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The Poodles: Clash Of The Elements

The Poodles: Clash Of The Elements

Melodic Hard Rock/Metal
Rating: 3.75/5.0

It's hard to believe The Poodles are on their third album already; it seems like only yesterday that they exploded on the scene with Metal Will Stand Tall. Clash Of The Elements is their first album with new guitarist Henrik Bergqvist (Southfork, Tiamat). The Poodles have not skipped a beat in this significant transition: they're still bringing their own blend of catchy melodic hard rock and metal (with a more than obvious nod to 80's glam rock/metal). In terms of consistency, that's a very good thing. However, Clash Of The Elements finds they band teetering precipitously towards predictability and redundancy. Basically, you know what to expect and that's what you get. It's like going into any MacDonald's anywhere in the world: you know the french fries will always be the same.

To their credit, The Poodles' songs have always been 'big:' big vocal arrangements, big harmonies, big grooves, big catchy choruses, and big guitar solos. Nothing has changed on Clash Of The Elements. 'No Tomorrow,' 'I Rule The Night,' and even the more bubblegum pop tune, 'Too Much Of Everything' are songs that are inherently larger than life. Probably most impressive this time around are the ballads. 'Sweet Enemy' secures the heavier side of the hard rock ballad. 'Can't Let You Go' and the more epic 'Wings Of Destiny' demonstrate that The Poodles do the traditional rock/metal ballad formula as good as anyone.

I found the meat of Clash Of The Elements to begin with 'No Tomorrow' and end with 'Can't Let You Go,' with exception of the ordinary 'Pilot Of The Storm,' simply because the songs had a heartier and heavier melodic hard rock composition. 'Caroline' and 'Don't Rescue' seemed like too clever radio pop, and 'Heart Of Gold' and 'Dream To Follow, though quite good, sounded so similar to run together as one. The Poodles could have easily dropped four or five songs, and Clash Of The Elements would have been a much tighter album.

The Poodles' Clash Of The Elements is another consistent platter of blended melodic hard rock and metal. However, the band's consistency is edging towards predictability, and so redundancy. Following this course, The Poodles may become trivial before their time. Otherwise, Clash Of The Elements is solid stuff.

In Short

The Poodles' Clash Of The Elements is another consistent platter of blended melodic hard rock and metal. However, the band's consistency is edging towards predictability, and so redundancy. Following this course, The Poodles may become trivial before their time. Otherwise, Clash Of The Elements is solid stuff.

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