CORE DEVICE - What I’ve Become CD
Heaven and Hell Records
Genre: Power Metal
I can just imagine what the European Power Metal elites who sit on their neo-classical gothic thrones would say about this one. What is this? A Power Metal band from New Jersey? Hah! Where are you ancient castles, you ice caped mountains or mythological beasts to slay? Well it's true that none of those things exist in Jersey. I should know since I was born and raised there, although I will say I've seen some rats that were absolutely beastly. So here we have CORE DEVICE a Power Metal band from Middletown, New Jersey and of course the question needs to be asked. What would influence a Power Metal band living in the Garden State? Sure all of those European bands of the genre actually have hundreds of years of history and mythology to work with as far as lyrical themes. So I'm here to tell you yes there's alot, quite alot in NJ to influence a Power Metal band. First off you need to use your imagination, for example throwing rocks at rats on the river bed turns into "defending the realm from the vermin beasts". Then there's walking into train tunnels becoming "entering the cave of the cyclops". Finally there's the fending off the advances of your friend's ugly sister which turns into "surviving the witch hag's spell". CORE DEVICE knows all about imagination but I wouldn't say they're all into the fantasy thing to the point I used. If there's one important part about this New Jersey band it's that they're not into painting within the lines of a genre.
While tagged as Power Metal they are not as opera or classical oriented in their sound and style as their European peers. What I’ve Become, their second full length, incorporates elements of progressive thrash which makes perfect sense and at times are fairly heavy and technically precise. What's problematic is that this release has to build up song by song for you to get that final analysis. The first couple of tunes simply give you a slight taste. It's not until "Revelations" when the band reaches into ICED EARTH territory dynamics with guitarists Tony Nocera and Pat Kehoe providing some pyrotechnics as well as a melodic rhythm which at times crushes. The latter half of this release is where we get real aggressive sounding cuts like "Confront the Serpent", "Trail the Vein" and the very impressive "Sixth Sense". It's also where singer Daniel Dunphy really cuts loose with his vocal delivery which most of the time is clean style but he kicks in some decent growls as well as an epic scream. I actually thought the band had two vocalists at first which illustrates Dunphy varied range. His presense on here conveys that of a gallant leader inspiring the troops. He can also sing a ballad, "Remembered as a Name", although I hate ballads. Overall this band's strengths are there technical chops which are never too over the top, their devotion to smooth transitions within their songs plus a medium edge throughout. No mighty warriors, beasts of antiquity or MANOWAR-isms to speak of.