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Strange Land - Blaming Season CD (album) cover


Strange Land


Progressive Metal

3.63 | 4 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I would describe this band's sound as a cross between FATES WARNING and ZERO HOUR.That is all I would need to hear to know I would like this album. And I have to tell you this is one impressive release. I'm actually shocked that these guys aren't more well known after listening to this their sophomore album all week. To give you an idea of where their tastes lie, the bass / vocalist and keyboard player Chad Novell lists "Operation Mindcrime" , "The Towers Of Avarice" and "In Absentia" as very influential to him. While the lead guitarist Sean Gill lists "2112" , "Parallels" and "The Perfect Element" as very influential to him. A tasty couple of lists indeed.

The record opens with "Obliquity" a slow and very heavy tune with a stuttering soundscape. ZERO HOUR-like precision between the bass, guitar and drums. The sound 3 1/2 minutes in is amazing ! "Cause And Defect" opens with drums that quickly build as the rest of the band join in. Fantastic sound here. Vocals enter 1 1/2 minutes in as we are treated to another heavy track. 4 minutes in the sound lightens somewhat (still heavy) and I like it even more than the earlier melody, it reminds me of RUSH. Man these guys can play ! The drumming is outstanding and the song speeds up 8 1/2 minutes in to end it. "Marionette" opens with strummed acoustic guitar for 30 seconds until it is trampled underfoot by a heavy sound. This contrast continues. I really like the mellower sections, actually I love the heavy parts too, it's all good ! A killer guitar solo follows with riffs right behind. It's as heavy as hell 5 1/2 minutes in followed by a galloping rhythm.

"In A Mind" has an atmospheric intro including some rare keys. The bass and drums form a formidable team on this mid-paced tune. This is just a gorgeous song. The guitar solo 6 minutes in is pure bliss. "Dear Helena" may be the heaviest song yet ! A wall of sound. Nice guitar solo 3 minutes in and the song ends with a lot of intensity. "Exordium" is really a change of pace as we get a spacey soundscape with some strange sounds as this song blends into "Alone We Go" for 30 seconds. A great contrast in this one ("Alone We Go") between the heavy and mellow passages. The guitar solo 4 1/2 minutes in is in a different tone from the rest on the album. A lot of variety with the lead guitar on this record and he really hangs on to the final note of this solo. "Below The After" is a great way to end the album. Some tempo changes and riffs with some beautiful guitar melodies. I have to say that the vocals were very well done on this album as well, quite powerful but not the range of some i've heard. Still he keeps within his limits extremely well.

Anyone out there who is into the bands or albums listed above, needs to check this band out. 4.5 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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