Voz - Shadows Of Death Review

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Florida’s Voz play traditional/power metal steeped in the style of Painkiller-era Judas Priest, Helstar, Iced Earth, Cage and King Diamond. The band is led by former Veins Iced Over guitarist/vocalist Morrie Vozdecky. Shadows Of Death is Voz’s debut CD, but it actually contains already-written material which was slated for the second and third Veins Iced Over albums, which were essentially going to be included in a four-part CD concept package.

There are some major players in Voz’s lineup. The album features Shane French (ex-Jon Oliva's Pain, Circle II Circle, Millenium), John Teer (ex-Teer), with guests Pete Blakk of King Diamond and Dave Garcia of Cage supplying some blistering guitar solos.

Voz live and breath pure, classic, old school heavy metal, the way it was meant to be played. The band’s influences are definitely sewn to the sleeves of their black leather jackets, but I’m sure this doesn’t bother them in the least. The songwriting is a bit predictable and formulaic, but the songs pound you terrifically and the album never lets up from the first song till the last.

With that being said, there’s nothing really memorable about each of the 10 tracks. The rhythm section is relentless and the guitar solos are killer, but Vozdecky’s ear-piercing screeching, which can get a little annoying and distracting if you don’t like this type of metal screaming in the first place. I, however, love falsetto vocalists and will cut Vozdecky a little slack here, although I think he needs a little work with a vocal coach perhaps to tighten up and control his vocal cords a bit.

His vocals are a combination of “Ripper” Owens, Rob Halford and Sean Peck, but just not as controlled or accurate.

Another critical point to Shadows Of Death is the production. It’s too thin and hollow-sounding — not very bottom-heavy, and it lacks an explosive punch. However, the music is great and that shouldn’t distract from the overall listening experience.

Fans of traditional and US power metal shouldn’t be too disappointed with Shadows Of Death. There’s some good stuff here, but I’ll give the CD some time to stew. Just like good chili, if you add the right combination of ingredients, it will eventually come out tasting great. (released March 16, 2012 through Music Buy Mail)

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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