|Review: Viperine - The Predator Awakens|
|The Predator Awakens|
Label: Metal-Rules Records
Year released: 2004
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: September 21, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:The Predator Awakens
Rated 2.67/5 (53.33%) (15 Votes)
"The Predator Awakens" is the first release from Metal-Rules Records, an offshoot of the popular and long-running metal web site. Knowing EvilG's (that's the boss ;)) tastes, I wasn't surprised to see that the first signing is a power metal band. :) I've seen Viperine lumped into the "classic metal" category, but this is actually a somewhat typical European (well, Swedish in this case) power metal band with the known ingredients of the genre - speedy drumming, kind of happy sounding, fast guitars but slightly more razor-sharp than what we usually hear in the genre. Anyway, I don't know where other reviewers found what is so classic about this band - it's pretty much pure modern European-style power metal with a slightly heavy metal edge and that's it - not that there's anything wrong with that genre to begin with.
The highlight for me is the guitar work - very sharp if not abrasive, melodic yet somewhat aggressive at the same time. In fact, I'd say musically there isn't too much to bitch about on this. The songs are pretty good overall and sound unique enough that it's actually worth getting this without fear of having the "generic" tag applied to it. The lyrics drew some Manowar comparisons in some circles and, well, I can't argue with that. Kind of juvenile and to be taken lightly - nonetheless fun overall. If there is one thing I have to complain about, it's the singer. Oh man. OK, to be fair this guy shows some real potential and in a few spots he does a great job, but as a whole he almost manages to ruin the album. Some serious work needed here. Sometimes he sounds like he recorded the vocals while doing some serious effort on the toilet - I'm not kidding. I tried getting the vocals to grow on me but at the end of the day I actually had a strong urge to hurt him, so I guess that's one set of vocals I'm not too crazy about (duh.) Anyway, as I mentioned previously I can still hear some serious potential here, so maybe on the next album..?
Overall this is a good release - the material is quite catchy and you'll find yourself humming some of the songs in your head long after you've finished listening to the album. Unfortunately the catchiest one, Heartblood, is probably one of the most annoying songs that ever got stuck in my head. I don't know if they tried to overdo it or what, but it is quite the handful of annoyance. Thankfully there are some very good ones to offset this, such as Reptiles which is my favourite as I write these lines. The vocals on most songs will be a hit or miss with most people, in my opinion and many will have to somehow get past those to enjoy the underlying, enjoyable slab of metal. If you're looking for some fun European power metal with guitars that shred and just can't get enough of the genre, this is worth checking out - just go in not expecting anything Earth-shattering.
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