I must admit the reason I grabbed this album was due to some of the people involved as it sounded interesting. This band originally commenced as a project between songwriter Nate Bauer (guitar, bass, keyboards) and veteran mixing/mastering engineer Gary Long, owner of Nomad Recording Studio, in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. There was a need to bring in further musicians to carry out Nate’s vision of melding the dark atmosphere and complexity of Opeth, Black Sabbath and Voivod into shorter, more accessible songs with the hooks and vocal harmonies of Queen, Alice In Chains and Ghost. To that end they recruited King Diamond drummer Matt Thompson, singer/keyboard player Androo O’Hearn, (Shaolin Death Squad) and lead guitarist Michael Harris who has recorded 18 albums consisting of solo projects and bands such as Thought Chamber, Darkology and Arch Rival while he has also recorded with David Chastain and Vitalij Kuprij.

One would expect a very heavy band from the description and the backgrounds of those involved, but instead the focus here is on commerciality and polish, which somewhat negates the guitars. Musically the best part of this is the drumming from Matt Thompson, who has been the powerhouse with King Diamond since 2000, while also recording and touring with other bands (such as Shaolin Death Squad with Androo). He provides the heart and soul of the release, with the bass locked in tight, and then at the front we have some great vocals. What lets this down is not the guitar solos which have been provided by Michael, but the lack of real powering guitar when he is not involved. Add to that some very lacklustre keyboards and songs which are okay but not brilliant and we soon discover that while the vision is commendable the execution is somewhat more basic. If the band is to move forward then they need to use a full-time guitarist and have a keyboard player who can really add to the band, and that will then allow them to experiment more with the arrangements as here is a band which shows promise but is not there yet.

Rating: 6/10