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Teramaze - We are Soldiers Award winner

Teramaze
We are Soliders
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 12 July 2019, 6:38 AM

TERAMAZE was originally formed during lead guitarist/producer Dean Well’s teenage years. The band put out a couple albums in the early years, but it wasn’t until the release of “Anhedonia” in 2012 that Wells felt the modern version of TERAMAZE actually began. That third album was met with critical acclaim, as was the follow up of 2014’s “Esoteric Symbolism,” which saw the quartet making a bolder statement and taking no prisoners to flex their musical muscle even further. Now with a new record deal with Mascot Label Group, TERAMAZE have arrived with their cinematic Her Halo. This new beginning not only brings about more potential, but promise as well. “We Are Soldiers” contains ten tracks.

“Fight or Flight” leads off the album, with alluring keyboard and piano notes, followed by a heavy guitar riff. Dean Wells’ vocals are amazing…sung with pure emotion. The guitar solo is on point as well. But what really make the song special are the piano parts…dexterous and so in line with the main melody of the song. “We are Soldiers” is a slower, more poignant number that uses wonderful vocal harmonies to support the sound. The song has a solemn sound overall but done with such precision you can’t help be hooked by it. “Control Conquer Collide” has a more powerful sound. But when it settles down with acoustic guitars and keyboards you really have a sense of its grandeur. It builds into a crescendo and then pushes had towards the end.

“From Savior to Assassin” opens with spacey keyboards and an energetic riff that gets moving pretty quickly. The chorus is big and rich and the keys are there in support but do not take over that wonderfully crunchy riff. Another fantastic guitar solo is let loose as well.  “Orwellian Times” sure strikes a note to the current state of affairs in America, but that’s a totally separate issue. This song is a little more mellow, still with great vocal harmonies and a melody that you can grasp. The acoustic passage at the half way mark is purely sublime. “M.O.N.S.T.E.R.S.” opens with keyboards and “I’ll never trust anyone again.” The guitars are moving here…dancing in front of your face. This song swings with an enchanting rhythm but still retains that heightened sense of melody.

“Weight of Humanity” opens with a heavy, aggressive and fast moving riff with a tough bottom end. The chorus us lush and rich, with tenderness and playfulness, but it diverts back to that weighted riff. This might be both the heaviest song on the album, as well as the one where they use melody the best. “Fact Resistant Human” opens with sweet piano and vocals, before the main riff plunges in. This song is also a bit more mellow, allowing the melodies to sweep you off your feet. “Depopulate” closes the album, and it’s a twelve-minute beast. It has a raucous energy fueled by both keys and guitars. Wells really nails an emotional performance here. Around the half-way mark, it stops to breathe a little. Take it in. Like the soft rippling of waves over water, it’s beautiful. Finishing strong, with a full blast of melody, it was quite a ride.

“We are Soliders” is Progressive Music for those who say they don’t like Progressive Music. It’s put together so well that any fan of Metal music should find something they like. Of course, Progressive fans will marvel as the musicianship and structures, but it’s so melodic and emotional and that’s what grabs you. Sure, they have the skills for dazzling technical displays, but choose to let the songs breathe and the melody be at the forefront. Wonderfully done!

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Fight or Flight
2. We are Soldiers
3. Control Conquer Collide
4. From Savior to Assassin
5. Orwellian Times
6. M.O.N.S.T.E.R.S.
7. Weight of Humanity
8. Fact Resistant Human
9. The One Percent Disarm
10. Depopulate
Lineup:
Dean Wells – Guitars/vocals
Brett Rerekura – Vocals
Jonah Weingarten – Keys
Andrew Cameron – Bass
Nick Ross – Drums
Record Label: Mascot Label Group
     


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