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Years passes and the Anthony Nichols quintet remains firmly with metal since they announce that they will be serious thing with their unforgettable debut "Kill To Survive". For this occasion Mike Munro left the band and Paul Souza returned as a singer (who had already substituted him in the past). The band signed to the Italian label Metal On Metal Records and we have perhaps the most darkest/melancholic/introvert album that the band has released. I had to give it many spins, thing that never happened to me with a CD of them and at first “puzzled” me. The hooky harmonies that were trademark in almost all their records are absent and prevails a remarkable climate of darkness, nostalgia and seriousness that extends not only to music: also on the lyrics as I will detail later. But do not confused: Meliah Rage are still in a high level of musical metal quality. The compositions have good taste, are well structured ranging from initial start in "Up In Flames", excellent dueling solos Nichols/Koury in the second part of "Valley Of The Shadowless Souls", some marked influences of Metallica on "Never From Me" and "Cold Cruel Fate" (With a great chorus and much “crush”). My favorite one is "Where Nothing Ever Grows" where the whole band shines in both performance and structure of the track, with a Megadethish riff stuck in mid-plan issue.
A very different album in comparison with the previous ones but at times reminds me to passages from "The Deep And Dreamless Sleep" plus two curiosities: two short instrumentals ("Skin And Bones" and "Absolute Obedience"), and Mike Munro contribute with lyrics and voice to the song that closes this work, "Awaken Sorrow". Lyrically inspired during his time in Haiti helping to rebuild the country, his lyric is the only one with a message more "positive" and the remaining ones basically are focused into feelings of pessimism/hopelessness and were written by Paul Souza. The CD cover and the album title maybe “advance” that they will reflect those feelings. Dan Dykes with the same Anthony Nichols and Ted Ostrander did an excellent production. Perhaps here we are in presence of an interesting step forward of the band because they bring us an album full of dark feelings, introspective but retains the thrash that they always did so well mixed with their traditional metal influences. A CD that requires to be listened carefully and not just put on your CD player while you are doing something else. Meliah Rage goes forward, and they are not absolutely death in this world.
Un disco muy diferente a los anteriores pero por momentos me recuerda a pasajes de “The Deep And Dreamless Sleep”, más dos curiosidades: dos breves instrumentales (“Skin And Bones” y “Absolute Obedience”), más Mike Munro mismo que le pone letra y voz al tema que cierra este trabajo, “Awaken Sorrow” inspirado líricamente en su estadía en Haití junto a gente de la Iglesia a la que pertenece ayudando a reedificar el país. La letra es la única que tiene un mensaje más “positivo” ya que las restantes hablan básicamente de sentimientos de pesimismo/desesperanza y fueron escritas por Paul Souza. El arte de tapa y el título del disco ya adelantan que las mismas van reflejar esos sentimientos. Excelente producción de Dan Dykes, el mismo Nichols y Ted Ostrander, y acaso un interesante paso para la banda en cuanto a crear un disco lleno de climas oscuros, introspectivos pero retieniendo el thrash que ellos siempre hicieron tan bien amalgamado con sus influencias de metal tradicional. Para escuchar con detenimiento y no poner de fondo mientras estás haciendo otra cosa. Meliah Rage sigue adelante y no está para nada muerto en este mundo.