I really wonder, if in the times of the “Pirates Of The Caribbean“ hype there might not be some room for a Metal band as well to benefit from the pirates you can see virtually everywhere. Enter VERBAL DECEPTION from Calgary. Yes, Calgary is not necessarily renowned for their extensive beaches and a pirate-infested past, but that has not stopped the band around singer/guitarist Kresho Klarich and keyboarder Walt Fleming to build their own, not being far off with their self-given categorization of “Pirate Metal“.
What strikes right away when seeing their full-length debut “Aurum Aetus Piraticus“, is the attention to detail in the packaging. Not only do we get a thick, well done booklet, which contains the lyrics and also a story, connecting them, but also a map following the course of the album, looks damn good, showing that they approached the whole thing very professionally.
Musically VERBAL DECEPTION also mostly elude the common categorizations, for even though Kresho’s voice more resembles a hoarse rasp than real singing or Death Metal growls, one can’t pin the guys to a certain sound, as they do not only cleverly vary the tempos, but also stylistically take their ingredients from several pots, crowning everything with a pirate atmosphere, which is induced by Walt’s keyboard work, which had switches to accordion every now and then.
Here and there the songs also take on a more progressive hue, which makes a few of the tracks a bit less accessible, but at the same time also extends the life time, just like several oriental and Eastern European sounding melodies bring in an additional own touch. It is hard to pick out single songs, but I think as check out tips I should recommend “Halls Of Illusion” (which alternates between slow-paced and more driving), “High Seas” (enriched with some oriental melodies) and “The Temptress“ (a bit slower paced, but some true story-telling).
A well rounded and well done album, which will not appeal to everybody, mostly due to the vocals, but has a lot of potential to appeal to a wider listenership, all the while having a certain originality to it as well, which sets them apart from many of their peers.
Yarrrr!!! (Online July 26, 2006)