No. 32

March 01, 2016

Anthrax - For All Kings (Nuclear Blast) ....

Anthrax return with their 11th studio album titled For All Kings. After delivering three great albums in the mid 80's, Anthrax put out a string of mediocre albums in the 90's, before returning in 2011 to release their album Worship Music. The band has flip-flopped between singers Joey Belladonna and John Bush (Armored Saint), Belladonna returning for the past two albums. The band breathed life back into Anthrax with their 2011 release and deliver another great album with For All Kings. Songs like "You Gotta Believe", "Evil Twin", Suzerain", and "Monster at the End" have that classic core Anthrax sound, accented by the bands experimentation into other influences. "This Battle Chose Us" and "Breathing Lightning" are melodic anthems that offer listeners a path to sing along. Anthrax are thrashing hard with their new album and it is worth mentioning that Joey Belladonna sounds as strong and powerful as ever.

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Drowning Pool - Hellelujah (eOne Music) ....

Drowning Pool have had their share of ups and downs, going through four different singers on their last six albums after the passing of their vocalist Dave Williams. With their new release titled Hellelujah, vocalist Jason Moreno returns for his second album with the band. Drowning Pool have struggled throughout the years, having the most success with their first album Sinners in 2001, then failing to outdo that album. They have here the opportunity again to make a strong comeback, but does this new album have the strength to accomplish this ? Its hard to say. There are some strong songs on this album that definitively have that radio-friendly mainstream appeal in tracks such as "By The Blood", "Hell To Pay", and "Snake Charmer." Midway through the album though, it feels like the band it just going through the motions. The closing track "All Saints Day" is more metal oriented with strong vocals that are uniquely approached, possibly my favorite song off this new album.

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Savagist - Invisible Birth of Death (Deathbound) ....

Savagist have released their new album Invisible Birth of Death on Feb 16th. The band describes themselves as "sludge metal" claiming it is hard to exactly define their sound. They use the quote from Maximum RocknRoll "Metal as fuck. Stripped down and slower crusty death metal with agro lyrics about the bleak relationship between humans and nature. Savagist taps a primal cord then pounds on it." After releasing several demos and an EP, Invisible Birth of Death is the bands first full-length release. There is definite energy in some of these songs, groove in the rhythm, laden with heavily distorted guitars. I found I enjoyed the interesting arrangements of the acoustic guitar intros most, which should have been incorporated more within the main structure of the songs. The vocals of Clem Adams weren't particularly impressive, leaving me to think, "Been there heard that ! " The same could be said for the songs themselves, where most just simply sound the same. Among the notable tracks were "Remove Brains For Tanning" and "Trembling Earth". Not great, but not bad for a first release. There is certainly room for progress.

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