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When a record leaves you dumbfounded, it means that either it surprised you with its extraordinary crappiness or that, on the contrary, it blinded you with its genius. Here, luckily, we’re facing option number two. Undoubtedly. I smile, follow the beat with my entire body and feel these little shivers along my spine that indicate that the harmonies are perfect. Couragous plays a style kindred to the one offered by Into Eternity… a kind of modern and utterly melodic Power Thrash that mixes groove and beauty with a lot of refinement. Top notch. Additionally, the quality of the recording rules and so does the excellent cover song People are people. What a crazy choice for a cover song!!
1. Scared 04:33
2. Sudden Death 04:24
3. Nothin´ 06:49
4. Rebirth 08:15
5. Fourth Dimension 05:10
6. …And Lost 03:39
7. The Prince 07:33
8. A Trip of Confidence 04:32
9. Remember 07:57
10. People are People 03:35 Cover of Depeche Mode
11. Brothers in Mind 04:11
12. Listen (live) 05:01
Total playing time 01:05:41
Jan Mischon Drums
Olli Lohmann Guitars, Vocals (backing)
Chris Staubach Vocals
Jürgen Wieland Bass, Vocals (backing)
Gerd Lücking Guitars, Vocals (backing)
From Raguhn-Jeßnitz, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany
The modern 90’s power/thrash saga, already nicely introduced on the debut, is on full-throttle here only that this time, contrary to the expectations, the nods towards the classic 80’s heritage are less. Yeah, the band held no illusions regarding the instigated old school revival campaign at the start of the new millennium, and they were determined to go on as planned…
and the plan doesn’t backfire; on the contrary, the album even sounds more convincing than the debut; not by a very large notch but still this is a more proficiently-executed opus regardless of the groovy urgency detected on at least half of the material, and the boosted abrasive edge given to the guitars. The latter takes some time getting used to, but the adjustment period would hardly last beyond the opening “Scared”, a noisy groovy behemoth which still delivers with the heavy crushing riffage and the more prominent presence of the cleaner side of the vocal duel. The inferior deathy side of it is quick to catch up on the more technical shredder “Sudden Death”, vintage mid-period Nevermore, the highlight here overwriting the morose, but moderately effective dirgers like “Nothin’” and “Rebirth” on which the fields of doom are just an arm’s stretch away.
The more overtly Nevermore-influenced material (“Fourth Dimension”) continues to deliver the better before all the laurels get stolen by “…And Lost”, an all-instrumental masterpiece which crosses stomping creepy walkabouts with sprightly energetic gallops the resultant symbiosis receiving major support by the excellent virtuoso leads. After such a mind-grabbing showdown it would be a bit hard to sit through the plodding quasi-doomster “The Prince”, but rest assured that the pleasant surprises are not over yet, the guys pulling out another stylish wink at Warrel Dane (R.I.P.) and Co. with the dexterous technicaller “A Trip of Confidence” before branching out into some wild mosh with the only allusion to the 80’s that is “Brothers In Mind”, a prime headbanger overshadowing the noisily and somewhat hastily executed cover of Depeche Mode’s “People are People” (for a better rendition of this song check out their compatriots Squealer’s version).
The 90’s trends were a bit more than a fading shadow at that time, and works influenced by them were not such a rarity, especially at the very dawn of the millennium. Our friends did well once again without beating any records proficiency or originality-wise, adamant on squeezing more fibres and ounces from the 90’s tools of execution without pretending that they had any passing interest in the stirred retro metal wave. The increased presence of the cleaner vocals is by all means a wise decision although the guy’s desire to sound like Warrel Dane again is quite obvious at times, impeding more individualistic moments from the musical front by keeping the Nevermore connection in check. The power metal side of the hybrid may fail a more scrutinous check-up, though, as quite often is the latter replaced by overt post-thrashy configurations, the guitars seldom making compromises with the noisy reverberations.
All good, no glaring flaws on this memorable roller-coaster the band confidently establishing themselves on the field in their homeland and also worldwide as a more defiant stance against the old school resurrection movement kind of seemed welcome at the time… but not when all the inertia from earlier instalments gets lost and the team jumps heads-over-heels into the groove… to be continued.
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