"Announcing the End" (Dezpots; 2017)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Sparzanza's "Announcing the End" begins with a brief, but ominous, cinematic intro that offers promises of hard and heavy to come. It's the kind of intro you'd expect from an epic horror movie and the crows cawing in the background bring to mind images of Resident Evil. When the band kicked in, however, it wasn't quite the music I was expecting. Instead of the thrash or classic metal (a la Metal Church) that intro portended, I was rather surprised to discover that "Announcing the End" is more of a modern metal sound, with alternating clean and growling vocals, and song structures that bear little resemblance to either classic metal or thrash. In other words, it's much closer to Stone Sour than Judas Priest.

The interesting thing about that "modern metal" sound is that Sparzanza has been around for just about two decades and, from what I've read about their previous releases, "Announcing the Wait" is a bit of a departure from the band's earlier work. I can't speak to that due to (sadly) my not being familiar with the band's earlier work. But I can tell you this: the CD rocks pretty hard from beginning to end, with the occasional slow spot here and there. The guitars are heavy, the vocals are impressive (both clean and not clean) and the performances lively throughout.

My favorite tracks were the title track, "The Trigger," and "We are Forever." They're probably also the heaviest tracks on the CD. Unfortunately, other tracks, such as "Whatever Came May Be" and "The Truth is a Lie" didn't do much for me as they seemed a little generic. "Breathe Into Fire" might have been another disappointment but is saved by the killer lead guitar work there.

Taken as a whole, "Announcing the End" is a pretty solid CD with a few minor hiccups. It's good enough to make me seek our previous Sparzanza albums and to give them a listen. Here's to hoping that "Announcing the End" doesn't mean this is the end of Sparzanza.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2017 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.