It began as a celebration of heavy metal, powered by the almost tribal bond shared between the extreme music community’s most revered trailblazers, armed with a list of contributors onstage (and off) that read like a Wikipedia entry on the genre itself. Now, with their second album, METAL ALLEGIANCE achieves the seemingly impossible once again. Beyond any doubt, the all-star “project” has cemented its position as a true band.
An adrenaline-soaked, thrash-worshipping, groove-driven, diverse, yet more sharply focused effort than its no-less-impressive predecessor, the mere existence and urgent brilliance of »Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty« silences any doubt as to the band’s earnest intention, purposeful resolve, and resilient dedication to all things heavy metal.
That singular tenacity, once the time is carved out, extends itself to the traditional vibe of the band’s writing methodology, as well. “We don’t just phone it in,” bassist and cofounder David Ellefson explains. “These are real songs, written by real humans, in the same room. As complicated as it often makes our lives to do that, it’s a real band.”
“We wrote these songs, in my basement, playing them in rehearsals before we ever hit record,” adds drummer and cofounder Mike Portnoy. “It’s important to stress that this isn’t one of those email projects where everybody just sends files back and forth. Like a garage band, each of these songs began with playing together, banging it out, old school.” He likens the energy to METALLICA’s »Kill ‘Em All« and EXODUS’ »Bonded By Blood«.