Califormidable image killers - Imagika - sear and slice with their Feast For The Hated. Only two years after soaring high with their bloody wings of vengeance, these San Carlos amigos throw the horns of thrash, a hail to the old school era worship. The sick sense of songwriting has dramatically improved, and the addled comparisons to Iced Earth and Nevermore can properly be relinquished, once and for all. These California natives have much more in common with Bay Area thrash, and have existed long enough to exude the essence of that generation.
Similar to Marietta, Ohio's Catch 22, or Britain's Intense, Imagika are desperately trying to vanquish the Iced Earth reference; just as John Schaffer did for the Metallica parallels in the ealry 90's. With this new endeavor, I feel all said comparisons can be bated.
Norman Skinner channels Chuck Billy with a hint of Rob Flynn, gathering the Matt Barlow register, with a blackening pitch. His disgruntled vocals are quite audible, but very aggressive and embittered. Steve Rice still writes rippin' riffs, and retrieves melodic accolades. New guitarist Corey Krick contributes his share of personality, which fans of San Diego's Cage or Vicious Rumors, and Agent Steel will definitely appreciate.
Most of the songs flow cohesively, with character and dignity. The opening cut - "Waking A Dead Man" really sets the pace for a protracted paranoia. "Bleed As One... Appease The Gods", is a skull crushing anthem, with it's almost death-like knell, punctuated by the taunting drums of Henry Moreno. The closer "Succubus" has feminine interchange, remonstrating with accursed passion.
I can't help but be reminded of Steel Prophet's crowning achievement - Dark Hallucinations, when I listen to this CD. "New Power Rises", elucidates this point, and it may even have a hint of Messiah as well. "Sick Sense" is slow sweet burn, but fans of the aforementioned Iced Earth, when they were top of their game, won't be dissuaded. "Thinning Out The Herd" and the title track stand and deliver, as well.
"Behind Immoral Eyes" still carries the Jeff Loomis type guitar tone of Nevermore, but there is enough passion and persuasion to transcend this comparison. So many ingredients went into the song structure, and this is what makes this feast, a pleasure of the fleshed out frenzy. This album should appear to most schools of metal, thinning out the herd of contenders to the new thrash.
Overall, this is not an essential purchase, with the onslaught of September releases forthcoming like Metallica, Motörhead, Into Eternity, Falconer, Destruction, etc. It is much better than new efforts by Iced Earth and Metal Church, so I implore you to give this band their due, and indulge in their feast!
also review of: Devils
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