Under The Cross
Review by Jack on March 7, 2002.
My original thoughts of “Under the Cross” from Squealer were of thoughts of Megadeth; the opening riffs and drum blasts on the track ‘Painful Lust’ reminded me of Megadeth back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Fortunately for my ears and this CD’s mark; we do not have another Megadeth clone, but in fact an album that would have to be in contention for one of the most diverse power metal albums this year.
Squealer (for those of you who have/had not heard of them, like me) are a metal band whom you would perhaps throw in the power metal category; however if you do see fit to deem Squealer and this year’s effort in “Under the Cross” as solely power metal, you would be doing them a BIG disservice. The coolest thing I picked up from my early listening of “Under the Cross” is the difference in each and every song. In the opener track, ‘Painful Lust’, you have some hard riffs and drums that belong in any other genre of metal apart from power metal; it is just too tough and manly to be power metal. The vocal efforts of Henner are also too thrashy to be pinned down to power metal and have a sort of hardcore edge to them. One-dimensional is something Henner is not; skip to the gothic ballad track in ‘Fade Away’ and you will hear a set of lungs that many a gothic-tinged vocalist would be proud of.
The story behind “Under the Cross” is one of religious thoughts and views; ironic and attempts at humor are abound in bucket-loads. ‘Painful Lust’ tells a tale about a monk jerking himself off and then we skip to a serious track in ‘Facing the Death’ which explains to us about fanaticism and dying for a cause...
There is something for everyone on “Under the Cross”; the cleaner vocals of Henner are simply amazing and in conjunction with the gang-vocals ala Stuck Mojo, you will find yourself singing along in blind faith. Definitely to be a favourite amongst power metal fans.
Bottom Line: Never a dull moment on “Under the Cross”. Squealer cross so many spectrums of metal that growing tired or bored of them would be a hard thing to achieve. A winner.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 8.1 out of 10