|Review: Savage Circus - Of Doom and Death|
|Of Doom and Death|
Label: Dockyard 1
Year released: 2009
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: November 15, 2009
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
for:Of Doom and Death
Rated 4.15/5 (83.03%) (33 Votes)
Hey, I didn't know Blind Guardian had released a new album! And it even sounds like they're returning to their Speed Metal days from the 80s from the opening riffs of the first song. Boy, with modern production and their heightened experience in songwriting since then, this ought to be a real killer! I'm really excited now!
wait a second. Savage Circus? That band that ex-drummer Thomen Staunch formed after he left Blind Guardian? That band that was intended to sound, uh, exactly the same as old Blind Guardian, with no creativity or unique thoughts put into the compositions at all? That band that could probably just steal Blind Guardian's old songs in their entirety, with no changes at all, and pass them off as ‘new' to people who would use the whole ‘you don't have to be original to be good' defense? Fuck, this is going to suck.
Yes, this is Of Doom and Death, the pointless follow up to the original pointless Savage Circus album from 2005. To add to the pointlessness, Thomen Staunch isn't even in the band anymore, leaving Jens Carlsson and Piet Sielck to churn out music that is in no way different from the music they play with their own bands. If you ever wanted generic Power Metal, this is it. Right down to its core this is generic and stale, from the Iron Savior production via Sielck to the shiny guitar leads and riffs to Jens Carlsson's almost criminal aping of Hansi Kursch's bard-like wail. Seriously, there is no way he developed that singing style without listening to Somewhere Far Beyond in his sleep every night after it was released. It would be one thing if he at least tried to sound like he did in Persuader with the lower growls and the different singing style at times, but here it's just uninspired Kursch impersonation after uninspired Kursch impersonation, like he sang this stuff on his lunch break. The vocal lines here aren't awful, but they're not really all that memorable and they just don't carry any kind of oomph to them. Very droll.
And what's this? They wrote a bunch of seven minute songs? What kind of dehumanizing torture is this? In the band's defense, I guess the songs are listenable enough, but is it really that much of a compliment when every riff, every lead, every note is stolen from Blind Guardian, Iron Savior or Persuader? All the instruments are played well, yeah, but is that really much of a compliment when every member of this band is a veteran of the genre?
None of these songs evoke anything but a yawn and a tired look at the track list to see how much of it is left. They spit some fire with "Empire," with its big chorus, but then you get the awful "Ballad of Susan," which sounds like the worst Disney ballad ever written, and you just wonder what the fuck happened.
Let's just face it, people; these German Power Metal vets have run out of steam. If this is the best they can put together when they have four years and a big label production on their side, it's pretty safe to say that there's no point in really wasting your time with Of Doom and Death. An album so devoid of originality that it actually sucks out all the creativity of any room it's played in.
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