Beyond Abilities (Century Media)
by Scott Hefflon
“A young man trying to impress beyond his means… Too much spice. Too, um, too many notes.” The Amadeus quote opens the second solo outing of Children of Bodom keyboardist Janne Warman’s side-project, Warmen. That pretty much sets the stage: Classical-addicted heavy metal, revved and ready for a new generation of long-haired guitar gods. Too bad America has so few (sure we can’t trade by shipping some nü metal bands [and their armpit-scratching fans] over to Europe… Please?).
I like this stuff in the middle of the night, reading or doing something kinda creative (others may listen to trance or ambient electronic, I’m a little too high-strung and, well, I’ve always had a thing for guitar acrobatics). The mellower moments (the strolling/swagger of classic heavy metal) often warble on about following signs and all that mystical, hoaky shit Helloween was into in the late ’80s (a good starter reference point if, uh, you don’t follow various strains of metal and names like Children of Bodom and Stratovarious are unknown to you). And while some of the prancier side of prog rears its puffy lil head (but not long enough for me to get a clear shot), guest singer Timo Kotipelto (from Stratovarious, see?) is one of the better fops out there. A redeeming moment (call it a guilty pleasure, like Bif Naked rockin’ “We’re Not Gonna Take It”) comes from Sinergy singer Kimberly Goss belting out the juiced’n’flourished cover of the Heart’s ’80s classic “Alone” (you know, the one where the Wilson sisters looked fiiiine in the video and, uh, the whole harmony thing of “how do I get you alone?” had me and a million other teen boys dreaming about being the meat in a Wilson sandwich). Piano cascades and “cheap trills” aplenty, the song chugs along nicely. Worthy of many a CD burned for friends who, ya know, don’t get out enough on their own to unearth cool shit like this. Here’s a shovel, fucker… (and consider a big “X” on the url in parenthesis – wait for it – following this review. If you still can’t find the gold, you’re an idiot.)