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Meroe: Sick Society

Sick Society is the third album from Munich based Meroe, who presumably, or possibly, take their name from their vocalist Oliver Monroe....? So with the four-piece, completed by the variously lacking of surnames Alex K. on guitar, Andy Lorenzo on drums and Pete on bass, following in a long tradition of Germanic Metal with memorable choruses, all should be well in the land of Meroe. However no matter how exciting the material and truth be told much of Sick Society is far for exciting, a sparkly, or gritty, or punchy production is a must for this kind of music. So the very fact that what Alex and Oliver handed to renowned masterer Dave Donelly (Kiss/Motley Crue) is flat as a pancake leaves Meroe desperately over matched. The band attempt to mix styles, lurching from Skid Row one minute to Scorpions the next, via a brief nod to Dio, but with Monroe vocally sitting between Klaus Meine and the dry theatrical approach of Dennis DeYoung, the effect is often lost.

Lyrically Sick Society is equally confused, with the big dumb "Wild Temptation" kicking into life as though Da Crue's take on "Smokin' In The Boys Room" is about to begin, housing inspiring words like "Me and the boys like to rock around, we hear the crowd as they scream and shout" leading to "We are so wild tonight, we like to rock and roll....". Really? With the ultra polite production it all sounds a little preposterous. Following that is "Children Of The Innocence" which rather convincingly passes a little social commentary on the youth of today, illustrating a completely different level of lyrical thought altogether, although the songs itself is as slow and ponderous and hi-hat dominated as its predecessor. And so it goes, with "Let It Rock" being subpar Crue and "Last Days In Paradise" again cleverly swapping lyrical ethos, while refusing to really burst into life. "Here In My Heart" adds a little more melody while "Kissin' A Dream Goodbye" offers up a piano, strings and vocal ballad that highlights the Styx like inflection to the vocals even more strongly. Then suddenly we turn a corner, with the more metallic "Never Let You Go" finding a strutting thrust previously lacking and the biting "Show Your Love" being irresistibly sing along as the drums thump for all their worth. I mean we're not exactly talking earth shattering stuff here, but there's little argument that a full album's worth of this kind of fare would have been mighty fine indeed. "Sweet Sister" loses its way again, with the vocals once more overly exposed, while "Let The Eyes Do The Talking" rediscovers some urgency through another mind burrowing chorus. Sadly the dreary Dokken lite of "Canadian Lady" finishes Sick Society in unspectacular style.

In flashes Meroe display a real talent and skill, with energy and vibrancy coursing thickly through their music. However all too often these flashes are surrounded with flaccid songs that simply leave little impact, if any at all.

Sick Society? On this evidence, it's hard to argue.

Track Listing
1. Wild Tonight
2. Children Of The Innocence
3. Let It Rock
4. Last Days In Paradise
5. Here In My Heart
6. Kissin'a Dream Goodbye
7. Never Let You Go
8. Show Your Love
9. Sweet Sister
10. Let The Eyes Do The Talking
11. Canadian Lady

Added: May 26th 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Meroe Online
Hits: 1930
Language: english

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