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Volume II - Power Drunk Majesty

     
         
         
         
     
             
Metal Allegiance are a thrash metal band from the USA formed by David Ellefson (Megadeth), Alex Skolnick (Testament) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater). The band released their debut album 'Metal Allegiance' in 2015 and featured guest appearances by Mark Menghi, Randy Blythe, Gary Holt, Chuck Billy, Phil Anselmo, Cristina Scabbia, Matt Heafy, Charlie Benante and many more.    
             
Having various singers, it was a little difficult to gauge the vibe of the album, however, the vibe can be described as one of very heavy, heavy metal and experimentation.    
             
In 2016 the band released the three song E.P. 'Fallen Heroes', paying tribute to three of the greatest superstars from the music industry, who sadly, are no longer with us, Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), David Bowie and Glenn Fry (Eagles). The E.P. contained covers of three iconic songs from each musician, and was an emotionally charged listen.    
             
2018 sees the return of Metal Allegiance with their sophomore album 'Volume II - Power Drunk Majesty'. Pulling back on the number of guest musicians, the new album features seven new guest singers across the ten songs on offer, along with three guest guitarists...a full list of guest musicians can be found at the end of this review.    
             
With the core quartet of Ellefson, Skolnick, Portnoy and Menghi, Metal Allegiance are now more of a "proper" band than ever, focusing on delivering heavy thrash metal. I am not entirely sure how the writing process went for this album, but it seems that some, if not all of the songs, were written specifically for the guest singers. Take 'Mother Of Sin' for example, with Overkill's Bobby Blitz at the mic...this song could easily fit onto any Overkill album. Accept's Mark Tornillo takes the mic for 'Terminal Illusion', a fast paced power/thrash metal romp that could easily slot into the German bands back catalogue. And when Max Cavalera takes hold of the mic for 'Voodoo Of The Godsend', the slower tempo and brutal aggressiveness leans massively towards Soulfly. Was this the intention of Metal Allegiance, or just a hefty coincidence? Only the band themselves can answer that, or maybe if I search the internet further I may find out for myself. The albums opener, featuring Trevor Strnad from The Black Dahlia Murder, 'The Accuser' is a rampant, in your face, high intensity thrash metal attack, setting the album alight with its ferocious fury. Heavy mid tempo foot stomping thrash is let loose as 'Bound By Silence' steams in. Featuring Armored Saint's John Bush, 'Bound By Silence' hits very hard and proves that Metal Allegiance stand firmly and squarely in the thrash metal genre.    
             
Amon Amarth's Johan Hegg takes over the vocal duties for 'King With A Paper Crown', his gruff throaty rasping death metal vocal style adding a sinister, almost menacing feel to the album. One of the best songs on the album is 'Liars & Thieves', with Mastodon's Troy Sanders on vocals. Chugging relentlessly, this is thrash metal at its finest. Infectious and addictive, 'Liars & Thieves' quickens the pace after the midway point to become a fierce and ferocious high velocity romp. Violent head banging will ensue, with neck muscles strained to the limit as heads vigorously nod back and forth. Death Angel's Mark Osegueda makes the first of his two appearances, taking the mic for 'Impulse Control'. My earlier thought of "songs written for singers" comes to the fore once again as 'Impulse Control' is very similar to the fast paced and melodic thrash metal style of Death Angel. The final two songs are actually one song, in two parts, with two different singers. Part one of 'Power Drunk Majesty' is a majestic stroll, featuring Mark Osegueda on vocals, and is a mid tempo heavy stomp of heavy thrash metal. Part two features the soaring vocals of Floor Jansen, from Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish. A departure from the in your face and intense thrash metal assault that has gone before, part two of 'Power Drunk Majesty' moves the album toward a symphonic melodic thrash style, that is unique and could easily become a new genre of metal music.    
             
Overall, a sparkling array of guest vocalists adorn a superb album, loaded with intense and fierce, adrenalin pumping thrash metal.    
             
             
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
             
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV    
             
             
Other reviews:    
             

           
           
Metal Allegiance      
           
"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" Read Review      
     
     
     
           
             
             

           
           
Fallen Heroes E.P.      
           
"an emotionally charged listen, Metal Allegiance have done an excellent job with three superb covers of songs by legends from the music industry who sadly, are no longer with us" Read Review      
     
     
     
     
             
             
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Track listing with featured guest vocalists:    
             
             
1. The Accuser (feat. Trevor Strnad, The Black Dahlia Murder)    
             
2. Bound By Silence (feat. John Bush, Armored Saint)    
           
3. Mother Of Sin (feat. Bobby Blitz, Overkill)    
           
4. Terminal Illusion (feat. Mark Tornillo, Accept)    
             
5. King With A Paper Crown (feat. Johan Hegg, Amon Amarth)    
     
6. Voodoo Of The Godsend (feat. Max Cavalera, Soulfly)    
           
7. Liars & Thieves (feat. Troy Sanders, Mastodon)    
           
8. Impulse Control (feat. Mark Osegueda, Death Angel)    
         
9. Power Drunk Majesty - Part I (feat, Mark Osegueda, Death Angel)    
             
10. Power Drunk Majesty - Part II (feat. Floor Jansen, Nightwish)    
     
             
     
Additional guest guitarists:    
           
Joe Satriani    
         
Andreas Kisser (Sepultura)    
             
Nita Strauss (The Iron Maidens, Alice Cooper)    
             
             
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