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Released: 2012, Doolittle Group
Charlie Shred is certainly a bit of an odd project. Basically, three members of ReinXeed (Tommy, Mattias, and Calle) have created this band and recorded an album. As far as I can tell the members have just basically switched around instruments. While ReinXeed is more of Tommy’s vehicle, he is relegated to the role of drums on the self-titled debut. It doesn’t matter as regular readers of my reviews will know I’m on a huge ReinXeed kick and pretty much anything these guys touches is Metal gold in my opinion.
This Swedish quartet have churned out a cool, little record that runs 40 minutes for 10 songs.
Not shockingly, there is not an enormous amount of variation from their other projects in terms of production and presentation, however CHARLIE SHRED (the album) is far slower and much more melodic than Golden Resurrection or ReinXeed. Calle seems to be the driving force as singer and he does a great job as well, with a good Metal voice and he can really hit some awesome high notes like the one at the end of the cut, ‘The Rose’. The pace is fast for the most part and the songs soar along majestically in a great Euro Metal style with lots of keyboards, clean and flashy soloing and a breathless clinical feel to the fret-board histrionics. What also surprised me about this album is the thrash element. I’m serious! If you hear a song like, ‘Time to Die’, or ‘Game Over’ it’s basically a love-letter to old Metallica (first two albums) if Kirk Hammet could play faster and solo better. Some of the thrash elements actually stick out like a sore thumb on the album, but it is a great tribute to thrash nonetheless. Ultimately, this diversity in style, makes for a bit of a schizophrenic collection of songs rather than a full album with continuity and consistency in song-writing. In my experience these side-projects tend to be that, a chance for a guy to stretch his (or her) song-writing wings and be creative outside the main vehicle. However despite that the songs are fun, the tempo high, the mood light and the albums just rips.
Sometimes it is better to let yourself get lost in the music and not overanalyze it. Maybe we will never know why this album exists but I’m glad it does. I’d say in terms of simple song-writing, Charlie Shred has good potential, moreso than his other band, which would have a far more limited appeal in a mainstream Metal market.
3. Death Comes to All
4. The Rose
5. Tainted Inside
6. Time to Die
7. The Ancestors Guide
8. Game Over
9. Welcome to Hell
10. Fall Down
Calle Sundberg Vocals, Guitar
Mattias Johansson Guitar
Johan Tranborg Bass
Tommy Johansson Drums
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