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Headwrench: Die Another Day

Formed in 2002 in Connecticut, Die Another Day would appear to be the debut album from Headwrench and while at times it is an album which contains a power and authenticity, I can't help but feel that in the end it is a missed opportunity.

Musically things swing from riff laden metal, to a more Southern tinged approach, with some near thrash and NWOBHM thrown in for effect and it has to be said that the four-piece (now slimmed down to a trio with bassist Mike Tellier appearing to have left the band) who recorded this album, are more than capable of firing their well worn brand of metal out with reasonably convincing effect. Vocalist Scott Wilson may struggle with some of the longer notes and at times his delivery is a little subdued, however what doesn't help him and the rest of the band is the variable sound quality that runs right across this album. Opener "Bring It On" does indeed do just that, with a strong riff making an instant impact, however Will Fitzgerald's drums sound far too flimsy for the mountainous beat this type of songs requires. Unfortunately in terms of sound, things go downhill from there. "The Enemy" is oddly muffled, especially vocally and while I wondered if that was a ploy to hide a weak delivery from the singer, the title track which comes up next dispels that notion by having a singularly awful mix. Everything suddenly fades in a garbled mess and in truth the quality is little better than the cassette's I used to record in my bedroom with my brother many, many years ago! What makes that worse is that the music does actually sound OK and if Pantera jamming with Anthrax sounds interesting then Headwrench could well be a tasty prospect.

Unfortunately these issues continue to dog the next six tracks, with Steve Rose's more than competent six string display constantly being buried in the "mix" and the vocals almost dropping out of ear shot in the flabby drums and humming bass. Then oddly, as it began, the sound wallops into gear, with a relatively clear "Deal In Pain" suddenly revealing the growling vocals to be pretty good and the riffs to be catchy and insistent in a late 80's metal kind of way.

I can only presume that Die Another Day has been recorded across quite a length of time (possibly years), in different locations and with different budgets and therefore equipment. Unfortunately what that results in is an album that promises much, yet delivers little.

Don't give up guys, but next time hire a producer!

Track Listing
1. Bring It On
2. The Enemy
3. Die Another Day
4. Dooms Day Machine
5. Headstoned
6. Left Behind
7. Bury Me
8. Tyrant
9. Dying Breed
10. Deal in Pain

Added: October 7th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Headwrench Official Site
Hits: 1825
Language: english

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