1. LIVING A LIE
|This is an album for those that like metal served in all its
traditional trimmings. This is music played with ancestral qualities and with a timeline
rooted in late seventies Britain. Its one for those that enjoy traditional rock
thats been kicked up the arse by the enthusiasm of punk and has the occasional
modern elements thrown in its like being sent a modernised Soundhouse
Tapes or hearing a new discovery from the Ruskin Arms.
Iron Maiden comparisons are extremely difficult to avoid, but that isnt a derogatory link as this is good music, played well and containing some lovely vocal harmonies. Its old-fashioned British metal in essence, but in an updated New Wave Of British Heavy Metal kind of way. Apart from the obvious Iron Maiden similarities, there are also echos of Demon, Trespass, Mythra and bands of that late 70s British vibe and feel. It brings back many memories of that period, with that identifiable twinkling, twin lead guitar and excellent melodies from both vocals and guitars.
If there were to be a criticism, then it would be that the Iron Maiden sound dominates too many of their songs with too few exceptions. Scarred Earth is a much slower number than anything proceeding and is more of a ballad with gentle melody and nice vocals. In My Blood is also a little different in style, still very much British metal but more in the Demon or Mythra style, with loads of those distinctive twin lead guitars. Another Life is another slow but sombre song that starts off with keyboards, before opening out with strings but doesnt really fit the album. This could be an attempt at something different or maybe indulgence, but for once the vocals dont quite make it and its hard to believe that there will be many listening to this sort of music that would appreciate the style. Cancer Of The Mind is a far more modern, driving and aggressive, death approach with screaming vocals from guest Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates), which is a far more welcome departure. Finally, This Is The End Of Everything finishes the album in a very laidback and pleasant acoustic manner.
The Area 54 sound has a definite and undeniable similarity to Iron Maiden that maybe distracts just a little with its persistence. But despite that, this is a good quality album containing some interesting songs played in a manner that is very uncommon today and it may fit well in the growing market for nostalgia.
Rigsby (13th March, 2003)