MELIAH RAGE - DEAD TO THE WORLD

METAL ON METAL RECORDS

 

Metal To Infinity

Formed in 1987 by axeman / songwriter Anthony Nichols; Boston Massachusetts heavyweight powerthrashers Meliah Rage took me by the throat for the first time back in 1988 with debut effort “Kill To Survive”. True classics like ‘Bates Motel’ or ‘The Pack’ were added to the songlist – I was definitely hooked on MR’s way of Metal right away! And there was more on the way, more albums were unleashed the following years such as “Live Kill” and the transcendent, one of my all time faves “Solitary Solitude” released through Epic / CBS Records in 1990. This album had such an impact on my heart and soul, I still play all of the tracks on a regular basis in spite of the fact we’re more than 20 years later now! In my opinion, best days in the history of Meliah Rage without a doubt are those early 3 years of their existence. Three outputs I will always cherish with all of my heart!

After the release of “Solitary Solitude”, the band brought out more albums but unfortunately I must admit that the strength of the first three works was lacking. “Death Valley Dream” (1996), “Unfinished Business” (2002), “Barely Human” (2004), “The Deep And Dreamless Sleep” (2006) and “Masquerade” (2009) showed that Meliah Rage still was a good Metal band but again – these efforts could not appeal to me as their first three outputs did. Maybe all because of the fact they had to deal with a few line-up changes… who can tell?

In this moment we’re approaching the end of August 2011 and I’m very excited to make the review for Meliah Rage’s brand new album called “Dead To The World”, released by Metal On Metal records a while ago in extremely good packaging. Awesome cover art, full coloured booklet including killer pictures, lyrics and more… this record label shows once again what quality they stand for – pure professionalism!

Nine songs on the list – be ready for the new birth of Meliah Rage! Original singer Mike Munro left the ranks due to fact that he wanted to spend more time with his family and on all the goodwill projects he’s involved in. He returned to the Meliah Rage ranks in 2009 for the recording of previous MR album “Masquerade”, unfortunately Mr. Munro left the camp once again shortly after. So Paul Souza joined forces with the band again and while I'm listening to the brand new “Dead To The World” effort I can say he really delivers the goods! I won’t compare this guy’s singing skills with the mighty vocal use of Mike Munro but he does a very good job anyway! As usually, be aware of the always great guitar tactics of Mr. Anthony Nichols, the one and only – he won’t let you down so be ready for a deadly dose of killer riffs / solos. New album also features: Jim Koury (guitar), Darren Lourie (bass) and Stu Dowie on drums! My opinion on the 2011 line up of Meliah Rage is that it's very promising!

This new and seventh album of Meliah Rage still represents a band in very good shape – both Power and Thrash Metal served in a pleasant way, no reason to complain! Delivering Metal for more than two decades so far, original member / guitarist A. Nichols knows like no one else how to work out great songs. “Dead To The World” offers good songs in the vein of their older albums but I notice that Meliah Rage incorporated some new ideas in the overall package. Nothing wrong with that but to me the new effort feels like a meeting between the late '80s and the nowadays Power / Thrash Metal scene. I’m very pleased of the fact that “Dead To The World” has nothing to do with the so called Euro Metal movement though! Gimme my steel in a Classic / US Metal way and you won’t hear me complain at all!

Talking about the vocals of Paul Souza only, well, every now and then he reminds me of James Hetfield in the good old days of “… And Justice For All” / “Metallica” and “Load” era. Paul’s throat seems to be influenced by legendary Hetfield and I guess that’s a bonus for all Metallica fanatics out there. Also, the song structures remind me quite a bit about Hetfield and company. Am I overwhelmed with that? Honestly not 100 percent actually – if you let me choose between James Hetfield's and Mike Munroe’s vocal skills, I’d rather mention the last one. And yes, I still (and always will) have a lot of respect for mighty James – no doubt about that! With the Metallica influenced singing / musical parts (check out the song called ‘Where Nothing Ever Grows’) I think Meliah Rage reached a new level in their career and probably will expand their fanbase more internationally. As a true worshipper of the original Meliah Rage frontman I’m pretty excited to tell that the last track of “Dead Of The World” was sung by Mike Munroe himself. Entitled ‘Awaken Sorrow’, this one brings me a few minutes of pure Metal pleasure!

Awesome guitars appear with power riffing and superior melodic lines including highly impressive solo duties. Razorblade sharpened riffs / solo delivery… that’s the ultimate trademark of Mr. Anthony Nichols. Still one of my favourite axeman for sure! Other songs that make me feel good are: ‘Valley Of The Shadowless Souls’, ‘Up In Flames’, ‘Time Won’t Let Me Breathe’… darkened power thrashing cuts will capture your soul in a merciless way! I won’t finis vwash this review before mentioning that the sound quality is way above the average… not too clean and hard as hell – well done!!

Reaching the end of my review I can only say that Meliah Rage just delivered a really good effort released by a label named Metal On Metal Records where True Metal lives like nowhere else. Both owners Jowita and her husband Simone are living their lives all in function of Metal music and I bow to people like this! “Dead To The World’ is not Meliah Rage’s best album up to date – also because my appreciation for their early days is too big. Overall, an interesting album featuring great songs made for open minded US Power / Thrash Metal fans. Order at:
http://www.metal-on-metal.com/shop.html  or visit the band’s homepage at: http://www.meliahrage.com/new1/news.php 

My Points: 88 / 100 (Review by Stefan)