Release DetailsLABEL Rock Revolution
RELEASED ON 11/18/2004
posted on 12/2004 By:
There are few cities in the United States so frequently noted for their economic struggles as much as Flint, Michigan. Once a center of the U.S auto manufacturing industry, the outsourcing of American has left this city utterly devastated. Similarly, there are few genres facing harder times than U.S. power metal. While there are certainly bands working hard to keep this style of music alive, the world seems to have grown wearyof their denim jackets and tight fitting Levi's. How hard must it be then to be a power metal band from Flint, Michigan? With the odds stacked firmly against them, Flint's Miles Beyond prove that when you've got the talent, it isn't that difficult at all.
Mixing the galloping and bright duel guitar melodies of Iron Maiden, with the occasional nod to the bluesy hard rock of bands like Black Label Society, Miles Beyond's brand of classic metal makes for songs that are immediately gratifying and memorable. Guitarists Tim Moody and Paul O, craft familiar and comfortable melodies that move the songs forward at a toe-tapping gait. The band is at their best when they shamelessly let the Maiden flag fly. "Tales of Old" features a straight forward speed-metal riff integrated with more of those saccharine melodies and a sing along chorus delivered by Moody, whose Dickenson inspired performance isn't exactly my cup of tea, but is proficient enough not to overshadow the songs. Fans of the genre may even find his pipes fantastic. "The Spaniard" has a great "Revelations" feel to it, and is laced with guitar leads that will please those who like their histrionics without the extra side of artistic masterbation. Perhaps the finest moment comes at the beginning of "Take Me Back Home," Its unbridled guitar harmonization is as good as anything ever produced by Maiden's countless offspring.
Unfortunately, despite the moments of nostalgic bliss on this album, I'm sad to say that this isn't as solid throughout as I would like. Straight ahead rockers like "Rock Revolution" and "Miles Beyond" have a few shining moments, but are generally flaccid and don't live up to the engaging melodicism of the rest of the rest of the album. The lyrics of the latter track point to another beef I have with Miles Beyond. Dedicating a song to yourself on your debut album is certainly ballsy, but its also an open invitation to criticism, especially when it's so mediocre:
Wherever we are wherever we go
You must come out to the show
Doesn't matter what the nonbelievers say
Cause we don't care about them anyway
Crazed lunatics and rabid fans
Know were miles beyond and other band.
Well, not just yet guys, but keep trying and we will see what happens. Lyrical odes to "Crazy Horse" and "Vlad the Impaler" suffer from the Velvetta™ factor as well, but are delivered in such a catchy, exuberant manner that it's hard not to accept them with a begrudging half-grin on my face.
Miles Beyond's self titled debut has certainly made for a fun listen. Despite the presence of a few out of place stinkers, this is almost thoroughly enjoyable and serves as a ray of light for the otherwise dismal U.S. power metal scene. I'll certainly be rooting for this band in the future and recommend fans of this style of music do the same by giving this album a try.
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