Mad Architect - Journey to Madness

Mad Architect
Journey to Madness
Supertzar Records
Mad Architect is a band that’s spearheaded by none other than the slightly looney Drummer, multi-instrumentalist – singer etc... Snowy Shaw. Preceded by an EP and coming out along with a single, the said album, is a very dark, slightly prog, quite mysterious affair that one could say, possibly encompasses of and has accumulated into one many different musical styles, pretty much from almost all bands that Snowy has ever played or guested in the past. There are generous amounts of Therion and splashes of King D, there’s a bit of Dimmu but I suppose you should trace things more to the goth of Snowy’s own Notre Dame and then there’s the sort of Gamma Ray, power metal element, but a lot more twisted, but again that should not be a surprise, since Snowy was very active in Dream Evil as well. Now Mad Architect, is not a copy-cat band but a rather original proposition, as it actually takes all of these stylistical elements and mixes them so well that you can’t really trace any of their “original” sources apart, something that’s quite an achievement.
“Echoes From Beyond” is an atmospheric intro that lures you into the world of madness... it may be short in duration, but it doesn’t take any longer than a little over a minute for you to lose your mind… and soul...
“Dreamworld” begins very much like a typical power metal song, to a point that one could almost mistake Snowy for Kai. It has some very discreet keyboards, that are however very alluring... and it’s very nice. While Snowy can sing “better” than this as he has proven before, he opts for a rather sick, twisted, very marginal and over the top performance, but I suppose, since he doesn’t have a lot to prove, I respect it, since it’s a matter of choice.
“Universal Law” at a little over eight minutes, goes through a few moods, starting at a medium pace, with a strong riff and an interesting epic intro, then turning into a much slower and atmospheric, almost nightmarish, ghoulish proposition for quite a while. There’s a transition then and it sort of comes full circle to something similar to its beginning but slightly altered to offer closure. Not half bad.
“Mad Architect” is a crazy and twisted little number, that seems to have given the band their name as well. It fluctuates slightly in tempo, mostly remaining in the middle, for most of its duration, but it’s ambitious as it is adventurous and its chorus is quite interesting. Snowy, gives quite an exhilarating performance here no doubt.
“Transitions – Part 1” is a beautiful half minute interlude that leads us straight into… (as it segues into)…
“Sailing Away” a rather tempestuous number, with some impressive percussion and really tortured vocals that sound mightily impressive and rather hurtful.
“Floating” sounds a lot more mystical and 70s influenced, I suppose, all this thing he did in Therion, are sort of rubbing “off”, here... it’s nice. Mind ya.
Finally, “Strange Machine” is the ultimate song on the album and it turns up the heat again to conclude the album after a short but adventurous ride...
Overall it’s a short but definitely interesting album from the idiosyncratic musician, who doesn’t seem able to stay idle for too long. It’s definitely not for everybody, and listener discretion is advised. I mean, I love the guy, but you might find his style a bit too much for your liking, so you better, give an album like this a spin, before you go “mad”...