First a little history-Meliah Rage were one of the many 80's thrash metal acts signed to a major label. Their 1988 debut for SONY, Kill to Survive, got a good amount of recognition for the band, getting them MTV airplay for the video "Beginning of the End", as well as tours with the likes of Slayer, Megadeth, Manowar, Testament, Metal Church, Morbid Angel, Nuclear Assault, among others. However, the Boston band never really took off like some of their peers. They have been releasing product sporadically over the years, and are now back with most of the original line-up intact for The Deep and Dreamless Sleep. New vocalist Paul Souza joins the crew this time around, and he has a voice that is like a cross between Metallica's James Hetfield and former Molly Hatchet belter Jimmy Farrar.
So, how does the band stack up here in 2006? Well, for the most part any of their earlier thrash elements are gone, replaced here by a riff heavy, sometimes bluesy, metal sound that will instantly remind you of 90's era Metallica. For many this might not be a good thing, especially if you are not into Metallica albums like St. Anger and the Load albums, which are very similar stylistically to The Deep and Dreamless Sleep. That's not to say that there aren't a few good tracks here. The title track is an ominous & doomy piece, with some higher pitched vocals from Souza and plenty of beefy guitar riffs. Both "God and Man" and "Twisted Wreck" have some crunchy and intricate guitar patterns along with a ballsy attitude, and "Curse" is about as close to thrash as the band gets on this album, and it features some blistering drum work from Stuart Dowie and tasty guitar licks from Anthony Nichols & Jim Koury.
Overall I think Meliah Rage are on the right track to get back to where they want to be, but not quite there yet. Too many of the songs here are stuck at a similar pace & tempo, and the guitars could have used a little more "crunch" factor. Also, considering the negative reaction to much of Metallica's recent work, I think Meliah Rage would be well advised to stay clear of anything that sounds remotely similiar, a trap they fall into all too often here. Let's see where they go next.
1. Permanently Damaged
2. God And Man
4. The Deep And Dreamless Sleep
5. Twisted Wreck
7. Last Of The Wanted
8. Take What You Want