Reviews in this issue:
- The Resonance Association – Clarity In Darkness
- Ars Nova – Seventh Hell ~ La Vénus Endormie
- Cross – The Thrill Of Nothingness
- Tan Zero - We Can't Imagine
- Pravda - Monophobic
- Random Hold - View With Suspicion
- Eyes On Infinity - Frail'ty
The Resonance Association – Clarity In Darkness
Tracklist: Dangerous Fantasist (4:58), Medal Of Dishonour (7:47), Magick Is The Science (6:41), Heart Of Chaos (20:39), How To Recognise Angels (1:44), Pearlescence (7:11), Clarity In Darkness (18:08)
Another winter, another release from The Resonance Association. After four download EPs and a promotional CDR/download, the band released their debut label full-length Failure Of The Grand Design on Burning Shed in 2007. This band hit the sonic black ice running with that release, and they just keep getting better and better. Their third and latest full-length effort is entitled Clarity In Darkness and features as always Daniel Vincent (Karma Pilot, Onion Jack) and Dominic Hemy (The 3rd Fire). Vincent handles guitar, synths, drums, vocals, electronics, and sound effects; and Hemy provides guitar, bass, drums, theremin, and electronics.
On the recording, available as an MP3 download from Amazon and a physical CD from Rough Trade Shops and Burning Shed, the duo serves up the usual stew of drone and dark ambient experimentation, with more emphasis this time around on rock-based sections and less attention given to the electronica and industrial elements of previous work.
You know these guys are back with a vengeance upon listening to the fading-in electronics and emblematic drone guitar accents of Dangerous Fantasist, which kicks in to a strong groove flavoured by Hemy’s driven bass and some backwards-insanity style sound effects from Vincent. Squiggly electronics get in on the act and lean to Vespero as an influence. As an aside, from the band’s web site you can download Dangerous Fantasist as part of the single The Moment Has Passed, taken from their sophomore full-length We Still Have The Stars.
Magick Is The Science offers up a militant drumming element along with wind-blown Gothic synths and a bit of alien electronics with the tempo moving like a Martian battle cry and the electronics making their icy sharp surgical incisions here and there.
The sharpness is felt as well on Medal Of Dishonour, which showcases dark, droning guitar leaning to ProjeKct Two-era Trey Gunn as a commonality as well as ambient noise project Fear Falls Burning. Whirring electronics glide the song along the subzero darkness.
The two epics on the CD, the title track and Heart Of Chaos, are phenomenal sojourns through vast other worlds and with that said, there is too much going on in these lengthy pieces to touch upon here. So I leave it to you, the listener, to reap the enjoyment from these epics when you listen to them.
The physical digipack CD features artwork once again by Carl Glover, and was included as well with the promotional CD I received for this review.
My unbridled enthusiasm notwithstanding, I can’t imagine who would not like this CD. Perhaps those connoisseurs of mainstream pop.
I can think of no room for improvement from this awesome band.
Conclusion: 10 out of 10
Ars Nova – Seventh Hell ~ La Vénus Endormie
Tracklist: Seventh Hell (11:39), La Venus Endormie (5:43), Cazadora De Astos (8:04), Voice Of Wind (4:16), Salvador Syndrome (17:11)
If you’ve heard but never seen Japanese proggers Ars Nova then it might come as a surprise to discover that they are fronted by two petite females, keyboardist Keiko Kumagai and bassist Shinko ‘Panky’ Shibata. Appearances can be deceptive of course because their testosterone driven brand of dense and bombastic keyboard driven prog is not for the feint hearted. Being familiar with the band's music I had an inkling of what to expect and was neither surprised nor disappointed when their latest studio album came my way. The line-up has undergone numerous changes since the bands inception 27 years ago but the music remains true to the original spirit when they first set out covering ELP and Trace tunes. The current line-up includes guitarist Satoshi Handa whose metallic style gives the music that extra bite with drummer Hazime completing the quartet. Helping out along the way is some very impressive contributions from several guest musicians and vocalists.
