UNDERTOW HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE

STRANGE LAND
Anomaly
Strange Land was born in November 1998 in Franklin, Wisconsin. When members of the local bands Labyrinth and Fishboy decided to join forces. The recorded a four song demo which was also reviewed on these pages. Now the band returns with a twelve song full length album which contains almost 70 minutes of music. The current line up is Chad Novell (bass, keyboards & vocals), Sean Gill (guitar) and newcomer Pete Schwarzenbacher on drums. Strange Land is a progressive metal who makes smooth melodic prog metal. Donít expect high tech metal chuck full of time changes and breaks. The main ingredient of the Strange Land songs is melody. The band draws a lot of influences from Fates Warning. They also remind me a bit of Defyance, another underground progressive melodic metal band. ďAnomalyĒ is an album that gives a nice listening experience and although it is with its 70 minutes a long disk it never start to sound boring. When I reviewed the four song demo I mentioned that the vocals were not convincing and that they could improve. Well they did improve on this full length album. Chad has a pleasant sounding tone. He is not one of those high pitched progressive metal singers but his voice is situated on the lower regions. The art work and booklet looks very nice and it has all lyrics printed out in it. The production is decent but personally I think that the vocals are sometimes mixed too much in the front. This however is not a major fault. The only thing I can do is congratulate these guys with a job well done. (7,5) Email