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1. Through the Camera 7:09 (Kurgan's Bane / J.Laramee) 2. Just Look At Me Now 6:35 (P.Laramee / P.Laramee) 3. Warm Winter Nights 4:38 (P.Laramee / J.Laramee) 4. Frankie Five Angels 4:12 /instrumental/ (L.Nasser, R.Gomez) 5. Headless Mice 2:30 (L.Nasser / L.Nasser) 6. Feudal Tourniquet 3:50 (L.Nasser, P.Laramee / L.Nasser) 7. Nap In E Minor 1:18 /instrumental/ (P.Laramee) 8. The Curtain And the Rose 4:56 (P.Laramee, L.Francis / J.&P.Laramee) 9. Bad Blood 5:44 (L.Nasser / L.Nasser) 10. Regina 8:21 (P.Laramee, L.Francis / J.Laramee)
Line-up: Pete Laramee - guitars, vocals; Luis Nasser - bass, keyboards, vocals; Lisa Francis - lead vocals; Jeff Laramee - drums & percussion, vocals
Produced by KB and John Grant. Engineered and mixed by John Grant at "Secret Sound" studios, Baltimore.
I haven't heard the Kurgan's Bane debut album, so this is my first excursion into the world of this contemporary Progressive Hard Rock band. There are not too many bands of this sub-genre of Prog Metal currently (the best among those is, IMHO, Savatage), whereas lots of them (really) shined in the 1970s and even in the first half of the 1980s (first of all, of course, Rush - probably the only real Titans here, then Blue Oyster Cult, Gamma, et al.). But, what's for sure, the old'n'gold 1970s had the brightest examples of Prog-Hard (as well as of any other Rock genre, though): Deep Purple's "In Rock", Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffity", Uriah Heep's "Salisbury", Sweet's "Fanny Adams", Nazareth's "Close Enough For Rock'n'Roll", etc, etc. Quite original on the whole, but not too bright and not too progressive (to put it mildly), Kurgan's Bane's "The Future Lies Broken" just cannot be compared with any of the aforementioned albums. What is more, although I can find Kurgan's Bane's music more or less original, and the majority of compositions presented on the album have some interesting themes and instrumental arrangements, two thirds of them sound simply boring. Why? First of all because Lisa Francis's singing is devoid of any inspiration and emotions: it's sluggish and inert and, talking of her voice and vocal data concerning the music Kurgan's Bane performs, that's a different matter, at least. I wonder why her colleagues don't see (hear, feel) it themselves. Being familiar with the creation of Sonus Umbra, the band led by Luis Nasser, I wonder why he doesn't sing in Kurgan's Bane too. (Also, I think, most of those who have already listened to this album would agree with me that the best compositions feature "The Future Lies Broken" were written by Nasser). One way or another, if the Kurgan's Bane people want their music to sound effective they need not so nerveless as Lisa, but an expressive vocalist ("sometimes even aggressive" would be also the right addition in this aspect). And, all in all, it's no really matter, would this be male or female singer. Want a woman still? Then try to find someone like Francis's namesake from the current line-up of Mastermind (Bouchelle).
VM. March 15, 2001
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