Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 11/26/2005
A Dark Land
posted on 1/2006 By:
Traditional, keyboard heavy mid to slow paced...
I have sat down to review this thing four times this week, and I simply can’t express my ambivalence toward it in an interesting way, no matter how hard I try. So I will stop trying.
It’s kind of traditional styled metal, which seems to be the bulk of my reviews lately. People bitch about the proliferation of American melodeath, but from my skewed perspective a little metalcore would be a nice break from continually reliving a past I despised. It's slow and melodic - sometimes bordering on power metal and there is an over reliance on bad keyboards. And it’s dull. It inspires no words of love, hate, like, dislike. Nothing. It’s a release that has no meaning beyond giving the guys in the band a job. This is to metal what Still Standing was to situation comedy. (For those of you who don’t know, Still Standing was one of those comedies that was devoid of comedy, but somehow keeps getting made and put on the air because it‘s safe, quiet and doesn‘t make people change the channel…and yes, I am ashamed I know of it at all) white rice, wonder bread and water.
The musicianship is adequate. The singer has range and his style is pretty decent, actually. He never goes over the top with the syrup. And his falsetto usually gets some “oomph” with a simple growl. It makes you wish he had a more inspiring band to front. The guitarist comes up with forgettable riffs and solos, but they are without flaw. Bassist occasionally flourishes or accents, and at some points displays some soloing ability, but really just sits there. Drums are so effected it sounds like ZZ Top circa Eliminator, or the first couple of Queensryche records. The keys are awful in tone and nothing more or less than distracting. The production is 1985 slick, managing to take mediocre material and give it that mediocre sheen to create a mediocre listening experience.
The bottom line is that this CD is not just nothing special, it’s actively unspecial. It strives for middle of the road, finds it with ease and claims the middle ground as its own, planting a gray flag and busting out the sofa sleepers and domestic beer - straight from the can - to celebrate the average in all its splendor. Join them, and you too can wave the banner of safety and timidity in the face of a world gone insane with the excitement and the heaviness and the who knows what all. Good luck. I will see you maybe on my way back around.
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