From Belgium, with a rather curious name, Max Pie brings their sophomore effort Eight Places, One World, only a year from their debut album, Initial Process. Their style is essentially progressive power metal with comparisons made, by some, to Rhapsody, Kamelot, and Symphony X. Although, for others, this might strain their credulity to unhealthy limits.
Nevertheless, Max Pie strives to add some intrigue and complexity to their power metal with varying degrees of success. Much of this success comes in the latter half or third of a song, notably in the instrumental breakdown or segue before the final verse or chorus.
For instance, A Cage of Sins, I'm Sealed, and Earth's Rules have the punch at the start with big riffage and blistering drums for some generally heavier power metal, and Tony Carlino's uneven, sometimes novice and straining hardcore, vocals coming over the top. The latter can become tiresome at times, but then when the other instruments break free from the same, Max Pie becomes ambitious and entertaining. Even the closest thing to an anthem, even slower and smoother, sounds better when Carlino stops singing and Damien Di Fresco's guitar kicks in, and the song gets better.
There's an old humorous story about when a listener was asked about the merits of a song. He's asked, 'What did you like best about it?' He responds, 'The end.' Perplexed, the questioner asks, 'Oh, you mean the last part of song?' The listener explains: 'Not the end; when it's over; when it stops.' I don't think it's necessary to go to that extreme with Max Pie. But to these ears, whenever the vocals eased or ceased, the music rose to the occasion with excellent, sometimes epic, results, mostly at the end of the song.
Alternatively, with The Side of a Dime, it's at the beginning. The only song that is not a total loss from the uneven and suspicious vocals may be the closer Don't Tell Me Lies, where Carlino demonstrates some modicum of restraint and more melody. Yet, there's much to be said for his enthusiasm as a metal vocalist, even if he's an acquired taste.
Nevertheless, for somewhat modern (thanks to Carlino's attempt at harsh vocals) progressive power metal, Max Pie's Eight Places, One World displays ambition, perhaps even a swell of greater interest in the future.
For somewhat modern, thanks to a heavier feel and an attempt at more harsh vocals, progressive power metal, Max Pie's Eight Places, One World displays ambition, perhaps even a swell of greater interest in the future.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]