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   RIVAL
State Of Mind
2004
Metal Blade
http://www.rivalmusic.net


rating: 4,5/5

1. State Of Mind
2. Extreme Aggression
3. Reach
4. Insane
5. Tyrants
6. Brink
7. Remember You
8. Lord Of The Knights
9. Hell Train
One of the bands that stay true to the US metal sound are Rival from Chicago. Already formed back in 1990, they released an EP in 1991 and gained some local fame. They started working on a full-length CD but because of many delays and problems it didn't get released until 2000! "Modern World" got noticed in Germany, in 2002 they played the Bang Your Head festival and Rival ended up with a record deal with Metal Blade. The result, "State Of Mind", is pretty much what we can expect of Rival: good old US metal with a modern sound, yet with a not so modern length (only 35 minutes). Esp. fans of blistering solos, sharp riffing and killer drumparts will be pleased! Even though the voice is actually pretty good on itself, I'm not too crazy about John Johnson's somewhat whiny style of singing, but that's probably just a matter of taste. I like it better when he sings a bit more aggressive though, like in "Reach".

The whole album is filled with good songs, with esp. great guitarwork by Chuck McNulty and Neven Trivic and great drumming by Gary Olson. Some songs are faster than others, but always with energy, aggression as well as melody. "Extreme Agression" is one of the highlights with its fast drumming and really awesome solo!! Another one is "Insane" with an insane riff, an insane middle part with the rhythm section going insane :) Then there is "Tyrants" with its awesome riff! My absolute favorite is the slower song "Remember You". Very emotional, and you know I love that :) Awesome riffing and drumming again and I LOVE the way he sings the line "I remember you". I really hope they'll play that live when I have a chance to see them somewhere again!! "Hell Train" is a killer thrashing end to a good metal CD with a good powerful sound! Hail to true metal! /mp/\.jpgm/

submitted by Marlies 04.05.2004

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