AGE OF DISCLOSURE – To the Universe
This 13-track effort entitled "To the Universe" by the Swiss act Age of Disclosure was a welcome surprise for sure. Spearheaded by guitarist Ben Sollberger and a cast of talented musicians, this debut album of theirs is a strong and solid effort containing a lot of well-written and memorable songs. Granted, not every tune is as catchy or clevely arranged as others, but I am generally very impressed by what Mr. Sollberger has concocted here. The first few times I spun the disc I was reminded of legendary acts such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Iced Earth, and Megadeth, but some of the guitar harmonies and melodies and so on brought to mind such diverse bands as Thin Lizzy, Queensryche, and Savatage. In other words, we are dealing with something here that is rather difficult to pigeonhole or categorize, so let us simply refer to Age of Disclosure as a heavy metal band, shall we?
Lyrically and thematically, "To the Universe" is rife with references to postmodernism and postmodernist thinking, which is to say they reflect on our modern-day existence and how fragmented and displaced it truly is. I kind of dig that philosophical approach to things and find it fascinating. None of the lyrics figure in the booklet, but you can easily make out what the vocalists are belting out, so pay attention to the words when listening to this fucker. Speaking of vocals, the use of four different vocalist add variety to the album, but the red thread more or less remains intact from start to finish and "To the Universe" sounds coherent and cohesive throughout. With a strong production to boot, there is a lot to like on this record. Having said that, it does lose some momentum around "In Your Eyes (Little Girl)" and "Committing a Crime", but the majority of songs are good with the highlights being the groovy "Rumour", the melancholic "Beautiful", and the aggressive "I Am Forever".
"To the Universe" reeks of potential and it will be very interesting (and hopefully rewarding) to follow these guys and see what they will come up with in the future. If they can refine and hone their sound even more, I dare say that Age of Disclosure will become a force to be reckoned with down the road.