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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews


Deadly Charms

Review by Gary Hill

In a lot of ways this new disc feels like a lot of 1970s hard rock. It's got a lot more metal in the mix, though. I'd say this one could almost fit under hard rock more than metal, but ultimately I feel the edge goes to the metal side. You might think the other way. The truth is, wherever you feel it lands on the rock and metal spectrum, this is compelling music that works really well. I'd say that Led Zeppelin is as big an influence a lot of the time as Black Sabbath is. There are other things here, as well, but that old school 70s sound really informs the bulk of this.

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Track by Track Review
A dramatic and powerful keyboard based arrangement is at the heart of this roughly half-minute instrumental introduction.
Rehmeyer's Hollow
There is a real Led-Zeppelin-turned-metal vibe to the riffing on this. The vocals seem like a cross between Mike Patton and Ozzy Osbourne. There is a twist to more of a Sabbath-like jam mid-track.
Much faster paced, this is still decidedly riff driven. The vocals land closer to more pure Ozzy territory. The music has a bit of Greta Van Fleet vibe to it, at least to my ears. In some ways, this feels like a more metallic version of that band. The dropped back movement brings something different to the table.
A fast-paced bass line starts things here. The rest of the band join after a time, and we're taken out into some screaming hot and quite meaty metal. There are definitely some Black Sabbath-like vibes at play. The vocals are even more Ozzy-like. They take this thing through a number of twists and turns along the road. I'd consider this to be one of the highlights of the set.
Her Spectral Armies
This starts with just female non-lyrical vocals. A tasty guitar riff leads the band in from there. They work through that section sans vocals. It drops to a more metal ballad approach from there. It builds back out toward the metal zones before dropping back again. They take this one through a number of changes, and the non-lyrical vocals return at the end.
The Witch of Ridley Creek
The riff is king on this stomper. It's another classy metal stomper. In fact, I think this might be one of the most aggressive metal tunes here. It's also a highlight of the set.
Deadly Charms
The section that opens this has much more of a riff rock vibe in place. The cut works out from there building on that premise. It gets more metallic as it continues. It also evolves and shifts as it goes along While this is quite an effective stomper, it lands somewhat in the middle-of-the-road in terms of "grab you" power.
Night of the Doppelganger
Fast-paced and twisting and turning, this screamer has a real prog angle to some of the musical passages. The vocals bring it into pure metal zones, though. This powerhouse is another standout on the disc. It seems like it ends later in the track and a melodic, proggy jam ensues from there. They eventually bring it back to the song proper to end things.
Out for Blood
A rather Celtic and somewhat proggy vibe is heard as this gets underway. The track works outward based on that concept. This gets into more of a hair metal kind of arrangement further down the road. I'd consider this to be more of a middle-of-the-road turn and suggest that the previous piece might have made a stronger closer. Still, this works reasonably well in that slot.


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