SECTION 16 - IDENTITY CRISIS - DCA
Section 16's debut album is something of a puzzle. Firstly the band is sometimes Section 16 while Section XVI at other times. The cover logo states Section 16 which is what we will use here. The CD arrived courtesy of California-based DCA, but nowhere on the actual disc or its jacket the label is mentioned - thanks list excepted. One logical conclusion is that the disc is that the album is being merely distributed by said label. Yet the real puzzle lies within the band's musical output. The album of these former Psyco Drama-ers kicks off with synthesizer, samples and a drum machine which immediately gives the listener cause for derision. The impression is false though, for the next few songs (Live Through Me, Never Again, etc.) are well-done metal songs of which any band can be proud. The guitarists, Hercules Castro and Toby Kinnaman (despite the wimpy short hair), can throw a good riff almost at will and give their axes quite a workout. The band has nicely intricate arrangements which are stunning. The two undoubtedly make the cut! That said, the singer is strictly hit and miss. While on the opening track, or even on the Queensrÿche bonus song, Corey Brown shows he can sound like a metal singer, on other songs he verves into clear Soundgarden territory. Grunge not being cool in these parts, songs like Want From Me and Left Of Center are unwelcome. The point is accentuated especially because he, and the rest of the band, have the capability to be heavy almost at will. The talent is evident here and should the band drop the electronic interludes, grunge tendencies and will to write an all-heavy album Section 16 can emerge from its identity crisis and stand up and be counted. Until then, this 65 minute album is mostly, but not wholly, recommended to heavy metal fans who crave Fates Warning, Queensrÿche and the like thrashed up and made heavier. - Ali "The Metallian"