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Released: 2016, Own
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Nowadays a stoner/doom band usually falls into two groups. The first is the ethereal female fronted with a hint of Hammer
Horror sounds. The second is the heavy male fronted with growling sandpaper and heavy vocals. The dudes dress in truck driver
caps, denim jackets and have lots of facial hair. Master Charger are the latter. They are three dudes picked up from 1971 by the Doctor
in his Tardis, handed a few Orange Goblin albums to listen to on the journey and dropped off in 2016.
The beauty of this album is actually the slightly imperfect production, with a few slight timing issues, a snare drum that doesn't
quite rise above the mix, but with lovely open hi-hats. It sounds analogue as opposed to pro-tooled Amaranthe style
perfection. As with many bands these days the members bring a few more influences into the mix as opposed to one style. You get the
down tuned guitars, fuzzed, wah-wah solos, clean guitar interludes and what adds one mark to my score, the blues sounds.
Slap bang in the middle of the album is the 8 minute long semi-epic entitled In Hell's Grip. It adds authenticity with "tape left rolling" before recording starts, and although not quite taking you on a journey, is an enjoyable song with twists and turns that does
not feel 8 minutes in length.
I do have an issue with the album and band though. It is the vocals. They are in the Lee Dorrian / Ben Ward style. Lots of people enjoy the heaviness but as a massive Sabbath fan I think the band could widen it's appeal with clean vocals, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Dio even Tony Martin style. I have a feeling the three people in the band are a tight unit and would not like a new member in to ruin their vibes.
Talking of Sabbath there are a few "Children of the Grave" style riffs, but once again add more influences, and I hear Fly to the Rainbow (Scorpions) and Jon Uli Roth influences in their special brew. The UK have many great bands coming through that need that break that the European bands seem to get. Master Charger are on this list. A hard working, talented, dedicated band who have lots of potentials. Eroding Empires is an album that has secrets to uncover the more you listen to it.
Another band I need to see live soon.
1) Damn Me Forever
2) Dwell in the Doom
3) Turn the Tides
5) Blessed Be
6) In Hell's Grip
7) Death Traits
9) Break of Dawn
10) Where I Belong
J P (Vocals/Guitar)
DAVE HAYES (Bass)
JON KIRK (Drums)
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