STOLEN MEMORIES - THE STRANGE ORDER - PERVADE
Here comes another album, which is deserving of a dual review. Stolen Memories (inception?) is a French progressive band that has a dexterous guitarist of the highest levels. His licks and solos can easily impress. The vocals of Najib Maftah are powerful, even, controlled and have a notable range. He does better in the higher tones however. The sound is clear and well mastered. The drums however sound sterile.
On the other hand, The Strange order - which strangely has a gory cover and artwork - is yet another derivative band fitting the mould of the Dream Theater/Symphony X middle ground perfectly. Not again. It is quite predictable. Keyboards and lush melodies. Here it comes again. And pianos. Yes, the guitars soar and the vocals go far, but isn’t this all done before and isn’t it all ametallic? - Anna Tergel