Friday, September 20, 2013

Slantpiece Get You Some

Slantpiece plays metal, period.  That’s what they do and it’s what they do well.  Kearney Nebraska is home to this 4 piece outfit.  Well you know this because you hang on my every word right?  In July, I was fortunate to be able to give my opinions on the first two offerings from Slantpiece’s upcoming EP entitled Get You Some.  At the time, they were headed to Lincoln to complete their EP with Producer Michael Beck.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, the results are done, they are here and soon, the finished product will be in your hands.

The opinions I held in my previous review of this band have been cemented.  The band has finished their 6 song EP and in that time, have managed to wring out more aggression, melody and precision than many of their peers in the Genre.  The music is heavy and precise and at the same time, melodic and shows adept songwriting skills. 

Each track has it’s own identity, which is rare in today’s music world.  Most projects are either a single driven by a bunch of filler to make the single stronger, or 10 variations on the same riff and vocal.  With Slantpiece, you get none of the above.  Each song on this project is strong and deserves to be listened to over and over. 

Sequencing is important when making music.  You want to keep the listener engaged the entire time without playing all your cards in the very beginning.  Each track on this project stands well on it’s own but the sequencing on this project is guaranteed to keep your fist in the air the entire time.  The band know that change from track to track as important as changing up the riff in a song.  Get you some is an engaging project that starts off with a roar and only gets heavier.  The tracks themselves will be sequenced as follows: 

War Cry
Demon Mind
Muddy Water
World of Chaos
Back Against The Wall
Act of Betrayal

Of course you should listen to this and make up your own mind, but trust me when I say that this is music that metal fans have been dying to hear for a long long time.  You don’t have to go to major acts and major labels to get it either.

Let’s dig into these tracks and experience just a taste of what Slantpiece has in store for you. 

The EP opens up with War Cry.  This piece, like Muddy Water feels a bit blues influenced to me.  Immediately it is reminiscent of Attika 7.  It is a heavy, sludgy, bluesy riff that has enough swagger and groove to make you an instant fan.  This track features a more melodic singing voice from guitarist, vocalist Derek Johnson, which advances the track nicely.  The song contains heavier elements too, but they are used to increase the overall ferocity of the track by only being used when necessary.

Demon Mind is a track that immediately reminds me of early mid tempo slayer songs in the intro without attempting to gallop along once the intro is done.  There is double bass work here that is used to add punch to the track.  Drummer Bill Sabah’s drumming adds what is needed for the track without going over the top.  There are a lot of todays metal and metal-core drummers who could learn a lot from how he approaches his instrument.

I have had the privilege of reviewing two of the tracks on this album early on.  You can find the review here:

Because I have expressed my opinions on these songs already, I will be including excerpts from that review as well.

Muddy Water shows another dimension of this band.  The guitar riff, while heavy is more melodic and feels a bit blues influenced.  Listening to this one, I am instantly reminded bands such as Down, Attika 7 and Biohazard.  Johnson’s vocals are a bit more melodic, with less of a rough edge to them, though adding screams at just the right times to punctuate the heaviness of the song.  This one gallops along and does not let up.  The drumming takes a back seat to the riff in this song and allows the guitar work to really shine of this track.  Note pinches at the end of some of the guitar lines are reminiscent of Zaak Wylde’s work for Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society. 

Likely the heaviest track of this set is entitled World of Chaos.  This song starts off with a scream and doesn’t let up.  The riff is intricate and well played and, while very heavy, almost ventures into progressive metal as much as it does thrash.

Back Against The Wall opens with a big fat bass groove that quickly layers up with crunching guitars and drums.  The track is a mid tempo track that is sludgy and heavy.  The vocals are done in a spoken style which fit the track perfectly.  This is a track to go to when you are looking for a great classic metal sound that is not afraid to be both retro and modern at the same time.

Act of Betrayal is a mid-tempo, heavy piece of work with a lot of aggression to offer.  The riff opens with a roar.  The bass work follows the lead riff closely and adds ferocity to it.  The drumming on this track is solid and accomplishes both driving the song as well as adding to the anger of the vocals.  The vocals on this track are throaty growls but not the typical RAWRROARLETSSEEHOWFUCKINGANGRYICANBEROAAARRRRR!!!  Johnson’s vocals are unique in that while they are heavy and angry, you can understand every word and he sings on key with the song rather than just a single note like so many of the bands that you hear today.  You honestly don’t hear musicianship this accomplished with bands who have honed their craft for years.  This is notable because this band got it’s start at the beginning of 2012. 

In short, friends, this is a heavy band making heavy music.  If you are a true metal fan or even a casual observer, get this.  These are real people making real music and they are representing metal in the midwest, and keeping heavy alive.  Support them by going to shows and getting the shirts, but most of all, make sure to tell your friends so they can support good local homegrown music as well.