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The Rods - Brotherhood of Metal

The Rods
Brotherhood of Metal
by Rachel Montgomery at 09 July 2019, 5:49 PM

THE RODS are one of the first, original Power Metal bands going all the way back to 1980. David “Rock” Feinstein, founding member and cousin of the famous Ronnie James Dio, got his start in Dio’s band ELF before founding this one. After a long breakup in 1986, the band came back together, recording their hit “Vengeance”. If you’re into 80's nostalgia, from the sound to the lyrical content, this album is for you. The opening track is an ode to the Metal lifestyle, accompanied by beautiful instrumentation and a very nice piano opening. However, the dissonance of a piano solo in a Metal anthem kind of bugs me a little, but that’s just a personal nitpick. All in all, the voice is good, the instrumentals are good, and the echoing chorus is epic.

In the next two songs, the vocalist is buried in production, which is always a distraction for me, but I think the purpose here is to tone down the singer’s upper register to hide any flaws that might come. A common problem for singers is being able to control their upper range so it sounds good and remains on key, while projecting it at the same time; the remedy is a lot of vocal training and meanwhile, singing in a more comfortable range. I believe if the melody were brought down and Feinstein were brought up, these would be flawless songs. Feinstein plays guitar incredibly, though. I love the riff in “Smoke on the Horizon”, and it’s one of my favorite parts on the album. My favorite track is “Tyrant King” due to the vocals and the lower-tone guitars. It’s 80s nostalgia with its own sound.

The more nostalgic tracks, notably “1982”, “Party All Night” and “Louder Than Loud” are simplistic nods to the decade that made the band. If you’re looking for a blast to the past, you’ve found it. If you’re not, the simplicity of the songs and the old-fashioned production might sound too 80's to you. In particular, “Louder than Loud” has a fantastic guitar solo straight from the halcyon days of early American Power Metal and NWOBHM; if you’re a fan of the genre, you’ll enjoy it.

The final songs follow the same pattern, but with some more complex tricks thrown in for good measure. I particularly liked the opening of “The Devil Made Me Do It” and the drum change in “Hell on Earth”. Overall, I enjoyed the melodic aspects embedded in the album and the closing guitar solo was epic. However, I kind of wanted to see more punch from the opening anthem and branching out in general from the album. After the wonderful piano composition in the opening track, I would love to see them experiment. However, I don’t think that’s the band’s style, and that’s okay. The world needs simple Metal songs without bells and whistles, and bands like THE RODS will be there to provide.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Brotherhood of Metal
2. Everybody's Rockin'
3. Smoke on the Horizon
4. Louder Than Loud
5. Tyrant King
6. Party All Night
7. Tonight We Ride
8. 1982
9. Hell on Earth
10. The Devil Made Me Do It
11. Evil in Me
Lineup:
David “Rock” Feinstein – Guitars & Vocals
Carl Canedy – Drums & Vocals
Garry Bordonaro – Bass & Vocals
Record Label: Steamhammer
     


Rating

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Edited 18 July 2019
 

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