I had heard a lot about American Prog Metallers WITHOUT WARNING, but never had been able to listen to them myself. Now Spanish Heaven Cross label released "Believe" and this is the first contact between me and the band. Actually "Believe" is the re release of this album, which 1995 had only been available in Japan, for that it contains two bonus tracks, both acoustic versions of album songs.
Now with Progressive Metal and me, it always had been a thing. Without being really able to put my finger to it, the line between liking and not liking has always been very thin. I am sure that this also is mood related, but still, it sometimes just does not work out. My first listen to "Believe" was one of those times, it just would not fit together in my ears. But I have never been someone to give up that easily on a CD.
The vocals of Jack Bielatta have a light touch of a Jon Oliva, a bit on the rougher side altogether, not one of the polished guys, while the music is at the same time catchy, but also with some unusual rhythms and melodylines that you normally only get in Prog Metal, which just demand more time from the listener to get into them. But once you give that time to "Believe", it reveals that these guys have a hand for combining complexity with catchiness. And that they are musically high standing, no doubt about that for sure!
My main gripe with this album is that despite being catchy, their compositions do not really stick to me, if you understand what I mean. When you listen to them, they work very well (after a bit), but the memorability is not all there, as I might have wished. But still I can attest them a solid epos that should please any true fan of Progressive Metal, also because they do not necessarily sound like one of the greats out there, which is a big plus as they manage to give their songs an own touch.
So even though even after a few listens "Believe" does not fully co-operate with me, I can say that this is a really fine album of a really interesting band! (Online May 26, 2003)