What a cool name for a first album. Come on, say it: The Antique Witcheries. Awesome. Though what the hell it means is a total head-scratcher. Alas, we aren't reviewing this to mull titles but music. How do these guys sound? For a band who've just come into their own in the last couple of years, pretty dated my friend. So yeah, like countless others before them, Vindicator have fallen into the pit of boring revivalism. It isn't all bad though. Far from it. The Marshall Law dude uttering the vocals here makes a worthy Dave Mustaine on the opening salvo Beneath The Guillotine. Imagine Mega-Dave sober and a born again Christian in the early 90s, which in reality were his darkest dark ages. Besides the similarity though, this writer finds Marshall Law's vocals one of the album most glaring flaws. The dude is just too bland. On most occasions here it's like he's just reading the lyrics off a sheet and punctuating the words with an occasional snarl.
As for the rest of the band, they're okay. As mentioned, Beneath The Guillotine is a promising heavy metal romp that's pure cheese lyric-wise. The title explains the song and you're glad to hear the quartet carrying the flag of their musical forebears; they know their ABCs when it comes to composition. Among the album's dozen odd cuts are a string of rollicking anthems that will get the denim brigade moshing in no time. A guaranteed crowd favorite is Quarry Rats; part horror schtik, part declaration of faith to the underground ethos. It's an energized three minute romps full of vinegar and hubris, condemning the false virtues of the trendy crown in favor of the band's own undying fealty to the metal cause.
Thematic mozzarella arrives fast and thick on such delightful cuts as Pit of the Shoggoths, the shout-along glory of Raze The Dead and the sci-fi lore of Strange Aeons. By the time the title track rolls in at the end, the listener has just been treated to another joyride into the sonic aesthete of that fabled age where high top sneakers and Jackson flying Vs were the norm. (In case you didn't get the references this scribe means the thrash scene back in the day.) Problem is it's a bit too been-there-done-that. Oh well, this is still a solid debut. Honest no doubt, but not perfect.
Vindicator's The Antique Witcheries is a bit too been-there-done-that. Oh well, this is still a solid debut. Honest no doubt, but not perfect.
Resolve marks the return of Allentown's Mindmaze, after a three year hiatus from the studio. Their third album offers a new and stable line up with new drummer Mark Bennett assisting bassist Rich ... [ Read More ]