Release Date: 10th March 2014
Genre: Instrumental, Shred metal.
Record Label: Self-Released
Number of Tracks: 12
Overall Rating: 9.8/10
Its always super exciting when a super group forms. Adrenaline Mob, Avantasia, Hellyeah, Murderdolls, Chickenfoot, to name a few. The excitement that enveloped the guitar community when we heard former Nevermore guitarist Jeff Loomis was collaborating with fellow super shredder Keith Merrow, Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster and The Faceless drummer Alex Rudinger, was endless. More than double the funds for this crowd funded album were gathered very quickly, and they soon got to work.
The album is put together exceptionally well. Its put together at Audiohammer, and you can hear the quality that a professional studio has to offer. The tone of the guitars throughout is spine tingling, check out the pre-verse riff of track 3 Ashes of A Lesser Man as a prime example. Surprisingly, it has great dynamic variation throughout the album, and even though the tracks are an onslaught of brutal super shredding, you do get the occasional break such as track 7 Lachrymose and some acoustic interludes.
Conquering Dystopia batters us from song 1, the appropriately named Prelude to Obliteration, with a face melting solo just 2 minutes in and the rest of the song ripping us apart with supreme riffage. Some of the riffs are reminiscent of when Nevermore were in their prime, however it is clear that this is a team effort. Keith Merrow's death-metal back ground can be heard in track 8 Autarch, and track 10 Kurfa at Dusk. It is evident that both guitarists had an input in many of their riffs, and Nuclear Justice is a mix of Merrows Riffing and Loomis' soloing.
We all expected the guitaring to be exceptional, and they excelled. But a big credit has to go to the drummer Alex Rudinger. His drums are phenomenal, and do a great job of creating the mood and, along with Alex Webster's excellent bass tone, compliment the guitars. Overall, an excellent team effort.
There was no doubt that this collaboration would work, but its fact that it has has set this high standard for instrumental metal that gets its high rating. It is very hard to find fault with, there are 13 tracks of instrumental genius, with explosive riffing and ear splitting, finger destroying leads. What more could a music fan want?