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Power Theory - "Out Of The Ashes, Into The Fire" (CD)

Power Theory - "Out Of The Ashes, Into The Fire" CD cover image

"Out Of The Ashes, Into The Fire" track listing:

1. Prevaricator
2. This Madness Is Mine
3. Heart Of Darkness
4. Nightmare Crawling
5. Never Surrender (Terror Time)
6. When The Rain Comes Down
7. Insane (Metal's Part Of My Brain)
8. Out Of the Ashes, Into The Fire
9. Ureal's Tears
10. Revelation
11. Slay The Beast Within (Remix)

Reviewed by on February 26, 2011

"There's so much that works on Power Theory's 'Out Of The Ashes, Into The Fire' that it's a shame that the one element that doesn't nearly proves to be the album's undoing. "

There's so much that works on Power Theory's "Out Of The Ashes, Into The Fire" that it's a shame that the one element that doesn't nearly proves to be the album's undoing. Unfortunately, after a strong start, singer Dave Santini's vocals just don't hold up well, with his limitations especially standing out in the album's quieter moments.

The disc starts well, with "Prevaricator" sounding like an early-'80s Accept outtake, with Santini growling over a great riff by guitarist Bob "BB" Ballinger, who busts out a solo that sounds like it was torn from Tony Iommi's fretboard. That vibe continues on "This Madness Is Mine" to great effect.

When the band gets all doomy on "Heart Of Darkness," Santini's growly vocals feel out of place, and the limitations of his range are laid bare. He handles the speedy stuff reasonably well, but when called upon to produce more melody, he just can't quite get there. The largely acoustic "When The Rain Comes Down" strives for beauty, but Santini's vocals in the chorus grate.

Still, there's plenty to enjoy instrumentally, like bassist Jason Tete's intro to "Never Surrender (Terror Time)" and a section highlighting Steve Sabo's drumming on "Prevaricator" (unfortunately, Sabo had to leave the band after the recording of this album). The band knows its way around a catchy '80s pop metal sound, and I challenge anyone to listen to "Insane (Metal's Part Of My Brain) without singing along to the chorus.

Instrumentally, Power Theory gets it right nearly all of the time on "Out Of The Ashes, Into The Fire." That makes it a lot easier to forgive the moments when the vocals falter.

Highs: "Prevaricator," "Never Surrender (Terror Time)" and "Insane (Metal's Part Of My Brain)"

Lows: Sub-par vocals mar "Heart Of Darkness" and "When The Rain Comes Down."

Bottom line: An early-'80s style disc occasionally marred by less-than-spectacular vocals.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 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)