I had great difficulties finding a leg to stand on in reviewing this album, because on one hand itís a very stable album: well played and well produced, but on the other hand it didnít quite take my breath away at any time, and the songs or riffs donít really stick in my mind after the record is overÖ
This is 7th release from this Italian band (with American singer), and itís obvious that this is done by very experienced musicians, on the technical side of musicianship you canít put a finger on anything here. The vocalist Terence Holler isnít bad either, but here comes the first problem for me: his voice sometimes sounds strained and not that fitted the generally more melodic approach on this album, in my opinion he clearly has his strength in the harder parts (for example in Black Rain).
Iíve bought their latest albums because the (promised) mixture of power and thrash (and some prog elements) should be just the right recipe for my taste, and the two predecessors (Portrait Of The Abyss Within and Neighbourhell) has delivered a solid mixture of prog/thrash/power metal, just to my liking.
But somehow this album doesnít quite live up to the previous releases. The share of thrashy and progressive elements has been turned down, leaving a generally more melodic impression, and in my opinion thatís a pity. The songs in general, the composing and the riffs, on this album arenít that interesting to me, it seems theyíve been ďturning the handleĒ, putting out some average melodic power-tunes, that are not that inspired as before, sometimes even just marking time.
Is this an attempt to be more commercial, getting a shot at a broader audience?
Last, a small remark to the cover art: a sick or dead blackeyed girl lying in bed with more or less creepy hands reaching for her, instead of their "normal" alienlooking monster, in a "funny" way symbolizes this album for me: The wildness is missing, and instead we get a weakened person which the scary hands (of commercialism) reaches for...just my interpretation - probably not the intentional...(?)
Sorry, but you can do much better than this boys.
Recommended tracks: Silent Flame, Why, Black Rain.