This is the band's eighth studio recording and as the title and artwork implies it’s a concept based on a painting, or rather 5 paintings to be precise, with each track dedicated to the work of a surrealist artist. Typically it’s a mostly instrumental affair and with the exception of one track all compositions are by Keiko Kumagai. The appropriately titled opener Seventh Hell is a supercharged, no holds barred assault with Keiko’s Hammond and synth dominated analogue keys to the fore. Classic Italian prog (at its most aggressive), prog-metal, gothic movie soundtracks (as typified by Danny Elfman), vintage Keith Emerson (particularly the distorted Hammond) and Yes’ Machine Messiah (the melancholic synth sound) all appear to be role models as Ars Nova storm their way through this dark homage to Hieronymus Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delight – Hell’. Some excellent and sweetly subversive guitar support from Zoltan Fabian (Age Of Nemesis) combines shredding with Brian May sleekness.
La Venus Endormie (inspired by Paul Delvaux’s painting) tempers its more strident tendencies with smooth vocals from guest Mika and impressive classical guitar playing from Fabian once again. The lively keyboard and guitar interplay has a classical, almost flamenco flavour and Panky’s insistent bass work is a sheer delight. Cazadora De Astos reinforces the prog-meets-classical style with sparkling synths and chiming percussion and Handa’s metallic solo aside, it’s delivered in a decidedly less hurried pace than the opener. Voice Of Wind is credited to drummer Hazime and features his own throbbing bass lines and upfront drum volleys set against Handa’s spiky guitar punctuations. On this occasion Keiko restricts herself to some minor vocal injections.
The album concludes with the obligatory epic Salvador Syndrome but there’s no complaints from this reviewer of over indulgence (once you get past guest Daniela Lojarro’s shaky operatic vocals that is). Later when Robby Valentine takes over the vocal reigns the operatic style takes a more tuneful turn in the direction of Queen in their classic Sheer Heart Attack/A Night At The Opera phase. The exhilarating opening theme is possibly the bands strongest to date whilst elsewhere superb piano flights from guest Kira provide a perfect foil for Keiko’s fiery keys style. Two slightly off the wall sequences include an electric bass and acoustic guitar duet and a fairground style pipe organ interlude. It reaches a majestic conclusion with the band joined by massed voices led by Daniela to provide a rousing affirmation of the opening theme this time recalling Ennio Morricone.
Full marks should go to Ars Nova for producing this bold, if sometimes idiosyncratic musical concoction that wears its prog credentials firmly on its sleeve. Often intense and complex but thoroughly entertaining, even now after a considerable number of spins I’m still discovering something new each time I play it. And whilst Keiko Kumagai and co show no signs of restraint in the musical department refreshingly they’ve not gone overboard with the playing time which clocks in at an efficient 47 minutes. Progressive rock is alive and well in the land of the rising sun and Ars Nova are well and truly at the forefront.
Conclusion: 7.5 out of 10
Cross – The Thrill Of Nothingness
Tracklist: Universe Inside (7:43), Animation (4:52), Innocence (11:44), Hope (4:22), Chameleons (9:01), Giganticus Magnificus (5:00), Eternity (12:20)
Swedish band Cross’s career has now spanned three decades: over that time they have been described as neo-prog with Pink Floydian and King Crimsonesque influences. Now, I am not a Cross completist - of their seven studio albums before this one, I only have Visionary Fools (1998) and Playgrounds (2004) in my collection – but on their evidence, together with that of The Thrill Of Nothingness, I would say that their soundscapes are nearer to “global” Pink Floyd territory. I enjoy all of these three Cross albums: Thrill Of Nothingness is the most pleasing. For the record, and if you are a Cross fan then this may help you decide on whether to investigate Thrill Of Nothingness, I prefer Visionary Fools to Playgrounds.
The musical tempi are always slowish to medium, the focus predominantly on melodic development and the main sonic textures, which are symphonic keyboards and languid guitar. It’s a style and a soundscape that I am very partial to: the music is uncluttered and there is sonic “room to breathe”, allowing the listener the time to take in and appreciate the subtleties in the texture of the sounds – add to that the fine melodies and you have a winning combination!
The Thrill Of Nothingness is an album that nearly didn’t make it into existence due to the hearing loss and tinnitus illness that the band’s leader, Hansi Cross, suffered from for about two years. The path to recovery was difficult for Hansi, and completing work on the album, that was virtually ready for release in mid-2007, was difficult. The perseverance has paid off and he can be justly proud of The Thrill Of Nothingness: it’s a beautiful musical work and one can hear nothing within it that hint at his health problem. Hansi himself plays guitars and some keyboards, and sings; and the rest of the band is comprised by Göran Johnsson (keyboards, harmony vocals, tambourine), Lollo Andersson (basses) and Tomas Hjort (drums, percussion). The music composition is shared between the band members whereas the English lyrics are shared between Hansi and Tomas. Additional musicians on the album are Bruno Edling (additional vocal on Universe Inside), Tomas Bodin (mini Moog on Eternity) and Kent Kroon (acoustic guitar on Eternity). The band’s only other studio album to have been reviewed by DPRP was 2000’s Secrets.
