HardReviews 2
by Martin Popoff

ECHOES OF ETERNITY
The Forgotten Goddess (Nuclear Blast)

I wonder if Napalm Records is resentful of the American's stealing yet another good idea and making big with it, namely Evanescence, although, of course, an Italian band and a Finnish band have also stolen the Napalm thunder. Oh well, here's another American proposal, Echoes Of Eternity being an LA-based project (long story) with a Canadian-born singer. The formula's a little different though - what you get is a pure, unadorned, dreamy voice almost like Candice Night, placed over relentless quick-picked progressive metal that is so precise and so lacking in any of the outre arrangements courted by progressive that it's damn near a math metal version of Children Of Bodom. Not thrilled with the high-strung, ProTooled, synthetic, stiff nature of the riffs and the drumming, and the attendant clacky drum sound, really, to the point where reading about the admitted project nature of the band kinda dampened all enthusiasm for me, despite the total shred-headed metal behind will o' the wisp there.
Rating 6

STATIC-X
Cannibal (Reprise)

Always put down as an ill-timed S-band mixed up with Saliva and Staind, big-haired Wayne Static and his itchy tactical unit Static X (back to three-quarters of original now) have actually championed metal all along, and this time more so than ever, even if the future will always be part of Wayne's world. Cannibal is a cogent mix of the blips and blorps of White Zombie 'n' Rammstein with the tight arc of Coal Chamber or Mudvayne, but there's also a weird bit of Stuck Mojo, Soulfly, System Of A Down and SYL in here. Whatever the hell it is, it's a sharp, shocking blast pret' near most the time, especially come the closed-in punk of say, 'Behemoth', 'Chemical Logic' and 'Destroyer'. Wayne's vocals are amusingly and precisely barked like little needles, and the riffs respond in similar locked-down march methodry. But the thing is, the arrangements, and the short attention span flits from one set of riffs to another keep the interest up, not to mention the novel synth tones dreamt up and spent. Hell, even the drums are something, half the time sounding industrial, and then rocking into the groove I picked up that Soulfly bit from, I guess.
Rating 6.5

Hard Reviews Page 3