Engine - _Engine_
(Metal Blade, 1999)
by: Aaron McKay (
Here's a piece that I could have done without hearing. Ray Alder, of Fates Warning fame, along with Joey Vera (Armored Saint) on bass, combined their abilities with hardcore punk drummer Pete Parada and Bernie Versailles (ex-Agent Steel) to issue forth a self-titled CD that, quite frankly, is a watered-down version of the aforementioned bands. Yes, even less edgy than Fates Warning. Nothing against FW, I happen to be absolutely taken with _Spectre Within_ (1985), _Awaken the Guardian_ (1986) and even _Parallels_ (1998) had some great points, but I am suffering under the impression that Adler and Vera missed what they were toiling to achieve with Engine. Semi-chunky cuts with a near perfect riff here and there, this direct and pointed "heavy rock" approach has little hope of gathering much acclaim. The opening track, "Monster", comes at you with the type of force that I would be proud to see the rest of the disc maintain and improve upon, but instead "I Don't Need" and "You're Awake" are singular saving graces on this nine tack, forty-three minute let down. As a side note, Joey Vera produced this album and did an impressive job. Now if we could get him to offer up another song like "Havin' a Bad Day", I could be a bit more of a happy camper. Why are Engine on Metal Blade, anyway? They might be better off represented by Roadrunner. Poor expenditure of funds here, people.
(article published 12/9/1999)
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