Metal Review: Metal Allegiance – Metal Allegiance (2015)

Metal Allegiance - Metal Allegiance

Purchase Metal Allegiance – Metal Allegiance

Metal supergroup Metal Allegiance is taking the term supergroup to a new level. What sometimes gets labeled as a supergroup is very loose at times, especially when the term is used to describe a band that has members from bands that we have not heard of before. Metal Allegiance flips that on its head and is a true supergroup featuring members from bands such as Testament, Megadeth, Death Angel, Anthrax, Exodus, Lamb of God and more. The myriad of talented individuals make for a potentially exciting experience.

The mainstays of the project center around Testament guitar virtuoso Alex Skolnick, Megadeth’s David Ellefson and ex-Dream Theater member Mike Portnoy. The remaining members fill in some exciting features splashed into each song, especially the vocal performances.

The album opens with “Gift of Pain” sounding as if it comes straight from a Lamb of God album. D. Randall Blythe’s energetic voice displays as much passion as I have ever seen from any vocalist. The music behind Blythe is excellent and filled with riffs splashed throughout the entire track.

Next up is “Let Darkness Fall” featuring Mastodon’s Troy Sanders on lead vocals and D. Randall Blythe with some background screams. This track becomes one of the most interesting songs on the album, which is saying a lot because I am just not a Mastodon fan.

Testament’s Chuck Billy is up next with “Can’t Kill the Devil,” which is basically a Testament song having both Billy and Skolnick on there. Billy is up to his old tricks and still has one of the best voices in metal bar none.

“Dying Song” features none other than Philip H. Anselmo of Pantera and Down fame (among a million other projects). The tone of the album comes down a little and fits where Anselmo is in life right now. He no longer has the edge for what Pantera did decades ago, which is fine because there is nothing wrong with what he does with Down.

“Scars” features Mark Osegueda of Death Angel and Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil. The opening riff is an astounding thrash riff, which fits Osegueda just fine. Scabbia has a great voice, but feels out of sync on this song.

“Destination: Nowhere” features Trivium’s Matthew K. Heafy, which I am just not a fan of. I could never get into Trivium mainly because of the horrible vocals and this track reminds me why I do not like the band.

“Wait Until Tomorrow” brings in two vocalists again in King’s X’s Doug Pinnick and Hatebreed’s Jamey Jasta. While the song plays to the strengths of both vocalists, this track is pretty standard and not something to look forward to.

“Triangulum I. Creation II. Evolution III. Destruction” is an instrumental spanning eight minutes of guitar godliness featuring guest guitar spots from Misha Mansoor, Ben Weinman, Charlie Benante, Phil Demmel, Matthew K. Heafy and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal in addition to Alex Skolnick. The riffs are intense and the leads are exciting. Bumblefoot is an exceptional player and Machine Head’s Phil Demmel is vastly underrated.

The metal anthem “Pledge of Allegiance” features a myriad of talent on guitar and brings back Mark Osegueda on vocals. There is no doubt that this track was made for the stage and with the intent of having a crowd chanting with the band.

The deluxe edition of the album features a cover of the Dio classic “We Rock” from The Last in Line. The talent on the vocals is astounding with vocals from Mark Osegueda, Chris Jericho, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Alissa White-Gluz, Chuck Billy and Steve “Zetro” Souza.

Overall, Metal Allegiance is heavy as hell and has no throwaway music on here. While I am not a fan of a couple of the songs, the album in its entirety is extremely strong. Long Live Metal!

Metal Allegiance Tracklisting

01. Gift of Pain
Vocals: D. Randall Blythe
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass: David Ellefson
Drums: Mike Portnoy
Additional Lead Guitar: Gary Holt

02. Let Darkness Fall
Vocals: Troy Sanders
Lead, Rhythm & Acoustic Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass: David Ellefson
Drums & Percussion: Mike Portnoy
Additional Bass: Mark Menghi & Rex Brown
Additional Screams: D. Randall Blythe

03. Can’t Kill the Devil
Vocals: Chuck Billy
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass: David Ellefson
Drums: Mike Portnoy
Additional Lead Guitar: Phil Demmel & Andreas Kisser

04. Dying Song
Vocals: Philip H. Anselmo
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass: Mark Menghi
Drums: Mike Portnoy

05. Scars
Vocals: Mark Osegueda & Cristina Scabbia
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass: David Ellefson
Drums: Mike Portnoy

06. Destination: Nowhere
Vocals: Matthew K. Heafy
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass: David Ellefson
Drums: Mike Portnoy
Additional Lead Guitar: Matthew K. Heafy

07. Wait Until Tomorrow
Vocals: Doug Pinnick & Jamey Jasta
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass: David Ellefson
Drums, Percussion & Additional Vocals: Mike Portnoy

8. Triangulum I. Creation II. Evolution III. Destruction
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass: David Ellefson
Drums: Mike Portnoy
Additional Lead Guitar: Misha Mansoor, Ben Weinman, Charlie Benante, Phil Demmel, Matthew K. Heafy & Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal

09. Pledge of Allegiance
Vocals: Mark Osegueda
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass: David Ellefson
Drums: Mike Portnoy
Additional Lead Guitar: Charlie Benante, Gary Holt & Andreas Kisser

10. We Rock (Dio cover) (deluxe edition only)
Vocals: Mark Osegueda, Chris Jericho, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Alissa White-Gluz, Chuck Billy &
Steve “Zetro” Souza
Lead & Rhythm Guitars: Alex Skolnick
Bass: David Ellefson
Drums: Mike Portnoy
Additional Lead Guitar: Andreas Kisser, Phil Demmel & Gary Holt