Posts Tagged ‘Graeme’
Nine years is a long old time between albums. The constant evolution of music, be it mediums or genres, make it difficult gathering momentum nevermind maintaining it such is the volume of fads that pass through. So the constant delays to Anthrax’s follow up to “We Have Come For You All“, make for a bit of an event. Expectations become artificially high. Perhaps.
Then if you throw in the revolving door of vocalists (John Bush, Dan Nelson take a bow for your troubles) and the triumphant nostalgia of The Big 4 campaign and you’ve got yourself a soap opera.
So what’s the score where it really counts…the music?
Hmm…you’ll want to say it’s bitching, a frenetic thrash gem and whilst there are moments of what you want a Big 4 member to rip your head off with, you wouldn’t say “Persistence of Time” or “Among the Living” are in danger of being forgotten. This is a good album. If a band debuted with it we’d be talking about comparisons with sliced bread. It’s just that after five plays there isn’t a “Caught in a Mosh” or “Indians“.
“Earth on Hell” tempts you into thinking you’re in for a level of titanic intensity that’ll turn you into Michael Douglas on the rampage in “Falling Down”. It’s a killer opening track and “Fight Em Til You Can’t” ticks the gang against the world schtick that Anthrax serve up so well. This’ll be a brute in the pit no questions.
But then the intensity swaps for a thick groove and Pantera they are not. Which is a shame because the muscianship potential here is high. Rob Caggiano deals in the type of wah drenched shred we wish Kirk Hammett could remember. And Charlie Benante probably lives too far in the shadow of Dave Lombardo in thrash drumming folklore which is criminal given his versatility and contribution to the genre. (Blast beats – the staple of death, black and metalcore can be pinned on old Uncle Charlie.) Even Joey Belladonna who’s in his 50′s now reigns in the vibrato and delivers an accomplished performance, climbing the crescendos and keeping his foot firmly on the adrenal gland.
“The Devil You Know“, “I’m Alive” and “The Giant” are good songs. Big on groove, well produced and layered with hooks to balance the heaviness. But unlikely to feature on a set list in 5 years time. “Revolution Screams” though is an epic that ends affairs on a high.
Whack it on the ipod and mosh like its 1986.
Big G says…
For more Anthrax news, visit their website HERE.
I’ve just had a kicking courtesy of the Cavalera brothers. Re-united for the second Cavalera Conspiracy album Blunt Force Trauma, they’ve dialed up their début Inflikted’s proto-thrash to full on 80’s brutality.
To some extent, Phil and Grant, sorry Max and Igor are onto a winner. Getting together to unleash “keeler reefs” (Brazilian for “killer riffs”, fyi) was always going to light up the metal world regardless of the result.
But that would be complacent and this is anything but. Opener “Warlord” is solid and thumps like a bastard but doesn’t really cover much new ground. But second track does. Blending thrash and death metal, “Torture”, harks back to the primal intensity of Beneath the Remains era Sepultura that set them apart. This time round though with the production values that provides a guitar tone heavier than elephant mammaries. “Lynch Mob” thrashes like a thrashy thing before breaking down nicely into a chorus of pure hardcore. Just as well as Roger Miret from Agnostic Front obliges with the call and response lyric.
Thankfully, the nods to yesteryear don’t permeate the whole album. Whiffs of experimentation come through, largely thanks to the nimble Martin Rizzo’s lead flourishes. “Killing Inside”, as romantic as it sounds has enough melody underneath Max’s bellow to be labelled catchy.
Max and Igor paid their dues in Sepultura, releasing seminal albums and the career defining Roots opus. Little brother Igor has quite rightly established himself as one of the elite drummers. Not only a technically gifted drummer but one not afraid to innovate, he appears in most metalheads top five drummers. And Max has moved on after the Sepultura split to create this “Bob Marley Of Metal” profile through Soulfly’s assimilation of world music and guest spot after guest spot from some of the leading figures in rock/metal.
If Inflikted doffed it’s cap to Discharge’s punk/metal, then Blunt Force Trauma smells like the Sepultura album we’re told isn’t going to happen any time soon. It’s invigorating stuff and if hairy men shouting at each other is your thang, get involved.
Big G says…
It’s so clichéd it almost writes itself. My obsession with music began because of a girl. She was an older lady from the land of the ice and snow. Well, Middlesbrough but it may as well have been Scandinavia.
It was 1988. She was Michelle and 15. I was er, me and I was 8. Dad in a rare moment of coolness had borrowed the latest Bon Jovi album , New Jersey. I didn’t have a clue but Michelle wanted a copy. Being smitten and having recently discovered the merits of the wet t-shirt competition courtesy of the mechanic next door’s pervy calendars, I duly obliged. When I say I did the obliging, it was in actual fact “rarely cool Dad” that set up the compact disc to record to a C90. Dad did me proud that day and earned me unheard of kudos by my standards. I was, after all, still wearing a full football kit everyday. Yes, socks pulled up to the knees and shin pads.
Alas, due to our obligations to the law (both being underage) we decided it was best that nothing came of our (imaginary) relationship.
But from there rock n roll took over. My badminton racket became my Strat – Tennis rackets in reality fail to provide a lifelike guitar neck when compared to an old skool Yonex Voltric 80. My mirror was my audience and the neighbours the “man” that I was sticking two fingers up two. Albeit, when they weren’t looking.
I saw the Jovi for the first time years later in ’93 at Wembley arena, unknowingly the same concert that Matt talks about in “My first gig”* . Mum and Dad dutifully took me. During Bad Medicine, Mum did a dance that can only be described as a “bop” and my dad kind of “stood with rhythm” as Dads do.
The years have past since then and my tastes have changed. I’ve got snobbier and left the Jovi behind for grunge, thrash, prog rock, prog metal, black metal, blues and any number of sub genres. There is a legacy though. Whenever Livin on a Prayer comes on in a club, invariably you’ll find a 6’5” wookie playing the air talk box (details matter people) and attempting that impossible key change after the solo.
But I’m no less in love with music than when I first fell for her. Music marks the great and the odd in my collection of memories. For instance; leaving Princess Anne’s for the first time following my little girl being born, I had to make sure the right song was cued up for her to hear. It was massively important that she didn’t hear any old tripe like Shayne Ward’s god awful “If that’s ok”. After a falling out with the car seat, I was set. When newborn and mother were safely secured, ignition went on and Led Zep’s Immigrant Song sent us on our way. If I’m listening to Metallica’s Sad But True, I’m 18 again and playing along, smacking the bejesus out of mate Mart’s beat up white Fiesta taking us to the Cuckoo Pint in Stubbington or the long gone Swordfish at Hill Head.
As for the odd, well when I hear Tremor Christ by Pearl Jam I’m immediately taken back to my bedroom as a teenager where I was reading Rambo: 1st Blood when the Spin the Black Circle single came out with Tremor Christ on the B side. Random.
Summing up music’s spell, I finished writing this earlier as I’m out for a family meal. I’m trying to get the girls ready (a task akin to herding cats). Absentmindedly I shout “HEY HO” and get a 3 year old punk reply “LET’S GO”.
Gracie Ramone, I like that. Is it too late to change her name?
*[edit- The Jovi gig was same, but different. You were Friday I were Sunday, you missed Ranvilles Ranger FC presentation and a chance to meet probly Darren Anderton or another Pompey great, I missed a (one of only 3) day of school . Matt]