Well, I guess all good things must come to an end. These boys have hit the big time now and this will be their final release on Century Media. While I feel like I have grown with the band since their second release “Of One Blood”, I feel lost because they aren’t my own band anymore that they are breaking away from the underground. That may sound selfish, but I have been a good acquaintance of the band for a long time. I remember them playing at a bowling alley where the roof looks like it’s been ready to cave in for the past fifty years. I have seen them grow and get more popular, but in the end, they deserve this. They have worked hard as hell to get this far and I am proud of them. Sorry for the rambling.
Anyway, what this is all about is that this is what the guys call a companion piece to “The War Within.” There are six tracks that never made it on the previous album, so here they are as these track were written on the road. Their sound has never been better and it’s been refined as well. “In Effigy” probably shows off best what the band is all about. It’s fast with killer dual riffing, melodic, great bass licks, awesome vocals that are both clean and gritty and rounded out by fantastic and super tight drumming. “Will To Rebuild” is a bit rougher as the guitar tones have more distortion in them, but still rock the house. After the six new cuts on here, we are treated to two Japanese only tracks that were on their previous releases for overseas only. The interesting part about this though is that “Deadworld” and “This Is My Own” get the reworked treatment and Jason gets to put his signature drumming skills on here. Awesome!
Lastly, we are treated to three cover tracks. As the boys put it, they are paying homage to groups that just never got the recognition that they deserved. Boston boys ONLY LIVING WITNESS who I remember spinning at the radio station back in the day were also signed to CM back in the early to mid 90’s. The track is probably the most somber out of everything here, but it’s cool. LEEWAY’s “Mark Of The Squealer” is tough as nails and fast. Finally, Original vocalist of DANGEROUS TOYS and WATCHTOWER Jason McMaster joins Brian on their rendition of “Teasn’, Pleasn.’” The huge difference here is that everything is toned down big time. It’s even hard to figure out if you remember the original. Brian’s voice is low and mean and Jason’s voice has changed a lot over the years. He doesn’t scream with those high pitches anymore. The music is tougher and not as poppy as the original. It’s cool overall.
Everything you could ask for in this band is in here. Killer back ground vocals from Matt, talented solos are applied when needed and the music is dynamic and varies by tempo from track to track. Zeus once again does an outstanding job on producing this record as everything can be heard loud and clear. Bottom line, if you enjoyed the bands past few outings then this is no different. Buy now! (Online September 11, 2006)