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The Awful Truth : The Awful Truth
(Enigma / Metal Blade - 1989)
Category : overlooked
5 stars

The Awful Truth were an American Progressive Metal trio. They released one album before calling it quits. Out of their ashes, however, another more succesful band would rise, called Galactic Cowboys. To be honest, even though I think Galactic Cowboys are good, I prefer The Awful Truth by far, the reason being that it is one of the best progressive Metal bands I have ever heard. I can only guess that this CD was underpromoted or something, as its quality is obvious.

Before I come to the part where I say something about the music, let me tell you about another thing I noticed. The Awful Truth is a Christian band. For some weird reason most Christian bands (especially the ones that are on a soul conquering quest for God) seem to pale in comparison to similar bands that aren't religiously inspired, as if being religious does something to your brain (*). As if as soon as you see the light, the metaphorical light bulb in your head gets replaced by a sputtering birthday candle (**). Not so in the case of this trio. Nope, no candle involved here. Try 'supernova' instead. If all Christian bands were like this, I'd have no choice but to admit that there is a god after all. But let's not put too much emphasis on the content of the lyrics. With music like this they could be singing about poodles or salad dressing for all I care.

Without going into detail (I wouldn't know how to describe it anyway) the music is somewhat akin to that of another excellent Progressive band with whom they not only happen to share the Christian aspect but also the producer (Sam Taylor). That band is King's X. They both are melodic Prog bands that for the most part play at low to mid tempo speeds, and whose guitar and bass riffs sometimes add a certain groove. In both bands the singing is very melodic and the choruses make frequent use of vocal harmonies. The similarity is not always present, though. The Awful Truth tends to be more ethereal and while King's X has something slightly soulful to their sound (thanks to Doug Pinnick's voice in most part), that aspect is absent in Awful Truth. But when it comes to quality this album can easily stand comparison with the best stuff Pinnick & Co ever released.

In short, if you like downtempo melodic Progressive Metal and heavier types of Progressive Rock with lots of vocal harmonies, pick up a copy of 'The Awful Truth' when you ever come across it in a bargain bin.

(* note = or maybe Satan is just a better producer.)
(** note = of course the difference is down to the choices Christian record executives make. You didn't expect me to think that your average religious person is less creative than an atheist, did you?)
(*** note = I stumbled upon video footage dating back to october 2007 which suggests The Awful Truth has reformed, but it could just have been a one off reunion gig.)

Unfortunately The Awful Truth has no website, as they no longer exist(***), but here are the websites of the other bands I mentioned in this review:
Galactic Cowboys:
King's X:
Band member David Ohlerking's Myspace:

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