It's been about three years since their debut album, The Back of Beyond
. It rocked out like versatile heavy metal with an eighties hair metal flair. The band has undergone two line up changes since then. They've gotten a new drummer and rhythm guitarist. Into the Madness
was released on a different label, Power
Prog from Germany. So how will this sophomore album compare to their debut album, in regards to their line up changes? Will
there be any stylistic changes in their music, after going from an American label (Hell
Rider) to a German label (Power
Chris Sokolowski has a strong singing voice. He has fine tuned his vocal approach and technique on this album. He shows improved range on the higher notes, with a delivery like Kai Hansen from early Helloween
. The choruses are both beautiful and angelic. Until the Day Will Dawn
starts kind of slow, with whining guitar pieces. Then slicing and dicing guitar chops go with earth moving bass riffs, and are explosive at a medium tempo. The whining vocals really hit the high notes. The bass riffs rotate dominating focus with the guitar power chords. There's a melodic guitar solo towards the end.
The lead guitarist plays a lot of whining riffs, that are held in suspension on the higher end of the note spectrum. The two guitarists also play sharp cutting edge grinding, in between episodes of shredding. The heavy metal textures sound light, like the sharp edge of a saw blade, and the descending layers sound thicker, with more impact. Hand
goes with rapid riffs, that are played melodically. Then the heavy bass lines bounce up and down like the modern polka rhythms do. It's kind of like a chugging rhythm, then they break out with an angelic chorus. Then there's a flaming hot guitar solo that's played with distortion and a little bit of a cheesy power metal texture.
The bass is played deep yet tightly in sequence with the rhythm guitar and it's often hard to discern the difference between the two. It does add a deep disguised heavy ambiance to the cutting edge rhythm guitar riffs and power chords. The Madman starts with heavy grinding and chopping power chords, that are backed by subtle yet strong bass lines. The bass lines don't stand out too much. The lead guitar music is more noticeable, with it's melodic shredding and whining guitar solos. Dominick Wojcik is a conservative drummer, whose melodic beat patterns aren't overly flashy. He picks up the pace with increased tempo and musical intensity. His snare rolls and drum rattling usually make a fast flickering sound.
Into the Madness
is a highly polished and professional production from Poland. So much so that it sounds very processed and commercial. The rhythm guitar music and the bass music often play so tightly in musical sequence, that they sound like one unit. Many of these tracks sound alike, so maybe they took a hit in the songwriting department. The Back of Beyond
was a more versatile album with a variety of musical textures. It had a more organic arrangement, where the bass and drum music had more personality. The new one sounds a lot more elegant and European, than their debut album. The high note singing approach, with the high note guitar leads, sound a lot like early Helloween
. There's some glam and cheese involved, so they're moving towards the power metal style.