REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/15/2007
Right away, vocalist Todd Barnes is annoying, making one wonder what the band was thinking when they hired the guy. In some cases, the rest of the band can overcome the vocalist, but not this time and not on this release.
Opener "Lethal Agenda" is boring. The thrash guitar riff is uninspired and doesn't stray enough from the melody between the verse and chorus to demonstrate guitarist Peter Scheithauer's talent. Drummer Stet Howland sounds regulated to a lot of tom fills, which in any other song would sound impressive. Here, they sound desparate. Even legendary Megadeth bassist David Ellefson can't even save the day. His throbbing instrument is buried in the mix, save the 50-second instrumental creatively called "Interlude."
Things perk up with the ultra-fast snare/guitar intro in the next track "Hammer," but the song suffers from the idiotic lyrics "Boom / Down goes the hammer / It's time to make them pay / Boom / Down goes the hammer / Down goes the hammer and the hammer goes Boom." We deserve better. The guitar solo is mildly interesting but ultimately fails to mark its territory with conviction.
And that's the way the rest of this crap goes. The material just isn't inspired and sinks to the lower tier of bands, not just thrash bands. By "Isabel," the band is back to the 'hammer' theme when Barnes is singing, "Hammer down everything piece by piece." It's as if they all liked the idea of writing songs about hammers. Last time I checked, "Home Improvement" is available on reruns or on DVD, so at least you can get some comedy with your tools.
This band will be always undesireable unless they get a new vocalist, a new guitarist and someone else to write lyrics. Maybe someday, Ellefson will find a spectacular post-Megadeth project, but this is not it.