I'll lay out my history with this band right from the start. I became a fan from the first album and the track 'Dream of a Lifetime'. I felt the band definitely got better along the way with 'Psychoschizophrenia' being my favorite of the whole bunch. That was the album I naturally wanted to compare everything to as a standard. With the latest album 'Waters Rising' I had to admit I was skeptical. Gone have been the days of really good bands releasing really good albums. Sure, you get new bands that come along and do very good things, but bands that had established themselves in the genre were releasing weak albums and were not living not up to their potential. I don't really consider Lillian Axe to be one of those, but they had been quite dry in releasing with the exception of live stuff and unreleased demos and the such. The skepticism also cam from the fact that long term frontman Ron Taylor had left the fold. I felt that would be some pretty big shoes to feel. As I took my listen to this new album I was quite surprised, and quite impressed. This album has it's 'Psychoshizophrenia' moments and Derrick LeFevre has a voice that is similar to Taylor's in many ways. He is a tad bit lower, but you could play this album for someone and at times they may not realize that it isn't Taylor. Steve Blaze has a certain way of writing his music and he doesn't stray from that tried and true formula. Tracks like 'Quarantine' are a great example. Had me thinking 'Poetic Justice' with that guitar sound. The track 'Become a Monster' had been previously heard on 'Fields of Yesterday, but I liked the sound here much better. The moody melodic tracks are here as well. 'I Have to Die, Goodbye' and 'Fields of Yesterday' are both very good tracks that take a lighter sound for the most part, but can grab a bit of edge. I really think the band has done a marvelous job of recreating the magic of a decade and a half ago and LeFevre does an amazing job of filling those big shoes. Very well done!
I love this album. I was a big fan of 'Psychoshizophrenia' and this album comes as close to that album as the band may ever get. The melody is there as is that unique sound that only Steve Blaze can offer. Taylor may be out on vocals, but don't let that sway you as LeFevre sounds very close and does one hell of a job. Definitely highly recommended!
Helsinki based metallers Amoral celebrate the 10th anniversary of the band with their latest release 'Reptile Ride'. The album contains 9 tracks of blistering metal that has a bit of progressive, and death. The band have a technical side to them that always seems to be there when progressive is mentioned. This is however much more of a thrashy death album with finesse when it comes to the attention to musical detail. Vocally, as you might guess, the band is a bit abrasive which is what a good portion of the Finnish death and metal acts are. Where I don't care as much for that portion of the music, I like the flash in the instrumental portion. This is the same thing for me with Children of Bodom. These bands really know how to keep that traditional and polished element integrated into their writing instead of the usual machine gun rhythm thing that you hear in the domestic death stuff. For me, I had never heard Amoral before, so I have nothing in their back catalog to compare this to. I will just say that it is delivered very nicely. The band keep it very consistent in terms of tempo and overall sound beginning to end. The album blasts away through tracks like the opener 'Leave Your Dead Behind' and 'Nervasion'. When you get to the track 'Mute' which is the fourth on the album, the band have some more upbeat and traditional sounding rhythm guitar work which I thought was cool. 'D-Drop Bop' is an interesting title. The song is just as heavy as the rest, but with the title you might expect something different. One of my favorite tracks is the instrumental track 'Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Fun'. This definitely shows a bit more of the technical and flashy side of the band. The closing track 'Pusher' has a very cool vibe to it that is a bit different then the rest. Heavy with a bit of the same vibe that the instrumental had. Works pretty well. The album is pretty good overall if you don't mind the vocal work being a bit abrasive. Decent way to celebrate their 10th anniversary.
Amoral is a very good intense band. If you don't mind vocal work being a bit more harsh, then these guys have some decent music to offer. The music is pretty consistent with only the final two tracks showing a bit more of a different vibe. The rest is pretty heavy and fairly straight forward. Definitely geared more to the fan of very heavy music, but a very good release nonetheless.