Reviews, interviews, articles, and other blather about music from the mind of Yugoboy

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

THIS is How Growler-voiced Metal Should Sound

DeadstarAssembly - Blame It On The Devil

I have spent more than a little time bemoaning the state of metal vocals these days, being that it seems the majority of bands look for vocalists who sound more like somebody moving a desk in the room above you than an actual singer. I call it "growler metal" because that's the major characteristic I can hear. Deadstar Assembly, has a growler vocalist, but instead of being an incoherent mess, Dearborn is way closer to Dickie Barrett of Mighty Mighty Bosstones than Lamb of God or Lacuna Coil. Best "growler metal" I've heard in a bloody long time.

Hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Deadstar Assembly's Blame it on the Devil brings everything that's great about heavy metal to the party - killer guitars, a drummer with about thirty-eleven different speeds, a bassist with the chops to keep up with everyone else, and a vocalist who is definitely metal, but also communicates the lyrics as passionately as anyone, without resorting to the soaring falsetto of hair metal or the classical notes of Bruce Dickinson. There's also the electro-digital hints that keep the sound as fresh as the smell of burnt rubber on pavement. It's not exactly unique, but it's close and it's the next best thing: high quality and listenable repeatedly. This is a fun album if you're a metal fan.

"Blame it on the Devil," the title track brings the heavy early and often, while "Overdose" begins with definite flavors of AC/DC'c "Thunderstruck" before settling into the signature melodic crunching and growling that saturates this record.

Mystical/horror imagery permeates this record, reflecting not only the usual tropes of metal since Black Sabbath chose the name Black Sabbath, Vincent Furnier decided to name himself after the witch Alice Cooper, and the PMRC decided to do its best to freak out over "dangerous" lyrics. From the album/opening track name, through "into the Light," "Will Not Die," "Dirtier Than Sin" to the final track, "Devil's Reprise" this album is a veritable playlist of everything Bible Belt-types hate.

Deadstar Assembly displays serious musical chops, from DreGGs's guitar licks, to drummer Kriz D.K.'s percussive mastery, and the rhythms provided by The Dro and Mubo on bass and keyboards respectively. DSA fails to help reverse the sad decline of the guitar solo, keeping their style closer to Godsmack and Papa Roach at their heavy best than Skid Row and Iron Maiden. This shouldn't detract from the enjoyment of the record, but I'd sure love to see more bands let their players soar some during the tunes.
Deadstar Assembly's Blame it On The Devil cranks and could easily find space in literally any metal fan's collection.

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