July 2013 Rapid Fires

Tuesday, 30th July 2013

In between watching the Tour de France, waiting for NFL training camp to start, various gigs of the outdoor and indoor variety, as well as life’s more momentous occasions, the DR staff was able to squeeze in ten short reviews for the month. This month’s installment includes: 42 Decibel, Crossed Fire, Deadlands, Drug Honkey, Ecnephias, Facebreaker, Gyre, Humilation, Razormaze, and Sinister Realm. Read on, and learn something new…


42 Decibel – Hard Rock N Roll (SPV)
This Argentinian quartet possesses a boatload of Aussie influence on their debut album, Hard Rock N Roll. Lead guitarist Junior Figueroa could be Bon Scott reincarnated on vocals, while his compatriots slide between Rose Tattoo, AC/DC, and Bullet riffs and grooves. Sex and booze and cruising highways is what 42 Decibel is all about – “Smokin’ Fire” and “Addicted to Rage” are the best of a predictable set of tunes. – Matt Coe (42 Decibel on Facebook)


Crossed Fire – It’s All About Chaos (Hellxis Records)
Improper verb context for their name notwithstanding, Crossed Fire are a whisky-enabled, Southern/stoner ensemble from Portugal. (Yeah, this kind of band really does exist.) With their ears obviously pinned to the works of Down, Crowbar, and C.O.C., the band hobble through five songs on It’s All About Chaos of big-time grooves and pissed-off attitudes. Whereas most bands of this ilk tend to lean a bit too far on the Anselmo side of the fence, Crossed Fire prove to be a little more potent, with swagger a-plenty on “Better Off Dead,” and the slow-roasted “Portuguese Liquor,” which is about “drinking brothers arms.” Guess liquor of the Portuguese variety is a bit strong, eh? – David E. Gehlke (Crossed Fire on Facebook)


Deadlands – Evilution (Massacre Records)
Tons of guest spots here, which is usually a tell-tale sign of “Hey, our album isn’t good enough to begin with, so let’s get some big names to bail us out!” Virtually every King Diamond/Mercyful Fate guitarist in existence lent a guest solo to Deadlands’ Evilution debut, which makes DR wonder why they didn’t phone up Glen Drover or Pete Blakk to make the circle complete. Either way, Evilution is one of those sub-power and sub-thrash albums. You can’t pinpoint where it falls, but the chest-pumping lyrics of Brian O’Connor (ex-Vicious Rumors) really start to rub raw. – David E. Gehlke (Deadlands on Facebook)


Drug Honkey – Ghost in the Fire (Transcending Obscurity)
Drug Honkey is a band from Chicago who labels themselves as an experimental/doom/death amalgamation of sounds. A large portion of this release is sludgy, ambient and closely leaning more towards industrial/noise than the doomy/death aesthetic they claim to exhibit. The metallic sections are stripped down to adhere to this greasy framework that filters into every song, but I would hardly find this work to be satisfying enough for a repeat listen. I’m not sure what I can compare this to, but Drug Honkey are on their fourth release and still producing music of this range. Perhaps they may be suited more for film scores, than actual music for this genre. – Kenneth Gallant (Drug Honkey on Facebook)


Ecnephias – Necrogod (Code666)
On their fourth album Necrogod, Italy’s Ecnephias bounce around ideas that are along the lines of Moonspell when they feel like being mystical, and their short-lived Goth forays of Septicflesh, who are never too far out of reach when it comes to Greek bands to look up to. Forced, mildly awkward death metal vocals aside, the mystical spew of “Kulkulkan” and “Voodoo – Daughter of Idols” are accessible, much more than the latest run by Rotting Christ. – David E. Gehlke (Ecnephias on Facebook)

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