|Review: Holy Mother - Criminal Afterlife|
Label: A.B.S. Records
Year released: 1999
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: October 11, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Rated 3.29/5 (65.71%) (7 Votes)
I got this many years ago in a swap with a cool metal guy I knew once upon a time. He'd been to that year's Wacken festival in Germany and wanted rid of a couple of CDs he'd bought there. One of them was Insania's World Of Ice (which I much preferred), the other was this: a curious little item called Criminal Afterlife. In later years, I'd see Holy Mother records here and there, but they never made it big, and perhaps this is a shame, because with albums like this, they surely showed promise.
Blessed with some awesome Eric Philippe artwork, Criminal Afterlife is a hard-nosed and bluesy release, with enough double kicks and high vocals to term it Power Metal. Their vocalist Mike Tirelli seriously wants to be Ronnie James Dio (they even cover "Holy Diver" here), though he comes off more like Russell Allen at his maddest. The music is played in a robotic style, with a crisp but even production, which gives it a futuristic feel. Riffs are simple and unexpressive, and the solos are nothing special; but on the whole there is something likeable about this, despite the stupid lyrics and repetitive vocal lines. Strangely, songs like "The Rage" and "Cycle Of The Sun" are catchy in their way, and the album gets stronger as you become accustomed their style. Still, if you're a fan of Primal Fear, Savatage, or even Cage, Criminal Afterlife will put a smile on your face.
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