Matter of Taste, Chateau Obscure and Jack of Spades CD, 45:06 and 45:34 respectively, HPM MOT 96 001-2, WMMS 130, 1996 and 1998 Glauning 130 A-8093 St. Peter/O, Austria Tel/Fax: ++43 (0)3477-2704 E-mail: email@example.com Cyberhome: www.nextcd.com This Austrian metal/prog rock outfit is distinguished first and foremost by its pretentious, unintentionally funny lyrics. Take these lines - please - from "Chateau Obscure": "Poetry drips from the mouth of the speaker/ sparkling with shocking beauty." Shocking indeed. Or this, from the same song: "Ambitious is their desire melifluos [sic] the promise they make/ Inane is their sense inclining towards incoherence." We're way beyond "inclining" toward incoherence. The apex of the band's metal cliché-mongering comes during "Nightkiller": "When thunder roared in days with rain/ a temple broke and sank/ a virgin lies in rusty chains/ waiting for the call." Ladies and gentlemen, This Is Spinal Tap. Two years separate these two releases by Matter of Taste, and the main difference seems to be a shift away from prog rock toward all-out heavy metal. On Chateau Obscure there are hints of UK and even Night Ranger; on Jack of Spades the band sounds more like Accept, particularly on the fast-paced "Evolution." On both records, the vocal delivery is unbearably melodramatic, the keyboard sounds are dated, and the writing is all over the place. Avoid, unless you want to amuse your friends. ~David R. Adler
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