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Turbocharged - Above Lords, Below Earth

Turbocharged
Above Lords, Below Earth
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 21 June 2019, 4:59 AM

TURBOCHARGED started out in March 2000 in the aftermath of other bands fading out and/or going into hibernation, pretty much as a drunken idea gone loud basically. During the 14+ years (in writing moment) the band has had many strange constellations which has both pushed the band forwards as well as held it back due to lack of interest or insight in what it’s like to be in a struggling band. There was some unofficial demos recorded during that time but nothing really made it into the public eye so there is no reason to backtrack the band before 2008 when we again became a trio.  Problem upon problem resulted in only the core remaining in the band which of course is the lineup you can see today: Ronnie Ripper (Bass & Lead throat), Old Nick (Guitar) and Freddie Fister (Drums & Throat). “Above Lords, Below Earth” is the band’s fifth full-length, and contains twelve tracks.

“The Crawling Path of Worms” leads off the album, with a thick guitar tone, a scream, and a fast pace. It’s an amalgam of Death Metal and Black Metal, with some punk-infused tones. “Doom Arise” is similar in character. Blast beat drums fuel this energetic track with relies on heavy harsh vocals. The production is a bit muted, as you might expect for the genre, and the guitars are down-tuned. “Doomsday Hammer” opens with heavy bass notes and a bit of a slower grind. At this point in the album, you are expecting some diversity, but they don’t stray much from their formula.

“Thirteen Burials” has a bit of a slower grind, allowing the harrowing elements of the music to take center stage. “Rejoice in Lucifer” Ronnie screams, along with “revolution 666.” “Obscurant” is a mid-tempo number with a riff that jumps around a bit. Again, they don’t stray much from the main sound at all, squeezing inside a small barrier and being totally happy there. “The Burying of a Redeemer” is equal parts dissonant riffing and vocal screaming, with blast beat drumming. The song has some structure, but is fairly chaotic overall. “Dried Blood the Heretic Confession” reminds me of a speeded up CROWBAR. The guitars register so low and the vocals are short bursts of shouts while the bass guitar can be heard in the mix as well. “Unholy Deathpunk” closes the album. This is the term they use to describe their music. It’s as if Lemmy came back from the dead and chose to still sing, this time as an undead zombie so his vocals are harsh.

Overall, there just wasn’t enough variation here to make for an enjoyable listening experience. They have a formula and they stick with it. I suppose at close to 20 years you can’t expect a tiger to change his stripes, but at least some diversity here could have propelled this review to a seven or higher. As it stands, it’s just mediocre for me.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Crawling Path of Worms
2. Doom Arise
3. Above Lords, Below Earth
4. Doomsday Hammer
5. Blasphemy
6. Thirteen Burials
7. Obscurant
8. Harbingers at Dawn
9. The Burning of a Redeemer
10. Black Tornado
11. Dried Blood the Heretic Confession
12. Unholy Deathpunk 
Lineup:
Ronnie Ripper – Bass/Lead Throat
Freddie Fister – Drums/Throat
Old Nick – Guitars
Record Label: GFY Productions
     


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