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Max Pie – Odd Memories

Max Pie
Odd Memories
by Omnius D'Worgen at 11 July 2015, 10:04 PM

Overproduced. That's my one-word summary of this entire record. That's it guys, you may go.

Oh, you want more? Well, if you insist…

"Odd Memories" is Belgian prog-power band MAX PIE's third studio album, and their take into more dramatic, more grandiose and much more produced music. The band consists of excellent musicians who make very cool riffs, melodies, solos, harmonies – you name it. The lead guitar is fluent and spot-on (not to mention extremely technically intricate), the rhythm is tight, the drums super-tight and driving, and the vocalist utilizes his great vocal range to a great effect.

Personally, I found the guitar leads especially enjoyable, them being fluent and fun – the epitome of the genre's idea of melody. Intricate, very technical and somewhat neo-classical in nature, the solos fit the atmosphere of the band very well. The vocalist has quite a vocal range and utilizes most of it in the record, going lower for heavier passages and higher for catchy choruses – all done very well.

So what's wrong, you might ask? Everything is too polished, too perfect, too produced, sometimes even to a comical effect – with instruments sounding more like digital toys and computer game noises than like real instruments. I know I usually say bad production can't ruin a good song (and that's true), but too good a production can and does ruin cool songs. In this case, to a point where no song can be viewed without irony.

The music itself reminds me most of all a "Dawn of Victory"-era RHAPSODY with more pop-like vocal choruses and heavier guitar tones – very catchy, very melodic, and fast. The band does, however, sporadically show a more emotional side as in the excellent opening for "Love Hurts".

Strip away the production and the polish, and the record could have been really cool. However, the overwhelming over-digitized effects make it impossible to be listened to as real emotion crystallized in verse.

3 Star Rating

1. Odd Memories Opening
2. Age of slavery
3. Odd Future
4. Promised Land
5. Love Hurts
6. Don't Call My Name
7. Hold On
8. Unchain Me
9. Cyber Junkie
10. The Fountain Of Youth
Tony Carlino – Vocals
Lucas Boudina – Bass
Damien Di Fresco – Guitar, Keyboard
Sylvain Godenne – Drums
Record Label: Mausoleum Records


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