Released By : Nightmare Records
Genre : Progressive Metal, Power Metal
Links : http://www.conflicted.ca/
01. After Too Long
02. Never Be Tamed
05. The Hand of God
07. Heat Me Up
08. I Wish. I Remember.
Not too many bands these days get to release their debut album on a decent record label, but after a couple of impressive E.P’s NIGHTMARE RECORDS was smart enough to bring CONFLICTED into their stable and now just a short while after we have the band’s first album NEVER TO BE TAMED. Right from the start it’s easy to see why they come such a long way in such a short time, not only are all of the members of this band very skilled at their chosen instrument, and not only is their songwriting skills of a very high quality, but they also have a distinct sound that is instantly recognizable and really splits them away from the glut of metal bands vying for our attention these days.
While progressive metal is most certainly the backbone of the CONFLICTED sound, they also know how important it is to keep a melodic flow throughout a song, so while there are flashes here and there of technical virtuosity it is not laid on too thick as to turn less technical minded folk away. There is a strong power metal element here too, but once again it is never laid on too thick and just helps accentuate the overall sound. There is also a smattering of traditional heavy metal to be found too, which is made more evident when multi-octave frontman Jason Orton lets out high register which sounds like a banshee on heat. This isn’t Orton’s only trick though as he is also very proficient in a lower heavy voice and also has a great clean voice that has just the right amount of vibrato for progressive metal passages a-la DREAM THEATER but never meanders off enough to sound for lack of a better term ‘un-metal’.
I definitely hear a strong DREAM THEATER and SYMPHONY X influence here, but unlike a lot of bands that try and mimic the style of the two aforementioned bands, CONFLICTED take what is great about them as a foundation then build upon it by bringing a wide range of influences all the way from ICED EARTH to IRON MAIDEN to JUDAS PRIEST and even a bit of KING DIAMOND and VOIVOD too. What these guys offer up in the first three tunes of this album NEVER BE TAMED, VICTOR(IA) and FALLEN is better than what most bands offer up over a complete album and are worth the price alone. The fact that STAY, I WISH I REMEMBER and ALIVE are also top-shelf tunes is a pure bonus, and the other handful of tracks are also all excellent.
If you’re one of those people that likes to pick apart albums to try and find weaknesses and things to complain about…good luck. NEVER BE TAMED is a very, very strong and consistent effort that should give the band every chance for mass success and comes very highly recommended. Keep in mind too that this is only the band’s debut album, here’s hoping they stick around for a long time to come, the metal landscape needs more bands like CONFLICTED that can successfully incorporate various styles but still kick serious ass.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 9/10