WYCKED SYNN - THE VISION - CHAVIS
Wycked Synn's debut is an impressive hard rock and heavy metal album with a story line running through the album. The Arizona-based band is lead by guitarist Ken Orth who has journeyed through the metal scene for years and is originally from Pennsylvania. The album was actually recorded by Orth and a number of unnamed studio musicians and it was only after the recording of the music that the current band members were introduced into the fray.
The Vision is a good album that gets better with every listen. Having said that, it is difficult to recommend the CD given its extreme reliance on all things Dokken. Than again, if originality is not one's overriding factor in making music purchasing decisions, The Vision is a great album to pick up. After all, how many metal bands better than Dokken can one name?
The album embarks on its journey with a melodic intro which is followed by first proper song, Tell The Tale. This song immediately establishes the band's blatant inspirations. Queensryche-like vocals and Dokken-styled harmonies and guitars are the pillars holding The Vision together. The vocals of Gary Grant are unfortunately captive to the story and do not quite work out on this particular track. The solos reek intensely of George Lynch. The background keyboards are unnecessary and detract from the song.
The title track's start is pure Dokken from the Tooth and Nail era. The song wades into Queensryche territory, but again the faint keyboards would have been better left out.
Let It Rain is a slow song whose beginning is very reminiscent of the duet of Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford on Close My Eyes Forever - very close. At least, Wycked Synn stays away from resorting to the trendy and very silly opera vocals many a band uses nowadays.
The spirit of George Lynch shredding lives on, in and through the next song, If You Said Goodbye. This is not scary. This is Mr Scary.
Evil Ways picks up the notch a tad and is a cross between the shredding metal guitar work of Jake E Lee and Motley Crue's Kickstart My Heart. The vocals are somehow Lizzy Borden-esque.
Track number seven is called K.M.A. (Killer Metal Attack) and is no more or less than a guitar extravaganza instrumental ready to shred the entire music industry apart. This is a nice showcase for Orth. More modern metal guitarists need to come out of their shells, strut the attitude thing and showcase their talents like Orth does here.
Til The End is ironically not at the end of the album, but nevertheless has good vocals, a nice rhythm and a catchy chorus that could have been a heavier Queensryche moment. this song is slightly heavier than average. This good song makes the case for the band's talented song writing and incredible vocals.
The next song begins with synthetic drums which are soon cut off by ripping guitars from the George Lynch school of shred. The rhythm here is just a tad sharper than the rest of the album. Despite that the song somehow does not work given the fluctuations in the speed and the tempo changes. Unfortunately this is the longest song on the album exceeding the six-minute mark.
The song before last is Unchosen Path. It is the most AOR of the bunch and a song where the vocals and the music somehow do not gel. This again might be a function of how the music was put to tape long before the band had vocals. Regardless, no one plays George lynch like Ken Orth. Hold on... he is George Lunch!
The longer-than-average album ends with The Savior which is like a heavier Queensryche, even approaching Sanctuary proportions. It is a classy closer with enough chops to carry the heavy metal title proudly.
All in all, The Vision is a gem that fans of Dokken, Queensryche, Randy Rhoads, Jake E Lee and Sanctuary should not ignore. The album does lack in the originality department and does suffer from an unexciting bass and drum playing that the band must rectify next time. Adding these elements will propel Wycked Synn to the top rung of metal bands. - Ali "The Metallian"