September 3, 2018 Metal Allegiance – Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty (Album Review)
Forged in strength, Metal Allegiance is a faction of Heavy Metal superheroes – Testament’s Alex Skolnick (guitar), Megadeth’s David Ellefson (bass), Mark Menghi (bass/songwriter), and former member of Dream Theater, The Winery Dog’s Mike Portnoy (drums) – on a mission to serve fans in the glorious name of Metal. Aligning in the Big Apple, back in 2015, Metal Allegiance formed as a means to honor Heavy Metal.
As the Metal community is bonded like a one big family, these four legends came together like a brotherhood after years of friendship and occasionally sharing the stage. Later that same year, the acclaimed debut album, simply titled Metal Allegiance, was graced by a who’s who of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal giants on vocals including Phil Anselmo, Chris Jericho of Fozzy, Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed, and Randy Blythe of Lamb Of God. Led by a diverse cavalry, Metal Allegiance entered the Billboard Top Rock Albums Chart at No. 27, showing Metal alive and well.
A year later, in 2016, Metal Allegiance released an EP of cover tunes entitled Fallen Heroes, as the band paid homage to their own heroes who passed on – David Bowie, Glenn Frey of the Eagles, and Lemmy Kilmister. Following a successful start, Metal Allegiance are in the mood for the next round, announcing the band’s new album, Volume II – Power Drunk Majesty, is set to drop on Friday, September 7, 2018, on Nuclear Blast Records. A war chest of ten new battle ready cuts, Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty once again includes another heavyweight cast of cunning vocalists, donning their own metalized touch on this sophomore offering while screaming the ills of today’s society.
Pulling no punches, Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty immediately launches with the first of several six-minute-plus Metal epics, “The Accuser.” Featuring the Death Metal vocals of Black Dahlia Murder’s Trevor Strnad, a deep, dark intro (picture Metallica’s “Damage Inc”), segues to a guitar lead building heavier and heavier. Head-thrashing mad, “Bound By Silence” sees Armored Saint front-man John Bush gift his robust vocals to an up and down tempo’ed groove.
Sparking a fire, the first single off Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty, “Mother of Sin” features the incinerating Thrash vocal stylings of Overkill’s Bobby Blitz. Compiling a frightening arrangement of fast meets beautifully slow and classic Thrash Metal, this is as classic as Thrash Metal gets. Next, Accept’s Mark Tornillo guests on “Terminal Illusion,” an arresting tune of melodic percussion and hurdling guitar hooks to attack the ear-drums. On “King with a Paper Crown,” Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth delivers signature growling vocals in a frenzy of Armageddon before Soulfly and Sepultura icon Max Cavalera comes in on “Voodoo of the Godsend,” calling tribal collusion with possessive vocal design.
Launched by tolling the bell of the New York Stock Exchange, saying it all, on “Liars and Thieves,” Metal Allegiance welcome Mastodon’s Troy Sanders to voice the art of greed and excess. In the style of Megadeth, “Impulse Control,” featuring Death Angel’s Mark Osegueda on vocals, incorporates a true-to-his-craft bass intro by Ellefson, reminiscent of early ’80s Thrash. Closing in a two part series, Metal Allegiance once again call on Osegueda for “Power Drunk Majesty (Part 1),” using old-school sarcasm to pen the socio-political memo on broken promises and corruption before Nightwish’s Floor Jansen takes the mic on “Power Drunk Majesty (Part 2)” to question how one unruly man can rise to power.
Embodying all the principal facets of Thrash Metal, Metal Allegiance aptly pour on the aggression with Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty. Comprised of Skolnick’s tough as nails, shredder riffage, Portnoy’s riotous drums, and the numbing bass of Ellefson and Menghi, Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty casts a series of forcible, melodically heavy tracks, blessed by the pipes of some serious Heavy Metal vocalists. In essence, if the goal of Metal Allegiance was to lionize Metal, than Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty has done its job in showing all which makes Thrash Metal so damn good! Blaring it loud enough to break glass, CrypticRock gives Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty 5 out of 5 stars.