lunes, 14 de noviembre de 2016

Siren - Financial Suicide (1989)

Siren is a bit of an oddball band, having started out with a couple of strong, progressive-tinged demos in a time when prog metal was rare; later, their debut didn't exactly fail utterly, but rather failed to satisfactorily live up to the potential seen in the demos. Here, the band goes for a bit of a different sound; it's much more streamlined and polished (though not in a commercial way), but unfortunately a good chunk of the rough character of the earlier releases has been polished right out.

On Financial Suicide, Siren exhibit a mildly progressive, mildly thrashy sound, reminiscent of a less quirky version of later Mekong Delta (think Kaleidoscope with less Rush). It's little wonder then that this release was on Delta mastermind Ralph Hubert's Aaarrg label. Doug Lee takes on vocal duties on this album, and while he's no virtuoso, and no personality like Dio or Halford, his high-pitched nasal whine/rasp is actually quite pleasing. It's not surprising then that Hubert snapped him up for his band after the demise of Siren. Siren's riff style is tinged with thrash, and though generally simple, occasionally exhibits a technical flair. The problem is, it's also pretty damn generic. There aren't any really horrible riffs or blatant ripoffs, just very little that's noteworthy; and while the songs aren't incredibly repetitive, their lack of good ideas often makes them seem so. Rather than having glaring faults or being actively irritating, Financial Suicide just suffers from a deficiency of actively good qualities. It doesn't help that the songs aren't short, and that the production is decidedly bland; not horrible, but with most of the aggression polished right out (think a weaker Kaleidoscope).

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