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Review: Imagika - Portrait Of A Hanged Man
Portrait Of A Hanged Man

Label: Metalville Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 49:05
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power/Thrash

Rating: 4/5

Review online: May 18, 2010
Reviewed by: Lior "Steinmetal" Stein
Readers Rating
Portrait Of A Hanged Man

Rated 3.6/5 (72%) (10 Votes)

Once again, the U.S. band Imagika take on the world with fists raised high. Their new album, Portrait of a Hanged Man, brings back the savagery of U.S. Power Metal melded with some Bay Area Thrash mayhem. Many of the Bay Area bands have lost their sound over the past decade. Imagika never did, simply protecting and preserving their sound.

Portrait of a Hanged Man is the seventh album in Imagika's 17 year career. As time has marched on, the band has never wavered from their approach to metal. Any changes they have made, like extreme elements, added to their sound, never subtracted, and have helped them formulate a new kind of brutal anger.

Imagika's metal is like a blow to the head, but with a silk glove. They are tight and unforgiving with fearful lyrical imagery. They do a great job balancing those elements with their aggression in order to generate appealing music. Imagika bears a lot of similarities with other Bay Area groups such as Metal Church, Testament and Metallica, but also with the brutality of modern Death/Melodic Death Metal. Despite nods to the old school with soft growls and raspy vocals, low tuned guitars and machine gun drums, the band still sounds "up to date."

Portrait of a Hanged Man definitely straddles the old school and the modern. A vintage production shows off both the heavy and the brutal elements of the album and the conflict between the two sounds great. Just when you think a song could not get any more extreme or badass, you're treated to a classy surprise. The same can be heard when a loud, crunchy solo is paired with a melodic chorus. It is for these reasons Portrait of a Hanged Man is a worthwhile addition to the Bay Are Thrash catalog. It is full of chaos, yet respects those who've gone before.

Highlights: "The Hit," "Scared to Death," "A God No More" (a hell of a performance by guest guitarist Andy La Rocque), "Halo of Flies," "Keep the Wolves at Bay," "One World."

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