Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Album Review: "Feed The Ego" by Algebra

Feed The Ego
For today's consideration, we have a thrash band from the not so very metal, but very neutral country of Switzerland.

They go by the name of Algebra.

Personally, hearing the word algebra gets me angry as all get out. This has always been the Achilles Heel of my Mensan mind....I'm still thrilled I passed a math course and ended up with my degree.

But that's neither here nor there.

Feed The Ego is the sophomore release from this group. Their first album was released back in 2012 and later re- released by Stormspell Records.

As is my wont, the guitar tone is very important to me. The guitars have a delightful buzzsaw tone. The kind of sound that feels like it was found by accident after plugging in and just spinning some knobs, with the volume and gain on ten.

It's very reminiscent of the early bay area thrash records. The sound that was quickly forgotten after they were signed to better labels....

Like with any great metal band, the drumming is top notch. Something I've been noticing lately is that the omnipresent blast beats are no longer as such, but are used again like they were back in the day, for effect.

The drums feel like Lars Ulrich at his peak. Fast, powerful, and perfectly meshed into the music instead of just holding it together.

There is a great amount of variety on the record, from ballads to face melting riffs. Far too many bands don't understand that on your album you need to vary it up. Algebra gets it and the album is all the better for it.

The solos aren't just standard shreds. Like the songs themselves there is a good deal of range. Aside form the great solo work, there are also some nice harmony lines spicing up the music. The harmony strands add some great flavors to the very aggressive metal riffing.

The only complaint I have with this record, and it's a small one, is with the vocals. As the band is named after math, I'm going to use math to explain it.

In a Venn Diagram of metal vocals. Set A is James Hetfield circa 1984, set B is Bruce Dickinson circa all the time, and set C is John Tardy of Obituary.

Algebra's vocals fit right into the intersection of A, B, and C.

The issue here is that there seems to be less focus on the vocals as I would like. Variety is great, but sometimes it felt like there was a bit too much variety and a lack of a singular style.

This is a very good album and this band has some significant potential to grow into one of the great metal bands of the day.

Release: 9/16/14
Label: Unspeakable Axe Records
Genre: Metal, Thrash Metal
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