Fates Warning vocalist Ray Alder and friends return with another collection of groovy trash-funk power metal — if that makes any sense at all. Imagine the playfulness of Sepultura coupled with the head-on attack of Pantera, and you’re just about there. And if Engine may lack enough songs to fully back up the sound, this is still an ambitious and impressive album that reaches far beyond the scope of most contemporary old-school metal. Alder’s vocal bite has rarely sounded better, and the band has grown into a solid and tight unit since their debut offering. The album is jam-packed with groovy riffs and there’s a fine complexity to the arrangements that never gets in the way of their fiery and fearsome attack. And, with a cool cover version of The Cure’s “Fascination Street,” you know their hearts are in the right place as well.
Metal Blade Records: http://www.metalblade.com