The Metal God is back. Not that it has been a long time, but it's exciting to have Rob really putting some great metal back on the map. 'Resurrection' was an absolute dream come true after the weaker Two project that had fans sratching their heads. Well, Rob racks another metal release that will solidify his position in the market. In some ways this album is different than 'Ressurection'. It's still heavy, but a bit more modern. Not that this album will disappoint anyone however. The album stands out on it's on merits. Once again Roy Z is back at the production helm which has a proven chemistry with the band. Roy Z really tends to bring out the best in the artists he works with. The album opens with the intro 'Park Manor' which is also the name of the place the album was created at. Moving right into 'Crucible' the song is gritty and crunchy. Vocally this song is very good especially in the chorus. The album continues to hit hard with tracks like 'One will', the assaulting 'Handing out bullets', 'Hearts of darkness', and the grinding 'Wrath of God' that appears to address the WTC disaster. Then there are tracks like 'Crystal', 'Golgotha', 'Trail of Tears', and 'Fugitive' that stay heavy in their own way yet have a melodic side as well. The album really flows and provides a good listen.
This album is pretty good. It takes the Halford formula up a step in aggression but remains unmistakeably a Halford record. 'Resurrection' was definitely the return of the Metal God. 'Crucible' is the reinforcement that makes the case. Definitely give it a spin!
As much as I try to keep up with everything out there, it does get a little tough. There is always a band or two that slip through. Okay, maybe more than that. Silent Force is one of those. I really liked DC Cooper's solo effort a couple of years or so ago. This project is fronted by Cooper and this release is the second by the band. This release is really good! Style is a lot like something Judas Priest or another of that tempo would write. I am not only impressed with this band musically, but with Cooper's vocals. On tracks like 'Infatuator' or 'Fall into Oblivion' you hear some Rob Halford. Cooper really belts it out. As mentioned before, musically this band is really good. There is a certain tightness to the music that really enhances the listening experience. 'Hear me calling' is a good example as is 'We must use the Power', and the 'Trilogy'. This fact really propels the band to a level that makes them special. Pulling off the cover of Judas Priest's 'All guns lazing' is amazing as well. The track hits hard with the band putting a bit of their own spin on it. Other favorite tracks include 'World aflame', 'In your arms', and 'Hear me calling'. There is also a bonus Mpeg on the disc titled 'See beyond' that is a nice additon to the package.
With alot of releases to choose from, why this one you might ask?? This album has everything that makes a great album. Great musicianship, good subject material, and great songwriting. The album is very solid and consistent throughout and has a traditional power metal sound with a bit of a melodic speed metal feel. If you are looking for something new that also embraces something more familiar, this one is a great bet. Highly recommended!