When the intro for the first song “Strife” hit me with its pipe organ, I thought that we were in for a dose of good old Norwegian gothic metal. But as the band kicked in I quickly realized that another Metallica sounding thrash band were about to assault my ears. Don’t get me wrong, these guys do well in their niche, but this particular genre is so overcrowded that only the strongest will survive. This band is O. K. but you are not going to remember any of the songs five minutes after the CD is done.
One thing that the band has going for them is their musical ability. There are flashes that really stand out but they are disrupted too often by the snarling vocals of Patrick Svendsen. Case in point would be the song “Fifth Estate” which reminds me of old Savatage. But even though Patrick has the same type of growl that Jon Oliva uses, he is definitely no Oliva! Musically the band is tight but in most cases too predictable. Where they shine is on songs like the instrumental Borregaard. Once again they have that old school Savatage feel and keep you interested for over eight minutes of glorious melodic metal. These moments are few and far between on this disc though, and most of it will leave you with no feelings, one way or another. I still think that they have a future, but they need to look ahead instead of behind for their inspiration.
One thing that is most important for this band is they need to keep lead guitarist Thomas Koksvik under their wing. This guy has some chops but needs some seasoning. Too many times it sounds like he is borrowing from his six string heroes. The crushing There’s Just One Escape is a prime example where he provides a terrific guitar intro but it sounds very reminiscent of Van Halen’s Eruption. With that said, he is still one to keep an eye on. There is just too much talent behind the frequent solos on this disc.
While there is nothing on this album that can be considered a major flaw, there is also nothing that stands out either. It is a heavy piece of thrash metal that you can play and say, 'Where have I heard that before,' all day long. I will be watching this band though as the talent is obvious but this disc does not live up to their true potential!
Tonic Breed's Outsold is a heavy piece of thrash metal that you can play and say, 'Where have I heard that before,' all day long.
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 ]