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Riddlemaster - Bring the magik down

Riddlemaster
Bring The Magik Down
by Dana Lautzenheiser at 25 January 2018, 5:37 AM

RIDDLEMASTER came to fruition when Mark “the Shark” Shelton (the founder, guitarist, vocalist, and major creative force behind Manilla Road)  and Rick Fisher (former drummer for Manilla Road) had a discussion regarding what Manilla Road may have sounded like if Fisher had never left the band. The resulting sound is a classic rock, 70's style metal. The duo, joined by bassist E.C. Hell, released “Bring the Magik Down” on December 1, 2017. Fans of Manilla Road will be pleased as RIDDLEMASTER is in a sense a continuation of the original band.

Bring the Magik Down” wails ominously. The guitar riff has a doomy quality. I was immediately put off by the vocals. The power is lacking. The song fades into a long drawn out spacey, astral interlude that to me didn’t fit the mood of the song. The bass picks up again about eight and half minutes into the song. From here the track gets a little heavier, but the growly, cat in heat vocal stylings come right back. Musically, this track, is not altogether unimpressive. With better production and perhaps a different vocalist “Bring the Magik Down” would have been the epic track it was meant to be.

“Crossing the Line” is dark and evokes images of the supernatural. The drumming doesn't have the powerful, thunderous quality that it should on this track; perhaps due to the mix. I think that giving it a bit more bass would have really added a sort of haunting quality that song, quite a contrast from the opening track. “Lair of the White Witch” starts off with some sinister clanking bells over guitar. There’s just was not there for me. “Every Mother’s Son” has a 70’s rock sound. There's a lighter, happier tone to this a nice stoner rock groove to the song, but to me,the track is just unnecessarily drawn out. Shelton’s vocals are nearly discernible at best, but his riffs are well developed.

“Ghosts of the Plains” sets in eerily with layered guitar riffs. Shelton crafts enchanting guitar riffs throughout. The album ends with a faster paced song “Go For the Throat/ Be the Wolf.” The song wasn't very interesting for the first few minutes, I had nearly lost hope of redemption when the song picked up with a really smooth bluesy solo. The album finished strong after all. “Bring the Magik Down” is a must have for die hard fans of Manilla Road. Those who appreciate classic rock and metal from the 70’s may also appreciate RIDDLEMASTER as well. To me, the tracks were too long, and the production could have been better, but I encourage the listener to be their own judge.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 8
Memorability: 5
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Bring The Magik Down
2. Crossing the Line
3. Every Mothers Son
4. Lair Of The White Witch
5. Ghosts Of The Plains
6. Go For The Throat
Lineup:
Mark “the Shark” Shelton - vocals, guitar
Rick Fisher - drums
E.C. Hell - bass
Record Label: Metalapolis Records
     


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Edited 22 September 2020
 

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