"Young grasshopper, try to snatch the pebble from the Master's hand". So goes the unspoken dialogue from the infamous 70s television series "Kung Fu". The meaning of it is that the student has learned all they could from the master and they are ready to make their own way in the world. This is quite true of Malison Rogue. Their self-titled debut is heavily influenced by a metal master, and they've made a cd for the master to be envious of.
I'll get right to the point. Malison Rogue seem to be very heavily influenced by the Chris DeGarmo-era of Queensryche, more specifically their "Operation: Mindcrime" release. To me, the similarities are undeniable. More to the point, Mallison Rogue make the music that Queensryche could only wish they could have made over the past 15 years, as everything they have done in that time has been a turd. You don't need to be familiar with Queensryche to enjoy Malison Rogue's music, it just happens to add clarity for this review.
Other than the Queensryche comparison, fans of Iron Maiden and especially Fates Warning should find Malison Rogue to their liking. They play traditional metal with prog/power leanings, though the prog elements show themselves in the song and chord structures more than they do in the technical aspects of their playing. The production is excellent, and especially so with the harmony guitar parts. The solos are very listenable, and when the guitars play together there is an excellent stereo quality.
Clocking in at around 40 minutes, the majority of the songs are mid-tempo although they do liven things up with the catchy "We're All Born Sinners" and my favorite song, "The Pain You Cause". Even though there is no true ballad, they do such an excellent job slowing things down and adding heaviness with such songs as "My Mistakes" and the female duet sported in "Everything Fades", that you don't really feel that you are missing one.
Despite my lingering on the Queesnryche comparison, Malison Rogue make some great music. Don't let my ramblings on that subject detract you from getting your hands on some very good music. With what they have created with their debut, I am looking forward to what they do in the future.
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Live Long and Rock Hard,
Space Kev's Rating: 3 out of 5