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Review: Obsession - Carnival of Lies
Carnival of Lies

Label: Metal Mayhem Music
Year released: 2006
Duration: 50:44
Tracks: 11
Genre: Heavy Metal


Review online: April 23, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (7 Votes)

With falsettos to match the rest (but not the best) and melodic guitar lines galore, it always surprises me that Obsession is such an overlooked band. Sure, they are pretty dull at times with uninspired and outright glammy songs, but so many bands of their era had the same problem. I guess they were just lost in a sea of their style. Obsession hailed from the unlikely hotbed of traditional metal that is Connecticut, alongside comrades Fates Warning and Sacred Oath. After the scene died out (read: the spawning of grunge), all these bands faded away, but then Obsession resurfaced with this album, an inconsistent yet driving and sometimes extraordinarily catchy record entitled Carnival of Lies. It's a perfect embodiment of the usual comeback album: moments of greatness hampered by filler.

The first two songs on this album are dynamite. Catchy and thrilling, they are easily the album's highlights. "Carnival of Lies" is without a doubt the best song of Obsession's career: a fist pounding, infectious track exemplifying the perfect melodic heavy metal song. Yes, the song is really that good. Michael Vescera's high range is undiminished by time, still employing a squeaking and occasionally chipmunk-like falsetto. Returning later in the album with tracks like "Pure Evil" and "Guilty as Charged," Vescera proves that metal vocalists can age while retaining their skill and majesty. In fact, Vescera sounds better here than he ever has before.

Apart from the first two songs, the album offers little else. The songs become prototypes of glittering 80s heavy metal, and offer nothing new. The album becomes monotonous and repetitive, and as a result gets boring as the songs begin to flow into one another. Midway through the album, it becomes a disappointingly run of the mill record, falling victim to the same pitfalls that their previous albums did, especially Methods of Madness. Like those albums, Carnival of Lies gets caught up in overwrought melody and simplicity, as the rest of the album is almost entirely filler. Too many simple songs in a row can only bore the listener, and that's exactly what happens here. It's such a shame, because the first two songs are so brilliant.

Obsession have always had potential but missed the mark, escaping mediocrity with a few stellar songs. Carnival of Lies is no exception.

More about Obsession...
Review: Methods of Madness (reviewed by Adam Kohrman)
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