And then there was one…original member left in the band. Just like in EXODUS where Gary Holt is sole survivor of the line-up, Kurt Vanderhoof is the last man standing since the band formed in the early 80’s. My favorite drummer Kirk Arrington has finally bowed out, but a more than suitable replacement has been found in the form of Jeff Plate. His resume includes stints with ALICE COOPER, SAVATAGE and others.
I have been a major supporter of the Seattle act since their self titled debut and when I read online that Kurt was going to incorporate a more old school sound to the modern day feeling that they currently utilize is awesome. That’s right, the vintage vibes that made “Metal Church” and “The Dark” such undeniable classics even now were going to be injected into this new piece of plastic. However, my main concern was going to be “will this be dated or can it be fresh and last for several years to come?” Well, after the first listen I wasn’t completely impressed. I thought it was completely useless. I originally thought I was listening to something circa 1984 with no progression. Just a rehash of what everyone else did yesterday or uses today because no one has the capacity to create new ideas and dynamics.
I must have not been in the right mood because the second time around I came to my senses. The title track gets things rolling. Yes, this song sounds classic, but there is plenty of riffage to keeps things alive and Ronnie’s vox continue to rage forth. The drumming is consistent, but nothing earth shattering. It’s a decent opener. “Beyond All Reason” easily has to be my favorite track on here. It’s got a perfect blend of darkness, Metal and 70’s classic rock ala Kurt’s other band PRESTO BALLET. It’s a unique track that has to be heard to understand. Melodic guitar work at play is the order of the day here along with some good shredding.
The songs are pretty decent for the most part, but do much in terms of adding any new life to the genre. I think that their first two offerings sounded more fresh than this and that was twenty years ago and they still sound relevant today. The closer is an homage to David Wayne as they re-do “Watch The Children Pray.” This one is heavy, but slowed down quite a bit. Overall, decent material, but not up to snuff. Perhaps it’s time to call it a day with MC and just go forth with PRESTO BALLET.