Unlike a good music lover, I didn't immediately walk over to the merch table after the band left the stage and grab a copy of the album. At the time, I was too interested in saving my stage-side position for when Fozzy came on (you move it, you lose it), though I did take a moment to compliment guitarist, Josh Schwartz, on his playing and talk to him about his pedalboard. Anyway, by the time the show was over, their table was packed up and being moved out, and I hate to bother people about opening things back up due to my tardiness. Then the holiday season hit and I found my funds tied up in gifts for others. But enough excuses! Eventually, I did pick up the album, and it completely floored me. In my recent memory, I have heard no new traditional heavy metal band that has better captured the great sounds of the '80s powerhouse acts, while forging their own unique image. More than once during their set, I found myself thinking, “How very Iron Maiden...you know, minus the three guitarists.” The vocalist, Nina Osegueda, possesses a sonic power and style that would make Bruce Dickinson take notice. One need simply listen to the album's title track to find a clear Maiden influence, while the eight-minute opener “The Day I Die” reminds me of early Black Sabbath. The group relishes in their musical heroes, raising the banner of their metal brethren each time they take the stage.
Out Of The Darkness is a breath-taking release, and would be by any band. Each song can stand alone, strong in its own right, but combine to make a stunning album that holds your attention from beginning to end. Not only are the songs well done, but the band sounds like they're having fun playing them. I can't help but smile as I listen, captured by the passion and catchiness. I don't think there's anything I can say further. I'm just truly impressed, and I know I won't wait so long once Time's Arrow is released to pick that up.
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