August 31, 2010 - Victory
This Daytona Beach, Florida-based quintetâ€™s fifth full-length announces its lack of subtlety right off the bat, with cover art depicting some kind of demonic raven gripping a pentagram in its claws. That the album itself consists of churning, downtuned metal riffs, genuinely impressive guitar solos and muscleheaded roaring should surprise absolutely no one, whether or not theyâ€™ve been fans all along. Musically, the group fall somewhere between Avenged Sevenfold at their crunchiest and Bleeding Through or maybe Throwdown (when Throwdown arenâ€™t just ripping off Pantera). Frontman Matt McChesney's clean vocals (as heard on â€œExhale The Locustsâ€ and â€œMyriad Blackâ€) are a definite weak point, a trick the band should have tossed from their repertoire. But the Swedish-style melodic riffing on â€œMyriad Blackâ€ is pretty swell, and the keyboards that come in toward the end of â€œBloodlustâ€ are a nice touch, too. Overall, this is a gutsy clenched fist of an album thatâ€™ll make for excellent headbanging behind the wheel.