Demonoid - Riders Of The Apocalypse
Demonoid is none other than three Therion guys, including principal Christofer Johnsson on vocals, plus acrobatic Soilwork drummer Rickard Evensand doing a sort of disciplined, sawed-off version of Swedish thrash, even if their view on the project is as some sort of death metal revival similar to Lock Up or Bloodbath, or what Dragonlord was attempting to do down a black path. Johnsson goes for an uncompromising death vocal which is frankly, unexciting and one dimensional, and the band turns in a ruthlessly tight performance that is incredibly all real, i.e. not electronically enhanced with triggers and such. What pushes it above, other than Evensand's lightning-quick and memorable fills and the profusion of dependable riffs, is the fact that Johnsson has penned a Therion-worthy concept for the thing, basically a celebration of Christianity's more bloodthirsty highlights.
Alter Bridge - One Day Remains
Definitely there's at least a curiosity factor when Scott Stapp goes solo and records with The Tea Party, and the other three-quarters of Creed get a new singer and becomes Alter Bridge (Talk Show anyone?). I always thought Mark Tremonti was the rocker in the band, and I had high hopes for this album. Sadly, even though the record explodes with two shots of stadium-ready heavy metal (and there's more of that later - see 'Metalingus'), there is also a lot of politely dramatic Creed-like lude noodling. And man, vocalist Myles Kennedy (Mayfield Four) is completely annoying, a cross between Stapp, a new country singer and Big Wreck's God-complexed Ian Thornley (now gone solo). He's a breathy, breathless crooner like any number of post-grunge nu guys, and it gets hard to handle fast. Killer guitar sound on this album, with all of the metal (and there's not enough of it), being inventive and fresh, but the sum total is sadly a Creed record with a little more balls and something approaching anger at the band's choice of vocalist. Y'know, it could have gone good. Sometimes these huge rock stars reveal a pleasantly unexpected ear for the underground, and sometimes they confirm that, due to their isolation or whatever, they have no clue. Tremonti really stepped into a boatload of criticism with this one.
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