Metalium - Nothing to undo/Chapter six 3.5/5

Reviewed: 3-16-07





Tracklist:

1. Spineless scum
2. Spirits
3. Mindless
4. Straight into hell
5. Mental blindness
6. Heroes
7. Way home
8. Dare
9. Follow the sign
10. The show must go on (bonus track)
11. Way home (bonus track)


Metalium are back with their 6th full-length CD, called ‘Nothing to undo/Chapter six’. These German metal masters have been releasing CDs since forming in 1998, so 6 CDs in 9 years is very consistent and very busy.
It seems with every metal review website you go to, the majority of metalheads believe that Metalium’s CDs have declined, possibly from and after ‘Chapter three’ of their discography. That may be true, it may not, but I have only heard Metalium from ‘Chapter four’ onwards, so I cannot comment on their first 3 CDs. But what I have heard has been pretty good. Nothing new or amazing, but solid nevertheless.

Metalium does have a lot of things going for them. One would be the vocalist, Henning Basse, who has always performed at his best, and has a great range and excellent delivery. And 2nd, the guitarist Matthias Lange, who is a marvelous shredder and displays a lot of talent. These fellows can put on quite a show live, yet somehow is hasn’t fully carried over in the studio with their last few releases.
So, they have the goods, but what is it that has been lacking in the past few CDs? My best guess would be consistency with their songs. You have some killers and yet you have some shockers too. Some are far catchier than others, particularly with the choruses, or with the guitar or drumming delivery. Metalium really needs to reach a certain level of consistency, running through their CDs.

Will ‘Nothing to undo’ correct these problem areas and deliver a CD that make metalheads listen and take notice?...
Well, the first thing I noticed after the build-up intro, and into the first track, is how aggressive the band sounds. It was indeed a slap in the face as I immediately started nodding my head to the first track. Henning Basse sounds absolutely fantastic, sounding both aggressive and melodic. Very catchy “sing-a-long” choruses, and an overall raw and edgy sound, that took me by complete surprise.

After a strong first half of the CD, except for “Mental blindness”, which is a rather poor track, the 2nd half does drop off a little. Thus, bringing me back to my comment about one of Metalium’s problems: consistency. That’s not to say the 2nd half of the CD is bad, it’s just the quality of the songs compared to the ones in the first half is not quite as good. Still, I think Metalium have done a decent job to even up the overall quality of all the tracks, probably more so than on their previous 2 releases.

As for the better songs on the CD, the best 2 tracks would be “Spirits” and “Mindless”. They are full of speed, aggression, heaviness and some very cool riffing. Basse’s vocals really make these tracks stand out, but he pretty much does that for the entire CD. The next best 2 tracks would be “Straight into hell” and “Heroes”. Both tracks are in the same vein as the tracks mentioned above, very catchy and very melodic. Brilliant vocals as always, and a few ripping solos here and there.

I will make mention to the track called “Follow the sign”. It’s a very nice mid-paced, almost ballad-esk song that does bring the CD back up after 2 average tracks back to back before it. Finally, the cover song entitled “The show must go on” originally by Queen. Metalium, Basse especially, does nice justice to this catchy song. Basse seems to try to sing the way Freddy Mercury did, and he does pull it off rather well and it’s a nice way to finish the CD.

Overall, I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by this effort from Metalium. I feel that they have improved somewhat, since their last 2 CDs, and seem to have caught the sniff of the “right stuff” once again. Not knowing (yet) how the band sounded back with their first 2 releases, I do believe that the fans who enjoyed that sound will have something to like from ‘Nothing to undo’. Maybe not the entire CD, but at least half of it. Aside from Metalium fans, anyone who is a fan of melodic power metal should really give this a good listen. I think it may surprise you too.



SEAN




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