Aztec Jade

Paradise Lost

Aztec Jade - Paradise Lost ©2000 Adrenaline Records
1. Regatta Fugue Part I
2. The Calling
3. To Believe
4. Mad Not Crazy
5. Desperate Land
6. Nosferatu
7. Atlantis
8. Regatta Fugue Part II
9. Stained
10. Gates Of Babylon
11. Requiem
12. Modern Prophet
13. Dirty Secrets
14. Soul Inside Of Me
15. The Creator
16. Indian Summer
17. Odyssey

This CD is a compilation of the whole of the first two Aztec Jade CDs, Modern Prophet and Frame Of Mind, plus a couple bonus tracks. The first eleven songs were recorded and mastered just up the road from me in Saratoga Springs, NY . . . not that anyone but me finds that fascinating [grin].

Aztec Jade are a progressive metal band with a really impressive sound that blends some terrific hooks and one of the best up and coming vocalists I've heard in a long time. The guitar and vocals are center stage almost all the way through the CD with the rhythm and keyboards providing background support and only occasionally sneaking out front and catching your attention. The songs are all fairly short, which is unusual for progressive metal, but they are tight and packed with a lot of music and energy.

Since the first two albums are represented on the one disc, it gives you the ability to hear the differences in song writing from the first disc to the next. The growth from one to the next is noticeable in a more refined sound, played with more confidence. I don't know if the material was remixed or if the disc represents the first two CDs unchanged, but there is still a difference that you can notice form the beginning of the CD to the end.

Outstanding on this disc is the vocal performance of Leon Ozug. His voice is exceptional. He stays within his range and shows a power and talent that is right up there with the Geoff Tates and James LaBries of progressive metal. You can hear him having fun as he sings the lyrics of "Dirty Secrets". You can hear him emote and adapt himself to the tenor of the songs. His voice alone is worth the purchase of the CD. The technical excellence of the band behind him propels his singing further, making the disc a very worthwhile purchase and an immensely enjoyable listening experience. Aztec Jade are one of the brighter rising stars of progressive metal. I look forward to their next release if their first material is of this caliber.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 08/2000

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