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Artizan - Curse of the Artizan (Reissue)

Curse of the Artizan (Reissue)
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 02 September 2018, 3:22 PM

This was a hard album to rate and review.  On one hand, I totally get the appeal of this band’s style, which is Power Metal with some Prog elements thrown in.  On the other hand, there are some problems here with the word “power.”  Even for a genre known to include boisterous melodies, this album is extremely melodic to the point where they are almost a non power Power Metal band.  It wouldn’t be so much of a problem with these melodies were coming from virtuoso keyboards or elegantly arranged symphonic tones.  The issue is the riffs are the instrument that is melodic, to extreme that there is very little bite or excitement to them.  The production doesn’t help the situation either; it is so clear and perfect that it becomes too thin for it’s own good.

Despite these misgivings, the band is extremely talented and I could see them releasing a very powerful album if they went balls to the wall with their sound but as of right now it is just too restrained for my tastes.  I’m well aware they have other albums after this, as this one is a re-release of their debut but I haven’t heard those.  I can only review the album in question and base everything off these eight tracks. The album does manage to be above average because there are several bright spots on the album.  “Rise,” contains a section just after the two-minute mark where Hermanus J. Rombouts  straight up shreds his fingers off with a melodic guitar solo that grows increasingly daring.  During the shredding, TY really belts out some fantastic drumming.  Without a doubt, he is the backbone of the band and is the only one that consistently displays the fervor I want from a band of this genre.  When Hermanus fires out of the gates, he really goes for gold and I wish he did it more often.

The halfway point of the album, “Fading Story,” is kept alive by JENNINGS’ bass, especially during the guitar solo and the section immediately afterwards.  He adds a progressive approach, yet it retains a melodic flavor; if the production wasn’t so thin and flat, I think his playing would had really stood out. The final, and title track, of the album is the highlight.  The beginning grabbed me immediately with the melodic bass and clean guitars.  Tom Braden’s vocals, while good, didn’t blow me away in the previous tracks but he goes all out here.  The galloping riffs in the chorus echo MAIDEN and the song does have a “Seventh Son of A Seventh Son” feel.  Easily the best track on the album and had it contained more of this style, I would had rated it higher.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 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
Ty Tammeus – Drums
Shamus McConney – Guitars
Hermanus J. Rombouts -Lead Guitars (on "Rise," "Fire" and "Game within a Game)"
Johanthan Jennings Jr. - Bass
Record Label: Pure Steel Records


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Edited 07 December 2022

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