Sunday, 12 February 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Death Alley - "Live At Roadburn"

By: Victor Van Ommen

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 24/02/2017
Label: Tee Pee Records


“Live at Roadburn” depicts Death Alley as more than just a good live band that gets the crowd going. The record puts the band's best foot forward, and by allowing the listener to repeatedly dive into the jams and feel the chemistry, Death Alley’s talents as musicians get pushed to the fore.

“Live At Roadburn” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). It’s On
2). 666666
3). Feeding the Lions
4). Supernatural Predator

The Review:

Death Alley has been putting in so much time and so many miles since their 2015 ass-kickin’ debut album that they could easily pass as veterans of the scene. In these few short years, Death Alley  toured the hell out of Europe, visited the Roadburn Festival twice (three times? four?), took a trip across the pond to visit both coasts of the United States, and most recently hit the road with some local heroes for a successful Motorhead Tribute Tour. In case you missed any of that –though I’m not sure how you could have – have no fear because Death Alley is about to release “Live at Roadburn” on February 24th and it’s a scorcher.

The main difference between seeing Death Alley in a live setting and listening to its documentation on your couch at home is context. In person, you’ll knock back a couple of beers, get tossed around the pit and feel the band's sweat rain on the crowd. It’s a rock and roll extravaganza that you’ll share with those in attendance, all of whom have come out to the show to let loose of the daily grind and boogie down. I know, that’s usually the point of any rock show, but Death Alley is one of those bands that manages to open up a line of communication with everyone in the crowd, even those all the way in the back.

At home, however, the live documentation is a whole different kettle of fish. From the comfort of your couch, “Live at Roadburn” depicts Death Alley as more than just a good live band that gets the crowd going. The record puts the band's best foot forward, and by allowing the listener to repeatedly dive into the jams and feel the chemistry, Death Alley’s talents as musicians get pushed to the fore. A solo here, an unexpected fill there, a tight transition everywhere; no matter what, these guys are locked into their Death Alley trance. The word trance might be a strange adjective to apply to an upbeat rock band, but at 4 songs (one of which is a cover, two of which are new) and 44 minutes long, “Live at Roadburn” certainly lets the mind drift.

Opener “It’s On” starts with singer Douwe sarcastically asking the crowd “are you ready?” Fuck no, they’re not ready – not for what’s about to happen at least – but that doesn’t matter because the band sure is ready to bring it. The song’s midsection and back half are all about the guitars, which blend nicely into the eight-plus minute instrumental cut that shows why Death Alley brought along their friends Ron van Herpen (Astrosoniq) and Jevin de Groot (Múhr) along for the ride. A 22 minute version of “Supernatural Predator” follows, demanding as much attention as it does on the album, but it’s the “Feeding the Lions” that has the band looking forward. This song, with its rolling rhythm and a pissed off Douwe in your face, is a great way to both close a set and get the fans excited for the come-on-get-to-it already sophomore record.

A good live album is something that’s hard to come by. In order for such an album to hit the mark, the band in question needs to be on fire the night of the recording. Everyone needs to be locked in, the energy needs to feel right, and most of all, someone needs to record the set in such a way that it translates well to an in-house hi-fi set. If that’s what you’re looking for in a live album, then do yourself a favor and track down a copy of Death Alley’s “Live at Roadburn.”

“Live At Roadburn” is available to preorder/buy here

Band info: facebook

No comments: