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Speed metal power! Waaaait a minute?? - 26%

UltraBoris, August 21st, 2002

While David seems to have gotten the characterisation of the facts down correctly, I do completely disagree with him on the relative worth of this album, and the good and the bad parts. First off, it's not all speed metal!

Sure, some of the songs are fast, but the whole album is really damn flowery. We start with "The Kiss of Judas", which is the best song on here, simply because it has the strongest riff base, with the most consistent rhythm guitar work. On a lot of the songs, the riffs tend to get lost behind the double-bass, the keyboards, or the endless lead guitar wankery - it's typical flower metal, in other words.

It's not as awfully horrifyingly bad as some other flower metal albums, but the fact is, there are only a few good songs on here. "Black Diamond" is pretty nice, one of the best of the overfast-but-not-speed-metal songs that tend to clutter late 90s "power" metal, especially from Italy and Finland. "Forever Free" is okay, and then we have two forgettable tracks - "Before the Winter" and "Legions of the Twilight". It's odd, but yes, the faster tracks do carry the album for the most part, as they are barely tolerable, as opposed to the ballads, which are just plain abysmal.

Speaking of abyss... "Abyss in Your Eyes", also pretty bad. "Holy Light" seems as though it were taking from a missing Yngwie album but with more keyboards and less direction. "Paradise" is kinda similar to Black Diamond. In fact, it's VERY similar to "Black Diamond" - as well as pretty much every other song of that category, but the main riff isn't quite as good.

What am I saying, they're both watered down "Freewheel Burning" or "Hell Bent for Leather" or whatnot where you can completely neglect the guitar as a rhythm instrument to provide riffage so you can focus on your oh-so-precious soloing.

Another ballad, "Coming Home", and then we have the closing track, which is somewhat decent, in that the heavier parts do tend to be memorable, but the lighter interludes do tend to lose my attention, and the song is in general overlong.

So what do we have here? An album with one nice midpaced number, the opener, that is held together by the riffs and has a very memorable chorus, maybe for the simple reason that it doesn't sound like typical flower metal. It seems as though it were a remnant from Kamelot's "Siege Perilous" or something. Some flower metal songs, including the above averege "Black Diamond". And some ballads.

Yep, this is your typical late-90s "power" metal album, with the exception again of the opening track, which really should be the type of thing they focus on, as opposed to noodly solos and ripping off Priest riffs and playing them over and over and over and over again, only to bury them in the mix anyway.

Okay, so where was I, oh yes I was gonna listen to Walls of Jericho to cleanse myself!