I've experienced a lot of crap before, but I'm certain this is probably one of the most confusing CDs I've ever heard. Yes, Verismo is a heavy metal/groove/thrash crossover project that plays within the fence of each genre without trashing their roots for anything lame, yet the group's consistency is anything but sane. With City of Kings, Verismo shows how the loopy pattern of vague boredom and wonderful excitement can reach the absolute threshold of each extreme in a flash.
In "Silence of the Lambs," Dr. Hannibal Lector concluded Buffalo Bill was insane partially due to his sexual identity problems. If Lector performed the same psychological dissection on Verismo, he would also conclude the same thing, but it's the genre identity crisis (not sexual, I hope) that brings this CD down. It's impossible to classify what type of meat Verismo is, because the faction has mixed ingredients from the thrash field, the groove farm, and the regular heavy metal plantation into their salad of confusion. All three of these influences are portrayed in chord progression, percussion textures, and song arrangements, but it's the way they do it that messes them up. There are countless incidents when the group is calmly performing a certain style until they begin to lightly slap other influences, almost like a sissy attempt to become something else they shouldn't be. It's rather bizarre because Verismo appears to be balanced until they sprinkle other stuff in, and it isn't all they panned it out to be.
On the other hand, there are some occasions when Verismo actually switches into a professional metal act that applies smooth transitions between different metallic worlds. As weird as it sounds, Verismo can properly match thrash sections with groovy riffs or traditional influence in several stunning circumstances. This tactic is a bit confusing in itself, because Verismo manages to perform greatly in several incidents, but also screws up the same situations when the genre trade happens again. I think I'm just a little confused by it all.
City of Kings is quite a confused record; it comes off as a sloppy balance between classic metal, half-thrash, and speed chops with minimal alterations in variety. But the positive side shows three talented rockers mastering several genres at once. Goofy, isn't it? Verismo just needs a little improvement in the transition category before they become a force to be reckoned with.