Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire - Dreamtower - reviewed by: Nailer
|Track Listing 1. My Déjà Vu|
3. The Pharaoh's Curse
4. Refuge Of The Free
5. Blue Sky
7. Until The End Of Time
8. System Utopia
9. Ghost Of America
10. Invisible Man
11. Make Believe
12. Murder By Numbers
13. Tumescent Rhapsody (bonus for Japan release)
13. Undone (bonus for Europe release)
After spending his time paying some dues with Ynwie Malmsteen, vocalist Marc Boals set out to create his own band Ring of Fire. I got my hands on a copy of 2002 "Dreamtower" and I'd probably have to call this one "metal-lite". This isn't the type of metal that makes you want to break stuff, so I don't know how over it would be with the current American scene. It may go over well in the European and the Japanese markets with its heavier use of keyboards similar to some of the more ballady power metal bands. Marc does have a nice higher-pitched voice that he uses with a more natural singing style rather than the all out wailing you hear from other singers.
Guitar riffs are downplayed leaving the vocals the dominate focus of the overall sound. Tony MacAlpine is a great neo-classical player, but his guitar work is mainly emphasised in the solos and at times I don't think the speed-runs go well with the flow of the songs. I could really do without the little two-second, bloop-bleep-bloop, guitar/keyboard arpeggio leads that are thrown in the mix. They just irritate me. It's like when you're enjoying a good TV show and some idiot keeps walking in front of your view.
I feel that some of the songs could be tightened up a bit with less of the instrumental passages and a thicker production, but overall the cd is a nice, friendly listen and songs like "Make Believe" and "Laputa" are catchy enough to be hit singles probably anywhere.