Old Man's Child: Ill-Natured Spiritual Invasion
I suppose the recent sales of bands like Hammerfall and Iced Earth have
taught the metal world that melody and catchy hooks are making a serious
comeback. How else to explain the slew of recent death/black metal bands who
have abandoned all Venomous predilections in favor of pursuing fair Maidens? Old
Man's Child are too heavy to be going pound for pound with the Iron ones or even
Fates Warning, but that's not to deny the sheer progressivism inherent in their
latest carnal offering, Ill-Natured Spiritual Invasion.
"Towards Eternity" starts things off with an appropriate Danny Elfman style
keyboard intro. Save for the retained death metal vocals, one is reminded often
of King Diamond's work throughout this album (meant as a compliment), and this
opening track does an excellent job of evoking a haunting mood, rather than the
screaming assault most black bands are associated with. Other quality tracks
include "The Dream Ghost", which features great keyboard-guitar interplay and
rhythmically reminds me the most of Iced Earth; "Captives Of Humanity", perhaps
the best track on the album, does the best job of creating a majestic atmosphere
with which to weave it's dark spell on your psyche; I'd also have to single out
"Thy Servant" for it's excellent musicianship and stellar job of harkening back
to yon days of olde.
Some may feel inclined to label this type of thing retro, but to me the type of
music bands like Iron Maiden and "Puppets"-era Metallica were cultivating in the
80s is of a timeless vintage and there will always be room for bands that can
recreate it well. I doubt I'll really miss the death metal vocals if they should
fall by the wayside, as I feel only bands like Cannibal Corpse and Emperor truly
warrant the use of such histrionics. But on the other hand I can't really say
they bother me too much- not enough to keep me from giving Ill-Natured
Spiritual Invasion a nearly perfect rating. As a package it succeeds wildly
where others trying this sort of progression have done so with dubious results.
The future of "retro", to be sure.
Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: SoT Archives
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