Kingcrow - Insider - indy - 2004 Reviewed by: Nailer
|Track Listing1. Friendship|
2. The Project
4. Never Say Die
5. Eyes Of A Betrayer
6. Into The Cell
8. The Killing Hand
10. Save Me
Kingcrow's "Insider" is a concept album about two lifelong friends, Alan and Jason, who work for a shadowy group called the Federation of Industries. Inadvertently, they discover that the Fed. has developed an artificial uterus and has plans to sterilize all women with the "insider" virus so they can genetically choose and breed their own humans. The story follows the entanglement and the fall of the two brothers.
Musically, it has a tone reminiscent of Queensyche's "Operation: Mindcrime" and Maiden's "Piece of Mind" thought not quite as heavy and leaning more into progressive stylings of Rush. The guitar work has a loose, almost classic NWOBHM feel. Mauro Gelsomini, also of the Italian-based, power metal band Windseeker, provides the vocals which are mid-range and though sometimes strained, sound good. Between the songs are spoken pieces and soundbytes that further the story from song to song.
With concept albums, I generally like for the musical mood to match the lyrical situations and Kingcrow delivers it quite well with an overall dark, ominous feeling throughout. It's a little under produced, but fro me it worked like a good underground cult movie does.
Friendship--short progressive and jazzy piece that starts the CD out. It's very different sounding from the others, but it does represent the youth of the brothers.
The Project - Jason accidentally takes home papers that describe the Federation project and chooses to expose them to the world with Alan being the first to know. Very Mindcrime sounding.
Temptation - Great, rapid-paced number. Alan goes the blackmail route by offering the plans back to the Feds but at a high price.
Never Say Die - Jason gives the papers to a woman, Sharon Kirley, from Streets newspaper who promises to help him. This one's more prog and acousitic. The mood is optimistic and hopeful.
Eyes of a Betrayer - Shifting back to Alan, this one has a great desperation mood to it with Mauro stretching his voice out more. Alan is searching his friend's place as he sleeps but can't find the documents
By now, you may see some allusion to the Biblical Cain/Abel story. The Feds are playing God and worker/son Alan wants to appease them, but is unable to provide. His failure leads to the downfall of the other worker/son, Jason.
Into the Cell - instrumental; mostly sounds, siren and spoken dialog. At this point, the Feds are unwilling to go home empty-handed and have their secret plans out, so Jason is drugged and set up as a murderer. Alan confesses his actions to Jason.
Lies - Jason is in jail, lonely, angry and beating himself up for being a nice guy. Another good song.
The Killing Hand - Fairly Similar to Mindcrime's "Eyes of a Stranger". A Federation killer is sent to off Alan who by now is guilt-ridden and has a death-wish.
Stardust - Self-reflective piece. Jason is ruled mentally insane in a fixed trial and is put in an asylum for life.
Save Me - Sharon is now asked by the Feds to provide the insider documents they know she has in return for whatever she wants. Jason is watching the passersby from his window hoping for salvation.
We've actually switched to a bit of an Adam & Eve allusion here with Sharon as Eve, Jason as Adam, the Feds as the serpent and the Fed's offer as the forbidden fruit. Don't believe me? Sprinkled throughout are the words--revelation, fallen, temptation, sin, crucified...
Finale - instrumental. I suppose the last soundbyte on the CD which is Sharon saying "Right, get those documents", is supposed to clue me in on what happens, but I honestly am not sure who she's gettins them for.
Bottom Line: Good power rock techno-story with Biblical underpinnings that may or may not have been intended.
Score: 8.5 of 10