Twisted Tower Dire
Make It Dark
Twisted Tower Dire is a well-known and respected band in the field of U.S. metal, and Make It Dark is the first album of theirs I've had the opportunity to review. While I generally prefer my power metal to be of the more modern and polished variety, there's always been a lofty draw to the sort of music that this band has made. Crest Of The Martyrs and Netherworlds are both extremely cool albums, and I am delighted to say that the band hasn't done anything drastic to cast aside old fans.
First things first, a great many people will raise a cry in disappointment that this album only runs thirty six minutes with eight tracks (and one of those is a re-recording, so you actually only get twenty eight and a half of new material), and that after a four year wait for a new album, this is ridiculous. To those people I say: deal with it. After all, if the contents are great, we can't decry albums too much for being short. Would you rather the band write a couple of quick filler tracks? I didn't think so.
Another change that is quickly evident on Make It Dark is the general feel and attitude of the songs. To put it bluntly, this is perhaps to Twisted Tower Dire's repertoire as A Twist In The Myth was to Blind Guardian's: more accessible and with less lyrical consistency. Of course, the implication here is that it might consequently be your least favorite TTD work to date. Myself, I see Twisted Tower Dire returning to a more basic, fun-loving and raucous style of heavy metal, and there's nothing wrong with that because the band sure knows how to do this as well as anyone else.
All of these songs are rather simple in structure and execution, though TTD still flexes its muscles with some excellent lead guitar work, audible and purposeful bass, and drum work that sounds pretty good and doesn't get old. The title track and "Mystera" are fairly brief tracks that whisk the listener off to an escape of simple, catchy metal, while tracks like "White Shadow" and "The Only Way" will lay you low with well-executed, involved guitar lines and some catchy vocal lines with an inimitable style of wailing vibrato. These latter two tracks are my favorites on the album, and I also very much enjoy "Snow Leopard", despite the fact that it's certainly the divider on the album. This song is the great indicator, and if you can stand listening to "Snow leopard run! Run snow leopard run!" for five minutes, you'll love the rest of what this album has to offer.
So, other than being shorter than some would like, and putting us through the metal equivalent of a Barney song, Twisted Tower Dire has concocted something that is really quite appealing, highly melodic, and completely inoffensive. Despite its drawbacks, Make It Dark is a quality little piece of work that deserves the Twisted Tower Dire name that is stamped on its cover. I recommend this to fans of USPM that aren't haughty purists, as well as Euro-power fans that occasionally like to dabble in some of the more melodic stuff that U.S. power metal bands have to offer.
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The Protagonist's Rating: 7.25 out of 10