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Rawhead Rexx - Diary In Black - reviewed by: EC

Track Listing
1. Dark Ages (Prelude)
2. Return Of The Dragon (Chapter III)
3. Diary In Black (Chapter I)
4. Brothers In Arms (Chapter IV)
5. Barons Overthrow (Chapter II)
6. The Machine
7. What If (Chapter VII)
8. Evil In Man (Chapter VIII)
9. Dragonheart (Chapter VI)
10. Metal Way (Chapter V)
11. Saint And Sinner (Bonus Track)
12. Resistance (Bonus Track)
13. Six Feet From The Edge (Chapter IX)
This is the band's second album, a follow-up to the stellar debut record from 2001. With the debut Rawhead Rexx showed a great deal of promise, demonstrating an act that could compete with Steel Attack as the leader of Germany's next power metal invasion. The group showed an amazing ability to play fast and mid-tempo structures, with a soaring vocalist one would expect from the traditional sound.

With Diary In Black, the band seems to have lost some of the spark from the debut record. I'm not so sure I should say "lost" the spark, but they don't really carry it over to this record. Don't get me wrong, this record is far from terrible, but I really expected the band to take it up a notch. They are certainly capable of doing better I believe.

Lackluster songs like "Return Of The Dragon" (why must every power metal song have a dragon in the title or chorus?) and "The Machine" shows a side of Rawhead Rexx that I don't feel expresses their true talent. These songs, as well as others on the record are uncreative and don't have any real drive. I feel as though the band has become too "paint by numbers", much the way the Canadian band Eidolon. Both of these bands have tremendous talent, but they don't use that talent to make any real impression on the listener.

This release does have some highlights, which are mainly the leads that we have come to love from the first record, and of course the intense vocals from former Glenmore singer

Don't completely avoid this record if you are a Rawhead Rexx fan. There are some good tracks on here, but a majority of the album just fails to create a spark for me. Hopefully the third time will be the charm.


--EC 05.06.03
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: RAWHEAD REXX
CD
TITLE BAND
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Diary In BlackRawhead Rexx
2003
Eric Compton5/5/2003


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