Canada has been a hot bed for metal recently, if not for the last 40 years (Rush, Anvil, Triumph), and so we welcome, from Toronto, Conflicted and their debut work Never Be Tamed. Recently signed to Nightmare Records with distribution through Sony Red, we get a taste of their blended metal, a hybrid of classic heavy with power and progressive metal. Power trio they are not. Ambitious and creative, indeed.
Perhaps the first significant thing you will notice is the four octave range of vocalist Jason Orton. Imagine the strength, control, and range of a young Rob Halford (without sounding like him), and you will have a sonic picture of his skill. But, ultimately, the music remains the deliberate factor involving all players: Conflicted can mix it up with styles merging into innovative arrangements. Never Be Tamed, Fallen and The Hand of God are representative pieces built upon strict heavy metal. Boisterous and frothing with energy, they kick ass. But they also intrigue: Hand of God, for instance, offers segues of subtlety and intensity.
Later, Stay argues for power metal zeal and prog curiosity. Heat Me Up confuses metal with AOR accessibility with entertaining consequences. What follows from these are songs that speak to that emergent ambitious innovation. I Wish I Remember or Torment make Conflicted hard to define, even though a well-educated metal listener will hear the influences.
Honestly, this is what every music listener, every metal listener, wants: music that both invokes the great styles but also defies and reinvents them. On Never Be Tamed, Conflicted does this very thing. It may not be that pedestrian, or street friendly, but it certainly is intriguing and entertaining. Well recommended.
This is what every music listener, every metal listener, wants: music that both invokes the great styles but also defies and reinvents them. On Never Be Tamed, Conflicted does this very thing. It may not be that pedestrian, or street friendly, but it certainly is intriguing and entertaining. Well recommended.
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