“Addiction of Fools” is quite an improvement over the band’s previous CD, “Binge & Purge.” The songwriting is somewhat more complex, the production value is definitely higher, and both lead vocalist Bryan Erickson and guitarist Michael James Torok have advanced in their skills considerably since 2001. Erickson pushes his vocal talents to the limit here, sounding like a cross between Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Grim Reaper’s Steve Grimmet. Without ever resorting to a modern rock growl, Erickson adds roughness where it’s needed and a sheer clean sound (a la Whitesnake’s David Coverdale) when necessary.
[spoiler]The fretwork by Michael James Torok has improved as well, and “Addiction of Fools” feature some killer lead guitar work. Thankfully, Torok also knows when to back down and just trust the big chunky chords to do their job, too. “Addiction of Fools” has some great crunch to it.
In addition, “Addiction of Fools” doesn’t lean so heavily on the cliches as “Binge & Purge” did and, hence, has a sound that is more so its own.
Sadly, the title track is the weak spot here, being a well-intended but clunky and somewhat cheesy ballad that brings the CD to a near halt. Erickson’s vocal work saves the day, however and, being only track 4 out of 10, there are plenty of chances for the band to redeem themselves afterward. And they do.
There’s no guitarsaw rating between three stars and three-and-a-half but, if there was, “Addiction of Fools” would get it (three and a quarter, maybe?). I think this CD is considerably better album than “Binge & Purge” for the reasons listed above and I believe most fans of the band’s earlier albums would agree.
1. Wolf Within
2. Full Moon
3. 1000 Reasons
4. Addiction of Fools
6. Do U Harm
9. The Burden
Bryan Erickson – Vocals
Michael Torok – Guitar
Tim Davis – Drums
Bill Holmberg – Bass
John Jankowski – Keys
Torok – Addiction of Fools 2007
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