Thursday, December 24, 2015

Black Tower : " The Secret Fire"

This kicks off in a decidedly metal with wavering 80's metal vocals that remind me of a cross between Death Angel and Diamond Head. They are not re-inventing metal here. But In Solitude is broken up so I'm open to having this in my life. "Black Moon" is not as strong as the opener, but the break down in the middle offers hope for the album as a whole and vocals continue to interest me as they don't commit to a full blown yodel. The lyrics are a bunch of fantasy gibber gabber. I hear the first hints of Danzig's influence on "the Dark Lord" which is strange set against the almost Geddy Lee tenor. "Riders"  allows more of a mood to be set and then goes into a mid paced chug. It speeds up, but the vocals go into a lower croon, judging by the credits it appears there are   handling the vocals or if it is overdubs. Being a huge King Diamond fan, I expect every one to have the range to do both registers, as I don't ask singer's to do anything I can't do myself. This often leads to disappointment. Here its not a deal breaker.

They speed up into more of a blast with "Shadows". More snarls come from the vocals on this one. Here the 80s metal thing is not as inspired. "Winter" is a mixed bag there is a melody some where in there that I like but when they play the faster part the song seems rushed. Rushed becomes the name of the game , but in a more punk fashion on "the Dragon Flies" , but the song lands on it's own two legs and is not so bad. They get more melodic for the intro leading into "Night Siege", but it speeds up into something more punk, but they still insist on adding the Iron Maidenisms , which sometimes fit better than others.  The title track closes the album out but it's pretty much just a strummed guitar outro so no biggie there.

These guys have some good ideas, and I think with a little more restraint on the next album they will be onto something truly great. This album on it's own merit does pretty well, I like the more assured vocal parts, sometimes things get a little cluttered here and there, but I think they are trying to throw a lot at you on purpose. If Coheed and Cambria never gave into their Rush aspirations and stuck to listening to the Misfits, it might have come out a little more like this in the early days. I'll give it a 7.5.

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