C D Review Metal Allegiance (2015)
By Domonic Rini
Maximum Threshold Radio
DEBUT ALBUM BY METAL ALLEGIANCE TO BE RELEASED ON SEPTEMBER 18th
VIA NUCLEAR BLAST ENTERTAINMENT
“So the gates have been opened to the inferno and unleashed this heavy, dirtiest, most destructive release in years.”
With appearances by Philip H. Anselmo, Charlie Benante, Chuck Billy, D. Randall Blythe, Rex Brown, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, Phil Demmel, David Ellefson, Alissa White-Gluz, Matthew K. Heafy, Gary Holt, Jamey Jasta, Chris Jericho, Andreas Kisser, Misha Mansoor, Mark Osegueda, Tim “Ripper” Owens, dUg Pinnick, Mike Portnoy, Troy Sanders, Cristina Scabbia, Alex Skolnick, Steve “Zetro” Souza and Ben Weinman on this it has to be a vast collection of artist great that will impact the original tracks. We will dive in to check this out and give you our take on it.
Tracklist / Review
- Gift Of Pain (Vocals: D. Randall Blythe Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick Bass: David Ellefson
Drums:Mike Portnoy Additional Lead Guitar: Gary Holt) just by looking at this lineup you kinda get scared at what this would sound like. Well, you are correct it is a hard hitting skull smashing track that will no doubt have you pounding your desk, steering wheel or whatever is next to you. Blythe really give us the deepest growls and Portnoy, well you know what to expect from him.
- Let Darkness Fall (Vocals: Troy Sanders Lead, Rhythm & Acoustic Guitars: Alex Skolnick Bass: David Ellefson Drums & Percussion: Mike Portnoy Additional Bass: Mark Menghi & Rex Brown Additional Screams: D. Randall Blythe) has such a strong powerful riff opening the song and the vocals of Sanders gives it that Sabbathy vibe to it. Song is pretty catchy and the chorus has a nice hook to it. A track you’ll most likely click rewind again and again.
- Dying Song (Vocals: Philip H. Anselmo Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick Bass: Mark Menghi
Drums:Mike Portnoy) – This one is a pretty straight forward melodic nightmare. Anselmo hits new heights on this one. Pretty damn impressed with this one! Really digging this track. Alex Skolnick leaves his signature sound throughout the track. His little solo’s weave throughout and really brings this song to life. Wow is all I can say about this track!
- Can’t Kill The Devil (Vocals: Chuck Billy Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick Bass: David Ellefson Drums: Mike Portnoy Additional Lead Guitar: Phil Demmel & Andreas Kisser) – going into this track I just looked at this lineup and figured, hmmm Chuck Billy singing well its gotta be good, must have a Testament kinda flare. Well if you thought the same thing you were absolutely correct. Pretty impressed with Kisser and Demmel on this one you get that one two punch and of course Skolnick gives you that knock out punch to finish you off. It is a nice heavy track and if you are a fan of Skolnick and Billy than this is a no-brainer to check out. So great powerful solos by Demmel and Kisser as well.
- Scars (Vocals: Mark Osegueda & Cristina Scabbia Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass:David Ellefson Drums: Mike Portnoy) – I was looking forward to this song. With Death Angel’s vocalist on this one it has to be good and Cristina to give it that full sound to it. With Cristina singing on this it gives the song another dimension to it. I nice bounce off each-others vocals. Of course the music is intense and heavy hitting. Pretty impressed with David Ellefson and bringing up the bottom end to this.
- Destination: Nowhere (Vocals: Matthew K. Heafy Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick Bass: David Ellefson Drums:Mike Portnoy Additional Lead Guitar: Matthew K. Heafy) – I have been a fan of Matthew Heafy for a while and been friends with the guys from Trivium for years so I knew that looking at him on this track this was going to be a nicely structured vocal song. Heafy hits this track with a deep melodic gymnastics and is all over the place from the highs to the extreme lows and the hook in the chorus really sucks you into it. This would be a good track to hear on terrestrial radio. The solo in the track is right on.
