METAL ALLEGIANCE-Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty
Nuclear Blast Records
Surely drummer Mike Portnoy, guitarist Alex Skolnick and the two bass players Mark Menghi and David Ellefson need no introduction. They have been active for years in the metal scene and a few years ago started this band using the help of many various vocalists and other guest musicians. The four guys wish to make clear that this is a real band working the old-fashioned way, rehearsing and writing in the same room, exchanging ideas, lyrics and song structures. No long distance relationships, no sending files on the computer. The only difficult task is finding the time to write, rehearse and record together and finding the right people for the songs, which is not a big problem as their address books must be piling out with contacts. For this CD the four amigos contacted nine different singers and welcomed guitarists like Joe Satriani, Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) and Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper) to the studio for a guest appearance. The singing on this CD is coming from John Bush (Armored Saint), Amon Amarth’s Johan Hegg (very impressive on the track ,,King With A Paper Crown’’), Mark Tornillo (Accept), Max Cavalera (Soulfly), Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth (Overkill), Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder), Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Troy Sanders (Mastodon) and the charming Floor Jansen (Nightwish). In a musical matter this CD brings back the times where groovy, energetic thrash metal albums from bands like Metallica, Exodus, Anthrax, Megadeth and Testament were top of the bill. Yes for some serious head banging, exquisite guitar exploits, thunder bass and assault drums (that Portnoy can really play any style of rock and metal it seems) and above all some really good songs this is the release to get into the house and shake your hair and teeth to the max. All singers really excel, as it seems that the songs have been fitted to the voice of each individual. Take for instance ,,Voodoo Of The Godsend’’ with its tribal rhythm. It is just handpicked for Max Cavalera. It fits him like a glove. I already mentioned ,,King With A Paper Crown’’ sung by Johan Hegg, a very versatile song with great playing from Skolnick, a guitarist who always comes up with a technical riff or solo extraordinaire. Some of the lyrics are critical towards today’s American society, so also on that front this band has got something useful to say (listen for instance to the title track that is featured in two parts, the first one sung by Mark Osegueda, the second by Floor Jansen who wrote her own vocal melody). This CD brings back some of the feeling of the old days, the time that the San Francisco Bay Area movement was calling the musical metal shots, a time where Skolnick and Ellefson were an important part of. Groovy album!