I rather enjoyed the first METAL ALLEGIANCE album back in 2015. With a core four of David Ellefson, Mike Portnoy, Alex Skolnick, and Mark Menghi, really, how could the results be bad, right? A slew of guest vocalists and guitar heroes joined the fray and the results surely speak for themselves. So here we are three years later and the group has given us Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty (out now, Nuclear Blast Records). This time around they opted to only have three guest axe-slingers, but seven new vocalists. Know what? The results are heavenly. The shredders include SEPULTURA’S Andreas Kisser, Nita Strauss from ALICE COOPER, and the one and only JOE SATRIANI.
On the vocal front we’ve got Trevor Strnad (THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER), John Bush (ARMORED SAINT), Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (OVERKILL), Mark Tornillo (ACCEPT), Johan Hegg (AMON AMARTH), Max Cavalera (SOULFLY), and Floor Jansen (NIGHTWISH). Returning from the first disc are singers Mark Osegueda (DEATH ANGEL) and Troy Sanders (MASTODON). What’s clear on this album are two things: one, these people didn’t come here to fuck around. And two, this is very much a Thrash Metal album first and foremost, something I honestly couldn’t be happier about.
From opener “The Accuser” ft. Strnad, “Bound By Silence” (Bush), and “Mother of Sin” (Blitz), to “Terminal Illusion, (Tornillo)” which features some of the best guitar work on the record, this fearsome foursome is sure to bring smiles to every metalhead’s face as each one gets into his/her ears. The absolute favorite from jump was obviously “Mother of Sin.” Yis, it is known far and wide what an insane Blitz and OVERKILL fan I am, but that’s not the only reason why. The way the guys gels on this particular track should have most if not all of you hitting that REPEAT button like a motherfucker! Blitz just makes the song his bitch. Case closed.
Hegg comes in and simply owns his vocal track “King With a Paper Crown,” and “Voodoo of the Godsend” features Cavalera eating nails over a tribal drum beat, while reuniting with his former bandmate Kisser. Sanders is a very, very good vocalist and quite frankly I wish he’d take the lead more in his other band. So of course I dug “Liars & Thieves” which around the three minute mark takes a hard left turn that will be wrecking necks from sea to shining sea. Another fantastic track comes with Osegueda and “Impulse Control”, definitely one of the best cuts on an album chock full of best cuts!
He sticks around for “Power Drunk Majesty (Part I)”, the first of two that close out the disc. This ten-minute combined epic is very much a departure from the rest of the album, but in a good way. I never saw it coming, and all of a sudden in “Power Drunk Majesty (Part II)” here comes Floor with her angelic delivery, anchoring a pretty goddamn cool closer. All told METAL ALLEGIANCE did an excellent job with album number two. The songs found here are a heavy music fan’s dream, and with each listen I find something new to fixate on and love. Whether it’s the thrash/death vocals, or the out-of-this-world-guitar work, there’s something for everyone on Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Impulse Control”, “Mother of Sin”, “Terminal Illusion”, “The Accuser”, “Bound By Silence”