NuParadigm Music
Release Date: July 9, 2004

Guitars: B
Bass: C+
Percussion: C+
Keyboards: C+
Recording Quality: B+
Originality: A
Overall Rating: C+

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Neue Regel is a new band signed by NuParadigm Music, a new label (relatively speaking) specializing in Progressive/Alternative Metal. Neue Regel’s album, In A Word, is about as Progressive as it gets. In fact, it’s so Progressive, it’s downright obscure! The two main members of the band are David Bellion, who sings and plays guitar, and Dakotah Rhoad, who also plays guitar and handles the keyboards. In A Word was written and produced by both of these Australian musicians, and is comprised of 12 tracks that essentially blend together into one indistinct conceptual framework, with each next song beginning where the former left off … sometimes in a noticeable way, but often leaning towards the more subtle.


The album is successful in setting a distressed, dreamlike mood and atmosphere with repetitive, disconnected keyboard sounds and unique musical patterns. These patterns include periodic power on the bass end of the percussion, and intermittent guitar riffs that are nothing short of eye opening … the production quality and pronounced force of these riffs and chord patterns is indeed something special. There are also some pretty great acoustical guitar interludes, like in the tracks “Building Towers” and “If Not Myself,” which exemplify the musical skills of Neue Regel’s guitarists.

Bellion has some genuine talent too with his vocal abilities. He has a voice similar in many respects to Geoff Tate of Queensrÿche, both on the high and low ends. When’s he’s on top of his game, he delivers as strong of a performance as everything good ever delivered by Tate. Also similar to Tate and Queensrÿche’s style, the lyrics sung by Bellion are metaphoric, cerebral, and image producing.


Overall, the effort to provide an original and distinctive form of Metal music leads Neue Regel into an over-indulgent level of obscurity. As mentioned above, some of the percussion passages and all of the guitar pieces are exceptional and exciting, but the band often loses the focus on what they do extremely well in favor of strung out, nonsensical musical interludes that, in the end, accomplish very little towards the holistic success of In A Word. Bellion, though vocally talented, overuses the practice of singing in a slow, deliberate pace, and of holding on to extended high notes, which has the effect of making his performance too predictable and, at times, off-pace with the instruments. Not meshing hand-in-glove with the instruments gives some songs, like “The Road To Nowhere” and “Room 23,” an awkward, almost cumbersome, feel to them. This anomaly appears possible to have been avoided, considering the punch present in Bellion’s pipes.


In A Word is a complex listening experience that will be thoroughly enjoyed by those Metal fans who take pleasure in delving into the unknown, mystical, and surreal. If you’re a person who has ever spent several hours with the lights turned out whilst watching an incandescent lava lamp morph before your eyes, dust off your headphones, because this album is more than a definite “buy!” Conventional Headbangers, per se, will likely find success in fully absorbing this album’s irregular and obscure approach requires too much energy and undivided attention to be worth the effort.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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