Evidence One - The sky is the limit 3/5
1. The sky is the limit
2. Mr. Madness
3. The luxury of losing hope
4. Won't sleep alone
6. Can't fight the past
7. Gallery of broken glass
8. Rain road
10. Raging winds
Evidence One play the sort of stuff that a fan of melodic metal will find very hard to dislike. They cover the cross section between power metal and 80s hard rock, and while their music is safe, relatively simple and derivative, they manage to pull it off with just enough style to keep it entertaining. 'The sky is the limit', their 3rd release now in 5 years, offers nothing that wasn't present on their debut 'Criticize the truth', (or innumerable CDs by other bands beforehand) but when the vocals of Carsten Shulz and the melodies of guitarists Robby Boebel and Wolfgang Schimmer soar, there is no argument with the uncomplicated enjoyment they provide.
While none of the songs on 'The sky is the limit' are ever likely to be considered classics, none are particularly bad either. A few songs, typically those that try to sound dark and brooding, end up fairly tepid and fail to set the pulse racing, but when the band gets down to making speedy, more metallic, tracks or just plain old-fashioned hard rockers the results are more positive.
2 of the strongest cuts are loaded to the front of the CD, with the stomping title track opening proceedings, tailed closely by the faster, boisterous "Mr. Madness". This strong opening one-two builds up something of a head of steam that means that when the less impressive "The luxury of losing hope", and the plodding ballad-of-sorts "Won't sleep alone" come into play there is only a loss of momentum rather than things grinding to a halt.
Things pick up again in some style just at the start of the 2nd half of the CD with "Can't fight the past" and "Gallery of broken glass". The former opens on a brilliant melodic guitar section and is built on atmospheric keyboard and guitar interplay, while "Gallery..." is an uptempo number, probably the most out-and-out metal on the CD. Both feature great sing-a-long choruses that showcase Shulz at his most impressive. His melodic, yet rough-edged voice is quite reminiscent of Chity Somapala, the man who briefly replaced him in Domain, and fans of the little Sri Lankan will be appreciative of his vocal display.
As is often the case in this style of music, the songs with the catchiest choruses are the most notable, and often on the songs with less impressive music are saved from slipping into inadequacy.
So while, in the end, there is nothing innovative at all on this latest offering from Evidence One, that is no reason at all to say that it is not a reasonably enjoyable CD in its own right. It may seem like accepting mediocrity or having low standards, but the predictable and cliched can often be just what the listener is looking for. The band themselves are clearly happy playing the music they love, so why should the same rules not apply to their audience?
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