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THE ORDEAL ‘Kings Of Pain ’ (Mausoleum 2004)

The press release for this album states that The Ordeal mix classic metal with modern industrial influences which sounds like an interesting concept so on first listen itís initially disappointing to find that thereís very little industrial influence to be found, and what little there is sits uneasily with the rest of the music.

Repeated listening makes you aware of the quality of the majority of the music and this is actually a very enjoyable listen, the riffs on songs such as The Lion and Chained To The Dark have an almost Twisted Tower Dire quality to them and the music is certainly more riff heavy and NWOBHM influenced than the Rhapsody end of the Power Metal scene.

Singer Oliver Oppermanís voice is one of the bandís best features, always reaching and keeping the notes he goes for and his slightly accented delivery actually adds to the music and his performance is better than many better known singers. Even the obligatory power ballad, Wings Of An Angel manages to be an affecting paean to lost love and not the embarrassing Whitesnake esque mess it could have been.

One minor quibble that I do have is that the tracklisting is in a completely different order to what is printed on the CD sleeve, not a major problem by any means, but possibly indicative of a lack of detail which stops this from being the great album that it could have been.

Unfortunately the added electronics do somewhat spoil the overall effect, and Britainís own Biomechanical do the Power/Prog/Industrial thing much more effectively but this is well worth checking out if you get the chance.

***

Review by Neil Woodfin

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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