Thundering down beats, galloping guitar riffs, deep, dark bass lines and tight, percussive drum fills are the first thing that comes across the speakers when one hits “play” on Men Without Armies debut, self-titled, EP.
The EP starts off with the dark and rolling metal “love” song, “Bitter Little Pill” then tears through the EP’s second track, “Metal Rain” where the group proudly spouts their devotion to their work through the chorus, “metal is my religion”.
The album picks up some serious speed and gravity across the board with the EP’s third track, “She Wears Plastic”. This track is the first to truly showcase the talents of guitarist and the band’s founder, Brennan Dylan, winner of the 20th Annual L.A. Music Awards Rock Guitarist of the Year award. Although the track clocks in at a Misfits-esque 2-minutes and 52-seconds, it’s does everything but leave the listener wanting more. The thick plodding bassline coupled with the brain pounding drumline were dwarfed only by Dylan’s soaring guitar riffs and accompanying solo that occupies the majority of the track. The vocal tracks are grungy and dark and bring to mind a mix of Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley, Slayer’s Tom Araya and Metallica’s James Hetfield.
Dylan takes a slight break for “The Devil’s Bride” but makes up for it in “The Gift.” A song in which Metallica’s influence hangs heavy without ripping off the heavy metal icons. Each instrument carries with it an aura of the original Metallica lineup. The prominent bassline exudes a heavy feeling of the late Cliff Burton while the drums is similar to “Kill ‘Em All” era Lars Ulrich. The vocals howl and reverberate off your ears as if it were Hetfield himself belting out the chorus and the meandering guitar riff and shredding solo brings to mind Kirk Hammett, or do I even dare say, Metallica’s prodigal son, Dave Mustane.
The album ends on a high note with the previously released track, “NYC”. Although the track isn’t as high powered as some of the other songs on the album, it still delivers expert musicianship and some quick final riffs from Dylan as the drumline takes a more prominent roll on the tracking and allows the bass to take a rest after having such a huge workload in the previous few tracks.
The group previously released “NYC,” two months ago via Brennan Dylan’s YouTube account. Give it a listen below.
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