Skullview - Consequences of failure 2.5/5

Reviewed: 3-8-02


1. Time for violence
2. Skullview (Warrior)
3. Palace of the boundless cold
4. Wrath of the sorcerer
5. Armed with an axe
6. The archmage
7. Seek the old man for knowledge
8. Leviticus
9. Gleam of the skull - Part 3/Back from whence it came
10. Digital bitch

This 3rd CD is probably the best by this U.S. band...I've enjoyed it the most. While this band adheres most scrupulously to the tenets of true metal, I find them rather dissimilar to the metal I'm used to in subtle ways. Maybe it's the fact that it's not really subtle, while the songs and the vocals are melodic, there's a lot of feeling of the singer, who sounds a bit like Bruce Dickinson, is really half-screaming through most of the vocals, rather than a little more normal metal singing. It's as if he's always redlining from a vocal perspective. Maybe it's the fact that most of the choruses are much more in the "title x 8" vein then the good 2 or 4 line chorus I really think is where songs excel. Maybe that the band has gone for the each-song-lasting-6-7-8-minutes thing. The CD actually advertises that it's over 60 or 65 minutes or something.

The lyrics are pure-core fantasy, with the harsher Robert Howard blood-n-guts style, as opposed to the fairyland feeling of a lot of the European fantasy lyrics. How could I not love titles like, "Palace of the boundless cold", "Wrath of the sorcerer", "Armed with an axe", "The archmage", and "Seek the old man for knowledge". It's just forceful, in your face, and while this may sound like Manowar, it's really quite a different feeling, as compared to this, Manowar had a lot of subtlety (yes, I know how this sounds, but they did!) and varying moods. Still, this is fun, enjoyable, and I like it, it's just not something I'm completely as comfortable with as a lot of other stuff.




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