Release DetailsLABEL Trinity Records [Hong Kong]
RELEASED ON 4/7/2006
posted on 6/2006 By:
Getting this review started has been a challenge. Have you ever listened to an album that, by all rights, you should love, but don’t? Sometimes you have to look/listen to it from a few different angles to really get the hang of it, but once you do, it’s still just not clicking? Now, I don’t mind the 'Metal Pride' thing at all, it has its cheesy charm I suppose, but honestly, in 2006 some of these ideas are getting mighty long in the tooth. Case in point, Infernal Vengeance, and their most recent full-length effort, Dual Mayhem.
What Goes Right: Don’t get me wrong, I can’t fault any self-respecting metal band for declaring their metalness, and Dual Mayhem is immensely entertaining in that regard. From a musical standpoint there really isn’t too much to bitch about at all. Thrashy, galloping rhythms and massive power chords rule in this realm, and a “as long as there’s metal, disco will always fail” mantra is something I can entirely respect. If it were possible, I would just write this review by repeating the word ‘metal’ over and over for a few paragraphs and leave well enough alone.
Seemingly taking inspiration from the NWOBHM, early 80s thrash pioneers Nuclear Assault, Metallica, and Artillery (what a mighty trio they were back in the day!!!), as well as that tried-and-true Manowar anthem worship, Dual Mayhem sounds honest and uncontrived, with every track showing integrity, and admirable swagger. The self-titled track on the album has an intriguing Danzig “Twist Of Cain” amphetamine riff going on which I didn’t see coming, the leads have an awesome, drawling Thin Lizzy feel to them, and the brief acoustic break during “Bleed For Your Master” just before the solo really does well to assist fleshing-out the overall dynamic for the tune, which is one of the best songs on the disc. Dual Mayhem is an homage to throwing horns, drinking hearty ale, wenches, and broiled meat on the bone heavy metal. I refuse to get all Lord Of The Rings here, and I’m not casting a spell of adjectives to help describe this colorfully, got it?
What Goes Wrong: If you’re reading this review right now, I doubt you can relate to any of the lyrics because, well, you’re probably not fighting axe battles on a daily basis in the name of your favorite music. Yes, I know the lyrics are tongue-in-cheek and lighthearted to some degree, which is fine, but the style is so overdone and tired at this point it’s just pointless. I don’t even know where to take points off for this because the music fucking delivers, but it’s so damn played out in every way. In fact, even the catchphrase about metal outlasting disco is old. Disco? C’mon, guys, we get the point.
The Verdict: Dual Mayhem is a perplexing album from a critical standpoint, and a small guilty pleasure from a fan’s ear. The thundering, classically epic riffs, and adhesively captivating songwriting is something I can never grow tired of hearing, but when wrapped in a blanket of lyrics & mood that are so totally one-dimensional and old hat, it tends to have a more polarizing effect as far as wider appeal goes. Other than that, it’s a kick-ass album which fans of Hammers Of Misfortune, Manilla Road, and Slough Feg should enjoy considerably. The music is solid enough even if the subject matter is so 1985, but it could be worse, at least they’re not metalizing U2 covers, or wearing loincloths and monster masks. Pick your battles, I guess.
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