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unique record from the AHM underground - 65%

Edward_The_Great, May 13th, 2011

I was quite excited when I discovered this band as they were described as a doomier and more psychedelic version of most heavy metal bands at the time. Additionally, the awesome cover art and the title also made me expect some dark stuff. Unfortunately, this album didn't live up to my expectations and I didn't like it for a while. I realize my older review of this album was pretty inaccurate so I'm looking to be more reasonable this time around. First, there was little doom to be found on the record which is a bit disappointing, but more of a misunderstanding than a problem. There is some cool psychedelic influences present on a lot of songs, and piano is sometimes featured in a rocky sort of way which adds some layers of uniqueness to certain pieces.

When it comes to the lineup my opinion is rather mixed. I’ll begin by saying that the vocals on this are hard to swallow though not terrible like I used to think. You might find the guy obnoxious, but I found his performance pretty good after a few listens. His best moment is the opening of the title track where he splendidly utilizes the darker side of his voice. As for instrumentation, the guitars are very solid, providing some nice riffs and solos, some of which I actually consider to be very good. Bass is fine but nothing special. Lastly, the drumming is very nice, and has a lot of energy and some good solo work.

The album's sound is pretty cult in that distinct obscure heavy metal way and notably utilizes keyboards for extra layers of atmosphere. As previously mentioned, the piano work adds greatly to the distinct atmosphere of the album as well and is a big part of what sets this apart from other underground heavy metal. This album has little of the gothic darkness of the cover, but does something unique and original despite this.

Standout songs? Before I'd say Right to Survive and the title track, but now I think it's pretty balanced. Ogre and Borderline struck me on subsequent listening as being especially good as well.

Overall, Till’ Death Do We Part is a fine heavy metal album that definitely contains some good material. It's nothing like the debut in its sound, but it's a worthy follow-up nonetheless. Not worth a huge amount of money but rewarding to check out, especially if you're into the unknown classics from the early 80's like Desolation Angels and Ashbury. To sum up, it sounds unique and the composing is solid and it should be a worthy listen. It's not great, but it's certainly well above a lot of the other underground classic heavy metal you might check out.