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Tears - "Memories Of Things Unnecessary" (CD)

Tears - "Memories Of Things Unnecessary" CD cover image

"Memories Of Things Unnecessary" track listing:

1. Time Master (2.28)
2. Things Imaginary (3:05)
3. Memories (0:55)
4. I Just Want To Forget (4:29)
5. A Childhood dream (1:25)
6. A Hurtful Reality (3:54)
7. Sleeping Level 9, Hypnotic Patterns... Consuming Zombies (7:30)
8. awakening, Products We Don't Need... Mind Manipulating Tacktics Of Greed (4:18)
9. Going Back To sleep, This Time Free.. A New Age Born (5:03)

Reviewed by on June 9, 2011

"There's a lot of potential with this band, but I hope that the unnecessary bottom half of this debut becomes a distant memory."

Tears is a Los Angeles progressive metal band by way of Greece and the U.K. Originally formed in 1999 by singer, songwriter, keyboardist and guitarist Gouaime Divanis, the band released a handful of demos over the years, but finally are all in one place and have now released their first full length album, "Memories Of Things Unnecessary." The word unnecessary hits the mark in describing this album too. While the first four tracks are really good, interesting thrash and progressive tunes, the remainder of the songs make you quirk your brow and wonder if this was really the best they could come up with in more than ten years.

One of the biggest assets Tears has is the vocal strength of Divanis. His deep melodic voice isn't exactly pretty, but it reminds me a bit of James Hetfield, and works perfectly on the opening track "Time Machine." Like Hetfield, Divanis doesn't aim to break any glass, but he provides a solid background for the pulsing mid-tempo instruments. The instrumentals really shine in "Things Imaginary," though the melodic tune seems a strange transition from the rougher opener.

Then it's back to traditional thrash in "Memories," arguably the best track on the album. It may only be 55 seconds, but it's solid. "Memories" is followed up by "I Just Want To Forget," which seems more like a continuation. The transition is so smooth you may not even realize it's a different track. And the combo of a slightly glam inspired riff and old school thrash is a winner. Unfortunately that's where the goodness ends.

"A Childhood Dream" starts out with a really nice keyboard intro, but then enter vocals that sound like they’re coming from a megaphone. This carries over into the other tracks, and is a huge disappointment since Divanis' vocals are such a highlight of the band's talent.

"Sleeping Level 9, Hypnotic Patterns" may be intended to be hypnotic, but it sounds more like it belongs in a B grade horror movie, and is a complete waste of seven minutes. It's followed up by "Awakening," which features the anomaly of a techno tempo and then a more traditional metal guitar riff, and then finally the album closer "Going Back To Sleep." The closer does feature some nice synth work, but the second half of the album is a huge letdown compared to the promising first half.

After listening to "Memories Of Things Unnecessary" I'd like to hear some more from Tears. There's a lot of potential with this band, but I hope that the unnecessary bottom half of this debut becomes a distant memory.

Highs: The first four tracks of this album are solid and Divanis' vocals are a nice mix of heavy and melodic.

Lows: The second half of the album is confused and strange and does nothing to inspire a second listen.

Bottom line: Tears misses the mark overall with their first full release, but there's enough good in the opening tracks to hopefully give this progressive metal act a second chance.

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)