Monday, August 15, 2011

Reader Submission: Meliah Rage: Dead to the World

The album's name may be a reference to the band's overall status with music fans around the world. Despite being around since the mid 1980's and putting out eight full-length albums, Meliah Rage just is not a well-known band. They are just one of those bands whose release of a new album elicits a "they're still around?" response. Part of that may be geography, being a metal band from Boston which is not known for producing a lot of good metal bands, but another part may be that they have put out unspectacular, yet reasonably solid albums for years. They just have not released anything to separate them from the pack unfortunately.

This album continues that string. Once again, Meliah Rage have released a perfectly good album. It's catchy, but it simply does not forge any new ground.

Meliah Rage plays a mix of thrash metal and American power metal. Which means that this has some pretty aggressive riffwork as well as quite a bit of melody. Again, this is American power metal, so it is not overly flowery and cheesy. It retains just enough of a hard edge, and of course the thrash metal riffs certainly help as well. It is definitely a 1980's-sounding metal album, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Things get off to a great start with the fist-pumper "Up in Flames". The band retains this high degree of energy throughout most of the album, slowing down occasionally for a short melodic interlude or chorus section. "Valley of the Shadowless Souls" is the highlight of the album, with some powerful riffs, a strong melody, and some of the most interesting vocals on the release. Most of the rest of the songs fall in line at a medium speed. The band does not deviate far from their comfort zone.

The musicianship is impressive. The guitars really drive the album, which is fairly typical for this style of metal. There are some pretty good riffs present and some damn good guitar solos. The bass plays a very strong role in the music and can be heard thundering along with the riffs. The drums are also doing some interesting patterns.

Overall, this is yet another solid release from Meliah Rage. Unfortunately it is probably not going to break the band to a wider audience. Fans of Nevermore and Iced Earth will probably enjoy it.

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