|Review: Custard - Forces Remain|
Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: January 25, 2009
Reviewed by: PowerMetal59
Rated 3.6/5 (72%) (5 Votes)
As the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. Likewise, never judge a Heavy Metal band by its name. After all a band named after an egg-enriched, sweet, creamy pudding-like substance does not exactly invoke thoughts of Heavy Metal superiority. But as fate would have it, after undergoing yet another major line-up change since 2005's Wheels Of Time, Custard have emerged with their most powerful offering to date. The band's new vocalist Oliver Strasser is a dead ringer for Lizzy Borden in terms of his vocal delivery. The twin guitar attack of Carsten Reichert and Robert Resinek assault your ears with a raging riff-fest, all of which is supported by the ferocious drumming of original band member Chris Klapper. Forces Remain contains 13 tracks of predominantly fast-paced Euro-style Power Metal that would certainly be appealing to fans of Helloween, Iron Savior and Lizzy Borden; there are moments sprinkled in when the guitar sound reminds me of Painkiller-era Judas Priest as well.
The album starts out with the predictable short intro followed by the speedy and aggressive "The Dragonslayer", I must warn however that the background choir singing that shows up on only a handful of occasions during the song are gay as hell, but fortunately they're not too much of a distraction. "Creation" is one of the album's highlights, featuring a catchy chorus and a more melodic feel which I would classify as falling more into the realm of Traditional Heavy Metal - more so than Power Metal. This is followed by the heavy and aggressive "Heaven Strikes"which possesses a classy epic quality - the vocals of Oliver Strasser really shine on this track, as does the steely Power Metal delivery of Reichert and Resinek. "Warcraft" grabs hold of the listener's attention, never loosening its grip for the entire four minutes of playing time. Easily the weakest track is the seven plus minute ballad "Kind Of Peace", I found myself skipping this one after a few runs through the album.
In the final analysis I found Forces Remain to be a very good Power Metal offering. My major complaint would be that some of the songs tend to drag on a bit in length; I found that the songs that were in the four to five minute range were inherently better than those that were lengthier, a flaw they must correct if they intend to attain elite status. If you're a die-hard fan of Power Metal you may want to give this a shot.
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