Beyond any doubt, every member of our global community knows that urge, the one that compels us to seek out albums we can play ‘cover to cover’ - I bet you’re nodding to yourself right now. From spinning offerings to the metal gods on your stereo altars, to arming ourselves with headphones to cut swathes through congested public transport, we each, at some point, have absolutely flogged to death more than a few these albums.
Meshiaak’s ‘Alliance of Thieves’ IS one of those albums. I remember hearing handfuls of hints from fellow musos, as well as coming across snippets of audio back in 2014 - and all bullshit aside, something was stirring, and I was getting psyched. Meshiaak’s veteran lineup really drives home the sheer gravity of this project - Danny Camilleri (ex-4ARM), Dean Wells (TERAMAZE), Jon Dette (SLAYER, ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT, ICED EARTH), rounded out by bass player Nick Walker (BANE OF BEDLAM). This album runs the gamut between classic thrash and progressive metal, with stylistic signatures synonymous with each musician, creating a contrasting and cohesive melting pot of musical influences. This is one to really get you pumped; it’ll get nanna up and mowing the lawns in a flash.
A stand out feature for me was Camilleri’s vocals, noticing how much he has grown since his previous posting - ripping out the Araya-esque vocals and strong cleans, yet still being definitively within his own individual style was just fucking awesome to hear. From soaring motifs, to throat ripping riffs framed up by juggernaut drumming, Alliance of Thieves offers a broad metal cross section. This contrast is well demonstrated in the track ‘I Am Among You’, with powerful stabs and peaks of energy bolstered up against calmer passages - giving the track breathing room punctuate it’s point with ferocity.
Drawing upon a musical maturity that only comes from time and experience, Alliance of Thieves is an offering well worth your time and undivided attention. Refreshing, yet familiar, and steeped in the metal traditions of yore. Despite this familiarity however, the points of difference will keep listeners, both casual and diehard alike engaged. This is a good meaty chunk of ear candy, and is something to definitely savour and take it for all it offers. Do yourself a favour and grab this one, sit down and listen to it through - you won’t regret it.
That’s 4 1/2 roos from me! Killer work lads!