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Access Denied - Touch Of Evil

Access Denied
Touch Of Evil
by Dorothy Cheng at 14 January 2013, 1:13 PM

Eccentric Heavy Metallers ACCESS DENIED through Pitch Black Records have released their new album "Touch of Evil",which by interpretation of its name, should inspire impressions of grit and edge to the unassuming consumer. However, by some unfortunate trick of sound, ACCESS DENIED has denied us this. Initially I was rather excited to listen to the band’s work as I felt that it was about time I re-experienced some good-old, basic Heavy Metal, especially with a female vocalist, Agnieszka Sulich, fronting such a band.

The intro track, aptly titled “Intro” was a dazzling and epic treat with a touch of oriental grandeur of all things, tinged with some cheesy, soaring reality TV vibes that managed to work a sense on anticipation into me. The instant “Messenger Of Death” began though; it seemed that ACCESS DENIED lost their fire. What they initially revved up with the intro, they wasted with “Messenger Of Death”.As someone who constantly seeks out interesting new riffs and beats in fresh releases, I felt a jarring sense of loss listening to "Touch of Evil", which seemed to base all its high points on Heavy Metal clichés that as a Metalhead, I am ashamed to admit exist. For instance: sudden high pitched shrieks after a verses of monotonous rambling, short and blistering solos that go nowhere and hold no stylistic significance, and worst of all, one-dimensional lyrics that dwell on death and darkness and all that drabness.

However, despite utilizing all the tricks of Heavy Metal clichés, the album still fails to inspire. There is no central, unifying stylistic feel to the album as track after track seems to just blaze through the basics of Heavy Metal, the music thudding away without any life behind them. Even vocalist Sulich could not pull the songs together. She has some impressive moments but other than those split seconds, the vocals came off as bland and uninspired.

A lot of metal bands these days stick to tried and true formats and other formulaic tricks to pull an album through the recording process. They garner a few fans, they sell a few albums, but did they achieve what BLACK SABBATH did with their title album, IRON MAIDEN with "Number Of The Beast" (now recognized as the best album in 60 years British music history),or even METALLICA with their eponymous release (the best-selling album of the SoundScan era)?Unfortunately, the answer is no. Getting a few musicians together and playing a couple of songs based on cliché formats will not help you achieve legendary status.

I’d like to think Metalheads these days have becoming increasingly sophisticated in their tastes. Many youths are vying for bands that demonstrate technical prowess and original musicality, while the old guard is still fiercely devoted to old-school virtuosity. With this throng of fans making up the foundation of all metal music, bands should know better than to produce sub-par, just “alright” works. Bands should constantly improve, instead of producing album that sound like demos made in the 80s.

It was a bit tedious for me to finish the album, although several accents helped pull me through: the excellent bass, the surprisingly technical drums, and a few interesting riffs and solos. Production unfortunately did not provide for a plus point. Overall, I have to admit I was disappointed. I expected more and was even excited to hear something that perhaps might have bordered on an old-school yet technical style, which eventually did not materialize.

I do not dismiss the notion that I may have been dazed by expectations that were set too high. Therefore, the main piece of knowledge I can impart here is this: venture into the listening of this album with an open mind and zero expectations. Perhaps that will yield a different result.

2 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. Messenger of Death
3. Suicide Mind
4. One Night
5. Secret Place
6. Don’t Tell Me
7. My Dreams
8. Violence of Mind
9. Touch of Evil
Agnieszka Sulich – Vocals
Jacek Kolankiewicz – Guitars
Mateusz Krauze – Guitars
Pawel “Wolv” Neiczew – Bass
Dominik Frukacz – Drums
Record Label: Pitch Black Records


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