For someone who is very picky with the American metal scene, one group has risen up in my eyes and brought forth a refreshing injection into a genre that has needed it for a very long time. After having heard the debut album from Poison Headache, the metal beast within knew that it wanted more. Including members from As I Lay Dying and Wovenwar, Poison Headache are totally in a different league than the aforementioned names. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Andy Kukta, drummer Kyle Rosa and vocalist/guitarist Phil Sgrosso Poison Headache are releasing their 10 track album via Metal Blade Records. The debut album from the SoCal metallers, this isn’t tame and polished metal, this gets to the nitty gritty with the nastier side of many genres making their definitive presence known. An almost modern-day version of Entombed I will say, this fast-paced, in your face and to the point album is a quick trip to an unforgiving territory. With a pretty sick and artistic album cover, you know that things are sinister and urgently ravenous once you set foot in their territory.
Fusing hardcore with such guitar driven riffs and modern metal elements, you have such exemplary examples like the opener, Sin Eater. A nice taste of what is to come, the track is very much propelled by the New York hardcore scene from many, many years ago. One thing that immediately made a noticable impact were the vocals. Andy Kukta has a distinct voice, really fitting perfectly for such a genre and sound. Conspirator is another track to experience metal bliss. This is perhaps one of the most intense two and a half minutes you’ll experience.
Don’t even get me started with Grey Skies, a Sgrosso oriented track. For having many years of guitar under his belt, his skills are executed very well. With the addition of melodic components, a speedy solo and breakdown, this track is on the more technical and complete side. Never. Again., has an almost stoner metal entrance, but from then on the thrash ensues. Nothing special, no effects, this is as natural as they come baby. What really threw me off though was the final track, Discloser. With the overall appeal of the album being completely different with each track, I was taken by the acoustic hook initially in which soon turns into a groovy affair. The use of leads and solos is very effective in this case and the grind aspect bringing the heaviness to another level.
Though the album doesn’t sound like AILD or Wovenwar, fans of either act should at least check out the album. There’s also progressive elements that nestle their way into the album so more variety to throw at ya. The roots of each member shows and the raw energy and power is more than enough to tie you over. The raspy vocals were unique, a personal preference, and while there was a lack of solos this first round, everything was made up to the listener with the extreme tenacity each members brings to the metal forefront. Nothing noticably dislikeable, a very good and solid debut from this supergroup. Simply put, if you’re into heavy, angry tracks that bring in a side of feeling to them, you’ll want to check Poison Headache out. No oversaturation or dilutedness, this is a triumphant and dynamic album that will leave you intrigued and wanting more. Stay Metal \m/
Poison Headache: 8.5/10
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