Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Metal Allegiance - 'Metal Allegiance' (Album Review)

By: Heather Blewett

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 18/09/2015
Label: Nuclear Blast


The allure of the proverbial guest vocalists is the albums biggest draw; however some of the tracks are nonsensical and lack clear direction. Nevertheless, the ambition and collaborative spirit has to be commended on ‘Metal Allegiance’ and although not every track hits the mark, there is something on there to suit most people’s musical persuasion.

 ‘Metal Allegiance’ CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. Gift Of Pain feat. D. Randall Blythe
02. Let Darkness Fall feat. Troy Sanders
03. Dying Song feat. Philip H. Anselmo
04. Can’t Kill The Devil feat. Chuck Billy
05. Scarsfeat. Mark Osegueda & Cristina Scabbia
06. Destination: Nowhere feat. Matthew K. Heafy
07. Wait Until Tomorrow feat. Doug Pinnick & Jamey Jasta
08. Triangulum (I. Creation II. Evolution III. Destruction)
09. Pledge Of Allegiance feat. Mark Osegueda

Metal Allegiance is:

Mike Portnoy | drums
David Ellefson | bass
Alex Skolnick | guitars
Mark Menghi | songwriter

The Review

A jam session is often the catalyst for new projects to emerge between musicians, for Metal Allegiance a jam session has got way out of control. A couple of years ago Mark Menghi gathered a few mates from Megadeth and Anthrax to get involved in a bass clinic, which turned into an impromptu jam session. Garnering attention from the likes of Dave Lombardo, Geezer Butler, Kerry King and Steve Vai, all star jam gigs aptly named Metal Masters developed. Under a new name the concept has been resurrected and interest in the project has been rife with many of heavy metals finest pledging allegiance.

AMetal Allegiance is almost like a heavy metal Avengers, notable ‘superheroes’ such as Randy Blythe, Chuck Billy, Cristina Scabbia, Phil Anselmo, Troy Sanders, Matt Heafy, Mark Osegueda, Doug Pinnick and Jamey Jasta have lent their services as guests on the self-titled album. David Ellefson (Megadeth) Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs) and Alex Skolnick (Testament) are the core components of the album with project mastermind Mark Menghi being the principle songwriter.

The luminary status of the guest vocalists that feature on each track prompts an inherent familiarity even upon first listen, a game of ‘name that well known metal vocalist’ is inevitable. Though a great idea on paper the reality of a ‘supergroup’ album is that it unfortunately becomes a case of too many cooks spoil the broth. ‘Let Darkness Fall’ (Troy Sanders) is forgettable, even with the posturing guitar solos towards the end. ‘Destination: Nowhere’ (Matt Heafy) lacks total direction and literally goes nowhere; ‘Wait Until Tomorrow’ (Doug Pinnick, Jamey Jasta) is an odd combination of Alice in Chains grunge and Hatebreed meathead ferocity unsuccessfully thrown together.

However, there are some real gems that emerge.  ‘Gift of Pain’ is a punishing chuggy onslaught, with Lamb of God’s Randy Blythe lending his signature growl to the chaos. ‘Dying Song’ excels thanks to Phil Anselmo’s brooding vocals, along with sublime guitar hooks. ‘Can’t Kill the Devil’ is utter Metallica thrash metal worship and Testament’s Chuck Billy delivers the catchy vocal hooks, while the guitar solos are executed with technical proficiency.

The allure of the proverbial guest vocalists is the albums biggest draw; however some of the tracks are nonsensical and lack clear direction. Nevertheless, the ambition and collaborative spirit has to be commended on ‘Metal Allegiance’ and although not every track hits the mark, there is something on there to suit most people’s musical persuasion.

‘Metal Allegiance’ is available everywhere now



Band info: official | facebook

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