|Review: Futures End - Memoirs of a Broken Man|
|Memoirs of a Broken Man|
Label: Nightmare Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: December 14, 2010
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:Memoirs of a Broken Man
Rated 4.71/5 (94.29%) (7 Votes)
This one slipped by me in 2009, which is a shame as it probably would have made my end-of-year list. These guys play progressive power metal, however they manage to differentiate themselves from the typical Circus Maximus style commonly heard these days. Their sound is a particularly tasty mix of Redemption, Zero Hour, and Andromeda, with a touch of progressive death metal thrown in for good measure. This is a super group of sorts, boasting former members from acts such as Zero Hour, Testament, Circle II Circle, and Sadus.
Futures End are easily one of the heavier acts in their genre although they don't sacrifice their melody in the slightest. For every ass-kicker of a riff there is a stunning chorus or theme just around the corner. The performances here are exceptional, with former Zero Hour vocalist Fred Marshall giving the best he's got and sounding like a more operatic Marco Heitala. Then we have guitarists Marc Pattison and Christian Wentz, who boast an insane command on their instrument, spiraling mind melting riffs and leads all over the place. Their rhythm section comprises Steve DiGiorgio and John Allen – 'nuff said.
This is quite a long album at just over an hour, and the majority of the songs range between five and seven minutes. You really get your money's worth too as there isn't a single bad track, although I do feel the album is a bit too long – they could have snipped 10 minutes or so and ditched the "Powerslave" cover and the album would have hit just that little harder. However it is only a small problem and standouts are littered throughout the album, including tracks such as "Inner Self", the sublime blend of savage and serene in "Your Decay", the finest chorus on the album in "Share the Blame" and the superlative "Terrors of War".
Futures End have put out a first class album for their debut, and I think they certainly have it in them to put out a true monster. I really can't fault Memoirs of a Broken Man, the album would make a fine addition to any prog power collection. It might take a few listens to fully grasp the material on offer, but it is a rewarding and enjoyable experience that I would strongly recommend. Hell, I think this album has a good measure of cross-over appeal, although it could be a little too technical and clean cut for some. Highly recommended.
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