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Creation's End: A New Beginning

A New Beginning is the debut from the new melodic metal supergroup called Creation's End. The band features vocalist Mike DiMeo (ex-Riot, ex-Masterplan, The Lizards), guitarists Rudy Albert (Zandelle) and Marco Sfogli (James LaBrie), drummer Dario Rodriguez, and bassist Joey Bones (Chris Caffery). A New Beginning is dark, heavy, brooding, but always melodic, and while the performances of the band members are top notch, the focus here seems to be more on the songs and less on displays of virtuoso capabilities.

DiMeo's been a busy guy the last few years with stints with Riot, Masterplan, and The Lizards, but his powerful & soaring pipes fit in just fine here on this CD. The guy just absolutely nails it on "World Holocaust". Fans of James LaBrie's solo efforts will also love the great guitar work of Sfogli, as his crunchy riffs and scorching solos abound on each and every track. He makes for a powerful guitar team with Albert, who also doubles up on keyboards, and you can expect to hear some prime riffage on such stellar cuts as "Hollow", "Dissociate", and the furious "Relic". The band does get somewhat proggy as well, especially on the two epic tracks "Forsaken" and "Creation's End", with the result being somewhat like the dark, textured sounds of the band Redemption. When Creation's End throws grinding metal mixed with adventurous prog at the listener, as they do on "Of Shadow and Flame", complete with dazzling guitar leads and stabbing synths, the results are extraodinary. To top it all off, Neil Kernon handled the engineering on the album, and as you can imagine, it sounds great.

A New Beginning is one of those releases that takes a few spins to really get into due to the dark nature of many of these songs, but as you start to let these melodies and dense musical passages sink in, it all becomes quite accessible. I'm not sure if Creation's End are in it for the long haul or if this is a one-off project, but there's a lot to like here and I'd be very happy to see this band develop further from this debut.

Track Listing

  1. 'Of Shadow And Flame'
  2. 'World Holocaust'
  3. 'Hollow'
  4. 'Dissociate'
  5. 'Still Life'
  6. 'Forsaken'
  7. 'Relic'
  8. 'Creation's End'

Added: July 3rd 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 4339
Language: english

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Creation's End: A New Beginning
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-07-03 06:03:02
My Score:

While most fans consider Creation's End the band that features vocal icon Mike Dimeo along with guitar virtuoso Marco Sfogli, the songs are actually driven by guitarist Rudy Albert (Zandelle) and drummer Dario Rodriguez, who go way back with these songs. They just rearranged and re-wrote the material years later when the opportunity for a new project came up.

What we have here are songs deeply steeped in heavy metal, given Dimeo's work with some of the greatest bands on the planet, especially Riot. However, guitarist Albert also plays a good dose of synths while allowing bassist Joey Bones (Chris Caffery) to implement some his the finest and most audible bass lines of his recording career. The songs seethe with complex bass patterns strung across shredding guitars by the guitar due of Sfogli and Albert. "Of Shadow and Flame" and "World Holocaust" not only demonstrate Dimeo's powerful vocals (what a voice!) but they are defined by intensely burning fretwork, stomping bass, and calculated unison solos. Marco Sfogli's playing, though still intricate and technical, is surprisingly restrained compared to his work with James Labrie. He still shines, however, especially on "Hollow" where he swaps passages with a dense synth melody.

Having been produced and co-written by drum god John Macaluso, the drums are up front in the mix and yield a strong sonic punch all throughout. "Still Life" and "Forsaken" are songs that seem like everything was built around Rodriguez' rhythmic ideas. The songs rock with relentless groove, while still allowing space for the dark acoustic guitars and extended instrumental sections. The latter is complete with a sick bass solo played over a subtle keyboard motif.

That said, the production of this album is far from flawless. Even though it was mixed by Neil Kernon and recorded by John Macaluso, the songs are unbearingly loud in terms of mastering. Anyone who can listen to this album on headphones twice in a row should receive a lifetime achievement award. I couldn't help but check the dynamic range of these tracks, and believe me the whole thing is clipped with zero room to breathe. This would be understandable if this were an extreme metal release where this kind of production can work. However, this is prog-driven heavy metal disc with one of the greatest guitar players and vocalists around, and they've prevented these talents from reaching their full potential. And production *can* affect one's enjoyment of the music, especially if it comes such prominently to the fore.

I highly recommend John Macaluso's solo album, The Radio Waves Goodbye, as it features both Mike Dimeo and Marco Sfogli as well as another stellar cast of musicians with possibly the best songwriting from Macaluso ever (along with Ark's Burn the Sun, of course).

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