Label : Goatland Music/Femme Metal Records

Review by Tony Cannella

New Orleans based progressive metal band Menagerie released their first album in 2004 that album was titled “Cages”. Their latest album is titled “In Moderation” and it was actually released in 2007. It is now that I have gotten the opportunity to write a review for it. Better late than never. The band is fronted by Brooke Mayfield on vocals. The rest of the line-up shapes up like this: Keith Guillory (Guitar, Keyboards), Daniel Eschete (Bass) and Shawn Roddy (Drums). I understand that the band has undergone some line-up changes since the release of In Moderation, with Brooke and Keith Guillory being the only remaining members. That’s a shame because the band that appears on “In Moderation” are a tightly cohesive unit that sound as though they have played together for 10 years. The band incorporates a number of influences but also adds their own twist on things and it really all adds up to a solid release. OK, let’s get on with it…  “Echo” kicks things into gear and right away it is a theatrically atmospheric opening number that really is a bit disarming as far as opener’s go. That’s not a bad thing either. The song builds slowly and effectively and really sets a high standard for what is to follow. I found myself hitting the replay button a few times on this one with each listen being better than the last. It really grows on you. The inclusion of keyboards in concert with the guitars are really a nice added touch. Impressive too are the vocals of Brooke Mayfield. She doesn’t go much for the operatic vocal gymnastics, but her style is more laid-back and technically proficient. She doesn’t steal the show but her style melds perfectly with the musicianship and they compliment each other perfectly. Things get even better with the next song “Analog”. This is another song that portrays a distinctive atmosphere and has dreamy, ethereal vibe that is really effective and enjoyable. The piano bit near the end ads a bit of melancholy to the proceedings. Nice solid guitar riff and beautiful vocals make this song another high point. “Rewind” is a little faster and a bit more up-tempo than the previous two and it really has become another favorite. The guitar riff is steady throughout and once again Brooke turns in a fine performance. “A Word In Volume” is next and the tempo is brought down a notch and this is a eerily, haunting tune. “Blind” keeps things consistent and is followed by the great track “In The Gray”. This is probably my favorite track on display here and it is just a solid number. A huge highlight that really has a great tempo and melody to it. The trio of “Limits”, “Dogs” and “Moderation” bring the CD to a close on a strong note as the quality of the songs and musicianship remains high.  Overall, I would say that Menagerie are a fantastic addition to the progressive metal genre. Personally, I think the band have more to offer than just one style of music. They certainly have the talent and the songs to appeal to wider range music fans. The 9-songs and 41-minutes worth of material that the band showcases on “In Moderation” are living, breathing proof that Menagerie are a band to be reckoned with, whether you are a fan of progressive metal or not.


Rating – 80/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Echo
  2. Analog
  3. Rewind
  4. A Word in Volume
  5. Blind
  6. In the Gray
  7. Limits
  8. Dogs
  9. Moderation

 

Line Up

  • Brooke Mayfield – Vocals
  • Keith Guillory –Guitars & Keyboards
  • Daniel Eschete – Bass 
  • Shawn Roddy – Drums  

 

Links

MySpace * Facebook * Site

 

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