Arise Within – Killing Machine Of Doom   Leave a comment

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Look up prolific in the dictionary and you should see a picture of guitarist Paul Hill from Arise Within. He seems to be forever writing new material and recording and giving it away for free most of the time but if you are thinking quantity over quality, it doesn’t apply here. Arise Within have a huge back catalog of great songs so i imagine putting set-lists together for live shows must be a nightmare. The line-up of Stephen Mcneer on vocals, Paul Hill vocals and guitar, Tom Jervis bass and Justin Mcgreggor on drums are a solid hard rock unit and the latest recording from them is titled “Killing Machine Of Doom”.

From the opening track “Sweet Freedom”, it becomes plainly obvious they have a Sabbath meets Black Label Society type of groove happening especially in the vocals which at times sound just like Zakk Wylde. A rich southern rock swagger is the main ingredient here and its a tasty one but ends a little soon for my liking at a bit over 3 minutes. “Roll On” has more southern grooves built around a strong melody and rich melodic guitar work in a classic rock 70’s vein. A little bit too commercial and mainstream for my tastes but the guitar solo makes up for it for the most part. “Over You” has one of the best riffs on the album and certainly is of the heaviest tracks on the album, the buzz-saw sound coming from the guitar makes the tune what it is. “Never” is similar to “Roll On” in its semi-ballad southern rock vibe while title track “Killing Machine Of Doom” is a pretty laid-back but a powerful chunk of infectious hard rock. I will point out at this stage of the review that the title of the album may suggest some down-tuned Doom Metal is happening here but its not the case.

“Hide Your Soul” and “Heaven Help Us” marks a low-point in the album (for me anyway), the songs seem a bit too generic, bland and smell too much of being pure filler tracks. Sorry to the band for saying that but i have to be honest, these two tracks did nothing for me at all. Thankfully the album regains its strength in the form of the best tune of the album with “Full Throttle Suicide”. Great riffs, infectious vocal melodies and a wailing solo but it suffers from being way too short and underdone, another verse, solo and chorus would have surely made the track so much better. It may sound i am being picky but there is nothing more frustrating than hearing a tune end way before its ready and that happens a few times on this album. “Fly On” is another semi-ballad southern rock interlude of sorts, well-played as usual but nothing to get excited about. “Falling Down” gets back to what they do best, dirty, ballsy hard rock that is both catchy but the once again, fades out too soon.

“Cold Religion” written by Stephen Mcneer is a great track with a exceptional vocal performance and powerful, bluesy anthemic guitar lines. The last two tracks are both cover versions, the first is Black Sabbath’s Electric Funeral and its given a decent treatment that is pretty faithful to the original. The second cover is a cover of Pearl Jam’s Alive and yeah i hate Pearl Jam and this version did nothing to change my mind on that so the less said the better on that subject. The conclusion i reached with “Killing Machine Of Doom” is this is a mixed bag that left me with mixed feelings, about 3 tracks didn’t do it for me at all and a couple of others seem way too generic to get too excited about. However that leaves 8 tracks of hard rock tunes that range from the excellent to the average but certainly all worth checking out. Not sure how many readers of Doommantia and my blogs will get into these songs because it steers dangerously close to mainstream rock sounds at times. The best thing to do is head to where you can check out these songs and a lot more for yourself.


Posted May 13, 2010 by doommantia in Arise Within

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