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On disc: Fool's Game

Reality Divine - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars

Reality Divine

Reality Divine
(Cruz del Sur - 2009)

Fool's Game is the brainchild of Matt Crooks who was looking for something new after he parted ways with Division. He had some songs written when guitarist Matt Johnsen came to MCR Studios for some recordings. Johnsen liked the stuff and wanted to be part of the project which became Fool's Game. Johnsen hooked up John Macaluso (ex-Ark, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen) and it didn't took them too long to find Manticora singer Lars F. Larsen and Redemption keyboarder Nick van Dyk.
Musically Fool's Game offer power metal with some progressive elements and heavy riffing. The kick off with the Mass Psychosis, a guitar-driven track which has some complex parts and offers Larsen's powerful vocals. The refrain is catchy and makes it easy to get into Reality Divine. A bit heavier and with more progressive elements they present When The Beginning Meets The End - and during the 6+ minutes long tune they find time to show off their skills. A sonic roller coaster ride is Sowing Dead Seeds with slow balladesque passages and powerful heavy parts. At The Conqueror Worm Larsen is joined by Tim Aymar (Pharaoh) which is doing the song good. The keyboard is quite prominent... A catchy chorus will hook you up. Prelude To The Fair is a kind of interlude leads over to She Moved Through The Fair. Again they use some growls in the background as well as some female vocals, but they are too much in the background to really leave a mark on the song.
Fool's Game present progressive power metal, but due to the progressive elements and partly complex structures the songs need more then one spin. Lars F. Larsen has a powerful voice, but he doesn't have a huge range and partly I miss variety in his vocals. Reality Divine is a strong debut, but I would like to have a bit more variety.... Anyway, that's more a matter of taste. So check out: On Endless Planes of Ignorance and Sowing Dead Seeds.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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