Freedom Through Violence (Self-Released)
One of the reasons metal is one of the most vital forms of music is that the permutations of sub-genres is never ending. The seed of a new style often begins as a kernel of an idea in one kid’s mind, sitting in his room wood-shedding. From there bands form around incorporating new approaches to existing ideas and influences to craft new music. Such is the case with WESTERN MASSACRE and their delivery which is described as “death groove”. The brutality of CANNIBAL CORPSE and JUNGLE ROT mixed with the mood and attitude of PANTERA, LAMB OF GOD or SEPULTURA is what we found on their full length Freedom Through Violence.
From the first notes of “Steel Casket” one thing is clear, these guys can bring the heaviness. Harsh guttural vocals fill your ears with dread while down-tuned riffs pummel your brain. Not only does this song have great sense of rhythm, but has a melo-death influence that many of the bands coming out of the Massachusetts scene tend to have. The band is as unrelenting musically as they are catchy, as proven by the hints PANTERA-esque southern licks that pop up here and there. Guitarists Kyle Leary and Chad Hoag shred all day long and will give the guitar geeks much to talk about. The second track “Brazilian Carnival” brings more of the same wrought iron chords and savage beats. Drummer Jeff Greene does a nice job behind the kit of blending his syncopated, off-time hits and fills with his impressive double bass work. For a band to make this match of styles work and be tight, the drummer has to hold it down and Greene does so at all times. Vocalist Matt Lentner seems like he’s gonna tear his own throat out on occasion, channeling Satan with is crazy high screams. The end of the song has a mosh part/outro solo/last riff motif is one that many bands would envy writing. “Facelift” starts off with more of the tough-guy mosh parts, but then adds this unique textural guitar theme that blew me away. From there you get a straight ahead face melter worthy of most modern metal bands. Once again you have two guys on guitar praying to the alter of DIMEBAG DARRELL at times with inventive playing, and slick ear candy. “Roadhouse” sounds like the bastard child of LoG and a beastly deathcore band, complete with sick blast-beats and scream along chorus. To change things up a bit “Blood and Stone” opens with a solid thrash riff, before transforming all HULK-like into a brutal deathcore song. Even bassist Nate Larsen gets to step out of his supporting role and throw down some tasty riffs. Next comes their eponymous song, full of galloping riffs and blind raging fury. Other top tracks on the album include “Defector” and the final song which is the epic title track. By cleverly writing original songs with this much brutality and flavor, this is a band we will be hearing from for a long time. You can buy their album from their website here.
by Keith (Keefy) Chachkes