Again there is hope for American metal! Welcome Thoughts Betrayed to the great American metal fold, and we are blessed because of their entrance. Thoughts Betrayed is the result of a partnership between to midwestern guitar virtuosos, Zack Uidl (guitars) and Dave Cardwell (vocals, guitars, production). And they easily rise above their (so called peers) in this field. Both gentlemen are both players and instructors offering numerous instructional materials including videos. Mr. Cardwell has also released three metal albums under the name Raise The Shield in the six month period of September 2006-Febuary 2007. Cripes that more amazing than Todd Rundgren in the Seventies. I could go on with impressive biographical information about these to young men, but that would negate the point of this article: it's a CD review after all. I would (strongly) encourage you to visit the Thoughts Betrayed web site for more information.
Calling such bands as Nevermore, Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Outworld (wow, great band!) as influences, Cardwell and Uidl deliver sophisticated metal with a range of style: progressive, power, and pure power metal. Mr. Uidl is a master on the 7-string guitar (yes, this is new to me, too.), and he plays with skill and acumen. Mr. Cardwell reveals in his skills that he probably has more talent in his little finger than most musicians (particularly, the current trend of American rock and metal musicians) have in their whole being. He provides the vocals and does exceptional job, although I can (as always) do without the dirty vocals. Yet, Caldwell is consistently passionate and profound in his vocal delivery. Now on to the songs ...
There is no great mystery as to what is occurring here: this is an expression of the genius and creativity of two formidable talents. 'Disorder' begins the album and proves that these boys know basic melodic metal. After this is 'Reign' where you have your first taste of Mr. Cardwell's gruff vocals and the song is heavy, nearly raw, in performance. But let's move on to one of my favorite tracks. 'Long Days' is one of those highly unexpected numbers that throws you off kilter. In a short period of time you are blessed with a brilliant arrangement with smooth vocals. Another significant track is 'Retribution.' It has a more modern American metal feel without losing the melody that is so inherent in the stateside genre. Both Uidl and Cardwell really rip it up too. 'Vision' is the only instrumental track on the album and this duo truly shine. They could do this sort of stuff all day and I would be immensely pleased, another fantastic cut! My favorite song is, without doubt, 'Time' thanks to its intricate keyboards, soaring vocals, and Uidl's stirring fret work. 'Passage' is another song with a true progressive nature. Some may find it too complex to listen to. However, if you give it a chance you will be pleased. The work concludes with the melancholy 'Life,' a song that, on the surface, seems dark and foreboding, yet still reveals a spectacular mix of subtlety and focus.
'Recollection' is an exceptional accomplishment for Dave Cardwell and Zack Uidl. It has all the marks of significant American metal in a field where mediocrity seems to reign. Unfortunately, Thoughts Betrayed will probably be overlooked by both the American metal press and labels. It may only be embraced by our European friends 'across the pond' who have a sense history and an appreciation of melodic progressive metal. This is hardly for the American mainstream, even though it should be. 'Recollection' is great music. I encourage you to find and buy this album. (Check the Thoughts Betrayed web site to do so.) Highly recommended!
- Craig Hartranft
Thoughts Betrayed is the result of a partnership between American guitarists Zack Uidl and Dave Cardwell who are both phenomenal players and instructors. 'Recollection' heralds a promising future for American metal with exceptional arrangements and brilliant musicianship. This is pretty much a no-brainer; if you love progressive metal undergirded by amazing guitar work, you must find and buy Thoughts Betrayed first work, 'Recollection.'
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