On disc: Ignitor
The Spider Queen
(Cruz del Sur - 2009)
Ignitor is back with a new singer and with The Spider Queen. After the last album singer Erika left the band and mastermind Stuart Lawrence could recruit former Dangerous Toys singer Jason McMaster. Some will know McMaster from his time with Watchtower...
The Spider Queen is a kind of metal opera where every song is a chapter of the story plus an intro and an epilogue. Jason McMaster has to impersonate all characters which is manages well most of the time.
Ignitor's music is based in 80's heavy metal and US metal. Heavy riffs dominate Evil Calling and McMaster uses a deeper timbre then on the opener Magnus Opus, but also adds some high-pitched vocals. The balladesque beginning of I Never Knew shows McMaster's vocal range is limited... Or more exactely he can't really express the feelings the songs requires, even it's just the slow, balladesque parts, coz when they speed up he can switch to his usual way of singing. Songs like The Games Begin can make up for it, but at the end it's just an average album. Perhaps it would have been a good move to recruit some guest vocalist(s)... A quite melodic track is Angels Descend and they do better here, even if they are best when doing up-tempo tunes. The slightly epic title track The Spider Queen shows mastermind Stuart Lawrence and his counterpart Beverly Barrington's skills, the guitarists can show more then just heavy riffing here. Another one of the highlights on this album, but still there are low points. And after several strong tracks the weak ones seem to hit you even harder.... My Heart Turns To Dust is again a song which asks for emotional vocals - and so they run into the same problem they had at I Never Knew. Musically not bad, but the vocals kinda ruin the song. With Dynasty Of Darkness they have a closer which leaves a good last impression, but it can't make you forget the low points.
If you want to check out The Spider Queen, then listen to the title track, Rune Of Power and Dynasty Of Darkness. but also check out I Never Knew to understand what are the low points. Not a bad album at all, but due to the slow parts where McMaster just can't deliver what the song requires the rating is a bit lower... But they can improve next time!