The title of the disc may be prophetic as this band that I have watched from their inception have turned the corner and made a disc that could very well shake the departed right out of their grave. They have finally taken off the reigns and unleashed the secret weapon that has shown itself on their previous efforts but never to the extent as here. The beast named Simon Lees, who has been a churning volcano for the two disc history of the band, erupts with a force that will scorch a six string path of destruction more potent than any puny lava flow. As good as their two previous works were, this one takes them not to just a new level but into a whole new world where the potential is unlimited.
For those that are familiar with their work don't fret as they have not abandoned their core sound. There is still a bit of folk feel here and there, the vocals of Sarah(Isis) are still the wispy breath amongst this torrid frenzy of guitar mayhem and they manage to keep things very melodic while being as heavy as hell this time around. I have to say that this is where they should be. This is the kind of album that could take them a lot further and stretch to all parts of the globe. Simon pulls on his extensive background that includes the legendary band Budgie to help make Waking The Dead a heavy metal treat.
Easing their way into it, an acoustic guitar leads to the wispy vocals of Sarah before the crunch of Simon's guitar announces that this is going to be something more than you have become accustom to on their previous offerings. "Locked In" shows off the contrast when Sarah handles the vocals. She manages to keep the music on a more flowery level until Simon cuts loose with a solo that reminds you this is a heavy metal album through and through.
I am a sucker for that very melodic heavy metal that was popular a few years ago. That is as long as it is well done. Sometimes you hear a song and just cannot forget it. Bits of the song will stick with you and you will find yourself singing a line from it for no reason at all. This is exactly what has happened when I heard the song "Without Anaesthetic". With a touch of keyboards and Simon Lee's powerful vocals I find myself humming this song without needing any music playing around me. It happened to me at Walmart yesterday as I was shopping. Going down the aisle I just flashed to the thought that I was doing this crap "Without Anaesthetic"! This is some great stuff and there is no doubt that it will have the same effect on you.
If the last song didn't get stuck in the brain, just wait until you hear "Are We There Yet". Any parent who has taken the family on a long drive will sympathize and this musical road trip would not be complete unless they pack up the family and travel down the heavy metal highway. This song has just a touch of road rage in the vocals of Lees as he navigates us with this churning rock and roll ode to tearing up the blacktop.
Anubis does give you a bit of break with the mostly acoustic "Hold Me Now". This is a terrific song that reminds me of the mellow work of someone like Extreme. Lees does provide a small clean electric backing to part of the song and it is extremely effective. His vocals are compelling along with Sarah providing an innocence with her background singing. It is a spellbinding combination.
There are two instrumental works on this disc. Both "Chenevare" and "The End Game" which is dedicated to Simon's mother who passed away recently show the talent of Lees, the guy with a six string soul. I really want to see this guy on stage as I am sure that it is something to behold.
This is one tight band. I have belabored on the guitar work because it is obvious that they are showcasing his talent on this disc but the rhythm section is the backbone of the group. Bassist Pete Williamson along with new comer Kevin Bartlett on drums are rock steady and add the low end that this kind of material demands.
This is an album that I have enjoyed daily since I received it and I see no stoppage in the pattern anytime soon. Get yourself some great heavy metal from a band that really knows how to dish it out!
1. Locked In
2. 'Til It Hurts
3. My God
4. Without Anaesthetic
6. Are We There Yet?
7. Hold Me Now
9. Above Water
10. In Your Mind
12. Dawn Will Never Come
13. The End Game