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CD REVIEW: Downslave - Cost of Freedom

By: Cyrus Rhodes

 

"goes the full 12 rounds"

- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-

 

 

 

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Artist: Downslave
CD:
Cost of Freedom

Label: Independent Artist

Website: http://www.myspace.com/downslave

Genre: Heave Metal, Hard Rock

Sounds Like: Megadeath, Cannibal Corpse, Anthrax

Technical Grade: 8/10

Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs 1930, Unnamed, Total Aggression

Weakness: Repetitive Catalogue, Winded songs


CD REVIEW:

Knoxville based thrash metal powerhouse Downslave release their debut CD in 2010. The band consists of (guitarist) Scotty Roc Kirkland, Brad Parker (vocals), Karl Mager (bass), Scott Campbell (drums) & newest member Dalton Cochran (lead guitar) There’s even a special guest appearance from GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot.

The CD explodes in your face with apocalyptic ”Intro” piece that leads into Track 2 “Unnamed” that hits hard with its thrashing rock rhythms, thunderous guitar chords & catchy metal core vocal delivery from singer Brad Parker. Track 3 delivers more of the same raw intensity with “Cost of Freedom” an aggressive follow up piece that slams your ears into submission with its aggressive double bass drum attack, no holds barred lyrical content & hooky chorus. The CD doesn’t let up - with Track 4 “Total Aggression.” This piece hit even harder & whips you around like a wild tornado, with melodic guitar & dynamic vocal intensity from Parker. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear influences ranging from Anthrax, Cannibal Corpse, Megadeath, & old school Slayer, & Pantera. The music has everything you would expect from a high octane driven thrash metal CD. The musical style refuses to be pinned into submission, the vocals are gritty & are deep in your grill, & the guitar playing is hot to the touch. Make no bones about it – this is total mosh pit madness. The songs themselves are reckless & packed to the hilt with raw intensity & lyrical content straight from the crypt keeper. Parker’s vocal style works well with respect to this style of music with its stereotypical metalcore - jagged edge delivery. It’s not total over the top cookie monster-ish, but is still intense. I might add his timing is spot on, & the guitar playing definitely holds its own dishing out a few very impressive solos & speed riffs that will make your head spin. Rhythm section - Karl Mager (bass), Scott Campbell (drums) lay down the low end groove that is thick as a brick. What I like most about the music is its sheer intensity; note for note & song for song. Like a heavy weight boxer the songs keep coming at you one after the other - with no sign of letting up. From rocking “Death to the new” & Brink of Extinction” to hard hitting “Pit Approved”, “Hated” & Test of Time” to my personal favorite “1930” this CD pretty much lets it all hang out.  

All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. It’s safe to say the catalogue is a bit repetitive over time. I’m not a fan of the extreme right & left guitar pans within the mix. This mixing technique is extremely dated a bit amateurish sounding in 2010. I also recommend the other members of Downslave learn to how to harmonize with Parker. I don't recall one singe vocal harmony on the entire CD. This would not only add variety, but give Parker more vocal reinforcements. This can also be done without compromising the heaviness of their overall sound. Also I don’t recall too many blazing solo guitar segments.  

The debut CD from Downslave is a solid & consistent debut CD from start to finish. Its strength – the raw song for song intensity that keeps coming at you.  No doubt these guys are a total riot to check out live in the back clubs  of Knoxville. The music is dirty, but rock solid, heavy & consistent. Like a heavy weight fighter this CD packs a powerful punch, & goes the full 12 rounds with no sign of letting up. Like a 1-2 punch the song keep coming at you, one after the other until your ready to tap out. The messages are intensely & may cause your ears to bleed. It takes no prisoners You want profanity, you want a bloody nose, you want mosh pit madness, you want high octane rock that's in your face for 45 minutes. You want trouble – you found it

 Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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