Sound: The sound on the CD is very guitar-driven, the guitar has a very thick distortion and tends to take up most of the sound heard. The bass is sort of hard to hear, I thought so anyway. The band refers to themselves as Melodic Thrash and that is most defiantly what you get. Its very catchy thrash metal, you get the crunch and aggression of Megadeth or Kreator with the more catchy harmonies and riffs similar to Iron Maiden. There is nothing very innovative or especially over the top, it's just a good, catchy thrash/heavy metal sound. The biggest strength of the CD is its ability to make you want to sing along, or bang your head to the very melodic riffs. The weakness of the CD is just that there is no real experimentation going on. Then again, this is their first CD; it will be very interesting to see where the band goes from here. Every song has heavy and catchy riffs, which is a weakness, because some songs begin to blend in together, though all in all the sound is quite good. Although the guitar can occasionally get over mashed up, the mixing reminds me a bit of Metallica's And Justice for All, except there is not as much of a scoop on the distortion. The crunch of the guitar is sometimes over done and as a result in some sections the sound sort of gets mushed up in a ball of distrotion. Other than a few minor sections, the sound of the CD is just great. // 8
Lyrics: Well the problem with the lyrics isI can find them anyway. I bought the CD on iTunes and as a result do not have the booklet with the lyrics included. However most of the lyrics are pretty audible, this is not your screaming/growling metal band. Most of the lyrics have to deal with war, if you go to their website this will be obvious. Songs like Warzone and Killing Fields are written obviously about war. However the band writes about Religion as well, on its song Religion of Control which seems to be directed at Islam extremism, judging by the fact that the intro to the song is what sounds like a Muslim call to prayer.
This band is great for those trying to get into more metal, but hesitant on more aggressive vocals. The lyrics remind me a bit of Johan Hegg from Amon Amarth meets James Hetfield of Metallica. The singer has a very deep growl similar to that of Hegg, but maintains a pretty clear voice similar to Hetfield. The lyrics I thought were an excellent mix of harsh and very melodic vocals, the singer (Gnther Wirth) has very impressive skills, and his vocals are defiantly what helps set this band apart from other new metal acts. There will undoubtedly be a lot of people who view his vocals as being negative, he teeters back and forth between going for a death metal growl and cleaner singing, and I enjoyed this. I think that anyone who is a fan of more Hetfield oriented singing will enjoy this singer. Occasionally you get the feeling he is trying a bit too hard, such as the pre-chorus on Disgrace Erased in which he sounds like he is sort of constipated. That aside Wirth does a great job on vocal duties. // 8
Overall Impression: Some of the most impressive songs are probably Last Dance of a Dying King which really gives you a good feel for the band and what the rest of the CD is going to sound like. To Challenge Death is also a stand out track I would say, defiantly one of the songs that makes you want to sing a long. Next Victim is also a stand out track because it is the one track where Girth does almost all out death metal vocals for most of the song, other than the chorus, almost the whole song is done in a more death metal style of singing. I love the fact that the band has combined very melodic singing and guitar playing with very heavy music. There are numerous bands who do this, however I think that this band has pulled it off exceptionally well. I would've liked a bit more experimentation, maybe an instrumental, or a bit of a slower song. The CD gets a bit stale because every song is rather similar. That aside, the band set out to make melodic thrash metal, and that is exactly what they do on this album. // 9