Hard Reviews 3
by Martin Popoff

The Obsessed - The Obsessed

OK, this thing was recorded in '84, first released in '89, and I'm listening to the 2000 reissue on Tolotta, which is a stoner rock label housing Wino's much more eventful and developed act Spirit Caravan. But the main reason I mention this is, that with stoner rock profuse, this album from 16 years back sounds pretty damn with-it, even though at the time we would have called it dated and under-produced, and then laugh about how these cavemen ended up existing at all. No question, the man's got a great voice, otherworldly, pleasantly druggy, and the production on here is competent on all frequencies, although the performances dearly lurch, wobble and tumble. And great guitar sound too, reminding me of Rick Rubin's Masters Of Reality tone. Cool boner-us: Tolotta reissue contains an additional ten track live concert (with lyrics to both the studio and live material), more carnivorous guitar machinations (rippig riffs, tearing leads), pretty demo-shod, but electric, stoned, better grooves than the studio material, and fully befitting of Wino's modern day stoner grandpappy status.
Rating 7.5

Metalium - State Of Triumph

Caffery and Terrana are gone and so is any sense of distinguishing this from Primal Fear, save for a desperate scurry detected in the rhythms, an organic-ness that at least tips a hat within other frequencies. But the (self-spun) hype overseas is large and smothering (what's with you people?), and Metalium have pried themselves into the important zone when it comes to all this cookiecutter power metal drear. Photo shoot will probably bite their butts (see Armored Saint, Malice, Queensryche's Rage For Order), and good thing too, 'cos we no longer have to deal with replication in the world of power metal. There are many acts going beyond, most of them I might add, from America (Steel Prophet, Jacob's Dream), but some like Tad Morose, Lefay, Mob Rules and Angel Dust stirring things up all over geeky Europe. Nice cover art, Sacred Steel.
Rating 5

Hard Reviews Page 4