Cult Melodic Rock favourites Bangalore Choir return with their second album since their reformation a few years back. Three fifths of the original 90’s outfit are still going strong and the yanks are now joined by Germans Andy Susemihl (Guitars) and Rene Letters (Drums). It has to be said lead vocalist David Reece is one of the busiest men in rock and thankfully so. Not only is he a driving force behind Bangalore Choir, he also has his solo work, collaborations like the excellent recent Reece-Kronlund album and the impending Tango Down album keeping him busy and in our ears!
I found the bands comeback album Cadence a little dark but a good collection of tracks to get the band back out there. I think Metaphor is better and contains more stand out songs, but as a whole like its predecessor it does suffer a little from inconsistency. I find this album has a lighter atmospheric feel to it, which I prefer if I’m honest and this collection of songs probably harks back to the band’s debut On Target more noticeably than Cadence.
Metaphor is an album of two half’s, quite literally, opening with a bombard of instant in your face rock numbers only for things to go off the boil in the second half. Not that they are bad tracks but they lack the immediacy of the songs before them and fail to make an impact. That said the quality of the stand out tracks does raise the standard of the album as a whole and it is a worthy addition to many melodic rock fans collections! Fans of Europe should also give this one a spin as the one band that kept coming to mind throughout listening to it was Europe.
I think one of the shining lights of the album is Andy Susemihl’s guitar work; he’s crafted some wonderfully memorable melodic guitar riffs that really hook you in. I would definitely say this is an album for guitar lovers to check out, it never becomes self indulgent or heavy and it always stays true to the melodic mantra of the band, I really think the guitar licks on this album are awesome!
Reece also puts in a really strong vocal performance, more focussed and controlled opting to emphasise melody over power. Reece has a really powerful rock vocal and it can be used to amazing effect, but it’s nice to hear as you do here there’s more to him than just raw power!
The album opens with the driving rocker ‘All The Damage Done’ which features some excellent guitar work from Susemihl and a punchy chorus complete with harmonies. ‘Trojan Horse’ is a hook filled monster that captured me from the get go. I adore the melodic guitar riff and its anthemic chorus; this track could have sat on On Target easily. ‘Silhouettes On The Shade’ has some insistent guitar work that will grab you. I think Reece puts in one of his best vocal performances on this track. It also has a strong punchy chorus which has chant moments and I’ll be shocked if this doesn’t become a live staple for the band!
‘Don’t Act Surprised’ is a high tempo rocker with some killer hook laden guitar licks and a sing it out loud chorus. It’s a storming melodic rock tune which has my favourite line on the entire album “When humble pie starts to taste like shit”. This is when the album goes off the boil a little for me. ‘Never Face Ole Joe Alone’ has a Cajun flavour completed with harmonica. You can actually picture the band on a log cabin porch in the middle of a swamp – “Squeal Piggy, Squeal”. That said the song does nothing for me although it does add a bit of colour and diversity to the album.
Ballad ‘Fools Gold’ has a decent chorus and a nice vocal performance from Reece. The obvious melodic rock dance floor filler ‘Always be My Angel’ seems strangely placed at the end! It does however finish the album off in style and it’s sure to be a winner with genre fans. It has a huge chorus and is very reminiscent of On Target.
Metaphor is far from perfect but it does give you a snappy and immediate dose of melodic rock with huge arena pleasing choruses and plenty of ear pleasing melodic guitar riffs. Well worth checking out especially if you’re already a fan of Reece or Susemihl’s guitar work!
Rated 7 out of 10