Saturday, May 08, 2010

Lizzy Borden - Master of Disguise

To the layman, Lizzy Borden is the name of some murder that existed long ago, a name that holds nearly no real relevance at all. To most metal heads, Lizzy Borden holds the same reverence... only there was no actual murder.

To a select few, Lizzy Borden was a metal band that was formed in the 80's with a theme similar to W.A.S.P. and hair metal, but with a respect held for the likes of the Bulletboys and, dare I say it, Kix.

To you, they're basically the band that you need to check out.

In 1989, Lizzy Borden (both the band and the man) set out to release the greatest album of their careers, "Master of Disguise". A quasi-concept album, it takes a cue from the Phantom of the Oprah and throws in songs about love and lust. OK, not so much a departure, but more of an updated take. "Sins of the Flesh" and "Love is a Crime" take on both subjects, respectively, with a ton of verbose and fever.

But one of the most interesting aspects of this album isn't the hard-hitting tracks (which there are plenty of!), as it is the overall orchestration of the album and the arrangements. Lizzy Borden has always been able to write incredible hooks ("American Metal" from "Love you to Pieces" is a great example), and that ability mixed with moments of progressive and, I dare say, power metal, lends itself well to this album.

The only thing I've had qualms with in terms of Lizzy Borden is Lizzy himself. He has remarkable talent and ability, can crank out incredible songs... but the voice, from time to time, is just a little too much. It isn't too over-the-top, but it does seem to be a few notes off at times. Like singing a flat when a sharp would be better kind of stuff. Its the biggest thing that I think held them back in the 80's, and something that still hurts him to this day.

That being said, its rarely a problem on this album. Lizzy has a range that works well with the music here, and like I said, it is one of their best albums.

On a whole, I give it a 8 out of 10.

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