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Shredhead - Live Unholy

Shredhead
Live Unholy
by Chris Hawkins at 22 July 2019, 6:24 PM

The 1990s saw the rise of Hardcore and Death Metal proliferating the sounds of Thrash.  Soon, more and more tropes from around Extreme Metal began mixing further blurring the lines of once disparate sub-genres.  EXHORDER and VIO-LENCE paved the way with albums like “Slaughter of the Vatican” and “Eternal Nightmare” respectively for the eventual genesis/rise of PANTERA’s and MACHINE HEAD’s coming of age.  This anger-fueled, groove-heavy, mosh pit-inducing brand of Metal ruled throughout the decade spawning other heavyweights like CHIMAIRA and LAMB OF GOD, bands that would be branded the New Wave of American Heavy metal after the dawn of the new millennium.  This storied history can be heard throughout “Live Unholy,” the new release and third full-length from Israel’s SHREDHEAD.  After listening to this record, their home could now officially be branded as the Un-Holy Land.

What must first be laid out is the pervading sound of this album.  Furious, vehemently violent, and sinisterly slick, this record conjures memories of hearing some of the best produced angry records of the past.  Andy Sneap, Colin Richardson, and even Devin Townsend are just some of the producers whose landmark work set the precedent for the modern expansive sound to be found while jamming this record.  Seriously, the production is on par with albums like “Burn My Eyes,” “Violent Revolution,” and “As the Palaces Burn”.  With such a pristine sound, it is a wonder the band is not a household name by now.

SHREDHEAD stands out from the masses by way of the proficiency of its members.  Vocally, Aharon Ragoza seemingly cut his teeth on Phil Anselmo and a heavy, massive dose of Randy Blythe.  One can even heard the influence of Jamey Jasta, especially in the third track, “King Maggot,” with its opening invocation.  The rhythm section is spot-on and super-tight with a constantly pulsing bass industriously locking in with the seemingly mechanized drums.  The focus, however, as is to be expected, is on the almighty power of the riff.  Syncopation and deftly-played, ultra-tight rhythms characterize the work of the two guitarists.

The title track sets the precedent, and like the following track, “Overshadows,” has a strong LAMB OF GOD influence.  Specifically, the first track is one of the catchiest with an anthemic chorus and a middle section catalyzed by a brutal retake on the main riff.  The fourth track, “Burn Your Master,” has what could safely categorized as the sickest breakdown, a flanger-soaked riff to make the listener truly want to destroy everything.  In “Unmarked,” the sixth track, there is a bit more technicality thrown in with a nod to the later catalogs of both DECAPITATED and KATAKLYSM.  The album ends brutally with the last breakdown of “The Rope,” an adrenalized, steroid-pumped, tenaciously proper send off by the band.

At the end of the day, when many bands seem to be in stages of increased experimentation, SHREADHEAD fills a void.  One cannot live on sushi, ceviche, and ciabatta alone!  Sometimes, steak and potatoes are the only way to truly quench that deep craving, and as such, this band is pure, grain-fed Angus beef!  Those like yours truly who miss the heyday of groove masters like PISSING RAZORS can now be satiated with “Live Unholy”.

Songwriting:  8
Originality:  7
Memorability:  7
Production:  9


 

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Live Unholy
2. Overshadows
3. King Maggot
4. Burn Your Master
5. Hope is a Mistake
6. Unmarked
7. Create Hate
8. Fuck the World
9. Skin the Wolf
10. Zen
11. The Rope
 
Lineup:
Roee Kahana - Drums
Yotam Nagor - Guitars
Aharon Ragoza - Vocals
Lee Lavy – Bass
Razi Elbaz – Guitars
 
Record Label: Legend Recordings
     


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Edited 18 August 2019
 

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