Friday, August 27, 2010

Masterpiece - Colors of Conflict (II)

I would rather staple my nutsack to my nose

This album is vile, disgusting, and easily one of the most overblown and shittiest records I've heard in my day. I'm a big fan of power metal, I really am. Even though I complain about bands like Timeless Miracle and Dragonforce, the sheer cheese and ridiculousness is usually so much fun I can overlook the shortcomings in the long run. Here, Japanese outfit Masterpiece, manages to make something so incredibly stupid, generic, and just plain bad, that I really wish I could just link a picture to goatse with Timo Kotipelto's head crammed in his ass and call it a review. I'd like to believe I'm a little bit more professional than that, so I'll give a genuine attempt at reviewing this garbage.

My main problem here is those goddamn vocals. I've no problem with clean vocals, obviously. I also have no problem with clean male vocals, nor operatically trained male vocalists (Warrel Dane was trained as such, and I love Nevermore). Hell, I can even stomach nasally emo whining when Protest the Hero is doing it, but this pretentious twat has one of the worst voices I've ever heard since Micheal Kiske. Projecting one's voice makes plenty of sense in certain situations, but when you are mixed three times louder than any other instrument, layered somewhere between four and 856 times over at any given moment, and have a voice that sounds like a 13 year old boy trying to imitate his favorite song from Generic Italian Opera Volume XXIII, you have crossed the line by about seven miles. This voice is the direct antithesis to what I would consider a powerful voice. It's all artificial for the most part. I know I'm about to sound like I have no idea what I'm talking about, but bear with me. I consider a powerful voice to be, say for example, Hansi Kursch's voice. When you hear it, you can hear the man belting his heart out, spreading emotion and raw, unadulterated power across every last note. The second verse of Mirror Mirror marks probably his best performance, I've never heard a more intense vocal performance than that (barring Razor and Sadus, but that's a different story). And as pretentious and pompous as that sounds, it makes perfect sense to anybody whose ever heard a Blind Guardian song. Monsieur Broadfield on the other hand, sounds like he has almost no passion about his band or the music. The vocal lines, while loud and operatic, are presented in such a mindbogglingly lethargic and lazy way, it makes me wonder why the rest of the band didn't realize how incredibly terrible he is as a frontman. Maybe it's because I'm not an expert on exceedingly flowery power metal, but I just cannot fathom this man being the best the band could find. Sure, his voice has that operatic sound, but he lacks every other quality I look for in a power metal vocalist. No power, no balls (trust me, you can hit high notes with balls (see: Gamma Ray)), no conviction, no nothing. Shit, if you can listen to the beginning of Incarnet without sticking your head in a beehive, then I commend you. Not to mention he's out of key half the damn time (hence the Kiske comparison), listen to the chorus of Loyalty, it's just.... awful.

And on the rare occasions I look past the tuneless wailings of one of the worst vocalists I've ever laid ears upon, the instrumentals really don't do much to make up for them. There are interesting happy and bouncy keyboard parts sprinkled about, but they are extremely far and few between, like a virgin above the age of 16. The bouncy parts at the beginnings of Gush Out and The Mind Revolution are akin to Timeless Miracle in the sense that they manage to make me smile and enjoy the music at least a little bit, no matter how ridiculous. There are similar parts abound in Eternal Scream and Bright Light (hell, the latter even reminds me of the Zelda games before the solo, which is a plus), and there is even a really good neoclassical riff at the beginning of Eternal Scream. But then that god awful vocalist attempts to squeal out a big falsetto, and just ends up sounding like he stubbed his toe whilst trying to imitate Fabio Lione. And the worst part is that those four or five things I mentioned are pretty much the only interesting parts on the whole album. The drummer seems to be stuck in that perpetual double bass limbo in which 85% of all power metal drummers are stuck, and every riff sounds like it was made up on the spot by just randomly picking three or four chords and then alternating them between palm muted sixteenths for every single riff. In essence, the same generic snoozefest we've been hearing for decades now. The keys are the only part that ever really shines. Sure, the guitar gets a decent solo every now and again, but the keys get all of the semi-interesting melodies, but again, they're about as common as tie-dye turds.

If you are a fan of double bass driven and virtually riffless flower metal with fluffy keyboard melodies strewn throughout and lead by a 7 year old castrato on a bird seed diet, all without an ounce of originality, then you will absolutely love this album. If your favorite band is Prostitute Disfigurement, then you probably aren't reading this review, but if you are, stay the fuck away. If you are a fan of power metal in any form, still refrain from listening to this overblown pile of ass. Now that this review is finally written, I can delete this shit off my computer and go back to listening to Hibria and Persuader and power metal that doesn't suck more dick than Michael Jackson.


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