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Lost Detour - "Painted Veil" (Promo CD)

Lost Detour - "Painted Veil" Promo CD cover image

"Painted Veil" track listing:

1. Painted
2. Veil

Reviewed by on August 25, 2006

"Despite their horsepower, Lost Detour will require some road side construction on the uphill path to greatness. "

The ties that bind progressive rock and metal have sired a myriad of artists, with remarkable sonic variety. Indeed, bands as diverse as Lamb of God, Opeth, System of a Down and The Dillinger Escape Plan have cited the two genres as relevant to their signature formulas. Prog-death metalists Lost Detour adhere to the most obvious hallmarks of their respective influences, culminating in a powerful, if somewhat predictable performance.

On "Painted Veil", Lost Detour demonstrate a firm grasp of light and dark with spacious interludes and claustrophobic thrash freak outs. By not divulging the band members' names and roles within the band, Lost Detour make it difficult to give credit where it is due. All performances are technically impressive without becoming clinical or showy. Vocals are of typical fair with a balanced mix of death and clean vocals. The death growls veer between the deranged croak of Zao vocalist Daniel Wayandt and the ogreish bellow of Deicide’s Glenn Benton. Melodic vocals call to mind the lonely, cigarette scathed croon of Goo Goo Dolls singer Johnny Rzeznik. It’s an alternately interesting and amusing dichotomy.

“Painted” begins as by the numbers death metal. Cookie monster vocals and semi-discernable threats prevail, while the band stick to the template with blistering but old hat performances. The cacophony is suddenly disrupted by a sugary sweet chorus that would be at home on Top 40 radio. It’s such a whiplash inducing event, that the listener may wonder if there was mistake during the disk’s pressing. Closing track “Veil” handles the transitions more deftly beginning with cinematic keys and terrestrial acoustics. Tuneful vocals fade to a whisper during a moment of calm, only to be shattered by thrashing riffery and swooning organ keys. Swift but smooth time changes and instrumental harmonies bring a much needed sense of color amidst the enraged lyrics and murderous vocals.

Lost Detour posses an admirable vision and a wide range of obvious but tasteful influences. Perhaps most remarkable, are the occasional bluesy passages that call to mind The Doors. Opening track “Painted” could stand a structural overhaul however. Production values are neither flimsy nor enitrely fleshed out. The mixing would benefit from some spit and polish as well, particularly with regards to the all but muted bass lines. Despite their horsepower, Lost Detour will require some road side construction on the uphill path to greatness.

Highs: Top shelf musicianship. The depth and complexity of “Veil” nearly make up for the stale performances on “Painted”.

Lows: Lost Detour are overtly derivative of the now burgeoning progressive-death metal scene. At times the clean vocal performances tread dangerously close to Collective Soul.

Bottom line: Lost Detour have the essential components for success but are stymied by genre-cliches and an inclination toward cheesy pop grandeur.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)