HEEEEEAAAAAAVY METAAALL!!! And a little thrashy too – bonus! This album defines what it is to be metal in 2012 with superb guitar riffs, a natural open sound and perfect musicianship. The songs occasionally stray into classic thrash territory with some sections reminiscent of Exodus and other bands of that era.
The production would be up there with Testament's 'Formation Of Damnation' if it weren't for the vocals being a little low in the mix. So far the only place I've found the vocals cutting through is from the tiny speakers in my phone although an EQ boost at around 2.5k helped.
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The style of the vocals is traditional (Dio, Dickinson et al) with great little hooks spacing out some tasteful high pitched squealing. I wish I could hear more! I think it lacks a little emotion and I wish it would dip into the trenches to push out some Chuck Billy style grunting. Note choice is perfect even if the timbre doesn't waver.
The guitar work on the opening track, 'Plague Of Conscience', is exceptional and could quite easily be part of a shred lesson from Alex Skolnick. The riffing on the second track. 'Six Feet Under The Gun', is where the album really starts to shine. Guitar Maestros are ten a penny at the moment which can't detract from the excellent solos, however, very few of these maestros achieve the brilliance of the riffs on 'Plague Of Conscience'.
The songs are riff based in the true tradition of Heavy Metal while remaining perfectly constructed and never self-indulgent.
This is a masterclass in writing Heavy Metal. I really, really like this album but with a touch stronger vocals I could have loved it.