I am not much a fan of most progressive/power metal. The voices are too over-the-top, the musicians too self-absorbed in their guitar/keyboard/drum medley/wankery for me to feel any organic connection to the material. It’s some of the reason I have become a lot more selective over the last couple years of what metal I listen to: there’s just too much music out there to get bogged down in mediocrity.
Regrettably, Finland’s Mehida treads precariously close to this precipice, and it is with a few standout tracks on Blood & Water, their latest, that I tenuously recommend this album to fans of the progressive/power musical masturbation genres.
I will say that both the production and musicianship of Blood & Water are good, very good in fact, and contribute highly to the above rating. The album shoots from the gate with “Unchanging,” which is a misnomer as it features several musical changes that are somewhat representative of the genre and introduces us to Jani Stefanovic, the very talented Mehida guitarist.
“Guilty” was the first track on the album I had to listen to multiple times, due mainly to its catchy pre-chorus and chorus. “Lost Ones” also features some enjoyable bits of music, but unfortunately gets bogged down in some unfortunate deep vocals.
Which brings me to one of the sticking points in Blood & Water. While I really don’t, with few exceptions, dig higher vocals, it’s where Thomas Vikström is most comfortable and where he should stay. On the aforementioned “Lost Ones,” his deeper attempts sound forced, on “Multitude,” where he growls, “I have never done anything right,” he sounds ridiculous.
The other sticking point is that nothing necessarily grabs me by the short and curlies and tells me I have to listen to this. Nothing out-and-out sucks (well, some of those vocals are pretty close), but nothing, not even the enjoyable “Guilty” are terribly remarkable.
In the end, fans of progressive and power metal (even those who may appreciate this band’s somewhat obvious religious undertones) should find enjoyable tidbits in Mehida’s Blood & Water. However, for picky ole’ me, the album will likely soon find its way to the middle of the pile.