Review | He Was A God – Muckraker

Independent Release

Yo, you metalhead! Yeah you….
Get your shit together and crank up the volume to enjoy this piece of modern metal mayhem. Unleash `Muckraker’, the new full-length album of He Was A God!


Absolutely fierce is the anger-laden ,,Forward March”. Tormenting riffs and drums, with tormenting pace and power shifts providing the scorching backbone for this opening grenade ,,Forward March”, ticking to explode. 

The brain child monster of He Was A God is Tony Pellino [guitars, keys + programming, backing vocals], who delivers fireworks on this hauling debut. Chris Densky hammers it all rock solid and ass tight together with tremendous groove and prog tempo changes adding to the bliss and traction of the tracks, keenly pumped up by Dan Perrone’s growling bass playing. His chordal low growl is roaring and spreading gut resonance to which Ray Zvovushe brings some serious guitar wizardry. Stagnant at times, his riffs are discharging raw and powerful with the hooks intricate and memorable. Cooking up to boiling point he unleashes fretboard magic merely to add to the combustion of the instruMENTAL sections. Like on the ravishing ,,Track Marks”, that is laden with bloodshot agony and tormenting heavy accolades. The song captures the band’s modernity and alternative hinges on which the power haul rotates. 


Mental outcalls and uproar are unloaded. Rousing and battle calls to empower their social critical content with Benjamin Curns injecting the anger-laden gutted mischief bringing forward the story. Stories in poignant lyrics summarizing covering `Muckraker’ content unveiling the meaning of its title. 

`Muckraker’ according to the dictionary is a person or whistle blower trying to expose corruption, scandal and wrongdoing, especially in politics. Nuff said, this is exactly what He Was A God is targeting extremely well. Conveying its content with musical accolades touching the widest array of styles and not shying away from explicit lyricism. ,,Pestilence” shoots back and forth in anger revealing their take on the Covid scheme addressing the governmental corruption and narratives constructed to modern day hysteria and human carnage reciting ‘Slave master stars turned into shields. Rows of steel bars, new cotton fields. 41 Shots, 56 Times. Infected cops drawing chalk lines’, covering a wide view on present times’ backline. 


Tapping an entirely different vein, the previously EP released tune ,,Two New Stars” breaks from the anger and offers a subtler musical approach with weaving keys and striking guitar licks flying echoing off the highly infectious melody changes. Fierce is the sudden guitar solo that screeches and feeds of a keyboard lick before the vocal melody returns to the fold with Curns laying down wonderful vocal lines, packed with emotion and melody, backed by Pellino’ adding variety and deep layers of melodic interaction. Oddly the drums are powerful and heavy, but mixed into the back sustaining an urging pulse that shifts constantly. It is all mixed together very subtly, a tone endured on the narrative instrumental ,,Knight to Rook Three”. The serenity returns on the opening of ,,Escape Plan” skipping one track. The song is packed with heart-warming vocal melodies and Curns and Pellino touching deep.


Some of their phrasing swirls memories of Cornell’s typical soaring vocals, with both duetting across the musical specter harnessing deep layered emotions adding to the content of humans awakening “Hemmed in by earthly walls. Sight on Sky: cosmos calls”, simultaneously humanity being acknowledged the lifelong scheme of the rich and vile ruling, belting out “We’re plucking pennies from the ground. The money never tickled down… not ever. How could we not conceive that the story we were told was too good to believe?” 

Continuing “Yes, it’s a myth concocted to keep us in our place (sit down!)”, accumulating the phrase “So they can squeeze the last drop of your blood from the stone”, to epitomize in the end; “worker bees, sweat & toil. Wealth increase; taste the spoil. Ambition, seething vice. Submission at what price?”. Lyrical mastery perfectly encapsulating the situation conveying their view on the state of the world. It shows the band’s lyrical creativity encapsulating high gain content carried across by the musical thrive with striking musical depth and variety.


Tribal drums pitch their video single ,,The Great Divide” into action with reverbing guitars droning into the heavy rap vocal refrain shooting a narrative tone at the listener. The combustion of the track is packed with punk accolades, but also features Faith No More cryptic section. Calling out “We’re all very tired”, Curns displays his insane versatility as a vocalist with a nod to the old school funk rock addressing ‘the Cult of Personality’ reciting directly from Living Colour’s vocal line. Curns touches with soul and moans “and we’re all very tired” repetitively with drums intensifying for an insane salvo of metal. Buzzing jagged guitars and tempo changes discharge the explosives of the timebomb ticking, going out with a bang of anger and frustration. 


It is the previously mentioned skip of the tune that would see ,,The Great Divide” belting into the first release of the album; ,,Class Dismissed”, aligning both even better. The rousing track emits high volumes of anger with powerful drum beats grooving it underneath the fierce riffs and Curns’ daunting vocal outcalls. Another wonderful short solo sets fire to the content. The longevity is extended for me(m)tal madness building into the excellent ,,Game of Pretend” with its game-show vocal sections advertising modern day persona with lead section clamping down on the ‘the Grand Illusion’ once addressed by Styx in the seventies. He Was A God inject a lot more anger, gut and swagger into mix but traverses the same content.

Like a time machine warping us both ways and much like with Styx, the vocal execution is what makes the song tick. Curns again is downright astounding. How he keeps switching between frustration and anger, intermediating emotion and state, is impeccable. Much more, he also keeps surprising belting his natural register that dwells in soul, with a rough and soaring edge blurred out by the shifts of duality. 


This dual tone builds ,,Incarnadine”, the album’s 2nd epilogue bleeding into ,,Blood on our Hands”, the perfect closer of this `Muckraker’ anger grenade. It packs haunting groove and ditto vocal interaction with Curns roaring loud. The power is constantly discharging in ravishing drum galops and tempo shifts that crawl under the skin thickening the blood towards clogging. It’s choking grip is tremendous while the song instantly soothes also. Marching towards the end a bliss of guitars and vocals brings it to a boil erupting over its content, with Curns hauling like Warrel Dane in his most eponymous register, to grip the song’s strangulation. Intensifying with sound fragments the drums cause tumult taking it into the song’s dying seconds wailing ‘Will these hands never be clean?’

`Muckraker’ is a definitive exclamation point of metal in its widest variety. Social critical views are brought forward and addressed with no tongue-in-cheek puns; loud and fierce. The musical emission adds volumes to the content, and the player’s skills are unloading the right tone to fortify the songs and its solid structures. Waging war, He Was A God brings stride forward balancing styles. Dubbed ‘alt’, the band draws from a wide range of postmodern metal touching with genre greats and musical giants. Mashing up this potion makes it constantly combust and explode with refined precision. 

This debut of He Was A God is outer worldly! 



Logged in as