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Obsession - Methods of Madness (Reissue)

Methods of Madness (Reissue)
by Jon Conant at 15 February 2018, 8:19 AM

For those of you keeping track at home, this is my second in a 2-part series of reviews covering the re-release of 30-year-old material by Connecticut based power metal band, OBSESSION. The third and final of the three albums being re-released which I will cover here, “Methods of Madness”, is remarked improvement on their previous album, which you can find a review of here. Granted that one was still solid, we just see a much stronger step forward here for the band. Listening to the music 30 years later gives you a unique perspective – released in 1987, “Methods of Madness” ages better than their previous releases, which is a clear sign of maturity in musicianship and songwriting. They showed a lot of promise before the split in 1989. It’s no wonder original lead singer Michael Vescera wanted to get the band back together in 2004. But with an entirely new lineup. Anyway…
The album is carried by the strong and impressive guitar work but with more precision and balance than their 1986 full length release "Scarred for Life", it packs a neater punch and the songs work more cohesively together. To that effect, the vocals are also blended in much more cleanly.
Opener and epically titled “Four Play / Hard to the Core” is an incredibly powerful way to start, it reminds me of BLIND GUARDIAN in terms of the grandeur and theatrics. Immediately we hear a huge step forward in production quality and in the presentation of the rhythm guitar. Track 3 “For the Love of Money” has one of the coolest base riffs punching the whole song forward, it’s very catchy and you may even find yourself head banging a bit. It’s got a very strong “old school” rock n’ roll feel that you just can’t recreate these days, and Viscera gives one of his most unique and solid performances. The solos are as impressive as ever.
The album is decently solid start to finish, the back half is a lot weaker than the second but still finishes on a solid note with thrill ride closer “Panic in the Streets”. It’s quite possibly worth your time as a cool piece of history if you vibe with a classic power rock sound.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Four Play / Hard to the Core
2. High Treason
3. For the Love of Money
4. Killer Elite
5. Desperate to Survive
6. Methods of Madness
7. Too Wild to Tame
8. Always on the Run
9. Panic in the Streets
Michael Vescera - Vocals
John Bruno - Guitars
Scott Boland - Guitars
Jeff Curtiss - Bass
Yanni Sofianos - Drums
Record Label: Inner Wound Recordings


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Edited 25 September 2020

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