Ouijabeard is the side project of Dr. Living Dead vocalist Dr. Ape, and Die and Let Live is quite the departure from the thrash metal of his main gig. This basically early Eighties style melodic heavy metal inspired by, according to Ape, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Kiss's The Elder, though I'm not sure that last one is worth admitting to. Ape also treats some of the history and myths associated with the infamous Russian mystic Grigorij Rasputin.
For this project, excepting guitar solos performed by guest musicians, Ape handled all the instruments. His vocals on Die and Let Live is not the near hardcore style for DLD, but more melodic and clean. Actually, he's a darn good singer.
Die and Let Live is also a rather brief album, clocking around 33 minutes, with nearly half the songs less than three minutes long. Nevertheless, Ape delivers some solid traditional, sometimes speedier, heavy metal. While I can put my finger on the atmosphere, there's an almost stoner or psychedelic feeling to the songs as well. Ape has described the album as a 'space rock opera,' and that may also fit the atmosphere. After several spins Ouijabeard reminds me of Corsair, the psychedelic pseudo-prog band from America, which attempts a similar space rock sound. In the end, I found Die and Let Live to be quite surprising and very entertaining. Best picks: Signs of Moreia, Curse of the Stones, Keep the Streets Empty for Me, and the longest track, Die and Let Live. Recommended.
Ouijabeard's Die and Let Live is a surprisingly entertaining album of classic heavy metal with more than a little psychedelic or space rock feel.
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