Barlow's voice is distinct. It's Paul Stanley in the highs and Gene Simmons/Zack Wylde in the "mean guy"low end parts. When it's great, it's phenomenal. When it's bad, it's laughable. Barlow's forte is in the Paul Stanley register. The lower register really lacks balls and doesn't exhude the ominous nature that the lyrics are trying to represent. For the better of part of listening to this I've found myself wondering when I'll hear one cohesive song in the lot. The album is the equivalent of one actor playing many parts yet looking the same as each character.
|ASHES OF ARES|
Musically the band plays some pretty mean heavy metal. "WHAT I AM" starts off with a pretty menacing intro, up there with the best Iced Earth songs and then launches into a hybrid of Zack Wylde singing over Paul Stanley parts that completely requires me to extend my disbelief that this isn't just merely a stage for Barlow's vocal acrobats to be put on display. Vocals for vocals sake get tired really quick.
Overall I'm disappointed with this cd. Maybe it's trying too hard to be something it's not. The musicianship is top notch. If they set out to create a really heavy and modern sounding album, I think they may have succeeded. If they set out to showcase Barlow's range, I'm not sure layering different octaves and harmonies of his voice in almost every song accomplishes that. If they spent as much time crafting well written songs as they did playing with the vocal tracks maybe this would be a much better showing for three guys who've known success with their alternate bands.