MEDUSA TOUCH – “…Someone To Take You There” CD ’05 (Private, England) – The word “heavy” has always been an interesting one to me. Over the years, man, it’s been used a lot! I saw a band and they were “heavy as hell.” “Man, his guitar tone was freaking heavy as shit!” “That album is so damn heavy.” What does it mean? What is heavier, Slayer’s “Reign In Blood” or Judas Priest’s “Sad Wings Of Destiny?” Really? The first Saint Vitus album or Pagan Altar’s “Mythical & Magical?” Are you sure? And therein lies the beauty of the discussion. To me, for instance, it’s always been more about the vibe than the actual guitar tone, the mood than the level of distortion. And how appropriate, then (if I do say so myself J) having mentioned a band like Pagan Altar when leading into this look at MEDUSA TOUCH. Both are bands from England and both take their cue of “heaviness” from that more moody, ethereal sense of the word.
MEDUSA TOUCH, you see, are a 4-piece unit that etched this glorious recording (their 3rd) into plastic in 2004 and let it see the light of day sometime in the next year. From the fantasy-themed cover art, it would be understandable for a potential listener to think they were going to be swept into a land of Euro power/prog metal upon hitting the play button and yet MT seem to glean their inspiration from things a bit further back in history. The opening cut, “All Hallows Eve” greets the listener with a bit of an ominous chording and a demonic laugh, then it’s on to a simply awesome beginning. Here, as the Hellride writer who turned me onto this gem astutely pointed out, comparisons can surely be drawn to the legendary Pagan Altar, both in the grand nature of the song writing itself and the panoramic subtle “heavy” feel. Listen to the dueling guitars of Trey Owen and Rog Long, hitting harmonies generally reserved for the likes of Robbo & Gorham as they give shape and clarity to this killer. The trump card for the band is the vocal work of bassist Allison Piearce. Her voice is at once powerfully gutsy and smooth as silk, never falling into any kind of barroom harshness that would make the proceedings seem hokey. A great example of this is in the very next number, “Decoy Doll,” a trip down the seamier side of life. Here the band, motoring atop Bryan Beasley’s stalwart drumming, dishes out a grooving hard rocker while Piearce’s voice tells a seedy tale in a golden voice. And, on it continues, through cuts such as the lengthy “20:20 Hindsight,” the melodic “Fallen Angel” and the ‘70’s hard rock feel of “Too Many Times.” It all comes to a fantastic conclusion in the nearly 7-minute epic closer, “Legend” where MT tie everything together in a wonderful amalgamation that reminds this listener of a deft combination of the aforementioned P Altar and another band of British gods, Saracen.
It’s easy to get caught up in the myriad good reviews that float around the internet, where it becomes part and parcel of many websites to laud even the most mediocre records with lavish praise. Here at the ‘Realm, however, I love to find the real cream, whether it be from the present or past and let it rise to the top, singing it’s praises as it does. With that in mind, MEDUSA TOUCH sure as hell represents the best of both worlds. Here’s a stone-classic they issued nearly 4 years ago that’s just reached my desk and…thankfully, the band is still going strong and working on new material. How great is that? So, while we look forward to their next move, grab a copy of this one and let MEDUSA TOUCH “take you” to their world of “heavy!” 10.0
NOTE: MEDUSA TOUCH has 2 albums previous to this one that are currently sold out. Here’s hoping they’re re-issued soon, so get writing to ‘em and give ‘em a reason to.