Release DetailsLABEL Demolition Records
RELEASED ON 2/27/2007
Temple Of Brutality
posted on 6/2007 By:
If you’ve ever stepped out of your basement and joined the rest of the world in a social event involving loud music, fantastic assorted unmentionable party favors, a great selection of people who all seem to get along really well, and killer food, you’ll agree it can make for some damn good fun. Not only that, the hosts have been kind enough to provide all the overflowing refreshments, but what are they serving? Can beer that comes in cases of 24 for $4.99, or in some instances, a $30 keg. The whiskey is $5.00 for a half gallon, there’s rivers of it to be had, and the cola you‘re mixing it with is decent if you squirt some juice from a plastic lemon into it. You see where I’m headed here?
Considering the cats who are throwing this shindig, vocalist Todd Barnes (13-A), ex-W.A.S.P. drummer Stet Howland, Belladonna/Killing Machine guitarist Peter Scheithauer, and former Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson, this isn’t quite what I had in mind when signing up for Temple Of Brutality’s Lethal Agenda. Actually, I’m a little astonished. In theory, this has everything a fan of no bullshit heavy metal with thrash overtones could want, but this just isn’t all that great. They have an irritating habit starting songs off with wicked riffs which are replaced with totally generic brand-X chugs and lazy drawling Pantera / Prong-esque filler through most of the songs. Just when you think you’re going to get a completely kick-ass, thrashing metal tune, or at least a *ahem* ‘brutal’ groove to nod along to, you get second-rate stock riffs popping up continuously. After sitting through this over half a dozen times, I can’t think of a single tune that stands out among the others, and besides a shifting of tempo and quickening of rhythms here and there, I still can’t make mention of anything that sets these tunes apart. I draw a total blank, and what’s worst of all, considering the talent level of the players involved, the musicianship is as nondescript as you can get, save for a couple decent leads and some nice drumming on occasion.
It doesn’t help that Todd Barnes is not the easiest vocalist to listen to. He has a delivery that makes me feel like I’m getting yelled at by my grandpa rather than listening to a heavy metal singer, which, sorry to say, doesn’t appeal to me in the least. It would be funny if it didn’t make me feel like I need to clean my room or something, and I’m 36 years old!!! While this album doesn’t outright suck, there is such an overwhelming nothingness, plainness to it that nearly defies description. I approached Lethal Agenda as a thrash fan and not a metal critic, and my fan side is much more forgiving. This is just a cruel tease. A few very tempting song ideas that lure you in and make you end up sitting through some very bland songwriting that sounds like it was recorded in the room next to you. You can pick out any three tunes and throw them on a compilation disc full of disposable thrash party music and do just fine, but other than that, it wears out its welcome when taken all at once, and that’s the gist of the party Temple Of Brutality is throwing on Lethal Agenda. The hosts may be laying out a hell of a bash, and you had a great time while it lasted, but you probably wont stay too late, and there’s going to be a lot of leftover alcohol to finish off when it’s over.
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