Thursday, August 12, 2010

Assedium - Rise of the Warlords

Oh hello, I'm new here

I'm going to come clean here, I really haven't heard much of this "epic heavy metal" style. The likes of Manilla Road, Brocas Helm, and Battlerage have yet to grace my ears, and some of Assedium's other influences (Cirith Ungol, Manowar) have never resonated as strongly to me as they seem to have others. I hear great things of the subgenre, and it sounds like something I'll eat up like a hungry dog to a raw ham, but I've just never gotten around to it. But if Assedium's Rise of the Warlords is any indication of the style as a whole, then I really need to get my ass in gear, as the loud, powerful riffing has managed to ensnare me for the duration of the album.

I have bad luck with blind buys. Whenever I buy something without sampling it first, it always ends up being terrible (Framing Armageddon, Nostradamus, a few others that I seemed to have erased from my memory). So I must commend Assedium for finally breaking my several year streak of shitty buys. The problem with the critique on my part is my inexperience. I have no idea if the boys at work are breaking new ground and making truly remarkable music or if they are a shameless rehash of a greater band. And I suppose I should probably hold off on a critical analysis until I better acquaint myself with the front runners and originators, but believe it or not, I know good music when I hear it. Frankly, this is some damn fine metal. I'll concede that Fils's voice leaves a bit to be desired as it's rather thin and lacks the power that the music commands, but the music is powerful enough to march through his inadequacies and stomp ass regardless. The most apt descriptor I can use to define the overall feel of the album is "big". The riffs can be described with no word other than "huge". From the second the main riff comes charging in on "Sacred Vengeance", I find myself wanting to run into the nearest room, scream like a crazed Mongol and scalp the nearest being with a full head of hair.

The general tempo is above average with plenty of double bass and leads out the wazoo, but all the over-the-top musicianship ends up remaining restrained enough so as to not become overwhelming and wanky. You can tell from the occasions when the guitars let loose that the players are immensely talented, but they are perfectly well and content with focusing on catchy, early 80s heavy metal melodies and riffs. I can hear a considerable Satan influence in most of the melodies, but keep in mind I'm still new to this camp so early NWOBHM bands like Satan are the closest thing I have to compare with here, so I'm sure there's a better comparison somewhere. But here's the thing, good comparisons be damned, this is a great album no matter how I look at it. The only thing holding the band back is the singer. Surely there is a more powerful and commanding vocalist than this guy... Rise of the Warlords could easily score ten points higher if not for Fils, but what's done is done, and what we've been given is an incredibly solid heavy metal romp with an ill suited voice. Here's to hoping he's improved in time, because the massive riffery and sweeping melodies deserve much better.

RATING - 83%

No comments:

Post a Comment