Release DetailsLABEL Victory
RELEASED ON 7/12/2005
A Perfect Murder
Strength Through Vengeance
posted on 8/2005 By:
Did Phil sober up? If I found an unlabeled disc with this album on it, I’d play it and think that Mr. Anselmo had started up yet another band, one that is quite good. So it’s really not Phil on this album, but the new singer of A Perfect Murder, Kevin Randel, from Tennessee. Randel sounds so much like the old Pantera frontman that Mama Anselmo would be hard-pressed to pick between the two. And that’s quite alright.
Seeing as how Strength Through Vengeance is a Victory Records release, you could be forgiven for expecting Pantera meets Hatebreed or Bury Your Dead, but that’s not the case at all. This mostly-Canadian act plays an enjoyable blend of thrashy, sludgy, groove metal with a dose of Southern sensibility. In fact, I hear trace similarities with Lamb of God in some of the guitarwork. But Carl Bouchard’s effective melodic soloing is all his own. This potent album comes nestled in a top-notch modern production job. The drums are crisp, the guitars are bright and loud, and the balance is ideal.
“Strength Through Vengeance” opens up the album in fine fashion. A thrashy riff starts things off, pinned down by a punchy bass drum. Verses and choruses build on the same two riffs, then Carl just shreds for a minute or so. The song ends on a foot-stomping hard-rock rhythm. Some songs remind me of Testament during their Low times; usually just a riff or two scattered throughout a song, but enough to leave an impression. “Snake Eyes” brings a liberal dose of sludge with familiar vocals on top. While this sounds like the exact recipe for a certain New Orleans band, A Perfect Murder has a long way to go before they’re slugging it out with Down in the realm of heavier, sludgier songs. “Time Changes Nothing” is a five-minute instrumental that rises in intensity, being birthed as an acoustic diversion, but building towards an electric climax based around one fine riff. Which leads me to one problem I have with this album. Maybe it’s due to the follies of youth, but they sure do get their money’s worth out of some riffs. Even a great riff can be played into the ground, but on the whole, they change it up enough to keep things interesting.
All in all, this is a very decent record. This was hyped up to me by a Victory PR rep, which I usually relate to a parent bragging about their child, but in this case, the glowing praise is not off base. While they are a notch below labelmates like Darkest Hour and BTBAM, this is an interesting and varied addition to their roster and it should please a pretty wide swath of the modern metal community.
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