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BPMD - American Made Award winner

American Made
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 06 August 2020, 4:15 AM

Behind every musician that plays something aggressive or extremely technical can be a set of musical influences that is different from what the fans could expect. It’s something that seen with the insight of your own time frame can’t be understood. Think about it: what existed before Thrash Metal was born? So the early Thrash Metal bands’ members heard anything that wasn’t Thrash Metal. That’s the driving force behind “American Made”, the first release of the North American quartet BPMD.

Although everyone already know such info, for the late ones once more: the quartet is a side project from Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (OVERKILL’s vocalist), Phil Demmel (the six-strings assassin from VIO-LENCE), Mark Menghi (bass player from METAL ALLIGEANCE) and Mike Portnoy (SONS OF APOLLO, WINERY DOGS, METAL ALLIGEANCE and others drummer). The band focuses its energies to play and recreated some songs from classic American Hard Rock and Rock bands in a modern, heavier and aggressive way, but without tearing apart the original melodies and features. Their work is really very good, and it’s not bearing the stench of opportunism at all. The sonority of “American Made” seems modern and defined, but in an organic way, like the quartet was just playing in a studio during a rehearsal and the technician started to record. So the sound quality is truly clean and in a high level of clarity and definition, but in a way that is spontaneous and vigorous.

Although such a quartet could deliver to the fans something of their own, to hear their versions for old classics is really a very good experience. But to hear the nasty and aggressive version for “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” (and old TED NUGENT’s classic, here with tons of aggressive energy, with very good vocals and bass lines), the massive weight modern groove shown on “Evil” (this one from legendary CACTUS, and the guitar riffs and solos are truly great), the accessible melodic lines with nasty modern feeling of “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” (a ZZ TOP’s song, with that same Blues/Rock abrasive energy), the smashing grasp of “Saturday Night Special” (and how they could turn an old Southern Rock song from LYNYRD SKYNYRD in a massive and weight Heavy Metal song is not a mystery, just take a hearing on the weight drumming and intensive riffing), the fusion between modern weight and energy with old Hard Rock energy from “D.O.A.” (what the guys from BLOODROCK would say of this version, weighty and savage, but still catchy), the Rock/Groove massive Hard Rock of “Never in My Life” (this songs is from MOUNTAIN, a famous and great giant from the 70’s, here preserving its energy and Groove approach, but the drums and bass playing are amazing), and the nasty statement called “We’re An American Band” (maybe the most famous GRAND FUNK RAILROAD’s song, a hymn from the 70’s that is filled with new life and energy, and again, great vocals).

To end this review, what’s left to say is: “American Made” is truly an honest album. But maybe the quartet can do something of its own, because BPMD has a lot of talent to do such thing.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang
2. Toys in the Attic
3. Evil
4. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers
5. Saturday Night Special
6. Tattoo Vampire
7. D.O.A.
8. Walk Away
9. Never in My Life
10. We’re an American Band
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth - Vocals
Phil Demmel - Guitars
Mark Menghi - Bass
Mike Portnoy - Drums
Record Label: Napalm Records


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