Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dead Earth Politics - The Queen of Steel

Dead Earth Politics is a heavy hitting groove / thrash band from Texas and sounds exactly like a what you would expect a band like that to sound like. They're not far off from Volbeat really, maybe a bit rougher around the edges, foregoing some of the rock moments for Killswitch Engage styled screams and whatnot. They're not bad for the style really, and they refuse to fall into a category. Halfway through opening track to their The Queen of Steel  EP, "Redneck Dragonslayer," we get some faster thrashy riffs, some double-timed drums and energetic solos and then the track ends with a standard breakdown beat sans the generic breakdown. You could sense that modern In Flames and other melodic death metal influences are at play. I'm sure these guys all enjoy Mastadon's debut album. The other two tracks also employ some of the same techniques and ride heavily on strong hooks in the choruses.

The performance of vocalist Ven Scott is quite impressive. Throaty harsh vocals and some strong and masculine clean vocals make his portion of the performance perfect for lurkers looking for something new but not too new or too challenging to taste. It's tough to determine if there is and who might be other stand outs for the band. Bassist Will Little is content to follow the guitars mostly and pick up the rhythm of drummer Mason Evans who, if I had to make a choice for another highlight, it would be some of his drum paterns such as those in the early moments of "Madness of the Wanderer," but not his drum patterns elsewhere in the song - heavy handed and overly groovy slams. Guitarists Tim Driscoll and Aaron Canady are quite good but hardly spectacular when it comes to the rhythm section but the leads in these tracks are unique. Neoclassical influence is obvious in the leads in all the songs and also in the bridges and transition parts of above mentioned "Madness."


My gripe with the EP, which is done very well, is that while the three songs here are just enough for me, especially with the obnoxious pounding rhythms in closing track. A full album of this type of material would really do me in for a tough long nightmare but I can see where others would relish in it. There is definitely a fan base for this material but I'm not that person. What I can applaud though is how this really sounds just like a few good friends getting together, knocking back some beers and jamming out. It's not jammy or garagey but it's hardly hokum either.

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