FAITH FACTOR - AGAINST A DARKENED SKY (Retroactive Records)
(Review by Stefan)
True believers of US Power Metal music - take a break and listen up to what I have to tell you about the new album from Faith Factor entitled ''Against A Darkened Sky'' released through the American label, Retroactive Records.
If you've experienced the eighties Metal movement yourself, please don't tell me that you never heard of a band called Deadly Blessing and its Godly frontman named Norm 'Ski' Kiersznowski! If this is effectively so, I’m sorry but that's a shame on you. Way back in the 80s, it was almost an obligation to have Deadly Blessing's debut album called ''Ascend From The Cauldron'' to see appearing in your LP collection. It's still one of my all time favourite Classic US Metal albums, so pure and played from the heart - I still get shivers down my spine every time I give this product a few spins.
Unfortunately, almighty Ski left the Deadly Blessing ranks but the remaining members kept going on - two years later on they released the EP ''Psycho Drama''. Pretty good shot to me, at least for the musical content but to be honest it wasnï¿½t the same feelings I've had while listening to this output. Singing God Ski was gone and felt like a needle through my US Metal heart! The years that followed, Ski was active in bands like Obliterator and Altered State... I was still hoping and longing that one day, this magnificent singer will ever show up again.
A Deadly Blessing compilation entitled ''An Eye To The Past'', including a collection of awesome/rare songs of the band's history line, came out through German Hellion Records and believe me, this was a very heartfelt present I longed for. Without Ski, DB also brought out a demo in 2007 and a single ''Utopia In Flames/Devided'' in 2008 but...
My wish became reality - Ski was back with a vengeance, last year he took us all by surprise with his new band called Faith Factor and the EP ''7/7/07''. More than just curious and with the help of Ski (who sent the promo to review to MTI) I right away start listening to the songs on it and YEAH, I was astonished with the end result. Master Ski still in excellent shape, this output gave meant the world for me. Good point was that the news went around that a full-length album of Faith Factor was in the works to be released at the end of 2008. Check it out - check it in, I proudly presents the new album of these American Believers, stand sharp with full attention for ''Against A Darkened Sky'', a product of Retroactive Records!
As for the packing, all looks great - a 10 page booklet with a perfectly worked out lay-out done by Rob Rock's wife Liza speaks to everyone's imagination - production sounds real heavy, actually what a great Metal album asks for, right. Ten songs are added to the tracklist, besides some kind of an intro (Evila Si Eh) and outro (Sinner's Prayer), the other ones blew me away. I'm a follower of US Metal since the eighties, I've heard so many great albums since those years and with a very satisfied heart, I will add Faith Factor's new album ''Against A Darkened Sky'' to my list of all time favourite US Metal efforts.
First full song 'Keep It True' opens with the legendary high pitched vocals of Mr. Ski himself followed by powerful guitar riffs and excellent rhythms. Actually a tribute to many classic bands who came across God's Metal Ministry through the years. ...''We fight - for what we believe, stand tall for the Metal creed!''... Ski sings with a burning passion for the scene! Also very remarkable are the melodic guitar solo's straight up, technical basslines. To make the picture entirely perfect, bombastic drum works to work out outstanding. The song 'In Remembrance' sounds actually like a meeting of two magnificent US Metal bands as there are Jag Panzer and Heir Apparent. When a track called 'The Crucifix' meets 'The Keeper Of The Reign'... seventh heaven lies right in front of me! But there is many more to enjoy in this album - more power with highlights as: 'In God's Shadows', 'Armor Of God' and 'Divine Temptations'... three songs that are so fantastic, I nearly can't believe my ears but there is more to impress you!
There is one song - more specifically - the longest tracks on the album entitled 'Ascend Unto Heaven' is absolutely favourite song of all. Why I prefer this one above the other works is simply because of the fact here is so much awesome atmospheres, breaks, very catchy moments to detect... the only thing you can do is sit tight and expect the unexpected. Perfectly worked out with the most attention of detailed perfection. One moment everything is quiet and easy on the ear - a bit later on all transforms into pure US Metal violence. Full satisfaction is mine!
Reaching the end of my review, some words left to say about my feelings regarding this album - I'm overwhelmed all over! Perfect in every point of view, ''Against A Darkened Sky'' is an absolute must-have for all maniacs into US - Classic minded - Power Metal and top-notch, melodic/ high pitched vocals delivered by a master named SKI. Order possibilities via: http://www.myspace.com/retroactivewreckage - visit Faith Factor's homepage at: http://www.myspace.com/faithfactorrocks
My Points: 100 / 100