Universe Inside provides a catchy start to the album, with a good melody, some fine singing and the symphonic keyboard textures that start, and later the guitar, are very pleasing. Animation continues in similar vein without perhaps being as strong but Innocence is then another of the album’s highlights: it begins with a long instrumental section of gorgeous keyboards textures before the guitar comes in; then a sonic treat sprinkling of what sounds like vibes; the vocal section in the last sections are good too, rounding off an excellent composition.
Hope is a beautifully melodic guitar-led instrumental before Chameleons and Magnifico Giganticus, another instrumental, continue in a similar vein. Eternity closes what is a fine album, its introduction featuring soft acoustic guitar textures (interestingly, the sleeve notes are careful to point out that this is a nylon stringed guitar, which shows you the attention to detail that this album’s music has had) playing a beautiful melody and it develops nicely with a good beat.
The album’s just short of being worthy of a recommendation-level score: there’s a slight hint of “creative drag” just after Hope and the slow middle section of Eternity fails to live up to the promise of its excellent beginning (and, later, there’s a slight feeling of disappointment at that same middle section because of the returning excellence during the coda).
Despite these slight reservations, The Thrill Of Nothingness remains a very strong album: indeed, as I said before, it’s my favourite out of the three Cross albums that I’ve heard, and I like them all, so if you are a fan of similar soundscapes, then you may well enjoy this too.
Conclusion: 7 out of 10
Tan Zero – We Can't Imagine
Tracklist: We Can't Imagine (2008) (3:58), Ike Ray (1:06), Open Your Eyes (3:40), Make You A Clister (3:50), Tan (1:39), We Can't Imagine (4:22), Vision Egg (3:16), Gnigo Gnago Circus (1:48), Walk Away (5:46), Ike Ray (11:20)
Bonus Tracks: Non Viaggerò Mai Più Nei Sogni Miei [demo] (3:56), Appuntamento Nel Sonno [demo] (2:17), La Polycar Dello Zio Sergio [demo] (1:46), Cane In Coma [demo] (1:04), Cosmorella E Il Voyeur [demo] (2:42), Monodrollo Fek [rehearsal improvisation] (2:28), Nike-Shit [live cut] (2:48), Tan Dub 98 [demo] (4:14), L' Oro Di Ivo [live improvisation]: a) Il Paternalismo Di Clò, b) Vladimir Punzo, c) Sboccami La Petulonia [part 1], d) Sboccami La Petulonia [part 2] (5:36), Uomo In Pantofole Che Pensa Ai Cazzi Suoi [demo] (2:27)
This is a re-release of the only album from Italian band Tan Zero, featuring Alex Lunati (vocals/keys), Lor Lunati (drums), Carlo Giugni (guitar) and Daniel Gozzi (bass) [replaced by Luca Mascia in 1988]. After their initial period of activity and the recording of We Can't Imagine, which was used in its entirety as the soundtrack to Nico D’Alessandria’s independent film L’imperatore di Roma (The Emperor of Rome), the band broke up in 1990. This package also comes with a swathe of bonus tracks recorded for their aborted second album and subsequent attempted resurrections.
The CD kicks off with a strong 2008 re-working of the title track, nice AOR with rich vocals, before the original album in its entirety which is not without merit. Despite re-mastering it still has a very ‘80s production with up front bass and disappointing drum sound. The brief Ike Ray sets up Open Your Eyes, fooling the listener into thinking that they know what to expect - solid but dated ‘80s rock. But no, Make You A Clister adds bizarre shrieks and a bit of Zappa to the mix. Tan is another brief instrumental with a funky edge before the original version of the title track. The vocals don’t work as well for me as on the 2008 attempt and, as with the rest of the original album, the production leaves much to be desired. That said the performances are pretty good, Giuni and Alex Lunati particularly noteworthy, the latter’s accented and melodic tones adding much to the proceedings.
