BLACK MARIA - Lead Us To Reason

Black Maria - Lead Us To Reason

11 songs
37:29 minutes
***** ***


The Black Maria from Toronto were formed in 2002. And it's no accident that they sound somewhat like Grade, probably Canada's greatest melodic hardcore export, with whom they share guitarist Kyle Bishop. But there is also a more rocking side behind The Black Maria with parallels to early Hüsker Dü. The diversity on Lead Us To Reason makes listening to the album a treat.

The opener Memento starts with strange organs, before The Black Maria show how they can rock, without neglecting to add very melodic and nearly mellow parts into their songs. I'm very impressed by the clear and harmonic vocals that remind me of Paul Stanley from Kiss. There are even tracks that contain nearly no hardcore elements (Betrayal, Organs, To Have Loved), on which The Black Maria sound like Kiss or Nickelback on their very few good moments. Melodic hardcore fans will like Our Commitment Is A Sickness and Distance From The Bottom with obvious parallels to label mates Grade and Spitalfield.

Although The Black Maria don't do anything which we haven't heard before, they do it with a lot of conviction. The only track that doesn't fit into the album is the ballad The Lines We Cross, being too different from the other ten rocking songs. 10 vs. 1 is a good result for The Black Maria, a young band that should be observed with a lot of attention in the future.

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