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Destrophy - "Cry Havoc" (CD)

Destrophy - "Cry Havoc" CD cover image

"Cry Havoc" track listing:

1. Cry Havoc
2. We Are Alive
3. Seven Nights
4. All My Life
5. Still Bleeding
6. Closer
7. What Would We Say
8. Misery
9. It Ends Tonight
10. Hello

Reviewed by on April 18, 2011

"If you like your metal on the melodic side, with a definite dash of '80s influences, Destrophy's 'Cry Havoc' is the disc for you."

With melodic metal, the struggle is to find the right balance between grit and gloss. On "Cry Havoc," Destrophy gets that balance mostly right, though there are a few moments spread throughout the album, when the band teeters a bit too close to the glossy side.

Ari Mihalpoulos is an excellent singer, handling both the exuberant choruses of songs like "Cry Havoc" and the quieter moments of "Still Bleeding" expertly. It's easy to see why those vocals are front and center on every track. On the other hand, the huge choruses in many of the songs take them into overblown pop-metal territory that anyone who survived the 1980s will recognize instantly. Take, for example, "Closer," which has an almost Journey feel to it.

On the grittier side, there's Mihalpoulos' work on lead guitar, with razor-sharp solos on "Misery" and "Closer." He's backed up well by Bruce Swink on rhythm guitar and Phil Tschechaniuk on bass, especially when the band goes into full-on rock mode on "Cry Havoc" and "It Ends Tonight."

The album's biggest sequencing issue comes at the end, with the power ballad "Hello" closing things out. It definitely has the effect of ending the disc with a whimper rather than a bang.

If you like your metal on the melodic side, with a definite dash of '80s influences, Destrophy's "Cry Havoc" is the disc for you. Though it's occasionally a bit too glossy, there are enough gritty guitar moments to thoroughly make up for that.

Highs: "Cry Havoc," "It Ends Tonight"

Lows: Many of the choruses feel a bit overblown.

Bottom line: A good melodic metal disc that occasionally feels just a bit too glossy.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)