Rock, Rob - Garden of chaos 4/5

Reviewed: 10-12-07





Tracklist:

1. Garden of chaos
2. Satan's playground
3. Savior's call
4. This time is the last time
5. Only a matter of time
6. Spirit in the sky
7. Metal breed
8. Millenial reign
9. Unconditional
10. Ride the wind
11. Ode to Alexander


Fellow colleague Craig quite succinctly summed up all you needed to know about Rob's previous CD 'Holy hell'. He said, "Roy Z co-produced and co-wrote this CD. Go get it." So now I will attempt to be just as clear and precise with a minimal amount of words: If you loved 'Holy hell', buy this. That's really all you need to know. If you didn't love 'Holy hell' well... I give up.

This CD follows up right where Rob's previous CD left off. This is hard driving, melodic, ballsy heavy metal complimented by the always fantastic creative input of Roy Z. The music maintains a balance of compelling, memorable melodies with heavy guitar work. Once again the lyrics have a noticeable Christian slant to them, so if that was off putting before it probably still will be. The CD just blitzes you from the start with the title track. It contains a brilliant, instantly memorable, blazing speed metal opening riff. Just like that, you're hooked. Rob sounds great with his clean, powerful, workman-like performance. I doubt he ever blows anyone away, but at the same time I can't imagine any metal fans actively disliking him.

"Satan's playground" continues the assault. It's a similarly speedy track with midtempo bridge and chorus. The songwriting here just oozes class and professionalism. These guys know what they are doing. "Savior's call" is so compelling it makes me want to return to church... well, not quite. But its opening harmony riff is killer, and its fantastic chorus has me happily singing along with Rob as he tells me I can't handle the rigors of life without listening to the word of Jesus. Another personal favorite is "Metal breed" which once again has a killer harmony guitar riff kicking it off.

I have 2 main gripes with this CD though. It ends with a whimper and not a bang, with 2 ballads closing it out. Plus neither "Unconditional" nor "Ode to Alexander" do particularly much for me. They're not bad, but they aren't the type of ballads that I am going to bother listening to when in the car. My other is the lack of an Abba cover. Once a band covers Abba songs on multiple CDs (as Rock has), then I expect it on every CD thereafter, and I was sad there isn't one here. (What can I say? I love Abba!) Aside from that, this classy metal CD should be checked out by all.



JOHN




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