The Road Less Traveled
Review by Adam on January 3, 2003.
Christian Metal: The name has the ability to strike fear into the minds of many metalheads, but why? With bands like Six Feet Deep coming out, no one sees that they place their passion into their music as much as they do into their faith. “The Road Less Traveled” is this: pure unadulterated metal. It is the kind of stuff I miss after hearing overly technical band after overly technical band. Longing for something simpler but something that can still pack a wallop, I return to this CD time and time again.
The energetic execution with which the band plays the songs on “The Road Less Traveled” makes up for any lack of originality within the music itself. The album has an unidentifiable quality that just makes you want to keep listening. Throughout the CD, the style flows from grooving metal to hardcore to melodic, often in the confines of just one song. Where “The Road Less Traveled” truly shines is when it delves into the more melodic aspect of their sound. The vocals rarely break out of their hardcore shell, yet when they do, they are done in a manner which borderlines corniness but never really making it there.
The musicianship is nothing to rave about but that is one of the things that I like about this CD. It is very straightforward, to the point, and done well, which is something I tend to miss nowadays. The production suits the style they play very well, as the guitars are very crisp and heavy. The bass also manages to add melodic layers to certain songs instead of just simply playing along with them. The vocalist is just not another one of those screamers who yells wordlessly and that’s it. He plays guitar on all of the tracks and the bass on a couple others. The lyrics are also quite interesting. Not to worry - there is no excessive Jesus preaching to be found here!
Being a fairly old record, it is sad to see the small amount of attention it got when it is deserving of so much more. The way it bridges the hardcore into the emotional and melodic still sounds fresh to me every time I decide to pop it into my CD player. This is a rare gift to the metal world that I think all headbangers can appreciate. Fans of the technicality and brutality will not find much to feast on here. “The Road Less Traveled” is more for the metal fans that miss the excitement of simple metal done extremely well. If that is the kind of thing you are interested in, then I suggest you look no further than Six Feet Deep.
Bottom Line: Simple metal for the guy who just wants to headbang to some plain old well played metal.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.5 out of 10.