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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Faith No More

The Real Thing

Review by Gary Hill

Although the majority of the lyrics to this album are too dark and gritty for my tastes, the music contained herein is a very good meshing of heavy metal and progressive rock influences. Both of those genres are well represented by various aspects of this album, and there are some very evocative musical moments. The personnel on this album are Mike Bordin, Roddy Bottum, Bill Gould, Jim Martin, and Michael Patton.

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Track by Track Review
From Out of Nowhere
A song about romantic obsession, this is a very high-energy track with some solid progressive layering in places and a fairly interesting arrangement. The keyboard sound on this track is definitely predominately string section oriented.
Epic is an example of an unusual situation where the best track on the album is the one that gets the airplay. This song starts with a nice progressive rock flourish before dropping into a rap-based section. The chorus contains some very pleasing layered guitar work that is very dramatic, almost regal sounding. The instrumental break to this song is quiteprogressive rock oriented, and very interesting. This break is based heavily on some very solid bass work, a bit reminiscent of the bass in the instrumental break of Led Zeppelin`s Dazed and Confused. The ending of this song is very dramatic, with a likable, hard-edged progressive rock type section that gives way to a very pretty piano variant on the central theme to the song. This piano part serves as a very effective gentle counterpoint to the rather hard edge to the main portions of the song.
Falling To Pieces
This is a nice energetic song which laments the songwriter`s struggles with indecision. This one is definitely a metal number, but has some solid progressive and funk leanings.
Surprise You're Dead
This song, which seems to me to be a vampiric tale, "Upon your neck a fatal blow, From my teeth and my tongue, I`ve drank and swallowed, but it`s just begun, Now you are mine", is definitely a thrash/dark metal song. The lyrics are very dark and vicious and the music fits the lyrics quite well. If you are looking for the progressive edges of this album, it might be advantageous to skip past this number.
Zombie Eaters
A song told from the point of view of an infant, the lyrics to this one are a bit overly crude at times. This one starts off with an acoustic guitar part that is rather reminiscent of Black Sabbath`s Sleeping Village, although this is prettier and more intricate than that piece. The early partion of this song is a very nicely layered mood piece. It eventually breaks into a hard-edged piece of very progressive metal. Then the song alternates between the softer and harder edges of it`s nature. Actually the music is a very good representation of the lyrics to the various sections.
The Real Thing
Drums begin The Real Thing, and then gradually instruments and vocals join in, transforming this piece into a very interesting hard-edged song. The arrangement to this song is very unusual and very good. This is an excellent example of progressive metal.
Underwater Love
Another song that seems to be about obsessive love, Underwater Love begins with a nice little keyboard bit, then turns into a nice groove piece. This is just sort of a fun little tune musically, although the lyrics are quite dark. There is some nice funky bass work at the conclusion of this song.
The Morning After
The very beginning of this song calls to mind the Toni Basil song Mickey, but once the song moves away from the percussive dominated orientation, it certainly takes on a different character. This is another solid example of progressive metal, containing elements of both genres.
Woodpecker From Mars
Woodpecker from Mars is an instrumental, and the intro is very dramatic, containing, progressive, metal and eastern elements. This one contains plenty of quirks and twists to keep most prog fans interested.
War Pigs
This is a cover of the classic Black Sabbath song about the evils of war. This is a very solid rendition of a very solid song.
Edge of The World
A definite bluesy, jazz sort of number, this is rather laid back and contains some very nice piano work. Edge of the World is a strong song, but has some very dark lyrics.
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Metal/Prog Metal
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