Here we have Los Angeles, California based Maxxxwell Carlisle, a guitarist who has worked with many famous metal musicians. Before receiving this EP, I actually had not heard of him. He has worked with Anthrax’s Fistful of Metal singer, Neil Turbin and many others.
The title track starts of the disc, with riffs that will take you back to a time, when metal ruled the radio airwaves. Fast and in your face, Full Metal Thunder (see video below) is off to races, with its straightforward attack. Carlisle’s virtuoso guitar playing, doesn’t take long before its heard. He is definitely a talented musician, who combines shred-tastic speed, a sense of melody and technique. What I really enjoy, is how the solos themselves, fit the song perfectly. Vocalist Michael Yancy’s vocals are a bit of throwback to the early days of Saxon or Riot. His vocals are raspy yet very powerful, and demand attention when listening to them.
The next song, The Power of Metal Compels Me, reminds me of Manowar. The title is an ode to all things metal. From the lyrics that praise the metal gods, to the guitar solo that rips your face off, this song is one hundred percent “Metal!” The vocals have a Rob Halford-like falsetto in parts.
Following is the ode to metal part 2, The Call Of The Metal, and it’s much like the song before it. Powerful vocals, amazing guitar playing, and lots of heavy metal bravado. I really enjoyed the guitar solo, especially the arpeggios he plays near the end of the song. Marching With The Dragons is a more melodic song, with a very simple but cool guitar riff. This song has a very eighties Saxon feel to it. With its rough vocals, huge guitar solo, and its straight ahead guitar riff. The final song, Time Crisis is like the songs before it, with its Saxon meets Manowar feel. If you liked the prior songs, you will enjoy this one as well.
Carlisle embraces everything that is the essence of “true” metal, from his song structures, to his guitar solos. To some this may be over the top, but lets not forget the time period in which his influences come from. I enjoyed this EP a lot, for its ability to stay true to what it exactly is. It’s a fun, in your face, ode to all things metal, without being a parody. It makes me want to turn on my PS3, and play Brutal Legend again. Easily recommended to fans of Saxon, Riot, Manowar, and all things true metal.
It’s a fun, in your face, ode to all things metal, without being a parody.
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