Mini-Reviews 1/12/18: C.O.C., Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Bleeding Gods, White Wizzard
"Infernal Overdrive" By White Wizzard
Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal
With the thrash revival movement in full swing it wouldn't hurt to give a little attention to a modern band that's more in the NWOBHM vein. White Wizzard has been going strong since 2007 and Infernal Overdrive is their fourth album. They model themselves in the vein of the classic greats such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest with a dash of speed metal thrown in. Swift percussion, technical melodic guitars, and soaring vocals are all trademarks of their sound. And they do the style justice with Infernal Overdrive being a joyous throwback to classic metal. "Storm The Shores" is a very Maiden-esque track with its galloping rhythm, slick twin guitar harmonies, and forceful vocals detailing war. It's pretty much White Wizzard's version of a song like "The Trooper". The opening title track is a speed metal barn burner that comes out the gate swinging with some impressive percussion and showcases frontman Wyatt Anderson's wide vocal range. "Cocoon" stands as the album favorite with its distinct groove and "Egyptian" sounding synths that give the track a distinct vibe. Infernal Overdrive ranks high on the pure fun scale and is a can't miss for fans of classic metal wanting to hear an updated version of the style in today's music.
"Wrong Creatures" By Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Genre: Alternative Rock
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is a band I know more for having a cool name than their actual music. But eighth album Wrong Creatures is as good an introduction as any to the band's style. The group plays an interesting style of alternative rock that is rooted in garage but has a large focus on atmosphere. This is aided by a heavy amount of reverb, hazy guitar effects, and simple grooves with calm, subdued vocal stylings. It gives the songs a very cool swagger and a movie soundtrack vibe that simultaneously sounds retro and futuristic all at once. One drawback to the album is its length which gets near the hour mark. With the album's latter tracks not having the same strength as some of the earlier ones the band could've trimmed the fat and made a much tighter package overall. Still, Wrong Creatures is a great, moody, vibe-focused album that is well worth a listen.
"Dodekathlon" By Bleeding Gods
Genre: Symphonic Death Metal/Thrash Metal
For starters, that album art is awesome. And well worthy of the music it represents. Dodekathlon is the debut full length from The Netherlands' Bleeding Gods. And rarely does a debut album sound this refined. The band plays a brand of symphonic death metal that holds elements of both black metal and thrash. It's a powerful combination that makes for a unique sounding record compared to other symphonic metal bands. While most others in the genre prefer simple traditional instrumentation and allow the symphony to do the heavy lifting, Bleeding Gods' guitars and percussion could easily stand on their own as complete compositions. The symphony acts as a boon to their sound but not a crutch and the band's embrace of thrash into their death metal gives them a very active, riffy style that scratches every itch an extreme metal fan could have. Dodekathlon is a first impression that pulls no punches and should put Bleeding Gods on the radar of many extreme metal fans.
"No Cross No Crown" By Corrosion Of Conformity
Genre: Stoner Metal
No Cross No Crown marks the first C.O.C. album with Pepper Keenan back in the band and on the mic since 2005's In The Arms Of God. Not a band known for curveballs, the album stays in the band's known post-Deliverance style. Groovy and bluesy tracks are the rule with some heavier compositions in the early part of the record. "The Luddite" is a chuggy, stoner metal classic that's a pure riff fest. "Cast The First Stone" leans more towards rock and roll with its driving rhythm and soulful solos. And the blues ballad "Nothing Left To Say" prominently features Pepper Keenan's emotive vocal style interspersed with spacey guitars and slow burn grooves. It's a solid C.O.C. album through and through that long time fans of the band are sure to love.