|Review: The Metal Shakespeare Company - The Metal Shakespeare Company|
|The Metal Shakespeare Company|
Label: CleanBox Entertainment
Year released: 2009
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: April 30, 2010
Reviewed by: Adam Kohrman
for:The Metal Shakespeare Company
Rated 3.14/5 (62.86%) (7 Votes)
Quit rolling your eyes. This is gimmicky, I know. But what lends itself to the frequently used themes of metal more than Shakespeare? He was a rebellious, epic writer. His plays are full of bloodshed, murder, revenge, and lust – not to mention they're excellent. According to their liner notes, The Metal Shakespeare Company studied together in college, presumably reading the scribe's unparalleled plays. In a drunken stupor, they proclaimed the existence of this band. To many people's surprise, that drunken night actually did produce a band. The members of the band and their listeners realized the truth: Shakespeare was totally metal.
As you may have guessed, each one of the songs on The Metal Shakespeare Company's self-titled debut takes one act of a Shakespeare play and well... metalizes it. Sounding like they came right out of the UK in the early eighties, TMSC resembles Angel Witch and Saxon, right down to Lord Simms' limp whine, sounding much like Biff Byford.. But where the band really shines is where they focus entirely on Shakespearean influences. They can combine the sonic with the lyrical into a bard's wet dream. Songs like "To Bleed or Not to Bleed" and "Aufidius' Plot" exemplify this perfectly. They're about as cheesy as metal ever gets, but with a band called The Metal Shakespeare Company, you can't really complain about cheese.
One thing you can complain about is the lacking and sometimes atrocious instrumentals. On the whole, "To Bleed or Not to Bleed" is a solid, catchy opener. At the same time, the solo section is seemingly interminable and repetitive. TMSC is spot on with their lyrical topics but far off with instrumentality. Their song construction is inconsistent, often sounding slapped together and spotty. It sounds jagged and amateurish, like it's produced by kids in a garage. But is this really worth complaining about? It's not like the guys in the band were out to create a legendary opus, one that rivets the mind with harrowing emotion and sentiment. This is an album that's meant to be fun, and there are times that they truly succeed in that regard.
This is an inconsistent but fun (and often funny) album. If you hate quirky gimmick bands, then stay away. But even if you just love the old NWOBHM sound, this is up your alley. English majors and literati, this album is made for you.
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