The T 666
This is a by-the-numbers progressive-metal album in the tradition of AYREON with strong elements of more traditional symphonic power metal a la RHAPSODY OF FIRE. This band's mastermind, Erik Norlander, clearly leaves his imprint on the music with his majestic, symphonic-and-spacey keyboards that remind us both of his band ROCKET SCIENTISTS and of his collaborations with Arjen Lucassen.
There's not much new on this recording. This music has been done before and probably in more inspired ways (again, AYREON). While there are some good riffs and ideas here and there, there's nothing that will make this album stand out from several other oriental-melody-ridden, epic metal records. The performances by the singers are correct, yet not extraordinaire at all. Even James LaBrie gives a lackluster performance, reminding us of his worst days when his throat was suffering (especially when he tries to reach for the highest notes). Lana Lane does her usual stuff, balanced and melodic, yet a little generic.
With plenty of albums with lyrics based on epic tales, not even the story is enough to lift ROSWELL SIX's debut from mediocrity (another cliché-fest of swords and warriors). The album gets 2.5 stars, if only for the overall quality of the performances and the good moments, because its lack of originality can't negate the fact that at least this is very enjoyable well-crafted music.