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Torman Maxt: The Problem of Pain, Part 2

Torman Maxt's The Problem of Pain: Part 1 from 2007 was not my favorite album, to say the very least. The generally uninspired compositions, amateur musicianship, and corny lyrics didn't leave the best impression for what part two may have in store. Thankfully, Torman Maxt has improved significantly over the last three years - not only as musicians, but also as songwriters and lyricists. The Problem of Pain: Part 2 seldom exceeds above average, but it's a solid heavy prog rock/metal album that fans of the genre will most likely enjoy. If you weren't exactly blown away by part one, I wouldn't completely dismiss this effort just yet - Torman Maxt has plenty to offer this time around.

The band still plays a style of progressive rock/metal with influences from acts like Rush and King's X, but also with touches of AOR scattered throughout. The atmosphere is generally light and positive, with very few dark and heavy sections. If you're looking for a prog metal concept album that will evoke dark emotions (think bands like Pain of Salvation or Opeth), definitely look elsewhere. Although the lyrics deal with a fairly dark section of the Bible, the music seldom creates a haunting atmosphere. This can be problematic at times (the album can feel a bit "samey" to me), but the compositions are still generally strong. The musicianship is also much stronger this time around - it's clear that Torman Maxt has increased their chops over the last three years. The vocals from Tony Massaro are very much an acquired taste (I don't enjoy them very much), but I could see some people enjoying his Geddy Lee-inspired singing. His voice just sounds too frail for my taste most of the time. The production is also pretty thin and occasionally lacks power, though it still sounds pretty professional.

The Problem of Pain: Part 2 isn't a progressive rock masterpiece or anything like that, but it's a solid album that's worth a look from most of the community. The vocals and lyrics do test my patience occasionally, but it may be worth looking past for some quality retro-oriented progressive rock/metal. 3 stars are deserved here - this is probably the best offering Torman Maxt has to date.

Track Listing:
1. Job's Lament (10:05)
2. Bildad (4:48)
3. Zophar (2:46)
4. Eliphaz (4:25)
5. Job's Complaint (3:57)
6. Job's Plea (4:30)
7. God Speaks (5:51)
8. Restoration (5.04)

Added: June 8th 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Torman Maxt Website
Hits: 1982
Language: english

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