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Ditchwater - Never say Never Award winner

Never say Never
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 14 November 2019, 7:49 AM

The new school of North American Metal has many commercially successful names, as LAMB OF GOD, TRIVIUM, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, SLIPKNOT, STONE SOUR and many others. They’re pretty good, indeed, but there are some names that really deserve to grow, to be known for a broader and greater public, and one of these names is from Chicago based quintet DITCHWATER, because these veterans are hard to break and to be tamed by difficulties. Their latest album, “Never Say Never”, is fine piece of Metal.

Their musical work is not as easy to be labeled. Sometimes playing wild and greasy as a Thrash/Groove Metal band, on other using charming and accessible melodies, they really have a great and strong musical work that sounds aggressive and melodic, thunderous and deeper, energetic and accessible, and always personal. Yes, they’re pretty good. And the guitar solos, something that many bands are forgetting the use, are presented in a great way, indeed.

Josh Wickman produced the album, creating something that is clean and with very good instrumental tunes, in a way that doesn’t sound greasy, but defined. And everything can be heard clearly, even the smallest instrumental arrangement. And the cover, done by Jason Johnson (an artist with works done for Marvel and DC Comics) emulates the old and good cover for heroes’ magazines, but depicting the band. Ten excellent songs are presented on “Never Say Never”, but the mix between groove parts with deeper melodies shown on “Enemy of the People” (very good chorus, and excellent vocals), the bitter harmonies and catchy chorus of “My Last Breath” (great guitar riffs and solos), the slow impact and melancholic feeling of “Against My Better Emotional Reasons” (another fine work from vocals), the brutal and harsh NYHC ambiance of “The Way You Are”, the power ballad (a slow and melancholic with an aggressive chorus) “All About You” (the bass guitar and drums are really great on this song), and the perfect heavy onslaught imposed on “Hands Held Out” (another excellent moment from the guitars) are the greatest songs of the album. But their personalized version for “Iron Fist” (yes, the old MÖTORHEAD’s battering ram) is something that no one can miss (especially because bass guitar and drums are putting new elements on the song).

“Never Say Never” has come to show that DITCHWATER will not stop so easily. That’s how old Metalheads are: to give up is something that can’t be excused. And they have a place on the scene, obviously!

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

4 Star Rating

1. Enemy of the People
2. My Last Breath
3. Against My Better Emotional Reasons
4. The End
5. This Pain
6. The Way You Are
7. All About You
8. How Many Times
9. Hands Held Out
10. Iron Fist
Mike Meadows - Vocals
Mark Anderson - Guitars
Kevin James - Guitars
Mason Brown - Bass
Mike Tignino - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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