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Some decent Aussie onslaught - 80%

stabwounds, May 15th, 2009

I never say 'NO' to 80's and early 90's thrash metal, although I must candidly confess that half of the vocalists of that era manage to annoy me. Blame it on my bad taste or their pesky vocals, it's upto you! It's those savage riffs and thunderous drums that entice me. If Candlemass ever played thrash metal, there's high probability that they may sound close to this band's sound... or is it just the vocalist who resembles Candlemass??

The artwork on the cover shows a blindfolded woman's face in a room with an open door. The room houses a piano and musical notes are spirally rising up from the woman's open head and gambling dices are descending from the roof. Is this cover portraying open minded gamble with music???

The lead guitar kicks off the album and shortly the bass guitar follows it closely. Immediately, you won't miss to notice the distinctly sounding bom-bom, bom-bom-ba-bom pattern of bass lines. And that's my favorite part of the album! The bass lines can be picked up easily by the listener and it has been played expertly. The vocals are epic sounding wails which reminds me of Messiah Marcolin of Candlemass fame. There are lot of preceding-beats-hugging-succeeding-beats type of drumming. The last couple of minutes of 'Maze of glory' reminds me of Iron Maiden!! 'Behind These Eyes' has probably the best riffs of the album, especially the last riff on the track, which is very catchy. 'Jigaboo Boogie' is the track where the vocalist rests for a while, making this the only instrumental track on this album. It often makes me wonder as to how does a band name their instrumental track? The bass guitar leads this track, closely followed by lead guitar imitating an approaching bee, which mushrooms into the main riff with drums keeping pace with it. A decent guitar solo is slipped in (as expected!) which makes way for another galloping riff and the momentum slows down like a tired horse introspecting after the race. This flows into a jazz-influenced jam-session which is quite enjoyable for a minute and half. Unsuspectingly, the tired horse breaks into a gallop again and this time it is raging like a violent storm, the climax of the race is covered by the intense instrumental phase with technical overtones terminating in thundering drums announcing the win! 'Lonely Star' has a very ballad-like intro followed by passages which peaks and dips periodically. The opening moments of final track reminds me of some nursery rhyme! (which I'm unable to recall) My 'pick of the bunch' would probably be the instrumental track 'Jigaboo Boogie'.

For all you nagging people who complain about bass being non-existent in metal, here's an album to rejoice about! I totally love the bass lines on this album, I seriously wish every band could make their album with an audible bass sound like on this album. People who don't like high-pitched operatic vocals might find this album a hard pill to swallow. Sometimes, you might feel the vocals are over-the-top but the vocalist has performed good! Some insane solos are embedded in this album at regular intervals. Some more devastating riffs would have made this album more interesting. I'm not sure under which genre this album can be categorized under. There are instances of thrash, but vocals are of power metal. A decent album for old school metal lovers.