This is a band that I’ve seen around, but had never given the time of day to. I’m not sure how I feel about this album. On one side, this is clearly a band with chops. The songs remind me of SWBHM* with a strong pop-punk influence. That might just be the vocals. The song structures are unconventional, but the tunes are utterly orthodox. Which isn’t to say they don’t mix it up pretty well, making expert use of many metal tropes. High points include the pretty acoustic part at the end of “Sidewinder” and the strange (and I think out of place) segue from the orchestral break in “The Wicked End”. Often, the downside of clean vocals in metal is is that you can hear the lyrics. I know a lot of people really enjoy the kind of introspective lyrics on songs like “Betrayed”, but they leave me clammy (that’s the pop-punk influence). If the music sounds badass, the lyrics probably should too. “Sometimes I cry thinking my future looks so bleak”? Not my cup of tea in the end.
*Second Wave British Heavy Metal
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