Friday, August 5, 2016
Them : "Sweet Hallow"
These guys used to be a King Diamond tribute band that was formed by former Coldsteel vocalist Troy Norr, who employs his multi tracked falsetto. But unlike King Diamond when it comes to a mid range singing voice he goes into a cheesy power-metal like voice and can't nail the more pained croon King does. If you are going to rip off King Diamond then you gotta go all the way. Musically it's heavier, though there are some "Conspiracy" like break downs. "Down the Road to Misery" is not as interesting and more straight forward , but not as heavy as the first song. Norr has assembled a pretty stellar cast with the bassist from Symphony X and Kevin Talley sitting behind the drum kit. Members of Lanfear man the keys and guitars.
He sings in his more dramatic power metal mid range for the bulk of "Ghost in the Graveyard". Like King Diamond, they are trying to weave this all into into a concept album. He does alternate between the higher falsettos and the lower demon voices. "the Quiet Room" works more with the story creating a darker musical like atmosphere. Mood wise they come closer to capturing the feel of King Diamond's solo work on "Dead of Night" , but when Norr is in his normal singing voice he loses it and it really needs to be darker with less off a arena rock sound coming from the guitars and more diminished runs. They lose the King Diamond feel on "CarnEvil" even though Norr comes closer to getting King's pained crooned. This feels more like something Psychotic Waltz would have done or older Kamelot. The spoke word dialogue inserted into to song are pretty terrible and the music should do all the talking.
"the Crimson Corpse" finds them getting heavier again. It sounds like the King Diamond parts in this song are being forced at the sake of sacrificing what could be an otherwise decent song. The first listen to the song "Blood From Blood" breezed by me so I had to give it another shot. It is more of a thrash affair. The more thrashing styled attack doesn't let up on "the Harrowing Path to Hollow" which strikes me as having more in-common with Flotsam and Jetsam. I'll give this album a 7.5, for my money it needs to be darker and less of the refined power-metal brand of cheese.It is however a helluva lot more metal than Ghost's King Diamond tribute.