Godica - Call Me Under 666
The self titled debut album from this Swiss five piece was a very promising one, full of potential flirting with 80's metal mentality and musically much in common with bands like Grave Digger, Primal Fear, Judas Priest and Accept but still with a personal touch. The more dirty metal rock'n roll and touches of glam also contributed a whole lot to the Eighties vibe with their Motorhead parallels. Due to these reasons I really looked forward to this new release of theirs to see if they had developed their style and enhanced their musical ideas even further. But this new Call Me Under 666 does not reach its predecessor's class and is actually more than just a couple of notches below. The more thunderous metal approach from their prior album I had expected to be even more expanded seems to have gone a bit astray
The first thing I noticed though was that former vocalist Anthony De Angelis apparently had quit the band and had been replaced by Fernando Garcia, formerly also in Victory, Wicked Sensation and Biss. The second noticeable thing was that the compositions aren't nearly as good and the third important observation is that the new vocalist doesn't even come close to producing sounds from his throat comparable to his predecessor, no matter how long and distinguished his personal record may be. The backbone in their music was the traditional metal style with a little power metal flair that mostly fed on the classic sounding guitar playing with the simple but effective basic riff style of Sammy Lasagami and that's a factor that luckily hasn't changed. The songs continue to in majority venture along the mid tempo habitual behaviour and Accept, Primal Fear and Judas Priest are still the most prominent resemblances. So that's not the main problem here since Lasagami still is very fit to fill a vacant position in any of those bands but the compositions and the vocals Just not good this time dear readers. I can't put my finger on why Garcia's not my cup of tea, but he just slaughter the songs as far as I'm concerned.
Sure the opening number Hellraiser is a good mid tempo track with very good riffing and a descent chorus with potential of being a good single promoter for the album. The title track is another good number with perhaps the best refrain on the release and with a very good solo/lead section by Lasagami. When Lightning Strikes also introduces a very good chorus and more very good guitar work while The Flight of the Dragon is the epic of the release that also is accounted for among the good tracks. Apart from these four though not many qualify to be raisers of the grade. Ok, I have to admit that that the more power metal oriented Soulkiller isn't half bad either but then the positive remarks about the contents in the eleven hatches really has to come to an end. The guitars are what really keeps the album afloat and those I can listen to for days and days without great joy but no matter how great Lasagami and his colleague Moses B play and deliver classic metal chords and solos it's falling pretty flat on its face when the Garcia starts to sing. Opinions regarding this will of course vary but for me these two musical instalments just aren't compatible with each other. They seem to be like two same sides of a magnet trying to connect and instead of clicking together repel and just don't get along. All initial punch derived from the guitar playing for me almost totally disappears when Garcia enters the sound picture. And that the songs themselves aren't nearly as good on this album as on their debut makes it impossible for me to award this very high and when not even the old trick of really pumping up the volume works, what's a poor reviewer to do
This one just won't stand long in the enormous competition of today I'm afraid. If you really loved what Godiva offered the first time out and are familiar and more appreciative of Garcia's work than me, then maybe you could find material here to your liking. But except for the guitars and a good production I just don't. It could be that the ever expanding metal scene has made me even more fastidious and my tastes and standards have been set higher over the years but still, from a professional viewpoint this could have been much better. Call Me Under 666 is definitely not reaching the debut's momentum and we're just going to have to wait and see what the third release from the Swiss can produce. Hopefully something much more digestible.
also review of: Godiva