Saturday, October 8, 2011
Faτεs Waяиiиg - Iиsidε Ouτ (1994)
An idiom like "progressive" metal has always seemed rather silly to me, if for nothing else than I've run across more innovative metal albums without that sort of label than those bearing it. Excessive technicality doesn't always lend itself to solid songwriting nor give you a backstage pass to compelling atmosphere, so why bother puffing out your chest as if it were some kind of war medal?
That being said, "progressive" metal wouldn't exist without this particular ensemble, for better or for worse. Unlike the stream of inevitable imitators that followed in the 90's though, they've never cut a metal record since 1983 that has been anything less than listenable. In particular, I consider this 1994 release the hallmark recording of their second decade and an exciting taste of what Ray Adler and co. could do in a more melodic, less-thrashy context. Every track is a smorgasborg of blistering guitar, punctuated drumming and killer leads on both the vocal and bass fronts, and a few cuts have even become melodic metal classics as time's gone on ('Island In The Stream', 'Monument').
Immersive and surprisingly unpretentious, Iиsidε Ouτ is a gem best not forgotten in the winding annals of metaldom.