So, as some of you may have guessed by now, I’m pretty hot on this band DEATH RATTLE, and their self-released new album Volition (out now). With a potent mix of Thrash and Groove Metal combined with just a pinch of Death, this is what you get. The songs emit such savagery that they feel like you should have a tranquilizer gun loaded and at the ready for when they inevitably charge at you like some crash of rhinos. So let’s dive in and see what’s what on this, their sophomore release.
Right away the first thing you’ll notice during opener “Internal Determination” is the masterful riff work of guitarists Ryan VanderWolk and Jimmy Cossette and the gasoline-fueled vocals from Trey Holton. Then in comers this fiery solo before the song fades out. Next up is “Love and War” during which Holton sounds even angrier than on the previous track followed by “Sentenced to Hell.” Here the whole band shines collectively, in particular drummer Chris Morin and his rhythm section partner Kevin Adams on bass. This was and is still definitely a favorite of the album.
The same can be said for “Snake In the Grass” as far as standouts go. This tune is brimming with raw, unbridled anger, just like me, so it’s totally up my alley. The riffs burn like a buzzsaw blade during both “Adrenalize” and “Sociopath” as they steamroll you into submission. But you’ll come back for more, you know you will. “Order Within Chaos” has more of the Death Metal vocals than the other songs, and they work perfectly alongside the music. It’s one of two that clock in under three minutes, but it still packs a punch and will get your attention, the way inadvertently stepping on a texas fire ant hill would.
“Unfinished Business” is another stellar track that really had me wanting to swing at someone and/or hurl a cinder block through a window. Even though I haven’t seen DEATH RATTLE live yet I guarantee that this song would rile up a circle pit something fierce. The sinister intro to “Doomsday”definitely hearkens back to the 80’s Thrash Metal, and the rest of the tune wouldn’t have been out of place on an old EXODUS album, actually. Sure, it’s a mite heavier than some of the pioneering bands’ stuff back then, but you can hear the roots of the Bay Area in there.
Closer “From Blood to Black” is the longest song at 6:48 and to be honest, this one didn’t really bowl me over. It certainly wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as all the others. But hey, there are nine others that I either really liked or loved on this record, so that’s a plus, right? All in all Volition is a very good album, and after you listen, one thing will become as obvious to you as it is to me: DEATH RATTLE is a band that’s going places and they will make quite the name for themselves in the extreme metal landscape. Should be one helluva ride!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Snake In the Grass”, “Sentenced to Hell”, “Unfinished Business”, “Adrenalize”, “Order Within Chaos”