1. Slippin/Slidin 2. The Face Of Evil 3. High Time 4. Forming My Religion 5. Seeds 6. Walking With The Dead 7. Tell Me 8. Take The Wheel 9. Fade With The Night 10. Wake Up Call
True Witness The Human Condition
It seems these days that every band has an agenda for what they want to do and be. Black Sabbath wanted to be darker than anything that had existed before. Yngwie Malmsteen wanted to play metal that had classical and orchestral tendencies, at 320 beats per minute no less. Then there’s True Witness, who don’t sound like they had any pre–laid plans for their sound. They just started writing and this is what came of it.
Comprised of Randy Gonet (guitar), Tom Miller (drums), Allen James (vocals), and Brian Gordon (bass), they play unapologetic heavy metal, straight up. It’s a metallic sound with lush, sweeping and soaring melodies. Nothing you haven’t heard before, but let’s not hold that against them.
That description might make them sound more incredible than they actually are, though. Don’t get me wrong; all these players are competent musicians. This isn’t a group to listen to for virtuosity, though Randy Gonet deserves his due. This album should be listened to for fun–it’s a good option to rock out to.
The Human Condition is a decent album with decent songs, “The Face Of Evil” being one of them. The opening riff is as classic melodic metal as it gets. “Tell Me” may be the best song on this record. It’s got a good, catchy melody to it, the heavy metal thunder is balanced nicely, and the guitar solo is a tasteful blend of virtuosity and necessary melody use. The opening riff to “Take The Wheel” is very cool. The groove to “Fade With The Night” is really cool, a very easy song to latch onto. The entire listening experience is a good one, but it’s not one that will stick out as particularly amazing the first time.
When the band hit it, it’s good. But when they miss, it’s actually not that bad. The moments that don’t stand out in a good way tend to hang back because of a lack of pizzazz, not due to a large amount of badness. Listen to “High Time” as an example of these forgettable moments. But it’s not as bad as I’m making it sound–a closer listen will reveal subtle changes from song to song, in terms of groove, tempo, and chaos versus control. After I heard each song, I thought “not bad,” and that pretty much sums it all up. I’d say this is an album the guys in this band would be proud of, and so they should be.
Chicago, Illinois has been known to be a hotbed for heavy bands, and here’s yet another Chicago group that’s noteworthy. The story of how these guys got together and started playing seems to insinuate that this band was meant to be. I have no doubt they’ll only get better with time, and this album is a decent start.
Key Tracks: The Face Of Evil, Take The Wheel, Fade With The Night