I downloaded this album a few days ago based on a post by Anteater:
LoathsomePete subsequently replied with the following post:
I've just now finished my first listen to this album. Sadly I must agree with LoathsomePete on them sounding too much like a mediocre Tool rip off. Initially I focused mostly on the vocals, hearing mostly Maynard J. Keenan (Tool), a bit of Claudio Sanchez (Coheed and Cambria), and too much of Ronnie J. Dio. As the album progressed, I even heard minor similarities to Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) and Jeremy Enigk (Sunny Day Real Estate and solo). But really, the guy tries VERY hard to vocalize just like Maynard. He may be more versatile, but I don't think that's really a good thing here if everything he does reminds me of other singers.
Now for the music. Unfortunately overall I feel the music takes too much of a back seat to the vocals. It needs to have more punch, make more of an impact, as nothing really stands out enough next to the vocals. There were times I felt the music wasn't very tight, and it sounds a bit thin. The producer might be to blame. Later in the album some instrumentation began to stand out more, of course during instrumental passages. Track 12 'Zdzislaw' started off VERY Pink Floyd-ish, reminding me of 'Run Like Hell' I think, and then proceeded to get VERY Tool-ish as it went on. Track 13 'Disco Biscuit' had some Tool-ish riffs that were so obvious they may as well be ripped off.
All in all I enjoyed listening to the album, but to be fair I feel my first listen served to pick out the influences, as most first listens do. It is well played for the most part, but like LoathsomePete, I don't know if it's something that will get too many repeat plays except maybe if I'm in the mood for Tool but don't want to hear Tool, of if I want to play some alternative metal to people without playing the usual suspects. I definitely plan to give it at least one more play within the next week, to see if it comes into its own at all. I don't think it'll ever escape the Tool comparisons, but maybe I'll grow to appreciate the singer's voice more, and pay more attention to the instrumentation in the first half of the album. I have to admit I am a bit curious about their other albums, and whether I would have the same complaints.
My favorite part of the album, to be honest, was the "hidden" track (and I was ready to bash it for even having a hidden track in 2007) because it sounds more original, despite having a 60s psych pop vibe. If they moved in that direction, I'd be interested to hear more.
The songs I mentioned aren't on YouTube, but here are some others so you can get an idea of the sound.
(oh wow...just playing this for a few seconds I hear Tool's 'Wings for Marie')
Property Management Charlotte