Fireworks

Arkham's Razor - 'Carnival Of Lost Souls' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     March 12, 2018    
 
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An interesting group that push in a number of directions which helps them fashion some originality.

It's good to see an artist like Lee Small branching out and trying new things, rather than playing it safe with more of the AOR he's built his name playing on, such as Shy, Skyscraper, Iconic Eye, and his own solo material. This record is a Melodic Metal album; that might not sound like a huge change in style from Melodic Rock, but it is significantly heavier than his previous material.

A lot of that heaviness is down to the guitar sound of Neil Tibbs. Tibbs has gigged with Tainted Nation and his style here is more Metal than Rock. He's joined on bass by Mart Trail, who has also played with TN, and Norwegian drummer Erik Engebretson. Like a lot of Modern Metal, there's an over reliance on banging that bass drum, which is fine for a few songs, but gets wearisome and repetitive over a whole record. With a different vocalist this could be very heavy indeed, but Small's excellent voice ensures melody remains a fixture throughout. He's often compared to Glenn Hughes, and rightly so, as his voice has that elastic quality that Hughes has and brings Rock with some dark soul to the album. His lyrics aren't immediate and take a bit of patience to penetrate, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a diverse album that's heavy and melodic, but it's even Progressive in parts, due to the clever, intricate playing.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The title track which opens the record is heavy and shifting with a Middle Eastern mid-section and a good choral hook and shows all sides of the band's sound. 'Skeleton Swing' has razor sharp riffing from Hibbs, 'The Asphyx' is Funk Metal, 'Neon Haunted By Your Love' and 'Gangland Wonderland' are Melodic Rockers and 'Visitor From The Grave' gives us grinding Melodic Metal. However, I'm not convinced by 'Vaudeville Lille', which has some good guitar but the song laid over the top doesn't quite gel.

Arkham's Razor is an interesting group that push in a number of directions which helps them fashion some originality. Those who like the lighter Shy or Skyscraper type material might need to listen before purchase, but for those who like a harder edge, played by a group of musicians not looking at catchy songs as a means to an end but who are seeking to find fulfilment through their playing, Arkham's Razor might prove to be a cut above.

Duncan Jamieson

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