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(48:20, Musea Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Cry 4:14 2. Schweissnaht 3:46 3. Two 3:06 4. Inner War 3:30 5. Ciphers 4:46 6. Synchoronicity I 3:14 7. Conclusion Reprise 1:30 8. Industrial Dictatorship 4:55 9. Guilty 6:45 10. First-Take-Ponka-Song 0:19 11. Instinct, Science, Faith 2:43 12. Affengesicht 4:00 13. Which Have Been Predicted 2:46 14. Rain 2:46 LINEUP: Melanie Bock vocals Stefan Speidel guitars Jorg Schror guitars Christian Wulff bass Andreas Dowel drums
Prolusion. The German band MEGACE was formed back in 1988, one of the rare metal bands sporting a female lead vocalist. They released their debut album "Human Errors" back in 1991, and some eight years later their second and last album "Inner War" was issued in 1999, three years before Megace disbanded.
Analysis. When listening through this production 14 years after it was released, it would appear that Megace was a band that was just a little too adventurous for their time. Not that they explored a sound that was revolutionary or unique, others did explore similar territories before this album was released, but they took on a sound and approach that wasn't common. And from what I can recall from the metal environments they did tend to be rather conservative and close-minded about bands venturing forth into territories not too frequently explored by others back then. The main style explored on this album resides well within the definition of thrash metal. Pace-filled, aggressive music with intense riff constructions and energetic bass motifs and drum patterns as key features, with powerful lead vocals on top. Female lead vocals in this case, and generally of better quality than the greater majority of metal bands no matter what sex the singer has been born with at that. What separates Megace somewhat from others is their approach. They alternate between a multitude of different riff constructions throughout, as well as in each individual composition. They do see to have something of a foundation or identity marker by way of intense, staccato guitar riffs supplemented by appropriate rhythm elements, reminding me of bands like Anthrax and Nuclear Assault when entering that mode of delivery, but this is but one of many common features. Massive grinding riff barrages, occasionally with melodic overlays applied in a manner that is fairly similar to what Mekong Delta from the late 80's and onwards another common occurrence, as is the use of odd and weird tonal ranges for some of the more melodic sequences. Further flavoring the proceedings are gentle, frail and light toned guitar motifs, calmer harmony based passages and quirky, unpredictable riff constructions. A fairly demanding brew as far as thrash metal goes. The icing on the proverbial cake are the lead vocals of Melanie Bock. She has the voice to deliver careful melodies, as showcased on the two ballads of this production, but she's just as suited to powerful melodic vocals and aggressive deliveries with more of an emphasis on shouting and less on melodic or harmonic details.
Conclusion. Fairly demanding, quirky and aggressive thrash metal is what Megace provides on their second studio album "Inner War", a production that quite rightly was marketed as progressive thrash metal at the time of its release. Sporting high quality female lead vocals as a distinct feature, and where the majority of the compositions are short in length whilst consisting of multiple themes and rich arrangements. A CD that should find favor amongst those who enjoy the likes of Mekong Delta first and foremost, and especially for those amongst them who also enjoy listening to bands like Anthrax I'd suspect.
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