Hard Reviews 3
by Martin Popoff

Skrape - New Killer America

Here's a new Florida band who do their best to move nu-metal away from its emo leanings into something with a little more anvil-booted bottom end. The vocals of Billy Keeton however do draw from the nu-metal rulebook, doing that whole melodic, sing-song thing derived from Tool and then Jane's Addiction before that, now heard through Mudvayne, System Of A Down and Papa Roach. But musically, this draws from bands like Stuck Mojo (drummer Will Hunt was with the band in the early days), steely but rhythmic, captured in full metal grandeur through the hi-fi production heft of Ulrich Wild, who has worked with Static X, Powerman 5000 and the Deftones. It's so weighty in fact, that one also senses Godsmack or looking back, Helmet within these deeply grooving constructs. And like icing on the cake, there are mildly insistent, consistent bits of keyboards providing a modern texture that proposes star status outside of hardcore gutters.
Rating 7

God Dethroned - Ravenous
(Metal Blade)

Touted and feared as the fastest God Dethroned album yet, Ravenous nevertheless retains the band's penchant for bastardized Maiden melodies, turning each blurring whirlfest of hate into death that is uncompromising yet unmistakably this band and this band only. The band's drummer up and quit after their amazing last couple of years (Wacken, America with heroes Cannibal Corpse, Japan) and for this album they abducted Angel Corpse's Tony Laureano one of the fastest and most revered guns on the scene, descendant of the Gene Hoglan and Nick Barker school of rat-a-tatrobatics. And it's a blessing that the guitar sound is so good, because at these speeds, that becomes necessary to hear the seductive hooks that this band comes up with. Definitely on par with Nile, God Dethroned seem to really think about what they are doing, working in an ugly, impermeable realm and then finding a way to deliver a product that can be taken as pure metal pleasure.
Rating 7.5

Hard Reviews Page 4