Creation's End - 'In The Beginning' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 18, 2011    
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Another new name on the US progressive power metal scene.

Another new name on the US progressive power metal scene, Creation's End were formed several years ago by rhythm guitarist/keyboard player Rudy Albert and drummer Dario Rodriguez. The pair had been sitting on a collection of songs they'd written between 2003 and 2006 and seemingly getting nowhere with them until a meeting with celebrated drummer John Macaluso (TNT/Malmsteen/Ark etc.). Macaluso was enthused by what he heard and invited them to record at his newly refurbished studio, as well as hooking them up with bassist Joe Black, ex-Riot and Masterplan singer Mike DiMeo, and the final piece in the puzzle, Italian guitar maestro Marco Sfogli, who Macaluso knew from when they were both in James LaBrie's solo band.

The compositions here have been tweaked by Macaluso and the rest of the band, and whilst these songs are obviously rooted in traditional power metal, the new musicians and their producer have added a far more technical edge with progressive arrangements and some very complex percussion ideas. The eight tracks on offer are mostly quite lengthy, ranging from the five and half minutes of 'Relic' to over eleven minutes on the closing 'Creation's End', but there are so many ideas here that tempo and mood changes happen frequently irrelevant of the length of the song. The many different riffs of the opener 'Of Shadow And Flame' take a few plays to sink in, but there's plenty of light and shade with superb musicianship (the guitar solos of Sfogli are jaw-dropping) and soaring vocals from the underrated DiMeo, as well as some excellent backing vocals. I think the main problem here is that nothing is really immediate and the album requires time and effort to appreciate the craft and diversity of the material, and also some of it is quite dark and foreboding in the same way that bands like Zero Hour and Deadsoul Tribe can sometimes be, although on the whole Creation's End are far livelier.

Highlights include the more accessible 'World Holocaust', which is very melodic, relatively unfussy and heavily features the keyboards, 'Hollow'; an epic power ballad with a nice change of pace in the middle, and the ten minutes plus of 'Forsaken'; a melodic gem that's worthy of the admission price alone. With a mix by the legendary Neil Kernon and mastering by Alan Douches, 'In The Beginning' is a great sounding and very challenging listen, and will hopefully be the first of many Creation's End albums to come.

Phil Ashcroft

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