Let me start of by saying that I listened to this CD numerous times before finalizing this review. I don't know whether that is a good thing or bad thing that I had to listen to it so many times, but I was couldn't help that I very torn about this band. My first thought when I heard this CD was "wow, this guy sound a lot like Maynard!"(Maynard James Keenan from Tool and A Perfect Circle). After reading a little bit more about this band I found out that I am not the only person to compare this band with Tool. Personally, I think Maynard Keenan is one of the most talented singers currently out there; recreating his voice is very hard and duplicating the sound of Tool is near impossible.
After I received the album in the mail I read the inner booklet only to discover and very interesting and important fact that eased my confusion. The CD was recorded during three different sessions over a span of two years. Each recording session has its own feeling to it which makes this almost like having three short CDs in one. The first five tracks were recorded in the summer of 2004; tracks 6 & 11 were recorded in the spring
of 2003; while tracks 7-10 were recorded in the summer of 2002. It also makes it hard to compare the three sessions because the first five tracks are live so there is no dubbed over vocals or other production sounds you get while working in a studio.
This band has a great amount of potential and I don't think this CD justifies their talent enough. The live tracks lack the structure the studio tracks have and the studio tracks have a different vocal sound to them because they are one to two years older. When listening to the CD, sometimes I felt that the music was not written for vocals. It sounded like the guitars, drum, and bass were recorded, and some vocals were just put on the top. I say this because there were times when the music would change intensity, but the vocals would continue without changing intensity to match the music (or change very little). It is apparent that this CD was recorded around the vocals and the singer's great voice and
rightfully so. It sounds like they laid down one track and said, "OK, now sing just like that on the rest of the tracks". Personally I think if you want to keep the listener's attention, the songs can't all sound the same like this. It is good if someone likes the one song, but personally I want to hear diversity in the vocals. The music already has the diversity to set them apart from other bands. I think if this band worked with a good producer, they could find the right vocal/musical combination to make these guys great.
Personally, I would even like to hear this band with a "screamer" or second vocalists (maybe another band member?) added, or have the lead singer do some screaming or something with more intensity. I think a nice blend of the powerful vocals they already have, backed with some deep more intense vocals would be their recipe for success.
I don't think this is the bands breakout CD; they still have some more work to do. This is a good start to what I see as being a successful career. I really think this band has a lot of potential and if they got to work with a good producer with more experience, I think they could create some great music. I would highly recommend you check these guys out now and keep a close eye on them in the future.
People who like bands like Tool and A Perfect Circle would like this band for their close resemblance in sound. I would give this CD a 3/5 stars because they lack the structure needed on this CD to really stand out. Being categorized with Tool leaves me no other option but to be critical of their sound because Maynard and Tool has set the bar very high for this sound and type of music. The pieces to the puzzle are here, they just need
to be put into place and when that happens, this band is going to be great.