Metal Mind Productions [Release date 09.06.14]
This record has been out for a little while and I can only apologise to connections that it has just emerged into the thin Autumn daylight at the top of my review pile. Unforgiveable. Because ‘Devil’s Share’ is a muscular, inventive and sometimes humorous slab of finely carved stoner metal. Certainly unworthy of an overlong stay in the dusty pending tray.
Corruption, stalwarts of the Polish metal scene, have travelled far since their death metal debut back in 1991. You can’t tread the boards for that long without developing a brass neck and balls of steel. How else do you explain kicking off with a banjo lick that should be more at home in the outtakes from ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’?
It works though. ‘Hang’N’Over’ is a beast of an opener. Driving guitars quickly pick up the theme of the banjo lilt and smash out a fast tempo classic stoner stomp. Not without melody, either.
‘This Is The Day’ and ‘Story of Things That Should Not Be’ are both more aggressive tracks with visceral riffs, shouty vocals and a rough atmospheric. New band members Daniel Lechmański and Peter Rutkowski, who joined in 2013, share lead guitar and lead vocal duties to good effect throughout the album.
Whilst these are solid enough tracks, it’s the quartet’s ability and confidence to mix things up that raises this opus above the average. The excellent ‘Traveller Blues’ is laced with thick, haunting blues harmonica that provides a riveting counterpoint to dark, compelling guitar riffage and with a vocal that drops down just a notch from eye-bulging terror.
Later on, ‘Regression’ has a similar doomy feel, though the pace relaxes a little and there’s space to work in up some tuneful melodic vocal passages and Sabbath-esque guitar light and shade littering the second half of the track.
‘Grime Whorehouse’ and ‘Inspire’ both bring back the grit and spittle with some tough, uncompromising licks. The former features just about the best vocal delivery on the album rumbled out over a double bass drum weave to make thrash-heads drool; the latter has a blistering, distorted guitar solo that simply illuminates the track.
These two gems are split by the re-appearance of the banjo-toting, check-shirted interloper of ‘Hang’N’Over’ for the two minute Americana acoustic interlude, ‘Trespasstellers’. (For further evidence of the band’s country credentials, check out the cowboy-booted star attraction on the front cover!)
Staying with the off-beat theme, ‘Born to be Zakk Wylde’ is pure comedy gold. A stoner rip through Steppenwolf’s ‘Born To Be Wild’, twisted into an homage to the former Ozzy guitarist and current Black Label Society leader, mashed up with a spirited slam through Dio’s ‘Holy Diver’. Are you sure you are ready for this? Gird your loins. It’s worth it.
‘Moment of Truth’ is the excellent, epic showstopper, tinged with psychedelic acoustic guitar that sums up Corruption’s entire approach to this album: confident, competent, enterprising; and loaded with class and mirth in equal measure.
Fill your boots. ****
Review by Dave Atkinson
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