CREOZOTH
"Creozoth"

(Escapi)

01. With the Flow
02. Stares Back
03. Forsaken
04. Minute U Die
05. Intoxicatedead
06. For Your Amusement
07. Watch 'n Wait
08. State of Shock
09. Bad Boy
10. Mind
11. You Don't Know
12. Dash
13. Spectorized

RATING: 5.5/10

Stockholm, Sweden's CREOZOTH is a minor super group of sorts consisting of guitarist Lars Johansson and drummer Jan Lindh of CANDLEMASS, vocalist Michael Storck (X-PLODE, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), and bassist Tobbe Moen (ex-REDFUN, OZ). On the group's self-titled debut album, the music created is unpretentious heavy metal with faint touches of modern power metal that emphasizes crunchy riffs, blazing leads, and traditional song structures. Some of the songwriting here is relatively catchy, but none of it is all that memorable.

The particularly hard-hitting material works quite well, the mid-to-up-tempo songs like "With the Flow" and "Stares Back" somewhat worthy of your head-bangin' attention. The more power metal sounding tunes are just OK, "Minute U Die" and "For Your Amusement" a couple of examples. The ballsy numbers like "Intoxicatedead" and "State of Shock" aren't bad either. Both the six-minute "Bad Day" and the three-minute "Mind" go for a slower, ballsy/sleazy approach with only middling results. Storck's raspy mid-range vocals fit the crunch-n-squeal arrangements well. The album's last two songs, "Dash" and "Spectorized" could have easily been left off, both tracks rather boring instrumentals that clock in at 2:17 and 1:41, respectively. I mean why even bother?

I'm starting to think that most of what I do like about CREOZOTH is the riff crunch and the hot soloing. With a few minor exceptions, the songwriting is mediocre at best. Overall, everything sounds adequate, and save for the occasional cool riff or screaming lead, there is nothing here that will make your ears perk up like a dog that has just heard a cat's meow. There really isn't a whole lot more to say about it. At least it is an honest, guitar-based heavy metal album.

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