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Artizan - "Curse Of The Artizan" (CD)

Artizan - "Curse Of The Artizan" CD cover image

"Curse Of The Artizan" track listing:

1. Trade The World
2. Rise
3. The Man In Black
4. Fire
5. Fading Story
6. Game Within A Game
7. Torment
8. Curse Of The Artizan

Reviewed by on May 26, 2011

"Though partly crafted with reused materials, 'Curse Of The Artizan' is a mostly worthwhile creation."

In 2009, while searching for a record deal, Artizan released an excellent self-titled EP. Now that the band's got that deal — with Pure Steel Records — Artizan has resurrected the three songs from that EP, and added another five, on "Curse Of The Artizan."

Though the new tracks don't quite measure up to the initial three, Artizan's full-length debut is far from cursed. Fans of Iron Maiden-style progressive metal will be quite pleased with this one.

The tunes from Artizan's first EP, "Fire," "Rise" and "Game Within A Game," all feature the expert lead guitar work of Hermanus Rombouts, who has since left the band. Though Tony Smotherman does his best on the remaining tunes, especially the title track, "Curse Of The Artizan," he doesn't quite reach the same level of playing. It's worth noting that the band now has a new guitarist, Steffen Robitzsch, who didn't play on this record.

Of the new tracks, "Curse Of The Artizan," with its big chunks of acoustic guitar, and "Trade The World," with its latter-day Iron Maiden feel, especially stand out. On the other hand, there are "The Man In Black" (about someone more sinister than Johnny Cash, methinks) and especially "Fading Story" feel pretty generic, despite Ty Braden's always-excellent vocals.

Though partly crafted with reused materials, "Curse Of The Artizan" is a mostly worthwhile creation.

Highs: Of the new tracks, "Curse Of The Artizan" and "Trade The World" stand out.

Lows: The generic "The Man In Black" and "Fading Story."

Bottom line: Prog-rock fans will enjoy this Florida band's first full-length effort.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)