The Black Maria - A Shared History of Tragedy (Cover Artwork)

The Black Maria

A Shared History of Tragedy (2006)


The Black Maria formed in 2002 and were signed to Victory Records in 2004, with former Grade guitarist, Kyle Bishop, being used as the main pushing point for their debut, Lead Us to Reason. The album quickly came and went in 2005, with only a brief cameo from Keith Buckley keeping it from being one of the year's most disappointing release. The biggest change coming into A Shared History of Tragedy is the depature of guitarist Kyle Bishop. However, even with two new members, the sound is still fairly similar to their previous release.

The album opener "The Perilous Curse" literally uses the exact singing pattern from "Memento," their previous album's opening track. The song even features the same pointless screaming towards the end of the song that "Memento" featured. "Waking with the Wolves," the album's first single, follows with a chorus that brings back memories of older Finger Eleven. After the first two songs, it's extremely noticeable that the only major change here is that the keys play a bigger role in the songs.

However, this doesn't help the Black Maria overcome the same problems that their earlier work had. Musically, these songs are rather cookie-cutter rock songs that don't go all out and don't even come close to being creative or original. Mix that with a rather generic vocalist and extremely structured song formats, and you have an album that is near impossible to get completely through.

Thanks to its spectacular cover art and terrible music contained within, A Shared History of Tragedy is pure fool's gold; it's simply best if you stay far, far away.