Thursday, 2 August 2012

Review: Attika 7 - Blood of My Enemies

 Those that love the groove laden direction that hardcore music took in the 1990's must surely be familiar with the work of Evan Seinfeld and his work in the kings of the untimely respectable "rapcore" scene Biohazard, a fairly underrated band that actually proved to have a fairly large influence on much of the nu metal bands that followed. Seinfeld's voice has already been heard on disc in 2012 on Biohazard's long-awaited ninth album Reborn in Defiance. However, Seinfeld was out the band long before the album's release, supposedly as a means to... focus more on his porn career. Anyway, clearly such a shameful and degrading career or something like that wasn't right for Seinfeld so it's now that we see him making a return to making metal with new outfit Attika 7, a band with a stellar lineup with famed motorbike builder Rusty Coones on guitar, former Nonpoint guitarist Zach Broderick, ex-UPO drummer Tommy Holt and of course how could I not look towards a band that has a former Kyuss member on board? Scott Reeder takes up bass duties.

 It's with solid lineup that they unleash Blood of My Enemies unto the world, and ultimately prove that they're certainly able to make a solid selection of songs, whilst proving they could be the modern day band to carry the classic AC/DC songwriting notion that is "If it isn't broke, don't fix it."

 As one could imagine then, there's not a whole lot of variety to find and the main principles of the album seems to be to make a selection of biker rock songs that mirror those of Black Label Society but not as good. That doesn't necessarily make it a band listen in any way. Coones and Broderick certainly have the capability to write some gutsy riffs, wether it be operating at a slower and eerier pace and tone to create a darkened atmosphere on Crackerman and Dying Slowly, a song that in conjunction with Reeder's creeping basslines really shows off their stoner rock credentials, or in a more adrenaline packed selection of grooves that makes up the mean performances of Greed and Power and No Redemption. This is also aided effortlessly by the meaner vocal performance of Seinfeld, whose voice proves adaptable from the belligerent yelling displayed constantly in Biohazard, and adopts a grittier tone with greater melody.

 So, the attempt to create Wild (or rather "Wylde") heavy metal songs with a trippier and grittier edge filled with big grooves is executed with great ease throughout Blood of My Enemies. There really isn't anything more than that. The only time something reasonably different happens is during Seinfeld's spoken interlude on The Cold Hard Truth and that part is just kind of annoying. But it's not really anything of protest. Like AC/DC or Slayer they can use a similar formula for each song and it will still feel fresh. And that is always an impressive feat.

 However, for a group of musicians to come from completely different backgrounds to record a set of flat out rock songs, there's a lot of impressive moments to be found. The notion of someone from a band as polished and mainstream sounding as Nonpoint making roughened stoner rock riffs is particularly impressive, since it's really displaying something of a contrast from previous day jobs. I can imagine that the same people that dislike Black Label Society will jump on board Attika 7 can claim their hatred for giving stoner rock a more mainstream sound, but it's undeniably solid. Who knows if this band will be a full time grouping or just a one off. If they go on, they could be built for longevity, with perhaps some room for improvement.

Attika 7's Blood of My Enemies is out now via Membran.

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