Vision Egg opens with pulsing bass and cymbals before cheesy ‘80s synths from Survivor territory; pleasant enough but nothing to write home about, the bass reminding me of early Marillion at times only with more funk. Gnigo Gnago Circus, another instrumental, is certainly different with Keith Tippett influenced keys, stop start rhythms and odd vocal interjections. Back to normality with Walk Away, a lighters-aloft stadium ballad if ever there was one.
Overall this is a strange album that doesn’t know what it wants to be. It could be a very capable and well written/performed AOR album but the band can’t keep the weirdness and Zappa influence at bay for long. However, do not think that this is a work of madcap genius as it is merely an interesting opening statement from a band that could have gone in an interesting direction had they not stalled. So far so not-very-prog.
Closing the original album is Ike Ray – again – only this is the big brother to the brief opener running at a colossal 11 minutes. This is probably the only track that will spark any real interest for prog fans with jazzy rhythm and pulsing bass, spidery guitar spinning in and out of the background. Unfortunately, it goes on way too long without going anywhere, the rigid bass soon becoming boring.
Now to the bonus tracks – a mixed bag indeed. Whoever made the decision to include them is either a genius or a lunatic as they spoil the appeal of the album itself but point towards the possibilities that the band could have achieved. As well as a track for the second album there are sketches from the 1998 reunion where half the band failed to turn up, the result being demos featuring only the Lunati brothers, and some live stuff from 2001.
There is certainly going to be something here to appeal to fans of the avant garde but some of it is simply dire. That said Non Viaggerò Mai Più Nei Sogni Miei, due for the second album, is very good, Lunati’s lovely voice sounding all the better for singing in his native tongue as after the first album the band reverted to Italian.
From 1998 we get Appuntamento Nel Sonno which could have been developed, the Yello-like La Polycar Dello Zio Sergio and Cosmorella E Il Voyeur, another brief instrumental which hints at interesting possibilities. Tan Dub 98 is a reworking of Tan from the original album which again sounds like Yello, only this time scoring a kids cartoon. None of these tracks sound anything like the band involved with the original album and are a real eye-opener.
What remains include the atmospheric and percussive Cane In Coma and Uomo In Pantofole Che Pensa Ai Cazzi Suoi from a 1988 theatrical show called The Oyster and the Flags and Monodrollo Fek, an improvised band rehearsal from the same year. The 2001 live tracks include the unspeakably terrible Nike-Shit featuring their “dancer” Giulio Rizzi on improvised crap vocals – literally – and the three part improv L' Oro Di Ivo, parts of which are quite good.
So there you have it, a couple of nice radio-friendly songs, far too many instrumentals that generally don’t go anywhere and some very bizarre goings on. There are original moments but clearly something strange lurking in the Italian water supply. Approach with caution, this is a very odd thing.
Conclusion: 6 out of 10
Pravda - Monophobic
Tracklist: Butterfly Needle (4:56), Symphonia (9:23), Thru The Trees (1:16), Cattlecar Galactica (6:27), Syncope (0:41), The Nexus (4:17), All Metal (4:11), Mor Guitar (1:57), Radio Halo (9:50)
Pravda is a band with a very constant output, a new album every three years with apparently a constant level. The band consists of four members of which one has changed since their last album, new guy on the guitar is Dan Sejd. Monophobic is an instrumental album with many styles ranging from metal and rock to fusion. The sound is dominated by keyboards and especially the heavy organ sound in the style of Deep Purple. A comparison with Don Airey is partially right, his latest album contains rock songs and experimental jazz songs and the sound of Pravda is a bit in the middle of that but is not reaching the far ends of the spectrum like Airey does. At times the keyboards tend to go towards electronic music.
Butterfly Needle is a very solid song with many changes but no extreme turns. Each person gets his part of the action and as a band they play nice and tight. Compared to Dream Theater it is all not as complicated, these guys know where to draw the line. Symphonia is one of the two over nine minute songs, many keyboard melodies but alternated with the guitar in the right amount. Very good balanced song which at times reminds me of Premiata Forneria Marconi, especially the piano part in the middle section. After the intermezzo Thru The Trees, with drum sounds, Cattlecar Galactica is all over the place. Many more changes but also, in contrast with the first two songs, a bit out of balance. Some changes are a bit unnatural, the guitar is more upfront which is not strange because this is the first song written by new guy Dan Sejd.
