TRANSCENDING THE MUNDANE

The bio for Wisconsin's Strange Land offers comparisons to bands like Fates Warning, Rush, Savatage, Zero Hour, and Pain Of Salvaton, but I don't think that's too valid. The final band they site as inspiration is Galactic Cowboys--a peculiar choice, but it's actually the most accurate, especially musically. Strange Land do best fit in the progressive metal genre, their music is epressive, but not technical or self-indulgent. They seem to work best on lengthy songs like "Unstuck," the upbeat acoustic strumming on the chorus is a pleasant release from the tension building electric verses. Chad Novell (who also contributes keyboards and bass) has a voice that is welcome. He sings in a clean toned mid-range which is often catchy and memorable. He sings with confidence and doesn't try to impress with a high range--perhaps similar to Pain Of Salvation's Daniel Gildenlow's approach. With twelve tracks and over seventy minutes of music, Anomaly is worth seeking out.

 Album Score: 8 out of 10
Reviewed in 2002 by: Brett VanPut