This is the fourth album of the American quartet A LOWER DEEP. The guys in this band have earlier cooperated with Raven Flight Records, but “Black Marys” was released independently. The band is playing a breed of Metal with influences from Traditional Metal and American Power Metal, with a dash of Thrash thrown in. There is occasional growling, but clean vocals dominate this record.
A large majority of this album is played in the same mid-tempo and the song structures are very reminiscent of each other overall. The guitar sound does not change much either. These two facts constitute a problem for this band. Frankly, the release is pretty boring from beginning to end. Occasional efforts at experimenting are thrown in here and there, but the main sound crawls on slowly. The vocalist Billy Mullican has a voice that conveys gloomy feelings and that isn’t exactly what this album needs. Lack of energy is the best way to put it. The production features semi-distorted guitar-work and a fairly prominent bass-work. The drumming varies, but Jason Lassetter cannot provide the energy needed behind the drums. Still, I feel that the song-writing is to blame rather than the individual band members, as the whole fails to rise above average during the hour that this album lasts.
The beginning of the album is the worst part, while later songs like “The Narrow Way”, “The Children Of Cain” and “Revelation” are a bit better. I almost sense some NILE-influences in some parts here and with that more pompous approach A LOWER DEEP manage to create music that is a little more dramatic. The main problem remains throughout the record, though. The main sound is not interesting enough, there is a fundamental lack of energy in the music and the songs do not vary as much as one would wish. I would not call this album a total failure, but I would not buy it.
(Online May 8, 2010)