Released By : Progressive Promotion Records
Genre : Progressive Rock
Links : http://www.toxic-smile.de
1. Liquid Wall
3. The Abyss
4. Hidden Brand
5. Walked By Fear
6. Endless Cycle
7. Pride And Joy
8. Poles Apart
9. I’m Your Savior
It’s always frustrating as a reviewer when you get through your sixth or seventh listen of an album and still can’t quite work out how you feel about it. This is exactly what happened recently when I began listening to this new album from German Prog Rockers TOXIC SMILE, so I ended up listening to this album around ten times before reaching a correct judgement. The first thing I will say is that in this modern age where umpteen amounts of music is easily available and there’s always something new to listen to, you really shouldn’t have to listen to an album that many times to start feeling it.
On the positive side of the coin though, as I’M YOUR SAVIOR is a progressive rock album at least there was always something interesting happening and each listen brought more things to the forefront that I hadn’t noticed previously. TOXIC SMILE sort of sit on the fence with their sound, being more akin to say SPOCK’S BEARD and KING’S X, but also taking some influence from the metal side of things and having a slight SYMPHONY X vibe going on too. The guitar work throughout the album is quite good but the stand out here is the keyboard work of Marek Arnold, which I guess is quite fitting as he is the last remaining original member of the band. The vocals from Larry B are pretty good but there are times where he seems a little pitchy and it sounds as though he occasionally reaches a bit further than his ability allows. The production here is really good and features mixing from Markus Teske who is better known as the producer for Vanden Plas.
Starting an album off with the nine minute song LIQUID WALL is an interesting choice but certainly a refreshing change from the usual half-minute intro tracks that have plagued music over the last decade or so. THE ABYSS is an odd song in the fact that it is certainly progressive rock but features a riff that would sound right at home on a Rage Against The Machine album. Toward the end POLES APART and I’m YOUR SAVOIR both display some great songwriting and these two tracks should have been earlier in the album.
TOXIC SMILE sound their best when they hit hard but seem to struggle a little with the feeling and emotion need for more mellow and slow parts. I would like to see them in a live environment where the extra intensity would help the overall sound of the band.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 7/10