Throes Of Sanity - The Upheaval

Year of Release: 1995
Label: Preserved Moose
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 67:19:00

This disc ended up in my hands courtesy of the band, and I was surprised to see the 1995 release date on it. At first spin, I was immediately inclined to think "Metal Church," which I believe I'm on target in some of the song structures. For the most part though, Throes Of Sanity has its feel firmly planted in the 80?s style of power metal with the likes of Z Lot Z, Jacob?s Dream, Zandelle, Division and other bands who carry the 80's metal flag into the new millenium.


This is well done, straightforward, straight-ahead melodic power metal. Complete with acoustic intros leading into frenzied verses and choruses surrounded by a twin guitars and a very high pitched singer who is perfect for this style. The band also uses quite a bit of acoustic guitar to accent the power, and much of the softened melodic sounds come from this approach. The music, while focused and heavy, seems to be built around the high flying vocal pyrotechnics and the band?s obvious love for writing mini-books for their lyrics. The music runs the gambit from the obligatory speedy runs with twin guitars trying frantically to keep up with the drums, to the slower, darker, slower power ballads.

The title track, "The Upheaval" is exemplary of what this band is all about. A 7-minute epic that really catches the ear and makes you want to hear more of this style. If you?re familiar with the soft acoustic guitar intros that lead into heavy, crunching power songs, then you have a good idea of what Throes of Sanity thrives on. There is a little use of keys as well, but not enough to sway the listener from thinking that this band is not a power metal band - this band is about power metal and guitars, and any softness or melodies come strictly from the use of guitars, electric and acoustic.


Those of you into the high pitched, screaming Geddy Lee styles singers, look no further. Some singers are suited perfectly for their craft, and Scott King is one of those singers. Sporting one of those "pronounce every word majestically" (typical of the 80's style singers), and able to reach ungodly ranges risking your hearing, Scott is more than able to sing the power ballad to the screeching speed demons to the epic / dramatic songs that Throes provides. Immediately coming to mind in his normal tone or range is Scott Stewart of Division, who has one of those incredibly suited voices that mix perfectly with the style of metal his bands plays. Such is the case with Scott King. His voice complements this music perfectly, and saying that his high-pitched voice sounds like a screaming Geddy Lee is an understatement. Think of the singer from Jacob?s Dream in this case as well. In addition, due to the bands? love for writing mini-epics for lyrics, the music calls for a singer who can deliver the words with conviction and urgency. It?s very difficult to actually listen to what is going on musically with this band because you can?t take your ears off of this guy?s voice. It?s definitely one of the highlights of the disc, and this is one of those guys who you?d like to see live on wonder if he can really do this on stage, knowing full well that he can.


Unfortunately, this is what will cause the staying power of the disc to be a bit short-lived. As with most indie bands, you immediately get the idea that this is a band more suited for the stage than on disc with this sound. It just doesn?t do them justice. With 2 guitars, power galore, and a singer of this caliber, a band NEEDS and demands a great production to deliver the message and this is where there are deficiencies. There is no need to go into what is missing here, other than the fact that the disc was obviously recorded on a small budget and there are gaps in the overall mixing process. The power of this band is not captured at all, although the vocals do shine here. It?s a very clean recording for sure, and nothing is left to the imagination, but it?s an empty recording void of any effects, and sounds too natural to capture what this band is all about. There is no doubt that this band smokes in a live setting, but this is not where you will hear that power. Given a better budget and time, no doubt that this would become a winner in the power metal world.


The disc is more than worth checking out, especially to those who don't have a care in the world about what production means. Again, this is a well-recorded disc; it just lacks the obvious power that the band gives off overall and sounds a bit empty with a huge hole in the guitar sound. This is one of those bands that you know just kills on stage, and being able to see this guy sing live would really be a treat. If you?re into Jacob's Dream, Zandelle, Division, Steel Prophet, or the many other bands that take that 80's sound and re-structure it to sound fresh in the 90's and beyond. The singer and the title track alone would definitely be looking into if you?re a power metal lover, they are worth the price of the disc alone. Take the booklet, get ready to read some tasty and long lyrics, and crank this one way up because of the weaker recording, and you've really got yourself one good power metal disc.

This Side Of The Grave (6:50) / Abstract (I) (6:32) / Core (II) (2:15) / Prelude To A Dream (1:31) / Elder Trails (5:52) / Tyrants (3:34) / Candle (6:23) / Never Look Back (5:56) / Content Within (9:47) / The Upheaval (6:58) / Bonus Track (6:02)

Scott King - vocals
Marc Wallace - guitars, keyboards
Erik Peterson - guitar
Philip Tsai - bass
Jeff Winston - drums

The Upheaval (1995)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

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

Hits: 829
Language: english


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