Fate – V – 2.5/5
I have no experience with this band, I’d never heard of them before, and this is the album to introduce me to them.
The album kicks off without delay, with a slow but steady riff whilst the vocalist demonstrates his ability to scream. This brief period of promise suddenly hits a brick wall as soon as you hear the singer giving it his all. At first I thought it was a joke that I’d missed, sounding like he’s trying to impersonate the voices of “Itchy and Scratchy” from ‘the Simpsons’. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I was told that he inhaled a load of helium prior to recording in order to get that distinctive ‘screechy’ sound which dominates this album. Without a doubt, this is the major flaw with this album, as it completely destroys the good work done by the rest of the band. You can’t leave it in the background as the piercing vocals demand your attention like a toddler screaming in your ear, and the music as a whole is too simplistic and anthemic to really hold your attention long. The only real compliment I can think of for the vocals on this album is his clarity – you can hear every word he speaks, but with lyrics like “You’re my lady, You’re my angel baby, And when I look into your big blue eyes you drive me crazy” (From ‘Everything About You’) perhaps it would have been better if I didn’t know what he was saying.
The riffs are without a doubt the best thing about this album, simplistic, catchy, at times emotional, yes their repetitive but at no point does it feel they’ve been overused. In fact, It’s a shame they weren’t given more focus. There are tracks where keyboards dominate the background riff (usually in the slower more emotional songs) and whilst fitting, id have liked to see them working in unison, rather than the ‘one or the other’ approach that seems to occur. The solo’s are standard affair, attempting emotion – succeeding at times – whilst keeping a decent speed. My main gripe with them is the occasional overuse of the whammy bar just leads to a messy sound.
On re-listening, you do get accustomed somewhat to the vocals. Their still not enjoyable, but their tolerable, and I became able to appreciate the catchy sing-a-long chorus’ on some of the songs, particularly noted on “Butterfly” and “Ecstacy.” It becomes a more enjoyable listen, but certainly nothing special.
If you think you can survive the vocals, this isn’t a bad album, but possibly one only for the traditional/power enthusiasts. For everyone else, it’s a safe bet you can skip this one and not miss out on much.
By T. Bawden