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Allegiance - D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n. (Reissue)

Allegiance
D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n. (Reissue)
by VR at 11 January 2017, 9:53 PM

The year is 1990, and in Perth, Australia, five blokes get together and form a thrash metal band called ALLEGIANCE, and have since passed into Thrash Metal history with a legendary band status. The band garnered rave reviews from critics and a loyal fan following, and in 1990, won the "Most Popular New Band" at the West Australian Music Awards. They released their demo, "Make The Pledge", which sells over 2,000 copies and play the Bindoon Rock concert to a 10,000 strong audience. The second demo, titled "Torn Between Two Worlds", sells over 3,500 copies and gains positive responses from Europe and the Americas. Tours with bands like KREATOR and FEAR FACTORY, further cement their place as Australia's favorite Thrash Metal outfit. A tour with Rob Halford fronted band, FIGHT, follows and they secure a reputation as Australian 3rd best band and 10th best band of all time. “D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n.”, released in the year 1994, was immediately lapped up by fans and critics alike and remained in the top 5 ARIA chart for 3 weeks.

"Chaos Dies" starts off in a blistering pace and reminds one of ANTHRAX and John Bush brand of almost alternative style of singing. A regulation Thrash metal song lasting just over a scorching 3 minutes. "One Step Forward", the third track of the album, has a Groove Metal beginning before blast beats join the fray. This song bears strong resemblance to TESTAMENT and the Bay Area Thrash sound. "Torn Between Two Worlds" starts off ever so slowly, accompanied with heavy chugging riffs, before the pace picks up. A track clocking just over 5 minutes, it is a scalding, blistery lesson in Thrash Metal. Brilliant riff accompanied by killer arrangement and a chaotic lead guitar solo, escort the song to its conclusion. "Destitution” has a faint kinship to "Don't Tread On Me ", and the song loses its way in the middle part. The tempo of this song is strange and picks up speed and slows down at places that one would least expect. In "Downward Spiral", the vocalist tries his hand at the growling type of vocals the Max Cavalera employs, and is entirely off base. Even the riff and the speed at which this track hurtles, is reminiscent of early work of SEPULTURA. The album closes out with "Tranquility", a 3 minute acoustic, instrumental track and is a song with a melody played on a piano and has violins for company throughout its gentle journey. Its almost like dessert after consuming a fiery meal that calms down the senses.

As a fan of Thrash Metal, the album for me, has the complete package. Good vocals, killer arrangement, short tight songs with memorable riffs, and exciting bursts of lead guitar. One can certainly see why this band was so sought-out in their prime. While the band plays more than competent brand of Thrash Metal, I did get the feeling that it was not entirely original in content. Given that the music scene was completely different back in the mid 90's, this album is strictly for Bay Area Thrash fans and the brand of Metal they established. The sound of this album reminds me of early METALLICA, EXODUS, and SEPULTURA. Some tracks have the influence of TESTAMENT as well as groove titans, PANTERA. To give a small measure of the successes they gained in their brief 7-year career, they have shared stages with most Metal bands that toured Down Under including SLAYER, MACHINEHEAD, SEPULTURA, and PANTERA. Apparently, the band had become the first choice of Metal bands that ventured a tour in Australia for a number of years before internal tensions within the band ripped apart a promising career for these Thrashers from Down Under. In 2000, the band staged a one-off reunion concert and the reception proved that the band's popularity hadn't lessened in the years of inactivity. They have since re-united once to play with KISS when the Shock Rockers toured Australia in 2003. This album is a must have for fans of Thrash/Speed/Groove metal and the re-issue is going to thrill die hard fans of the band and I am sure gain more followers. To this day, fans are dissatisfied with the break-up of the band and are clamoring for their re-union. There is a "Bring Back Allegiance" Facebook page where fans share their stories and memorabilia. The band that was on the cusp of greatness and fame, petered out when Halford's promise to help them out went nowhere and the bassist left the band. The band figure in the documentary called "Metal Down Under: A History Of Australian Heavy Metal". At one point in time, the band was considered the best band in Australia, and now most of its members have moved away from music altogether.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Chaos Dies
3. One Step Forward
4. Hate Frenzy
5. Torn Between Two Worlds
6. Destitution
7. Mortally Justified
8. Path Of Lies
9. Dealt The Cruel hand
10. Downward Spiral
11. Twisted Mind
12. Tranquility
Lineup:
Dave Harrison - Bass, Vocals (Backing)
Conrad Higson - Vocals
Jason Stone - Guitars, Keyboards
Tony Campo - Guitars, Vocals (Backing)
Glen Butcher - Drums
Record Label: EVP Recordings
     


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