Floodgate - _Penalty_
(Roadrunner Records, 1996)
by: Adrian Bromley (7 out of 10)
I really wanted to write this off as a Corrosion of Conformity rip-off band. I almost did... almost. Floodgate's debut _Penalty_ (much like CoC or even Fu Manchu) is deep in its Black Sabbath roots and coated with that clear and crisp Southern guitar playing style. _Penalty_ has a lot to offer with singer/guitarist Kyle Thomas' ability to lead the band through multiple song styles and the actual sound of _Penalty_ is in its own right amazing. Clear and slick production work makes it an even more enjoyable listen each time out. Also, there is nothing cooler to hear than a band with a real strong and potent groove. Floodgate finds that groove at multiple intervals throughout the release (i.e. "Through My Days Into My Nights" and "Whole"). The rumor has it also that Thomas was indeed the man to take over the reigns when singer Karl Agell was booted from CoC (before Pepper Keenan took over) - I can see that. So as much as this record sounds like CoC at times, this New Orleans group has got something special in their music and sound that sets them apart. Check out tracks: "Shivering", "Imitation Salvation", and "Black With Sin."

(article published 2/1/1997)

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