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Torman Maxt - The Problem Of Pain; Part 2 CD (album) cover


Torman Maxt

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3 stars Torman Maxt is a strange band and most definate an acquired taste. The reason for this being a stand out band is the vocals to be brutally honest. And when dealing with the Bible; only brutal honesty will do.

The lyrical matters on the part 2 of this two parts albums series is Jobs Book from the Bible. As with many other prog bands; Torman Maxt is a Christian band and not ashamed of that.

The first part of this series got some serious panning. But I am happy to report that part 2 is miles better than part 1. Trying to ignore the vocals, which is not bad, but still very different from most other vocals I have experienced before in the prog world; the music is actually good. The focus is on Yes like symphonic prog and less on progressive metal this time. Kansas springs to mind. Yes, Kansas is the best reference point for this album.

The quality is good throughout. There is no bad or any great tracks. The musicians does a competent job throughout. My gripe is the love/hate type of vocals, which is a recurring theme throughout my reviews of their four albums (deja vu !), and the lack of some truly great songs. But this is easily their best ever album. Good but not great.

3 stars

Report this review (#384561)
Posted Saturday, January 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Torman Maxt's The Problem of Pain: Part 1 from 2007 was not my favorite album, to say the very least. The generally uninspired compositions, amateur musicianship, and corny lyrics didn't leave the best impression for what part two may have in store. Thankfully, Torman Maxt has improved significantly over the last three years - not only as musicians, but also as songwriters and lyricists. The Problem of Pain: Part 2 seldom exceeds above average, but it's a solid heavy prog rock/metal album that fans of the genre will most likely enjoy. If you weren't exactly blown away by part one, I wouldn't completely dismiss this effort just yet - Torman Maxt has plenty to offer this time around.

The band still plays a style of progressive rock/metal with influences from acts like Rush and King's X, but also with touches of AOR scattered throughout. The atmosphere is generally light and positive, with very few dark and heavy sections. If you're looking for a prog metal concept album that will evoke dark emotions (think bands like Pain of Salvation or Opeth), definitely look elsewhere. Although the lyrics deal with a fairly dark section of the Bible, the music seldom creates a haunting atmosphere. This can be problematic at times (the album can feel a bit "samey" to me), but the compositions are still generally strong. The musicianship is also much stronger this time around - it's clear that Torman Maxt has increased their chops over the last three years. The vocals from Tony Massaro are very much an acquired taste (I don't enjoy them very much), but I could see some people enjoying his Geddy Lee-inspired singing. His voice just sounds too frail for my taste most of the time. The production is also pretty thin and occasionally lacks power, though it still sounds pretty professional.

The Problem of Pain: Part 2 isn't a progressive rock masterpiece or anything like that, but it's a solid album that's worth a look from most of the community. The vocals and lyrics do test my patience occasionally, but it may be worth looking past for some quality retro-oriented progressive rock/metal. 3 stars are deserved here - this is probably the best offering Torman Maxt has to date.

Report this review (#458314)
Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars US band TORMAN MAXT has been around since the mid-90's, and for the last decade or so with a firm and singular line-up, The Massaro brothers. The band has four albums to its name so far, and the last three of them made as a purebred family trio. "The Problem of Pain Part 2" is their most recent production, the second and concluding part of a conceptual cycle based on a book by noted Christian author Clive Stapledon Lewis.

Light-toned and positive-sounding harder-edged progressive rock is what's served by Torman Maxt on "The Problem of Pain Part 2", where high-pitched vocals, ethereal guitar soloing and Christian concept lyrics are parts of the package. Well-made and well-produced, but with singular features of this kind presumably an album that will have a limited appeal. If you enjoy 70's Rush and don't mind the Christian conceptual theme you might want to check this one out however, and I suspect some fans of bands like King's X might also find this one to be intriguing.

Report this review (#506608)
Posted Sunday, August 21, 2011 | Review Permalink

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