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Metal Allegiance

     
         
         
         
             
             
Metal Allegiance are an all star heavy metal band from the USA consisting members from legendary bands Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, Exodus and Mastodon. The band have released a self titled album in 2015 with additional guest appearances by musicians from the world of heavy metal.    
             
There is so much talent on offer here that to list every player for every song would make my review extremely long and "boring" so I will just stick to the music side. However, for those that are interested in every player, scroll down and you will find a detailed list.    
             
With any album that has various singers, it can be difficult to gauge the vibe of it. However, the vibe of this album is one of very heavy, heavy metal and experimentation. Yes there is a star studded array of musicians on show and yes they all bring a different vibe to the party, but it all works very well. The only consistent throughout the album are the founding trio of David Ellefson, Alex Skolnick and Mike Portnoy.    
             
First up is the thrash metal assault 'Gift Of Pain' with attitude laden gruff vocals and some blistering guitar work. The rhythm section is solid and 'Gift Of Pain' does exactly what it says. 'Let Darkness Fall' is a mid tempo chug with a thunderous bass line and a clean vocal performance. Mid song and the pace slows with a chilling, almost haunting guitar melody. With 'Can't Kill The Devil' two fifths of the line-up are Testament so it is with no surprise that the song actually sounds like Testament. Chuck Billy has one of the finest voices ever to grace the thrash metal genre and he is singing better now than ever before. Even the song is played at a quicker pace than anything Testament have produced.    
             
Can this blend of musicians produce a ballad? Musicians more famous for aggressive, brutal and venomous style songs...the answer is actually a yes. 'Dying Song' is devoid of any thrash, any pace or any attitude and the vocals do sound a little pained. Guitar work is sparkling and the supporting rhythm section is solid but let's be honest, the talent of the lead singer (Phil Anselmo, Pantera) is wasted on a song of this nature. Male and female vocals add a unique twist to 'Scars' which is a brutal thump of a song. Pneumatic style guitar riffing and thunderous support from the rhythm section, 'Scars' is in your face and liable to knock your block off with its ferocity. 'Destination: Nowhere' is a very heavy thrash metal rampage. The singer on this song does have a wide ranging vocal style, but here he keeps it clean and clear, which is suited to the rolling thunder style guitaring.    
             
As I stated earlier, you cannot pigeon hole an album of this nature due to the many different singers that have been used. Okay, I agree that the album will be filed under "thrash" but there is enough variation and experimentation on offer that it does set foot into other genres too. 'Wait Until Tomorrow' opens with a grunge fuelled guitar riff and has two singers, from the metalcore and progressive metal genres. An intriguing mix, the song swings suddenly and bluntly from genre to genre and has no real identity as it lollops along. The intriguingly titles 'Triangulum I. Creation II. Evolution III. Destruction' is an instrumental packed with twists and turns through a storm of blistering guitars and rampant, relentless rhythms. Showcasing the different styles and talents of the founding trio, 'Triangulum I. Creation II. Evolution III. Destruction' is interesting and so varied that as a listener you have no idea which way the music will turn next. One thing for sure is...the album ends on a high with the blistering 'Pledge Of Allegiance'. Aggressive vocals and full of pace, 'Pledge Of Allegiance' is a brutal thrash metal assault.    
             
Overall, an all star cast, a wide range of vocal styles with a trio of seasoned musicians holding it together, the album is varied, experimental and full of surprises.    
             
             
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
             
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV    
             
             
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Track listing and the players involved:    
             
             
Gift Of Pain...    
             
Randy Blythe :Vocals        
Alex Skolnick :Guitars        
David Ellefson :Bass        
Mike Portnoy :Drums        
Gary Holt :Guitars        
             
             
Let Darkness Fall...    
             
Troy Sanders :Vocals        
Alex Skolnick :Guitars        
David Ellefson :Bass        
Mike Portnoy :Drums        
Mark Menghi & Rex Brown :Bass (additional)      
Randy Blythe :Screams        
             
             
Can't Kill The Devil...    
             
Chuck Billy :Vocals        
Alex Skolnick :Guitars        
David Ellefson :Bass        
Mike Portnoy :Drums        
Phil Demmel & Andreas Kisser :Guitars (additional)      
             
             
Dying Song...    
             
Phil Anselmo :Vocals        
Alex Skolnick :Guitars        
Mark Menghi :Bass        
Mike Portnoy :Drums        
             
             
Scars...    
             
Mark Osegueda & Cristina Scabbia :Vocals        
Alex Skolnick :Guitars        
David Ellefson :Bass        
Mike Portnoy :Drums        
             
             
Destination: Nowhere...    
             
Matt Heafy :Vocals        
Alex Skolnick :Guitars        
David Ellefson :Bass        
Mike Portnoy :Drums        
Matt Heafy :Guitars (additional)      
             
             
Wait Until Tomorrow...    
             
Doug Pinnick & Jamey Jasta :Vocals        
Alex Skolnick :Guitars        
David Ellefson :Bass        
Mike Portnoy :Drums        
             
             
Triangulum I. Creation II. Evolution III. Destruction...    
             
Alex Skolnick :Guitars        
David Ellefson :Bass        
Mike Portnoy :Drums        
Misha Mansoor :Guitars (additional)      
Ben Weinman :Guitars (additional)      
Charlie Benante :Guitars (additional)      
Phil Demmel :Guitars (additional)      
Matt Heafy :Guitars (additional)      
Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal :Guitars (additional)      
             
             
Pledge Of Allegiance...    
             
Mark Osegueda :Vocals        
Alex Skolnick :Guitars        
David Ellefson :Bass        
Mike Portnoy :Drums        
Charlie Benante :Guitars (additional)      
Gary Holt :Guitars (additional)      
Andreas Kisser :Guitars (additional)      
             
             
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