Edge of Infinity

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Only barely metal, the Swiss sextet Lunatica make Evanescence sound like Pantera. With its synth-heavy arrangements and singer Andrea Datwyler's poppy, over-enunciated lyrical style, the closest musical comparison is Y Kant Tori Read, Tori Amos' legendary misguided pop-metal debut album from the late '80s. To be fair, Edge of Infinity isn't that hilariously bad; indeed, bandleader Alex Seiberl, whose epic synthesizer riffs and florid grand piano fills are the focal point of the songs, has a fair knack for balancing catchy tunes and proggy excess last seen during Asia's brief heyday in the early '80s. (Actually, keeping with the geographical theme, Europe's cheese-metal demi-masterpiece The Final Countdown is an equally valid touchstone.) This album is, however, overripe AOR pop that will be sneeringly dismissed by the pop-phobic segments of the metal audience, and those people probably have the right idea. Rarely more than pleasant, and at times embarrassingly misguided, Edge of Infinity isn't quite bad enough to hate, but it's next to impossible to like.

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