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Artizan - Curse Of The Artizan

Curse Of The Artizan
by Erika Wallberg at 18 July 2011, 9:39 PM

It was a really a nice surprise when I got a mail from Ty Tammeus who asked me to review ARTIZAN’s first full length album “Curse Of The Artizan”. I had the privilege to dig in to the self titled EP about a year ago and that was an impressive piece of music. I was a little surprised over my own first reaction to “Curse Of The Artizan”. I thought it lacked power and it felt very mild. Not what I remembered at all from the EP so I had to take out that one again and compare. Sure, there’s a slight difference in the sound. The production of the EP is a little simpler but in the end it was basically the same. So why didn’t the full length hit as hard as the EP?

I have no clue… But shame on those who give up too easily! Maybe it was my own mind playing tricks on me, or that I listened to the EP round and round until I got into it. Then, all of a sudden everything was clear with “Curse Of The Artizan” too. This is a magnificent piece of Progressive Metal. It is a continuation of the EP, a little more flow in the songs or more commercial if you will. I really liked the jagged song structures and peculiar rhythm changes still the songs are just as strong. Just a little less FATES WARNING and more QUEENSRYCHE still with the smooth kind of vocals Ray Adler adds to the more recent days of FATES WARNING.

Still I think it is a bit of a shame that ARTIZAN went in this direction, a style that perhaps is a little easier for a lot of people but the same step in the other direction, more odd arrangements would have separated ARTIZAN from a lot of bands. That or maybe a little heavier production, then it would have been a masterpiece and absolutely a candidate for album of the year.

But this is still a mighty fine piece of US Progressive Heavy Metal, Tom Braden has a great voice with a lot of feeling in it and there’s absolutely nothing to complain about with the performance from the rest of the band either. My favorite tracks of the album still are the ones from the EP, “Fire”, “Rise” and “Game Within A Game”, especially the last one, it is amazing when it changes from the edgy riff to the very flowing and melodic passage, not many bands write like that nowadays. But the rest of the songs are growing for each spin, “The Man In Black” together with the title track are almost right up there with the mentioned three from the EP. So no, this “Curse Of The Artizan” record is perhaps not an album that will struck like lightning but it’s well worth getting into.  

4 Star Rating

1. Trade The World
2. Rise
3. The Man In Black
4. Fire
5. Fading Story
6. Game Within A Game
7. Torment
8. Curse Of The Artizan  
Tom Braden- Vocals
Shamus McConney- Guitars
Steffen Robitzsch- Guitars
Jon Jennings- Bass
Ty Tammeus- Drums  
Record Label: Pure Steel Records


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