A LOWER DEEP – Parable Of The Thorn


Raven Flight Records
Release date: 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Parable of the Thorn represents A Lower Deep’s second release, their initial release being a self-entitled debut. The band’s current line-up is composed of Billy Mullican (Vocals), Tim Umstead (Bass), Tony Reid (Guitars) and Adam Moore (Drums). At the time Parable of the Thorn was recorded, the band used a guest drummer in David Lee. The album was recorded in Alabama, USA, so it’s assumed that the band is from the same state (as there is no literature to dispute this notion).

The band’s sound on this album is best described as Progressive Power Rock. If analogies are required, then the music comes off as being similar to some of the band’s influences, namely early Fates Warning, early Dream Theater, and a smack of Metallica and Megadeth guitars. Mullican’s vocal style is very similar to Fates Warning’s Ray Adler, while at the same time being a thinner version of Queenryche’s Geoff Tate. The guitars of Reid are well represented and are always at the forefront of the mix. Reid tends not to over do the glamorous guitar solo thing by restraining his solos to being short, sharp, and sweet. Lee’s drum work is nothing short of being best described as hyperactive. These are some of the fastest feet heard in quite a while. Hopefully Mr. Moore is up to the task of playing this material live!

The music tends to be written around many tempo changes during each track. Tracks like “A Brief Forever” start off slow and then crescendo with a melodic riff and chorus, only to once again put on the brakes and simmer down to a quiet spot in our minds. This unfortunately was not the strongest track with which to start off the album. The next track “Winter’s Summons” does just the reverse by starting out with a Thrasher rhythm to only succumb to mellowing out before applying the Thrash once again.

The brightest spots are “New Dimension,” which maintains a frantic, driving pace, along with a very catchy chorus (reminiscent of the chorus in Queensryche’s “Empire” track). “Kingdom for Sale,” which starts out with a nice Dave Mustaine-like guitar interlude, and then maintains a driving tempo full of fat guitar “jabs,” ends with a sharp, short guitar solo by Reid. “Soliloquy” is another catchy track that starts slow and then picks up with a nice guitar riff and chorus line.

The lyrics, which are certainly worthy of the “Intelligent Metal” label, were not contained in the CD’s packaging, but are available on the band’s Web site. Speaking of the CD’s packaging, honorable mention has to go out to the cover artist Hussein Sherazi for his excellent painting of what seems to be a faceless woman drowning or trying to surface for air.

The lowest spot of this CD has to belong, in part, to the production … it seems very thin. Umstead’s bass tends to get lost in the mix, which is interesting since Umstead was the Engineer/Mixer and the band were the Producers. It would be interesting to hear how this band would sound with some financial backing in a top of the line studio with a big name Producer.

This CD requires a few listens and the willpower to get past the first few weaker tracks. This aside, if you can look past the thin production and the band’s temptation to slow the tempo down in the middle of a song, you’ll find a band with definite potential and promise. Let’s just hope they get picked up by a major record label and get into a studio worthy of their talents!

Production: C
Lyrics: B
Vocals: B-
Guitar: B+
Bass: B-
Drums: A
Bottom Line: B-


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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