And here we are with the second disaster of Angry Metal Guy’s October 2015 picks. I don’t get this one at all. I mean, I actually get it too much; it feels standard 80’s butt rock throwaway with keyboards and a female lead singer (though butt rock wasn’t solely male driven; I’m thinking Lita Ford, Vixen, …). Speed is not a priority, but big, loud (I can’t believe how compressed this is), soaring blues-y vocal and guitar riffs are.
Performance-wise, this is a pretty talented crew. The band seems to revolve around centerpiece Leif Edling on guitar, though the drummer is no slouch, either, and vocalist Jennie-Ann Smith is, appropriately, featured heavily.
But the songs. Oy. The biggest problem is that just about all of the tracks are way too long, with many of them taking a minute or so in the middle to not even noodle or meander but just kind of sit statically where I can confirm there is sound but I honestly have a hard time believing anything is happening. There are eight tracks here (I eliminated the ninth, bonus, track for my sanity, and based on a final listen it’s the worst of the bunch so good move me) and it’s still 50 minutes long, meaning you could fit the 13 tracks on Unplugged in here 2.5 times and still have some time left over for the nothing portions of this disc.
The highlight is the title track, which is also the shortest song on the album by more than a minute, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Its conciseness summarizes what the band does best, and the lyrics are evocative, with the singer in the first verse wondering about a girl she saw “going to market” wearing the titular mask and then basically expanding on that thread for the rest of the song.
This could have easily been two clowns if it was edited properly. It might have even been three songs at that point. But it could have been one clown if it didn’t have the first track.
Like: “Girl With The Raven Mask”
Meh: “The January Sea,” “Pearls And Coffins”
Dislike: “Ghostlight,” “Run Killer Run,” “The Master Thief”
Hate: “Hypnotized,” “Iron Mule,” “In My Time Of Dying (Bonus Track)”
Song Notes: After the jump
- Girl With The Raven Mask – 4: 11. this is pretty good and probably the main reason for it being an extra half-clown higher. easily the best song, and by far the shortest. Not a coincidence.
- The January Sea – 7:56. gets bad at 3:55. until then it’s a-ite
- Pearls And Coffins -7:04. Ennio Morricone western at start. not terrible but way too long. The very repetitive end is Dislike.
- Hypnotized – so slow and dumb
- Ghostlight – 6:38, verses bad, choruses not as bad. like many other songs here takes a middle section to meander but not even meander it just stays static.
- Run Killer Run – 5:18. opening riff so generic and dumb. warming to it, but god that opening riff.
- Iron Mule – 5:50. One of my least faves, but this time the bridge, with the keyboard breakdown, is awfully cool.
- The Master Thief – 6:37
- In My Time Of Dying – At 3:19 this is even shorter than “Girl With The Raven Mask,” but I couldn’t bring myself to listen to the album for three minutes more. Oh my god, I’m listening to this once now that I’m wrapping up my review and I HATE this worse than anything before. Very bluesy and god I just want it to be over. This definitely solidifies its low rating.