Dapper Dan Man…

September 30, 2008

Album review – Lizzy Borden: An appointment with death

Filed under: Uncategorized — gazzabazza @ 2:26 PM
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Lizzy Borden are only one of very many grizzly old metal bands that have either picked up the sticks again and decided to have one last shot at glory or that have ultimately experienced a revival of sorts and made their sound more in sync with the modern times.

This new attention to their music and the other musicians’ new found energy can have many underlying factors, but one of the biggest ones is definitely the fame of new young pups – Trivium are a good example – paying tribute to their childhood heroes by name dropping, re-using their riffs, and wearing t-shirts that would get you kicked in the head in the eighties.

Thrash metal is revived because of this and many old “heroes” are even touring as support bands to kids that used to stare at posters of these guys plastered all over their bedroom walls. What this says about kids and trend-following these days is a different debate altogether but it is clear that Lizzy Borden have gained from this interest. And this is in no way meant to belittle their career and their old output, but merely an observation on music today.

They sound better for it. Plenty of younger musicians, such as Corey Beaulieu from the afore mentioned Trivium and former Morbid Angel guitarist Erik Rutan, are guests on An Appointment With Death and that adds to the cutting edge. Rutan has also undertaken production duties here and his work sounds crisp and clear, and provides Lizzy Borden’s music with a more modern sound.

It is just a shame that these guys play power metal, or at least traditional heavy metal with strong power metal tendencies – kudos for throwing in some chugging thrash riffs though – in the vein of Helloween and other such metal bands veering slightly on the cheesy side.

The singing is what ruins it, for there is nothing inherently wrong with the actual music. Metal should not sound chirpy and have all too obvious sing-along qualities. Piercing screams like the one halfway through opener “Abnormal” are really enervating. It sound happy and if you were singing this to karaoke then you would be throwing ironic shapes and pulling silly faces. Try doing that to a Slayer tune.

But enough with the negative aspects. I’ll openly admit that this style of metal really is not my jug of mead, but I am not that single-minded that I can’t recognize its qualities.
The riffs are chopping and Lizzy Borden definitely know the art of shredding. The short breakdowns, like the brooding “Bloody Tears” demonstrates, add rhythm and show some versatility. There is also pace to these compositions and a good solid drive, thus keeping your pulse up for the record’s duration. As before mentioned, there are distinct thrash elements as well, particularly in “Abnormal” and to these ears at least, these are the most enjoyable parts of the album.

Borden have managed to inject new interest in a traditional style of metal by keeping fresh and by decent song writing. If only the singing was more Mille Petrozza then Bruce Dickinson then this would have been great, but if you wear denim vests with Blind Guardian patches on then you will like An Appointment With Death . I, however, am off to listen to some power violence.

This is the full review that was published yesterday on Scenepointblank. Click here to read it on the site and to browse some more music news and other excellent record reviews and features.

I really like that site, it has some very good writers contributing consistently.

I tried to write the review of Lizzy Borden’s latest record as objectively as I possibly could. Under normal circumstances I absolutely loathe power metal but I thought a somewhat balanced review would be best. I did after all claim the promo personally and there are definitely parts of that record that I find to be quite decent. In other words, it’s not for me but I can see why certain people might like it.

I was also in a good mood when I wrote it so next time I might not be so generous. But I promise to try.

Over and out, battallion of saints…

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