Metal Allegiance – Metal Allegiance

Metal Allegiance
“Metal Allegiance”
Released 18th September 2015
Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Metal Allegiance - Metal Allegiance

Ok, I hit play expecting this to be utterly terrible; a seismic collision of super-egos in a tumultuous ocean of abyssal phalli. I’m not saying that every successful metal musician ever is a complete tool, but I do think there’s only so much room for the necessary swagger which comes hand-in-hand with that line of work. This shouldn’t work! Yet, it kind of does…

This revolving door conglomerate of many of the biggest names in modern metal, is hardly ground-breaking, but there doesn’t appear to be any battle of wills in the forming up of the songs. I mean, there are some seriously big names involved here; Phil Anselmo, Randy Blythe, Troy Sanders, Mike Portnoy. It would only be natural to expect friction, but if there was any along the way, it has been lost on its path to the listener.

True, the recording in total doesn’t sound like one band. That would be incredibly hard to achieve with even just the different vocalists throughout. However, there is certainly a consistent energy, and whether the music itself rocks your boat or not, there’s no denying that the quality is right up there with any release offered up by the participating musicians in recent years.

In examining the music, it seems like each vocalist has brought a certain expectation to the band behind them in regards to the direction the music should take. For example, with Anselmo fronting, there is a definite echo of Down’s Over The Under, but when Chuck Billy takes the reigns, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Can’t Kill The Devil for a bonus Testament track, left out of Low at the last minute.

All in all, I’m actually pleasantly surprised by this release. For a fan of many of the artists involved, it’s fantastic to see and hear such a coherent piece of work. It’s not just more of the same from each musician so much as a little something extra you missed along the way. If you don’t like them, though, this definitely isn’t for you. You’re not going to suddenly find that one new thing that turns you on to any of the contributors. Familiar faces, characters easily identified from behind, whether you loved or hated them to begin with.

4/5

Paul Macmillan

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