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Metal Allegiance: Metal Allegiance

Metal Allegiance is the star-studded metal act that has featured many well-known metal names since its inception under a different title in 2011. In 2014 four of those musicians who have played a part got together and started writing original material, with both classic and modern metal influences to be featured on an album that would be released under the Metal Allegiance name. An album which also includes quite a number of guest spots, including lead vocalists and guitarists. Those four persons that I mentioned are Megdeth's bass master David Ellefson, Testament guitar wizard Alex Skolnick on lead/rhythm and acoustic, founder/musician Mark Menghi and ex. Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy who has of course gone on to perform with a multitude of bands. Portnoy and Skolnick appear on all of the tracks, and the majority of the bass work is from Ellefeson as Mark Menghi and Rex Brown (Pantera, Kill Devil Hill) also take a turn.

Vocally there's a mixture of styles much like the music, and the songs are of course geared towards the vocalists. Such as the front men of Testament and Death Angel that is Chuck Billy and Mark Osegueda who serve it up on the albums thrash numbers, including what could be the band's theme song "Pledge Of Allegiance". Melodic metal track "Destination Nowhere" features Trivium's lead singer which I'm not totally on board with as some extra venom in his vocals wouldn't have gone astray. There are twists in proceedings with some cool added touches or I should say surprises like the instrumental section on the grooving "Let Darkness Fall", a track which does have a Mastodon like sound and we actually find that very band's Troy Sanders on vocals. Despite the talented roster behind the microphone one of the standout tracks actually has no vocals, that is the varied metal number "Triangulum" it's melodic, it's progressive and it's shredding. Metal Allegiance is much better than I had anticipated, these sort of albums can be quite hit and miss so you are always apprehensive but this one nails it for the most part. It shows what can happen when you get the right mixture of talent that can actually work together, and how effectively they made everything else unite.

Track Listing
1. Gift Of Pain
2. Let Darkness Fall
3. Dying Song
4. Can't Kill The Devil
5. Scars
6. Destination Nowhere
7. Wait Until Tomorrow
8. Traingulum
I. Creation
II. Evolution
III. Destruction
9. Pledge Of Allegiance

Added: September 6th 2016
Reviewer: Scott Jessup
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1937
Language: english

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Metal Allegiance: Metal Allegiance
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2016-09-06 16:08:11
My Score:

Here we have the full length debut from the heavy metal super-group project known as Metal Allegiance, which features a variety of stars from the scene, including David Ellefson, Alex Skolnick, Mark Menghi, Mike Portnoy, Randy Blythe, Rex Brown, Chuck Billy, Mark Osegueda, Troy Sanders, Gary Holt, Phil Anselmo, dUg Pinnick, Jamey Jasta, and Cristina Scabbia. Featuring 9 tracks of varying styles and tones, Metal Allegiance seems to be tailoring each tune to the vocalist that appears on that track, so when Anselmo lends his tortured wail to "Dying Soul", you can of course expect some moody, doomy stoner rock. Same thing on "Gift of Pain", a manic, violent take on US thrash with a touch of death metal, featuring of course Lamb of God's Blythe, and "Can't Kill the Devil" is straight from the Testament playbook, with Chuck Billy along for the ride to make sure the point is driven home. On "Scars", Osegueda lends his wrath in true Death Angel fashion, though Lacuna Coil's Scabbia adds a nice twist with her dueling vocals. Musically, there's a lot to like here, especially from the always amazing Skolnick, as he delivers a wealth of brutal riffs and sizzling solos, and Portnoy is ever his acrobatic self on the drum kit.

While far from a modern day metal classic, Metal Allegiance have delivered a tasty debut here of all original material, and I look forward to what they have in store for us next.

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