Zonata - _Reality_
(Century Media, 2001)
by: Paul Schwarz (3 out of 10)
Before HammerFall went and made it a fashionable thing to do, bands that rehashed the cheesy, pompy metal of the Eighties -- especially the mediocre bits of it we'd all be better off forgetting -- would not be given a record deal. There were negative aspects to that state of affairs. Many were unfairly irreverent to crucially important bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. And even though today there is maybe a little too much praise going around for any metal band who can be dredged up from the Eighties, I still find the situation today to be a preferable state of affairs: it means that bands like Manowar and 'Priest are more often considered and judged on the music they play, and less often disregarded on the basis of the clothes they wear. However, at least before HammerFall did _Glory to the Brave_ [CoC #18], albums as cringe-worthy, sub-standard and POINTLESS as _Reality_ wouldn't come through my door so damn frequently. I realise that we must accept the good with the bad -- I'm certainly glad that the acceptance of clean vocalled, traditionally flavoured metal has allowed the likes of Nevermore and Iced Earth to grow more popular and keep on making albums as we progress further into the twenty-first century -- but accepting that crap like this -will- exist, doesn't mean I'm happy about that fact, or that I'm gonna keep my disgust under my hat. _Reality_ offers nothing new; like so many it merely rehashes the work of other bands, and does it badly. Call me strange, but I can't see why ANYONE needs an album that does that.

(article published 12/8/2001)

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