By Josh Turner
The best way to describe this album is subdued insanity or controlled psychosis. Even the cover art looks as if it comes from a structured nightmare — not too much unlike The Cell.
Unlike hardcore metal, the voices are crisp amidst classical scales with elements borrowed from Yngwie Malmsteen, Nightwish, and Tran-Siberian Orchestra. However, the compositions are believe-it-or-not radio-friendly.
In much the same manner as Rush, Kansas, and The Doors, Micheal Kiske takes the atypical and makes those popular oddities affable and fresh. When all is said and done, every song is different from the last.
Nevertheless, if I had to toss aside all those commercial associations and go with just one comparison, I’d say it reminds me most of John Arch’s A Twist of Fate. The voices and the instruments are similar to that stratospheric climber. To diverge from his airspace, a trumpeting ace and a mariachi’s MiG curiously appear with no warning from the radar.
Secondarily, there are hints and hues to Opeth’s Damnation due to Kiske’s assertive use of acoustic armament.
While these melodic tracks are often powered,” Your Turn” is an elegant ballad in the vein of Extreme’s “More Than Words”. With zero fluff, there’s no point in singling others out. This is a collection of exhilarating thrills. You’d almost have to be crazy – or a lazy couch potato – NOT to strap yourself in.
Kiske is accountable for the consistency, and it works as well as a carefully simmered casserole. When stepping through the cookbook, this intriguingly seasoned, adventuresome stew contains spore-bearing fruiting bodies, alliums, and a variety of rare spice. In other words, Kiske upchucks a mouthful of kitschy chunks, but chances are it’ll agree with you.