Released in 2003
This week’s metal review was picked for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s a great story about a band’s rise in the ranks practically overnight; secondly the group’s guitarist is Forbidden’s Craig Locicero. So to start out, Forbidden went on hiatus during the late 90’s, allowing Locicero and drummer Steve Jacobs a chance to try their hand at something new. I don’t think most expected a stylistic change from the classic Bay area thrash sound at this point, but after answering an ad from singer Pann – the group was quickly forming into a new force of hard rock goodness. Surprisingly, the new sound consisted of a direction and emotion alerting the attention of Rick Rubin, which promoted a private showcasing at American Recordings. The rest is history as the debut album contained 11 tracks of thunderous flourishes, often being compared to bands like Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots. Their hit single “Safe Passage” reached No. 36 on the Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Charts, but the reactions from music critics were mixed.
Unfortunately, the number one consensus was their sound didn’t boast anything new, despite some fluid musical interplay and coupled with the soulful, gritty vocals of Pann. The band ultimately disbanded a few years later due to lack of exposure, but for a brief stint they made some incredible music as far as I am concerned.
Favorite tracks: “Safe Passage”, “Search For Greater Things”, “Meet My Maker” and “Million Dollar Gun”. I’m giving this an 8 out 10.