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Twisted Tower Dire - The isle of hydra 4.5/5

Reviewed: 3-8-02


1. Battle cry
2. The isle of hydra
3. When the daylight fades
4. The dagger's blade
5. Ride the night
6. The longing
7. Sign of the storm
8. Final stand
9. Dying breath
10. A dangerous meeting (bonus track)

This is a sensational piece of pure U.S. metal, as successful for their restrained touch and powerful songwriting as it is for the epic metal. They manage to truly capture the flavor of the best 80s metal glory. And while there are a host of magnificent metal bands carrying on the torch of true metal spirit, very few do so in this way, opting either for over the top Manowarisms, like Skullview, or having a very dark and complex sound, like Destiny's End, Cauldron Born, etc. Seeing Twisted Tower Dire holding true to their pure fantasy image, and decked out in spikes and leather, I was expecting something more like Skullview, or an American version of bands like Wizard and Sacred Steel...Not that there's anything wrong with any of that, but to put this in, and hear instantly captivating songs, pure metal through and through, but completely engaging, even on the first listen, was a true treat.

While the singer for this Virginia based band doesn't sound like a complete Geoff Tate clone, Queensryche, circa 'Warning' and 'Mindcrime', is the strongest comparison I can make for this CD. This is just great, engaging material in that vein through and through, with the epic battle lust of the title track, "One will be the victor, and one will fall", the fantastic tale of betrayal in "The daggers blade", or the soaring melodies of "Ride the night", this is just outstanding melodic U.S. metal through and through, and a must for fans of Pavlovs Dogs, Lethal's 'Programmed', early Hittman, and early Queensryche.




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