|Review: Phear - The Curse Lives On|
|The Curse Lives On|
Label: RFL Records
Year released: 2020
Originally released in: 2017
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 8, 2020
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:The Curse Lives On
I almost passed on this one as it was a live album from a band I didn't know. Then I noticed that the PR guy who sent me the promo used to write for this site, so I figured Lior couldn't be pushing us garbage. ;) The mention of a cover of Iron Maiden's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" kind of sealed the deal, and the fact that the album opens with that cover is indicative that we're dealing with a bunch of gutsy fuckers here.
The Curse Lives On is only Phear's second album—the first being a studio album—which makes it kind of an odd offering. The first two songs, the Maiden cover and the original "Dirty Work" are actually studio recordings, but the rest is all live. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is very much faithful to the original and their rendition kicks ass. It's obvious that the vocalist worships at the altar of Bruce Dickinson as he sounds very much like him, not only on this cover but also on the band's original recordings. You can tell the difference, but the guy comes pretty damn close to the real thing. "Dirty Work" has a bit of a modern rock vibe with metallic heaviness. It's good, not great, but still pretty cool and kind of gets stuck in your head. The vocal style departs a bit from Bruce's on this one.
The live songs were recorded in Toronto and this recording shows that the band seems to be able to deliver a live show like any good seasoned band. There are good interactions with the crowd, just enough to show a frontman able to get them going without being overbearing and breaking the flow of the show. One can't help but smile when he goes, "Scream for me Toronto!" in very Bruce Dickinson fashion. I wish I head heard the originals but suffice it to say that their songwriting style is very much influenced by Maiden, though much closer to their post-reunion output that any of the classic '80s stuff. Bottom line, this is over an hour of cool material kind of anonymized by a nondescript name. Worth checking out if you're into newer Maiden. This is a band that might go places if they play their cards right.
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