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Solid Vision - "Sacrifice" (CD)

Solid Vision - "Sacrifice" CD cover image

"Sacrifice" track listing:

1. The Waters of the Oceans (1:58)
2. Freedom From Pain (5:55)
3. Apocalypse (4:35)
4. Millions of People (6:54)
5. Shudders On My Back (5:35)
6. From Hell To Paradise (5:19)
7. New Emotion (6:13)
8. Memories (2:33)
9. Victim Dies In Vain (3:55)
10. Sacrifice For On Life (7:03)
11. Same Death (5:56)

Reviewed by on September 28, 2010

"There are a lot of twists and turns to the album, which will keep fans of prog waiting to see what’s going to happen next."

To know whether any given metal fan is going to fall in love with “Sacrifice” and wear out a copy, or pass it by while muttering about pretentious prog, a little back story is necessary. A few years after his time with Dream Theater, vocalist Charles Dominici put together another progressive metal project using his last name. When the trilogy of albums from that project ran their course, all the members except Dominici himself shifted over to the Solid Vision project. It should go without saying that “Sacrifice” has a huge Dream Theater influence, but it also throws in a good deal of power metal and a few more aggressive tendencies.

There are a lot of twists and turns to the album, which will keep fans of prog waiting to see what’s going to happen next. The opening intro track sneaks in with melancholy keyboard work and the sound of ocean waves lapping against the shore, with just a hint of guitar built up at the end. While there is loads of melody to the next song “Freedom From Pain,” it also has a lot of classic thrash feel, utilizing vocal work that brings to mind Dave Mustaine.

As the album progresses from track to track, more vocal styles get mixed in, ranging from a melodic clean singing to a high pitched power metal cry. Ballads and power choruses and heavier segments are all heard at one time or another throughout the disc’s run time. Some smooth and sexy lounge style sax even makes a brief appearance on “Memories.” For the most part, the balance is kept between the various styles, dancing along the edges of the melodic and the technical without jumping in too far anywhere.

Even when prog fans are in rapture from the interplay between keyboards, guitars, and vocals, there is a major pitfall that may turn off the target audience. Some of the songs almost leave metal behind entirely, hitting a level of mainstream appeal that could probably see radio play. “Apocalypse” starts off promising, but the chorus segment uses a catchy vocal delivery that almost hits the alternative rock style. The track “Shudders On My Back” suffers from the same problem, using lots of thrash and melodic power metal elements, but then randomly reverting to a quasi-metal chorus segment.

The level of musicianship on “Sacrifice” is impressive, as is the way the band is able to switch between styles without any down time. Overall the album has pretty much anything a progressive or power metal fan would want. Anyone willing to overlook the mainstream elements in a few songs should check it out, but those staunchly against any amount of radio-friendly music might not be able to properly enjoy what Solid Vision has to offer.

Highs: Nice meld of prog, power metal, thrash, and more.

Lows: Some of the chorus segments head directly towards "alternative rock" and would fit well on the radio.

Bottom line: Well worth it for fans of prog or power metal, but the mainstream elements may keep some from enjoying this.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)