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Charlie Shred: Charlie Shred

I already have a pretty good idea what Swedish power-metallers ReinXeed are up to, so when I found out that Charlie Shred actually consists of as many as three members of this band (guitarist Calle Sundberg who is also the main singer here, plus lead guitarist Mattias Johansson and vocalist Tommy ReinXeed himself, this time sitting behind the drum set and producing the whole thing), I was understandably expecting something in pretty much the same vein. And boy was I mistaken! The music we get from Charlie Shred is far removed from ReinXeed's main influences (Helloween, Angra, Stratovarius, Rhapsody of Fire) and much closer to the raw metal of early Iron Maiden or Metallica - especially since Sundberg's singing often comes very close to that of James Hetfield's.

To best evaluate the Hetfield comparison, check out track #4, "The Rose", in which the vocalist of Charlie Shred revisits Metallica's Black Album-era melodies, as well as track #6, "Time to Die", which clearly wants to be another "Whiplash". Also "Tainted Inside", another very energetic cut, has a strong Metallica-esque vibe about it, but it must be said that he band injects all these tracks with enough charisma and liveliness so as not to sound like a poor man's Metallica. And before you start asking where the promised Maiden influences are, just listen to the atmospheric instrumental track "The Ancestors Guide" which wouldn't sound awkward on Powerslave. No, seriously it wouldn't.

The album's last two tracks, "Welcome to Hell" and "Fall Down", are not as heavily influenced by either Metallica or Iron Maiden as some of the previous ones, yet they definitely belong to the best things on offer here. Powerful, melodic and pretty damn addictive - that's exactly what they are.

And that's what Charlie Shred's whole debut album is, really. A truly worthy effort you'll be coming back to very often.

Calle Sundberg Vocals & guitars
Mattias Johansson Lead guitars
Johan Tranborg Bass
Tommy ReinXeed Drums, backing vocals & additional guitars & keyboards

01. Arise
02. Panic
03. Death Comes To All
04. The Rose
05. Tainted Inside
06. Time To Die
07. The Ancestors Guide
08. Game Over
09. Welcome To Hell
10. Fall Down

Added: May 6th 2012
Reviewer: Bartek Paszylk
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2341
Language: english

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