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Review: Intense - The Shape of Rage
The Shape of Rage

Label: Pure Legend Records
Year released: 2011
Duration: 51:38
Tracks: 9
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: November 13, 2011
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
The Shape of Rage

Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (6 Votes)

The U.K.'s Intense have been kicking around for 20 years, but this is my first time hearing them. The Shape of Rage is their third full-length and, by the sound of it, I've been missing out on some very good, crunchy Euro Power Metal. There are little to no keyboards and the guitar riffs are sharp and aggressive, giving The Shape of Rage a thrashy feel. On the whole, however, Intense follow the path laid down by countrymen Iron Maiden. Guitarists Dave Peak and Nick Palmer have the twin-guitar attack down pat. The galloping bass and drums provide the perfect foundation for them to trade their leads in a competitive game of one-upmanship. You can envision them in the studio or on stage ripping off a blistering lead and then daring the other to try and top it. This is fun stuff for fans of Heavy Metal guitar. The downside of this is that vocalist, and lone original member, Sean Hetherington, is left struggling to keep up. He's not a bad vocalist, though no Bruce Dickinson, but he sounds like he's giving it his all and, at times, it just isn't enough. Other than the ballad, "For the Fallen," which is a bit weak, the rest of The Shape of Rage is uniformly excellent, though there are no true standouts. Opener "Anubis" and the mid-tempo burner "Skull of Sidon II (The Final Stand)" are the highlights.

The Shape of Rage is well done and only a great song or two away from being a killer album. Intense have taken the Iron Maiden formula and made it their own. They have the talent to make a classic album and I, for one, will be watching for it. Fans of the Heavy Metal guitar solo should not miss The Shape of Rage.

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