Review: Labyrinth

““Sons Of Thunder””
(Metal Blade Records)

Labyrinth, in typical power metal format is heavily in to the story or concept album.  Which isn’’t bad when you one hear one or two, but it seems like every other one is going for the epic and majestic styling.  The result?  Very little mid range to give the sound much meat.  There is definitely a bass line and blazing double bass drumming, but all that gets through most of the time is the guitars and keyboards.  The highly stagnant foreign power metal scene has produced little of note in a long time.  In much the way that mediocre death metal can start to sound the same, power metal has about three forms, of which I like none.  It seams that power metal is what Journey would sound like if they wanted to go all out.  The highly formulaic Sons of Thunder has all the requirements in all the usual places:  group signing on refrains, the occasional narrator, overly precise technicality, super clean vocals…need I go on?  And why do the keyboards ALWAYS have to have the angelic sound?  Can’t someone please find a new setting?  For power metal fans, and I know you have to be out there somewhere, this represents another sure thing.  But if you don’’t dig, don’t bother. Sadly the best part of this album could easily be the naked 18th century babe on the back.  The worst part of the whole thing was THE worst keyboard solo I’’ve ever heard, Elegy, find it, hear it, burn it.