As One - Chapter Four
posted on 3/2004 By:
Is it a little 1985 in here or is it just me? This latest Metalium album sounds almost exactly like Walls of Jericho-era Helloween, the last time something like this was new, I was still crapping in my pants. Luckily I was two years old and there was a diaper to catch the spray of fecal matter, not to mention a poor, unsuspecting parental figure to clean it up. There was no such luck this time around, after crapping my pants at hearing such a bombastic speed metal attack the cleanup was all on me. The thing is, I’m not sure if this horrid display of pant-loading was caused by an excellent speed metal album or if I was just blown away that someone is actually still playing this kind of music!
Believe it or not, people still play solos instead of going into the oft-overused “breakdowns”. As One – Chapter Four starts off – although rather predictably – with a high speed, double-bass heavy rocker in “Warrior” (well, after the utterly useless intro track – I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sick of the useless intro in general). This track is pretty generic, it opens the album pretty well and lets you know what caliber of music is about to be played. The singer is pretty capable, I’m not too keen on the overly used falsetto though. The singer makes or breaks the band, and in this case he holds things together well. The emotion is there, it sounds like he’s having fun, and he’s got the skill to make things work.
A couple of things that annoyed me: the track called “Find Out” has some annoying female vocals. I do enjoy female vocals from time to time, but I swear to god this chick has got to go. I think I finally know where the kids went who sang that old 80's song “Pass the Dutchie on the Left Hand Side” or whatever the hell it was. The female singer is just as bad as those rat bastards, minus the Jamaican accent. The second thing that I couldn’t stand was the horrible epic track, “Illuminated”. Not only does it have a boring slow-paced beat, but the entire thing reeks of putrid, rotting cheese. From the stadium-rock chant of “ILLUMINATED” to the disgusting pre-chorus whisperings such as “why don’t I get… (illuminated)”, this one sucks. Not only does it also include the annoying mid-section with starry sound effects and an epic voice telling some useless tale, this abomination stretches on for an unprecedented 9+ minutes. My title for this track is “Ipecac”.
That said, there are plenty of cool things about this album. I love the soloing and the light speed riffage. This isn’t your normal power metal band, this is the precursor to power metal; speed metal. “No One Will Save You” has a great riff to it, good counter-point and nice harmony. This song is a great example of why this genre exists; drumming is relentless, vocals are über-catchy, the chorus begs to be sung along to, and the solos are glorious. The highlight of the album, though, must be the drumming. Michael Ehre is a mind-boggling skinsman. Most power metal drummers are all double bass and nothing else, this man can truly mix it up.
The thing that hinders this album is the fact that it sounds rather dated. Granted there is some great riffing and musicianship here, but the fact remains, we’ve heard it before. Not only have we heard it before, we’ve been hearing it for 20-some-odd years. If this were 1985, these gentlemen would be hailed as the new kings of metal. Unfortunately we’re in the 21st century, and as great as this band could be, it’s just too dated. I can headbang to this entire album (minus “Illuminated”), but when the time comes to put it down and switch to the next album in my rotation, I will most likely forget the name Metalium. If you’re looking for some old skool Helloween nostalgia, pick this album up. Otherwise, I think I’ll join you all in moving on.
No One Will Save You - A really great song, nostalgia is imminent!
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Nothing To Undo - Chapter Six
Demons of Insanity: Chapter Five