All Too Human - Forever And A Day


Year of Release: 1998
Label: self-released/Orchard
Catalog Number: 1213
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:29:00

THE STYLE:

To be honest, the disc covers a lot of ground and it's hard for me to pinpoint exactly what genre this band would fall under. Asking a few questions might give an idea of what this band might sound like. The disc clocks in at 46:00, and runs the gamut of some very interesting styles.

First and foremost, on disc the band sounds like more of a hard rock band than anything else, so those wondering if this band is heavy on disc, the answer is no and this may put the metal heads at unrest, and I would gather that most would call this disc too light to qualify for a metal disc. What would happen if Geddy Lee and Geoff Tate decided to whip out their acoustic guitars and play some soft, laid back ballad type songs ? What would happen if Van Halen suddenly decided to play some mellow hard rock and lay back on the supercharged guitar work? What would happen if a melodic rock band decided to add some Rush-ian type melodies to their music? The answer is All Too Human...

The band really doesn't stay put enough to point the finger and say, "that's who they sound like", because the band goes off in many directions with each song, and you'd have to follow each song and take notes due to the many influences in the music. At one point, you'd think that Rush was playing some melodic rock; then you'd think that a melodic rock band was playing Rush; then you think that Van Halen went prog and toned it down a few decibels. Other times you'd swear that Geoff Tate was playing some acoustic ballads on his acoustic guitar, and then handed it to Geddy Lee to play some of his acoustic ballads. It's quite the array of styles and music we have here, and this could go either way for listeners. On one hand, the people looking for something "different" in their music would enjoy this disc, but then some might say that the band doesn't know which direction they want to head in and are confused a bit. Then you will have the metal heads saying that the music is too mellow for them, and others will want to avoid the soft, acoustic passages here and there.

One interesting aspect of this disc is that I don't see the title of the disc anywhere except for on the disc itself. Otherwise I was about to call it self-titled until I saw the title of the disc ON the disc ....... If you find enjoyment in the mixed styles, influences, varied vocal styles, and other interesting changes this band makes along the way, you might dig this disc...... if you have trouble following those influences, you won't like this too much as it will be hard to follow musically.

THE SINGER:

As the music changes itself pretty much throughout the disc, the singer follows suit as well, and literally sounds like an array of singers - with each song he changes tones and sounds amazingly like some of our favorite singers in metal. Amazingly, Paul Vander can change the tone of his voice to sound like Geddy Lee, Geoff Tate, some Midnight, and a host of other "rock" singers on the lighter side. When I say he sounds like the mentioned singers, I mean he literally sounds like them. Not influenced, not tonally similar, I mean SOUNDS like them. You'll swear that Geddy Lee is playing some soft, acoustic ballads at one point, then Geoff Tate takes over and plays his soft ballad on the same guitar.

Midnight-like tones abound on the heavier tunes, mixed in with some "blues-rock" styled singer from the past. Vander mixes it up quite nicely, and again, if you favor the ever-changing styles of the music, then you will certainly favor the same changing styles of the singer. It's rare to hear a singer sound like so many singers at once, as normally they sound like one of those singers instead of a variety of them. I give credit to this guy, as anyone who can sing in those varied styles is way beyond talented in my book, and for me it's a challenge (an interesting one at that) to follow his different styles throughout the disc.

THE PRODUCTION:

For an indy band - bravo ... while the music is not heavy and doesn't demand the heavy mixing that some bands would need to get the sound across, All Too Human certainly thrives on clarity. The disc is crystal clean - void of any faults in sound, and it almost sounds like the band is right in your living room playing live. The music is light enough so you can hear every instrument clearly, especially the vocals and guitar, which are superbly recorded. The drums have a "natural" tone - never overpowering and sound about exactly what they would sound like in a good recording room, avoid of effects. The vocals are so clear and up front in the mix it's easy to hear every word that the singer is saying. Bass is very clean, and not heavy as the music itself is not too heavy. Of special note, the acoustic guitar work is recorded superbly, some of the cleanest work I've heard in awhile from an indy band.

THE COMMENTS:

If you're a fan of Anomaly, you'll probably do well to check out this disc. It's got that "rock" feel to it, again mixing in some Rush-ian undertones while maintaining their own sound within. So - if you don't like it on the lighter side, you won't dig this as it's on the "rock" side of music, about what you'd get from Rush's "Closer to the Heart" most of the time... if you don't mind it soft, and you want some varied sounds in your music, then you'll like the disc. If you want to hear a good singer who sounds like a mixed version of some of your favorite singers, then you'll want to hear this as well... if variety is not your bag, then you'll hate this disc. Translation - do you get the idea that the band does not follow any one particular style or wear the same suit all day? This could go either way for listeners, it's up to your tolerance and flexibility, but there's no denying that the band has something good to offer. Their willingness to change tells me that they want to be as interesting as possible, and that's what we're looking for in the 90's, isn't it?


Tracklisting:
What Do You Call Me Now? (7:10) / Intro/Forever And A Day (8:25) / Life Begins Anew (3:16) / An Untitled Masterpiece (4:00) / A Walk Through Iowa Park (2:11) / Souls On A Mortal High (5:14) / Dismal Array (2:32) / The Limits Of Man (4:33) / Camel's Revenge (9:08)

Musicians:
Chris Lucci - drums
Chris McCluan - guitars
Maurice Taylor - bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards
Paul Vander - vocals

Discography:
Forever And A Day (1998)
Entropy (2002/2004)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: June 1st 2000
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.alltoohuman.com
Hits: 913
Language: english

  

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