Syncope is a very short keyboard intermezzo, a filler. The Nexus starts very heavy and also has many changes, but more balanced than Cattlecar Galactica. Just like the first two songs The Nexus is written by keyboard player KC Thomsen and he is definitely the better composer. Though on All Metal Dan Sejd recovers and delivers a very descent song. On Mor Guitar he is a bit dull, do not know why an album with nine songs has so many intermezzo's. Radio Halo is a great song written by drummer Dave Thomas. Many jazzy parts but no real outbursts, well within the limits.
Pravda has delivered a fine album without stretching any boundaries. You cannot find anything wrong on this album nor will you find anything really new or out of the ordinary. The music is not very predictable but many times you would want to encourage these guys to take a leap of faith and go for it. But like I said they stay within their boundaries without any intention of stepping over them. Monophobic certainly does not fall out of place in my music collection but I sure hope these guys will fire it up on their next album.
Conclusion: 6.5 out of 10
Random Hold - View With Suspicion
Tracklist: Avalanche (4:30), Time For Keys (4:38), Cityclean (3:36), The Ballad (3:27), Dance Feeling (3:29), The View From Here (8:15), Painting Over Cracks (4:37), Lying On The Floor (3:55), Camouflage (4:57), What Happened? (4:51), As Tears Go By (3:12), Lost in Thin Air (4:19)
Random Hold were formed by David Ferguson and David Rhodes, two ex college mates who reunited at a gig by Phil Manzaner's 801 and decided to form a band. Most famously known for releasing an album on Polydor Records, the excellent The View From Here, produced by Peter Hammill and touring as the support act with both XTC at the height of their fame and also Peter Gabriel whom they also ventured over to the US with, which was handy as Rhodes was also bending the six strings as a member of Gabriel's band. Alas, the album, as with a previous single (Etceteraville) and EP (Avalanche) failed to sell, the band were dropped and that was that. Or was it? Although Rhodes was to continue as guitarist with Gabriel, Ferguson persevered with Random Hold completing the album Burn The Buildings with female vocalist Sue Raven before joining up with Jonathan Hughston and releasing an album under the title Nine Ways To Win. Both albums were recorded with a variety of session musicians and assorted friends. A couple of singles with singer Denise Visconte were released under the name Georgia II which reunited Ferguson with Peter Hammill who played on the sessions alongside violinist Stuart Gordon. Ferguson, meanwhile, had built up a considerable reputation as a composer of television music, some of which was released on the solo album The View From Now. A new album under the Random Hold name featuring both Ferguson and Rhodes was set for release late last year but the untimely death of Ferguson from pancreatic cancer last July has put its release in doubt. In the meantime, Voiceprint has released a compilation of material from all periods of Random Hold's history, including most of the various offshoots.
Although the tracks are sequenced in a somewhat random order, it is probably best, for reasons that will become apparent, to review the songs in chronological order. The earliest track is The Ballad, a demo recorded prior to signing with Polydor with Simon Ainley on guitar and vocals, Bill Leach on drums and Bill MacCormick on bass alongside the two Davids. The nascent sounds of Random Hold are all present although the smoother, more poppy vocals of Ainley were to be his downfall as he was dismissed prior to recording the album and his vocals replaced by those of MacCormick who certainly wasn't as confident a singer. It is interesting to compare the demos with Ainley (featured on the Voiceprint album Overview) with those on the finished album (also released by Voiceprint, along with an extra CD of live and single material). The upheaval that saw the dismissal of Ainley also signalled the end for Leach who was replaced by Pete Phipps, ex drummer with The Glitter Band. This four piece are the version of the band that recorded for Polydor Records and included from that line-up are Avalanche from the EP released prior to the album, The title track from The View From Here and a live version of What Happened? recorded at the Gabriel Support show in Philadelphia, the last concert played by this version of the group. All three are excellent numbers, with pride of place going to The View From Here with its powerful bass work from MacCormick and angular guitar work from Rhodes that shows why Gabriel was so interested in him for his own band. The live track shows that the group could also cut it on stage although the style of the song, which is quite dark in nature, probably emphasises why it wasn't a hit as a single.
