|Review: Eternal Legacy - Lifeless Alive|
Label: Auburn Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: April 22, 2010
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (2 Votes)
You people have no idea. I'd say for every album of Heavy or Power Metal I receive as a promo I get like 8 Death/Black albums. I say this so you know that when I get a melodic metal album to review it comes as a welcome break and I really give it my full attention; which means it has to be really bad for me to dislike it as much as I do this album.
Eternal Legacy are pretty much all about Nevermore, to the point that I heard two bars of the first song and knew they were a US band without even looking. I find this persistent trend of Nevermore worship in US metal disturbing, as Nevermore are a mediocre band on a good day, and I do not understand the long shadow they cast in the US underground. I think it is because they write songs and albums that are meant to be "serious" which simpleminded people define as "having to do with real things". This kind of literalism finds songs about fantastical topics distasteful, as things can only be Real and Serious when they are about REAL THINGS, or that troubling entry describing lyrical subjects as "Life struggles". Eternal Legacy are definitely about Serious things, which is probably why most of this album is so irritating.
That said, a lot of the music here is not bad, with some good licks and solid playing. It might even be enjoyable if somebody else were singing on it. Pretty much anybody would be better, as Jason Vanek's performance is not inept or flat, just wrongheaded. He yawps and bellows over the songs, mixed way too loud and coming down well on the side of "yelling" rather than "singing". Singing forcefully and yelling can sound very alike, but there is a difference. His vocal melodies are angular and often at odds with the music, constantly calling attention to themselves rather than complementing the song. He also egregiously abuses the tired studio trick of overlapping takes, which gets old really, really fast. I guess he felt he had to do that to cram in the overloaded lyrics. Guys, not every single moment of a song has to have the vocalist yammering all over it, we would like to hear the rest of the band as well. It's a shame, because it sounds like he could be an awesome vocalist – he has a lot of power and grit – if he would just calm the fuck down a little, try to sing lines that went with the songs rather than sounding like they were forced in with a hydraulic press.
There are parts of this disc that are pretty cool, and "Abbadon" is a pretty kickass song in spite of itself. But mostly, I found this album annoying to listen to due to the hamhanded vocals covering up everything of interest. I always want to like melodic albums that come my way, but sometimes it's just not possible.
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