Release DetailsLABEL Magna Carta
RELEASED ON 5/9/2006
Speakers For The Dead
Prey For Murder
posted on 5/2006 By:
I remember when I first got into metal through Magna Carta Records. Dream Theater served as my gateway, and since each member was involved with numerous side projects signed to Magna Carta, I naturally began to purchase albums from the likes of Magellan, Shadow Gallery, Royal Hunt, Dali’s Dilemma, Ice Age, Tiles and of course the obvious – Liquid Tension Experiment, Explorer’s Club, and Mullmuzzler. Then, one by one, their whole roster jumped ship, most taking shelter in the hut of Inside Out Music, and Magna Carta resorted to releasing boring solo albums from Jordan Rudess and David Lee Roth. Don’t get me started on the cash-grab Prime Cuts series, either, which simply rehashed material or presented music not worth hearing in the first place.
So what the fuck happened? I have no idea, but if Speakers for the Dead are any indication, then Magna Carta is certainly not poised to make a triumphant comeback or staggering return to form. Prey for Murder is not a horrible record, per se, it’s just a lousy one. It’s one that becomes worse as it unravels, so that’s the main reason for my ever-increasing hostility during the course of this review.
Mixing a variety of styles, these guys are a departure for this particular label in the sense that their music is heavier than most everything they’ve unleashed to date. However, that doesn’t mean it’s good. “Finally,” the opening number, contains clues about what you’ll be receiving during the stint of this 12-track disc, and I was actually wary of continuing my journey through Prey for Murder even after just four minutes. At first sounding like it might transition into Dream Theater’s Linkin Park rip-off “These Walls,” the song morphs into a high-end metalcore romp punctuated by both coarse and clean vocals. There’s a pinch of deathcore detectable too, but Speakers for the Dead are essentially radio-friendly with shades of numetal doing them no disservice as far as airplay is concerned.
To continue, the longer the clean vocals are left to grind away at your patience, the more your patience will be grinded away by the clean vocals. Essentially, a large amount of Prey for Murder adopts the typical aggressive, tough-guy stance, which is subsequently iterated through stale music. Sure they can play their instruments, but too often they’re generic, pedestrian, and lamentably annoying. Perhaps this single-handedly proves that Magna Carta isn’t worth paying attention to anymore in regards to recent material, though the label’s back catalog has a few musical treats worth collecting. Nonetheless, I believe the only records I still have in my possession – from my days as an avid MC customer – are the two by Liquid Tension Experiment. And even those I’m not too crazy about these days...
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