

For would be traditional and power metal fans, this album is a pretty decent buy if you can handle skipping over some of the worthless rock influenced stuff on here. If you haven’t had much experience in this genre and are more of a metalcore/modern rock fan, this might have some crossover appeal to you or even be a place to start if you want to give the 80s version of power metal a try, but veterans of this older style should shop for this at below $10. “Seven Witches” seems to have succeeded in taking back the metal, although the success is relative to what kind of metal they were hoping to get, not to mention that they managed to take back some other stuff that probably would have been better off staying in the dirt.

This sucks hard - 23%

ThrashingMad, October 23rd, 2007

The album starts off with whoever the fuck the lead singer is saying "We're taking back the metal." This clearly is an odd way of saying "We're gonna play old school heavy metal because we don't give a flying fuck about trends blah blah blah." As the album goes on this statement becomes more and more absurd, because clearly the only thing they're taking is a shit all over the listener.

So basically this stuff sucks more balls then a whore in Las Vegas, but there are some good points so let’s focus on those first. The first two songs are actually pretty good. "Metal Tyrant" is the better of the two. It has a good main riff and the chorus is decently catchy. The next one is more of the same but not quite as good. It also has a really annoying bridge that takes away from the rest of the song. The last highpoint is that the vocalist is pretty good. He has a nice voice and he uses it well.

Now onto the bad stuff, and there is a whole shitload of it. So there are two main things that are wrong with the album. One, the songwriting, for the most part, is completely awful. It mostly consists of boring verses and obviously forced choruses that go nowhere. None of the songs are catchy; they are all poorly written and really boring. It sounds like they wrote each song in about five minutes. Two, there are literally about five good riffs on this whole album. The rest are overly simple, boring riffs made up of mostly power chords. Most of the songs are complete throwaways, total filler. It's just so obvious that these guys are pointlessly going through the motions. It sounds as if someone forced them to record an album but they really didn’t feel like it, so they slapped together a bunch of mediocre songs that allowed them to do the bare minimum and called it a day. It’s like a high school student who really doesn’t want to do a test, so he writes A as the answer to every question with total disregard for if it is right or not. I could literally bore myself to death with this album. That's actually the only reason I haven't sold it yet. I figure that if my life ever gets so bad to the point where I can't take living anymore, I'll just throw this piece of donkey feces in my cd player and painlessly let myself die.

Most of the songs on here are just bad because they are mediocre and boring as fuck, but there are a few songs that are truly unlistenable. "Pain" is an absolute wreck of a song. It has horrible verses and a chorus that manages to be even worse than most of the ones on this album, over basic groove riffs that sound terrible and barely ever change. This isn't a heavy metal song, it's a groove metal song with a heavy metal mask on, and I am not fooled. Seriously, it sounds like they stole it from Phil Anselmo's house while he was too strung out on heroin to notice, and then added melodic vocals. "The Eyes of an Angel" pisses me off, because it starts with a killer first riff and then proceeds to turn to shit. The actual song may be the worst on the album, with cheesy verses, an equally bad chorus, and boring riffs. They return to the first riff a few times and for those parts the song is awesome, but for the rest it, it isn’t worth two shits.

I think I have ranted enough for the reader to get the point. This album is awful, completely awful. It has some pretty cool parts at the start, but the vast majority of the songs sound worse than a fat man defecating. This is boring, worthless, forgettable, and a thousand other less than flattering adjectives. Don’t buy it, don’t even look at it.

mediocre... - 60%

electric_stryder, November 13th, 2004

This was 'album of the month' in a Dutch metal magazine. 'A refreshing, modern sound of new Heavy Metal' yeah right! I guess it was one of the worst I bought in 2002.

Like said before this album offers nothing new. There are a few good songs (Metal Tyrant, The Burning) but the rest is just mediocre. The riffs are repetitive and the songs are always in the same formula.

With Metal Tyrant the album begins promising. Quite aggressive riffing here, it sometimes even sounds a bit like Judas Priest. Anyway after the opening track we’ve got ‘Incubus’, it starts good but man I hate that slow part! It totally ruins the song. ‘Salvation’ is more of the same, just like the rest that follows. ‘The Burning’ (with Jon Oliva) saves the album from being a total disaster.

It’s not a terrible album though but when you play too much mid-paced songs you’ll get an average and boring release.