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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Abigail's Affair


Review by Gary Hill

There is a certain formula to a lot of modern metal. You know what I'm talking about, right? It's a certain style of heavy, driving music coupled with vocals that alternate between clean, growled and screamed. This act falls into the zone. Personally, I think the whole genre is a little too predictable and by the numbers. For the most part this works pretty well, though. It could use a little more variety as it does suffer a little from feeling like one long song at points, but there are also some real standouts here. If you are a fan of that genre, I'd have to think that you'd love this.

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Track by Track Review
Other Half
There is a killer mean sounding and dramatic guitar sound that opens this. Other instruments join after a time as it marches forward with style. The intro drives through until it shifts to a more serious modern metal texture. Waves of extreme metal vocals come in over the top. This has some cleaner, but not really clean, vocals, some screams and some growls. It is all delivered with a fierce musical arrangement.
Another screaming hot stomper, this fires on all cylinders right out of the gate. The extreme metal vocals come over the top at the start. There are cleaner ones as contrast, too. This is furious and effective. It earns a parental advisory.
Some of the hooks on this are more accessible than the previous tunes. This is another powerhouse in terms of intensity and raw fire, though.
This feels like single material. The clean vocal parts are particularly effective. There is a mellower dropped back movement that lends more of that mainstream element. Yet it also has some extreme, edgy parts. This gets another parental advisory, I think. This might be my favorite track here. It stands out quite well from the rest of the pack.
The formula doesn't change much here, but this is another that's more effective. Then again, you tend to expect that of a title track. There is a great contrast between the clean and more extreme vocals. The cut has some almost shoegaze like moments in terms of the guitar arrangement. There are some really soaring moments to the piece. It's another highlight.
Carpe Diem
Fierce and pounding, this is raw and aggressive. It's a screamer, but the formula is starting to wear thin by this point in the album.
While this one also suffers a bit from the monolithic nature of the album, it has some sections that really stand tall. There is a faster, powerhouse movement that is one of those. That contributes to the tune working better than it otherwise would.
With some tasty guitar soloing mid-track to break it up a bit, this stands fairly tall despite the lack of more variety.
Poison II
Intense and driving, I really love some of the guitar sounds on this piece. There is a dramatic dropped back melodic piece that brings some real variety. That elevates this tune. The guitar that comes in as it gradually powers up from there is another treasure of the tune. That powered up melodic section ultimately ends the track.
Unspoken Words
After a dramatic introduction, this drops to a mellower alternative rock styled movement. The cut powers out into more metallic zones from there. This is a solid tune. It works well to close the set.
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