You've got love Standing Ovation, if not for their audacity. First, the have a pretentious band name and, second, they really believe they don't sound like any other band. They return with their second full-length album, Gravity Beats Nuclear. I have no idea what that means.
What we do find is the band returning with their eclectic brand of progressive metal. It's a mash up of traditional melodic heavy metal, power metal, bit of thrash, and some obvious undercurrents of melodic hard rock. It can be creative and unusual, even mildly weird, as with the carnival or circus sound of Fool's Parade, which has this delightful piano line. Some of that bounce and groove of rock comes with Permafrost, something less metal and less technical with nice flaring guitar work. Something heavier comes with Hellbillies which features some staccato riffs and drumming. Mixed in are a variety of vocals from mild to screamo to something that I'm guessing is supposed be death vocals in the middle. This is followed fast paced section of synths over drums. The longest song, Lifeline, moves mostly on riffs and piano in a most slow, almost cumbersome way. It's a song that wants to go somewhere, but simply takes to long to go anywhere. Yet, the piano and synths are a standout feature. I Am is the odd man out amidst the rest of the songs. A purely quiet number, mostly piano and voice, it offers a somber and melancholy feeling, though sharp riffs spike within the song. It ends with a sweet guitar solo. Curiously, though softer, vocalist Jouni Partanen is difficult to understand. In the end, with Gravity Beats Nuclear, I was ambivalent about the album. It's definitely an interesting listen, but I didn't find that there was enough interest to get me to come back again, even after two plays. You may feel different.
In the end, with Gravity Beats Nuclear, I was ambivalent about the album. It's definitely an interesting listen, but I didn't find that there was enough interest to get me to come back again, even after two plays. You may feel different.
In the early Eighties, one of the first American metal bands that caught my interest was New York's Riot, founded by guitarist Mark Reale (1955-2012). Albums like Narita and Fire Down Under were classics of ... [ Read More ]