Album Review – Splintered Throne / The Greater Good of Man (2022)

The reaper is calling us all to join this electrifying American squad in their quest for Heavy Metal to the sound of their awesome new album.

Having already captivated audiences on the West Coast for over a decade with their high energy performances, Portland, Oregon-based Heavy Metal powerhouse Splintered Throne is beginning the next chapter in their solid career by unleashing upon us their new album The Greater Good of Man, delivering bluesy influences with dynamic bass, groove rhythms and soaring vocals just the way we like it in metal music. Produced by Kevin Hahn and Splintered Throne, recorded at Primal Studio and Opal Studio, mixed and mastered by Kevin Hahn at Opal Studio, and with graphic design by Jen Taylor of VividPix & Design, The Greater Good of Man showcases all the talent and passion for heavy music by frontwoman Lisa Mann, guitarists Matt Dorado and Jason “JMo” Moser, bassist Brian Bailey and drummer Kris Holboke, resulting in a dynamic collection of energy, emotion and storytelling. “I still pinch myself that I’m even in this band – and now we’ve written and recorded a kick ass album? It’s as good a feeling as sex and chocolate,” commented Lisa about the album.

The slashing guitars by Matt and Jason will invite you to raise your horns in the name of metal in The Reaper is Calling, being quickly joined by the hammering drums by Kris and the soaring vocals by Lisa in a pure, unfiltered 80’s Heavy Metal feast for our total delight. Then drinking from the same fountain as some of our metal heroes the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon and Accept, Lisa continues to lead her henchmen in The Crossing, with Kris showing no mercy for his drums supported by the rumbling bass by Brian; followed by Morning Star Rising, a beautiful power ballad by the band where Lisa steals the spotlight with her passionate vocal performance, flowing powerfully to the pounding beast by Kris and the striking solos by Matt and Jason. And putting the pedal to the metal it’s time for the title-track The Greater Good of Man, where all band members are on absolute fire spearheaded by Lisa’s fiery vocals while we’re also treated to some thrilling, ass-kicking solos.

If you’re a fan of Warlock you’ll have a blast with the epic tune Let it Rain, again showcasing an amazing job done by the band’s guitar duo with their piercing riffs and solos, not to mention its galloping pace is perfect for banging your head together with the band. Inspired by those struggling with addiction and to those who made it into recovery, Underdogs is another touching ballad by the quintet where its backing vocals provide Lisa with all she needs to shine on vocals; whereas let’s all slam into the circle pit to the sound of Night of the Heathens, a song tailored for heading into the battlefield armed with ass-kicking Heavy Metal, with Brian and Kris bringing the heavy artillery to the music while the guitar solos by Matt and Jason will pierce your ears in great fashion. The second to last blast of awesomeness by Splintered Throne, titled Time Stands Still, brings forward their more Hard Rock vein, with Lisa once again showcasing all her vocal range and talent accompanied by the solid instrumental form her bandmates, and last but not least the band offers us the re-recording of their 2017 ballad Immortal 2020, already released in 2020 as you can see, this time with Lisa on vocals of course plus a few adjustments to the overall result, resulting in a great “bonus track” for us fans.

As aforementioned, Splintered Throne have just started a new era in their career with The Greater Good of Man, and in order to show them your utmost support you can start following the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other cool stuff about them, stream more of their awesome music on Spotify and on YouTube, and obviously grab your copy of The Greater Good of Man from their own BandCamp page, from Apple Music or from Amazon sooner than you can say “splintered throne”. Heavy Metal made in Portland, Oregon has never been as fantastic as now thanks to the amazing job done by Splintered Throne in their newborn opus, and I can’t wait for more of their stunning music in the near future to raise my fists in the air and have a beer with the band while my heart is filled with pure metal and joy.

Best moments of the album: The Reaper is Calling, The Greater Good of Man and Night of the Heathens.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. The Reaper is Calling 4:10
2. The Crossing 6:09
3. Morning Star Rising 5:50
4. The Greater Good of Man 3:55
5. Let it Rain 4:04
6. Underdogs 4:50
7. Night of the Heathens 3:23
8. Time Stands Still 4:03
9. Immortal 2020 4:34

Band members
Lisa Mann – vocals
Matt Dorado – guitar
Jason “JMo” Moser – guitar
Brian Bailey – bass
Kris Holboke – drums

Album Review – Dead Animal Assembly Plant / Bring Out The Dead (2020)

Bring out your dead to the sound of the post-apocalyptic Industrial Metal by this Portland, Oregon-based army of freaks.

