Random Eyes - Grieve No More

Random Eyes Grieve No More cover
Random Eyes
Grieve No More
Rock'N'Growl Records
Peeking through the misty power metal veil in a most anodyne and banal fashion is Jyväskylä, Finland’s Random Eyes (or Randomize, whichever is more conducive) with its fourth full-length since its 1999 inception, “Grieve No More”, released earlier this year under Rock n’ Growl (purr?) records.
Although the lyrical theme – notice it’s singular – is listed as “Christianity”, fret not as there’s no outright flabbergasting lines such as “ride your skateboard to the Pearly Gates and your Saviour” or “beware the inevitable Rapture O ye sinners of the Digital Age!”, yet I’m still not overly enthralled by front man Christian Palin’s gauche vocal antics and falsely ringing dramaturge. That’s not to say some of the choruses aren’t unavoidably catchy but believe me when I say they wear out their welcome after several spins. I speak from experience as even seven or so listens of “Grieve No More” fail to stir me beyond a point of mild interest; in fact, I’m presently struggling with writing this review – what more is there to say about this release other than the fact it’s rather radio-friendly, it’s melodic (to a point), some of the riffs are slightly liberating (i.e. the title track, which sounds like a watered down version of Wolf, or “Damnation”, likely the most fluid, endearing track) and the modernized level of production is simply so... white bread as the bass and drums feel duly neglected/succumb to priority given to the dual guitars of Hercules Buccolieri (rhythm) and Markus Grimald (lead). I’m willing to bet Daniel Pfister and Philipp Eichenberger have something to say about that...
Don’t get me wrong though; aside from the simplistic and annoying, absolutely unnecessary opening instrumental “Trail of Tears” (indeed!), as well as tepid with a capital “T” “Do What Thou Wilt” (um, boys, I think Led Zeppelin already passed the message decades ago), the songs are competently crafted and arranged whilst the leads, while not aplenty or gob-smacking, dutifully compliment the material at hand, be it on the heavier – and merrily jolting, if not joyful – “Never Too Late”, with its increased tempo and uncharacteristic vigor, on which Grimald unleashes a severely helter skelter, haphazard solo which, despite its diametrical opposition to the song’s cloying disposition, provides a bit of much needed fizz, or how ‘bout the pop diva enhanced “Scar”, imbued as it is with a mini-slew of bubbly, atmospheric chops as well as wooing femme vocals? Erg, I dunno – I actually enjoyed “Grieve No More” on first listen, but it’s as if I’m suffering from overkill now. That said, the best way to rate an album is to listen to it over and over until you’ve finally had enough. It’s a formula see – the faster it takes to get on your nerves, the lower it rates! Alternatively, the longer it takes for the novelty to wear off, the better it is.
Now, it’s possible some folks gobble Random Eyes right up; personally, I’m already exposed to more than my fair share of Biblical (recovery house) boulderdash. As far as Christian metal goes, I think I’ll stick with Trouble, or even Stryper for that matter. That’s how dire the situation is with “Grieve No More” (the kitsch band logo and cover art also fail to curry my favor).