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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Without Return

Someone Else’s Eyes

Review by Gary Hill

In the modern era of "oh so perfect" recordings, we've forgotten the raw charm that is a disc with a little bit of an unfinished or "rough around the edges" production value. Well, this CD has reminded me just how cool that sort of a sound can be. It really adds character and charm if the band is talented - and Without Return definitely are.

Overall the group has a classic heavy metal sound, but there is quite a bit of depth to the music that isn't fully conveyed by that description. I hear a lot of elements and shadows of different bands here. We get the raw energy of a Skid Row. Some of the music seriously reminds me of Rush's debut disc. You might also pick up traces of Motley Crue (the early stuff) on this, too. Some of the vocals call to mind Metallica. They even include a ballad. While that track has a lush arrangement, it never moves into the realm of sappy.

Whatever the particular combination you hear on this, the end result is the same. If you miss the old days of metal and hard rock, this band is definitely for you. It should be noted that the production quality might put some listener's off. The truth is, it adds to the experience. Also, since this is an EP, it might lose some points for the short duration (less than half an hour) of the disc. However, the music here is strong enough that it really doesn't detract. It just leaves you wanting more.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Outsider At Home
This cut alternates between the melodic rocking section that opens it and a harder rocking, rather raw sounding segment. This has some definite punk rock elements. It has a lot in common with the NWOBHM movement. I can actually make out some Ramones on this thing. I dig the guitar solo on it. It's fairly melodic and meaty. The balance between mellower and more rocking stuff is great, too.
Dear Jackie

They start off here with a mellower, melodic movement. It fires out from there into some frantic metal that borders on punk rock. The stylings that started the track return for a vocal section later. After that vocal segment they take it back through a series of minor changes to the song proper.

My Old Friend

Short and to the point, this is raw and punky.

My Enemy

Hard edged jamming starts us out here, but they take it down to ballad-like material to continue forward.  As they continue the track alternates between these two motifs.

Thoughts Tonight

Mellow and keyboard dominated this is both pretty and a great change of pace from the rest of the disc.

Someone Else's Eyes
Here we are back in hard rocking territory, but this is arguably the best track on the disc. It’s got some killer vocal arrangements and an awesome melodic guitar solo instrumental section. I like this song a lot.
 
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