PENANCE (Alpha & Omega) CD
I was really excited when I found the new PENANCE album in my mailbox, because they are still belonging to my all-time faves. The new album contains five brandnew songs and the awesome "Turn For The Worse" CD-EP which was never offical released. "Alpha & Omega" kicks off with mid-tempo burner "Wizards Of Mind" and I must admit that it was a good choice of the band to add with Matt Tuite and Mary Bielich a second guitarist and a new bassist in the line-up. It's still the old PENANCE sound, but more uplifting and.positive. Every of the new tracks is a winner, especially the spiritual and emotional "See The Light". The sensitive guitarwork dominates this track that starts with a didgeridoo opening and than the sky cracks open and you really see the light. Vocalist Brian Balich sings with more variety on every song and his voice sounds a bit lighter than on the older recordings.
Then there's "New Machine" with its groove-laden heaviness or the energetic and bittersweet "Reaching" and so on. The lyrics are still dealing with the melancholic sides of life, but there's more hope in it.I'm very enthusiastic about the new material and the top-production of Chris Kozlowski brings out every small detail of the new songs.After the new ones you can listen to the above mentioned CD-EP and it's interesting to listen to the older material, which sounds more brutal and angry. For a detailed review about the songs I give you the advice to check out the review in the EP section. At least, PENANCE has found a strong label with Martyr Music, that supports the band as good as they good and I hope this co-operation will last a bit longer.To sum it up, "Alpha & Omega" is a soulful heavy hitter, authentic and honest in spirit and heart and recommandable for every fan of Pentagram , Trouble or St. Vitus. This is really huge! For more informations read the interview with Mike Smail in this webzine and visit the PENANCE homepage for the latest news.