Sunday, January 10, 2010

American Soldier Should Have Been More Like Passiondale

I'm giving God Dethroned's Passiondale - the concept album the band released last year about the World War I Battle of Passchendaele - a second run through tonight. I'm not sure it passes muster as a keeper just yet, but regardless of what I end up thinking about the music, I can't help but compare this album with another take on modern warfare from last year: Queensryche's dismal American Soldier. The intentions of the albums might be slightly different, and God Dethroned might have the advantage in writing about in war by playing death metal, but so much of the soldier story that Queensryche wanted to tell is tied up in the horrifying experiences that pepper Passiondale's lyrics: wounds, cold, shelling, disease, and death. American Soldier, of course, missed that boat completely and then made it worse by trying to cover the remainder of the material with heavy-handed shlock. Passiondale may be relatively single-minded in its focus, but at least the band got the treatment right.

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