- Wait Until Tomorrow (Vocals: dUg Pinnick & Jamey Jasta Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick Bass: David Ellefson Drums, Percussion & Additional Vocals: Mike Portnoy) – “Wait Until Tomorrow” is a pretty smooth track, with heavy hitters Pinnick and Jasta on the mic they deliver the good and provide a great detail of heavy sounding vocals. Jasta takes it to extreme as he is known for and Dug of course brings it all together. ¾ of the way through the song it really kicks in and leaves you in awe.
- Triangulum I. Creation II. Evolution III. Destruction (Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick Bass: David Ellefson Drums: Mike Portnoy Additional Lead Guitar: Misha Mansoor, Ben Weinman, Charlie Benante, Phil Demmel, Matthew K. Heafy & Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal) – This song is a nice progression from opener to ending. With a nice middle. There is a lot going on with this song and if you are a guitarist or drummer you will really enjoy this one.
- Pledge Of Allegiance (Vocals: Mark Osegueda Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick Bass: David Ellefson Drums:Mike Portnoy Additional Lead Guitar: Charlie Benante, Gary Holt & Andreas Kisser)- an intense track. Osegueda pushes the bar on this one! This track has a really mind blowing fast riff that pulls the song together and makes you smile because of the intensity of it. I think this is geared to be a metal anthem and it does have its strong hooky chorus. Really digging this one. Makes me want to pull out my old Suicidal Tendencies records.
- We Rock (Deluxe Edition Only) (Vocals: Mark Osegueda, Chris Jericho, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Alissa White-Gluz, Chuck Billy & Steve “Zetro” Souza Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick Bass: David Ellefson Drums:Mike Portnoy Additional Lead Guitar: Andreas Kisser, Phil Demmel & Gary Holt) – closing this release is the Dio cover song “We Rock” with Tim “Ripper” Owens, Mark Osegueda and Chris Jericho rippin the song up, in a good way. It is nice how they weave other vocalist into the song and it is pretty cool to listen to this. Skolnick of course shreds this one. Nice arpeggios and great riffs follow through this solo.
Overall: Wow to really label this with something out of a 10 is tough. You can tell the artists put in their heart and soul into this one and has so much emotion and drive into it. A massive coalition of greatness all on one release. This is a simple overall vibe on this whole release, “Intensity, ferocity, vocal geniuses, guitar gods, and a madman behind the kit” 10 out of 10! I don’t think they could have done this any better than what they did in this release. They hit everything you would have expected out of the artists and it does have a great fluid vibe to it. Make Metal Allegiance part of your collection today! You will not regret it!
“It’s always my pleasure to jam with such esteemed musicians and brothers, and my contribution to this project is further proof of that fact. Hail to all Heavy Metalers the world over!” states Philip H. Aneslmo.
Mike Portnoy adds, “I could not be any more excited or proud of the Metal Allegiance album… it’s everything I’ve always dreamed of and hoped for & 100x more!”
From the blistering opening of album starter “Gift Of Pain” to the final notes of closer “Pledge Of Allegiance,” it is clear this collective have created something special. The diversity of the individual tracks is apparent through each musical collaboration. The standard edition CD of Metal Allegiance will feature the 9 original songs. A digipak edition will be available that features an all-star tribute to Ronnie James Dio with a cover of his classic song “We Rock” as well as a 45 minute behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the album. A double vinyl version will also be available that will feature all 10 songs as well.
D. Randall Blythe adds, “When Lamb Of God asked Alex Skolnick to rip a guest solo on ‘Ashes of the Wake’, it was a big deal to us to have one of the legends of our scene play on our record. Much to my amazement, years later he returned the request, and it’s an even bigger deal to me to be asked on a peer level to contribute to a project with so many stellar players. I was honored to be chosen – ‘Gift Of Pain’ rips! Play it LOUD!”