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Metal Allegiance - 'Metal Allegiance' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/18/94/79/metal-allegiance-metal-allegiance-1-1447880183.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 18, 2015    
 
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The latest in a seeming growing line of "project collaboration" type bands.

'Metal Allegiance' is the latest in a seeming growing line of "project collaboration" type bands. The Allegiance core is based around Dave Ellefson, Mike Portnoy and Alex Skolnick, who apart from their most well known associations with Megadeth, Dream Theater and Testament respectively, have a Metal pedigree across the genre that would be hard to surpass over the last thirty years. Combine this with a "Who's Who" of guest musicians and singers and the phrase "super-group" really doesn't do justice.

The album kicks off in brutal fashion with 'Gift Of Pain' featuring the screaming, guttural vocals of Lamb of God's D. Randall Blythe over some classic riffing before the band launch into full-on Speed Metal shredding for the final two minutes or so of the song. Not being a fan of that particular style of vocal, 'Let Darkness Fall' provides a stronger sound to my taste whilst maintaining the Metal riffs. We have a definite Iron Maiden influence buried in the song, not least in the atmospheric, bass driven middle section with Troy Sanders from Mastodon providing the vocals sounding almost Ozzy Osbourne-like at times. There's plenty of variation without diluting the power on display here, 'Dying Song' has Phil Anselmo (Pantera) delivering an intense, haunting ballad before building into an impressive mid-tempo Rocker with Portnoy's drumming given a chance to shine.

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Elsewhere 'Scars' sees Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) and Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) joining forces with vocal harmonies to compliment the guitar aggression, whilst Kings X bassist Doug Pinnick provides the melody to blend with the Metal bite of 'Wait Until Tomorrow'.

The album rounds off with the three-stage instrumental of 'Triangulum' and the final no holds barred Metal rage of 'Pledge Of Allegiance'. With guitar contributions from Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (Guns 'N' Roses), Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed), and Sepultura's Andreas Kisser (amongst others), the quality never drops.

Whilst there are certainly parts of this album that reach and push my own taste in Metal speed and aggression, there's still no denying the quality of the artists on show in this genre and the writing ability of Portnoy Ellefson and Skolnick. All brought together by project mentor and leader Mark Menghi, the 'Metal Allegiance' may not be one for all our readers out there, but for the Metalheads amongst us, there's too much Metal to miss.

Ian Parry

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