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Andeavor: The Darkest Tear

Pennsylvania progressive metal band Andeavor certainly took their time between releases. Their debut Once Upon Time was recently reissued on the 10th Anniversary of its release, and with it also comes a new CD called The Darkest Tear. This one was started quite a few years ago, but with the long bouts of inactivity, the band never really had the chance to put the finishing touches on it till now. Despite some obvious differences, The Darkest Tear is the logical follow-up to Once Upon Time, and a release that should raise a lot of eyebrows in the prog-metal community.

One thing you'll realize right off the bat is that Chris Rodler (Leger de Main/RH Factor) does not appear on this album, though he did do the recording, and the mixing/mastering was completed by John Trevethan. Not much information is given as far as how much of The Darkest Tear was recorded in the past and how much was completed in recent times, but Rodler's keyboards and guitar synth parts that were such an integral part of the debut are missing this time around. Instead, the trio of Doug Peck, Steven Starvaggi, and Steve Matusik handle everything on these 8 songs, which come across as a combination of Rush and Fates Warning. Peck's vocals are much stronger here than on the debut, as his powerful voice (which sounds a lot like a young Dennis De Young from Styx) takes full command of such dark, dense numbers like "Curse This Storm" and "Chasing the Sun". Since there are no keyboards here, Matusik's guitar is forced to take on more colors and layers, evident on the textured "Vague" and the moody "Tomorrow", but the guy absolutely rips on the complex number "Insomnia". Starvaggi's drum work is solid throughout, keeping all these metallic yet somewhat atmospheric songs tight and focused. His light touch on the melodic number "Not Alone" gives the song plenty of room to breath and Matusik enough space to launch a tremendous guitar solo.

Andeavor certainly don't smash you over the head with technicality and extended passages of showmanship-it's more about the songs and creating a mood which these three stress on The Darkest Tear. I'm not sure if we've heard the last of Andeavor or not, but word has it that Matusik has once again teamed up with Rodler for an as of yet untitled project similar in style to Andeavor. Let's see what happens.

Track Listing

  1. Under My Breath (5:44)
  2. Far Behind (5:21)
  3. Curse This Storm (5:36)
  4. Chasing The Sun (6:02)
  5. Vague (4:56)
  6. Insomnia (5:42)
  7. Tomorrow (6:30)
  8. Not Alone (5:35)

Added: November 1st 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band's MySpace Page
Hits: 2582
Language: english

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