For me, Power Metal is something of a guilty pleasure. I’m not a huge fan, but I do enjoy a bit every now and then. Once in a while, I like to hear a band that actually knows how to play their instruments and produces their albums to be both heavy and melodic. My main problem with Power Metal, though, is the tendency for bands that play in the genre to mistake Butt Rock for actual Heavy Metal. They think that by incorporating Butt Rock into their sound that they will become more “accessible” to the masses. What usually happens is that they create an abomination of an album that sucks so badly that their credibility never recovers. Israel’s Red Rose makes that mistake and it shows. The press release for this album says that “Their music style turned out to be some sort of mixture of Melodic Hard Rock, Classic Heavy Metal and Pomp Rock,” but that’s just a flowery way of saying that these guys think Poison and Warrant are Metal bands. Guys, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but they aren’t. They never were and they never will be. Based on that, you can pretty much tell that this isn’t going to be heavy on the actual Power Metal stuff. Sure, there are moments of pure Power Metal here, and they shine like bursts of flame in the darkness. They give you flashes of brief hope amidst the sea of whiney bitch vocals, shitty power ballads and Butt Rock guitar riffs. Songs like “King of the Local Crowd” are absolutely cringe-inducing. Even the tracks that are musically good are ruined by Leve Laiter’s “I want to be Mister Sensitive” Emo-Fag vocals and lyrics. This guy sounds like he gets his heart broken more times a year than Taylor Swift. The difference is that Taylor Swift actually rocks harder than Leve does most of the time. It’s sad when a twenty-two year old female Pop singer can overpower the vocalist for a band that supposedly plays Metal, but that’s how things shake out. While the failings of On the Cusp of Change are many, the two big ones are fairly obvious: there isn’t enough ass-kicking on this LP and they need a singer with some balls (or an actual vagina). Seriously, Doro Pesch could kick the entire band’s asses and she’s probably fifteen to twenty years older than the members of Red Rose. After having listened to this album, I’d actually pay Wrestlemania PPV rates to see that ass-kicking. I’ll even throw in $20 extra if it’s in a steel cage. If you’re a fan of Power Metal, you should avoid this. I’d only loosely classify this as Metal and there’s less “Power” here than in a dying cell phone battery.
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