Mehida - _Blood & Water_
(Napalm, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (8 out of 10)
Although this is their debut album, Mehida's constituent members are no newcomers to the scene, with a collective CV that includes stints with legendary bands such as Therion and Candlemass. _Blood & Water_ is marketed as "progressive melodic metal" -- which for the hardcore prog metal fan will probably be seen as a euphemism for accessible or commercial metal, with a sprinkling of complex chord progressions. They would be correct to a certain extent: Mehida clearly value good song structures and catchy melodies over technical wankery. Those unorthodox time changes and unusual chord progressions are a lot more accessible when accompanied by a hummable and catchy chorus!

The vocalist possesses a decent range and tone, sticking largely to clean vocals, except for the beginning of "Multitude", where he indulges in some grunting. An unexpected inclusion, but also a poor choice as it draws attention to his saccharine approach, which is a bit too upbeat for a metal band. It's not as if these are gloomy numbers, but a bit of venom would be appreciated.

I cannot find flaws in their musicianship or production, certainly not any of significance. However, their song writing skills need some development, as a number are simply dull -- "Wings of Dove" is especially narcoleptic. The balance is in their favour, and their debut is a pleasing and accessible listen.


(article published 3/10/2007)

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