OZ - Transition State

November 9, 2017, a month ago

(AFM)

Mark Gromen

Rating: 7.5

review heavy metal hard rock oz

OZ - Transition State

Stylistically, not the same Finns who created Fire In The Brain, now seemingly enamored with a lighter take on traditional metal. None too surprising, as just one member, drummer Mark Ruffneck, remains, but this is still decidedly old school fun. There's a certain vintage Grim Reaper quality (?) to the sound and off kilter vocal performance on album opener, “Bone Crusher” and “Drag You To Hell (which even sounds like a Steve Grimmett title!). 

Built around a simple, but catchy melody (and a few 'whoa whoa' sing-along bits), “Heart Of A Beast” could be a Teutonic gem, if not for its locale. Don't hear too many guitar tones like “Restless” these days. A rollicking, high pitched voiced “Demonized” utilizes the name of old Oz tunes as lyrics. “We'll Never Die” is a “we'll-stand-together” concert anthem. Not sure about formatting, but this review copy includes a trio of “bonus” tracks, augmenting the running order to a baker's dozen. Of the extras, a pedestrian “Whore Of Babylon” (with neo-classical guitar workout), “Midnight Screams” and “Sister Red”, only the lively final choice is worth extra investigation (dollars?) Shame it isn't on the proper platter, as it's better than a few that ARE included.

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ROBB FINLAYSON - "Winter's Apprentice" (Independent)

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