Reviewed: September 2007
Released: 2007, None
The “other” band for Sacred Reich’s guitarist Wiley Arnett, the four piece from Arizona serves up a good dose of melodic rock/metal for those who like solid head-nodding guitar-driven hooks. This band sounds very different from Sacred Reich, and they should be taken as a separate entity, a band in their own right. Fans looking for Reich-style thrash will be severely disappointed, fans looking for a Reich-influenced sound will be the only ones to get anything from this album.
Wiley’s guitar is right in your face most of the time, but the bass and drums have their time to shine as well – a couple of the intros are bass or drum noodling before seguing into the song proper. I found out just how technical Sacred Reich drumming could be at their live performance a few weeks back, and right now I’m finding out how technical Muley’s drumming on FROM THE CELL is. A slight complaint is that the snare taps rather than cracks – it sounds too muted, but that’s my personal preference.
I have to say I don’t like the vocals much. I can’t really hear what he’s saying most of the time, and he dwells too much in the mid-upper registers of his range. I prefer more variation – shouting, growling, anything. Some of the vocal melodies are really inspired (“Wounded”, “Tension Rising”), EXCEPT on the slow parts of “From The Cell” where it’s slightly whiny. It’s a pity because on “Let It Die” he comes up with some beautiful haunting vocal lines that really showcase his voice – not strained, not trying to cram that emotion in, but just letting the guitars and bass swirl around his words. THAT’S emotion, that’s feeling, that’s touch.
Again, it has to be stressed, and I think the band themselves would agree, that THC is nothing like, and is not meant to be like Sacred Reich. Standing alone, they would think they have enough to break out of the Arizona scene, and I’d be inclined to agree. Sure, it’s not the most original experimental piece of work in the world, but it’s a good hard rocking record, with great playing and they must surely reap the rewards of the amount of effort that has gone into this.
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