Brain Surgeons NYC
Denial of Death
posted on 4/2006 By:
These guys had me fooled. When I see a band in my review queue whose name is Brain Surgeons NYC and have an album titled Denial of Death, I automatically assume an underproduced Suffocation-styled death metal album from a rookie act. Well, shame on me for stereotyping. Brain Surgeons NYC don’t have a modicum of extremity about them and are anything but rookies. This band has apparently been putting out albums for years now, and includes Albert Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult fame, along with his wife Deborah Frost and Dictators/Manowar alumnus Ross “The Boss.” Denial of Death is about what you’d expect from the band’s members; it’s hard rock/lightweight metal with Ms. Frost on vox and Ross on lead guitar.
Ultimately, how much you like this album is contingent entirely upon your perspective on the bands whose members now comprise Brain Surgeons NYC and to actively pursue it, you’d better be a dedicated fan of both. Personally I think Blue Oyster Cult is a very mixed bag; sure, they had “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and a handful of other likable songs, but they also wrote “Cities On Flame (with Rock’n’Roll),” which is a hair’s breadth above capital offense. Similarly, I can appreciate Manowar’s humor, but their music’s quality is impeded by the fact that they’re…well, Manowar. Is it any surprise, then, that Denial of Death sounds like pure cock rock bullshit to these ears? Feel free to lash out and call me a big stupid metal n00b who doesn’t know what real rock is, but good lord, this album is stale under the crisp production. Most of the material here is generally along the lines of BOC’s riffier, more arena-rock-styled output, though Manowar’s pomp and cheddar-drenched ‘grandeur’ sneak in from time to time. Opener “Rocket Science” tells you everything you need to know about this release: the riffing sounds like Judas Priest trying to impress their inlaws with their friendly behavior, Frost sounds for all the world like a man attempting to sing like a woman despite actually being a woman herself, there are absurd pseudo-anthemic gang choruses (the one in “Constantine’s Sword” makes only sporadic attempts to remain on key), and Ross turns in the standout performance of the album by injecting some reasonably tasteful classic hard rock soloing into each track.
Now, it could conceivably be that my general distaste for this style that’s throwing me off here…nah, I’ve enjoyed albums from this general ballpark before, and this shit just doesn’t measure up. I don’t care what band you used to be in; boring throwbackism is annoying, these songs ain’t heavy or even interesting, and I’ll not be a part of recommending this slab of cheesedickery to anybody.
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