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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Jennie TeblerĀ“s Out of Oblivion

Till Death Tear Us Part

Review by Gary Hill

Do you remember when female fronted heavy metal bands were rare? Well, thanks to the success of bands like Lacuna Coil and the more mainstream (rap metal, even) Evanescence it seems to be morphing into a cliché. I wouldn’t say it’s the rule, but there really are a lot of these groups around. To a certain degree they all share a sound – a definite fascination with the European power metal styles. Well, this is one such band. While they don’t really break into a whole new genre, they do this pretty well and manage to bring their own signature to the table – at least to a degree. The result is an album that is never quite brilliant, but always entertaining.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Brand New Start
A killer slow moving grind that feels like Joe Satriani turned metal starts this out and holds it for a while. They take it out to a super heavy, more modern sounding metallic jam after a while. Then the vocals come in over the top after a time. They move things through a number of changes and this gets pretty intense in places.
Demons Ode
In some ways this isn’t all that different from the track that preceded it. Interestingly enough, though, this one seems to work better. The opener had a bit of an awkward texture to it. “Demons Ode” seems to encompass the best of the first tune while working out some of the kinks – and yet losing none of the edge in the process. There’s a cool rock and roll feel to the vocals at times.
Queen of Ice
This comes in as a moody balladic number. They work through in that motif for a while before pounding it back out into metallic territory to carry forward. This is a great song and a nice change of pace as it alternates between the mellower and heavier.
Life Full of Lies
Even more mellow and rather tentative ballad type modes bring this one in. The lyrics are brutal, “Your make me feel sick / Your words mean nothing / Your face makes me sick / I want to kill you or something.” The metallic portions of this track are similarly brutal. This is a powerhouse track that, while following the same basic pattern as the previous one elevates itself as one of the strongest cuts on show here.
Never Stop Crying
In some ways this isn’t quite as cool as the rest of the disc. For one thing it has both a bit of an awkward texture and yet a more nearly generic element to it. Still, the killer melodic guitar solo does much to make up for those shortcomings.
Mistake
This might be my favorite track on the disc. It has that same sort of light and dark pattern to it, but the picked mellower section is some of the most dramatic music on show here. The heavy segment is also very tasty and there’s a cool feedback and distortion laden jam mid-track that reminds me a lot of early Judas Priest. This is a great piece of music.
Succubus
Although not bad, this track is a bit awkward in texture. Add to that the fact that the general formula of the band is starting to wear a little thin and this is one of the weak links. Still, taken by itself it’s not bad.
Enchanted
Here is something that’s a step back from the brink. The heavy section is very Sabbath-like with a meaty riff. The mellow section is dramatic and powerful. This is one of the highlights of the disc and a real powerhouse.
Release Me
While there are no molds broken here this is another step upward. The heavy segments feel meatier and more like modern metal. The mellow segment have an almost ethereal quality to them, perhaps sharing a bit of musical territory with Pink Floyd of all groups. This is a cool number and one of my favorites.
Between Life and Death
The dark and dramatic riff that leads off here reminds me somehow of a slowed down Dead Kennedys. From there they take this on a familiar ride. Still this one has a lot of character and charm, making it another highlight of the disc.

 
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