MELIAH RAGE - WARRIOR (Metal On Metal Records)

 

Boston based Power/Thrash Metal veterans Meliah Rage began their quest in 1987 with the release of a first ‘demo’ followed by a ‘single’ recording, one year later. At that time, I kept myself busy with collecting cassette tapes/vinyl albums related to my first true passion, US Metal music. Obviously, I looked forward to the release of Meliah Rage’s official debut album which appeared in 1988 under the title “Kill To Survive”, and included legendary songs such as ‘Bates Motel’ and ‘The Pack’. Well, from the moment I bought my copy, I was hooked on their delivery of US power/thrashing forces of steel. It was the first evidence of the huge potential of this Metal band. Next they released the five song EP “Live Kill” showcasing a band in a great shape. In 1990, they got us by the throat again with the overwhelming release, “Solitary Solitude”. I consider these first 3 efforts as the best pieces of music Meliah Rage has ever released, and I say this with the biggest appreciation for all the other albums which had yet to come in the next 14 years. During this period, the line-up changed more than once and the quality of the band went fairly down. They were certainly not bad records, I just missed the power and musical perfection as we knew them from their first three albums. In 2011, the band signed with Metal On Metal Records for the release of album number seven, “Dead To The World”. This album gave me the opportunity to fully enjoy them once again after quite some time... Meliah Rage seemed to be reborn!

Meanwhile, frontman Paul Souza left the ranks. Before the recordings of their eighth album, Paul was replaced by Marc Lopes (ex-Hammersmyth/Trigger Effect, Dark Day Sunday/Hellspeak). I welcome the new album “Warrior” with much respect for their longtime service in US Power/Thrash Metal. I’ve listened to the entire CD a few times up until now and can tell right away that Meliah Rage delivered a very good, intelligent and very varied effort which left me astonished at certain times. It was released through one of the most promising Metal labels named Metal On Metal, and here’s my verdict on Meliah Rage’s “Warrior” album...  

Looking at the current line-up, I see three original members are still in the band. I’m talking about drummer Stuart Dowie and both axemen Anthony Nichols and Jim Koury. Then we have ex-Every Second bassist Darren Lourie, and new vocalist Marc Lopes who manages to grab me by the throat, damn right, he’s a real good singer! He also created a lyric video for "I Am the Pain", which can be watched on Youtube. The cover artwork of “Warrior” has been designed by award-winning Martin ‘Fitto’ Bouchard, and it was drummer Stuart Dowie’s brother named Alec who painted this eye-catching art. The production is tight, not too polished... Meliah Rage’s new album “Warrior” delivers nothing but the goods!

Comparing to their last few releases, this new album has a bit more mature character which results in attractive compositions. As an early day fan of Meliah Rage myself, I notice especially the guitars sound familiar to the good old days. Chopping string treatments alternating with nice melodic leads still rule across the entire album. The opening title track ‘Warrior’ is a fast one with thrashing rhythms and fluent guitar works radiating a whole lot of power. The first meeting with the new frontman Marc Lopes and there's no doubt, he’s a real good singer able to use his vocal cords in different ways. To hear some extra dimension of Marc’s excellent throat take a good listen to ‘I Am The Pain’. Typical US Power Metal piece boosted by a compelling rhythm, delivered by a band in top shape. The individual musical abilities of everyone in the band is at a high level which means that Meliah Rage seems to be back on the rails after releasing a few albums that to me were inferior.

‘Stranger To Your Sympathy’ has some typical Meliah Rage moves on board, Power/Thrash Metal with an eye to the past flirting with quite modern moves and the result is not bad at all. More typical US Power Metal comes along with the song ‘When We Wake’ and again, the structure is very well built. Beautiful vocals and mighty good guitar works breathing tons of power in a dark way. ‘A Dying Day’ reminds me of one of my old school favourite Meliah Rage songs called ‘The Pack’. Power, aggression and melody in perfect balance and I’m satisfied. ‘Garden Of Evil’ is a good instrumental composition featuring quite unique/strange harmonic lines... each band member demonstrates his professional attitude as it should be. Last track ‘In Hate’ ends in beauty and most importantly to me, with a nod to their “Solitary Solitude” masterpiece. Heavy guitars, giant drums and devastating bass lines with a very talented vocalist at the helm.

We had to wait longer than expected for this new Meliah Rage album entitled “Warrior” but that was not without a reason. It was due to songwriter/guitarist Anthony Nichols having to undergo two surgeries on his back (and later on on his wrist). The recovery took several months but listening to the new album, I’m sure that the medical interventions were well managed.

After the release of Meliah Rage’s “Solitary Solitude”, they unfortunately couldn’t fully convince me anymore. Their previous album “Dead To The World” did give me hope again and the band’s future looked more optimistic. I knew that one day, Meliah Rage would be back with a vengeance as now has been proven with the release of the 8 song “Warrior”, a very solid work reflecting their everlasting faith in US Power/Thrash Metal! Order through THIS link. For digital downloads, hit THIS spot. Finally, visit the Meliah Rage Facebook page HERE.

My Points: 87 / 100

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95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !

Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan

Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it

Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing

Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate

Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard

50- : Rubbish