Despite being dropped by Polydor, the band continued writing and recording demos, even adding an additional keyboard player, Vic Martin, to the line-up. Once such demo was Camouflage (also featured on Overview) which showed that the band were determined not to change their musical approach and direction. However, Bill MacCormick left disillusioned and David Rhodes decided to concentrate on his position with Gabriel and a bludgeoning session career. Although Rhodes and Phipps thought it was the end of the band, Tony Stratton Smith of Hit & Run liked the demos and continued to bankroll the musicians. A new line-up was constructed with the addition of Steve Wilkin on guitar, Martyn Swain on bass and Sue Raven on vocals, the group toured intensively and a new production deal was signed with RCA records. An album, Burn The Buildings was recorded (released on CD by Voiceprint on Differing Views) which, while carrying many of the trademark components of the band, had a stronger emphasis on melody and texture, as heard on Cityclean on this compilation. (An interesting half hour video of this version of the band is also included on the Differing Views album). Unfortunately, by the time of the album's release the A&R team at RCA who had liked the band had been fired and replaced with another team who hated the band! This new team persuaded Ferguson and Raven that the rest of the band were superfluous and they were soon jettisoned in favour of ad hoc session men with whom they recorded the rather good Lying On The Floor and a rather terrible version of Dancing In The Street (thankfully only the former is included on this CD). Dancing In The Street was supposed to be a hit single that would launch the pair but was released on the same day as the David Bowie/Mick Jagger version. No matter what you thought of that version at least it was for Live Aid!
To fulfil a publishing contract, Ferguson had four more songs to deliver which he did so and was surprised when the demos were picked up by Atlantic records in the US who immediately wanted a whole album. Teaming up with Jonathan Hughston they recorded the Nine Ways To Win album, again with a selection of session musician. Unfortunately the album was ghastly, typical '80s synth pop replete with silly hairstyles. Time For Keys and Painting Over Cracks are just horrible and one can't imagine how this pap could be written by the same person who co-wrote the outstanding Polydor material. The next project, Georgia II was almost as bad and the two tracks included here, despite being previously unreleased, are little more than filler. Dance Feeling, a reworking of a song from the Burn The Buildings album, is slightly the better of the two, although not as good as the original. Sadly the version of As Tears Go By is another one that can be filled away and forgotten about. The final track, Lost In Thin Air, is taken from the planned new album A View From The Summit - Before The Fall. The song is interesting and manages to partially recreate the atmosphere of the original band, but doesn't really come close to matching the quality, excitement and originality of the first incarnations of Random Hold. Maybe it is the female vocalists, Rebecca Whale and Sam Ferguson, or the smoothing out of the rough edges, but I am not convinced that the album, if it is ever released, will add much to the Random Hold story.
As an introductory summary to David Ferguson and Random Hold I suppose View With Suspicion achieves its aim. However, the music is rather too diverse to be entirely satisfying, and it the earlier material that holds the interest in this album. Getting hold of The View From Here and Overview, if you can find them, would be money better spent as both are excellent albums and I would have thought that Voiceprint would have achieved more sales by repressing those original albums rather than trying to make some money from this compilation, the four page booklet of which does nothing to increase its desirability. View with suspicion? More like buy with suspicion!
Conclusion: 4 out of 10
Eyes On Infinity - Frail'ty
Tracklist: Faith (1:13), Used (4:44), Kwiksand And Koolade (6:18), Frail'ty (3:31), Faith In Chaos Part 1 (3:01), Faith In Chaos Part 2 (5:11), Three Marys (7:29), Plastic Jezus (1:39), Faith In Chaos Part 1 (Acoustic) (3:03)
Eyes On Infinity is a three piece band that has independently released the album Frail'ty. Their music influences are, however, somewhat of a mystery to me, on the info paper that came with the album they state some well-known progressive metal bands. On the site where you can buy the album different bandnames can be found as influences and the term progressive/metal/punk is used. Comparing the music of Eyes On Infinity with these established names is more a joke to me than the bands/persons/things mentioned on their Myspace site which is presumably meant to be funny. Only thing to do in a situation like this is play the CD and judge the style by myself.
Besides the progressive metal I can add grunge to the style of music. Only other thing I can say is that the quality of sound varies from just bareable to absolutely awful. The female vocals are mixed in so terribly it is almost impossible not to turn this album off. I can hear this band has potential and is probably capable of entertaining an audience as support act, but this album is unbearable. This is a perfect example of the sound quality really spoiling it all. One point for the effort and one for the acoustic version of Faith In Chaos Part 1.
Conclusion: 2 out of 10