The Sweet Meats Slaughterhouse, founded in 1895 by Wilhelm Schröder, was internationally known for their advances in industrialized butchery, producing around 30% of the meats consumed in the United States at that time. In 1915 a tragedy struck the small town Wilhelm called home when all the livestock took some unexplained fatal disease, and the ever resourceful Wilhelm turned to the only available meat, the townsfolk. When they discovered the terrible truth they enacted their own form of justice, feeding the once prolific Mr. Schröder to his own machines. The Sweet Meats Slaughterhouse remained eerily quiet and vacant, until one night horrible noises resembling music emanated from the dank hallways, resulting in the birth of Portland, Oregon-based Down N’ Dirty Industrial Metal outfit Dead Animal Assembly Plant. Founded in 2007 by frontman Zach Wager, the band currently formed by Zach and his bandmates Eric ‘Zerø’ Bergen and Rebecca ‘Buzz’ Wager on the guitars, Nick ‘Nix’ Snyder on bass and Jason ‘Skorn’ Moore on drums is set to release their fourth full-length opus titled Bring Out The Dead, effectively combining elements of rock, metal and industrial from the 90’s until the present day. Mixed by Fernando Ruiz Jr. at Primal Recording Studio, mastered by Kevin Hahn at Opal Recording Studio, and with photography by Mothmeister, Bring Out The Dead is highly recommended for fans of Nine inch Nails, KMFDM, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Ministry and Rob Zombie, among others, bringing strong post-apocalyptic and horror influences to give it an extra touch of insanity.

Like a true infernal assembly line, the intro Cemetery Slums opens the gates of the underworld to the raw and industrialized A Violent Breed, showcasing austere lyrics dealing with everything that’s wrong with the human mind (“I am a violent breed / Programmed to be obscene / These hands praise ignorance / The blame becomes routine / My mind is a dirty bomb / Full of pettiness and virgin blood / With scriptures burned inside my head / Peddled and preached by empty men”), while Eric and Rebecca extract venomous, razor-edged sounds from their axes, sounding at times like a more metalized version of the already heavy-as-hell music by NIN. Then we have The Ghost of Friedrich Nietzsche, which by the way carries a great title for a modern and atmospheric Industrial Metal extavaganza, led by the robot-like drums by Jason while Zach madly vociferates the song’s wicked words, resulting in an amazing choice for a dark and goth party soudtrack, whereas Colors Under Attack couldn’t have started in a heavier and more thrilling way. This is old school Industrial Metal and Rock blending the sonic havoc blasted by icons like Rammstein, Ministry and KMFDM, with Nick and Jason generating a rumbling atmosphere with their respective weapons nonstop.

In the eerie and absolutely grim Somewhere Else, Zac’s vocals walk hand in hand with Eric’s and Rebecca’s metallic riffs, remaining obscure until the very last second and building an instant bridge with Sacred Disgrace, featuring the stunning New York City-based violinist and violist Lulu Black as a guest musician. Uniting the heaviness and groove of Industrial Metal and Neue Deutsche Härte with the finesse of Lulu’s violin, the song also offers an interesting paradox between her delicate sounds and Nick’s low-tuned bass jabs, reminding me of some of the best creations by the one and only Marilyn Manson. And the atmospheric and instrumental bridge Ghost Transmissions sets the stage for Behold the Righteous Plague, sounding heavier and more Rock N’ Roll than its predecessors but still bringing the band’s trademark Industrial Metal for our total delight, with Zach being utterly demented on vocals accompanied by the slashing riffage by the band’s guitar duo and Jason’s blast beats. Do the Inferno is probably the most fun of all songs, feeling like their personal “tribute” to NIN but also presenting a Misfits-inspired vibe, with Nick adding endless groove and thunder to their musicality (and the final result couldn’t have been more awesome, of course), and last but not least more of their classic industrialized sounds will penetrate deep inside our minds in The End of You, showcasing an amazing job done by both Eric and Rebecca on the guitars while Zach continues to lead his horde of freaks with his enraged vocals.

The release date of this excellent album of Industrial Metal might still be unknown due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, but I’m sure sooner than later we’ll all be able to purchase a copy of Bring Out The Dead, which is by the way a very suggestive title for such nasty period the entire world is facing, from the band’s own BandCamp page or from the Armalyte Industries’ BandCamp page, as well as form other retailers like Apple Music and Amazon. In the meantime, you can support the mechanized freaks from DAAP by following them on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details about the band, and subscribe to their YouTube channel or search from them on Spotify to listen to more of their acid and industrialized creations. As the end of the human race draws near based on all the madness and evil things happening pretty much everywhere right now, I personally suggest you add Bring Out The Dead to your post-apocalyptic playlist, banging your head to the first-class Industrial Metal played by DAAP while our putrid and corrupt society goes straight to hell.

Best moments of the album: A Violent Breed, Colors Under Attack, Behold the Righteous Plague and Do the Inferno.

Worst moments of the album: Somewhere Else.

Released in 2020 Armalyte Industries

Track listing
1. Cemetery Slums 1:42
2. A Violent Breed 4:10
3. The Ghost of Friedrich Nietzsche 4:26
4. Colors Under Attack 4:02
5. Somewhere Else 3:00
6. Sacred Disgrace 4:41
7. Ghost Transmissions 2:22
8. Behold the Righteous Plague 4:14
9. Do the Inferno 3:34
10. The End of You 4:15

Band members
Zach Wager – vocals
Eric ‘Zerø’ Bergen – guitars
Rebecca ‘Buzz’ Wager – guitars
Nick ‘Nix’ Snyder – bass
Jason ‘Skorn’ Moore – drums

Guest musicians
Lulu Black – violin on “Sacred Disgrace”
Regulo Junior – additional guitars on “Behold the Righteous Plague”