OBSESSION - CANRNIVAL OF LIES (Mausoleum Records)
(Review by Stefan)
When I heard Obsession for the first time, I was immediately hooked on their way of US Metal! To start this review, I'll point myself to people who have experienced the 80s Metal movement. Why? Well, Obsession was formed in the early period of that era and these guys stole my heart for the first time with a song called ‘Shadows Of Steel’ added to Metal Massacre 2 album. That was back in 1982 and I'd like to describe those Metal Massacre series as some of the best compilation albums ever been released. Uncountable great bands appeared on it, for many of them (Overkill, Armored Saint, Metallica, Fates Warning, Slayer, Metal Church, Attacker, Obsession, Dark Angel, Hallows Eve,...) was this the start of something big. Some of those bands are still alive and kicking after all those years, some are unfortunately 'disbanded' but not in my heart and soul. They will live on forevermore deep inside my heart!
One of the 'survivors' of the original 80s Metal culture is for sure Obsession. After their participation on the Metal Massacre compilation series, I still remember their killer, debut EP entitled "Marshal Law" released in 1984 by Metal Blade Records. Irreversible, awesome, superb,... I haven't got words enough to tell you what a great effort it really was (and still is actually!). We called it US Power Metal, a form of music still running through my veins after more than two decades. Killer songs to me, added to the EP were: 'Only The Strong Will Survive' and 'Marshall Law'... still phenomenal, legendary to the core!! Pawns that made Obsession's music so unique was Michael Vescera's voice...loud and clear, his voice cut through flesh and bone!
More Obsession music showed up in 1886 - '87 with the efforts "Scarred For Life" and "Methods Of Madness" released through Enigma Records. Both were outstanding pieces of US Metal, be sure these are still fulfilling my CD collection nowadays! After all, a form of silence descended over the Obsession camp. They were gone and missed by US Metal maniacs in general. Obsession's legendary frontman Michael Vescera appeared later on in the world of Metal as frontman in bands like Loudness, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dr. Sin, Roland Grapow, Joe Stump's Reign Of Terror...he always believed in the forces of Metal music and that's the right spirit to me. Never give up the Metal fight, whatever it takes!
I was quite sure that one day, the almighty Obsession should be back with a vengeance. Brothers and sisters, it feels amazing spreading the words of Obsession's new album entitled "Carnival Of Lies". Original members Michael and drummer Jay Mezias reformed the band and pumped new life into their existence. Both original guys got company of guitarists Scott Boland (MVP) andJohn Bruno (X Factor X) and bassist Chris McCarvill (X Factor X/House Of Lords/Jeff Scott Soto/Eddie Ojeda). Superior line-up, isn't it! Ready to deliver US Metal once again, the new album sounds extremely good to me!
Mausoleum Records (delivers Heavy Metal the way it should be since 1982!!) are the proud owners of THE label spreading Obsession's new album in Europe. Be ready for a 55 minutes of stunning produced US Power Metal music. It feels old school but still refreshing, Obsession is back in the running and can be contemplated as a worthy competition for many others. I always will believe in the words that '80s Metal Never Dies', the tradition lives on and one, we have to face that!
Opener 'Smoking Gun' starts amazing with an uptempo rhythm! The 'older' guys (MV and JM) are still in very good shape and beware of the 'new' guys as well. Their skills to work addictive, especially when you're into US Metal. Unique vocals, awesome guitar works with stunning riffs and blistering solo's,... all has been delivered with class. Also fantastic is the title track 'Carnival Of Lies', produced in the eighties tradition, great work. Other songs pumping lifeblood furious through my veins are: 'Playing Dead', 'Pure Evil', 'Panic In The Street'. Pay also attention to the renewed version of Obsession's legendary song 'Marshall Law'. Well-done version but I'd like to prefer the original '84 version! The '84 version stays untouchable to me, that's why basically.
Final conclusion allows me to say that the 'return' of Obsession is more than a welcome gift. I got where I waited for! Ever a fixed value in the 80s Metal movement and now many years later on, they're still be able to fulfil all my US Metal requirements. This is maybe not Obsession as we knew from their early efforts, they've still convincing me with a 'renewed' highly recommended form of US Classic/Power Metal. US METAL maniacs have to go for it in full force!!!
My Points: 90/100